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Photos From The 2014, 4th Annual Calgary Horror Con


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


Shaky Cam Week–Found Footage Movies

So, we’ve decided to do a week of found/lost footage movies (i.e. “Shaky Cam”). You know what those are? Movies that are supposed to look like they were recorded on handheld devices, like The Blair Witch Project. There are quite a few, but just a tiny few worth watching. Hopefully we’ll see a couple that you would like to watch…

Keep your eyes on the site!!!


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:


Vampire Week Movie 3 – 30 Days of Night (2007)

30_Days_of_Night_teaser_posterSo this week is turning out to be pretty good week for movie watching for me. Three days in and so far three good movies!

30 Days of Night tells the tale of a Vampire outbreak in the little Alaskan town of Barrow, during the 30 day polar Night (in the Arctic, there is a period each Winter where the sun sets and does not rise again for 30 days, due to the axial tilt of the planet Earth). A great time for light fearing creatures of the night. Just before the beginning of the long night, strange things start to happen. Peoples cell phones are going missing, and all means of escape from town are either vandalized or destroyed (including dog sled). Once the night hits, it gets weirder when the town’s power is cut. Investigating, the Sheriff, Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett), discovers that the crew at the power plant have been brutally murdered and the plant vandalized. You see, the Vampires have planned for this night… This is going to be a gory, un-dead versus the unsuspecting soft, humans. Of course there is the hiding to stay safe while one by one the survivors numbers shrink situation – like there is in almost all these movies.

These are dark, dirty, evil vampires. They seem much closer to a complete, separate species than just turned, ancient humans. That said, these Vampires can turn humans into Vampires also, but I did get the feeling that some of them may have been old, greasy dirty powerful killer hominids. I thought it was an interesting take (especially the use of a separate Vampire language). This is not a perfect movie, but it is an enjoyable, action and gore filled bloodfest that I thoroughly enjoyed. Have I seen better Vampire movies? Sure, but I would watch this again and not feel like I wasted my time. Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself if this movie is for you:


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:


Resident Evil (2002) – Not Bad, But Michelle Rodriguez Can’t Act

ResidentevilSo, I finally got around to watching the 2002 movie, Resident Evil movie. Based on a video game, this movie was better than I expected but definitely not awesome. Most video game based movies, in my not so humble opinion, usually suck badly,  but his one was okay.

Telling the story of a viral outbreak in Raccoon City, from a lab run by the Umbrella corporation, and the group of people that are trying to get out of that lab (and look for the anti-virus). Starring the always good Milla Jovovich as Alice, an ass kicking agent of Umbrella, with some serious issues (including memory loss), and a rag tag group of paramilitary… and a couple of other people that die. There is a lot of action and some cool looking infected mutants. The move is very similar to a Zombie tale (and I guess it is a Zombie tale), and has a decent budget. The acting, for the most part is acceptable… except one thing: Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Rain (one of the mentioned paramilitary), is just a crappy actor (actress?). Seriously – she only has one character: Tough Latino Chick. And I am tired of that friggin’ character. Honestly, take a break and try a different role Michelle…

So, the movie is action filled and fun for what it is. Not great but entertaining.

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,


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:


Hansel and Gretel Get Baked (2013)–From Out of Nowhere Comes a Surprisingly Entertaining Retold Tale

HGBakedWell, I have to say that when this movie popped up on the list of titles that Netflix recommends me to watch, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about it. Then yesterday afternoon I received an email from a reader of the blog strongly suggesting that I watch it, saying that they were surprised at just how fun the movie was. Grudgingly, I decided to watch it for myself – And I am glad I did.

Hansel and Gretel Get Baked (HGGB) is a 2013 release that I am guessing was released to ride on what could have been the wave of a bigger budget Hansel and Gretel movie that seems to have actually fizzled – that’s okay though, as this movie is fun in it’s own right.

HGGB tells the modernized tale of a brother and sister duo, Hansel and Gretel, who go off on a quest to save Gretel’s stoner boyfriend who disappeared after going to get some more killer “Black Forrest” pot from a little old lady who has gained notoriety from the incredible quality of the weed she is selling. Turns out the little old lady, Agnes (and played quite well by Lara Flynn Boyle), is actually a Witch that uses the weed to lure teens to her home where she capture a select few to harvest their youthful essence, restoring her youth, and also uses their bodies as mulch to help produce the high quality pot.

The movie was much better than I expected with good production quality, plenty of gore and half decent acting – way more than I would expect from something with a title like this. I have to say I was actually pleasantly surprised at just how good this movie really is. Sure, it’s pot humour, but it’s also a horror and a comedy – watch this one folks!

Here’s the trailer:


The Zombie Diaries (2006)–Everyone Attached to This Film Should Be Ashamed of Themselves

zdbSo I watched the 2006 movie, Zombie Diaries last night. It was easily the worse zombie movie I’ve seen.

It was worse than Zombie Babies (which I also hated).

Everyone attached to this movie should have been banned from ever attempting to create anything artistic. And guess what? They made a sequel.

So… What’s wrong with the movie? It’s boring and poorly made. Oh, did I mention that it was boring?

Don’t watch this piece of shit.

Trailer? Oh, why the hell not:


The Vineyard (1989)–Everybody’s Favourite Asian “That Guy” Makes a Movie–Too Bad It Sucks

vyard_So I had a little time before work today and decided to fill it watching a cheezy movie suggested by Netflix: 1989’s The Vineyard. Maybe I should have taken a nap instead.

Written, directed and starring James Hong, a venerable actor that seems t have been in everything from the TV show MASH to Kung Fu Panda (the voice of the Master) and almost everything in between. It’s just too bad that this was the movie that he decided to make.

The Vineyard tells the tale of a Winemaker, Dr. Elson Po who invites a group of young aspiring actors and friends to his island vineyard under the pretence that he wants to make a movie. Well, things are not really as they seem and neither is Dr. Po.

Dr. Po is ancient and stays young(ish) and healthy by way of a secret potion that requires the blood (or some other vital fluid) from young people. He has kept himself alive for centuries like this, and that is the real reason this group has been brought to this island: so Po can harvest more of whatever to stay young. One bonus? One of the girls, (a hottie played by Karen Lorrie),  seems to be his “chosen”” one with whom he plans to marry.

So… bad stuff happens to them, there’s a rescue attempt. There’s some Zombie like creatures. We see Po’s even more ancient mother… there’s some late 80s boobs. And the movie sucks.

Want to watch a bad, cheezy movie? Even if you do, you can watch something other than this. Hell – I like bad movies and this couldn’t keep my interest. This is a seriously boring attempt at a horror movie and doesn’t even have that “so bad that you have to see it” type cachet.

Here’s the trailer if you are interested, and as noted, it’s available on Netflix.


Evil Dead (2013)–This Remake Rocks so Go See it In the Theatre… GO!!!

evil-deadMy awesome wife and I saw the new Evil Dead remake this weekend and I have to say it was fantastic. Not a direct remake as much as a re-imagining of the original, but it manages to keep the basics of the original.

This movie was a great horror on it’s own and a great addition to the Evil Dead movies as a whole. If you are a horror fan then you owe it to yourself to see this film.

Go… NOW!!!

Here’s the trailer if you’re not convinced:


The Re-Animator Series

Reanimator_posterThe Re-Animator Series, so far consisting of three films, is an example of a series of horror movies done right.

Starting in 1985 with the Re-Animator, and consisting of three films, though the door seems to be left open for more. All three star Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West, the Re-animator himself. West is a driven, mad scientist that developed the “Re-Agent”: a neon green liquid that brings life (or at least re-animates) the dead. This is West’s life’s work and he allows nothing to come between him and it.

Starting with the RE-Animator in 1985, we’re introduced to  West in a quick but disturbing scene at the University of Zurich Institute of Medicine, where he is found hunched over the convulsing body of Dr. Gruber. Accused of killing Gruber, West shouts “I gave him life!”

Next we see West arriving at Miskatonic University in New England to continue his studies. Immediately he is at odds with Dr. Carl Hill, the university’s resident Brain specialist, and primary grant gatherer, when he states that Hill’s work is derivative and basically stolen from the late Dr. Gruber. Immediately in Dr. Hill’s bad books, West’s further behaviour does nothing to rectify this.

Soon, answering an add posted on a bulletin board for a room for rent, West moves in with Dan Cain, another med student. Dan, we learn is dating the Dean’s daughter, Megan Halsey (played by Barbara Crampton). Megan, from the start, does not like West, and shortly after his arrival, accuses him of killing Dan’s cat when she enters West’s room against his wishes and finds the cat’s body in his fridge. West denies killing the cat and claims he found it dead and put the body in his fridge until he could inform Dan of the event. Very quickly, West draws Dan into his world and has him working on the Re- Agent with him – all it took was finding West in his basement lab being attacked by the newly re-animated cat of Dan’s.

Once sucked in, Dan becomes in effect West’s version of Igor. Disgusted by West’s lack of care for fellow humans, but driven by the work he does, he becomes VERY subservient to the ever more singularly focused West. Also, along the way West draws him into a web of crimes that leave Dan no choice but to stay by West’s side.

Everyone around Dan and West’ are in danger due to West’s lack of care for fellow humans. All that matters to him is the development of his RE-Agent. Anyone that gets in his way becomes victims. Dr. Hill, after trying to take West’s discovery and life’s work from him though blackmail becomes nothing more than an animated head, though with the ability to control others that West has animated – causing West much more trouble than one would think a solitary head could. Most that are re-animated via West’s RE-Agent, come back violent and almost mindless. Eventually all hell breaks loose and Megan becomes an accidental victim to West’s experiments…

Bride_of_Re-AnimatorThe second movie, Bride of the Re-Animator, was released in 1989 and starts off with West and Dan, working in a war zone tent hospital – West is his normal, driven maniacal self and Dan his normal, subservient wimpish self. We see them apply the Re-Agent to a dead soldier, just as an attractive female soldier enters, Francesca Danelli (played by Fabiana Udenio) – the patient – violent as usual, is shot by West, and this is witnessed by the Francesca. Other than a “What are you people doing here” and a “we have to bug out as we are being over-run” type of discussion (and a hint that Dan and Francesca may have a thing for each other), this scene is over fast.

Next we find that West and Dan have returned to New England and their jobs at Mikatonic University Hospital, where they also continue work on the Re-Agent. A new development shows West that Re-Agent can also reanimate individual body parts as well as entire organisms. He starts taking individual body parts home to continue his experiments. It’s the theft of these parts that puts police officer Lt. Chapham on the trail of West and Dan. That, and the fact that Chaphman has it out for them already as the only ones to survive, unchanged from the events of the first movie. Soon we find out that Chapham has a more intimate and personal reason to be interested in the case (watch the damned movie to find out what it is). Chaphman’s pressure on West and Dan leads to mistakes being made, and individuals being reanimated – in short, things fall to shit. Add to all this that West’s original nemesis from the first move, the head of Dr. Carl Hill is controlling these reanimated jerks. All the while, West is attempting to create life from individual body parts. Using a terminal patient that Dan has fallen in love with as the face and head, in order to get Dan onboard, eventually West creates his parted out monster – a jealous giant of a woman-beast. A big fight breaks out and shit goes to hell again.

Beyond_Re-animatorThe third (and last so far), movie was released in 2003 and titled, Beyond RE-Animator.

13 years have passed since crap went down at the hospital. West has spent that time in prison after Dan turned State’s Witness. West has managed to continue his experiments, albeit on a much smaller scale, working on rats in his cell.

The prison hospital gets a new, young head doctor who quickly takes an interest in West and his past work. Dr. Howard Phillips arranges with the crazy, asshole Warden to have West put on work detail in the hospital, using the excuse that the hospital is understaffed and West’s medical background would help things. The Warden agrees, but lets his dislike of West be known to Phillips. Phillip soon informs West that he is aware of his work with re-animation of the dead and explains how his sister was killed by one of the zombies that was created in the event that sent West to prison. He was a kid at the time and one of the un-dead created with West’s Re-Agent broke into their house and killed his sister. He saw the police take West away in a police car. He learned of West’s work and made it his goal to work with him and learn the secret of RE-Agent. Soon West draws him into his world after they reanimate a recently deceased prisoner with a 13 year old sample of RE-Agent that Phillips found back when his sister was killed. The prisoner wakes from the dead in a state of confusion and violence, just as the Warden was touring through the prison’s hospital with attractive reporter Laura Olney. The Warden freaks out about the whole ruckus and puts everybody on lockdown and cancel the rest of the tour of the prison/interview, but not before Laura and Dr. Phillips manage to make oggly eyes at each other and make some kinda’ love connection… because all of a sudden these two are an item.

Like all these movies, West draws his side kick, usually Dan but now Dr. Phillips deeper into his twisted world of mad science and reanimating of the dead. West’s experiments during his years in lockup led him to discover Neo-Plasmic Energy (or NPE for short). NPE is harvested from a donor and consists of an electrical like energy which when administered right after Re-Agent, creates a way more life like reanimated subject. Instead of your crazed, mindless homicidal reanimated subject, when NPE is applied, the subject doesn’t decay and seems to keep their humanity. A strange and funny transformation occurs when West reanimates the Warden and applies the NPE gathered from a rat – it’s awesome.

Like all these movies, things get out of hand, and eventually it’s hard to tell who’s been reanimated and who hasn’t been. There’s a riot in the prison and the prisoner’s take over. Laura, who was killed by the Warden then reanimated by West and his new NPE process gets killed again. Phillips is left, mind bone and looking like a psycho-killer.  He’s arrested for the murder or Laura. West, posing as Dr. Phillips (after taking his identity card) escapes in to the night.

Whew…

These movies are excellent and deserve to be watched. Jeffrey Combs is masterful in the role of Doctor Herbert West. They have a very unique feel to them that I think only Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna can create. My descriptions of these movies did them a dis-service and I really strongly suggest you watch them.


Dead and Breakfast (2004)–If David Carradine Is Running The Bed And Breakfast, Sleep In Your Car

dnbHoly smokes, I’ve seen two original Zombie movies in two days – Things are good.

2004’s Dead and Breakfast tells the story of a group of young adults driving to a friend’s wedding, when the end up getting lost and taking refuge for the night at a bed and breakfast in a small, hick town. The Bed and Breakfast (BnB), suggested by the gas pump jockey who is also the singer for a band, and sings the segues between scenes, making this a semi musical (don’t worry: I hate musicals and loved this movie). When they get to the BnB they are first greeted by the chef, Henri (played by Diedrich Bader of The Drew Carey show), who snottily introduces them to the owner of the BnB, Mr Wise (played by David Carradine). Mr Wise extends his hospitality to the group and has them shown to their rooms.

Shortly after their arrival at the BnB, Chef Henri somehow ends up dead and the local sheriff shows up (a hick in his own right), letting everyone know they are NOT free to leave while his investigation is on.

Soon the Sheriff takes a drifter in (one who had bumped into one of the group at the gas station that had stopped at at the beginning of the film). Believing the drifter to be the murderer, he is taken into custody and held. Soon they figure out that the drifter may be more than he appears when his notebook has drawings of an interesting  looking Asiatic box. We learn soon that the box holds the spirit of Wise’s infant son, and a terrible force will be released if the seal is broken. Guess what happens? Yeah, the meekest one of the group accidentally releases the spirit and is immediately transformed into a powerful, evil spirit that kills and then controls the bodies (like zombies) of the ones he just killed. Soon there is a hoard of evils beasts that must be destroyed.

This is another fun and original take on the Zombie genre that I heartily suggest you watch. I had a great time watching this movie.

Check out the trailer here:


Aaah! Zombies!! (2007)–Wow, An Original Zombie Movie!

Aaah ZombiesThe creators of Aaah! Zombies!! (a.k.a. Wasting Away), managed to do something very difficult: they created a Zombie movie that is actually original.

Those of you who read this blog with any kind of regularity have most likely figured out that for the most part, I like Zombie movies. Even so, I’ll be the first to admit that most of them are rehashes of ideas and situations that have been put down on film before. So, creating something original in this genre is difficulty and I think that’s one of the reasons I liked this film as much as I did.

A covert government mission to pollute a bay to get rid of the whales that environmentalists goes wrong when the truck carrying the toxic payload crashes and spills the chemicals on the streets, short of the intended target. Somehow the chemical ends up contaminating the base for some soft serve ice cream. Enter out main group of young adults who eat the ice cream at the local bowling alley. After feeling VERY ill for a few minutes, they seem to get better. Almost immediately they encounter a mysterious guy claiming to be a member of of the U.S. Special Forces and he takes control of the group, explaining that the city is infected with the toxin, and that they (their group) will be turning into Super Soldiers (due to the fact that the chemical was mixed with dairy), but everyone else is sick and must be stopped. Reasonably soon you see that things are not as our protagonists believe and in fact things might be the opposite of what they’ve come to believe.

Throw in a government conspiracy/cover up, a Zombie love affair (including some Zombie make out action), some truly funny moments and some reasonable good acting (for the genre…for the genre), and you have what I consider a fresh, fun Zombie movie that I heartily suggest you watch.

Check out the trailer here: