Die Nacht der Lebenden Loser (2004) 1 brain1 brainhalf brain

Alternate Titles:

Night of the Living Dorks

You've seen this film before, maybe just not with the flesh-eating. Three high-school nerdy types are tormented by the jocks in their school, and the head nerd, Philip (Tino Mewes) dreams of going out with the hot girlfriend of the lead jock. Unbeknownst to him, his cute female friend from childhood has the hots for him. The two other nerds are, predictably, the uberdork Konrad (Thomas Schmeider) and the sex-obsessed Wurst (Manuel Cortez). When a voodoo spell gets mixed up, the three friends (after getting in a car crash) come back as zombies.

Being zombies makes them impervious to pain and superstrong, which quickly raises their popularity, especially when they give the jocks a taste of their own medicine. But will this popularity go to their heads? Will they be able to sustain their friendship? Will Philip ever realize that he's better off dating his childhood friend? You know the answer as well as I do.

What makes this movie enjoyable and different is the downside to being a zombie: the craving for human flesh and the decomposition. The friends are still themselves, they have their own personalities and memories, but the urge to feed grows stronger throughout the movie. In one interesting twist, director Matthias Dinter ties the speed to which the craving grows to the personality of the zombie. Konrad, who has kept a notebook of past offenses against him and dreams of revenge, quickly succumbs to the cannibal urgings. Wurst, who has a live and let live policy and is just looking for the next opportunity for sex or drugs, remains almost unchanged (except for the decomposition). Philip is somewhere in between.

The zombie plot line saves the film from utter unoriginality, but the general story is still pretty predictable, down to minor characters and various scenes. It's technically well-done, and good for several chuckles, but it's exactly what it was intended to be, a John Hughes film with a twist. It's fun to watch, but mostly fluff.