Sunday, June 14, 2009 | 11:28 a.m.
One thing that scrappy little genre B-movies should never be is over two hours long; Kerry Prior’s horror-comedy The Revenant just barely passes the two-hour mark, but it’s a good 20-30 minutes longer than it ought to be, getting bogged down in multiple plot detours and tonal shifts that detract from the clever, entertaining first 45 minutes or so. The Revenant starts off as a goofy, irreverent buddy comedy with gore in the vein of Shaun of the Dead, as soldier Bart (Anders), killed in the line of duty, rises from the grave and goes right back to hanging out with his best friend, Joey (Wylde, basically a poor man’s David Spade).
Sure, Bart is also stuck drinking blood, but he doesn’t quite follow traditional zombie/vampire rules, and Prior has some refreshingly straightforward approaches to typical horror-movie clichés (to assess his newly undead condition, Bart heads to the hospital). The longer the movie goes on, though, the more it meanders through various plotlines, finally arriving at an overblown, nonsensical climax and an even more baffling epilogue. Supporting characters disappear for long stretches, and Prior seems to have no idea when to wrap things up. What starts as funny and engaging winds up plodding and unfocused by the end.