Tag Archives: Horror

Return of the Living Dead III, The (1993)

The Return of the Living Dead III was neither a terrible or great Zombie movie, so I rate it Yellow Puss.  But first, what happened…

A teen uses an Army chemical to revive his dead girlfriend after a motorcycle accident.

Okay, it was a little more complex than that.  Government scientists are trying to use the 2-4-5 Trioxin substance from previous films to re-animate the dead for military use.  Curt, the teenage son of the program director, comes to learn of the process.  Later he and his girlfriend, Julie, get into an accident while riding his motorcycle — during which she dies.  Grief-stricken, Curt uses some Trioxin to bring Julie back to life.  He then helps Julie deal with her new existence as military agents and local gang members try to track them down — and Julie becomes … Hungry for BRAINS.

ROTLD3 bears little resemblance to its predecessors — both good and bad.  It drops the comedy in the previous films, replacing it with horror, science fiction, and romance. The Trioxin substance is carried over, but with different effects than in the previous films.  These zombies infect their victims by biting them whereas in the previous films only exposure to Trioxin (as a gas or in exposed water) could turn a corpse into a zombie.

Remember at the beginning of this post where I wrote that I viewed this as neither a terrible or great Zombie movie?  It was campy, it was made for around $2M and flopped at the US box office making only $54,207, and much of the delivery could have been better timed.

To its credit however…. the film offered a few a few new things to me from zombie films.

If you have read my other posts you know that I generally dislike when Z-films make cognizant zombies.  In ROTLD III the film presents a reasonable way that a zombie could have though, could have awareness, and could speak.

One of the main characters — Julie, played by Mindy Clarke or better known as Melinda Clarke — becomes the zombie, and the story follows her experience.  Instead of an anonymous mass of zombies being a looming threatening presence that occasionally comes around to move the story along, this zombie is always present and is not exactly the ‘evil’ in the mix of the story. There are other zombie films I am aware of that follow a main-character zombie, however I have not yet seen one of these.

The zombie is female and remains (well, more or less) attractive.  She has awareness of her past and present emotions, and that she has started having problems with sensing any sensation when she touches something.  In her confusion she begins to modify her body with first small and then large piercings (which was all the rage yet around that time) which ultimately she can use as weapons.

Yes, Ms. Nandi!

Also if you have read my other posts you know that I make commentary on gratuitous displays of women’s’ breasts.  Let’s be clear on something here …. it’s not that I mind or dislike women’s breasts — being a heterosexual male, I prefer them.  Gratuitous display of women’s breasts are common in zombie films BECAUSE IT TENDS TO HELP SELL TICKETS in a genre that is often low-budget and not as attractive to ticket-buying audience members.  Seeing a lot of these films, I’ve seen a lot of these breasts, and it just gets old — okay?!?  That said….

Ms. Nandi says DON’T MESS WITH MS. NANDI OR HER PEOPLE!!!

In ROTLD III you see Julie/Melinda Clarke’s 24 year-old human and zombie breasts.  Rare, if ever, have I seen female zombie breasts.  As zombies go, they weren’t disgusting.  As humans go …. uh, yeah, better still.  (And if you REALLY need to see Julie/Melinda Clarke’s zombie breasts, FINE, here ya go … ya wanker.)

She played a dead chick in Firefly “Heart Of Gold” too

Now, you might be asking yourself “Who is Melinda Clarke?” and/or “Why is BagpiperDon drawing so much attention to this chick?!?”  The answer to that is simple — she may be the only person from this film who made it ANYWHERE in the TV/film industry.  Quite frankly, I didn’t recognize her in this ROTLD III.  I know her from a number of things — I’ve seen her, recognized her, but I’ve never known who she is.  I know Melinda Clarke from the 2002/03 Firefly TV series as Nandi “Heart of Gold”. I’ve seen her as Lady Heather in CSI.  Any time I’ve seen her she’s played stable-footed woman who is a palpable presence.

The Return of the Living Dead III (1993) – IMDbWikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes, and Zombie.Wikia.com

Severed: Forest of the Dead (2006)

I found “Severed: Forest of the Dead” to be Green Ooze most of the way through turning to Yellow Puss around the end.

…Summary…
In a remote forest a genetic experiment has gone wrong.  Loggers and protesters are forced to band together after tree sap incident turns the locals into bloodthirsty zombies.

(A review written while watching the film….)

It appears that this movie has sufficient money behind it, and not stars but instead budding actors who I have previously seen laying the ground-work for their careers.  From what I have read and can tell so far, in this film once again something that people have been doing scientifically had an unforeseen accidental consequence that upon a 1 in 100 chance occurred and started causing people to turn into zombies.  The film seems to have good visual quality and works suspense and horror — at the moment I’m only 20 minutes in but it looks to be a good one.

– UPDATE –

I am now around the last fifth of the film and it is somewhat dragging; the story-line goes into ideas that do not get completed … as though the editor started to loose their attention to detail or cut out part of a scene that could have been mostly or completely cut.

Hey baby — give us a kiss!

….Okay…. and I just finished the film — maybe I missed something since I was working on a small project while watching, but the film ended on a bit of a nothing note.  Still, it’s considerably better than a lot of the zombie films I have seen to date.  I would say watch it so long as you know the piece stumbles at the end and has an incomplete wrap.

Severed: Forest of the Dead is a Canadian zombie horror film directed by Carl Bessai.  If you have seen enough other material made in Maplewood you will probably recognize…

Severed (2005) – IMDbWikipedia, and Rotten Tomatoes

The Quick and the Undead (2006)

!!!ANGRY COWBOY MONKEY!!!

So far as I’m aware, this is one of two movies that combine the themes of zombies and cowboys — the other one being Undead or Alive (2007).

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.

Once finished with this film in an hour, 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 — Marisa Tomei had a nothing part in The Toxic Avenger (who’s part wasn’t seen until the release of the director’s cut 20-odd years later).

 . . . AND . . .

2) I’m glad I watched this before Undead or Alive, as it’s probably a better film, and Quick and the Undead would be a bigger roach to watch following Undead or Alive.

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.

Probably THE MOST IMPORTANT link I can give you for The Quick and the Undead is Rotten Tomatoes, but there is also IMDB and Wikipedia

Angry Cowboy Monkey

Undead or Alive (2007)

I rate this Green Ooze — and apparently the actual title is Undead or Alive: A Zombedy.

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.

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 . . .

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.)

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

Undead or Alive: A Zombedy (2007) – IMDbWikipedia, and Rotten Tomatoes

Navi Rawat

Navi Rawat on Instagram @navirawat

Navi Rawat on Twitter @Navi_Rawat

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

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

Saint (2010)

Okay — first — a few quick house-keeping things…

  • This not a zombie film, but it is relative to some of my zombie-film review — hence its being here.
  • It is a Dutch film and it has a couple of different names — Saint, Sint, and Saint Nick.  For the purposes of this post, it will be referred to as Saint.
  • If you watch this film and you say to yourself “Hey, these Christmas traditions are totally messed up!” — well, Xmas practices and winter traditions differ around the world.

When it comes to the winter holidays in the Netherlands, for many of the children the most important dates are in early December.  While St. Nicholas’ Day is on the 6th December, the major celebrations are held on the 5th December, which is St. Nicholas’ Eve — when the jolly old soul arrives and brings them their presents!

Apparently you leave these treats in your shoes — no joke.

On St. Nicholas’ Eve Dutch children leave treats out for Sinterklaas.  They also spoil Father Christmas’s horse (not reindeer) with water, hay, and carrots. In exchange, they get marzipan, chocolate coins, and hot cocoa.

The Saint takes a different twist on the popular traditions in the city of Amsterdam, portraying  St. Nicholas and his Black Pete helpers as ghosts who murder large numbers of people when his annual celebration night coincides with a full moon.

And now…
The Reason Why I Have Included This Film
In My Zombie Movie Reviews

This film is a hell of a lot better than A Christmas Horror Story (2015) or the mass liberty-taking Krampus (also 2015).  It has its scary bits along with being fun and funny.  It also plays accurately to Xmas traditions instead of taking total license and doing whatever they want.  This is cleverly done whereas IMO the other two are hack works.  If you want to pepper your holidays with a Christmas horror film, watch Saint.

Sint on IMDB and Wikipedia

Christmas in The Netherlands / Holland — Christmas Around the World

Zwarte Piet AKA Black Pete or Black Peter

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

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…

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

Christmas is drawing near and things are melting down in the town of Bailey Downs … and at best, I rate this film Yellow Puss.

This film clearly resides among its own as a B-film.  It attempts to interweave four horror stories, each of which to varying degrees have little if anything to do with Christmas myth.

If you pay closer attention to this pot-boiler than I did, allegedly the framework of these stories are tied together by a character named DJ Dangerous Dan — a lonely late-night radio personality, waxing on about how he loves Xmas while hitting the eggnog while getting understandably abandoned by the radio station staff.

Hi Bill!

DJ Dan is played by none other than James T. Kirk, clearly a retirement job following his service as captain aboard the infamous Starship Enterprise … who is probably the only actor you will recognize.

First Story – Three teens break into their school to investigate two murders that occurred the previous year. They mysteriously get locked in the basement  and then — SURPRISE — the horror begins!  This story has nothing to do with Christmas.

Second Story – A husband, wife, and their son go into the woods to chop down a Christmas tree.  The son wanders off and gets switched for a changeling who mimics him and then — SURPRISE — the horror begins!  Aside from the Pagany changeling and Christmas tree, this story too has nothing to do with Christmas.  In other words, these first two stories are just FILLER to justify bringing William Shatner into the film and to bolster the other two stories into a 107 minute B-movie made in Canada.

Third Story – A yuppie family of four visit their elderly aunt and behave poorly.  This attracts the attention of Krampus and while on their way home they are picked off one at a time.  This is the first portion of the story where the filmmakers take liberties with Krampus mythos …. but then HolloWood has given us far worse.   As a result this story has a little to do with Christmas.

Fourth Story – A fittingly Nordic-looking Santa Claus is at his workshop preparing for a busy Christmas when he discovers that his elves and Mrs. Claus have turned into zombies.  He manages to kill them all and then for an unapparent reason Santa is then forced to fight Krampus.  This is where the filmmakers quite unfortunately took the most gross liberties with the Krampus character (AKA Black Peter).  Krampus gets turned into a villain — white hats, black hats … everyone needs a villain — the problem though is that in Krampus mythos he is only a threat to bad kids/people.  In fact, Krampus and St. Nick have always worked together — on Krampusnacht (Krampus night) around December 5th he arrived to punish children who have misbehaved while of course Saint Nicholas would reward well-behaved children with gifts.  In other words, when Krampus became suppressed his tasks were given to Santa who would ‘make his list of who’s naughty and nice’.

A Christmas Horror Story at IMDbWikipedia, but most importantly at Rotten Tomatoes.