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  Legion Of The Dead
Olaf Ittenbach, Germany, 2000
Rating: 1.1

Posted: November 19, 2002

In the prime of their respective careers, who do you think would win a fight between Wilford Brimley and Norman Fell? Wilford would have the weight advantage, but Norman is wiry. It's tough to call. I can waste my editor's precious space here pondering such cosmic issues because Legion Of The Dead is simply that awful. Take two guys on a desert trip, one a stoner, the other doing his best Matthew Perry impression, and throw in a couple of dead guys in bad suits going door to door asking victims how they would prefer to be killed so that they can be "recruited" into the "legion" and there's your film. The rest of the plot (what there is of it) is trivial. One of the dead guys tries to steal the show with his "Stoogemania" physical comedy performance. He sticks a knife through his hand, shoots himself in the groin, gets run over by a car, and is finally victimized by an explosion. Bear in mind, all of this is done as intentional slapstick. There is a semi-cool gunfight against zombiesque creatures in a bar, but this does not even come close to saving the film. There's also a "tall guy" antagonist who constantly seems out of place. If nothing else, this film makes one realize what an astonishing performance Angus Scrimm turned in as the "Tall Man" in Phantasm. I've seen Scrimm and the bad guy here is no Scrimm. (By the way, do yourself a favor and revisit Phantasm, one of the better attempts at low budget horror.) Legion Of The Dead fails miserably as a horror flick and the attempts at campy humor only dig it a deeper hole from which it can never emerge. It's never scary. It's never funny. It's just consistently terrible in every conceivable aspect.

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 Clemenza's Ratings Key:

 5.0: A drop of bliss

 4.0-4.9: Touchdown!
 3.0-3.9: Close, but...
 2.0-2.9: Box of Rocks
 1.1-1.9: Time bandit
 0.0-1.0: Soul scarring
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