Art of the Dead Review (Umbrella Entertainment DVD)

Oh wow, Richard Grieco is in this...and now he isn't.

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Art of the Dead is an entertaining horror film hampered by poor acting and a low budget. The heart of director Rolfe Kanefsky is in the right place, and the film’s practical effects by VGP Effects elevate the film above most other low budget efforts.

Art of the Dead sees seven paintings (artwork by Clint Carney-a highlight of the film) portraying the seven deadly sins, ending up in the hands of a family. Each person in the family becomes entranced by the paintings and falls victim to the sin they represent:  the mother’s lust for sex 24/7 (even with a large goat-man); the father’s greed for money (symbolised by frogs because I guess green?); the younger children becoming slugs for sloth (yeah I don’t know); the older daughter’s envy for a Fabio-looking football player, which compels her to kill to have him; and finally the son’s wrath for finding the perfect canvas for his art. The only people who can save the day are the son’s girlfriend and a one-eyed priest who has had an intimate experience with one of the paintings.

The goods are there for a great film, and there are moments where you can easily forget you are watching a low budget affair. The ending springs to mind as the practical effects are cranked up and we get excellent-looking monsters and one gnarly kill scene. Sadly, the other 78-minutes play out like the beginning of a porno with none of the payoff. Also, if you are buying the film because Tara Reid and Richard Grieco are headlined, first I have to ask: why? And second, don’t get your hopes up as Grieco is barely in the film, and Reid plays a side character, whose only job is to sell the paintings and help sell the DVDs.

Art of the Dead is released on a barebones DVD from Umbrella Entertainment (a habit they have been doing lately). There is no menu, and the audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Nothing really special to talk about here.


This review may read like I wouldn’t recommend Art of the Dead, but that ending piqued my interest enough to tell you to at least check it out once. 

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