Stephen J. Cannell.............Writer
Stephen J. Cannell............Carl Hadden - Nerdy teacher who can't get the girl.
Josh Hammond.................Jeff Lucas - Weird goth kid. Claims to be George Lucas' nephew.
Don Michael Paul..............Tom Donaldson - Pot smokin' gym teacher.
Antonio Sabato Jr..............Sgt. Dan DeSousa - The Barney Fife of modern homicide detectives.
Lisa Anne Hadley..............Dr. Brenda Boone - She has a thing for incompetent policemen.
The Story Goes...
A disturbed student at a high school has a series of encounters with both students and faculty members. After one altercation he is accidentally killed when he drives off of a cliff while being chased by another student. It is one year later and students and teachers begin to die at the hands of an unknown vicious killer. Together they must discover who the killer is, and how to stop them.
I originally watched Dead Above Ground because I saw that Corbin Bernsen had top billing in this. "Hmm," I thought to myself, "Corbin starring in a teen horror movie? Sounds like fun." Well, I'll be honest, I was a bit let down. Corbin only has a very small roll, and he is in the movie for about five minutes or so. However, being the trooper that I am, I decided to keep watching, and I discovered that it wasn't as bad as I had thought that it would be based on other reviews.
|Corbin Bersen and Cindy Margolis(?)|
One great aspect of this film is Josh Hammond's over the top performance as the psychotic Jeff Lucas. Jeff is the goth of goths. Everything that he wears and says is about the occult, especially when he's sputtering what sounds to be total nonsense about equinoxes and things. I won't go so far as to say that Hammond's acting is on par with Eric Freeman's from Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, but it's pretty darn close. Subtlety definitely isn't in this young man's vocabulary, but I have a feeling that he knew what kind of movie he was taking part in, and he just decided to go all out.
|Josh Hammond as Jeff Lucas|
|Antonio Sabato Jr. as Sgt Dan Desousa|
|Don Michael Paul as Coach Tom Donaldson|
All in all, I would say that Dead Above Ground is a comedy with elements of horror. I know that Cannell has produced some questionable material in the past, but I just find it hard to believe that he wrote this dialog without realizing that it was incredibly unrealistic, and often times unintentionally funny. When I hear characters relating their internal struggles to others with lines like "sometimes I feel kind of out of place around here. Everybody here drives BMWs or Acuras. I drive an old Camero. I don't belong," I can't help but think that their stupidity is entirely intentional.
On the brighter side, the quality of this film is definitely better than the majority of what The Asylum has put out. Though I'm not sure that's an accomplishment to write home about. It's corny, cheesy, and is definitely not to be taken seriously. I didn't find it to be terribly boring, but I would say to rent it or watch it on Netflix. Unless you're a huge fan of ineptness, in which case I would say to buy it. And yes, there are quite a few unintentionally funny moments in this film.