George A. Romero revolutionized the Zombie in films. He wasn’t the first to portray Zombies in a movie – not by a long shot. No, he was the one that brought the Zombie into the mainstream and kept it there.
Diary of the Dead is another movie in the “The Dead” series (starting with the iconic “Night of the Living Dead”). While not a direct sequel to any of the movies, it takes place in the same…ummm… Universe. A group of art students are in the woods, filming a scene for a mummy horror film when the zombie outbreak starts. Hearing reports on the radio, at first they are sceptical (some more than others). As the night progresses and more reports start coming in, the students realize that maybe something it actually up. The group gathers together in an RV and head out of the city, attempting to escaper the carnage (and possibly get to their own homes in order check on family members). All the while they are capturing everything on film to document what is happening. Encounters with Zombie Doctors in hospitals and being attacked by siblings as well as being robbed by rogue military are all situations that add to the action and to the feeling of desperation. Characters you like get killed, and characters you don’t like also get killed (for a bit…and then again – Zombies, you know). Just when they think they’re safe… well, you know. Hey, why not head out the rich friend’s place where he’s got a panic room and all the amenities you could wish for… That all work out right? Um, this is a Zombie movie – a Romero Zombie film. The film has a quick pace that doesn’t allow you to get bored. As well, I think Romero did a great job “re-jigging” the Dead series for the modern era. Is this better than the original Night of the Living Dead? Of course not. Is it good? I’d say so
2006’s Slither does something very difficult: it manages to mix horror with Science Fiction (Sci-Fi), and adding a large dose of comedy…and gets it all right. I’ve reviewed the move in the past (here is the original, tiny write up: Slither 2006). It was so good, that I decided we should watch it again, and maybe put a little more effort in the write up this time.
Starring Canada’s own (hell,we were in the same high school at the same time), Nathan Fillion (Firefly anyone?), as Chief of Police of the town of Wheelsy, South Carolina, where a meteorite crashed to earth, carrying an alien life form. Shortly after it crashes to earth, local, well to do guy, Grant Grant (played by Michael Rooker), gets taken over by the creature after poking at the gelatinous, pulsing mass in the nearby woods (after almost, but not quite cheating on his wife). Soon Grant starts craving fresh, raw meat, and also starts mutating. When Grant’s lovely wife, Starla (Elizabeth Banks), see’s a misshapen Grant, he explains he had a reaction to a bee sting. Well, soon other things start happening, including the disappearance of neighbourhood pets, as well as Barbara, a local drinkin’ floozy…
Well, you see, Grant is now the host of an alien intelligence who spreads through taking over individuals, either through assimilation or through infection via a parasitic worm/slug like form. The creature can also use a life form as a host to breed the aforementioned worms/slugs…and it does – boy does it ever. Of course this turns in to a battle of a few against a lot, and is tense and action packed… as well as a lot of always cool grossness. The creature design is fantastic, and the whole cast does a great job in creating what feels like a heartfelt homage to the alien invasion/creature films of the 1950’s and 1960’s. This is a great Sci-Fi/Horror/comedy that I strongly suggest you check out.
Here is the trailer:
Night Of The Living Dead: Resurrection (2012)–You Know What? Maybe It’s Time For Amateurs To Leave Night Of The Living Dead Alone
Well you know enough about this movie now. Don’t bother wasting your time on this long winded, waste of time movie that uses the Night of the Living Dead namesake. It’s just plain boring. I really think that if you are going to butcher a movie, butcher your own movie and leave Night of the Living Dead out of it. Make up a new Zombie Movie name of your own and go with it… Ah,right, but why would anyone watch it? So, why not tack on a title of an iconic movie and hope to snag unsuspecting horror fans…
Screw you folks – you suck at making movies.
Vampire Week Movie 5 – Shadow of the Vampire (2000)–The Troubles of Casting a Vampire – In Your Vampire Movie
Set during the shooting of the iconic 1922 Vampire film, Nosferatu, Shadow of the Vampire tells the tale of the dangers that can face you when you look for too much realism in your films. Staring John Malkovich as famous German Director, Frederich Wilhelm Murnau, during his filming of the above mentioned Nosferatu. Taking his cast and crew to film on location in Czechoslovakia, where he instroduces the rest of the crew to the star of the film, Max Schreck, whom, Murnau explains, will be in character for the entire time of the filming, and will only be seen at night. Schreck is played masterfully by Willem Dafoe. When members of the crew start to disappear, we see interesting back and forth between Murnau and the Vampire, in which we find out that Murnau has made a very interesting and questionable bargain with the Vampire: His good behaviour for the life of one of his cast. Shame it’s so difficult to deal with the undead.
Shadow of the Vampire puts a new twist to the Vampire movie: it’s a movie about the making of a vampire movie – wherein the Director of said movie chose to hire a real Vampire to play the title role. The cast is composed of a lot of “A” Listers and they all do an amazing job in this unusual film. The story is gripping, and the switch between regular filming, and the representation of what Murnau is capturing on his cameras is a great way to capture the dualism of the story. After watching this, I was compelled to watch the original, 1922 Nosferatu the very next day. If you enjoy horror movies, plot twists and damn good acting then you owe it to yourself to watch this film. Check out the trailer below:
2013’s movie, Devil’s Pass, tells the story of a group of Americans, led by amateur film maker Holly King (played by Holly Goss), who head to Russia to investigate the Dyatlov Pass incident and the now infamous doomed hiking party of nine that were found inexplicably dead, mutilated, nearly nude and one member dosed in radiation. Over the years many people have put forward theories as to what happened to the original group, but know one really knows the truth. This group wants to be the ones to find the real reason for the slaughter. The group makes it to the area of the original events faster than expected. Once there they notice strange foot prints that seem to appear out of nowhere and disappear the same way, leading some of the group to accuse Holly of faking the prints for her film, something she categorically denies. Things get weirder: Holly and another member of the group uncover a large metal door that locks from the outside in the side of the mountain. Later, in the middle of the night the group is wakened by deafening noises and forced from their tents due to an avalanche, in which they lose one of their group and another gets a nasty compound fracture of the leg. Shortly after this, one member fires off a flare, hoping help may come. Soon two men approach, and while at first they believe it’s help, one of the group notes that the would be rescuers have no packs or supplies and therefore are most likely a threat. This turns out to be true when the two start firing at the group. Holly and one member have to leave behind the injured member whom they witness getting shot by the two men. Holly and friend open the mysterious door into the mountain and enter, the door immediately being locked (from the outside) behind them. Once inside, things start to get even weirder. Finding evidence of an old, secret US experiment in teleportation via photos amongst other documents, they start getting the idea that perhaps strange forces are at work. Soon the movie switched from horror to Science Fiction/Horror.
Devil’s Pass is a found footage style movie – a style that has been ridiculously over used ever since The Blair Witch Project proved you didn’t need expensive cameras and production values to make a good, scary movie. Unlike most of those found footage movies, this one is actually pretty good. I chose it seemingly at random on Netflix, I recommend this movie if your looking for something creepy and new to watch.
Check out the trailer below:
A generic feeling early 80’s Sci-Fi movie, this is a dark and visually muddy movie. A specialist is sent to a planet where experiments in creating a high protein food source has gone awry when the creature the scientists have created (a mutant, hybrid between human and whatever), goes rogue and starts killing and transforming the crew of the outpost.
The mature creature looks a little like an obese version of the Alien from, well.. Alien, and it’s pre-transformation looks a little like a you might see inhabiting the thermal vents of the Marianas trench. The actors are people I’ve never heard of, there’s a little bit of 80’s breast and that’s it.
I’ve seen worse, but I’ve also seen much better. This movie seems to have a little bit of a cult following. I wonder if that is due to people who saw the movie at a young and impressionable age.
Anyway, I watched it on Netflix.
Here is the trailer:
So, I just watched a Zombie movie that was filmed in my home city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was a low budget film, and it lacked polish and there was some questionable performances. You know what? Who cares – this was a fun, silly Zombie film.
The Dead Mile is a truly Canadian movie that combines hockey, a Zombie Walk and real Zombies to create an end of society, Zombie outbreak movie that delivers on the fun and the gore. A group of friends are preparing for an annual Zombie Walk when an actual, cow transmitted Zombie virus hits the city. The Zombie Walk participants are actually turning into Zombies, and our little group of friends need to find a way to survive. One of our characters, Tyler, works for a dick, Kevin Wong, who owns a comic shop, who is hosting a a signing event for a couple of horror stars to coincide with the Zombie Walk. Well these two get wrapped up in the whole Zombie outbreak and join forces with Kevin and his friends. They are soon joined by two simple, hockey obsessed guys, who suggest they make a break for the hockey/ice rink – a fortress according to them. Of course, like in all Zombie films, the fortress is never quite as… fortressy (yes, I know that’s not a real word – but it’s my blog so nananana-boo-boo), as they hope. One by one the group is diminished as members fall prey to the Zombie hordes. You know, like in a Zombie movie.
This movie is low budget and flawed, but really, who cares: most Zombie movies are. At least this movie delivers on the humour, and for a low budget film, it manages to look pretty good (and thank you for not finding it necessary to make the film look grungy and 70’s like – that works when for 70’s films only – you deserve kudos for not doing that). They also deliver on the gore, like a true Zombie movie should. I say this is worth a watch, especially if you are Canadian, and even more so if you are from Calgary. The movie’s writer/Director , K.J. Kleefeld and his crew did an admirable job. The film it self is available to rent online at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thedeadmile for $4.99 – I though it was a little steep for a rental of an independent film, but I said “What the Hell,” I’m supporting a small film maker” (who just happens to be local – GO CANADA!!!). Check out the trailer below, and then go spend $4.99, you cheap bastard, and help some independent film makers.