Dance of the Dead, except nowhere near as good. Screwing around with a noose he has as a decoration in his room, Nathan accidentally hangs himself. His mother happens to have discovered a magical tome in the crypt of her church and uses it to resurrect her son. Things like that never turn out well in horror movies and Nathan returns as a zombie. Except, only a little bit. While he's dead, he's not aware that anything is wrong other than he's discovered he has super-strength, has no sense of pain and finds normal food disgusting. Later, in a fit of rage at a school dance, he bites -- but does not eat -- a chunk of a rival's cheek off. This sets off a zombie plague that consumes the high school students in town.
The big problem I have with the film is it wants to both have and eat its cake. While cake-Nathan is a zombie, they never really make him a real zombie because they're more interested in keeping him presentable as the male romantic lead. Though it's necessary to have Nathan bite someone to kick of the plague, they're sure to show him spitting the cheek bits out. Even though he'd been complaining about being hungry the entire day, he's not allowed to eat zombie food because that would ruin his desirability. While every other zombie in town runs around and eats people -- normal zombie behavior -- Nathan inexplicably remains Nathan and never loses control. Worse, they come up with a ridiculous zombie cure at the end of the film -- his mother happens to observe that a snake bite will cure being dead -- and Nathan is allowed to return to normal and date his crush. Weak.
Watched: DVD from Lionsgate.
Tales from the Darkside 1.08: "The Word Processor of the Gods" (1984) directed by Michael Gornick
I have great fondness for this story from childhood. Due to its lack of swearing and gore, it was one of the Stephen King audiobooks my dad let me listen to as a wee lad. It's a nice little piece of wish-fulfillment in which a homemade word processor (for you kids: a computer that could only run a primitive version of Word) takes the place of Aladdin's genie. Elevating things a bit is King's typically strong characterization. What would I type on this machine? Well, first, "this word process will never break" might make sense, considering the ending. After that: pizza and beer for everyone on the planet.
Tales from the Darkside 1.09: "A Case of the Stubborns" (1984) directed by Gerald Cotts
As soon as this one started, memories of this episode from 28 years ago came back to me. It's one of those that just sticks in your head due to its premise. As a family mourns their father/grandfather's death the prior night, he comes walking down the stairs and demands breakfast. Turns out he's so darned stubborn, he refuses to believe he's died. As the days go on, Grandpa begins to look and smell worse and worse, but nothing -- not doctor nor preacher -- will convince him of his lack of life. A great episode that perfectly captures the flavor of a tall tale or fable.