2016 Canadian Film Festival: “Dead Rush” Review


DEAD RUSH (2016) directed by Zach Ramelan, produced by Lexy Robidoux, Zach Ramelan and Karl Janisse, and screenplay by Raven Cousens, Zach Ramelan, and Gavin Michael Booth is a Canadian Zombie film.

DEAD RUSH opens with a terrifying scene of a young girl called Amy (Amylea Devauge) coming to in the back seat of her parents’ car.  Her father has been impaled and her mom is injured.  While Amy and her mom barely make it to safety, a Zombie is on their heels.  Amy’s mom (Jamie Elisabeth Sampson) tells her daughter to hide and then goes back out into the hallway to confront the Zombie.  Amy doesn’t pay heed and follows moments later to find her mom being overpowered by the Zombie.  Amy makes a dash for it but is chased into a dead end situation.  She decides to defend herself and picks up a sharp wooden object from the floor.  While in the throes of a fight with the Zombie, the movie cuts to 3 weeks earlier.  What happens to Amy?  Well, you’ve got to watch the film to find out.

We meet our protagonist David (David Michael Moote) in a love making session with his lovely wife Megan (Raven Cousens).   Both Moote and Cousens give fine dramatic performances.  David finally takes a call from his paranoid father (Timothy Paul McCarthy) who wants him to watch a conspiracy video.  You get the feeling something is wrong and things aren’t as they should be.  Megan is worried too and she suspects it has nothing to do with her pregnancy. 

While out on the town to celebrate his birthday with his buddy Wayne (Charlie Hamilton), things really take a turn for the worst when David finally takes a frantic call from Raven.  David and Wayne rush to get to her but encounter chaos in the streets.  It’s the onset of the zombie plague.  People are turning.  David arrives too late to save his lovely wife.  David and Wayne take shelter in a gym and barricade themselves inside but that situation comes to a tragic end.  Although David manages to break free, he ends up crashing his vehicle.  Is it the end?  No, it is just the beginning of his journey.

He is rescued by Carly (Caleigh Le Grand) and taken in by a survivalist group headed by the Reverend Patrick Rock (Rich Piatkowski), a TV evangelist.  I loved Rich Piatkowskis portrayal of the disturbed obsessive Reverend with his black and white views on the plague.  And Caleigh Le Grand’s performance of the tough chick is spectacular to watch too.  Again, something is just not right.  David shows signs of infection.  When David witnesses Patrick dispatching a member who is infected as doing God’s work, David realizes he is at risk.  When out on a mission with some of the other survivalists to locate a girl who has been bitten but shows no signs of infection and who may represent a possible cure, things go terribly wrong.  Ambushed by Zombies only William (Austin Duffy) and David make it back to camp.  William confronts David and wants to denounce him to Patrick, but Carly intervenes.  When the camp is attacked by Zombies, David heroically takes a stand and does what he can to save his friend Carly before he turns.  And you’ve got to watch the film to find out what happens to David.

I love DEAD RUSH.  It has all the elements of a fantastic zombie film and can hold its own against any of its big budget modern contemporaries.  The danger and rescue scenes are blood curdling and terrifying and so are the Zombies.  Kudos to the screenwriters (Raven Cousens, Zach Ramelan, and Gavin Michael Booth) for coming up with an original script.  The director and cinematographer have created a visually appealing film.  I particularly liked the use of weaving David’s flashbacks into the fabric of the film.  I liked the use of out of focus shots, jerky camera movements, slow motion, extreme close ups, low angle shots, over exposures, flickering lights, and sound effects to create suspense, fear and emotion.  I also enjoyed the way David the protagonist was shot.  We catch glimpses of him but are mainly exposed to him through his video phone conversations with his dad, video diaries, or when reflected in a mirror. 

I give it two thumbs up and recommend you see it for you won’t be disappointed especially fans of the Zombie genre.

Watch the trailer for Dead Rush below!

Dead Rush will be playing at The Royal Theatre March 31 at 9:30 p.m. 

Tickets can be purchased here!

[Review by Stefan Chiarantano] 


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