Tag Archives: action

The Vanguard (2008)

Yellow Puss

I’m not sure if this is a Z-film.  Mashing together a few online summations of this film (mostly from IMDB) consists of …

The year is 2015.  Overpopulation and famine have plunged our planet into chaos.  One desperate survivor — an enigmatic man — journeys through this apocalyptic world hunted and pursued by hordes of rage-crazed zombies.

Frankly, that sounds like a pretty cool film — not to mention that we’ve seemed to survive that 2015 issue — but my perception was …. different.

In some respects The Vanguard seems to be a psychological abstract art-house film with black comedy bits — not to mention the presence of humans who have been medicated by some controlling corporation which turns them into mindless wondering killers, which strikes me as a possible different approach to ZOMBIES.

Mind you, the zombies are on the peripheral to the story and they look like they were created using left-over make-up from either of the Evil Dead films.  And what the heck the story of the film has to do with its cool name …. I haven’t a clue!

Frankly, this looks like another DIY flick.  Looking at IMDB …. it’s written and directed by Matthew Hope it’s classified as a low budget film … it appears to have been acted using friends and volunteers, and possibly assembled on a used iMac — but this was well done.  I liked it and I’m happy having seen it only once.

The Vanguard (2008) – IMDbWikipedia, and Rotten Tomatoes

Warm Bodies (2013)

Green Ooze
(This review is in unfinished note form … deal with it.)

I’ve been aware of a few Z-films out there told from the perspective of a zombie and this was the first I viewed … fortunately it was gentle with me.

The beginning of the film — the opening slacker zombie monologue — had a good/funny commentary on modern life. From the set-up of the film I could see that this flick offered a few new ideas — and I’m pleased when I see that within the zombie-genre.

This is a story of when zombie boy meets, er, doesn’t eat girl. When a teen zombie boy meets a scavenging teen girl his own age and finds himself attracted to her his heart begins to beat again, which starts to bring him back to life.

And these would be boneys

Humans as usual are survivors. There are two generations of zombies — corpses and boneys. Corpses have limited thought & speech capacity, along with all the usual hunger for flesh of the living. Over time corpses degenerate into boneys — absolute thoughtless, hunger-driven creatures comprised of hardly more than bones. If a corpse eats the brains of a human that corpse gains the memories of the person they ate; if they only eat some of their flesh and leave their brains intact that human will become a corpse. Boneys go after anything with a heartbeat. When the main zombie character — a corpse-boy named R — falls in love with a teen human girl, Julie, R’s heart starts to beat again and he starts to return to being human. R’s love begins to cure his zombieness, and this starts a movement with the other corpses. This is a problem as it also makes them a target for the boneys.

This film is fun because it give things everyone can identify with — teen angst & self doubt, judgment & acceptance, the haves & have-nots, overcoming our prejudices, trying new things, and falling in love. Oh, did I mention that this film draws from Romeo and Juliet (note “R & Julie“).

The wall in the film seems to be a symbol, a metaphor — figurative walls between people

I like that in the meeting between this corpse-boy and human girl they build a friendship, familiarity, and in time interest, which suggests the lost romantic practice of courting — in this case because of the distance they must keep, the living/dead barrier between them

The music selection is amusing.  Songs are funny, fitting, and if you’re of the right age group they are nostalgic.

When I turned on this film I had other things to do — I was only going to watch for a few minutes — and while this is not a fantastic big-budget thriller, I found it to be a well-made cute zombie/comedy/action film. As people say “I couldn’t put it down” — I watched it through to the end.

At the end of the film there is a strong statement of social commentary — we need to accept each other, love each other, teach each other, we need to connect with each other.

I am often a non- John Malkovich  fan.  It’s not because of him or his work — I think the problem is that he doesn’t fit in everything he’s in, but the things that he is right for he’s really shown his brilliance.  He’s in Warm Bodies and IMO he’s a good fit in here.  Where I really liked him was RED and RED 2.

Warm Bodies Official Website – and at  IMDbWikipedia, and Rotten Tomatoes

Kill Command (2016)

Okay, so if you’ve looked at at my blog at all — and if you haven’t I wouldn’t be surprised — you know that when it comes to movies, most of my thing is reviewing zombie films …. and occasionally movies that I think are important for musicians/artists to view.  As much as I get a kick out of Z-films, I am as much or more of a fan of Sci-Fi.

I got my hands on Kill Command by accident — call it a happy accident.  When I go to my local library looking for films, I have a habit — I check the Sci-Fi section, followed by Action, then usually Westerns, and then whatever else.  The organization at the library strikes me as weird sometimes when it comes to films — this was listed-as and filed-in Action … which it is an Action film but in my mind it’s Sci-Fi before that.  Whatever … I watch every zombie film I can get my hands on, so of course — I took Kill Command home!

You know when you’ve watched all the recent movies … you feel like there’s nothing to see and you have nothing to do … and you pick up some film to relax with even though it doesn’t look very promising … and as you get into the flick you expected to be a potboiler and suddenly you’re faced with the reality that the film is pretty durn FANTASTIC?   And then the more you watch you feel like you’ve discovered some secret film that your friends don’t know about because usually all you see is HolloWood or American films and pretty much miss everything that comes out of Europe.  Yeah, if you’re a Sci-Fi fan, that’s Kill Command!

A glimpse into the near-future — placing your order at a fast-food joint…

Kill Command (also known as Identify) takes you into a technologically advanced near future.  The Harbinger Corporation supplies the military with warfare A.I. systems.  A programming anomaly has been discovered  at an undisclosed island — the Harbinger I Training Facility.  A scientific specialist has been sent in with a team of six American marines — all of whom have been assigned to a two-day training mission.

As the night and following day unfolds, they discovery that the team has been inserted into a coup de grace where the intelligent and flawed combat machines have taken over the facility … and are beginning to attack the team … and learn their human combat tactics.

Trust me, these guys are worse than unannounced visits by door-to-door religious fanatics.

The film was released on 13 May 2016 in the United Kingdom and received a limited screening in the US on 25 November 2016, ultimately receiving mixed to positive reviews.  Here’s the thing, my fellow ‘Murcians — there are a lot of films outside of the U.S. that we are unaware of.  In the world of film, the American/HolloWood arena is the big player — and not everything outside of that arena makes it in* …. and a lot of it is good material, too!  Maybe “Kill Command” wouldn’t have been a huge film on the U.S. scene, but with the right marketing I think it would have gone over well.  Instead, you heard it here … for free …. because I love Sci-Fi.
(*Did you see the 2001 film “The 51st State” staring Samuel L. JacksonRobert Carlyle and Meat Loaf?  I was in Glasgow when it was out.  We drove by a theater that displayed a movie poster for a flick I had never heard of.  I was told two things — there are a lot of films made in Europe and I will never see this one in America.  For that reason alone I thought to go see it while I was there, but I ended up seeing The Lord Of The Rings instead sitting in the worst movie theater seat in all of Scotland.  Fortunately, the film did make it to America as “Formula 51“.)

No red shirts on this guy!

Kill Command has everything Action Sci-Fi fans LOVE!  A futuristic setting, advanced technology, soldiers with cybernetic enhancements, things blowing up, lotsa guns going PEW PEW PEW, and GIANT KILLER ROBOTS.  There’s even a cyborg!  Oh, and a super-cool weird-techy vehicle like this…

Kill Command at IMDB & Wikipedia

A list of films featuring drones

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

Wyrmwood – Road of the Dead (2014)

Last night there was a meteor shower over Australia … then, inexplicably, some people started turning into zombies the following morning … normal types of fuel no longer work, but zombie breath and blood is flammable.

Weird — yeah …

Fun — OI, MATE!

Long/short — this film was a lot of fun, and surely is a film for my Top 10+ List.  Amazingly this film was budgeted at $160,000, and written by brothers Kiah Roache-Turner (director) and Tristan Roache-Turner (producer).

This was a kick because it showed some new ideas — not just with the characters Frank and Barry discovering that zombie blood can be used as a substitute for gasoline.  They take to the road to find Barry’s sister, Brooke.  She’s been nabbed by soldiers and a scientist, and gets injected with a chemical concoction that somehow gives her the ability to control the hungry hordes.  This helps to bring something fresh to zombie-genre after it’s received a heavy flogging in recent years.

In February 2015 a sequel was announced with a potential return of the original actors, with the release proposed for early 2017.  The Roache-Turner brothers later announced that their next project would in fact be the Wyrmwood sequel in the form of a 10-episode TV series titled “Wyrmwood: Chronicles of the Dead“.  The team released a short teaser for the series on 19 May 2017, featuring Gallagher and Bradey reprising their roles as Barry and Brooke.

Not bad for a crowdfunded film where no one got paid (HOORAY FOR DIY) and made this film as a labor of love for 3+ years.

Wyrmwood at IMDb and Wikipedia

Here’s the trailer…

But why bother with that when you can watch the whole movie…