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Zombie

Shaky Cam Movie Week Movie 4–Diary of the Dead (2007)

DiaryofDeadGeorge 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


Alien Horror Week – Movie 5: Deadly Spawn (1983)

ThedeadlyspawnIt was a toss up as to whether or not we were going to watch Alien or Deadly Spawn. My buddy made the argument for Deadly Spawn as it is a much less known movie, and I went along.

So, a small town is invaded by a life form from space that looks a lot like a giant multiple headed lamprey with a penchant for making slug like babies (lots of them), and eating the locals. A group of four geeky science nerd teens and a young boy do their best to save the town (and most likely the world) from this infestation. It’s kind of weird that three of our movies had similar themes and creatures (Slither, Night of the Creeps and Deadly Spawn), not in that they are alien infestation movies (it’s kind of the theme), but the fact that the three creatures in the mentioned movies all propagate by releasing slug like grubs, liked to enter through the mouth id possible, and the main “mother” creature found someplace out of the way to grow and develop. Well, if they copied each other, this is the progenitor of all of ‘em.  A silly movie, Deadly Spawn stays entertaining, and cheezy which is perfect for me. Lots of campiness to go around, and some really questionable actions by it’s characters may make you moan at times…but don’;t let that stop you from enjoying the movie. A true representative of it’s time, the early 1980’s, it still stands out as a fun, throwback to the creature features of the 50’s and 60’s…

Watch this film, my friends!


Alien Horror Week – Movie 3: Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)–Now This… This is A Movie You Should Watch

Killer_klowns_poster1988’s way over the top, Killer Klowns From Outer Space tells the tale of a group of evil aliens that come to Earth, specifically Crescent Cove, California, in their space craft  to harvest humans. Pretty typical of a Sci-Fi horror film, I know, but these aliens look like demented clowns, and their space ship looks like a giant circus tent.

Starting off with a farmer going to investigate what looked like a comet that has fallen to Earth (he thinks it is Halley’s Comet), and stumbling across the Circus tent like Alien spacecraft, he and his dog are quickly captured by the Aliens. Now, of course the Farmer wasn’t the only one to see this shooting star like object. Mike (Grant Cramer), and his girlfriend Debbie (Suzanne Snyder), decide to also check it out. They find the spacecraft (just like the farmer did), and manage to find a way in, where they discover the remains of the farmer and his dog, cocooned in a cotton candy like substance (hey – they’re alien clowns… errr “Klowns”), and themselves just barely missing being capture by one of the aliens. After a hairy escape (including being chased by a balloon animal, they head to the police station. They tell their story to officer Dave Hanson (John Allen Nelson), who happens to be Debbie’s ex boyfriend. The story, of course sounds ridiculous – I mean, really? Space Alien Clowns? Bodies cocooned in cotton candy? It’s fair to say that Dave is is sceptical, but his fellow officer, the gruff jerk of a cop Mooney (played by the awesome John Vernon) calls them outright liars and wants to put them in jail for making up stories about murders and such. Dave at least agrees to chesk out what they are saying as they did say a couple of people were killed. Dropping Debbie off first (against her wishes), Mike takes Dave out to where they found the ship and the bodies, but unfortunately the ship is no longer there and Dave thinks they made the whole thing up and places under arrest. Well with the clowns loose in the town and more and more people falling victim to their ridiculously amusing weapons and ways, Dave and Mike don’t get far before Dave sees for himself the Killer Klowns and what they are capable of. Meanwhile, back at the police station, Maloney has himself that the entire town is trying to mess with his head with a coordinated series of call from all over town about killer clowns. When Dave calls into the station and instructs Maloney to call for back up, describing the Klown menace, he just thinks Dave is in on the whole thing to and refuses to get or give help. It’s not until one actually strolls into the station that he actually realizes this isn’t hoax. Of coarse, by that time… well, you know. So it’s all up to Mike, Dave and Debbie to infiltrate the Klown ship and save the day… Okay, I left a whole bunch out there at the end because I realized I was just rattling off the movie instead of reviewing it. I don’t want to do that. What I do want is for you to watch this movie because it’s cool, crazy and funny and desreves to be watched by soimeone who can appreciate it for what it is: a fun movie.  No one can argue that it isn’t original – Hell, I doubt there is any movie that even resembles this film. A crazy concept, wrapped in a funny script and created by people that must love the genre, this is a film for any Sci-Fi/Horror or Comedy fan. Yeah, it is ridiculous, but it is supposed to be so. Sure, if you watch this movie expecting it to be a serious horror/sci-fi film, you will be mistaken – and most likely stupid, too. I mean, really: it’s about Killer Aliens from space that travel in a Circus tent space craft and look like demented clowns. Still,

it’s great ands it’s fun and you should watch it. Oh, you already saw it? Well, see it again!

Check out the trailer below:


Alien Horror Week – Movie 2: Night of Creeps (1986)–Simply Awesome

NightofthecreepsposterHaving just watched Slither (again),last night and remembering the outcry from a lot of fans of the classic 1986 Night of the Creeps due to the many similarities between the two movies, I just had to watch Night of the Creeps (again), tonight.

Night of the Creeps is a neat Horror/Sci-Fi/Comedy about an infestation of alien slug like creatures when they are released on the unsuspecting Earth during the 1950s, landing  in a town/city in the states. Initially infecting an escaped lunatic, and a young man on a date with his girl, resulting in a couple of deaths. Cut to the 1980’s where a couple of friends, Chris Romero and J.C.are new to college and trying to fit in. Chris has a crush on a hot girl, Cynthia Cronenberg. Cynthia, though has a meathead boyfriend who is in charge of the frat house that the two want to join (so Chris can hopefully impress Cynthia). In order to join, the two are given the task of stealing a cadaver and leave it on the steps of a rival frat house. While the two manage to enter a lab where they think they will find a corpse, they actually manage to stumble upon a body in cryogenic suspension,. They decide one body is as good as another, and try to take this one. When the corpse opens it’s eyes and grabs a hold of one of the two, they take off “screaming like banshees” (you’ll know why I put that in quotes when you watch the film). Well, turns out this is the corpse of the guy that was infected by the alien life form way back in 1959. So, now we have a reanimated corpse, under the control of an alien life form… The corpse, a sort of alien zombie kills a scientist in the lab and heads out…on the town, eventually ending up on the steps of a girl’s frat (the same one Cynthia calls home). Cynthia sees the zombie and sees his head explode, releasing a bunch of those alien worms… and they spread out. Soon a crap load of the town is infected, including the dead, which rise (hence the Zombie word), animated by there worms. J.C. himself falls prey to the creatures also, but not before he learns the secrets to the destruction of the worms…

Of course everything ramps up to a big good versus bad scene, but I have told you more than enough of the story. You should watch this movie, as it is damned fun. Definitely an homage to the sci-fi creature flicks of the 50’s and 60’s, if you enjoy sci-fi, horror and comedy then you have to see this one, folks. Check out the trailer below:


Alien Horror Week – Movie 1: Slither (2006)–A Great Sci-Fi Horror With a Lot Of Humour

Slithermovieposter2006’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

MV5BMjEyNTc2NDg5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzA5MDExNw@@._V1_SX214_Okay, so there’s a Zombie outbreak, a family is stuck in their home, a group of tough ass hole teens are also causing issues and there is no happy ending.

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.


Eastwood Week Movie 1 – High Plains Drifter (1973)

High_Plains_Drifter_posterWow… Wowwowwow.

Wow.

How have I not seen High Plains Drifter before this? this 1973 Western is a gritty, dark tale. A tale of deceit, of murder and vengeance. Heck, it’s even a ghost story. This is a very unique film, and a very good one at that. A drifter enters a small town, apparently looking for a drink, a shave, a bath and a bed. Once there he is confronted by three guys, Company men, they are called. In defense he kills all three. The local sheriff tells him they were known to be trouble and that he didn’t have to worry about charges. Heck, the sheriff would like to hire him to protect the town from three gun fighters, just released from jail that will most likely be coming back to the town to seek vengeance for their incarceration. The stranger, played by Clint Eastwood, at first declines, but when the sheriff offers him “anything he wants,” he accepts the job, and goes about making big changes to the town. These changes cause some of the town to question the decision to put him in charge of the town’s defense. The stranger is also troubled by dreams, dreams of the town’s Marshal being whipped to death by the men who he is hired to protect the town. While the murder is taking place, the people of the town stand by and do nothing to stop it. Is it a dream? Or are these memories? It seems pretty obvious to me. The stranger gets the town busy making changes. He run drills simulating an attack and has the town folk put up resistance, preparing them for the inevitable attack that is to come. He also orders unusual things to be done, like painting the town red, and having the towns people tear apart a livery barn to build picnic tables an such… The business men of the town are really questioning their initial decision to hire this stranger. So much so that they try to kill him themselves… Yeah, good luck boys. When the attack comes, the towns people’s weak attempts at fighting off the gun men come to little, and eventually (hell, pretty damned quickly), they have the upper hand, and have gathered the remaining towns folk together in the saloon. Well, this isn’t over folks – they still have to deal with the Stranger…

Okay, let’s not give it all away. I will say that this is a creepy, dark Western. It’s also one of the best Westerns I have ever seen. Actually this is just a really good movie, chock full of darkness and hidden meanings. Heck, it’s a Western and a Ghost story, and it does both great. For the first movie of Eastwood Week, I have to say it’s an incredible start. Check out the trailer below, and then immediately go find yourself a copy and watch it today!


It’s Alive (1974)–Finally Tackled a Childhood Terror

its-alive-posterWhen 1974’s horror movie, It’s Alive was released, there was the creepiest commercial for the movie where you see a baby carriage, and hear what appears to be a normal baby cry…but as the camera pans around the baby carriage, you see a big monster hand coming out from inside the pram… Well that commercial used to scare the living crap out of me… seriously (hey, I was 4 or 5 at the time). Well, today I finally faced down that fear and watched the movie.

Check out that scary (for a 4 or 5 year old) TV spot here:

 

It’s Alive tells the tale of a couple, Frank and Lenore Davis (John Ryan and Sharon Farrell), who give birth to a child that is nothing short of a monster. The initial birth is a little tough, as the baby is larger than a normal baby, but the doctor is still confident is all right… Next thing you know the delivery room is full of the dead or dying bodies of the doctors an nurses that were assisting in the birth… and a monster baby is on the loose in the city of Los Angeles.

Dad wants the baby dead because it’s an abomination who’s existence has caused the loss of his job, and the ruination of his family. The big drug companies want the baby dead in the off chance he’s a by product of there chemicals. And the police want the baby dead… because it’s killing people. The only one that seems not to want the baby dead is the mother… at first, at least.

This is definitely a creepy movie, and reasonable well done, if a little slow. Having been as scared as I was of the damned commercial as a child, I do wish the movie was scarier than it is, though I am happy that it doesn’t totally suck. An interesting concept and if the idea sounds like something that you’d like, then definitely watch it.

Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself:


Battle of the Damned (2013)–Dolph Lundgren Kickin’ Zombie (like) Butt With Some Cool Robot Sidekicks

Battle_of_the_DamnedWell, this was surprisingly fun. 2013’s Battle of the Damned stars Dolph Lundgren as Major Max Gatling, who with his small group of mercenaries are hired to extract a rich company boss’ daughter from within’ a zone of a city overrun with zombie like (fast zombie like) disease victims.

This movie was another that I just didn’t expect much at all from, but was actually surprised by how entertaining it actually was. The story: A guy is hired, along with his mercenary buddies to save the industrialist daughter, endangered by zombies (sort of) from withn’ a city full of those beasts. She’s found refuge with a group of survivors, lorded over by a well meaning but jerkish leader by the name of “Duke.” Duke is convinced no one can make it out alive, and tries to make sure that Gatling doesn’t risk any of his group, going so far as to leave him handcuffed to a post, exposed for the zombies to get… But of  course Gatling is too bad ass to die that way. Escaping (with help), they of course run into some robots who are very happy to take orders from Gatling. Next up: Robot versus Zombie action.

Okay, silly? Maybe but awesome? Definitely. If you like a good action movie, Zombies and Robots, well this movie has it all. Does it deserve any awards? Oh hell no – but is is fun and I heartily recommend it! Check out the trailer below:


Harold’s Going Stiff (2011)–A Fun, Fresh Zombie Film of Sorts

hgsHarold’s Going Stiff popped up as a suggested watch. I had not heard about the film before last night, and boy was I pleasantly surprised.

Harold’s Gone Stiff is filmed in a documentary style and follows the progress of Harold, the earliest known sufferer of a disease, called Early Rigor that mimics a Zombie outbreak. Harold is getting physical therapy from a nurse, Penny. The film shows Harold’s progress, fighting the stiffening that happens with this disease, It also follows the evolving relationship, from a working to a friendship, between Harold and Penny. Along with there story, we are also shown a small group of three friends, one who is himself suffering from early onset of the Rigor disease, and their hunting of victims of said disease.

Harold’s Going Stiff does something that is rare: it shows the Zombies as victims of a terrible disease. I found myself feeling for the Zombies, and loathing the group of zombie killers. And the movie also creates a touching feeling regarding Penny and Harold. This can’t be easy to do with a subject matter like this,but in my opinion the film makers succeed. If you’ve seen the movie, American Zombie, you might see a bit of a resemblance in the fact that both are pseudo-documentaries, painting the Zombies as people who are sick. Both movies are good, but I liked this one better.

Do yourself a favour and watch this movie. Check out the trailer below:


The Dead Mile (2013)–Flawed But Very Fun Independent Zombie Film… And It’s Canadian!

DeadmileSo, 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.


Calgary Horror Con 2013 Was Amazing!!!

Thank you to everyone that made the Calgary Horror Convention an AMAZING event. A fantastic lineup of guests, including a reunion of the cast from the fantastic 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead: Bill Moseley, Tom Savini, Patricia Tallman and Tony Todd,


Remake Week Movie #6–Frankenstein Unbound (1990)

Frankenstein_UnboundAlright… This might be cheating, as this is a reimagining and not so much a remake. That said, this is my blog and I’m counting this one as part of Remake Week.

Frankenstein Unbound tells the story of Dr. Joe Buchanan (played by John Hurt), who in the year 2031, in an attempt to create a safer weapon for the military accidentally creates a tear in time and space and finds himself and his amazing electric, computerized car transported back to 1817 Switzerland.

In ancient Switzerland, Buchanan meets the famous Dr. Frankenstein (played by Raul Julia), who has already created his now famous, mythical monster. Said monster has killed a child, and a young girl has been accused and found guilty of the boy’s murder through Witchcraft. Buchanan tries to convince Frankenstein to tell the authorities the truth and save t he girl’s life. Ignored by Frankenstein, Buchanan tries to get the help of Mary Shelley (author of the famous Frankenstein novel, and played by Bridget Fonda). Frankenstein and his Monster turn out to be difficult to deal with, though – one insane with power, the other a beast of a man who has not been explained the very basics of life). Buchanan almost gets lynched for the murder of Frankenstein’s fiancé, a crime the monster committed – and said monster saves Buchanan from this mob, only to take him to Frankenstein’s castle to help in the reanimation of Frankenstein’s freshly dead Fiancé. Instead of helping, Buchanan tricks the Monster into helping him reopen the time space rift, propelling Frankenstein, the Monster and his self far into the distant, bleak empty future. – a future where human’s are no more. There is a bit of a twist at the end, that while weak, I won’t spoil.

Just a note: The late Michael Hutchence, then lead singer of the Australian rock band INXS plays Percy Shelley.

This movie has a half decent cast, and while entertaining, is really quite weak. Was it worth watching? Sure. Should you go out of your way to see it? I don’t think so.

Check out the trailer below:


Rebooting Remake Week

Hi Folks;

Well remake week didn’t go as well as planned when I was distracted after two movies – Well, I plan on putting up 7 remakes (including the two already posted), though maybe not all in a row.

One reason why they may not be in a row is for example the THING from 1982 – my buddy that watched these movies wants to watch the prequel that came out in 2011 first – no problem, but that delays that viewing by at least a day – gonna’ try to get him to watch that prequel tonight so we can go onto the remake.

So, sorry for not powering through 7 days of remakes, but they are coming… starting now!


Remake Week Movie #2 – Dawn of The Dead (2004)

DawnoftheDead2004One could easily argue that  George A. Romero’s 1973 film, Dawn of the Dead was good enough and didn’t need a remake. Well, that can be said about almost all remakes – I mean, why would you bother remaking a movie that sucked in the first place? At least in this case the remake doesn’t suck.

A sequel to Romero’s genre defining film Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead tells the story of a group of survivors of a Zombie outbreak, forced together through necessity that have found refuge inside a shopping mall.Initially encountering a hostile group of armed mall security guards that reluctantly allow them to stay in the man, but only after relinquishing their weapons. These guards, run by a twitchy nervous asshole by the name of CJ soon have the tables turned on them. The group hangs out in the mall for as long as possible, with one couple expecting a baby at any time. Soon it’s revealed that a couple member so f the group had been bitten – They have to be dealt with. Not to spoils anything, but the birth scene and following events is awesome. Add to this a new group of people that arrive via a delivery van (a soon to be Zombie amongst them).

Lot’s of action and death and destruction, a few explosions and more than a few zombies and then a cool escape…this is a very good remake of a very good original film.

Filmed primarily in Canada, I saw a lot of familiar actors that you don’t see in many American productions, I thought this was a neat addition (hint: I’m Canadian),Is this better than the original? I don’t think so, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. Very watchable, I know more than a few people that consider this their favourite Zombie movie, and it’s easy to see why.

Check out Dawn of the Dead, you won’t be disappointed .

Here’s the trailer:


Remake Week Movie #1–Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007)

Halloween2007Call me a heretic or call me crazy, but I like this remake better than the original.

In 2007 Rob Zombie released his remake of the classic, influential 1978 Slasher-Horror film, Halloween. The original starred an unknown actress by the name of Jamie Lee Curtis and the better known Donald Pleasence. Both movies tell the story of Michael Myers – a child who killed his family when he was 10 – now 16 years later, he’s escaped the criminal asylum where he has been held… HE’s heading back home to find his last remaining family member, his sister – oh, and he’s racking up a big body count along the way.

Rob Zombie kept true to the original story, but in my mind created a much more watchable movie. I’m sure much of that is due to the time that has passed since the original was released – hindsight is 20-20 they say.

Now, don’t get me wrong: while I thing the remake is a better movie, I still like the original, and without a doubt the original is a much more important movie – Just not as well made. I feel that the family background of Michael is more fleshed out in the remake, and the acting doesn’t seem as forced… Except in the case of Sheri Moon Zombie’s portrayal of Deborah Myers, Michael’s mother – Sheri can’t act and I really hope Rob Zombie figure this out soon. The always great Malcolm McDowell plays the role of Dr. Samuel Loomis, the role originally played by the late, great Donald Pleasence.

So, as remakes go I say this is definitely a good one. I watched the original and this remake back to back – a fun way to compare.

What do you think?

Here is the Trailer:

 

And here is the trailer to the original: