Tag Archives: 28 days later

The Zombie Diaries (2006)

You NEVER see this guy in the film, which is too bad because the cover looks like it should actually be a pretty cool film.

WOW, where to start?  How about my rating for the 2006 film “Zombie Diaries” … Frankly, I’ve flip-flopped.  Originally I gave it a yellow puss — very pale yellow puss.  When I started watching the 2011 sequel I dropped it to a red blood.  And then I saw more of the sequel and boosted the original flick back to yellow.  Yep, that’s right, the first film is better than the second in this humble bagpiper’s opinion!

The back of the DVD case cites The Dark Side (whatever that is) as having said that this is “The best zombie film ever.”*  If that’s the case, I’m giving up on zombie films.  Fortunately, the are patently wrong in this regard.
(*I tried to find the specific article on their site without luck… did they change their mind, delete their review, and disassociate themselves with this film entirely?)

THE GOOD NEWS

This film could serve as insights to people’s different experiences before Jim wakes up in 28 Days Later — although this isn’t possible according to Wikipedia since “The second chapter, “The Scavengers”, takes place one month later.“, and the third chapter presumably takes place later still.

THE BAD NEWS
The truth is in a real zombie situation, you and your friends are going to only be as awesome as these folks …

Imagine if you will Blair Witch Project (otherwise known as the worst bad film ever) but with the actual presence of a horror threat — in this case smatterings of amateur-actor zombies.  Instead of a couple of Blair Witch guys screaming at nothing and pissing themselves like millennials, you get the audiobook version of World War Z giving insights to various people and their experiences as things fell apart due to the outbreak or mass presence of zombies.  All of this is done in a you-are-there found-footage hand-held-documentary filming format … which I often find annoying because the filming is overly jerky and the audio is incredibly noisy with hyper yelling. In this case this looks like a an amateur film with decent execution

HEY YOU GGUUUUYYYYYYYSSSSS!!!

The film doesn’t begin to get interesting until 14 minutes in.  It possibly starts to interconnect around 37 minutes.  Perhaps one of the best things about it is that it gets an interesting look around 39 minutes when the visual switches to night vision.

Otherwise, what do you have in this film?  Bickering Brits, who, if not for zombies taking over the world, would be complaining about Americans and claiming that they’re SO much better and nothing like us …. except for the bickering, complaining, and conceitedness, all-in-all failing to acknowledge that everywhere you go people are just people.  Yep, everyone sucks just as much as everyone else everywhere else, including English people and even Canadians …  but especially people in France.  In truth, between the rigors of long term survival along with death and fighting off zombies, the stress level in such a situation would be pretty high so bickering seems realistic.  The other thing that’s bogus — and common in movies — is that the characters are complaining about not having enough guns in a country where guns are highly restricted, and yet they’re instantly pretty damn good shots for people who are unaccustomed to firearms.

THE YOU-ARE-THERE PROBLEM
When you see zombies this badass, you’re dealing with a home-spun Z-film production

One of the things I keep thinking over and over which applies to this film and any you-are-there hand-held film — and I’m sure I’m not the first to ask this — why would anyone film all of this stuff?!? Everyone one of these types of films need to justify this, few if any of them do. Similarly, particularly a story that takes place a number of months, a year, more than one year, whatever — why are these folks bothering to still record, especially when they must be running out of film or disc storage space, how are they continuing to power their devices, eventually why would they bother? While the hand-held you-are-there style film making has a certain feel and effect, to a degree it is also cheaper to make, which may also be a motivator behind writing/creating a story in this fashion. Mostly, I just don’t think it works all that well or at least to say as often as these films come out.

Hopefully the 2011 sequel — World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries — is better.  But then you got to wonder about a crummy film that gets the juice behind it to make a sequel … Did other audience members think it was good enough to support a second film?  Are the film makers deluded or trying to fix their errors from the first film?  Did I leave the stove on?  Is the redhead at work flirting with me or does she flirt with everyone?  Instead of using gel I wonder if I could use wood glue in my hair and then only have to style it once a week?

A List Of Words Not To Believe Relative To This Film
  • Best
  • Powerhouse

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Green Ooze – BagpiperDon’s +/- Top 10

This film is fun — period.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and at the end of the film you might be encouraged to be a better person.  It’s amusing to think that this could be another occurrence that’s part of the 28 Days Later outbreak, although they say in the film that it isn’t.

If you enjoy this film, be sure to also catch Hot Fuzz (also with Nick Frost) and probably Run Fat Boy Run too — but I’d skip Big Nothing if you’ve seen Fat Boy and think that something else with Simon Pegg and David Schwimmer is guaranteed to be good.

Shaun of the Dead – IMDB

The Girl With All The Gifts (2016)

The Girl With All The Gifts immediately starts the viewer with questions…
The Girl With All The Gifts
If you found this movie poster disturbing, it’s supposed to be

A 10 year-old girl wakes in the cell of a seemingly military controlled facility, possibly underground.  She rises from her bunk, dresses in a set of faded red sweats, then voluntarily sits in a wheelchair.  Moments after two soldiers enter her cell at gunpoint to strap her arms, legs, and head to the chair, followed by rolling her in to a classroom with similarly secure children.

Let's roll!
This could have helped me to get through some of my college classes…

As class begins you find that all of these kids are very intelligent … and seemingly happy … but soon you find out why these children are so closely controlled. In a post-apocalyptic dystopian future, society has broken down after a fungal disease has infected and all but destroyed humankind, turning its victims into flesh-eating “hungries” – fast moving, mindless, and ravenous zombies.  They are capable of running over long distances, and quickly transferring the infection through their bites. pew pew pew

RadioTimes.com said that The Girl With All The Gifts is “The best zombie movie since 28 Days Later” – and BagpiperDon is inclined to agree!

The bar for zombie films Has Been RAISED.

You know when you hear an album that’s so good you play it twice in a row?  Have you ever had that with a movie?  That was this film for me — I watched it back to back!

Sennia Nanua and Glenn Close
Sennia Nanua and Glenn Close
act 2
The gang hangin’ out up on the roof

The Girl With All The Gifts is the most unique and original Z-film I have seen since 28 Days Later and World War ZBRILLIANTLY acted by Glenn Close (yes, six time Academy Award-nominated actress Glenn Close is in a zombie film), along with Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, and staring new-comer Sennia Nanua as Melanie, the little girl.  What is it about Brits and Z-movies – The Girl With All The Gifts is SPECTACULAR!  And if Sennia keeps acting like this … she’s going to go FAR — what a treat to see such a future talent! By the way, this was directed by Colm McCarthy, one and the same as Peaky Blinders — unbelievably for £4 million, which is about $5 million.  Filming lasted seven weeks in The West Midlands, taking place in Birmingham city centre, Cannock ChaseDudley and Stoke-on-Trent.   Aerial views of a deserted London were filmed with drones in the abandoned Ukrainian town of Pripyat, which has been uninhabited since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

book cover
Book cover

Is this film in my BagpiperDon’s +/- Top 10 list…?
OH YEAH!

Links

The Girl With All The Gifts – IMDb, Wikipedia, and Rotten Tomatoes

The original science-fiction novel, The Girl With All The Gifts, is by M.R. Carey.  Published in June 2014 by Orbit Books, it based on his 2013 Edgar Award nominated short story “Iphigenia In Aulis“. 28 Days Later – IMDB and Wikipedia

And now, every e-thing you want about Pripyat…

Train to Busan (2016)

Train to Busan, or by its original title “Busanhaeng”, is a South Korean zombie apocalypse action thriller film released in 2016.  The film takes place on a train to Busan, as a zombie apocalypse suddenly breaks out and compromises the safety of the passengers.

Fast moving zombies.  Fast infection.  Zombieism also affects animals (<– very slight spoiler).  Hordes of zombies like in World War Z — and this film could easily be the South Korea part of the WWZ outbreak (same universe).  People on a train feels like Snowpiercer (which if you’re a sci-fi fan and you haven’t seen Snowpiercer you are seriously missing out – IMDB/Wikipedia).  It even has little touches that remind you of Speed.  This has got to be one of the best Z-films I’ve seen since 28 Days Later!  OH YEAH, this isn’t just a Green Ooze film, it’s in my BagpiperDon’s +/- Top 10 Z-movies list!

…screw that, MF — this film has Zombies On A Train!

The zombies move in this totally different than any I’ve seen in other films …. and having both been a zombie in a film and having been in a car accident and gotten whiplash, what these actors did not only looks amazing for a zombie film but from my perspective now …. painful.  The Z-film journey element is in this film, but works totally different (well, the way it’s applied maybe one could say ‘re-imagined’) than I’ve seen in previous films.  There’s also something I haven’t seen in zombie films before in how the zombies do and don’t notice non-infected people.  And there were a few old lady wigs.

Train To Busan IMDbWikipedia, and Rotten Tomatoes

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

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