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Art of the Dead - Movie Review

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Art of the Dead

Beauty before bestiality! 

Greed. Envy. Gluttony. Lust. Sloth. Pride. Wrath.  We all recognize these words as the Seven Deadly Sins.  But what if these deadly sins were also the basis for a set of paintings that, should one look too long into these animal paintings, possess the viewer, inspiring them to commit that with which they stand for?  That’s the basis for Art of the Dead, a new horror film premiering on VOD this October.

"Art of the Dead does a lot with its limited budget.  It’s trippy, visually arresting, and has a philosophical undercurrent in its mad artist engine"

It’s just a little color to add to the walls.  That’s what everyone says about the seven animal paintings at the center of Art of the Dead.  But these paintings are wicked and, stare too long into the abyss that they are, they will never let you go.  Created by one Dorian Wilde, the paintings have new life once again thanks to the $500,000 spent on them by one family.  Art of the Dead stars Lukas Hassel, Tania Fox, Aaron Groben, Sarah French (Blind, The Amityville Murders) and Robert Donavan and features some unexpected performances from established actors (but more on that later). {googleads}

Written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky, this tale of art gone wrong is produced by Mahal Empire Productions in collaboration with Slaughtercore Presentations and Nicholas George Productions. Based on the story by Michael Mahal and Sonny Mahal, the film feels like it could easily have been molded into a horror anthology, but thanks to a robust script and inspired shoot, it works far more often than it probably should as a single movie based around seven haunted paintings. 

With solid practical effects and some eerily-designed creatures, it takes maybe about 20-minutes before the film – with an inspired sequence of pullback zoom outs as the paintings are hung – reveals it influences.  Kinky and visually engaged, Art of the Dead feels like it’s a product of 1970s horror.  It makes perfect sense, too.  With so much art on the walls, this movie feels like one heavy metal headbanger’s acid trip. Art of the Dead

With crisp and inspired cinematography from cinematography by Michael Su, Art of the Dead does a lot with its limited budget.  It’s trippy, visually arresting, and has a philosophical undercurrent in its mad artist engine that makes it rise above other independent features in the horror genre.  It is also kinky as hell.  Plus, it features performances from Sharknado’s Tara Reid, One Life to Live’s Jessica Morris, and 21 Jump Streets Richard Grieco, who all “get beasty” with some of the central creatures thanks to this morbid tale of magic and madness.

These seven painting are causing a SINsation!  Art of the Dead is on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD starting October 1st 2019 courtesy of ITN Distribution.

4/5 stars

Art of the Dead


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor:
Available on Blu-ray

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Art of the Dead

MPAA Rating: .
83 mins
: Rolfe Kanefsky
Rolfe Kanefsky
Tara Reid, Richard Grieco, Jessica Morris
: Horror
What's Your Sign.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
ITN Distribution
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 4, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: A collection of paintings unleash horror on an unsuspecting family corrupted by the seven deadly sins of greed, envy, gluttony, lust, sloth, pride, and wrath.


Art of the Dead

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