TV Movie: “Shadows of the Dead”

With some TV movie’s, it doesn’t even matter. No matter how much you prepare yourself for what may come, even if it’s the worst thing ever, there may be no way of overcoming other variables that come out of nowhere.

The Cinetel Films movie “Shadows of the Dead”, probably sucked a lot more than I saw, but I was unfortunately spared that awfulness.

This TV movie stars Kennedy Tucker (“Suburban Memoir (Short 2015)”, “Christian (Short 2015)”), Brian Maierhofer (“All Out Dysfunktion!”, “Blood Relatives”), Tommy Ruff, Taylor Jorgensen (“So I Have to Finish My Script Today (Short 2015)”, “St. Osmund’s”), Lindsay Elston (“My Crazy Ex”, “The Secret Box (Short 2014)”), Alexandria Paige (“OddBall”, “Killer University”), and James Gaisford (“Real Fight (Short 2016)”, “Mythica: The Iron Crown”).

The movie was directed. By John William Ross (“The Thing in the Apartment (Short 2015)”, “Things Are Really Insane (Short 2011)”) and written by Joe Chisana and Ross (“The Thing in the Apartment (Short 2015)”, “Things Are Really Insane (Short 2011)”).

The movie originally aired on Oct. 22, 2016 on SyFy.

On the fourth weekend of “31 Days of Halloween”, it appears that we’ve come to the part where not only are the movies giving up, but so too are the viewers. There does seem to be a bit of fatigue coming one, which could also have something to do with my own tiredness from the day. Fortunately, it wasn’t overwhelming. I still got excited enough about this movie, but nowhere near as excited as the previous three weekends, or even the first weekend. Maybe I’m just realizing that the opportunity for a really fun scary TV movie (really another one) has long since come and gone. A couple weeks ago was it. There’s really no reason to have any hope for another. It’s just wasted energy. I’m fairly certain I could find some better use for that energy.

Until that time, I guess I’ll spend it here. With you! Someone’s gotta warn you about the pitfalls of watching TV movies using a shit TV provider.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have finally encountered something I never thought I would. Terrible reception form my TV provider during a movie I really wanted to see. This one. I don’t think it was because I was expecting something stellar, but just because I enjoy watching them and seeing what’s simply being attempted. They truly can be all kinds of fun. Also, for those of you who don’t know, it’s a great little tradition to have. Getting into the holiday spirit gets even easier

Well, not tonight. Tonight it was one mighty “fuck you”! I don’t know how this comes as a surprise. For weeks now, possibly months, DirecTV has had problems, at least for us, which is bad enough. The picture just pixelated way too much, and to the point of annoyance. Also what it’s been doing for weeks. If this had been any other program or bad TV movie, I probably wouldn’t care as much. It’s not. I wanted to try and enjoy what was offered. Sadly, for a grand total of 50 minutes, a large and important chunk of the movie, this wasn’t possible. I scribbled so many angry notes about DirecTV and viewing experience, that I’m surprised I even kept watching. But I knew I had to do so for you. And to some extent my sanity. No sane person even semi-gleefully sits down to watch one of these.

But I did, even though my efforts were continually challenged. In some ways, this pixelation issue may have been a sign. A warning of sorts. Too bad I’m so damn stubborn.

So, I sat through this, but honestly, by the time the satellite issues let up (for the few hours it typically provides before resuming to pixelating), I just didn’t care. I was as far away from this story as one could possibly be. Even before the rest of the movie’s issues surfaced, and the reality of what I was watching set in, I didn’t care. Not one iota.

Fortunately this proved to as a bit of a plus. There were warning signs, I guess, but due to the satellite issues, I couldn’t really focus on taking them seriously. Something like the two high schoolers fighting about something and one of them asking the obnoxious question, “Do we really need to do this right now?” So the movie progressed and as Tucker’s friends took the expected stance of not believing her, I too took the position of viewer who should’ve known better.

I did, and still watched. Once the majority of the first hour had passed, there was no turning back. Even after Tucker proved that her character Heather, was as dumb as ever, yet somehow the lead and sole person who knew something was off, I was still watching. I seriously don’t know how I thought she’d survive, when she couldn’t even close the doors she ran through to try and prevent the monster from attacking her. So dumb. But that’s the formula right there for ya. Which, again, I didn’t really notice. Apparently in all of the glitches during the first hour I missed the “character development”. So all I was left with were clichés and predictability. Mind you, even without the character insights, whatever those may have been, I pretty much understood who each one was. This in turn just allowed them to fulfill their given purposes. Victims.

And this is where I stop. Stop me from having to continue reliving this uninteresting, not at all scary, and cliché horror TV movie. There’s nothing else that can really be said to help this movie. It was bad all the way around, a fact I learned afterwards. I mean, the convenient tape recording exposition about what the creature was and how it stayed alive (but not what it’s purpose for existing was), should’ve been a major tipoff to that fact. I was spared, to some extent, and avoided a lot of its badness, but what I saw irritated me enough. Made me question why I even watched these types of movies. All I was looking for was an entertaining TV movie, but apparently that was too much to ask for.

TV movies are as fun as you can make them. Keep your expectations low, and truly know what you’re watching. Does that mean that watching two hours of awfulness is going to be easy or even bearable? No, but it could still serve as another good sign and reason why you keep watching them. Making this task easy should be your TV provider. However, if you’re on the losing side of the battle between good and bad reception, it’s best to keep your expectations in check. Without good reception, you can’t even hate watch something. Just a constant back and forth of glitch, no glitch. Not a fun game when you thought the game was to find ways to make snarky comments about what the character’s are doing at any given time. Oh how I long for the simpler days. Perhaps next week I’ll be better prepared, and can suffer through the movie the any I was meant to suffer.

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