Wild Eyes Releasing continues celbrating the camp side of modern low-budget horror with the September 13, 2016 DVD/VOD release of the 2015 horror-comedy "The Neon Dead" (nee "Invasion of the Undead.") The highly compatible elements that set this one aside are the effectively creepy titular special effects that give the supernatural beings a wonderful glowing blacklight appearance and the strong Kevin Smith "Jersey films" vibe. This is not to mention several "Ghostbusters" elements.
The film opens with hot chick/unemployed recent college graduate Allison hanging out in what passes for an ancestral home in the relatively new nation of the United States. A call (that does not come from inside the house) soon provides false hope in the form of an invitation for an interview for a badly needed job. Allison finding an aforementioned creature occupying her bathroom derails her plans for gainful employment.
The weirdness continues with the horror staple of a creepy young girl showing up at the door and calmly sharing her knowledge of the reputation of the house as a place of evil. Said tween further sets the stage for the Jay and Silent Bob style duo of "Neon" to join the action. Blonde and unabashedly brazen and insensitive Desmond and his quieter and more caring sidekick Jake are slacker video-store clerks who moonlight as paranormal exterminators. The opening scenes at their day job show fluorescent gas bright that "Neon" Torey Haas film maker is a major Smith fan.
The boys quickly find on arriving that the problem at the semi-isolated house extends far beyond the initial easily neutralized threat and a dispute regarding the fee for their services. A combination of a sinister grand plan by a deranged (but still present) ancestor of Allison, plot twists that are reminiscent of the British series "Randall and Hopkirk" about a detective and his recently deceased partner, and two separate undead armies keep the mayhem, the humor, and the gore coming in equal pats until the morning after.
Highlights include black comedy regarding a severed leg, Desmond and Jake bickering about the tools of their trade, and a grand final battle with a creature that resembles the art project of ninth grader.
All of this works because it reflects ironic respect to horror film staples, is consistent with the jaded perspective of Millennials, and adds the creepy bright features in adherence to the principle that modern takes on genres should offer something fresh.
The DVD extras includes commentary by Haas, bonus scenes, and a behind-the-scenes feature.
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