Dead & Breakfast

Dead & Breakfast is a 2004 musical zombie comedy film directed by Matthew Leutwyler starring Ever Carradine, Gina Philips, Erik Palladino, Bianca Lawson, Jeremy Sisto and Oz Perkins. The film premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival and went on to win over a dozen awards and was nominated for a Saturn Award.

Dead & Breakfast
Directed byMatthew Leutwyler
Produced by
  • Jun Tan
  • EJ Heiser
Screenplay byMatthew Leutwyler
Story by
Music by
CinematographyDavid Scardina
Edited byPeter Devaney Flanagan
Distributed byAnchor Bay Entertainment
Release date
  • March 2004 (2004-03) (SXSW)
  • August 19, 2005 (2005-08-19)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States


Six friends, Christian, David, Kate, Johnny, Sara, and Melody, are traveling in an RV to get to the wedding of their friend, Kelly, in Galveston, Texas. However they become lost in a small town called Lovelock, and decide to spend the night at the local bed and breakfast, owned by the creepy Mr. Wise. While staying, the group insult the chef, Henri, causing an argument to break out. After everyone goes to bed, David goes to the kitchen to get a snack, only to discover Henri brutally murdered, before Mr. Wise suffers a heart attack.

With the phone line broken, it takes until morning for the sheriff, and his deputy, Enus, to be summoned for help. The sheriff is quick to suspect the group, and takes the keys to the RV away, so they can not leave the town until the investigation is over. The group goes into town, while the sheriff arrests a mysterious drifter, who quickly becomes the prime suspect. The drifter warns Christian and Sara of ancient exotic wooden box, that Sara realizes belongs to Mr. Wise. However it is too late, as Johnny arrives back at the bed and breakfast and opens the box, unleashing the "Kuman Thong" which possesses him, causing him to savagely murder various people. Meanwhile, Christian and Sara meet town local Lisa Belmont who swears she saw Mr. Wise dig up the body of his dead son and perform a form of black magic on the body. Sara and Christian return to the bed and breakfast and discover Johnny has opened the box.

Sara and Christian alert the sheriff, who drives them to a local party, that David, Kate and Melody are attending with the rest of the town folk. The possessed Johnny arrives and a bloody massacre ensues, with the town folk, including Enus, becoming zombies as Johnny puts various body parts of his victims in the box. In the chaos, Christian is decapitated as David, Kate, Sara and Melody escape with the sheriff in a truck. They accidentally run over the drifter, knocking him unconscious after he escapes from his prison cell. Taking him with them, the radiator soon blows in the truck, forcing the group to take shelter in the bed and breakfast. They gather weapons, before the drifter tells them they must retrieve the body of Mr. Wise to kill Johnny. The zombies arrive at the bed and breakfast and the group fend them off, before the sheriff, Melody and the drifter sneak out the back door to retrieve the bones of Mr. Wise.

At the bed and breakfast, the zombies retrieve some of David's blood that was on the step of the house, placing it in the box causing him to become possessed. David beats Kate to death with a metal pole, before attacking Sara. However Sara manages to kill David with a chainsaw. At the cemetery, the sheriff, Melody and the drifter retrieve the body of Mr. Wise and perform a black magic spell, taking the bones from the body. As they travel to the bed and breakfast they encounter a group of zombies. The sheriff has his neck snapped, killing him, before Lisa arrives and rescues the drifter and Melody, who continue on to the bed and breakfast. Meanwhile, at the bed and breakfast, the zombies break in. Sara fights them, but is soon cornered. The drifter, and Melody arrive outside, where Melody shoots Johnny through the heart with a bone from the body of Mr. Wise, killing him and the other zombies. Sara reunites with Melody and the drifter, and together they leave Lovelock in their RV



Dead & Breakfast debuted on March 2004 at the SXSW Film Festival and opened in other film festivals on the dates given below.

Region Release date Festival
United States March 2004 SXSW Film Festival
United Kingdom April 26, 2004 Dead by Dawn Edinburgh Horror Film Festival[2]
United States July 10, 2004 Maine International Film Festival
Canada July 12, 2004 Fantasia Festival
Germany August 12, 2004 Hamburg Fantasy Filmfest
Germany September 11, 2004 Filmfest Oldenburg
United States September 12, 2004 Boston Film Festival
United States September 24, 2004 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival
Canada September 25, 2004 Calgary Film Festival
Belgium October 8, 2004 Flanders International Film Festival
United States October 15, 2004 Hollywood Film Festival[3]
Belgium March 18, 2005 Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Films
France January 26, 2006 Gerardmer Film Festival


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 50% of 18 surveyed critics gave the film a positive rating; the average rating is 5.75/10.[4] Metacritic rated it 34/100 based on seven reviews.[5] Dennis Harvey of Variety compared it negatively to The Evil Dead and Braindead, which he said had more wit mixed in with their splatter.[6] In a negative review, Anita Gates of The New York Times wrote, "Clearly Mr. Leutwyler was going for parody, but the film doesn't even come close."[7] Time Out New York wrote that the film is comparable but not quite equal to Shaun of the Dead.[8] Michael Atkinson of The Village Voice wrote, "The blood is raspberry syrup, the gags gag, and the film virtually falls over itself informing us how lame it is."[9] Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide rated it 2/4 stars and called it "a goofball gore picture with aspirations to cult status" that is "extremely uneven".[10] Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club wrote, "Writer-director Matthew Leutwyler keeps tongue planted firmly in cheek throughout, but the film's attempts at humor mostly sputter."[11] Eric Campos of Film Threat rated it 3.5/5 stars and wrote that the "goofball comedy" and "stellar gore" are reminiscent of Peter Jackson's early films.[12] Joshua Siebalt of Dread Central rated it 3.5/5 stars and said that it would become a cult film among horror fans that understand it.[13]

Reviewing the film on DVD, Steve Barton, also of Dread Central, rated it 4/5 stars and wrote, "It's clever, witty, and ultra-violent; I couldn't be more pleased."[14] Beyond Hollywood wrote: "It’s a very, very silly movie that just happens to also be insanely funny and creative."[15] Mike Snoonian of Brutal as Hell wrote that although it is not as funny as Shaun of the Dead, it is still underrated.[16] Mac McEntire of DVD Verdict wrote, "Dead and Breakfast is why we love low budget horror movies."[17]


Shriekfest2004WonBest FilmHorror Feature
Matthew Leutwyler[18]
Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival2004WonBest FeatureMatthew Leutwyler
San Francisco Horrorfest2004WonAudience AwardBest Feature Film
Matthew Leutwyler
Weekend of Fear, Nuremberg, Germany2004WonAudience AwardMatthew Leutwyler
Tied with Una de zombis
Golden Glibb

Matthew Leutwyler

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA2006NominatedSaturn AwardBest DVD Release


  1. Dendle, Peter (2012). The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, Volume 2: 2000–2010. McFarland & Company. pp. 59–60. ISBN 978-0-7864-6163-9.
  2. "Archive « Dead By Dawn". Dead By Dawn. Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
  3. "2004 Hollywood Film Festival Program". Hollywood Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
  4. "Dead and Breakfast (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  5. "Dead & Breakfast". Metacritic. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
  6. Harvey, Dennis (2004-04-07). "Review: Dead and Breakfast". Variety. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  7. Gates, Anita (2005-04-20). "Stuck in Murderous Misery". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  8. R., J. "Dead & Breakfast". Time Out New York. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  9. Atkinson, Michael (2005-04-12). "Miike's J-Horror Follows Formula; C-List Zombie Spoof Stumbles". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  10. McDonagh, Maitland. "Dead & Breakfast". TV Guide. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  11. Rabin, Nathan (2005-04-19). "Dead And Breakfast". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  12. Campos, Eric (2004-03-14). "Dead & Breakfast". Film Threat. Archived from the original on 2004-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  13. Siebalt, Joshua (2004-09-04). "Dead & Breakfast (2004)". Dread Central. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  14. Barton, Steve (2005-08-26). "Dead & Breakfast (DVD)". Dread Central. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  15. "Dead and Breakfast (2004) Movie Review". Beyond Hollywood. 2004-08-09. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  16. Snoonian, Mike (2011-04-24). "Dumpster Diving for Zombified Treasures: Dead and Breakfast". Brutal as Hell. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  17. McEntire, Mac (2005-10-03). "Dead And Breakfast: Unrated Edition". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  18. "Our Winners - 2004". Shriekfest. Archived from the original on 2011-10-17. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
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