Dead Mary
R1 - America - Genius Products
Review written by and copyright: Noor Razzak and TJ McDonald (29th March 2007).
The Film

"Dead Mary" is not a horror; it is a travesty. I don't think that it is a step too far to say that the Director : Robert Wilson : and the writers : Peter Sheldrick and Christopher Warre Smets : should be sterilized for the safety of future generations and then locked in small padded rooms, far away from the tools of their trade. And then, every day, one unfortunate viewer of "Dead Mary" should be allowed into those rooms to punch each one of them in the face. I guess what I am saying is that I didn't really like the movie.
The plot of "Dead Mary" is a collection of malignant, clichéd tumors slowly draining the life out of what was once a legitimate genre. Old College friends go to a cabin in the woods (Yawn!); they have secrets from one another (sigh!); they remember an old urban legend and pretend to summon "Dead Mary" (groan, chuckle slightly); they begin to get killed off (consider cutting yourself to relieve the boredom); the film ends in a completely unsatisfying manner (you are unaware of this however, as you have no doubt fainted due to blood loss).
The casting team clearly decided to avoid actors who were actually good and go with the tried-and-failed method of a cast of sub-par performers and one slamming hottie to grace the cover of the DVD : in this case, Dominique Swain (she's the one who made you feel uncomfortable when you watched "Lolita" (1997)). To be fair, Swain's performance is solid if a tad lackluster. The remaining cast, however, falls clearly into the group known as 'Characters Whose Deaths You Actively Hope For'. Even this feeling fades, though, as the film drags on and in the end you just wish the actors had been left in whatever restaurant job they had been plucked from.
"Dead Mary" really has so few redeeming qualities. The sound is fine and some of the opening woodland shots are nice, but it is all so quickly bogged down by the dull plot and poor, plodding script that you can't help but think maybe the only reason the opening few minutes are half-decent cinema is some malicious attempt to trick you into watching the rest of this steaming pile of crap.
I just don't get it. Why can't these people make a really respectable horror film? It's not like no one knows how to do it - just give John Carpenter a damn phone call! Yet the green light is constantly given to creative projects driven by writers and directors who have the artistic talent of an autistic kid with an etch-a-sketch™. I hate to say it, but if you rent, buy or even think about "Dead Mary" then the terrorists have already won.


Presented in a widescreen 1.78:1 ratio this anamorphic transfer is a fine effort. Sharpness is maintained although a few dimly lit scenes appear softer. Colors are well rendered with blacks appearing bold; some noise can be seen amid the blacks which can be distracting at times. Minor compression artefacts are a distraction but overall this is a serviceable transfer that is exactly what you'd expect from a straight-to-DVD release.


A single English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track is included, dialogue was clear and distortion free, ambient sounds made their presence known albeit subtle. The bass track kicks in now and then adding some dynamic element to the overall track. Generally this is a decent sound mix for a horror film although it does lack depth and the ability to immerse the viewer with a robust and aggressive mix that utilizes all speakers effectively.
This film does not include any optional subtitles.


Genius Products have included a featurette, a music video, the film's theatrical trailer and a series of bonus trailers. Below is a closer look at these supplements.

First up is "The Making Of Dead Mary" a featurette that runs for 26 minutes 11 seconds, this is a standard EPK style clip interviewing key cast and crew about the film and their part in it all edited amongst footage taken during the filming of scenes. It's basically a boring straight-forward clip that tells you the same thing you can find on IMDB on the film or on the back of the DVD case.

Next up is "We Are Here" a music video Evolved Monkey which runs for 4 minutes 11 seconds. The same song that appears in the end credits is presented here.

Following that is the film's original theatrical trailer which runs for 1 minute 39 seconds.

Rounding out the extras are a series of bonus trailers for:

- "UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine" which runs for 1 minute 59 seconds.
- "Living Death" which runs for 1 minute 42 seconds.
- "Troubled Waters" which runs for 1 minute 40 seconds.


The Film: F Video: B- Audio: B- Extras: D Overall: D-


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