Night of the Living Dorks (2004) — Undead nerds are still nerds

“If you’re hungry, have some beef or something, but no more people!”

Lissa’s rating: Where’s David Hasselhoff when you need him?

Lissa’s review: Like many of the more obscure films I review on a whim, I’d never heard of Night of the Living Dorks before. We found it during a rare pilgrimage to Blockbuster, searching for something suitable to watch. Naturally, we didn’t expect it to be great, just good Mutant material.

We also didn’t expect it to be a German movie. Overdubbed, incidentally. I’m not sure if the actors were as bad as the overdubbers, but let me just break any suspense — the acting was bad. Very bad. Especially the bit at the very beginning when the zombie ashes are made.

So, there are these three buddies who are total geeks. There’s Philip (Tino Mewes), our hero, who is desperately in love with Uschi (the blonde, popular girl) despite the fact that a.) Uschi looks like Tori Spelling with an overbite, and b.) Philip has this gorgeous neighbor Rebecca (Collien Fernandes), who is supposedly less attractive. Don’t ask me what parallel universe this is supposed to be in — I just work here. The comic relief is provided by Wurst (Manual Cortez), who acts a bit like an intelligent Stifler and kept reminding me of George Michael from Arrested Development (lookswise). And there’s Konrad (Thomas Schmieder), the ultimate geek, who is thirsty for revenge.

These guys are best friends, sort of like the guys in American Pie. (Actually, the whole thing struck me as a bit American Pie Goes to Zombie Camp.) And somehow, by the grace of three inept Goth priests and a lethal van accident under the influence, these three guys end up zombies.

I will give the film some credit in that they redefined zombies. Sure, the guys are still all about eating people, but they can also still think and talk like humans, instead of just drooling “brains…” like so many stereotypical zombies. I’ve never liked zombies myself — I think they’re quite dull and disgusting — so this was an improvement of sorts. And they were actively seeking a cure for themselves, but they did find that being zombies had some pretty cool perks, like supernatural strength. Of course, being a zombie also has the advantage of wanting to eat your friends and falling to pieces (thank God for staple guns!), but super-strength and popularity beat out weird dietary cravings every time.

Other than that, “American Pie goes to Zombie Camp” really does describe this film, as long as you’re assuming it comes after the first two or three in the series. It’s whacked out, filled with teenaged gross out gags, and features teenaged guys desperate to get laid. (Yes, even as zombies. Incidentally, it also contains an extremely nauseating scene which Duckie termed worse than the zipper scene in There’s Something About Mary. Be warned.) It’s pretty stupid and pretty bad, but at the same time, it does qualify as “so bad it’s funny.” We laughed quite a bit… just not always when we were intended to do so.

I keep sitting here staring at this review thinking there ought to be more I can say, but there really isn’t. I mean, zombies. Teenagers. Sex comedy. German. That really does sum up the entire experience of the movie.

Just… if you’re a guy… take Duckie’s warning seriously. That scene really was pretty wince-worthy.

Didja notice?

  • The American dollars at the beginning
  • The Neitzche gymnasium/high school
  • Seriously. Can someone please explain to me why ANYONE not attracted to mean people would ever find Uschi more attractive than Rebecca? EVER?
  • One year equals a long time ago?
  • How do you bury a man up to his neck in a long jump pit, anyway?
  • What happens when you microwave a gym teacher’s foot?
  • Zombies are officially cool.
  • That Latin has strange symbols in it, according to Rebecca?
  • The lady walking by didn’t even look up when Konrad was “killed”
  • Gym coach Stalin. Subtle.
  • These people aren’t good at logic, are they? (Especially at the end.)
  • It truly is a miracle potion, when you think about what a cured zombie should be.

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