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Zombie films I’ve seen & my reviews
Yes, I’m a zombie fan. I’m also a fan of bad movies — flicks people refer to as being ‘so bad they’re good’. Some of my friends have heard that I’ve been working on a list of zombie films I’ve viewed and asked that I post it online …. so, here it is. Following, in no particular order, are the titles I’ve viewed along with my personal thoughts & opinions on the material.
When it comes to zombie films, I’m of the opinion that there are a few common themes that occur. These are & I explain as…
The Journey – In many zombie films an element can be found that I call “The Journey”. The main characters are a group of survivors who, for one reason or another, have to move from Point-A to Point-B. Point-A is their starting point and they travel to Point-B because they predict that they can survive better than they can at Point-A. Usually the journey is dangerous as the people are exposed to zombies &/or other threats while in neither Point-A or -B.
Survivor Chaos – Often in zombie films the zombies aren’t the true chaos that the survivors experience. While the zombies are dangerous, they are a vehicle to the actual story; the greatest chaos and source of danger is the survivors inablity to identify and work together toward a common goal. On the grand scale, we’re talking about the break-down of society.
Z-Film – You know the term B-film, right? Well, “Z-film” is a play-on-words short-hand for “zombie film”. I may have (or not) created this term, but leastwise I picked it up somewhere.
Zombie Films Viewed by BagpiperDon
With My Hopefully-Helpful Little Commentaries
If you’re too broke to go on vacation, watch a zombie film …or read my list
Green Ooze – I recommend that you see this film, it was zombie-riffic!
Yellow Puss – Not bad/not good, either way I wouldn’t put this in my morning coffee.
Red Blood – Blood can carry infection, don’t mess with it unless you’re willing to risk something really bad.
Also, watch for my “BagpiperDon’s Top-10” zombie films marker — in no particular order, I’ve indicated which zombie films are among my favourites … and no garuntees on it being exactly 10.
Outbreak/Disaster-Survival Films (not zombie films)
This is Different …but Perhaps Relative
Different genre, same rating system
The following are NOT zombie films. Instead, they deal with epidemics/outbreaks and lock-down scenarios. With the recent re-discovery of zombies and the fan-following that has grown around it, some people and organizations have used these films as a vehicle to develop their own disaster preparedness — because surviving a plague of attacking zombies is suggested to have the same survival requirements for people following an earthquake-etc … only just with no zombies in any of the occurrences yet. Not that I was there or can claim to have specific understanding, however if you consider the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the survival required afterwards (eg. food, water, shelter, looters), then a zombie scenario as seen in films could well make the same sort of situation. Think about it: If you loose electricity and communications for a prolonged period in winter, and the roads are too slick to get to a grocer or they-themselves cannot get their trucks in to restock, do you have supplies necessary to make it through at least 1-2 weeks — warm sleeping bags, a supply of non-perishable food and water, a sufficient fill of any medications you require? The following films speak to such situations, and I’ve included them because I feel they further express the survival/outbreak/chaos situations that come within zombie films.
The Road – Green Ooze
I read or heard someone’s review somewhere suggesting that ‘this film could save the world’. I’ve heard people state that it was too dark and depressing — which was funny to me ’cause I didn’t see it needing to be a musical with dance numbers.
Carriers – Green Ooze
Carriers — at least in my opinion — is not a zombie film but a post-epidemic film, however one could make a thin argument that is also a zombie film. Around the time I was in college I read a book titled “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston. After I read it I loaned my copy to my then-girlfriend, who’s place coincidentally caught fire sometime afterward. She came out of it okay, and with some irony given the title my book survived; heavily charred around the edges, stinking of smoke and unreadable. My girlfriend later dumped me and I eventually bought a new copy of Preston’s book at a 2nd-hand store … but I digress. In “The Hot Zone”, Preseton talked about ‘hot agents’ — lethal infectious viruses like Marburg Disease and Ebola Sudan/Ziere — what happens in an outbreak both in how people die and how the situations get taken care of. Preseton also gave an account of what would happen if an outbreak when global — which, with mass transportation, would be rather easy and equally as quick. Most of Earth’s population would die-off, some people would get ill and recover while others would be unaffected by the disease. This is where Carriers comes in. Some sort of infectious virus has broken out earlier and wiped out most of the population. Infected people first start showing signs of the plague in their skin, followed by breathing issues and a lack of energy; eventually their skin begins to appear to rot on their bodies and they slowly die where they stand/sit/lay. While not re-animated dead seeking the flesh or brains of the living, they are both living but ultimately dying — in other words, if they’re zombies, they are infectious and they are the slowest moving buggers I’ve seen yet. I’ve included this film in this list because I think it gives a good view of what post apocalyptic existence and survival might look like; I also think The Road, staring the ranger/king guy from Lord Of The Rings, is a striking example.
Mulberry Street – Green Ooze
I found this film intense, and I liked how it would at times go into a first-person view during action sequences. Set in NYC, rats are carrying a disease that crosses over to humans and causes them to mutate into wild killer rat people. Okay, so the ‘killer mutant rat people’ thing is more than a little hard to take seriously — however — this gave a view of an outbreak from the perspective of being in a big city where disease-control lock-down occurrs and peple have to survive. Personally, I’m an old-school Seattlelite who grew up in the sub-urbs — being in big cities for prolonged periods of time scares me just as not being near an ocean and a major interstate … I can’t explain it, its just how I’m wired. If I were in a major city area and zombies attacked, I think I would want to get supplies and get out — my impression of folks in places like NYC, they’re wired to stay in the city. In a lot of respects, this film is similar to Quarantine (2008) — perhaps too similar — NYC, lock-down, people mutating I think due to rats.
Other Titles That Deal With Outbreak/Quarantine Scenarios
I Am Legend AKA the original film/book The Omega Man
Outbreak (1995) – In my opinion, this film made major mistakes about outbreaks, and by comparison was amateurish to Richard Preston’s book “The Hot Zone” which was slated to be made into a film around the same time, only “Outbreak” beat them to the punch.
Zombie Books Read by BagpiperDon
Somewhere I Fit in Reading … During That Free Hour Between 2 & 3AM
Remember, in the chaos of the zombie apocalypse you may not have the electricity to google “how to kill a zombie”
The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
I have begun reading this book.
World War Z (book & audio book) by Max Brooks
I have begun reading & listening-to this book.