Dance of the Dead - The Ironic Zombie Comedy done RIGHT
You get the impression that's it going to be a mediocre teen comedy with a few zombies thrown in for good measure, or some kind of already doubly-derivative, simply by name, Shaun of the Dead for the tween crowd.
That would be a tragedy, though, because Dance of the Dead is actually a pretty decent movie, and a pretty awesome zombie movie.
With tongue planted so firmly in cheek it's practically poking out through the skin, Dance of the Dead leads off with all the genre conventions, and slyly subverts them just enough to keep us interested. There's the likable slacker, the bully who will end up as ally, the asshole teacher who is going to die in 5 seconds, the immaculate love interest, the friend who you know won't quite make it.
It also manages to play to the tropes of teen comedies pretty well, but clever writing and all around decent acting keep things moving along.
When the inevitable zombie outbreak occurs, the film really takes off. Regardless of what it's actual budget was ( I believe quite small) it manages to pull off that low-budget look while having inventive and squeal-inducing gore. They cut-away a lot, and obscure quite a bit, but it's all well done.
It flounders a bit in the climax, as many of these films do- but even that's not much of misstep, and this film is simply so much fun to watch, it more then makes up for it.
Simply put, in terms of zombie comedies, there aren't many better.
Dance of the Dead - 2008
Directed by Gregg Bishop
Written by Joe Ballarini
Starring Jared Kusnitz, Chandler Darby, Greyson Chadwick, Justin Welborn