Let’s begin this movie review with a quick definition of the word “mimesis.” The Free Dictionary by Farlex states that “Mimesis” means “the imitation or representation of aspects of the sensible world, especially human actions, in literature and art.” Now you don’t have to wait for genre legend Sid Haig to explain it to you three-quarters of the way through “Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead.”
“Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead” tells the story of a group of fans at a horror convention who are invited to an exclusive after-party. After passing out, each one awakens in the woods outside a farmhouse to find themselves dressed up in different clothing. They soon come to realize that they are pawns in someone’s sick re-enactment of “Night of the Living Dead.” This time it’s not a movie. Its real-life… and people are really dying.
I must say that director / writer Douglas Schulze truly has utilized an interesting concept. Many remakes could save themselves the embarrassment of being inadequate carbon copies if they would take the route “Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead” does with its namesake. Instead of making rehashed updates of iconic films, producers could make a movie about fans of the original who want to act out the events in real life. It could be applied to any horror or slasher movie.
Just picture this: a franchise of films based on the idea. We could have “Mimesis 2: A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Mimesis 3: The Amityville Horror,” Mimesis 4: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” The possibilities truly are endless. SyFy Channel or Chiller could even have a weekly “Mimesis” television show. Contestants have to re-live a classic horror film to win prizes and such. I know, this is a review and I’m starting to digress.
Sid Haig (“The Devil’s Rejects”) is really the only actor in the film who’s recognizable in the movie. He plays a horror director who is tired of everyone blaming violence in films for tragic events that happen in real life. I was giddy over a short cameo by Courtney Gains who played Malachai in the original “Children of the Corn.” The rest of the cast are basically just victims for the audience to see disposed of in various gory manners.
The audio and video transfers for “Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead” will please viewers. The picture is clean and the colors are satisfying. The 5.1 surround sound mix brings the movie to life with a nice musical score and plenty of eclectic sound effects.
The special features for the Blu-ray version of “Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead” are minimal. We get an audio commentary track with director / co-writer Douglas Schulze and co-writer Joshua Wagner. There has to be footage somewhere of the making of the movie. Why couldn’t that be included for everyone to enjoy?
“Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead” isn’t a complete failure as entertainment. It addresses the idea of “life imitating art” that we see come up in the news all the time in a clever manner. However, I can’t help but feel that “Scream” did it better back in 1996. A lack of any special features isn’t going to help convince consumers that this is the horror movie of the week to spend their hard-earned money on.
“Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download.