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Grave Mistake

Grave Mistake (2008) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  95m  •    •  Directed by: Shawn Darling.  •  Starring: Seth Darling, Wendy Andrews, James Blackburn, Stephen W. Eckles, Keola Melhorn, David Lionbarger, Benjamin Palmer, David Melhorn, Tracy Melhorn, Del Jenkins, Jaimie Darling, Toni Harper, Gary Harper.  •  Music by: James Blackburn, Shawn Darling, Jon Tabor.
      A young boy Alex King is beaten and Abused by his stepfather, Karl. Alex finds refuge with his good buddies Mike and Phil. While he is hanging out with Phil and Mike at the garage they run, the town is taken over by mindless, flesh-eating zombies. The group have to fight their way through town to the local National Guard Armory to find safety, all while trying to find Alex's missing mother.


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Image from: Grave Mistake (2008)
Image from: Grave Mistake (2008)
Image from: Grave Mistake (2008)
Image from: Grave Mistake (2008)
Grave Mistake starts as mild mannered mechanic Mike (James Blackburn) is repairing single mother Monica's (Wendy Andrews) car, as she waits & watches the telly she hears an emergency news broadcast about some sort of zombie virus spreading through the small town that originated at a small cemetery. Before Mike & Monica know it the garage is surrounded by the living dead hungry for human flesh, along with a few other survivors Mike & Monica decide that the safest place would be the armoury but getting there won't be easy as the town quickly becomes infested with the walking dead. It's a long journey, it's a dangerous journey, it's a journey not everyone will survive but what other option do they have...

According to the opening credits this low budget zombie flick was scored, edited, written, produced, directed & starred Shawn darling who also did the special effects, basically his name is listed during the opening credits for just about everything so i assume this is pretty much a one man band & he has to take most of the responsibility for Grave Mistake being crap. Look, I have nothing against low budget horror but when a film is crap I cal it as I see it, sure I freely admit that I couldn't do any better myself but the crucial difference is I haven't tried to make a film & then make people spend their hard earned cash on it. Grave Mistake is as bad as they come really, from cardboard character's we never care for to random moments that seem like they belong in a different film (what is that Knight bloke all about?) to very stiff sounding dialogue to awful production values to plot holes (why doesn't any of the group phone for help? The police, the army or even phone family or friends to make sure they are OK? I mean doesn't everyone have a mobile phone theses days? Then there's a bunch of people standing around discussing how to get a to a car a few feet away because of all the zombies but they are only a few feet away in the open anyway & where did all the zombies go at the end as that kid walked through the town?) to the expected rip-offs (at fist they hold up in a garage which is a substitute for the farm from The Night of the Living Dead (1968) & later stop off at a supermarket to do some shopping just like in Dawn of the Dead (1978) & there's a bad The Evil Dead (1982) reference when one character describes the zombies as 'evil dead') to the lack of any reasoning or explanation behind anything this is pretty dire stuff & feels like amateur hour at best & a poorly made home film at worst.

The production values are rock bottom here, the night time scenes look like they were filmed on a camcorder with night-vision on & they have this horrible green tint to them. The daytime scenes don't fare much better as the sky is totally white rather than blue. There's one character who is openly racist, sexism & beats his own kid although a joke is made out of it & his behaviour which might not sit too well with others & how many times did Mike threaten him not to do or say anything nasty again yet not follow up on his threat? It becomes a running bore & I got fed up with it. The gore is minor & looks cheap, there's some CGI computer head explosions (how does Monica kill that one zombie with an umbrella yet the umbrella has no blood on it after the zombies head explodes after she opens it in it's mouth?), there's a bit of flesh eating, a ripped off head, a severed arm, some bitten off fingers & an electric saw (it's actually a hedge cutter & where did Monica plug the thing in when she was running around outside?) stuck in a zombies chest & not much else.

The budget for this must have been none existent, it looks no better than your average home movie. The acting ranges from just plain bad to absolutely atrocious, seriously there's some really bad acting here.

Grave Mistake is the sort of film you just sit there watching wondering how bad it's going to get as all the negatives stack up against it, those of you who are very forgiving might like this but for those of us who like to be entertained by something which actually resembles a proper film I suggest you give this a wide berth.

Review by poolandrews from the Internet Movie Database.