Tag Archives: zombie

Dawn of the Dead (1978 and 2004)

Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Red Blood

…AND…

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Green Ooze

I own both of these films.  In my opinion the 1978 film hurts — it’s poorly made, the make-up looks like garbage, and if the zombie extras were volunteers I would say that they were over-paid.

By contrast, I thought the remake was a considerably better film, but after seeing the extras I think that some of the lines and details that were cut from the original film would have made the remake better.  If you’re watching the 2004 version on DVD, be sure to see the extras about the guy who owns the gun store — oh, and don’t skip the credits at the end of the film.

The premise of both of these films … the zombie apocalypse has started.  Some people end up taking shelter in a mall that was closed when the everything started breaking down.  On one hand they have everything they need and everything they didn’t have before, they have things pretty easy … on the other hand, their feeling of security proves to be an illusion when people — living or dead — start to find their shelter.

Dawn of the Dead (1978) – IMDb and Wikipedia

Dawn of the Dead (2004) – IMDb and Wikipedia

Nightmare Alley (2010)

Don’t bother.

My impression of this “film” is that some people in the same apartment complex got together and made this film — shooting it, acting it, writing it, producing it — everything.  There are some zombie cowboys in the first vignette, but the whole thing is maybe at best only worth lining the bottom of a trash can.

BagpiperDon’s Zombie Movie Rating — Red Blood

Nightmare Alley (2010) – IMDb …. this film is so bad I couldn’t find it on Rotten Tomatoes …. not to be confused with the 1947 film with the same title by Tyrone Power

Raiders of the Damned (2007)

As soon as I started watching this film I noted a newly-learned familiar stink.  YEP … this film gets rated Red Blood.

This should be an ideal film for me, containing both zombies and SciFi, but this is made by a garbage movie company called The Asylum, which LARGELY JUST RIPS OFF OTHER FILMS.

The zombie costumes & weapons are laughable, and their make-up is just plain bad.  The lacking story line is only outdone by the dribbling charactre development — and posturing of hokey military badassedness.  The description sounds like it should have something, but it just isn’t there.

When all is said and done, this film too will make no careers of its unknown actors who either can’t act or lack worthy direction, nor will this film win an Oscar … hell, it might be so bad it wouldn’t even win acknowledgement from The Razzies.

Even when it’s bad Z/B-film, for the sake of these reviews & my project I tend to finish a flick even if I am not directly watching it, but I shut this one off 20 minutes in — the people who want to see something that will make SyFy Channel films look good can have the additional 67 minutes.

Raiders of the Damned (2007) – IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes

Return in Red (2007)

From the start this is clearly a B-film Z-film taking place in somewhere rural-America, and while the graphic quality looks B and the actors seem like unknowns, it also seems that everyone knows what they’re doing.  It’s as though you’re watching a reality period piece from the late-1980s, but shot with the same technology of the time … maybe early 90s.

Why isn’t there anything decent to eat in my kitchen? … Oh yeah, because I need to go to the grocery store.  My point is there are impressive aspects to this film, but it didn’t adequately hold my attention.  I rate it Yellow Puss.

This is THE ONLY picture from the film I found online … yeah, that’s how popular this flick is.

Return in Red (2007) – IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes

You might be able to watch the whole film here

 

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

Survival of the Dead (2009)

Survival of the Dead is garbage – I rate it Red Blood.  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.

My impression is that someone had a stack of admittedly clever zombie gags they wanted to get them in a film, but didn’t otherwise know how to pull it off — which at that they should have just left well enough alone … however, they got their funding and concocted a shoddy story-line that developed upon saying “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!”

Close but … NOPE!

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 who-ever green-lighted this project read my review:  don’t waste your company’s money and don’t waste our time.

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 — one family wants to exterminate the zombies while the other peacefully coexists with their undead relatives hoping for a cure to return their relatives back to their human state.

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

Survival of the Dead (2009) – IMDbWikipedia, but skip those and go directly to 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

Beast Within (AKA Virus Undead) (2008)

Green Ooze – BagpiperDon’s +/- Top 10

This film should be watched at very least because it’s directed by two people with the names Wolf Wolff and Ohmuthi.

From what I can tell it’s a German Z-film made for American audiences.  It looks & feels a bit like 28 Days Later where an alternate version of the avian flu transmits a zombie virus.  Add to the mix Alfred Hitchcock‘s classic “The Birds” — and don’t forget the college slasher film element, which of course means we also see Z-film breasts — but I gotta hand it to Wolf Wolff and Ohmuthi, what is displayed isn’t gratuitous as with most Z-films.  The display of gratuitous Z-film breasts is tastefully done, but don’t watch this with your kids or your parents … or my parents.

Oh, and how about this — NO JOURNEY — even though the main charactres are at the epicenter, they feel that where they’re at is the best place to be.  Also, I gotta like the zombie cop who still eats doughnuts even though he’s undead, and I dig the recording of the grandfather’s voice that reminds me of The Evil Dead I & II.  The birds in “The Birds” were better than the digital birds appeared often enough in this film … which is saying something because I’ve never seen all of “The Birds“.

Beast Within AKA Virus Undead – IMDB and Wikipedia