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Posts tagged “Romero

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


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.


Vampire Week Movie 6–Martin (1976) – Is He or Isn’t He?

MartinfilmposterGeorge A. Romero’s 1976 (or 1977 or even 1978 depending on your source), film, Martin, tells the tale of a man, Martin, who may or may not be a vampire…

Martin is a weird film. John Amplas played the title role, a weird, young looking man who has come to live with his great uncle, Tateh Cuda, an Old World Man who accuses Martin of being a Vampire – referring to him as Nosferatu. It doesn’t help that in the opening minutes of the film, we witness Martin drug, rape and bleed a woman on the train he took to get to said Uncle’s house. Once at the house, his uncle instructs Martin forcefully not to speak to Christine (a cousin I believe), and then goes about trying various traditional Vampire repellents (you know, like garlic and crucifixes), but Martin let’s him know that there’s no real magic. Martin starts working at Tateh’s butcher shop and meets local women while making deliveries – these woman later become his victims (or meals, if you will). One of these women eventually becomes Martin’s lover (she’s cheating on her husband). She finds herself attracted to Martin’s quietness, and lack of opinions and judgements. Martin, at first, runs from her advances, but after talking over the phone (and on air), with a local late night DJ, he decides to give into her advances. At the same time, while speaking to the DJ, he tries to remove the mystery from Vampirism . The DJ’s audience just eats this stuff up, and Martin is a hit. Martin’s relationship with this woman changes his feeding habits, and the fact that his uncle forbade him from feeding on anyone from their already dying town, so he soon finds himself in Pittsburgh looking for victims. There he manages to feed well, but took chances  that almost got him caught twice. Sated, he returns home only to find his love interest has taken her own life. And that event triggers… another major event.

So we have a guy that may or may not be a vampire who is becoming a bit of an anonymous pop icon, sleeping with a local, married woman, living in a home with a Great Uncle who is trying to ward you off, as he is convinced Martin is none other than Nosferatu.  This is pretty interesting stuff here and it’s all put together by one of the Horror genre’s greats, George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, anyone?). You never really know if you’re watching a vampire or just a crazy guy who believes he’s a vampire. We see scenes in black and white of events that would have to happen a long time in the past, but we’re never told whether or not these are Martin’s memories or figments of his imagination. Add that to the fact that he tells Christine, in passing, that he is 84 years old. What… What is going on here. A good movie – that, my friends, is what is going on here.

Check out the trailer below, and if you get a chance, check out the movie too.


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.


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:


Diary of the Dead (2007) – Romero Zombie Films Are Still the Best

You know, I thought I had seen this film before… and then I watched it this past weekend only to find I was wrong.

George Romero’s 2007 Diary of the Dead tells the tale of a group of University students who, while attempting to make a Zombie film, end up documenting their experiences during a Zombie Outbreak.

While filming a scene in the woods for a University project, the group starts hearing reports of chaos in the cities and towns, with rumours of the dead rising up and feasting on the living. Add to the news footage, video clips that people are uploading to social networking sites, and the group starts getting a picture of just how widespread the outbreak is. They decide to travel together to each other’s homes (or whatever destinations they have picked. Along the way they see more and more evidence of this outbreak, and lose a number of their entourage along the way. They run into a couple of groups (one good and one bad), but make progress on their journey.

This is another “Shakycam” film, where it is supposed to be made up of footage taken from a person that is experiencing things and filming said experiences. This type of movie can be very crappy, but happily that isn’t the case here. I found this movie well made and entertaining. While it’s no Night of the Living Dead, or Dawn of the Dead, it is still a fun, entertaining Zombie film from the Master, George A. Romero.

Check out the trailer here:


Video

Watch the Original Night of the Living Dead… Here, Now!!!!


Juan of the Dead (2011) – Anti-Revolution Zombie Movie From Cuba

Well, this movie was a refreshing surprise: a foreign made Zombie film from Cuba that feels fresh. Fresh is hard to do with a genre like Zombie movies, but it was accomplished here. Filmed in Spanish with English subtitles, I had to stay alert, as Spanish is spoken faster than English and the subtitles didn’t stay on the screen long – luckily I have no issues with this, but I think a lazy reader might have issues – too bad: go back to school.

Taking place in modern day Cuba, Juan, a local popular lothario and his buddy, the bumbling Lazaro, low level dissidents looking to make a profit in a society that eschews such things, finds money making opportunities when Cuban society is hit with a massive zombie outbreak. The film starts with Juan and Lazaro floating on a raft, fishing with little or no luck until he hooks what appears to be a corpse, but turn out to be a zombie. This sets the stage for the rest of the movie, and also introduces us to Lazaro’s bumbling response with any sort of a weapon. over the next few scenes we get to know Juan and Lazaro through their interactions with each other and those around them. This movie has a great look to it and seems unique – this probably has a lot to do with the fact that it comes from Cuba – I don’t think that I have ever seen a film from Cuba before, let alone a zombie movie from Cuba. 

Juan, seizing an opportunity when his city is over run with Zombies: he starts a business where he and Lazaro kills (re-kills, I guess), for a profit, family members that have become Zombies. A booming business.

Eventually though, Juan and Lazaro’s friends and family start dwindling as more and more are either destroyed by Zombies or become Zombies themselves. This means Juan and Lazaro must make decisions as to how they want to proceed.  

I’m not going to say any more about the story, as it is a good one and I believe the only way I can do it justice is by telling you to see the movie. An original Zombie movie is rare. An original Zombie movie that is actually good is even rarer. Give this one a shot, as it really deserves it.

Check out the trailer here:




Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1973) or Generally Be a Douche to Dead Things Either

This 1973 (or 1972 depending on your source) Zombie film about a troupe of actors brought to an island by the troupe;s douchiest of douche-bag leaders, Alan to perform a necromantic ceremony – for shock value… I guess.

This group of actors are bossed around by Alan continuously. I mean, this guy is completely unlikeable – and had the worst pants in history (watch the movie just for the pants, if you must). Freaking out the women continuously – one of them already a hippy basket case anyway. Oh, and the guys aren’t to impressed with Alan, either. 

Anyway, they dig up a corpse and Alan performs an incantation – poorly- to raise the dead. Since he did such a piss poor job that one of the woman takes over and performs the ritual with more gusto. Soon the place is over run with recently raised zombies with a hunger for living flesh. Now these are slow, lumbering zombies that often causes this film to be compared to George A. Romero’s classic, Night of the Living Dead – and I am sure that the success of that film had much to do with this Zombie film being made. There are differences: these Zombies are paranormal Zombies, raised through a Satanic ritual. Romero’s Zombies were radiation – plague Zombies – and Romero’s movie was much better.

Anyway, they get attacked by Zombies, hole up in a house (more similarities to Night of the Living Dead), but like all Zombie movies, the Zombies eventually get them.

I watched this film way back in 1980 at the ripe old age of 11 years old. I didn’t find it scary then (much), and I don’t know, but as I stated at the beginning of this post, it is interesting.Should you watch this film? Well it’s not great, but if you are into the Zombie genre (and you should be), then yes, I think you should watch it as it is kind of important in the evolution of the Zombie film genre. You only have to watch it once, mind you… An interesting note: Director Bob Clarke went on to direct the 80’s classics Porkys and A Christmas Story!

Check out the trailer here:


Night of the Living Dead (1990) – Tom Savini Did a Good Job

imageLast week I watched two versions of Night of the Living Dead, The Millenium Edition (avoid this like the plague), and Night of the Living Dead, the 1990 Tom Savini remake. Savini’s version IS worth watching. You might not know Tom Savini by name, but he is one of the best special effects guy in the business.

More of a re-imagining than a re-make, I found this very enjoyable. It starts off very much like the original, and mostly stays with the same story line. The main differences come in the portrayals of the characters. Barbara in the original film spends most of the film in a pathetic near catatonic state, whereas in this edition she turns into a lean, mean Zombie Killing Machine – actually a nice change. You Sci-Fi fans out there might recognize Babara as the actress Patricia Tallman who went on to portray the telepath Lyta Alexander in the television series Babylon Five. Although Tony Todd puts in a typically good job in the roll of Ben, the protagonist, there’s a more than a bit of cheezy acting, but that is a good thing (in moderation) in this  type of film.

I really didn’t expect much before I started watching this, and I was pleasantly surprised at not being bored, or pissed at a poor remake of a classic. This movie acts as a great lead in to the other Romero “Dead” movies and I really suggest watching it.

Check out the trailer below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0r7L8tS2L0


Night of the Living Dead 30th Anniversary Edition (1999)

Oh, don’t watch this, please. This is so bad. An original writer and the original, first zombie from the original film add 15 plus minutes of shitty, unnecessary poorly acted scenes at the beginning of the film, a bit in the middle and a new ending..that sucked. The main parts of the film, the original 1968 footage has been cleaned up very well – but then they slap that shitty music on it.

If you want to watch Night of the Living Dead (and you should), don’t watch this version – it’s a travesty. There are many other versions of this film out there and you can watch the original masterpiece on line for free (link at bottom of post), as it is public domain due to a screw up when released.

So… Don’t bother with this.

Here is a link to the original Night of the Living Dead that you can watch on line:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfShkumjeq8