Dead Mate (1988)

Genres - Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Horror Comedy  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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This cheap horror/comedy production takes a campy look at that sure-fire squirm bait, necrophilia, with the addition of a questionable "safe sex" theme ("We can't get AIDS from dead people!"). Dead Mate is suitably sick and full of hammed-up "eerie" performances from the sinister townspeople, numerous bad jokes, and implausible action. After an hour and a half of inconsistencies and unanswered questions (where did those zombies come from?), it's all wrapped up with one of those "It was all a dream...or was it?" endings that allows the filmmakers to get away with anything. The inexpensive special effects offer gore that looks like cranberry sauce and a silly "skin peeling" scene that exists only to show a man's flesh peeling off his skull. If Dead Mate resembles a more polished version of one of Andy Milligan's '80s-era films, it's not entirely a coincidence; the film was produced by Lew Mishkin, who was involved with the abrasive cult director's last few pictures and whose father William financed a great deal of his work in the 1960s and '70s (cast member Judith Mayes also made an appearance in Milligan's Carnage). Those who get a charge (ironic or otherwise) out of the subject of necrophilia should enjoy the graphic displays of nude corpse fondling that distinguish Dead Mate, while all others will either be disgusted or just plain bored.