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Zombie films I've seen & my reviews
Yes, I'm a zombie fan. I'm also a fan of bad movies -- flicks people refer to as being 'so bad they're good'. Some of my friends have heard that I've been working on a list of zombie films I've viewed and asked that I post it online .... so, here it is. Following, in no particular order, are the titles I've viewed along with my personal thoughts & opinions on the material.
When it comes to zombie films, I'm of the opinion that there are a few common themes that occur. These are & I explain as...
|Zombie Films Viewed by BagpiperDon
With My Hopefully-Helpful Little Commentaries
If you're too broke to go on vacation, watch a zombie film ...or read my list
Rating SystemAlso, watch for my "BagpiperDon's Top-10" zombie films marker -- in no particular order, I've indicated which zombie films are among my favourites ... and no garuntees on it being exactly 10.
Green Ooze - I recommend that you see this film, it was zombie-riffic!
Yellow Puss - Not bad/not good, either way I wouldn't put this in my morning coffee.
Red Blood - Blood can carry infection, don't mess with it unless you're willing to risk something really bad.
28 Days Later (2002) - Green Ooze - BagpiperDon's +/- Top-10
I came to own a copy of this film by accident and I couldn't be happier. This was the first time I saw fast moving zombies, and for me that really cranks up the threat level -- the shambling thing never really did it for me. Apparently the shamble-vrs-fast thing is a debate among zombie fans -- and I can see both sides of it. I've heard that the part-2 film "28 Weeks Later" is a warm-over of the original film, but I still want to see it. There is also a graphic novel or two out there that further tell the story which I'd like to get my hands & eyes on -- so the next time you're wondering what to get BagpiperDon for his birthday, Xmas, celebration of next album release, etc ... now you know.
The Crazies (2009) - Green Ooze - BagpiperDon's +/- Top-10
I quite liked this flick -- enough so that I believe I'd like to own a copy. It showed me some new stuff for a zombie film -- largely with the ground-level very survivor-perspective of people in a situation trying to sort out whats going/gone on and what to do and the confusion that would come with that (much like 28 Days Later). While it kind of had the typical zombie-film journey-theme (a group of humans decided that if they can travel from Point A they'll be able to survive better at Point B), the main charactres didn't as-much seem to know where they were going. My understanding is that the film had a limited budget, but the cast/crew did a good job making it look like it had some money behind the production.
The Crazies (1973) - Red Blood
(Written part way through viewing the film) This is probably at least a 1/2 decent film but it doesn't adequately hold my attention. I should probably watch it again sometime when I'm sitting still -- I'd like to see how it influences the 2009 version of the film. This film looks like it was made in the 1970s -- oh yeah, because it was! The look of it, the story telling, the fashions -- everything -- all of which just adds to the campiness of it. (Written after viewing the film) The film seemed to end without a point -- which isn't to say that it didn't have one, its more that it generally didn't hold my attention well enough to notice one -- all of a sudden a guy stripped, got lifted out of the danger zone, and the credits started rolling amid some pultry excuse for a 70s-ballad style song.
Day of the Dead (2008) - Green Ooze - BagpiperDon's +/- Top-10
This remake of George A. Romero's original 1985 film could be a called (at least by me) a cross between 28 Days Later and the 2009 version of The Crazies. From the start the action ramps up, and 30 minutes in it stays constant -- intense gore-fest. The zombies are high speed, a bit super-human, and the humans consist of recognizable actors beginning their careers -- all with no gratuitous displays of possibly-future-famous-breasts (they're nice, but it just gets old in zombie films). This piece showed me a few new things to z-films, and the story-line didn't particularly take any leaps, however I did have a few beefs...
Dead Snow (AKA Død snø) (2009) - Yellow Puss
Probably hands-down if theres a film that has both zombies and nazis -- particularly zombies who are nazis or nazis who are zombies -- I want to see it. This not because I love nazis (notice how I haven't capitalized their name?), its because that combination is rediculous, therefore I know I'm going to have fun on at least some level. I got a kick out of Dead Snow -- AKA Død snø in Norwegian -- its a forign flick which means I actually had to pay full attention to the flick. Funny, though at times not as funny as I think it could have been; it did give me some new things with a zombie film. The arm-cutting-off-thing at the end was very reminiscent of Evil Dead 2 and I think would have more fun in homage had this part looked more like ED2. This film could have been more, but then it would have been a different flick -- so yeah, watch it for kicks.
Evil Dead 1 (1981), Evil Dead 2 (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992) - Green Ooze
With these films its unclear to me as to whether or not (some of) the monsters are zombies. In the Evil Dead films there is some sort of haunting, there are people who get --if you will-- 'infected' with this evil presence, die and come back to life as heinously changed creatures, bent on killing the main character, Ash played by my man Bruce Campbell. In Army of Darkness this evil presence exists, further shows what it can do to haunt and wrek havoc with the living -- including pulling the dead from graves and reanimating them to do battle. So maybe the finally reckoning is this -- is it a zombie film, maybe not, but it does have what could be zombies in it, all that matters in the end is that ED 1 & 2 and Army of Darkness are fun and sometimes bad B-films that have Bruce Campbell in them. Also make sure to see Bruce as geriatric-Elvis fighting a mummy in Bubba HoTep.
Please Note: I love these three films, largely on the 'its so bad its good' factor, however I'm not listing them here within the BagpiperDon's Top-10 list on account that while there are probably some zombies among the monsters, these films don't particularly come across as Z-films.
Last of the Living (2009) - Yellow Puss
I like bad film, and I've seen worse than this one, and while there were some new concepts in this film for a zombie flick which is always refreshing to see, honestly... the best part of this film was the end credits ... not only because that meant it was over, but also because that was the most exciting. I get the impression that this film was possibly the first film these folks ever made or this was cobbeled together by some friends with a cheap digital video camera and a computer -- but clearly there were some connections to get this thing made, some money to fund it, and I'm guessing a lot of favours asked. I was an extra in such a film, and frankly my albums are more-or-less made with this same aproach -- so, props for the little-guy who's livin' the dream. Oh yeah -- I was displeased with the lack of ending to the film, except maybe what the ending is (all too subtly) is that the good guy wins ... finally -- lets hear it for my good-guy brothers!
Survival of the Dead (2009) - Red Blood
This film was garbage. Whats 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 concockted 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 lets throw that in too!" What, no gratudiouist possibly-future-famous z-film breasts to further help sell this potboiler? I like bad film, but in this case I'd prefer that who-ever green-lighted this project read my preceeding review; don't waste your company's money & don't waste our time.
Fido (2006) - Green Ooze - BagpiperDon's +/- Top-10
I would have enjoyed this film had I not enjoyed it simply because Billy Connely played the leading zombie. Oh yeah, zombies in the fifties with a cute fun storyline where zombies are controlled and function as servants for humans and the main charactres have reckonings in their lives about love and happiness -- good fun. I watched it the second time with my parents, it might be okay for kids too (with parental supervision).
Outpost (2008) - Green Ooze - BagpiperDon's +/- Top-10
This film was my first exposure to zombie nazis. I found a copy of the film on DVD at a liquidator store for $3 -- figuring that it was going to be a roach, I was just too ammused at the combination of zombies & nazis, and found out that it was a fantastic film. Oh, and if you get really opinionated about the film, you can debate as to wether or not the nazis are zombies, phase-shifting zombies, or humans transformed into ghosts. Regardless, in this humble Highland bagpiper's z-film opinion, this flick kicks ass. Wikipedia has said that a part-2 film -- the back story -- is in the works ... oh yeah, bring it on.
Dawn of the Dead (1978) - Red Blood
Dawn of the Dead (2004) - Green Ooze
I own both of these films. In my opinion the first film hurts -- its poorly made, the make-up looks like garbage, and the (I'm assuming) volunteer extras were over-paid. By contrast, I thought the remake was a better film, but after seeing the extras 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 it 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.
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. Its amusing to think that this could be another occurance thats 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 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 garunteed to be good.
Land of the Dead (2005) - Yellow Puss
This film is 50/50 with me -- half good and half blaugh ... but then, thats much of what I like about B- and Z-films. On one hand it doesn't seem like much of a film and it leaves me wanting more. On the other hand it did present something new to me in the way of a zombie film. Instead of the main-character survivors going on the 'zombie film journey' its the zombies that travel; the humans are surviving in a gated portion of a city, where their civizilation exists as the haves and have-nots. At some point, the zombies seem to become self aware, and they want their rights as existing beings.
Zombieland (2009) - Green Ooze
I liked this film far better than I expected. Woody Harelson annoies me, but I was impressed with the deapth of his acting when his secret was revealed. He was also pretty much the only good thing to that cookie-cutter 2012 movie, not to mention the other couple of worthwhile actors in that film who's acting talent was wasted. I was pleased with Harelson's character who comes in briefly around the middle of the film -- I won't ruin the surprise. Have fun with this film, its worth a watch. I saw it twice, the second time for the music.
The Book Of Zombie (2010) - UNRATED, I haven't seen this film yet ... but I did act in it!
I haven't seen this film yet -- on a screen -- however I was an extra in it on two nights of shooting. The second night was early in the film during the initial outbreak. On the first night we appeared to be shooting the final horde attack on the town; I was one of the three zombies standing behind (one of?) the main zombie(s) as he got killed, so there is no way I'm not visable in the film. I should be visable with a wound appliance just above my forehead. I've been told that my name is listed in the credits as one of the extras.
Zombies of Mass Destruction (2009) - Yellow Puss nearing light-Green Ooze
This was a fun film to watch, in fact I viewed it with my parents -- my dad didn't seem to say much but my mom was amused, and we got a kick out of watching it together ... so if you're looking for a Z-film to watch with your mom, this just might be the one. I believe this was the other zombie film that was being shot in Washington State while I was a part of the making of The Book Of Zombie -- the difference being that this B-film actually had some money behind it while the one I was a part of had only scrapings. I had a laugh in that they kept referring to their location as "the island of Port Gamble" -- Port Gamble is in Washington State, but not an island. This film was humorous but without being forced, they made some social comentary which seemed to me in the same vein as some of the George A. Romaro films. Would I recommend it, heck yes -- I've seen better, I've also seen a LOT worse -- it was fun.
Zombiemania (2008) - Green Ooze
Okay, not a zombie film but a documentary on the history and popularity of zombie films. It seemed like good context to view amid these other movies. If you really like the whole zombie thing, or you're just curious enough to understand a bit better why those of us who do like them, give this a watch by all means.
Dead and Deader (2006) - Yellow Puss nearing SciFi channel quality Red Blood
This is another pot-boiler Z-film, but with Dean Cain and a script that I think was written without being too serious. Sadly, it strikes me as another screw in the coffin of Dean Cain's acting career. It lacked money, but I'm not sure more would have made this film any better. This film suffers from cliche over-kill but in trade gives the viewer ground zombie and a zombie midget. I wonder at times what it must be like as an actor to do a script/production you know is garbage -- either getting part way into it and seeing whats happening or going into it because you don't have any other work. Ol' Dean has either been taking it easy for a while or like all of us do he's starting to show his age, nonetheless he's not in nearly the shape he was in when he was doing Lois & Clark (Superman), and think he would have been better off not doing a film that could further spiral his career into Lorenzo Lamas deapths. At least this film showned me something I don't recall seeing yet in a Z-film before -- where there's a person who's part zombie and part human -- though I've heard of two where the film is centered around a person who is changing into a zombie.
Severed: Forest of the Dead (2006) - Green Ooze most of the way through turning to Yellow Puss around the end
This film seems to be off to a good start, I'm predicting it will be a Green Ooze flick. It appears to have sufficent money behind it, and not stars but budding actors I've seen laying the ground-work for their careers. From what I've read and can tell so far, in this film once again something that people have been doing scientifically had an unforseen 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'm now around the last fifth of the film and its kind of dragging; the story-line goes into ideas that don't get completed, like the editor started to loose their attention to detail or they cut out part of a scene that could have been mostly or completely cut. ....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, its considerably better than a lot of the zombie films I've seen to date; I'd say watch it so long as you know the piece stumbles at the end and has an incomplete wrap.
Zombie Wars (2008) - Yellow Puss
This Z-film was a B-film -- in fact I fairly well got the impression that when it came to funding & production that these folks were only a little more connected than the folks I worked with who were doing The Book Of Zombie. I would not recommend that anyone break their neck to see this flick -- the acting and action was better than garbage, the writing was debateably better ... or maybe worse. I did appreciate that this film showed me something new/different (and no journey) -- the zombies in the film have developed a certain amount (albeit low-level) of awareness/communication/leadership. With this they have organized, and without giving too much away, they have captured & been breeding humans for food. If you want a 'so bad its good' film to laugh at, this just may be the flick for you.
Billy Elliot (2000) - Green Ooze
While at first blush this film appears to be about a Northern England boy who trades in his boxing gloves for ballet toe-shoes and otherwise absolutely be grossly devoid of zombies, I'm fairly sure the sick grandmother charactre may be in the beginning stages of turning into an undead person.
Zombie Town (2007) - Yellow Puss
The viewing of this Z-film is probably best left to die-hard zombie fans. My impression is that this B-film was financially backed by ... well, possibly little more than everyone who was directly involved, made in peoples' spare-time, assembled on a Mac, and acted by people who both wanted to be in this film and others that just aggreed to fill bit-parts. I'm not saying that this is a bad thing -- this is how the B Z-film I was an extra in was made -- its just that I think many viewers would realize that this is how some films (albums, books, etc) are made. Zombie Town is chocked full of small-town red-necks, bad dialogue & often poor line delivery, and an unnecessary excess of swearing. I was amused to see something more or less new to me in a zombie film -- the zombies live for a limited amount of time (24hrs?) and then die, with fanged slug paracites pushing out of the body seeking a new host, however die when the parasites come into contact with salt ... which is kind of like that 80s film where a bunch of university students get over-run by giant leaches from a pod that was carried abord an alien space-craft ... and I don't know about you, but weird things like that hapen all the time. Oh, and apparently the zombies can die from salt too -- I'm going to have to watch the other 1/2 now. DUDE -- attack of killer zombie grandmothers!!!
American Zombie (2007) - Yellow Puss
A mocumentary* suggesting that the reanimated dead live among us -- from wild or low functioning zombies all the way to high functioning zombies who can pass for being human. Its amusing, a lot of subtle humor that sometimes you have to be paying attention and think for (God help us if we have to actually think!) -- it could very well be a film that was shot right before some sort of mass zombie outbreak and consequent attack. This film, however, I feel would bore the life out of a non-Z-film-fan, but would be a good chuckle to fans of zombie genre.
* Mocumentary - a ficticious documentary
Quick and the Undead (2006) - Red Blood
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). Once finished with this film in an hour, I predict I'm going to say two things:
1) Its 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 (which 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 its probably a better film, and Quick and the Undead would be a bigger roach to watch following Undead or Alive.
Undead or Alive (2007) - Green Ooze
This film was fun, not necessarily a good film but it was decently made and fun to watch. 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 extrodinarily 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? I'm not a male chauvinist, I'm just a healthy hetrosexual man. (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.)
Infection (2010) - Red Blood
Don't bother. You'll see some actors you recognize, you'll notice that the story line takes some jumps, you'll see low budget CGI that makes Sci-Fi channel films look high quality -- but that's it.
Nightmare Alley (2010) - Red Blood
Don't bother. My impression of this "film" is that some people in the same apartment complex got together and made this film themselves -- shooting it, acting it, writing it, producing it -- everything. There are some zombie cowboys in the first vinyet, but the whole thing is maybe at best only worth lining the bottom of a trash can.
Zombies Zombies Zombies (2007) - Yellow Puss
Zombie strippers, hookers, pimps and johns. This film isn't as bad as it sounds. Low budget, but not poorly done. I get the impression that this is another one of those films some friends wrote, produced, directed, and acted in -- which usually results in garbage -- but this was pretty well done. Is it all that good of a film ... eh, no.
Days of Darkness (2007) - Green Ooze
I rather liked this film. I've said a few times on this page about particular films that they seem like they were 'self made/produced/written, acted using friends and edited on a used iMac' -- usually meaning that I feel that film is a homemade piece of garbage. I this case, I could say the same, but that it means a good thing -- this film struck me as a well made B-film. An astroid hits the earth and infects most of the world's population. A few surviors in Days of Darkness find each other and use an abandoned communications building as defenseive shelter -- during which time they have typical survivor chaos, and as these survivors die off one of their members figure out how to de-zombi-fy the zombies. There were some slight leaps in the story line, and I thought how it was funny that at times the survivor group would sit around in a circle within the communications building talking nearly as though in a zombie survivor group therapy session. Whatever the case, I think I saw some new elements to the zombie genere, and I saw unfamiliar actors do a good job of bringing out their roles. I may not watch it again, but if you're a zombie fan I'd say definitely watch it.
ZA: Zombies Anonymous AKA Last Rites of the Dead (2006) - Green Ooze
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. 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 dieing, they pass away and then get up and walk away -- and now, retaining their human characteristics, they reside within civizilation 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 Airplaine movies when you see a jet but hear a prop plane, just I don't think this was intentional.
Edges of Darkness (2008) - Red Blood
Once again we have a group of people in an apartment building making their own film, only this time better than Nightmare Alley. The writing is miserable, the acting is marginally better, and the point is completely lacking -- but at least we find out what vampires from the hood will do to survive during a zombie apocalypse. Whatever the case, I didn't care about these charactres and I'm glad I had other things I was working on while watching this film. Suffice it to say, this film won't be starting any careers nor will it be winning any awards ... except maybe from The Razzies. Wow, that wasn't a very charitable; maybe I shouldn't write these reviews on a day when I'm not drinking coffee. I'm still trying to figure out what the heck that bow shaped weapon was from the wanna-be Resident Evil chick. The long & short of it is this: in my opinion, someone should take away co-writer/director Jason Horton & Blaine Cade's iMac and make them go sit in the corner until they promise to never do it again -- guys, the title, poster and write-up for your "film" was the best part to your "film" ... ghesh, NetFlix will list anybody's films these days.
Raiders of the Damned (2007) - Red Blood
As soon as I started watching this film I noted a newly-learned familiar stink. 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 that largely rips off other films. The zombie costumes & weapons are laughable, and their make-up is just plain bad. The lacking storyline 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 & 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 acknowldgement from The Razzies. Even when its bad Z/B-film, for the sake of these reviews & my project I tend to finish a flick even if I'm not directly watching it, but I shut this one off 20 minutes in -- people who want to see something that will make SciFi channel films look good can have the 67 minutes.
Resident Evil (2002) - Green Ooze
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) - Green Ooze
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) - Green Ooze
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) - Green Ooze
Milla Jovovich lookin' hot, armed to the teeth, and kicking serious decomposed zombie butt -- what more could you ask for, want or need?
The Vanguard (2008) - Yellow Puss
I'm not sure if this is a z-film. In some respects it 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 peripherial to the story and they look like they were created using left-over make-up from either of the Evil Dead films. Frankly, this looks like another self written/produced/acted and assembled on an iMac film, but this one was well done. I liked it, but I'm happing having seen it only once.
Beast Within (2008) - Green Ooze - BagpiperDon's +/- Top-10
This film should be watched at very least because its 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 that looks & feels a bit like 28 Days Later where an alternate version of the avian flue transmits a zombie virus, so add Alfred Hitchcock's classic "The Birds" to the mix ... 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 Wolkff and Ohmuthi, whats displayed isn't gratudiouist asusual (tastefully done, but don't watch this with your kids ... or your parents). Oh, and how about that -- no Journey -- even though the main charactres are at the epicenter, they feel that where they're at is the best place to be. I gotta like the zombie cop who still eats doughnuts even though undead, and I dig the recording of the grandfather's voice that reminds me of 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".
Doghouse (2009) - Green Ooze
A UK-made film about six guys who take off to have a raucous weekend in a remote village to help one of their friends get over his divorce. After they arrive they find that the town is devoid of men and that all the local women are infected with a virus that turns them into monsterous cannibalistic man-haters -- which is basically the situation they left at home with their wives & lovers ... aside of course from the cannibalism. Make no mistake, however, title-fitting these blokes ain't gems themselves ... so maybe if you're a jerk and you go on vacation you'll get your come-up'ance. Frankly, I think this film is a lot of fun with good laughs and brings new ideas to the z-film genre. It was even better the second time I caught it, playing it with the sound on ... although thats when I found out that I couldn't understand all of the dialoge due to a combination of accents and speed of delivery. PS: I don't know if this was intentional or not, but around the 1hr-mark into the film, when the guys are holed-up in a building and kick on a set of monitors, watch for one on the lower left-hand side of the screen that shows an image including the top of a 2-toned umbrella -- for those of you who are fans of the Resident Evil series, you'll recognize this as the same Umbrella Corporation logo ... I don't know if this was intentional or not, but the similarity amused me.
Return in Red (2007) - Yellow Puss
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 als seems that everyone knows what they're doing. Its 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 but it didn't adequately hold my attention.
The Horde (2009) - Yellow Puss
This is a French zombie film with good action and good zombie make-up/costumes/acting. Often when I'm watching films I'm working on other things and only watching on the side. This film was subtiled and I didn't have the option of over-dubbed speech. The best I could tell a pompus bunch of jerks went into a building to yell at each other about how much they sucked and were surrounded by zombies. All and all, I think its too bad, this could have been a good zombie film if not for 90% of the film.
Zombie High (1987) - Yellow Puss
No, this is not a flick about junkies turning into zombies (not that with some of them you could tell the difference), this is about kids at a prestegious boarding-school in the 80s. One-by-one their instructors steal their sleeping students away at night to steal parts of their brains for their own sinister reasons, and then to make up for the loss they're implanted with a chip. The next morning they wake up as mindless well disciplined, and well dressed, learning machines starting the first day of their very successful and yuppie lives. Surprisingly I have not seen gratuidious breasts yet -- hey, it is an 80s horror film -- but I have seen a number of little known actors in their early days who later went on to be ever so slightly better than little known actors. Watching this I'm half tempted to honor this filck by pulling out those 2 Shaw Safari shirts hanging in the back of my closet that have been waiting to come out for the right retro party. Frankly, maybe something that would have turned us more mindless like this back in the 80s would have been better, helping us to chill out instead of wearing all that abnoxious crap we used to wear and listen to that music 1/2 of which was worse than our hair-doos. If you're a zombie fan, watch this film; if you're a retro fan, watch this film; if you don't have anything better to do, find something. Oddly, there's another high-school flick where the students are being turned into some sort of learning zombies which is what I thought I started .... this is not the zombie film I was looking for, but they were the droids I was looking for.
Night of the Living Dead (1968) - Green Ooze
The siminal zombie film of zombie films that wasn't originally meant to be a zombie film -- so zombie-genre fans everywhere just may look at this as a happy accident. As for the rest of this review, I'll write it when I've seen it again recently.
Hard Rock Zombies - Red Blood
I like bad film, but not this bad. I picked up this film a handful of years back while in a liquidation store -- it was on a DVD that had 3 zombie films for $_________ (Night of the Living Dead and TITLE). Out of the three films, this one is such a POS that I think the other two films cost $1/2-OF-TOTAL-PRICE and this one was thrown in for free -- because thats the only way the folks who produced this film could get anyone to take a copy home. I THINK THIS FILM WAS MADE BY A FILM CREW THAT NORMALLY SHOT PORN IN THE 1980s, GETTING TOGETHER TO DO SOMETHING TOGETHER OUTSIDE OF THEIR USUAL WORK -- OR MAYBE THEY WERE TRYING TO MAKE PRODUCTIONS OTHER THAN PORN. BAD SOUND, BAD SONG. AT LEAST ITS A FILM THAT HAS ZOMBIES AND HITLER IN IT (MORE WITH THE ZOMBIES AND NAZIS).
SEE -- http://www.somethingawful.com/d/movie-reviews/hard-rock-zombies.php
Outbreak/Disaster-Survival Films (not zombie films)
This is Different ...but Perhaps Relative
Different genre, same rating system
The following are NOTzombie films. Instead, they deal with epidemics/outbreaks and lock-down scenarios. With the recent re-discovery of zombies and the fan-following that has grown around it, some people and orginizations have used these films as a vehicle to develop their own disaster preparedness -- because surviving a plague of attacking zombies is suggested to have the same survival requirements for people following an earthquake-etc ... only just with no zombies in any of the occurrances yet. Not that I was there or can claim to have specific understanding, however if you consider the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the survial required afterwards (eg. food, water, shelter, looters), then a zombie scenario as seen in films could well make the same sort of situation. Think about it: If you loose electricity and communications for a prolonged period in winter, and the roads are too slick to get to a grocer or they-themselves cannot get their trucks in to restock, do you have supplies necessary to make it through at least 1-2 weeks -- warm sleeping bags, a supply of non-perishable food and water, a sufficent fill of any medications you require? The following films speak to such situations, and I've included them because I feel they further express the survival/outbreak/chaos situations that come within zombie films.
The Road - Green Ooze
I read or heard someone's review somewhere suggesting that 'this film could save the world'. I've heard people state that it was too dark and depressing -- which was funny to me 'cause I didn't see it needing to be a musical with dance numbers.
Carriers - Green Ooze
Carriers -- at least in my opinion -- is not a zombie film but a post-epidemic film, however one could make a thin arguement that is also a zombie film. Around the time I was in college I read a book titled "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston. After I read it I loaned my copy to my then-girlfriend, whos place coiendicentally caught fire sometime afterward. She came out of it okay, and with some irony given the title my book survived; heavily chared around the edges, stinking of smoke and unreadable. My girlfriend latered dumped me and I eventually bought a new copy of Preston's book at a 2nd-hand store ... but I digress. In "The Hot Zone", Preseton talked about 'hot agents' -- lethal infectious viruses like Marburg Disease and Ebola Sudan/Ziere -- what happens in an outbreak both in how people die and how the situations get taken care of. Preseton also gave an account of what would happen if an outbreak when global -- which, with mass transportation, would be rather easy and equally as quick. Most of Earth's population would die-off, some people would get ill and recover while others would be uneffected by the disease. This is where Carriers comes in. Some sort of infectious virus has broken out earlier and wiped out most of the population. Infected people first start showing signs of the plague in their skin, followed by breathing issues and a lack of energy; eventually their skin begins to appear to rot on their bodies and they slowly die where they stand/sit/lay. While not re-animated dead seeking the flesh or brains of the living, they are both living but ultimately dieing -- in other words, if they're zombies, they are infectious and they are the slowest moving buggers I've seen yet. I've included this film in this list because I think it gives a good view of what post apocylapict existance and survival might look like; I also think The Road, staring the ranger/king guy from Lord Of The Rings, is a striking example.
Mulberry Street - Green Ooze
I found this film intense, and I liked how it would at times go into a first-person view during action sequences. Set in NYC, rats are carrying a disease that crosses over to humans and causes them to mutate into wild killer rat people. Okay, so the 'killer mutant rat people' thing is more than a little hard to take seriously -- however -- this gave a view of an outbreak from the perspective of being in a big city where disease-control lock-down occurrs and peple have to survive. Personally, I'm an old-school Seattlelite who grew up in the sub-urbs -- being in big cities for prolonged periods of time scares me just as not being near an ocean and a major interstate ... I can't explain it, its just how I'm wired. If I were in a major city area and zombies attacked, I think I would want to get supplies and get out -- my impression of folks in places like NYC, they're wired to stay in the city. In a lot of respects, this film is similar to Quarantine (2008) -- perhaps too similar -- NYC, lock-down, people mutating I think due to rats.
Other Titles That Deal With Outbreak/Quarantine Scenarios
I Am Legend AKA the original film/book The Omega Man
Outbreak (1995) - In my opinion, this film made major mistakes about outbreaks, and by compairision was amaturish to Richard Preston's book "The Hot Zone" which was slated to be made into a film around the same time, only "Outbreak" beat them to the punch.
|Zombie Books Read by BagpiperDon
Somewhere I Fit in Reading ... During That Free Hour Between 2 & 3AM
Remember, in the chaos of the zombie apocylapse you may not have the electricity to google "how to kill a zombie"
The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
I have begun reading this book.
World War Z (book & audio book) by Max Brooks
I have begun reading & listening-to this book.