August 30, 2011

Dawna the Dead (Review: Reader Discretion Advised)

Dawna the Dead (2010)
aka. Dawna of the Dead

Director: Laume Conroy


0.5 / 5 zedheads


Did you think we'd make it to the end of Hot Zombie Nights without reviewing at least one full-out hardcore zombie porno? Fat chance! I only wish someone had been around to tell me that reviewing zombie porn isn't a very good idea in the first place.

It is with a heavy heart and a broken spirit that I bring you Dawna the Dead, a joyless and sick zombie porno from writer/director Laume Conroy. As a zombie and gore fan, I know that some films aren't for everybody, but then there's films so irredeemable that they seem made for absolutely nobody. Dawna the Dead turned out to be the most depressing and stomach-churning experience I've had to endure since launching The Zed Word in 2008. Dawna holds the ignoble distinction of being the lowest-rated zombie film I've ever reviewed.

To find out why, continue after the jump, but be warned. While the images will be censored, I will be discussing some vile, vulgar, disgusting scenes of rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia of the living dead variety. This review is definitely not safe for work and, honestly, not safe for anyone. Abandon hope all ye who choose to Read More.

Dawna the Dead's real crime isn't that it's vile and disgusting, not to mention boring and poorly-made. It's real crime is that it turns sex into a violent and gristly exercise in tedium. I love sex, and I have absolutely nothing against pornography in general, but I hate seeing one of humanity's greatest and most satisfying pastimes turned into a gruesome, soulless non-spectacle by a sleaze-o film company out to make a few bucks.

But, for what it's worth,  Dawna the Dead tries to tell a story, at least at first. The film opens with Dawna (the only named character, played laconically by Zoe Matthews) and her friend (Aiden Starr). They're driving out to Eveningside Cemetery for a party -- a party that no one ever manages to get to, mind you. Inexplicably dressed as Catholic school girls, Dawna and her friend participate in some banter while driving, and we learn that Dawna's boyfriend is dead and buried. She professes her undying love for her lost Romeo with all the conviction and interest of grade-schooler reciting the periodic table, but this information establishes an ulterior motive for Dawna to visit Eveningside Cemetery. I'll let the script lay it out for you.

DAWNA: I miss him. I can't wait to go and...
FRIEND: Oh God, that's right. This is the cemetery that you always go to to masturbate on your boyfriend's grave.
Yup. It's going to be that kind of movie. Oh, did I mention that Eveningside Cemetery is also the fourth gate to hell? No? Damn, that must have slipped my mind. Well, Dawna and her friend don't know either, so they don't think twice about busting out a Ouija board when they arrive. They start to commune with the dead, especially the spirit of her boyfriend who tells them he's in a BAD place (I assume a hell where he has to watch Dawna the Dead on repeat). Then the Devil butts into the conversation, prompting Dawna to tiredly exclaim:
DAWNA: Oh, wow. This thing is kind of evil.
 And with this rudimentary scenario in place, the film abandons any sense of plot as Dawna goes off by herself. She strips naked except for a pair of "fuck me" heels, crawls up onto a chest tomb (note: not her boyfriend's) and furiously starts masturbating.

I have a bad feeling about this
 As she masturbates, Dawna has flashbacks to scenes of sex with her boyfriend. This is as erotic as the film is going to get, and that's not saying much. While the sex doesn't get any more interesting, these scenes are mildly arousing; that is, they're arousing until the boyfriend's creepy voiceover kicks in and he won't shut up about "BEING TOGETHER FOREVER." On the tomb, Dawna gets so wet that vaginal juices with the consistency of baby oil drip down off her fingers and onto the unholy soil of Eveningside Cemetery. The ground cracks, and zombies begin to crawl from their mossy graves to a synth score riffing on Goblin's iconic pulsating Dawn of the Dead soundtrack.

At least the zombies aren't just dudes in grey face paint. Instead, they all wear deluxe, special-order Halloween masks. You might have seen these for sale on the web; several of them are designed after iconic zombies from horror poster art such as the poster zombie from Zombi 2 (WE ARE GOING TO EAT YOU) and the zombie face on the box art for City of the Living Dead (aka. Gates of Hell). Many of the zombies even have zombie gloves that match their latex faces. Other zombies, however, are clearly off-the-rack Halloween costumes that you can get at Walmart.
 But these zombies aren't your typical undead. They're horny and they love to rape! Rape, rape, rape, rape! They rape enough people to keep the investigators of Law and Order: SVU busy for years. The rape-fest begins when Dawna finally makes it to her boyfriend's grave. Hands erupt from the ground to tear off her clothes and pull her into the moss so that a zombie (her boyfriend, maybe?) can rise from the grave and fuck her with his impressively large and well-preserved dick. Meanwhile, Dawna screams and screams (not her real scream, mind you, but a stock scream used for every female scream throughout the movie) while the soundtrack treats us to all sorts of inappropriate squishing noises and guttural zombie moans. Oh joy.

Zombie Hand Bra
Dawna manages to crawl away, but a zombie attacks her friend in another part of the cemetery. It tears off her clothes to rape her, but Dawna's friend gets really into the necrotic sex and takes charge of the action. And she thought masturbating on a grave was nasty. Now she's fucking a corpse with gusto! Hypocrite.
Is the message that all women love rape? Ugh.
The zombie rapes her throat until it bleeds. The zombie cums. She dies. It's entertainment for the whole family! Then the zombies gang rape another woman, presumably also trying to find this supposed cemetery party that no one ever makes it to.

That's not a flute I've blacked out, in case you were confused.
But male zombies aren't the only rapists. Soon two female zombies emerge and attack a guy wandering into a crypt. They pull down his pants and he's immediately hard (weird; it's as if he was ready for it). I hope he enjoyed his FFM threesome because when the zombies are finished with him, they go down on him for a snack, if you know what I mean.

And that's not taffy.
More gratuitous scenes of fake gut munching ensue, including Dawna's friend who reanimates to writhe around in cheap-looking guts for no reason.

Do the girls never take their shoes off or what?
Finally, we check back in with Dawna (remember her?) to find her still crawling through the grass despite no visible harm to her legs. When she's free of the zombies, what does she do, being smart girl that she is? She climbs right back on top of another chest tomb to take a naked rest. But - BOOM - a zombie appears and fucks her until she spits up blood and dies. The end?

Daya the Dead
Dawna awakes to the day. She's naked, and her makeup is smeared, but was it all a dream? She stumbles into the background. Wow. That's......that's really pointless.

Dawna the Dead is a shitty waste of time. For a porno, the sex is ugly and boring. There's nothing sexy or erotic about this. No one looks like they're having a good time at all. On the technical side of things, the movie is dark, poorly lit, and digitally processed with the fakest of fake film grain imperfections and artificial pops on the soundtrack. The story is abandoned, the scenes make little sense, and the element of rape and sexual violence is simply deplorable and hard to stomach.

There's is nothing to recommend about Dawna the Dead. It's not even sleazy in a fun way. For a zombie porno, it's dull, dull, dull. At least it's only 72 minutes long.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go try to scrub my soul clean.