Tag Archives: comedy

Dead Before Dawn (2012)

Dead Before Dawn (2012)A CURSE IS UNLEASHED in Dead Before Dawn!

A group of college friends — some of whom play football and wear cheer leader outfits for a high school, because that isn’t confusing — accidentally break an evil urn in an occult gift shop.  As the dust settles they inadvertently create a horrible curseis there any other kind —  UPON THEMSELVES!

SPHS
SPHS — yeah… usually HS means High School — so how are they college students?!?  Is it possible that these “college” students attend St. Paul’s High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba?

As a result of the malediction, everyone they make eye contact with will kill themselves and then become “Zemons” — a combination of Zombie Demons — and the high school college kids only have 24 hours to reverse the curse!  With the fate of the entire world resting on their shoulders, our heroes race through the night armed with a slew of homemade weapons, avoiding eye contact and hickeys, and filling their shopping list of items needed to reverse their curse.  Will they be able to reverse the curse and save the day, or will all of humanity be Dead Before Dawn?

spawn from Hell seeks loving gentleman
This gave me flashbacks of some of my ex-girfriends … oh yeah, good times.

Dead Before Dawn is not a serious zombie film.

If you come away from DBD thinking, “You know, as serious films of the zombie genre go … that sucked!”  I read reviews that essentially said this, and those people MISSED THE POINT.

Spoof – A humorous imitation of something, typically a film or a particular genre of film, in which its characteristic features are exaggerated for comic effect.

Dead Before Dawn is similar to Z Nation — they’re intentionally trying to be goofy and make fun of comedy zombie films (see “parody“).  For me this was an unexpected film and looked like what films of this sort should be — fun to make.  It made me feel like I was watching Fido for the first time again.

free candy
Emmett Lathrop “Doc” Brown, Ph.D. – a student of all sciences and the inventor of the first time machine built out of a DeLorean
Christopher Lloyd
If you don’t recognize this guy it’s Christopher Lloyd playing a high school senior in 1958

Give this blood-soaked adventure horrorcomedy a watch — it’s an unexpected fun zombie-demon flick from Canada, great for a laid-back kick-back chuckle with friends.

Written by Tim Doiron and directed by April Mullen, it stars a bunch of folks I’m not familiar with and presume are Canadian along with Christopher Lloyd — who I will always think of as Emmett “Doc” Brown.  88 minutes long, this is the first ever live-action, 100% Canadian feature film to be shot in Stereoscopic 3-D.  Filmed in 20 days in and around the Niagara Falls region of Canada in 2011, it features occasional adult humor and it achieves being a fun film without revealing adult body parts frequently found in zombie films.

I rate Dead Before Dawn — drum roll pleaseGreen Ooze!  Maybe moderately green, but definitely green — good job Canucks!

LINKS

| Official websiteFacebookIMDBWikipediaRotten Tomatoes | St. Paul’s High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba | time machine | DeLorean | Back to the Future trilogy | Zombie comedy films |

Juan of the Dead (2011)

Juan of the Dead, Juan de los MuertosJuan Of The Dead (AKA Juan de los Muertos) is fun Spanish-Cuban zombie comedy.  If you’re like me, you just gotta appreciate a Z-film that shows its first zombie kill in under three minutes into the story development. Oh yes, it may be a new record!

Without any explanation zombies appear in Cuba and start eating people.  Middle-aged slacker Jaun, along with his fellow small-time crooks and deadbeats, take to the streets of Havana to face an army of the undead.  Emergency news reports are broadcast amid the chaos…  The surge of living-dead have been identified as ‘dissidents’ revolting against the Cuban government.  The regime accuses the USA for the attack.  Everything is under control even when nothing is being done.  Seeing opportunity, Jaun gathers and trains his friends to be zombie killers and starts a business called “Juan Of The Dead — We’ll kill your loved ones”.

For those familiar with the Cuban regime and its people, the movie is a hard critic to both — which is why it was never released in Cuba and apparently was only shown on-screen at film festivals.  Juan Of The Dead attempts to mock every cinematic clichés (daughter hating father, friend about to die, farewell , even Matrix-style fights).  The nuances of Cuban humor can get lost-in-translation to non-Spanish speakers — for example — in one of the most celebrated jokes, Juan is asked to kill a cow but he refuses because it is too dangerous; In Cuba killing a cow is worse crime than killing people.

Zombie film fans will will be pleasantly surprised with this film especially with seeing fun nods to Shaun Of The Dead.  There was one thing I saw in particular that I have seen in another zombie film*.  The film is in Spanish and subtitled — sorry, no over-dubs.  This film is Not Rated, and aside from the zombie gore and violence there is some nudity (including z-film boobs) and adult humor/topics.  Oh — and how do I rate Juan Of The Dead ? … Light Green to full Green.
(*Select this line to read the spoiler –> Underwater zombies walking on the ocean floor that seem to be able to swim up if it means getting a bite … though that bite could come from a shark!  Oh yeah, this was also done in Pirates Of The Caribbean<– all the way to here)

Juan of the Dead – IMDbWikipedia, and Rotten Tomatoes

Night of the Comet (1984)

Night of the Comet (1984) DVD cover
If you can’t tell already that this is an incredible movie…

Raise your hand if you are personally familiar with how much the first half of the 1980s sucked.  If you’re not raising your hand, watch this film.  Oh, and by the way, I rated Night of the Comet as Yellow Puss.

Robert Beltran as a cowboy
Robert Beltran — YEEE-HAWW!!!

I’m not sure if this film was supposed to be a serious Z-horror flick in its day or if the producers were taking a bit of a jab at the period — commercial music, warmed-over 1970s fashion, big bad hair, excess consumerism and narcissism, and … like … valley girls!  Still, ya gotta love the superficial cult-film line of “Daddy would have gotten us Uzis!” and seeing Robert Beltran cut his teeth before he was the respectable Chakotay on Star Trek’s Voyager.

Street party aftermath
Okay, who’s gonna clean up this mess?!?

A comet from deep space passes through Earth’s atmosphere while everyone — not just Eddie Murphy — wanted Michael Jackson’s red leather jacket.  Bright red dust from the comet pollutes the atmosphere, vaporizing people who were directly exposed while turning those with little exposure into cognizant talking mutants (er, I mean, zombies), and probably inspiring the survivors to start neon fashion that came soon after.

Refreshingly…

"Daddy would have gotten us Uzis." ~ Samantha Belmont
“Daddy would have gotten us Uzis.” ~ Samantha Belmont

… Night of the Comet is devoid of nudity &/or depicting sex.  In place of that the under-age sister-character is viewed twice in undergarments, which when you think about it feels pervy.  Still, the romantic relationship in Hard Rock Zombies is WAY more disturbing.

Officer Friendly gives you a hug
This doesn’t actually make me feel better about cops in dark places

This  Z-film falls under the it’s-so-bad-it’s-good classification, and I suspect could be great if it got the Dawn Of The Dead remake treatment, but in present form doesn’t particularly hold my attention. While watching this flick I tend to wonder “If this was shot in LA, how did the production get empty streets?  And if most of the population died instantly due to a passing destructive comet, it sure was nice of everyone to park their cars first … except for that one jerk with the Mercedes.  Maybe this didn’t take place in LA but in Canada where everyone parks their cars before a comet causes an apocalypse.”

So there you go — Night of the Comet — put that in your coffee and drink it!

Night of the Comet LINKS

Survival of the Dead (2009)

garbageSurvival of the Dead is garbage – I rate it Red Blood — and it is on my List Of Zombie Films To AVOID.

What’s worse than that is that it clearly had a chunk of money behind it — not loads, but more money than many zombie films — which in my mind was money that could have been split to make at least 2 other cleverly-made lower budget better films.

The Core Problem — No Story

My impression of Survival of the Dead is that someone — maybe their name was George — had a stack of admittedly clever zombie gags written down and sitting in a pile.  This person wanted to use these in a film, but didn’t otherwise know how to pull it off — which frankly is what they should have done and just left well enough alone.  However, they got together with their buddies — possibly there were a few beers in the room, possibly a few too many — and they had a brainstorming session that amounted to… “Okay, we’ll use the military ’cause that always flies in zombie films — oh, and to help it sell, everything Irish is popular right now, so let’s throw that in too!”  Having concocted a shoddy story-line they got their funding and started rolling.

grape smuggler
Close but … NOPE!

My guess is that’s how Survival Of The Dead got its start.  But what, no gratuitous possibly-future-famous Z-film breasts to further sell this potboiler?!?  I like bad film, but in this case I would prefer that whoever green-lighted this project read my review:  don’t waste your company’s money and don’t waste the audience’s time.

The Story — Lacking Though It May Be
Kenneth Welsh hugging some other man on the ground
Uh … this isn’t what it looks like.

Zombies have taken over the world.  A ragtag band of soldiers roams the countryside to scavenging to survive.  The unit is intrigued when they hear of a safe haven on an island off the coast of North America.  Expecting to find a paradise, they instead find the island is torn apart by a wannabe Hatfield–McCoy family feud.  One family wants to exterminate the zombies while the other thinks everyone can peacefully coexists with their undead relatives hoping for a cure to return their relatives back to their human state.

BOOM!
Who want’s a birthday candle?

This turd is directed by George A. Romero.  At least you’ll recognize Kenneth Welsh.

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

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

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

ZA: Zombies Anonymous (2006)

ZA is a budget Z-flick, but I have to say that whoever made this film knew what they were doing with their iMac and the $20 on-sale digital camera they bought at a liquidator store.  I’m impressed with it enough to rate it Green Ooze.

The concept is well presented through the script and the acting delivers … for a B-film, mind you. The back-story states that for no apparent reason people are no-longer dying, they pass away and then get up and walk away — and now, retaining their human characteristics, they reside within civilization among the living.

Right now I’m only 30 minutes into the film and I’m rather impressed — from the looks of it, the film is really about prejudice among humanity … though the recovery support group aspect is also amusing. Would I tell film fans to make sure they see this flick — no — but Z-film fans who would understand & appreciate it, yeah probably.

By the way, this is also supposed to be a comedy; while there were a few slightly humorous elements, I thought it lacked in this area, but enjoyed the couple of laughs it gave … some of the costume elements were pretty funny too. Oh, and here’s one joke most folks might not catch — around 1hr38m a shotgun that fires 8+ times but likely holds less rounds … that’s funny like in one of the Airplane movies when you see a jet but hear a prop plane, just I don’t think this was intentional.

ZA: Zombies Anonymous at IMDB and Wikipedia

Zombieland (2009)

Green Ooze

You know it … you probably love it … Why?  Because there was a LOT of money behind this film and a lot of marketing — and you were told to love it.

I expected to not like this film — not wholly buy into it — largely because of the obvious amount of money and “star power” behind it.  Quite frankly … I liked this film far better than I expected.  I stopped watching TV before this film came out — the marketing, the money, the star power didn’t work on me — I liked the content … the humor, the character arcs, and the fact that hopeful romantics can exist in the apocalypse.

How does IMDB summarize this film?
A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the last Twinkie, and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.

Have fun with this movie, it’s worth a watch.  I saw it twice, the second time for the music.  Heck, watch this film because one of the stars is Emma Stone — why — because Emma Stone, that’s why.

Zombieland – IMDB and Wikipedia – Soundtrack

Unique to Zombieland are The Rules

Oh MY!!!

Emma Stone at IMDB and Wikipedia

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…