Deadtectives (2018) Movie Review
You just missed the final showing of The Lion King for the day and you’re thinking of throwing yourself off a tall building where you’ll fall into your neighbor’s living room and ruin their dinner. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it. You can just see The Lion King another day.
You have a good night’s sleep; grateful you can just watch The Lion King in the afternoon. You already bought tickets on your phone. But your plans are thwarted because your toaster exploded and your arms and legs have been severed.
You’re miffed because you don’t want to miss The Lion King for a second day because where your arms and legs used to be there are now bleeding, gushy stumps.
You call your local physician using your tongue and your nose to manipulate the buttons on your phone. You talk to Doctor Frank, your doctor since you were a kid. You tell her (just don’t assume Doctor Frank was a “He” because her name is Frank) about how you’re going to miss The Lion King again because your toaster exploded and took your arms and legs. They’re now a tattered blood-spattered mess all over your kitchen ceiling and floor. You’re going to have to call your cleaning person Patricia and tell him (just don’t assume the cleaning person is a “She” because his name is Patricia) that your toaster exploded again.
Doctor Frank tells you not to worry. Arms and legs grow back perfectly normal again in about 90 minutes. Just make sure you have a mildly funny distraction that will last the requisite hour and a half. Otherwise they won’t grow back properly and then your head will rot off and hang by the tendons attached to your neck. No amount of movies will cure that.
How to spend the next 90 minutes? By watching the 92-minute horror comedy Deadtectives while you wait for your arms and legs to grow back. Just make sure afterwards to give Karen a good tip because blood stains tend to set deep if left unattended for too long.
Deadtectives opens with your typically douchey reality TV ghost hunters. You’ve seen them. You hate them. If you actually watch stuff like this, I feel bad for your innate gullibility but am glad that you’re entertained by the simplest things. If your head were close by, I’d pat it like I would a puppy’s.
Let’s meet our heroes and sheroes, shall we?
- Sam Whitner (Chris “Don’t call me Richard” Geere, looking like a young Hugo Weaving)- He’s the main ghost hunter on camera. He puts the white in Whitner because he’s British. All he cares about are ratings. He doesn’t care if people are actually hurt by ghosts because he’s a charlatan. We don’t like him right off the bat.
- Kate (Tina Ivlev, looking like Evan Rachel Wood’s twin sister)- She’s the producer and Sam’s girlfriend. She’s looking for a new producing job because she’s sick of manipulating ignorant bumpkins with fake ghost hunting. Even if she has to break up with Sam.
- Lloyd Whitner (David Newman, not looking like anybody in particular, and that’s okay because David Newman is perfect just the way he is)- He’s Sam’s brother and a true believer in ghosts and ghost hunting. He’s developed some tools over the years that he believes will help them detect and catch ghosts. But Sam thinks Lloyd is dumb for believing in ghosts, just like those rubes they trick every episode.
- Javier (Jose Maria de Tavira, looking like the love child of Brandon Routh and Jason Schwartzman but with a Spanish accent)- We’re not sure of Javier’s purpose. He seems extraneous except for the fact that he’s fluent in Spanish. I wonder if that will come into play later.
Anyway, our ghost hunters’ ratings have been dipping over the past couple of years, and the studio has given the show one final episode to raise their ratings or else they’re cancelled.
The studio head has given them a new producer. Her name is…
- Abril (Martha Higareda, looking like the offspring of Mr. and Mrs. Higareda)- She’s lived her whole life to win an Emmy and she’d do anything to get it. Even if it means sacrificing some of her own cast members.
For the season finale, they’re going down south to visit the most haunted house in all of Mexico. Apparently, there was a brutal murder-suicide involving a farmer, his wife and 2 children.
If only one of the cast members spoke Spanish…
Javier can. I wrote it a couple of paragraphs ago. I know you’re still missing your arms and legs but surely you remember that.
Sam says he’s written the best ghost-hunting script of his life. If they follow it to a tee then they’ll surely scare the viewers and the cancellation will be cancelled.
But the haunted Mexican house (or casa) may have other ideas. Abril might have thoughts on the subject as well, because it’s ratings or die.
And “die” not just figuratively because the show is cancelled but “die” because people might really die. You forgot about Javier speaking Spanish so I didn’t know if you’d get there might be lethal ghosts.
What Works With Deadtectives
- To those of you who think this kind of sounds like Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners from 1996, it plays almost exactly like Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners from 1996. Except you’ve got 5 Michael J. Fox’s but no R. Lee Ermeys. If you liked that movie then you’ll like this about 10 to 15 percent less. You’ve got no arms and legs, are you really going to be that choosy?
- Acting-wise, only Jose Maria de Tavira stands out as the very hyper, very Spanish Javier. He gets most of the movie’s funniest lines and is involved in the movie’s funniest scene (an Exorcist reference that’s funnier than it has any right to be). I had hoped during the film that someone else would stand out so I wouldn’t have to write a long name like Jose Maria de Tavira more than once. I blame you Chris Geere, having a short name but an undistinguished performance.
- Jose Maria de Tavira. I can’t believe I wrote it again. It’s such a long name.
What Doesn't Work With Deadtectives
- For being billed a horror-comedy, Deadtectives is pretty light on the horror. There are times when the stumpy viewer thinks something scary will happen, but what’s promised is rarely delivered.
Does Deadtectives give enough dead to keep you occupied while your arms and legs grow back? As Jose Maria Elena Joaquin de Tavira would answer, Si.
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