Outpost (2008)

Green Ooze – BagpiperDon’s +/- Top 10

This film was my first exposure to zombie nazis. I found a copy of the film on DVD at a liquidator store for $3 — figuring that it was going to be a roach, I was just too amused at the combination of zombies & nazis, and found out that it was a fantastic film.

Oh, and if you get really opinionated about the film, you can debate as to whether or not the nazis are zombies, phase-shifting zombies, or humans transformed into ghosts. Regardless, in this humble Highland bagpiper’s z-film opinion, this flick kicks ass.

Die Glocke AKA The Bell on Wikipedia

Outpost ‘Behind The Scenes’ Featurette

Outpost official page movie on Facebook

Outpost (2008) – IMDBWikipedia,  and Rotten Tomatoes

Outpost: Black Sun – the pretty-darn-good 2012 direct-to-DVD sequel

Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz – the garbage 2013 prequel that Should Not have been made

Billy Elliot (2000)

Green Ooze

At first blush this film appears to be about a boy in Northern England who trades his boxing gloves for ballet toe-shoes, and is otherwise absolutely grossly devoid of zombies. However, I am fairly sure the sick grandmother charactre is in the beginning stages of turning into an undead person. I predict that the film “Billy Elliot 2 – The Years Between” will be made; this will reveal the zombie outbreak, teen-Billy’s epic trials of battle & survival, and rebuilding of society where we rejoin Billy at the end of film 1 having freed himself from his zombie-apocalypse PTSD through ballet. Oh yeah … mark my words, Billy Elliot 2 will be made … any day now … I’m sure of it.

Billy Elliot (2000) at IMDB and Wikipedia

American Zombie (2007)

Yellow Puss

A mocumentary* suggesting that the reanimated dead live among us — from wild or low functioning zombies all the way to high functioning zombies who can pass for being human**. It’s amusing, a lot of subtle humor that sometimes you have to be paying attention and think for (God help us if we have to actually think!) — it could very well be a film that was shot right before some sort of mass zombie outbreak and consequent attack. This film, however, I feel would bore the life out of a non-Z-film-fan, but would be a good chuckle to fans of zombie genre.
* Mocumentary – a fictitious documentary
** Which could help to explain a few of the people I’ve met, particularly in the work-place and management.

American Zombie (2007) at IMDB

 

28 Weeks Later (2007)

Green Ooze nearing-Yellow Puss

When I saw that a part-2 was coming to 28 Days Later I was beyond excited. Only a few years earlier I saw the original on DVD and with this addition I could exercise my fandom with everyone else … then life happened and I found myself too busy & too broke to catch 28 Weeks Later in theaters.

Now viewing this this film 364 weeks (that’d be 7 years) after the release, I’m finding myself … well, I wouldn’t say that 28WL is a warm-over of 28DL, but I’m finding it bothersome that as many images & details along with elements of Jim & Saleena’s journey were drawn from 28DL. One could argue that someone had 1/2 to 2/3rds of the concept necessary for a part-2 flick and the rest of the script was filler from the original. When you watched Batman Begins, Dark Knight, and Dark Knight Rises, did you notice the identical components between the films? I did, and I made an Excel file tracking them — it’s unbelievable — the 3 films largely work off the same scenes, stunts, etc. When it comes to 28DL and 28WL I am seriously considering making a similar file — it might predict what will bee seen in 28 Years Later.

I liked that the film was set in the after-math of a zombie out-break — I’ve seen films where a population of survivors are holding out, but not during the reconstruction of a society. Overall it isn’t that this film left me wanting more, it left me wanting at least a little better. Without giving a spoiler I will say this for the film, it has a happy ending.

28 Weeks Later (2007) at IMDB
28 Weeks Later (2007) at Wikipedia

A NOTE ABOUT THE “28 Days/Weeks Later” SERIES from BagpiperDon (06September2014)

Sometimes hind-sight sneaks up and stabs you in the back like a grumpy UFO ninja pirate. In this case, I have been holding an inner-debate for the past few weeks as to whether I should include the 28D/WLater series in my inventory. Why?

Simple, I’m not 100% convinced that these are zombie films.

In the 28-series the threat is from rage infected people and my impression is that these people become dead and continue to be animated as a result of the infection; further they are never shown as dead who are reanimated by the virus. Like the films Quarantine and Carriers, the 28D/WL-series are infection films, not zombie films. So why have I left them in my review? For that matter, why are the Evil Dead and Army Of Darkness films in my review, too?

Again, the answer is ‘Simple‘ — I like them, and this is my webpage — I can do what I want.

Maybe as zombie-film fans we need to question, though, “Do zombies have to be dead?” In VooDoo zombieism commonly is about a person who is controlled under the spell of another and during that time they are mindless, but they are not dead. The zombie genre is largely not defined, so perhaps there is room for an infection of some sort to make living people zombies. In other words, so long as people are mindless and functioning, they can be zombies … now zombieism can include office workers, managers, politicians, die-hard pot-heads, and sleep-deprived parents with newborns.

That said …

If you dislike my “It’s my webpage & I can do what I want” attitude, trust me, it’s better than having a grumpy UFO ninja pirate sneak up and stab you in the back … particularly when they have bad breath.

28 Days Later (2002)

Green Ooze – BagpiperDon’s +/- Top 10

I came to own a copy of this film by accident and I couldn’t be happier!

While I won’t give away the ending to a film, in this case I won’t give you the exact beginning either — but the film really starts when Jim, a bike-messenger wakes up from a coma in an abandoned Emergency Room.  He has to figure out the enigma of where everyone is, and what happened 28 days  earlier after he got hit by a car in London.

This was my first introduction to Cillian Murphy and I’ve come to love his work.  This was also my first introduction to Naomie Harris — who I’ve come to love … her work.  You also get to see the work of the fabulous Brendan Gleeson.  All together directed by Danny Boyle , 28 Days Later goes for your throat, your heart, and chases you down dark alleys of humanity.

Brendan Gleeson, Cillian Murphy, & Naomie Harris

This was the first time I saw fast moving zombies, and for me that really CRANKS UP the zombie threat level — the shambling thing never really did it for me. Apparently the shamble-vrs-fast thing is a debate among zombie fans — and I can see both sides of it, but after seeing fast I think I know what side of the fence I fall on…

I’ve heard that the part-2 film “28 Weeks Later” is a warm-over of the original film, but I still want to see it. There is also a graphic novel or two out there that further tell the story which I’d like to get my hands & eyes on — so the next time you’re wondering what to get BagpiperDon for his birthday, Xmas, celebration of next album release, etc … now you know.

28 Days Later (2002) on IMDB and Wikipedia

Further proof that 28 Days Later is AWESOME — here’s the review at RottenTomatoes.com

Hard Rock Zombies (1985)

Red Blood

I like bad film… but not this bad.

I picked up this film a handful of years back while in a liquidation store for maybe $5.  It was on a DVD that had 3 zombie films — Night of the Living Dead, HRZ, and another title I can’t remember right now. Out of the three films, this one is such a POS that I think the other two films each cost half of the total  price and HRZ was thrown in for free — because this is the only way the folks who produced this film could get anyone to take a copy home.

Watching this film I get the impression that the producers and crew and the whole lot behind the film normally produce and shoot 1980s porn films.  In this case they got together outside of their usual work to do something different, or maybe they were trying to get a foothold in another part of the film industry other than porn.

The audio is bad, the songs are bad, the love affair between the lead-singer of the band and the local girl who seems underage clearly verges on having a pedophile element … maybe the only good thing about this is the outrageousness that someone thought to have a zombie film that included Hitler and Nazis.

BOTTOM LINE
Do Not Waste Your Time With This Film

I like bad film but this was so much of a train-wreck that I could only stand to watch it in 10-15 minute intervals.  It’s not one of those “It’s so bad it’s good” things, it’s just outright BAD.

Hard Rock Zombies (1985) at IMDB

HRZ at Rotten Tomatoes

HRZ reviewed at SomeThingAwful.com

 

Day of the Dead (2008)

Green Ooze – BagpiperDon’s +/- Top 10

This remake of George A. Romero’s original 1985 film could be a called (at least by me) a cross between 28 Days Later and the 2009 version of The Crazies. From the start the action ramps up, and 30 minutes in it stays constant — intense gore-fest. The zombies are high speed, a bit super-human, and the humans consist of recognizable actors beginning their careers — all with no gratuitous displays of possibly-future-famous-breasts (they’re nice, but it just gets old in zombie films). This piece showed me a few new things to z-films, and the story-line didn’t particularly take any leaps, however I did have a few beefs…

I thought it odd that upon the point an infected human turns into a zombie that they instantly fester sores and rotted skin.

I might be okay with the zombies having slightly super-human strength, but a Spiderman-like ability to stick to walls/ceilings was a over the top — if they’re going to do that, I would have preferred to see that they had the strength to dig their fingers in and hold-on.

Toward the end two survivors who where military broke into a civilian firearms store — there are a few problems with this…..

Usually gun stores are highly secure, you don’t just push the door open

I would have preferred that the film made the weapons realistic.  Civilian versions of military style weapons are only available in semi-automatic, not full-auto (semi-auto: you pull the trigger and the gun fires once, commonly &/or intentionally incorrectly called an ‘assault weapon’ / full-auto: the weapon continues to fire as long as you hold the trigger AKA a machine gun).

How do you know your zombie film is cool? It features Ving Rhames!

Day of the Dead (2008) – IMDB

The Crazies (1973)

Red Blood

(Written part way through viewing the film) This is probably at least a 1/2 decent film but it doesn’t adequately hold my attention. I should probably watch it again sometime when I’m sitting still — I’d like to see how it influences the 2009 version of the film. This film looks like it was made in the 1970s — oh yeah, because it was! The look of it, the story telling, the fashions — everything — all of which just adds to the campiness of it. (Written after viewing the film) The film seemed to end without a point — which isn’t to say that it didn’t have one, its more that it generally didn’t hold my attention well enough to notice one — all of a sudden a guy stripped, got lifted out of the danger zone, and the credits started rolling amid some paltry excuse for a 70s-ballad style song.

The Crazies (1973) at IMDB

 

The Crazies (2010)

Green Ooze – BagpiperDon’s +/- Top 10

I quite liked this flick — enough so that I believe I’d like to own a copy. It showed me some new stuff for a zombie film — largely with the ground-level very survivor-perspective of people in a situation trying to sort out whats going/gone on and what to do and the confusion that would come with that (much like 28 Days Later).

While it kind of had the typical zombie-film journey-theme (a group of humans decided that if they can travel from Point A they’ll be able to survive better at Point B), the main charactres didn’t as-much seem to know where they were going. My understanding is that the film had a limited budget, but the cast/crew did a good job making it look like it had some money behind the production.

The Crazies (2010) at IMDB

 

Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

Written 10Oct2016 – 28Oct2016

“Searching for Sugar Man” is the unbelievable-but-true story of an iconic musician who did not know he was famous – for his influential music and for seeming to have never existed.

Yeah – you read that right.

One night in 1968 Detroit, two renowned producers (Mike Theodore & Dennis Coffey) intentionally went to a back-alley bar to hear a musician known as Sixto Rodriguez.  So impressed with his craft they quickly offered him a recording deal.  To their surprise, when his first albums were released in 1970 & 71, Rodriguez’s albums tanked.

As the singer/songwriter faded into obscurity, bootleg recordings of Rodriguez’s surprised album found their way around apartheid South Africa. Here, unbeknownst to him, over the following two decades Rodriguez became a cultural phenomenon.

“Searching for Sugar Man” gives the account of two Cape Town fans in the late 1990s endeavoring to solve the mysteries surrounding their hero.

LINKS

NOTE – Dennis Coffey & Mike Theodore also worked with Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, Gladys Knight, Ringo Starr, The Four Tops, and Wilson Pickett, among others.  Yeah, these guys are no joke.  Also, this film does not draw attention to the fact that Sixto Rodriguez did get attention in Australia – which it receives some criticism for, suggesting that it is ‘myth building.  The argument against that is that it is not attempting to build a story about this artist but instead to tell the story of the two fans and their search into the history of this artist.