Posts Tagged ‘zombies’

Battle of the Damned

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

tn_battleofthedamnedIn BATTLE OF THE DAMNED, Dolph Lundgren fights zombies, and I’ll give it this: it’s way better than AGAINST THE DARK, the one where Steven Seagal fights vampires. There are two main reasons for this:

1) AGAINST THE DARK is Seagal’s worst movie ever
2) BATTLE OF THE DAMNED also has robots

It’s almost the same story: group of mercenaries led by beloved action icon of the ’80s and ’90s (in this case Dolph) patrols through a quarantine zone where a plague turns everybody into violent monsters (in this case running zombies instead of vampires) while a group of bland survivors walks slowly and talks about boring shit in a large building. They kill a bunch of the monsters, splattering that CGI blood that dissolves in the air, and there is some running around and stuff. Seagal used a sword, Dolph doesn’t, but he does meet a guy named Elvis (Jen Kuo Sung of NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER 3 and BLOODMOON) who does. And he knows the military plan to bomb the whole area to stop the virus so he bands together with the survivors he meets and they try to get out of there before it’s too late. The end. (read the rest of this shit…)

Day of the Dead

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

tn_dayofthedeadI think DAWN OF THE DEAD will always be my favorite zombie movie, but DAY OF THE DEAD is the one that’s grown with me the most. When I first saw it I liked it, but my enthusiasm was held back by the obnoxious performances of the guys playing the soldiers. They’re written as total assholes, taunting everybody, dropping weird racial slurs, and the actors (including makeup artist Greg Nicotero, who is now effects head/producer/director/writer/zombie on The Walking Dead) play them as giggling, yelling wackos, more like Rapist #3 in a cheap vigilante movie than like army professionals. The best performance among them is Joe Pilato as their leader, Colonel Rhodes, but he’s so convincing as a detestable prick that I was always convinced he was just being himself.

But I’ve watched the movie many times over the years and it just gets better and better. What once seemed like major flaws have faded away while its successes seem more and more impressive. These days I love to hate Rhodes, who’s such a dick that I can’t even root for him when he pulls off the award worthy badass move of grunting “Choke on ‘em!!” at the zombies who’ve torn him in half and are eating his intestines. And the rest of those guys don’t bother me that much anymore. Their undeniable obnoxiousness has been far eclipsed by the aspects of the movie I love: everything else. (read the rest of this shit…)

Dawn of the Dead

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

tn_dotd“WE WHIPPED ‘EM AND WE GOT IT ALL!”

How do you write a review of DAWN OF THE DEAD at this point? I’ve discussed it to death with a million people over the years, and I figure we’ve all gone over it all before, right? It’s kind of presumptuous to think you’ve got something semi-new to say about a movie that’s been discussed this much. In a way I’ve already reviewed it in bits and pieces over the years, talking about it in my review of the remake and probly other places. But this year I sat down and watched it again and I thought it was a shame it’s not in my reviews archive, because it’s one of my very favorite movies. Look – I can prove it by going on about it for a while! Let’s discuss how great this movie is. (read the rest of this shit…)

Re-Animator

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

tn_re-animatorRE-ANIMATOR is one of those good old ’80s college buddy movies, you know? You got the tall, blandly handsome star student Dan (Bruce Abbott), he’s fucking the dean’s daughter Megan (Barbara Crampton), there’s an uptight professor, Dr. Hill (David Gale – the one from SAVAGE WEEKEND, who I still don’t think is the same one THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE is about), who disapproves of the relationship. Then a new student comes to Miskatonic U., the socially inept but brilliant Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs), who maybe got kicked out of his school in Switzerland, or maybe had to flee. A troublemaker! Double secret probation!

Dan seems like a jock, Herbert like a nerd. Dan is a normal person, Herbert a creepy weirdo. And they become roommates! It would be fun if it was about Dan trying to loosen him up, bringing him to parties and stuff, or to pledge at a fraternity, but maybe that’s in the sequels.

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World War Z

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

tn_worldwarzI don’t want to say I’m a zombie fan. I mean, George Romero’s first three LIVING DEAD movies are some of my all time favorite movies. RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD is a classic. Fulci’s ZOMBI 2 is pretty good.  I keep watching The Walking Dead. And there’ve been other ones I’ve enjoyed. But I mean, it goes without saying that this particular type of monster has gotten overexposed. I do not envy whichever poor bastard decides to do a book chronicling all the zombie movies, and has to watch every imagination-free piece of shit that’s come along in the last ten years or so. Don’t make any more zombie movies for a couple ten years, you guys. You wore ‘em out. I’m sick of fuckin hearing about em.

But it’s true, I do like a good one, and I was open to Brad Pitt’s blockbuster-budgeted zombie epic because it’s an approach that hasn’t been tried before. (read the rest of this shit…)

Anybody else watching The Walking Dead?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
"You know, sometimes I wonder... who are the *real* walking dead. Is it them? Or is it in fact-- hey, is that Sophia? No, that's a tree. What was I talking about? I don't know. I lost my train of thought. Oh well."

Sometimes I think about it, and I wonder... who *are* the walking dead, anyway? Is it them? Are *they* the walking dead? Or could it be that in fact, the walking dead are-- Wait, is that Sophia over there?

I guess about 9 million people watched the second season finale of The Walking Dead, so I was thinking maybe one or two of you saw it. And then I saw some of you talking about the show in the comments, so that supports the theory.

For those of you who are watching and all caught up to the end of the second season I need to ask you guys about the last couple episodes, get a couple things off my chest. So this will involve the ol’ spoilers, including deaths of characters, if you care.

* * *

It’s safe to say NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is one of the most famous movies ever, right? It’s been remade and badly remade in 3D and colorized and sequelized and homaged and recut and it’s in the public domain and pretty much everybody’s seen it and even if they haven’t they probly have some kind of familiarity with the guy saying “They’re coming to get you, Barbara” in the cemetery as a zombie stumbles toward them.

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Messiah of Evil

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

tn_messiahofevilThis weird 1973 creep-out is directed by Willard Huyck, co-written with Gloria Katz. If you don’t recognize those names, they were George Lucas’s (alright, calm down everybody) friends from USC who went on to write TEMPLE OF DOOM and write/direct HOWARD THE DUCK. But back in the early ’70s they helped him write a treatment for AMERICAN GRAFFITI, then turned down the job to write that script when they were given a week to come up with an idea for a horror movie and then write it. They went and made this and got done in time to go back and write AMERICAN GRAFFITI after all.
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Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

tn_dylandogDYLAN DOG: DEAD OF NIGHT is a semi-clever and watchable but also not all that great or original supernatural detective type deal. It’s like CONSTANTINE but not as well directed and with more jokes.

Brandon Routh plays the title character (well, the “Dylan Dog” part of the title; the “Dead of Night” part is played by various undead creatures). I’m not really clear if “Dog” is his last name or if it’s just a cool nick name. Nobody ever calls him “Dylan Doggy Dogg,” but it might be short for that. Anyway he’s a private eye who is in on the secret information that there are vampires, zombies and other monsters living among us. (read the rest of this shit…)

Survival of the Dead

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

tn_survivalofthedead“Hey, I didn’t think SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD was all that terrible. Just not very good.” That’s what I told my buddies who had seen it before me. They were surprised and appalled.

The word was abysmal on George Romero’s latest, especially from the guy I saw DIARY OF THE DEAD with. He agreed with me that although that one was an embarrassing  failure at least it had some good parts. He offered no such mercy for the new one. (read the rest of this shit…)

Night of the Creeps

Monday, October 26th, 2009

tn_nightofthecreepsMan, I knew everybody loved NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, but the way people talked about it I always figured it was some nostalgic grew-up-in-the-80s thing like GOONIES or heavy metal. No, it turns out NIGHT OF THE CREEPS is truly fucking great! You guys should’ve been more clear!

It’s a movie with a really unique feel. The only thing it reminds me of is RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, but for nerds instead of punks. It has a similar tone of funny-but-serious, similar stylishly cartoonish effects and puppet zombies (see thumbnail), similar confident visual style and storytelling. It lets the horror unfold a piece at a time (aliens, ax-murdering escaped mental patient in the 1950s, cryogenics, zombies, space slugs) and it just seems to know what it’s doing so I never questioned that it would all come together and make sense. And it did. It’s just great writing and directing – Fred Dekker, I forgive you for ROBOCOP III. (read the rest of this shit…)