Waking up on Thanksgiving after a one-night stand with the hottest guy in Portland, Maine, sassy, awkward Deb (Maria Thayer) is not exactly over the moon when the night before’s dream lover, spiritual vegan pretty-boy Ryan (Michael Cassidy) can’t wait to be rid of her, practically throwing her out of his apartment.

But the Walk of Shame is the least of Deb’s worries. Portland is in the grip of a full-on zombie apocalypse and after saving Ryan’s life, the two are forced to work together if they’re going to make it through the end of the world, or at least the end of Portland, as they try to make it across town to the fortified estate of Ryan’s father, local dodgy businessman Frank (Ray Wise) whose accidental poisoning of the local water supply may just be responsible for the zombie outbreak.

I wanted to like zom-rom-com Night Of The Living Deb.

I really did.

The leads are attractive and have good chemistry, their growing attraction believable and their relationship one you want to see succeed while Maria Thayer’s Deb is a spunky heroine (no not that kind of spunky…), completely unphased by the zombie invasion, who’s cuter than a muppet even if at times her performance does veer dangerously into the realms of Zooey Deschanel-level Manic Pixie Dreamgirl annoyance. Chris Marquette is fun as Ryan’s trigger-happy douchebag brother and Ray Wise is always good value, his bonkers, quasi-villainous capitalist holing up in his kitchen and baking Thanksgiving cakes in a designer suit and apron as the world goes to Hell around him.

But despite some decent jokes, a prime example being a wonderfully un-PC gag where Deb gives thanks that the zombies are at least the old-school, slow moving, palsy-variety of zombie only to discover that it’s Ryan’s neighbour with cerebral palsy, as a horror-comedy Night Of The Living Deb just doesn’t deliver, being neither funny enough to qualify as comedy or scary enough to qualify as horror, Kyle Rankin’s laidback direction all too often easing up on what little tension there is to allow the leads to bicker and banter as they fall for one another.

Slight and mildly amusing, Night Of The Living Deb ultimately lacks bite.

Frightfest Presents Review: Night Of The Living Deb
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