Nathan (Leon) is a teenager secretly in love with the beautiful Jessica (Mumba). When it seems like she has hooked up with his worst enemy, the local school bully, he decides to use some whiskey saved for the school dance to get drunk. While under the influence he becomes fascinated with a noose that's hanging up a stuffed bear in his room. He drunkenly plays around with the noose around his neck while standing on a chair. Unfortunately his mother walks in at the wrong moment, accidentally knocks over the chair he was standing on and Nathan ends up dead.
All is not lost though: Nathan's mother has come into possession of a book of voodoo rituals and brings Nathan back to life... sort of. He's mentally normal but filled with a craving for the flesh of the living. Hilarity Ensues.
This film contains examples of:
- The Ace: It's not too pronounced, but Jessica is a good student, fairly athletic, well-liked among the students, and is responsible for over 9/10ths of the films zombie kills.
- Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: A teacher being chased by Samson tries to block a hole in the fence with a piece of the fence that he’d knocked out trying to get through.
- Action Girl: Jessica shows shades of this later into the film.
- Actually Pretty Funny: After Diggs tricks Jerk Jock Shane into charging at him, then dodges matador style and slams the door behind Shane, locking him outside, Shane's girlfriend Glenda can't help uttering a quick laugh.
- Alas, Poor Villain: The zombies, given how unlike in most zombie fiction, a cure was out there, but most of them get slaughtered without getting it.
- Alpha Bitch: Cheryl is dumb, attractive, an underage smoker and drinker, promiscuous, rivals with the female lead, fairly selfish, has a Girl Posse, and is dating the local Jerk Jock, although unlike most examples of the trope she does have friends outside of her Girl Posse based on a couple of scenes at the dance.
- Asshole Victim: Samson, Kenneth, Jessica’s dad and the cop are all mean-spirited zombie victims with no real redeeming moments. Downplayed with Cheryl, who is a rude, self-centered, and often cruel person, but isn't quite as bad as the others, gets some respect for being a good Action Survivor, and has a more ambiguous fate than the others, given that she isn't explicitly killed after being infected and there is a potential cure for the zombie virus in the area she's last seen.
- Awkward Kiss: On Nathan's part anyway, when he lets Cheryl French kiss him, his heart clearly isn't in it due to feeling distracted thinking about his weird zombie changes and/or Jessica.
- Barbaric Bully: Samson. While it's unclear if he's a bully to everyone or just anyone Cheryl shows interest in, he is willing to beat up Nathan, threaten to rape Jessica, burn out his cigarette on Nathan's hand (at a point when he thought Nathan had taken his warnings to ignore Cherly seriously) and steal his pants.
- Be a Whore to Get Your Man: Cheryl openly espouses this (although with a boyfriend like Samson, that isn't surprising) and tells Jessica that not sleeping with Nathan is no way to keep him.
- Better as Friends: Nathan worries that he and Jessica are this, partially because the last time someone from their school asked a female friend on a date she wasn’t interested and it ruined their friendship.
- Betty and Veronica: Three examples (two of them gender-flipped). Interestingly all three Veronica's offer little real romance and more of just sex and, in two of the three cases, stand no chance.
- Bittersweet Ending: Nathan is cured and most of the zombies are dead (or at least badly wounded, being zombies it's a bit hard to tell) but as they point out the zombies were people they’d known a long time, and the ending confirms they could have cured. And that's not considering the potential fallout from when the authorities come and they have to try and explain what happened.
- Bloody Hilarious: Zombies vs. combine harvester. The winner: the audience.
- Brutal Honesty: Cheryl regularly displays thus attitude, outright telling Jessica that she wants to have sex with Nathan, who Jessica has feelings for, and also regularly insulting teachers or class subjects without any sense of self-preservation or tact.
- Bullying a Dragon: Immediately before being bitten by Nathan, Samson beat him up and threatened to rape Jessica.
- Butt-Monkey: Diggs has a hard time getting people to take him seriously, especially girls.
- Bystander Syndrome: Diggs is reluctant to report the first zombie kill they saw to the police, mistaking it for an ordinary death and not wanting to get involved, something Henry disapproves of.
- Casanova Wannabe: Diggs is a light-hearted example who just wants some girl, any girl, to give him the time of day. Also maybe Kenneth given how he bragged about scoring with Jessica when she turned him down.
- Comically Missing the Point: During Cheryl's attempted seduction of Nathan (who is getting very close to succumbing to his zombie urges) when she gives her a good look at the cleavage on her dress, he mutters "flesh", which Cheryl takes in a very different context than what he meant. Fortunately for Cheryl, she quickly sees that Nathan isn't interested, and leaves, while unfortunately for Samson, he shows up and starts Bullying a Dragon.
- Cool Teacher: Both Craig and Mrs. Brumble try to be quirky and kind to their students, and neither is stern, boring or sadistic in the classroom, but the students tend to see them as dorky at best.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Samson over Cheryl and while he does have reason to be, he still attacks Nathan (leading to his being bit) after seeing that Nathan wasn’t really into it and Cheryl had walked away from him. He also chases after Cheryl while zombified, although whether that’s due to lingering memories or simple proximity is unknown.
- Creepy Good: Father Cornelius has a very off-putting personality, but is just concerned in keeping a book that could cause a Zombie Apocalypse from doing just that.Cheryl: I think Nathan's been indulging himself a little too much lately, if you know what I mean.
- Death by Mocking: Mrs. Brumble refusing to pick up Cheryl on her motor scooter feels somewhat justified, especially after Cheryl had insulted her earlier. Taking the time to engage in Flipping the Bird and yell out that Cheryl is a fucking bitch, while kind of funny, falls into this trope. This action causes Mrs. Brumble to divert her eyes from the road and crash the scooter (which Cheryl then takes as the zombies go after Mrs. Brumble).
- Domestic Abuser:
- Kenneth is one to Charlotte, not even hiding that he goes out with other girls from her and showing no sensitivity towards her feelings.
- Nathan and Jessica wonder a bit if Samson is also one of these to Cheryl. Given his overall personality, it's certainly possible but the worst we see onscreen is him snorting at the idea that Cheryl is the dominant one in their relationship and bragging to his friends that she calls him every night begging for phone sex.
- Double Standard: Nathan thinking that Jessica had sex with Kenneth is a major issue and resolving it gets a lot of focus throughout the film. Jessica thinking that Nathan had revenge sex with Cheryl (and in fact, he might have if his zombification hadn't stopped the blood from flowing to his penis) is pretty much ignored.
- Dull Surprise: Several characters. Of note is one guy receiving a blowjob, who doesn't react to the loss of his penis until he sees that the girl fellating him has a bloody mouth. Since several actors in this film were in Fair City, this is hardly a surprise.
- Dumb Blonde: Cheryl and her friends are all blonde and have their moments of stupidity. The following exchange (which keep in mind takes place after Cheryl has seen zombies run around in the day time) takes the cake.Cheryl: Listen, why don't we stay here 'till dawn. Doesn't sunlight kill them?
Henry: That's vampires.
Cheryl: THERE'S VAMPIRES TOO?!
Henry: Shh!/Shut up! I'll eat you myself!
- Dumb Jock: Shane a crony of Kenneth and Samson who while bullying Diggs ends up blundering out the door and being locked outside and also injured himself while testing to see if a Cigarette Burns after seeing that Nathan didn’t even notice when Samson did it to him at the dance (needless to say, not being zombified yet Shane does indeed feel it). Samson himself, when asked who he is by a teacher all he can think of is “Irish.”
- Failed a Spot Check: When Cheryl and Glenda are hiding in the graveyard they see their friend Shane with a bitemark. Glenda doesn’t see the bitemark and tries to call out and wave him over. Cheryl is understandably pissed off by this although, amazingly, Shane doesn’t notice them and keeps on walking. Also, a few seconds earlier, because they were hiding behind the tombstone (and possibly had seen the infected Corneilius nearby earlier) Cheryl and Glenda missed the uninfected Grace going out to her car when they might have been able to get a ride from her.
- Earlier, during biology class, when Mrs. Brumble has the students checking each other’s pulses Diggs can’t find one on Nathan but apparently puts it down to his own ineptitude rather than something being wrong with Nathan.
- Flawless Token: Jessica is the Token Minority of their town (even her dad is white) and she's easily the most competent fighter in the movie, and also one of the nicest characters.
- Hypocrite: Jessica's dad forbids her from having anything to do with boys, and yet he has no qualms about hitting on her classmates Cheryl and Glenda in a bar (both are understandably creeped out by this, although Glenda takes advantage of this by getting him to buy them drinks), encouraging the same behavior in them that he discourages in his daughter. Seconds later, he ends up a victim of the zombified bartender.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Diggs telling an infected Charlotte he got her a giant teddy bear once for valentines day (and how she slept with the guy she thought it was from) to try and reach her. It fails and is played for laughs.
- Improbable Infant Survival: The one pre-teen kid seen during the outbreak (who witnesses Nathan, Diggs and Henry crash their car) is one of the few characters not to get bitten on-screen. Averted with most of the high school students. A large percentage of them are bitten and most of the bitten ones are killed one way or another.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Subtly hinted at with Cheryl’s desire to hear Nathan say that he wants her when her romantic successes seem limited to perverts and jerkasses.
- Innocent Beta Bitch:
- Glenda seems more dim and nervous than her Girl Posse friends. She stands by while Cheryl makes mean and insulting comments but doesn't pitch in and (unlike Charlotte) never smiles at things like Cheryl mocking Jessica's failure to get Nathan. She does ask a Dirty Old Man to buy her and Cheryl drinks at a bar, but looks a bit grossed out when he actually agrees to. She also has an Actually Pretty Funny reaction to Diggs turning the tables on his bully and her boyfriend Shane, while Cheryl and Charlotte act indifferent to this.
- Charlotte seems to find amusement in some of Cheryl's crueler moments, but she never instigates bullying anyone and shows signs of being desperately starved for genuine affection and kindness.
- Intimate Telecommunications: Class bully Samson brags that his girlfriend Cheryl calls him every night begging for phone sex.
- Jerk Jock: Samson is a Barbaric Bully and football player. Unsurprisingly, he's the first victim.
- Kids Play Matchmaker: An example of kids doing it for other kids. Henry and Diggs send Jessica a message from Nathan, asking her on a date, when they see he’s too chicken to make the first move himself.
- Lady in Red: Mostly Averted with Glenda, who is the least assertive of the Girl Posse, but still wears a red dress to the dance that briefly gives her that image.
- Little Black Dress: Cheryl wears a black minidress to the dance.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: Justified. Nathan's gradual zombification cuts off the flow of blood to his penis, preventing him from having an erection. When Cheryl tries to seduce him, she notices this as she's about to pull down his pants. Cheryl assumes it's because he's masturbated too much that day.Cheryl: Show me how much you want me... Don't you like girls?
Cheryl Well usually guys are standing at attention about now.
- Love Martyr: Charlotte is one for the dismissive and unfaithful Kenneth.
- Ms. Fanservice:
- Cheryl's schoolgirl uniform is transparent enough to show the bra beneath it. She wears a very low-cut dress to the dance, is played by an actress who is more developed than a real high school student, and spends the final act wearing a low-cut, midriff-baring tank top and very short skirt.
- Jessica gets a Toplessness from the Back Shower Scene where the camera lingers close up on her wet body for a bit.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When Nathan realizes what's happening.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits: Charlotte is shocked when she finds a pair of underwear that may or may not have belonged to her younger sister in Kenneth's car.
- Non-Actor Vehicle: Pop singer Samatha Mumba plays the female lead.
- Not Bad: After Jessica kills over a dozen zombies in a Construction Vehicle Rampage, Cheryl snarkily says "Not bad for a virgin", which is still one of the nicest things she says to Jessica throughout the movie.
- Off with His Head!: A zombified Samson is decapitated bare-handed during the climax, while fighting with Nathan.
- Operation: Jealousy: the main reason Nathan is willing to let Cheryl take things with him as far as she does at the dance is to make Jessica notice him. Ironically Cheryl thinks that he’s trying to do this to her by claiming he likes Jessica once they get alone.
- Our Zombies Are Different: A mash-up of Types V and F. Nathan himself is also Type R.
- Pair the Spares: Averted, despite a brief moment of potential, when Diggs formally introduces himself to Cheryl as they're hiding in the closet only for her to shrug it off.
- Pet the Dog: Cheryl telling an infected Charlotte she hopes it won’t hurt before head-butting her then yelling for Glenda to run as she follows her own advice.
- Police Are Useless: Nathan tries to turn himself in for murdering Samson. The cop tells him to get lost.
- A bit later when’s girl flees there looking for help the cop is already zombified and attacks her along with her pursuers.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Shane angrily calls Diggs a “queer” after being locked outside by him at the dance for trying to attack him and when he hears a zombie rustling around, calls him a "gay lord" while saying to show himself. Notably averted with everyone else towards Jessica, who is never subjected to any racial slurs by any of the popular kids despite being the only black girl in the school.
- Poor Communication Kills: Literally. Nathan thinking that Jessica slept with Kenneth and not talking to her about what happened sets the chain of events into motion that leads to Nathan biting Samson, and the zombie epidemic spreading throughout the town.
- Properly Paranoid: Father Cornelius's concern about the missing book is both intense and justified.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Nathan, and to a lesser extent Henry and Kenneth are pale brunettes.
- Room Full of Zombies: Discussed by Diggs and Henry while they're hiding in a closet with Cheryl.Henry: We’ve got to get out of here.
Diggs: Are you crazy? They’re out there, we’re in here, I don’t see the problem.
Henry: The Problem is, if they open this door, we’ve nowhere to run.
Diggs: Why are they gonna open this door? They’re flesh-eating zombies, not cleaning ladies.
- Satellite Character: Glenda to Cheryl, not really speaking until the infection is breaking out and not showing much facial expression while hanging behind Cheryl during the school scenes (although that may be out of some embarrassment for some of Cheryl's meaner comments to Jess and Diggs).
- Self-Abuse: Referenced, with Cheryl thinking that doing this too much is the reason why Nathan doesn't get an erection when she tries to seduce him.
- Shipper on Deck: Henry and Diggs to Nathan and Jessica.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Cheryl's outfits show a lot of skin when she's out of her school uniform.
- Shoe Slap: A cool example when Cheryl, being chased, stops to take off her heels to stab a zombie through the eye, then pulls the shoe out, puts it back on and keeps running.
- Shower Scene: Jessica (who's Toplessness from the Back) and Nathan each get one right before the dance, with Nathan's emphasizing his state of infection and decay.
- Slut-Shaming: Nathan to Jessica, when he believes Kenneth's claims about having had sex with her.
- Those Two Guys: Plucky Comic Relief best friends Henry and Diggs, although Diggs has a few scenes on his own.
- Uncertain Doom: The last two zombies are knocked out of a hayloft by Nathan when there's scattered flames below then don't appear again. There is clearly one body burning at the end of the film but that might have been Grace who disappeared in the middle of that scene, making it possible that one or both of the zombies made it out (possibly even back to normal, due to the snake which had just bitten and cured Nathan being in the building and having the potential to do the same for them).
- Unusual Euphemism: Cheryl refers to her offer to seduce Nathan as taking him on a test drive.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: First Grace accidentally hangs her son and by resurrecting him sin a way that ultimately kills most of the town.
- Use Your Head: When confronted by a zombified member of her Girl Posse, the resident Alpha Bitch surprisingly headbutts her undead friend and escapes. Jessica herself does this while fighting a male zombie.
- Vasquez Always Dies: Averted with Action Girl Jessica, who’s seen pummeling a punching bag in the gym in an early scene, surviving while members of the Girl Posse are a lot more at risk.
- Visual Innuendo: When Jessica drops her flashlight... well...
- Weight Woe: Inverted, Charlotte apparently couldn’t fit into a dress she bought at the last dance because a bout of bulminia made her too thin for it.
- Wild Teen Party: What Jessica initially thinks Diggs means when he calls to warn her that a lot of (zombified) people are heading over to her house.
- Zombie Apocalypse Hero: Jessica is an ordinary teenaged girl who can hold her own fighting zombies up close. She also kills over a dozen zombies in a Construction Vehicle Rampage.