Nik and I went to the midnight showing of Night of the Living Dorks last night in the latest of our SIFF screenings. It’s a German film that’s best described as a teenage zombie comedy and my god is it funny. Try to imagine a cross between Risky Business, Revenge of the Nerds, and Night of the Living Dead—in German. The heroes are three young goobers—Phillip, Konrad, and Weener—who get no respect from the in-crowd at their high school (the aptly named Friedrich Nietzsche Gymnasium). Phillip lusts after “it girl” Uschi and he is so desperate he and his pals end up at a graveyard with the three Goth kids at school, one of whom is Phillip’s next door neighbor and childhood friend, Rebecca. The incompetent Goths are trying to use a copy of the Necronomicon, a store bought chicken, and a screwed up pentagram to raise the dead, though Phillip is more interested in getting their help with a love spell. The Goth leader’s plan is to master the art of necromancy and then go to Seattle to raise up zombie Kurt Cobain (this got huge laughs from the Seattle crowd). Naturally enough, the evening goes awry and the next thing the guys know they wake up in a morgue.
At first, the friends don’t believe they are zombies but they soon discover that they feel no pain, have increased strength, and crave raw meat. Of course, these guys are zombie teenagers so their thoughts soon turn to what they can do with their newfound powers. Konrad has a “book of shame” that records every humiliating thing ever done to him. He begins to track down all of his tormenters and take his vengeance upon them. This culminates with him eating the sadistic gym coach “Stalin”, who has a great line to the students about how Germany would a lost the war if the soldiers had their bad attitudes (“But, sir, we did lose the war!”).
Things go wrong when their body parts start dropping off, which results in the creative use of a staple gun. Phillip and Weener agree that they must find an antidote, while Konrad is too in love with his power to want to give it up. The rest of the film is uses the zombie gag to turn a typical teen movie plot on its head. The humor is broad and while the gags are sometimes obvious, they also work. Night of the Living Dorks is a riot and is sure to become a cult hit amongst gamers and nerds of all varieties.