Dead Like me: Life After Death
I saw two episodes of the TV series re-run on Sci-Fi network a year or two ago and I KNEW I had to own the series on DVD. Not two weeks later Best Buy had them on sale buy one season get another free and they were mine. It’s a great series; dark, moody, funny, serious, irreverent. Loved the cast, Ellen Muth is a cutie who plays her rebellious character to a T. Mandy Patinkin was perfect as Rube. Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy, Cynthia Stevenson and the rest of the cast came together to make good television.
Then there was the rumor, soon proven to be true, of a movie, perhaps a theatrical release but most probably a direct to DVD job. We fans waited and waited and complained and waited some more. Then the news came out, the filming was done! Hooray! Then we waited, and waited and… it was years from the first rumors to the eventual direct to DVD release. I’d given up on ever seeing it but occasionally checked it’s IMDB page to see if there’d been any update. One day I see it’s OUT! RELEASED! People have been buying and watching it for weeks without my knowing it. I’m just about to head over to Amazon to order it when I saw the ratings, oh my… then I read some reviews, oh… goodness. It was in the toilet and swirling around the bowl. Since then the rating at Amazon’s gone up to 6/10, I think that’s just due to fans trying to convince the producers to bring back the series.
Ok, granted I’m basing my opinion on the censored and probably heavily edited Sci-Fi TV (I will NOT use that other name) version they broadcast Sunday night. Pretty much, it stunk, like week old dead skunk stunk. Rube/Patinkin is gone, replaced by a self absorbed pretty boy who’s so one dimensional I’m amazed he showed up on film. The character of Daisy is still there but they’ve replaced the outstanding Laura Harris with the near talentless Sarah Wynter. The story moves too fast so rapidly in places they lose any believability. Plot lines develop with little to no explanation. Muth looks terrible throughout most of the movie, tired, worn out, dark circles under her eyes that the makeup people couldn’t hide.
That’s not to say the movie didn’t have it’s moments. The interaction between George (Muth) and her little sister Reggie (brilliantly played by a returning from the series Britt McKillip) are touching and well done. Delores Herbig (Christine Willes) is back and just as over the top as she was in the series. But those moments won’t save a bad movie. Uber-creepy receptionist Crystal (Christine Willes) returns but sadly only for a few seconds. It doesn’t feel like a movie and it doesn’t feel like part of the TV series and that’s too bad. We (I) waited a long time for this to come out. I feel let down.
I give it two and a half stars: