Sunday, May 26, 2013

DEAD ALL NIGHT: The Bad Ass Return of 80's Dystopia

God bless the 1980s. We all know it was a good decade for horror culture, but it was an even better decade for dystopian science fiction. 

In the United States Reagan was President, the Cold War waged on, and materialism ran rampant. Meanwhile, the Iran-Contra affair and AIDS were soon to be on everyone's minds. Seeking escape, audiences plunged into the burgeoning genre of dystopian action films -- films like Mad Max, Escape from New York, and They Live in which lone badasses fought for their right to survive in societies that had descended into ruin, chaos, and madness. The world was ending on VHS, and it had never been more entertaining!

Although the time of 80s era of dystopian action sci-fi has passed, Canadian writer/director Christopher G. Giroux is helping keep the flame alive in his latest short DEAD ALL NIGHT.

In a post apocalyptic future, North America has become one country under strict governmental rule. Some areas, however, are allowed to exist by treaty as lawless free zones. Forbidding the use of guns, these free zones attract gangs of medieval-minded goons and neo-punks. However, when a warlord known as The Veteran (Kyle William) gains access to a doomsday device, the government is helpless to intervene without breaking its treaty with the lawless zones. With no other option, the government turns to Gavin Green (Ryan Barrett), an ex-special forces operative turned vigilante and death-row convict. They offer Gavin Green a deal: infiltrate the free zone and take out The Veteran and his weapon in exchange for a full pardon of past crimes. If he fails, North America will be destroyed.

Ryan Barrett fucks shit up in Dead all Night
Written, directed and produced by Christopher Giroux, Dead All Night contains a who's who of upcoming Canadian genre talent including co-producer Brad McMillan, cinematographer Chad Archibald, and writer/director Torin Langen, who provides some of the amazing music. Also featuring actor Robert Nolan and Breanne TeBoekhorst, Dead All Night is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek action throwback that wears its influences on its sleeve. In addition to dystopian 80's action films like The Road Warrior and The Warriors, Dead all Night also takes cues from modern video game structure as Green takes on an escalating number of enemies before engaging the main boss in hand-to-hand combat. 

As a huge fan of John Carpenter's They Live and Escape from New York, I loved Ryan Barrett as Gavin Green. Heavily channeling Roddy Piper from They Live, Barrett dispenses knuckle sandwiches in between dropping macho one-liners and whacking goons upside the head with a pipe. Also, fans of the 80's will really dig the amazing synth-style score throughout the entire short. It's a cool little film with an incredibly retro feel that's bound to appeal to genre fans.

If you want to learn more about Dead All Night, visit the Black Fawn booth in person on June 2nd at the Burlington Toy Show on June 2nd (Atrium Conference Centre, 5420 North Service Road, Burlington, Ontario). 

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