Rednecks and zombies aren't new to cinema. They actually have quite a history together. Dead Kansas, from writer and director Aaron K. Carter offers something new and fresh for horror fans. Emma (Erin Miracle and Alexandria Lightford) and her father, Glenn (Aaron Guerrero) are surviving together after a zombie apocalypse ravishes the world. "Rottens" as they are referred to here are loose and hungry for the living. Suppplies are scarce, food, water, fuel are all in great need. A gang of miscreants led by Jebediah (Michael Camp) devise a plan to kidnap Emma from her father and use her to trade for supplies.
The plot is unique enough to grab your attention and, the acting may be a bit stiff at first but, it will captivate you. The film is set up in "acts', giving it a chapter story feel. After a tornado, Glenn is injured and needs medical attention. The duo go to a camp of carnival misfits holed up surviving the chaos. This is where the film shines, led by Squeak (Ben Woolf, American Horror Story) in a way to big top hat that fits his character to a tee, the father daughter duo seek a doctor. Advised by Giant (Irwin Keyes) there isn't a doctor there but, there is one nearby. Emma sets out with Skinny (Joe McQueen, Confessions Of A Superhero) wielding a trusty pitchfork to find the doctor to save her dad's life.
At the doctor's house, they find Rusty (Kevin C. Beardsley) the caretaker who is a mash up of Colonel Sanders and Ogre from Revenge Of The Nerds. Rusty introduces them to Doctor Emerson (Darryl Dick). Of course, nothing goes as planned and the raiders crash the party. The film doesn't take itself seriously, this is what really works in it's favor. The humor is witty and, the actors nail the dry delivery. We never really do get to see one of the "rottens" instead, they are seen through a POV from their perspective. A unique approach for a zombie film, for sure.
The film's casting was surprisingly stunning, For an independent film, the eclectic variety of actors worked remarkably well for the film. I would have loved to have seen more of the "shambles" camp of circus misfits, they were by far the most fascinating group in the film. Hopefully , if there is a sequel they can be expanded upon. Sadly, Ben Woolf (Squeak) passed away recently, I would have loved to see him return, he was a greatly untapped talent in the film industry. Dead Kansas is a fun romp in the backwoods of horror, it is streaming now for rent on Amazon instant Video for $1.99 and, it is by far worth the price of admission.
Watch it HERE on Amazon Instant Video