Screaming fright and screaming laughs are possible with this week’s releases

Colleen Stein

Colleen Stein

White Chicks (PG-13)Columbia PicturesDirected by Keenan Ivory Wayans (Hollywood Shuffle, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka!, Glimmer Man)

Shawn and Marlon Wayans now know what it is like to wear high-heels and wax their eyebrows. In White Chicks, the virtually-inseparable pair play two FBI agents who are willing to do almost anything to keep their jobs. When they learn the bureau must protect two millionaires’ daughters, the duo sign themselves up to personally escort the sisters to the Hamptons.

When the four of them get into a minor fender-bender, the girls refuse to be seen in their high-class social sphere with a few minor gashes on their face. The Wayans Bros. do the unexpected and each undergoes the transformation of middle-class black men into first-class white ladies.

Final Verdict: Despite an occasional uncouth comment and gesture, this comedy lacks substance and plotline development.

Yet, those who admire other Wayans Bros. works like Don’t Be a Menace to Society … and both Scary Movie releases, White Chicks is another film to add to your collection. Gender bending movies similar to this one include: Just One of the Guys, Sorority Boys, Mrs. Doubtfire and Tootsie.

Dawn of the Dead (R)Universal PicturesDirected by Zach Snyder

And you though zombies only came out at night. This remake of George Romero’s 1978 original proves that just because the sun comes up does not mean your neighbors are going to wish you a “Good morning.”

Sarah Polley stars in this gory horror flick as a nurse who is forced to flee from of her suburban utopia when the little neighbor girl Viviane comes over for a “snack.”

Polley’s character teams up with a cop (Ving Rhames), an expectant father (Mekhi Phifer) and a television salesman. Together they find refuge at a nearby mall in Everett, Wash., where they find more survivors.

After realizing that help is not coming and it is everyone for themselves, the diverse group passes the time by thinning out the mounting wall of zombies surrounding the mall and still manages to get in a little shopping while they are at it.

Final Verdict: After seeing it in theaters, I immediately deemed Dawn of the Dead one of the scariest yet laughable horror movies I’ve ever seen. Humor and witty dialogue help the storyline progress and keep the film moving during times the undead, chewed-upon corpses aren’t mauling some poor, outnumbered civilians. Although viewing it on DVD is not quite as overwhelming as watching it on the big screen, this fast-paced, modern-day zombie thriller is one that must be purchased so it can be watched over and over again.