Tag Archives: star wars

The Return of The Living Dead (1985)

Okay, here’s the crazy thing about The Return of The Living Dead from 1985… I’d rate it as a Yellow Puss film, and while it’s kind of a cruddy film I’d also have to say that as zombie films go it’s kind of an important film of the genre.  Crazy, huh?!?

 

So here’s the gist…

 

Fifteen years ago a medical supply warehouse was contracted by the military to store some specialized barrels containing cadavers preserved in an experimental gas.  While two employees are in the basement — a young buck new hire and an old pro — they accidentally release vapors from one of the barrels which reanimates the corpse into a flesh-eating zombie.  After fighting off the zombie, they illicit help cremating the body at the mortuary across the street.  As smoke and ashes are expelled through the chimney, rain begins to fall outside … onto the cemetery … where a group of punk rockers (friends of the warehouse new-hire) are screwing around and killing some time.

From here the film turns into something not often seen in a zombie film….  MANY zombie films have what I call ‘The Journey’ — the human survivors have to get from Point-A to Point-B for one reason or another.  They can survive in the other location, the cure for the outbreak is at Point-B, whatever the reason they have to travel from one place to another usually failing to work together, occasionally being attacked by zombies to move the story along, and the survivor group loses its numbers through attrition. This doesn’t have The Journey.  In place of that, the punks and the professionals retreat into the warehouse and mortuary to try and stave off the attacking zombies.  Instead of a journey story line this film works in a siege setting, where there is B-film corny-ness and constant action.

Without giving anything more away, I’d like to touch on why this film is important…  Simply, it stands as an icon of the genre.  For a budget of $4M it was actually decently made in that it actually still looks pretty good.  I’ve seen The Return of The Living Dead II (1988) recently, and comparatively it was poorly made.  The original also has two of the biggest icons of the Z-film genre…

WHAT — you didn’t think I was going to post a graphic picture did you?!?! That’s a different website — look through your search history…

The Return of The Living Dead quite frankly has The Most Iconic Zombie Film Boobs … or in this case a completely naked dancing woman — delivered by scream queen Linnea Quigley playing a punk rocker girl named Trash dancing naked at the cemetery and selling loads of tickets at the box-office.  DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM WITH YOUR KIDS … or your parents.

Remember that cadaver in the experimental barrel I mentioned above?  The zombie that comes out of it is known within the zombie genera as “Tar Man” and made a distinct play on the zombie desire in saying “BRAINS!

Okay, now, things I’m not so good with from this film…

The zombies are fast moving — I’m cool with that. The zombies are cognizant, and 90 times out of 10 I’m not cool with that. In this film they can also talk and problem solve …. I’m not just talking about beating their way through doors and windows, I mean they can open doors, apply tools to barricades, it just doesn’t work for me…. But It Could Have…

The ‘How’ part of the zombies being cognizant wasn’t developed. Watching the film, I saw how this could have been done within the story but I’m not going to take the time to propose this about a decades-old film because what’s the point? I have better things to do. Seriously, were I to put that time and thought into this film I’d be no better than the people that claim to be major Star Wars fans and yet spend LOADS of time complaining about how wrong and poorly-done Star Wars is.

The way the film ends it should have created an unstoppable world zombie outbreak. The Part-2 film doesn’t start based off the ending of this film but it does draw from the military chemical barrels — but at least they did bring Tar Man (or another Tar Man) back onto the screen.

The Return of the Living Dead IMDbWikipedia, and Rotten Tomatoes

Exit Humanity (2011)

Film by Bloody Disgusting
Notes by DPScobie

Okay, so here’s the explanation to hopefully un-confuse this review…

Usually I write my reviews as a film is ending or right after I watched it.  Sometimes I’m busy and just write notes, maybe because the ‘what’ to write wasn’t flowing for me.  It’s been long enough since I watched Exit Humanity I don’t remember what the situation was.  A year ago (2016) I had a hard drive crash, and of the data I lost these notes (from 2014) survived.  I didn’t go back and write these notes into essay form then and I’m not doing it now — so you figure it out.

The short of this is as IMDB puts it about Exit Humanity “A young man’s struggle to survive in the aftermath of a deadly undead outbreak during the American Civil War.”

Fighting zombies with a bad chest cold is unadvised
  • Starting out this makes me think of Asylum Films — ripping off other films and being screen-tests for wannabe actors … but better than Asylum … and better than SciFi channel films.
  • This particular story makes me think they’re ripping off the book version of World War Z … I haven’t read it all yet but I have listened to some of the spoken-book featuring a number of actors/artists/famous-voices … just this is a whole film that focuses on a historic occurrence of zombies outbreaks.

    Not an ideal first date…
  • Think of it like this … you’ve seen films that feature the lone person surviving in the aftermath of a zombie-outbreak — living off of what remains from civilization, running from the undead and slaying zombies to stay alive. This film is that but set in post US Civil War period. There would still be certain problems, at least with the people of this film, they’d run out of bullets to scrounge.
  • Interesting that there is only narration for the first 23 minutes of the film, no actor lines/dialogue
  • The film looks like some that I’ve seen on YouTube — but then I’ve seen some rather well done DIY shorts there.
  • Surviving would be easier in a period where people already live closer to the land.
  • I like the personal experience this film gives.

    SSSHH — I’m a Ninja!
  • There are period-incorrect details that become immediately obvious — clothing being the big one, the ninja poncho the main charactre makes for himself, gas can, and I am in question of the rifle (less obvious detail) the main charactre has following the Civil War.

    Not to be confused with Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Something about the start of this film made me think of the 1999 film “Ravenous” with Robert Carlye (IMDB and Wikipedia).
  • This is one of the few films I’ve seen without a sub-title option … but then that saves you from screwed up sub-titles … like my copies of Star Wars Episodes 4, 5, and 6 where Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker talk about their “life savers” — mmm, tasty! I wonder if it doesn’t have sub-titles because it is a low-budget film.
  • IMO some of the pacing or mood lacks making scenes drag.
  • I like that the film was able to go from a narrated personal account into a story-line, however I think I enjoyed what I was seeing as the narrated film and would have liked to seen the whole story experience carried in that same way.
  • I’ve noticed the lack of Indians and blacks — only white zombies and survivors.  This is not an equal-opportunity zombie film.
  • The book and the Eve’s house makes me think of Evil Dead I & II.
  • Had this been kept as a narrated piece it would have made for a unique piece — period film and zombie theme prose. Frankly, I did what I often do while watching a film — kept myself busy with a project — so I did not give my full attention to this piece. Had this been the narration-only driven piece it could have been, as with the sections it does feature, that would have better commanded the attention of the viewer in my opinion. This film could be re-made into a stronger piece with more feeling and horror, however using this film as an example to a remake I’m sure someone with the money for a project would say that it’s not worth spending the money because you’d only be making this a bit stronger ultimately … but then it wouldn’t be the first time the wheel was re-invented and only slightly improved.
  • I don’t believe I have seen a z-film where there are people who have immunity to the z-virus
  • The ‘witch’ Eve could be more convincing … I think the problem is the charactre needs to be played by an older actress … maybe it’s just that her hair is too black … as-in dyed black not a natural ‘black’ … so if she had some gray hints or her hair was not as smooth, that might help me to buy in to her charactre. (This is peculiar to say seeing as this actress is the most experienced out of the whole cast – to clarify, my issue is with her appearance, it doesn’t match with her acting or the profile of the character.)
  • Despite this film’s short comings, I would strongly encourage zombie enthusiasts to see this piece.

    Dinner will be ready in a minute….
  • The source of the zombie outbreak was a bit predictable but does have a slight twist that I haven’t seen before — SPOILER — this has zombie-virus coming from witchcraft or as they elude to Vodou. Once this is revealed the film takes a bit more of a World War Z touch.
  • I can think of 2 z-films I’ve seen that are ‘zombies in the old-west’, I would say that this one is arguably better than the both.
  • As zombie make-up goes I’ve seen better and I’ve seen much worse — for what this film is the zombies look great.
  • Something I really appreciate about this film came from the watching the making-of piece (titled “Blood Sweat And Tears”) in the special features — this film is low budget and very DIY. It was shot in a matter of weeks and many of the crew personnel were volunteer, including family members of the director. I’d be surprised if the Civil War solders at the opening of the film weren’t volunteer reenactors. (When you watch the film with the director’s commentary he indicates that these actors were reenactors, more interestingly they’re Canadians.)

Exit Humanity at IMDB

The American Civil War

Canada and Canadians

World War Z (2013) the movie at IMDb and Wikipedia

World War Z (2006) the novel by Max Brooks

Asylum Films

OTHER ZOMBIE THOUGHTS (UNRELATED)

  • Police zombies in riot squad gear are harder to kill because of their armor.
  • Zombie outbreaks that occur on Hallowe’en makes zombies that are at least as freaky as clown zombies.
  • Coworker zombies are awesome because you finally get to do the things you want to do to your coworkers … except for that cute gal in accounting.