Tag Archives: 2007

Raiders of the Damned (2007)

Raiders of the Damned (2007)As soon as I started watching Raiders of the Damned I noted a newly-learned familiar stink.  YEP … this film gets rated Red Blood.

This should be an ideal film for me — containing both zombies and Sci-Fi — but this is made by a garbage movie company called The Asylum, which LARGELY JUST RIPS OFF OTHER FILMS.

Garbage, Garbage, Garbage…

The zombie costumes & weapons are laughable, and their make-up is just plain bad.  The lacking story line is only outdone by the dribbling charactre development — and posturing of hokey military badassedness.  The description sounds like it should have something, but it just isn’t there.

Raiders of the Damned (2007)

When all is said and done, this film too will make no careers of its unknown actors who either can’t act or lack worthy direction, nor will this film win an Oscar … hell, it might be so bad it wouldn’t even win acknowledgement from The Razzies.

Even when it’s bad Z/B-film, for the sake of these reviews & my project I tend to finish a flick even if I am not directly watching it, but I shut this one off 20 minutes in — the people who want to see something that will make SyFy Channel films look good can have the additional 67 minutes.

LINKS

Raiders of the Damned (2007) – IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes

Return in Red (2007)

Return in Red (2007)From the start Return in Red is clearly a B-film Z-film taking place in somewhere rural-America.  While the graphic quality looks B and the actors seem like unknowns, it also seems that everyone knows what they’re doing.  It’s as though you’re watching a reality period piece from the late-1980s, but shot with the same technology of the time … maybe early 90s.

Deep Thoughts…

Why isn’t there anything decent to eat in my kitchen? … Oh yeah, because I need to go to the grocery store.  My point is there are impressive aspects to this film, but it didn’t adequately hold my attention.  I rate it Yellow Puss.

creepy neighbor's house
This is THE ONLY picture from the film I found online … yeah, that’s how popular this flick is.
LINKS

 

Quick and The Undead, The (2006)

You can't tell me that this doesn't look like an angry cowboy monkey
!!!ANGRY COWBOY MONKEY!!!

So far as I’m aware, The Quick And The Undead is one of two movies that combine the themes of zombies and cowboys — the other one being Undead or Alive (2007), which is a much better film.  As for this one…

A viral outbreak has turned three quarters of the world population into the walking dead. In the old west, bounty hunters are humanity’s only salvation.

So I’m watching The Quick And The Undead while writing this review.  I’ll be finished in about an hour, and I predict I’m going to say two things:

1) It’s impressive what a person can do with their friends as “actors”, a $20 digital video camera from a liquidator store, a used Macintosh, and a few spare weekends.  But who knows, maybe there’s someone in this before they got famous.  Heck, Marisa Tomei had a no-nothing part in The Toxic Avenger — it wasn’t seen until the release of the director’s cut was released 20-odd years later, but look where she got.

 . . . AND . . .
If I just do this one film I'll be FAMOUS in HolloWood
Best friends

2) I’m glad I watched The Quick And The Undead before Undead or Alive.  The Quick And the Undead would probably be a bigger roach to watch following Undead or Alive.

So how did this gem come to be?

This is worse than it looks
Sneakers, t-shirt, arm band tattoo, a town that’s not old …. REALLY …. did ya guys even try?!?

Written, directed, and acted by people you’ve never heard of with a movie poster that looks like an angry cowboy monkey.  The main character is based on (read “ripped-off”) Clint Eastwood and the characters he played in westerns.  Yep, it’s a turd — I rate “The Quick and the Undead” Red Blood and it made my List Of Zombie Films To AVOID.

CONCLUSION

Instead of watching The Quick and the Undead, look at this Angry Cowboy Monkey … and then go re-watch Firefly (TV show, 2002) and Serenity (follow-up film, 2005).

Links

Undead or Alive (2007)

Undead Or AliveI rate Undead Or Alive as Green Ooze — and apparently the actual title is Undead or Alive: A Zombedy.  So what’s the story…?

When a soldier on the run from the Union Army (James Denton) and a cowboy with a broken heart (Chris Kattan) rob the corrupt sheriff of an old west town, they have no idea that a plague of zombies is sweeping the country, or that Geronimo‘s sexy niece (Navi Rawat) may be their only hope of survival.

James Denton, Chris Kattan, and Navi Rawat
James Denton, Chris Kattan, and Navi Rawat

This film was fun — not necessarily a good film but it was decently made and fun to watch.  A comedic zombie film that takes place in the old west … yeah, that sounds different!

So now that I’ve seen it following Quick & the Dead,
what do I have to say…?

1) I was right, Undead or Alive is considerably better than Quick & the Dead and I’m extraordinarily glad I saw Q&tDead prior to Undead or Alive.

. . . AND . . .
Navi Rawat in buckskins
Navi Rawat in buckskins … really, what more do you need in this world?

2) Navi Rawat somewhat scantily clad in buckskins acting as a vindictive Native American woman — what more needs to be said abut watching this film?!?  I’m not a male chauvinist, I’m just a healthy heterosexual man and I know what I like.  Navi, if you’re reading this, if you feel as so motivated please click on my Contact page.
(PSST! By the way, Navi Rawat is East Indian and German in descent, not Native American — chalk this casting up to the brilliance of HolloWood.  Oh, and in writing this review I learned that “chauvinism” doesn’t mean what we’ve come to associate it as meaning — it actually more or less means “patriotic” — you might benefit from studying up on it yourself.)

sheriff and deputy zombies

Remember, in the old west “Guns don’t kill people. Zombies kill people.” …. or at least that was the film’s tagline.

Navi Rawat ... lovely

LINKS

World War Z by Max Brooks

I got an audiobook copy of World War Z by Max Brooks sometime … somewhere … each time I tried listening to it I got busy and lost my place.  What I’ve heard I liked.

Lately I was given an e-reader toward my writing/book-publishing work, and with that I have been getting a bit into audiobooks … so… hopefully, ideally, I will SOON get to finally listen to this in its entirety.  The cool thing though…. when I have listened to it before, I recognized a number of the voices to the character.  If you look on Wikipedia, Max Brooks got quite the cast.

If you’ve seen the 2013 movie, staring  Brad Pitt and a bunch of people who’s names I don’t recognize, this is very different.  Having not read the book, it stands to reason that the audio book is more like the book.  Don’t get me wrong, the film was KICKASS and it is one of my favourite Z-films.

World War Z audiobook at Wikipedia

World War Z (2013) – IMDb

Once (2007)

I found out about “Once” while watching extras to the film Begin Again.  Once was written & directed by the same director — John Carney — and stars Irish musician/actor Glen Hansard and Czech musician/actress Markéta Irglová.

Usually when I make note of a music-related film it’s because I strongly related to it relative to music — it struck a chord (no pun intended) in me, it spoke to me about the experience and the inexpiable thing that is music … this one is hard to write about.  More than anything I think for me this film speaks to me because of the busking and because of the from-the-core music of the male lead, played by Irish musician/actor Glen Hansard.

Frankly, it’s difficult to write about because I missed about 15 minutes of the film about 1 hour in — the DVD sketched out, which is a typical problem with films I get from the library.  From what I could tell visually I predict that there were important elements to the story line, especially having to do with the ending.  It was very disappointing and I’d like to get my hands on a non-blemished copy so I can get the full story.  I liked that the film was shot hand-held — it made it feel human, that you were with the guy & gal leads having their experience.  Which is another thing … I didn’t realize until I saw the credits that they never have names in the film — as listed in the credits, they are “guy” & “girl”.

Maybe the two areas where this particularly spoke to me …

  • One, it was shot on the streets of Dublin.  I’ve barely spent four days there, but places were familiar.  I particularly recognized parts around the Temple Bar area, and know that a lot of famous performers out of Ireland have come from there.  Despite aspects that didn’t register well with me — that it’s a tourist town with too many poor mannered American college kids, and there are a lot of immigrants and it was hard to find Irish people in Dublin/Ireland — I no less came away knowing that I wanted to return and see more of not just the city but the country.
  • Two, I identified with this film from the standpoint of being a broke musician — dealing with the challenges that come with trying to survive, trying to live your passion (music), and trying to keep your music supported financially when you are struggling to pay rent and for food.

Also, similar to what I got out of Begin Again, I think this film spoke to me about going for it with your music — being venerable with your art and releasing every inhibition to touch the depth of each emotion present in a tune, in a song, and playing it despite judgment, despite an audience, and regardless of what stage you’re on.

Ultimately, about this film, I can’t put my finger on why I’m writing about this one or its importance why a musician or non-musician should see it — but there is something about it that I can’t let it go without note, it touches something inexpiable which is a huge part of music itself.  This film is not just a story, it’s not just a vignette of drama, it does not fall into the ranks of ‘just a music film’ as it is music itself.

I think it’s fair to say that there are some common threads that go through this film that also go through Begin Again, and given how I responded to Begin Again maybe that’s why I respond to its predecessor Once.

PS – I essentially just watched the film a second time.  Without giving anything away, there is an element to the ending – perhaps a few, but one in particular – that to me is beautiful, it is subtle yet it is powerful, it is joy and it is balance.  You might & you might not see it; it may be a musician thing.  If you don’t see it, that’s okay.

Once at IMDB and Wikipedia

Glen Hansard at IMDBWikipedia, and his Official Website

Markéta Irglová at IMDB Wikipedia and her Official website

John Carney 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.