With the advent of the talkies taking over cinema, a silent era movie starlet, Rose Pettigrew, loses her studio contract and, in turn, her once flourishing career. This news sends Rose into a mad rage of murderous mayhem, slaying her friends and co-stars before taking her own life. Unsurprisingly, this killing spree results in the starlet’s mansion being left vacant and collecting dust until some 80 years later when two beautiful women, Danni and Reese (Ariana Madix and Jessica Morris), buy the place to flip it for a profit.
With a prospective buyer on the way, Danni and Reese spend the day prepping the mansion so it’ll be presentable for when the buyer shows up to finalize the purchase. While the dangers of dust bunnies and a deep fear of physical labor plague the women during their time spent fixing up the mansion, things takes a horrific turn when the spirits of Rose and her friends decide to pay the girls a visit, and an unfriendly one, at that. After all, The Dead Want Women, right?
Co-written and directed by Charles Band, The Dead Want Women is a micro-budget, straight to video release from the everlasting studio, Full Moon Features. For a guy my age, there is naturally a lot of nostalgia the comes with Full Moon for much of direct to video horror and sci-fi they produced throughout the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately, its been a long time since Full Moon’s heyday, and this is definitely proven with The Dead Want Women.
While the dialogue and acting is embarrassing (I’m looking at you, Eric Roberts) and the story completely anemic, The Dead Want Women’s biggest problem is that it’s completely and utterly boring. There are long sequences of the two female protagonists talking as they check out the house, then talking as they’re cleaning the house, and then finally talking while sitting around enjoying a drink by the fire (inside the house, of course). Lots of talking about stuff that’s not at all interesting is pretty much a recipe for boredom, but what’s even more impressive (well, impressive in a bad way) about The Dead Want Women is the fact that there are these very explicit and unnecessary sex scenes, but they are completely dull and seem to be doing no more than padding the already very short film. And when a girl-on-girl 69 scene is too long and boring, then someone is doing it completely wrong.
The one good thing I can say about The Dead Want Women is that is has much better production value than I would have ever expected from a modern-day Full Moon production. The film is technically sound without feeling at all cheap, which is surprising, though Band has been at this for a very long time, so maybe this is what he has to show for it. The other good thing I can say about the film is indeed its length. The film comes in at 74 min, but if you take out the opening and closing credit sequences (which I avoided), you end up with a 66 min movie, something certainly works in favor of The Dead Want Women.
Regardless, even at a stanch 66 min, The Dead Want Women is completely uninspired and uninteresting, and if a film can’t keep me even slightly interested for an hour and six minutes, then, once again, someone is doing it completely wrong. The Dead may Want Women, but this horror fan wants a better movie.