Herschell Gordon Lewis' BloodMania

Herschell Gordon Lewis' BloodMania
The Godfather of Gore is back, and it's about bloody time!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

D



Dance Of The Dead  2008 - **1/2 This one just missed. It could have been a very good film except that it is hampered by its own inconsistencies.  There is a zombie invasion on Prom night, and the only people who can stop it are the nerd boys from the school's sci-fi club.

 The character set up in the first quarter of the film was quite witty and had a lot of humor. It is when the zombies themselves are introduced that the film suffers from a lack of internal logic. Some zombies are slow, some run, some talk, and worst of all, some drive cars. If one can get past these flaws there is a sufficient amount of decent gore involved, and the odd interesting kill. There are certainly worse films in the genre, this one isn't a complete waste of time, worth a viewing. 
   
         


Danger ! 50,000 Zombies ! 2004 - 1/2 * This half hour spoof by Nick Frost of his own TV series, "Danger !50,000 Volts !" also features his partner in crime Simon Pegg. I found it to be an utter waste of time. It is supposed to be a documentary on how to survive a zombie attack, unfortunately it isn't clever, imaginative, or funny. It is not widely available in North America, so below is a taste. You were warned.

 


Dawn Of The Dead 1978 - ***** What can ya say ? This is the film that is the blueprint for all zombie films to follow !!! George A Romero's vision, Tom Savini's special effects, the camp, the music of "Goblin", and the silly performances make this a classic horror masterpiece. In my humble opinion the greatest zombie film ever produced.



Dawn Of The Dead 2004 - ** The first needless remake of a Romero classic. It bears no resemblance to the original. It does have some imaginative gore twists though that make it watchable. The baby zombie is a nice touch, and answers the question of whether a pregnant woman who is bitten passes along the disease in utero.

  


Dawna The Dead 2008 - 1/4* A.K.A. "Dawna Of The Dead". Where does this porn film succeed? It is aged with lines and screen flaws, so during a few early scenes it evokes memories of 70's Italian horror films. That's really all the kindness I can muster; it's failures are glaring and numerous. All of the action takes place in a cemetery at night, and the person in charge of lighting the set is apparently devoid of any technical savvy, rendering most scenes too dark to see a Goddamn thing. 

Dawna's boyfriend has recently passed away. The cemetery he's buried in is the 6th gate of the 9 gates of Hell. Naturally she goes to visit his casket to masturbate on it. After climaxing, her ejaculate drips from her fingers onto the ground, which causes the dead to rise. The Risen then skull fuck a couple of women to death, turning them into zombies too. Yes you read that correctly, they ram their dicks into the women's mouths so hard that they break through the back of their skulls. This special effect is created by showing the back of a fake head with a wig on it suddenly developing a perfectly round hole which is accompanied by a popping sound. The only other gore scene of note is a female walker gnawing on intestines ,which are obviously a large sausage (not that kind, see the pic above). 

When you add unattractive porn stars, a largely incoherent plot, and being unable to see the actual sex because of poor image quality to the mix it makes enduring this nonsense taxing. I did check out the IMBD and was amused to find some credits that would look great on a resume. One actress was listed as "Anal Zombie" and another as "Ass To Mouth Zombie". Their parents must be so proud. This whole zombie porn thing still makes me shake my head. If this is what really floats your boat you will be disappointed.



 Dawn Of The Living Dead 2004 - 1/2(A.K.A. Evil Grave: Curse Of The Maya) When the top billed cast of a film are David Heavener the writer/director, Joe Estevez, and Todd Bridges you know that the enjoyment prospects of the next 90 minutes of your life are dubious at best. The plot here is immaterial, it has something to do with a murder of a Mayan family, a woman released from a mental hospital, tedious flashback and dream sequences, a moon which multiplies, the day of the dead, the smuggling of Mexicans, blah, blah, blah. Bridges has a non speaking role as a "slight retard" with bad teeth. There is a scene where Estevez imposes his girth on the heroine in an act of non consensual sex that will be hard to scrub from ones mind. The film also boasts one of the most ridiculous endings in recent memory. The single star is for the gore, which is quite well done, as well as for the birth of a zombie. The scene with the baby zombie is so........laughable. This is a real piece of shite, only for the real zombie completist.



The Day It Came To Earth 1977 - 1/4*   This film stars George Gobel as a geological expert who somehow becomes embroiled in a zombie's revenge upon the Mafiosos who had him murdered. Need I say more ? A truly punishing viewing experience.


Day Of The Dead 1985 - ****1/2 I was initially disappointed in this film when I saw it in its Canadian theatrical version. Then one day I got a hold of the uncut version, which wasn't available here until the mid 90s. With all the gore footage restored I can say that this too is a Romero masterpiece that grows more brilliant upon subsequent viewings. The scene where Sgt. Rhodes meets his demise is still one of the best deaths in zombie film history.



Day Of The Dead 2008 - * Mena Suvari is horribly miscast in this second totally unnecessary remake of a classic. The only thing the two films have in common is that there are soldiers in them. An inferior film in every aspect that tries to benefit from association with the great Romero.Watch if you must, otherwise don't sully your memories.




Day Of The Dead 2: Contagium 2005 - NO STARS There are so many reasons to hate this film it's hard to know where to start.  Hell I'll just list them: 1). The Script - The first 5 minutes of this film are the best, it actually shows some promise as soldiers combat zombies. Unfortunately the next hour chronicling the lives of patients and doctors at a mental hospital is replete with pseudo science, lengthy and nonsensical exposition, characters you just don't give a shit about, and is completely, utterly boring.

 You don't get any more undead action until the 1:06 mark, and then you wish you hadn't, as the third act is surprisingly worse than than all that has preceded it; leading to a mind numbingly stupid ending. Not to mention the fact that for a supposed sequel it has absolutely nothing to do with either of the films above. It is apparent that the writer is not well versed in the genre, and holds it in little regard.

  2). The Acting - If you took a man off the street and had him read lines from a teleprompter you would get a more believable performance than anything that is on display here.  3). The Make-up And Effects - Sure, this is small budget, but the zombie's make-up is terrible, the dead bodies look phony and the lack of talent in these departments is clearly evident on the screen.  4). The Zombies - There is nothing that makes my blood boil more than talking zombies. 

5). Taking Romero's Name In Vain - This is easily the worst offender to try to legitimize itself by association with a Romero motion picture. It is made even worse because the film strives so earnestly to cement a spot in zombie lore by trying to explain the origin of the undead. 

According to the IMDB Writer/Co-Director Ana Clavell makes her living this way:  "Her specialty is re-writing, directing and re-purposing intellectual properties". In my mind that translates as "she writes shitty sequels to other peoples work, fucking with established canon just to earn undeserved profit off of their coat tails; she is a parasite".

 Shame on you Ana!!! Shame on every one involved in the making of this sub standard, poorly written, entirely unnecessary piece of celluloid excrement!    




 Days Of Darkness (2007) - A ragtag group try to survive a zombie outbreak while holed up in a military base in this poorly conceived, poorly executed, and mediocre film. A comet hits the Earth releasing a parasitic life form that transforms those who inhale them into what resembles Romero style zombies. The parasite tries to reproduce by wreaking havoc with human sexual organs; penises and testes fall off to be replaced by a sac containing parasite/human hybrids. Females seem to be pregnant with what appears to be giant shrimp with multiple appendages, one of which looks like a barbed penis.

 When all is said and done, all it takes to kill the parasites is alcohol; as stupid a premise as I've run across in recent memory.  This is a muddled tale where one really needs the pseudo scientific exposition spouted by the protagonist to get the slightest gist of what is transpiring. 

The characters here are truly one dimensional archetypes; virgin (pregnant), macho movie bit actor, token black and homosexual, religious zealot, porn star, etc. etc. They spout largely mundane dialogue and do predictably stupid things.The single star I'm giving this is for some decent gore and a bit of nudity that made viewing this dog somewhat bearable.




 Day X 2005 - 1/2* Another 28 Days scenario, the enemy here are of the infected variety, not zombies. Hell, the main character points this out at least twice.

 A group of folks are trapped together as a government made virus is accidentally, or not so accidentally released upon the American populace. Together they must try to survive blah, blah, blah. Most of the gore, apart from gunshots, takes place in the dark, so it is difficult to gauge their quality. It wasn't so bad as to be unwatchable, but it is a low budget effort with absolutely nothing to recommend it.

                                      
                        

The Dead 2010 - **** Now this is what I've waited for, this makes the countless hours of sub standard cinema worthwhile. What we have here is an actual zombie HORROR film; there is nary a trace of comedy (well, there is a darkly hilarious line delivered by one character) or smirking parody so common in the genre lately. I would easily go out on a limb and say it is in my top six zombie films of all time. This simple tale of an American Air Force engineer named Murphy whose plane crashes on the African coast as he is trying to escape the zombie outbreak, is a film that George Romero should have made rather than his weaker efforts of late. 

As Murphy seeks means to survive, his life is saved by African soldier Sgt. Dembele whose village has been wiped out, and who is looking for his son.  They forge a deal to help them meet their respective needs, and set out on a journey together, trying to survive along the way. 

Every aspect of this film is satisfying. The cinematography captures the beauty and scale of its African setting, the acting is believable, the makeup is flawless, and the violence superbly executed. The soundtrack music here is sparse, but it isn't necessary; there are many moments of true suspense that music would only detract from. 

Where this film truly succeeds for the fan is that it is believable. The characters respond to threats like real people would. It made me ask myself questions while I viewed it like, "where the hell would I find water"? or "if I was alone, where and how would I sleep"? 

The film was written and directed by brothers Howard and Jonathan Ford who have stated that the film was an homage to Romero, and it shows. It looks and feels like a Romero film of the eighties. I look forward to more from these two, and would love to see the zombie epic they could make with a large budget. This one is a must see, a truly sublime example of the potential of zombie cinema.



 Dead & Breakfast 2004 - **1/2 The problem with this film is I can't recommend it, but neither can I condemn it. It has funny moments and gory moments, but somehow just misses the mark. They aren't any zombies in the Romero sense, as they are reanimated through magic. The most enjoyable aspect of this movie are the interludes with the narrator who reveals the plot through profanity laden country music. Oh, it also features zombie line dancing. The movie suffers from having a first half that developed a  promise it couldn't deliver on. The gore effects were merely okay, but did have some originality.




 Dead Air 2009 - ** This film reunites "The Night Of The Living Dead" remake's Bill Moseley and Patricia Tallman. Many have been the comparisons made between this film and "Pontypool". Though they both take place in a radio station and the story revolves around a small cast, that really is all they have in common.

 This is an enjoyable film that rises above its budget. It relies on an ever increasing dread about what is happening in the world outside the station for the first half, and has some well done zombie mob scenes. And yes they are zombies; you see a couple them rise after being killed. If the biologically infected aren't zombies, then so much for "28 Days Later" and the like.

 The thinly veiled underlying theme of the script is the effect fear, paranoia, and intolerance have on each of us. The acting is believable, Moseley is a very good actor who I wish would be allowed to stretch his muscles outside the horror genre more frequently. Pat Tallman's performance was very strong as usual, though I wish they would have given her character more to do.

 This is not a gore fest, though there is one very interesting effect on a head shot. Like "Pontypool" it is a small budget film, with its own merits. An enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.




 Dead Alive 1992 - ****1/2 AKA "Braindead" Peter Jackson's third film is a veritable feast of dark humor, and arguably the goriest zombie movie ever made. A truly inventive film for its time, it answers the age old question, "if I had to kill a large number of the walking dead, how would I do it" ? A lawn mower of course. If you enjoy this you should check out Jackson's earlier film "Bad Taste".




 Dead And Deader 2006 - *After writing the abysmal "House Of The Dead" and its somewhat better sequel Mark Altman, the original fan boy, produced this script which thinks it's far more clever than it actually is.

 This film produced for television by Starz had me feeling like I was viewing a movie of the week or a zombie after school special. It fairly reeks of television. 

 Dean Cain plays a soldier who comes back from the dead with his faculties intact to combat the undead on an army base. Along the way he adopts a black sidekick and a hot babe to assist him; standard stuff with a lot of pseudo science thrown in.

  The cast consists of a smorgasbord of TV actors in bit parts, Star Trek alumni Armin Shimerman and John Billingsley to name a few. The make-up here is not bad, but the gore effects are rather poor given the budget. Though not terrible, it is very, very average.




Dead Before Dawn 3D 2012 - NO STARS Look at the poster above, it will explain what a zemon is. That's all you really need to know about this drivel. I believe it was conceived as a teen comedy - it is devoid of anything remotely funny. 

This is an inane movie that I will sum up thusly: Unfunny, Uninteresting, Unnecessary, Unwatchable. 


Dead Clowns 2004 - 1/2* What a piece of garbage; sick garbage to boot - clowns. This films only merit is how unintentionally funny it is, it just lends itself to riffing.

 The zombie clown make-up is terrible, reminiscent of bad 70s films from Italy. These clowns have been underwater for decades, but when they walk the earth again they are decomposed, while their little clown outfits and huge shoes look brand spanking new.

 Horror Scream Queen Brinke Stevens is listed in the credits as "The Story Teller", it should have been, "Woman who recites overly lengthy exposition in monotone". 




 Dead Genesis 2010 - *** There seems to be a renaissance happening in the Canadian zombie film world. Films like "A Little Bit Zombie", "Exit Humanity", and this film feature a broad range of storytelling that is both exciting and invigorating to the genre.

 I really liked this film. Does it have a large budget? No, quite a small one in reality. These films do not get produced without the help of many people volunteering their time and expertise. A lot of talented people were involved here. As with any small budget feature, it is somewhat limited in that some of the acting is a little suspect, but that really is the only negative comment one can make. 

 There will be some who will complain about the sometimes shaky handheld camera work, but it fits in nicely with the premise of the film. The movie takes place around seven months after the beginning of the apocalypse. The military is proving insufficient against the numbers of the dead, so the government sanctions groups of civilian hunters to help in the "War On Dead". 

Without spoiling anything, the story revolves around a journalist who wants to make a documentary about one of these groups. She is allowed to follow a unit called "The Deadheads" and interview them, and she ultimately gets more than she bargained for in the process.

  The opening scene of this movie is without a doubt one of the most disturbing and effective scenes that I've seen in years.Writer/director Reese Eveneshen is to be commended for a script that fleshes out its characters, and contains one or two scenes that I've always wanted to see depicted.

 The quality of the make-up, gore effects, and soundtrack far surpass the limitations of the budget. It is vastly better than similarly budgeted films like, say, the "Deadlands" series, why? Young would be film makers pay attention here - because it tells an interesting story. I recommend this one, and no, not just because Iam Canadian and fiercely proud of it.




 Deadheads 2011 - ***1/2 Certainly not your typical zombie film, but certainly one of the more enjoyable films in recent memory.

 The plot revolves around Mike, who wakes up to find that he is a member of the living dead. He soon meets Brent, and together they set off on a hilarious and violent journey to re-unite Mike with his girl friend Ellie. There are many twists and turns to the plot, and a cast of colorful characters.

 I won't spoil anything, like why these two retain their humanity while surrounded by normal zombies, but I will say that the performance by Ross Kidder as Brent is pitch perfect.

 Convincing gore, impressive make-up details, and a well crafted script combine to form the funniest zombedy I've ever seen. Don't get the wrong impression, but it is actually rather heart warming in parts. I don't often say this, but this is one film that deserves the sequel treatment. A highly recommended movie.




 Deadlands 2: Trapped - 1/2* I had heard some good things about this low budget indie film by Gary Ugarek. Ugarek who serves as writer, editor, and director here proves himself inept at all three. The script is amateurish, the acting atrocious and one wonders why this film was even made.

 It is not so much a zombie film as the story of 5 people trapped in a movie theater trying to reason their way out of a bad situation, and poorly at that.  The zombies themselves are passable; however there is an utter lack of gore due the constraints of a $6000.00 budget. There are only a couple of scenes of people falling prey to the undead, and I can't recall a gory zombie death at all. 

To add insult to injury, the only nudity involved takes place in a strip bar, and the stripper in question possesses the ugliest pair of fun bags I've ever seen.  Everything about this production is sub par. We are told that this film is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor, "Deadlands: The Rising". I was going to review it first, but am having trouble finding a copy...Hmmm.

 When the best thing you can say about a movie is that it only has a 82 minute running time it's a sad testament. Skip this one.



 Dead Meat 2004 - **1/2 As far as I know this is the only living dead film produced in Ireland. It does have slow moments, but also has some genuinely creepy scenes. The gore effects are quite good, but I do have one slight quibble: the zombies tend to use weapons in the early part of the film. Definitely worth a viewing however.



 Dead Men Walking (2005) - *** I have a theoretical template for a zombie film; it goes something like this: Take some pieces of paper and write five interesting ways to kill a zombie on each, now put three interesting ways for a zombie, or zombies to kill a human on three more pieces. Label more pieces of paper with the following: exposition: carpentry scene (reinforcing your shelter), and origin. Now simply put all the pieces in a hat, and draw them out one by one. This is the story structure for your film. Now write your screenplay around it. If you actually use this, please give me a credit. 

As you are probably too well aware, the biggest complaint people have with this genre is that all the films tell the same story over and over again. This is not necessarily a bad thing however. This film is an obvious homage to the Romero films made up to that time. A tale of a zombie outbreak due to governmental viral experiments, it takes place in a prison. See? This is a new twist on the familiar, and the element of being locked in with no means of escape is actually quite frightening. 

There are no big name actors here, the closest would be Brandon Stacy. Mr. Stacy plays Mr. Spock on "Star Trek: Phase II", and was the stand-in for Zachary Quinto in  J.J. Abrams "Star Trek". Shot on a half million dollar budget it is well acted, has a large amount of very well done gore, and it hooks you from the opening scene and throughout the film. Have I seen it all before, particularly the ending ? Of course. But I recommend that you check this one out as it was obviously made by people who love the genre.




The Dead Mile 2012 - **1/2  Will having been involved in the making of this film compromise my objectivity? No, not really. I was merely a zombie extra in this film, which was shot in Calgary, AB Canada during the fall of 2011. I did however gain a better understanding of the challenges in shooting such a film on a micro budget and a short filming schedule.

This is an entertaining film, it has some good laughs, the requisite gore, and looks like it was shot on a larger budget than was actually available. The premise here is unique, what if an actual zombie outbreak happened during a zombie walk? This is what the film's central characters must deal with after one of their friends is bitten by a cow, and the infection begins to spread through Calgary's annual zombie walk. The idea of the zombie virus being a variant of Mad Cow disease is not a new one, but seems fitting here in cattle country.

 Make no mistake, this is a low budget production, but unlike most it is well scripted, acted, and entertaining. A lot of very talented people gave freely of their time and skills to get this film made, and it shows.

The Dead Mile is available now on VOD here: http://vod.thedeadmile.com/ and it should see a DVD/Blue Ray release shortly. Check www.thedeadmile.com for updates.

P.S. If writer/director K.J. Kleefeld is reading this: If you shoot a topless scene, put the fucking titties in the fucking movie. Just sayin........




 Dead Moon Rising 2007 - * A good zombie film is replete with colorful characters that you grow to care about as it progresses, and has a script with dialogue that is believable and organic. The make-up and special effects make you cringe with their realism, and varying degrees of nudity enhance the viewing experience.

 This is not of those films.  This is as "B" a movie as is possible; the star that it is awarded is for a few reasonable laughs, and the performance by the lead Jason Crowe. There is little reason to watch this unless there is nothing else available; though it would have been vastly better with a larger budget.




 The Dead Next Door 1988 - ***1/2 Long before the popularity of the indie film, let alone the zombie indie, there was this little gem. It truly proves that a young director with vision and a limited amount of money can make a truly entertaining film.Shot on a budget that was as small as you could get, this homage to Romero, Carpenter, etc. succeeds admirably. Writer/director J.R. Bookwalter promised a sequel for years; sadly it looks as though it's not in the cards.




 The Dead Outside 2008 - ** This Scottish film may be described as dour, atmospheric, and shot for a mere 4000 pounds. Does this make for a good film though ? No, not really. The low budget kind of puts a damper on things like special effects, so the movie explores the psyche of a couple of survivors of the apocalypse. It's been done before and better. This is one of those films that makes 89 minutes seem like an eternity; skip it.


 Dead Pit 1989 - * Since the previous review posted here was so short I decided to view this again and see if the impressions the movie made upon my younger self would hold true today. 

Sadly, it is much worse than I gave it credit for. I guess at the time there weren't that many films in the genre to compare it to.

 A doctor murders an evil colleague performing experiments on patients in the basement of a mental hospital, then seals it off to the world. Twenty years later an earthquake releases the evil again.

 The plot is at times ridiculous, and leaves the viewer having to infer what is transpiring, but it is mostly just plain boring. The zombies don't even make an appearance until the 66 minute mark of this 95 minute film.

 They act like zombies, but unfortunately they sport white pancake makeup. What gore there is is very well done, but it isn't enough to save the film or to have me recommend it to you.



Dead Rising Watchtower 2015 - * I figured that since it is a chilly, rainy Saturday that I would spend the day catching up on some recent releases, since I haven't posted a review in quite some time. I guess this was a good place to start, as hopefully it can only get better from here. (I hope I haven't jinxed myself). The best thing that I can say about this film is that it is bland and inoffensive, it is the Bobby Vinton of zombie films. I don't know whether this was made for television, and can't be bothered to research the answer. I suspect it was though because it is edited in such a way to allow for numerous commercial breaks.

The story revolves around the usual government/military conspiracy to sabotage a drug called Zombrex which protects citizens from the zombie virus, what follows is a series of scenes played by unlikable characters which lack any true gore, suspense, or fright. The one scene that sticks out for me is one wherein the military thinks the virus may have gone air born, they gun down an Asian family, but let a pretty Caucasian reporter through to quarantine. The surprise twist ending has been so overused that it has become laughable.

The zombies here look good, but in this day and age there is no reason that they shouldn't on any project with a reasonable budget. They do however yield weaponry at times, and seem to retain a portion of their human abilities. Jesse Metcalfe who was most recently seen in the reboot of "Dallas" plays the lead, a reporter looking to establish his credentials as a serious journalist. He's pretty much there to look good and deliver some lines. The same with actress Meghan Ory, but I could watch a three hour film of her sitting in a chair, she is that sexy. The talents of Virginia Madsen and Dennis Haysbert are largely wasted here.

In the end, the best I can say is that this is a contrived, formulaic, waste of time for any serious enthusiast. Your time is far better spent re-watching something even marginally better.



 Dead Season 2012 - *** Despite a slow start, this one is worth sticking with. The first two acts are very slow moving. We meet Elvis (no, not that one) a paramedic who has lost his family. He is in contact with a woman named Tweeter via radio. Elvis (not Costello) has arranged for a boat to take him to the presumed safety of a remote island.

 Elvis (not Stojko) ends up meeting with Tweeter, and together they face the challenges of getting to the island. They arrive to find other survivors led by a man named Conrad, who runs things in a paramilitary fashion. All of this is pretty boring.

 The acting is competent enough, but the problem lies in the screenplay. At no point do you care for any of the characters. There really isn't a likable one to be found, including Elvis (not Grbac) and Tweeter. 

The film is salvaged,  however,  by a bloodbath in the third act which features believable zombies, and some truly outstanding gore effects. The film even provides a reasonable explanation as to why the undead are evolving into runners, and an interesting concept of how to maintain a viable food source that I have never seen presented before. 

Some mention should also be made of actress Marissa Merill's (Tweeter) breasts which are outstanding, and on prominent display. The film's climax was a bit of a disappointment in its predictability in both outcome and dialogue. Despite its flaws this is one that is worth checking out.  
 


Dead Set 2008 - **** Sometimes words fail. This 5 part British mini-series is so much better than films that get a theatrical release that it is astonishing.

 The story revolves around the competitors and makers of the British "Big Brother" series, and how they cope when the apocalypse happens. The total running time of all the episodes is 2 hours, 15 minutes of suspense, humor, and gripping zombie action.


 Everything here works: the acting, the characters, and the bloodshed .And what bloodshed there is!  The gore and make-up effects are on par with anything coming out of Hollywood- and this was for TV ? Two years before "The Walking Dead" ?

 This is a must see for any zombie film enthusiast. The only quibble that I have with it is the fast moving zombies. Brits seem to like fast moving zombies, but this is minor. My hat is off to all involved with this gem.



 Dead Snow 2009 - *** Film makers seem to have more of an obsession about making Nazi zombie films than I do watching them. Of the half dozen or so in this sub genre this is by far the best.

 This Norwegian film about a group of medical students on a ski trip who encounter the undead benefits from an entertaining, darkly humorous script, and great gore effects. The last 30 minutes is a blood bath, and features an ending that should have you losing your shit with laughter.


]

 Dead Walkers 2009 - *** A 14 minute short zombie western shot in my home town - Calgary, Alberta. 

It features State of the Art gore effects, and excellent acting and production values. There is talk that it may be redone feature length; let's hope so.

 If you would like to download this little gem and support director Spencer Estabrooks here is a link:

 http://itunes.apple.com/ca/movie/deadwalkers/id374427275  



The Defiled 2010 - 1/4* Every once in awhile a film comes along that is so bewildering it makes me wonder if there was an actual script involved, or whether it was totally improvised on set. This is one of those films.

 It must be a zombie film, it was part of a two disc set called, "Zombie Horror Fright Fest" after all. Among the causes for my bewilderment were: 1). Watching a zombie family unit forage for food. 2). Watching a zombie drink from a creek. 3). Zombies fucking. 4). A zombie finds a bottle of liquor, he puts it in the pocket of his suit jacket and drinks it later. 5). Zombies using weapons. 6). A zombie eating chocolate. This doesn't even begin to cover the lack of internal logic found here.

 This black and white film revolves around a male zombie who accidentally kills his family by feeding them irradiated human meat. Before his pregnant wife dies he uses a butcher's hook to perform a drastic cesarean section. The resulting infant, who is actually billed in the credits as "Roger" is a totally unrealistic prop baby. The zombie Dad cares for this infant on his own until he runs into a gang of redneck zombies who have captured two human women to torment and consume. He rescues one of the women who then spends the rest of the film carrying the baby as they walk through various locales together. That's really it until the climax, they walk, he falls down, he gets back up, they walk some more. 

Oh and did I mention that there is no dialogue in this movie? The principles grunt and growl to convey the gist of what's happening. Not a bad idea, if the actors were capable of conveying the story through their craft; such is not the case here. The woman who portrays, for lack of a better term, "the baby carrier" is particularly bad. Her face is pretty much expressionless for the most part, but apparently director Julian Grant failed to notice this in the dailies. So that in a nutshell is what the film is about - for 100 minutes! By the time it reached it's predictable conclusion I was ready for a shower to scour away the taint.

There's really not much more I'd care to say. There's no nudity. There are some gory flesh eating scenes and a body torn in half, but I suspect that one of the reasons the film is presented in B&W is to help hide the shitiness of the effects and prosthetics.

 There's also a random scene of two birds flying across the screen which inexplicably is done with C.G.I.. They couldn't find stock footage of two birds flying?

 I decided to check out the IMDb after the screening as is my wont, and the brief synopsis found there provided nary an iota of clarity to what I had just witnessed:

  "In a post apocalyptic world, science and technology have backfired leaving unfathomable destruction and a permanently diseased planet in its wake. A virus is mutating the human race turning innocent survivors into mindless cannibals". 

So they aren't really zombies, they're infected. Mindless cannibals? They aren't mindless - they act with motivation, use weapons, and have the desire to care for their young. Why then, as is implied, are there so many immune? 

This film is a confusing, boring fucking mess. Watch this if you must, but I would suggest doing something more fruitful with your time like spending it in a dentist's chair, or re-arranging your sock drawer.




The Demented 2013 - A group of average uninteresting college kids go on a weekend getaway. We see them doing the average zany things that college kids do. Soon there is news of a biological warfare attack, and they begin to encounter the infected.

 There is no real gore, tension, or nudity, but the film does abound with long chase scenes through streets and corridors.

 For some reason that is never adequately explained, those who are infected stand dormant until they hear a noise, then they attack ferociously. The characters are essentially clueless, and react to situations foolishly. One never cares about any of them for a moment.

 The film looks good, and director Christopher Roosevelt sets the shots up nicely, but the script is ho hum at best. They tried for a shocking twist ending, but it seemed forced – a better concept on paper than in execution.

 The two words that best sum up this film are bland and average, a sin in a horror movie. Skip it.



 Demon Wind 1990 - ** Not a bad film, it features good zombie makeup and some decent gore.



Descendents 2008 - 1/2* AKA "Solos". If I'm not mistaken this is the first zombie film produced in Chile. I'm tapping my fingers on the desk in front of me, trying to think of something nice to say about it. Ah, got it - this movie is a relatively short 74 minutes.

The film itself is presented in muted and processed colors. It is largely monochromatic, and though it is supposed to be artistic and atmospheric, it is simply a detraction. There are scenes of the infected attacking, but really only one scene of graphic gore.

The plot, such as it is, goes something like this: 

"In a future where mankind has been largely destroyed by a virus that turns them into zombie like creatures, some children are found to be born with a natural immunity of sorts. The infected won't touch them. One such child is Camille, and this is her story".

 What a boring fucking story it is too. We get to watch her do things like walk, eat insects, explore abandoned houses, and then walk some more. The film is replete with Camille's voice over narrative which sounds like it was written by, well someone about ten, it simply states the obvious. 

The little girl has encounters with zombiesand the military who are killing the zombies, then she walks some more. We are witness to flashbacks of Camille's life, and then she walks, expressionless, some more. We see scenes of infectious control protocol, she keeps right on walking.....By the way when I say expressionless I mean it, in a flashback where we see her receive a superficial bullet wound she still has no expression on her face.

She meets up with some other immune kids, for some reason that is never satisfactorily explained they are compelled and told to get to the sea, so of course they start walking there. When they get there at the conclusion of the film we are treated to an ending that is so completely fucking incongruous with the rest of the movie that it is positively stunning.

Perhaps even more perplexing and vexatious is a segment placed about half way through the end credits that tries to explain the events that you have just wasted precious moments of your life viewing. It merely serves to muddy the waters further. This film is definitely worthy of your indifference.



Detention of the Dead 2012 - *** How utterly fucking refreshing! A movie that touts itself as a comedy, and actually delivers while still being a good zombie film.

 A group of high school archetypes including a jock, a hunk, a vacuous cheerleader, a geek, a goth girl, and an Asian find their school over run with walkers while in detention. The action picks up from the moment the film opens, and never stops. 

This movie is not only funny, satirical, and witty, but the zombies and gore are very well done. The zombie enthusiast will enjoy the references to the genre, and while the actors seem a tad old for their roles, the casting works. This definitely makes it into my top ten zombedies list.



Devil's Crossing 2011 - 1/2* I'm a bit bewildered as to why this movie was even made. It's a post apocalyptic tale that presupposes that after nuclear devastation that we would revert into an old West society. It's like someone wrote a shitty graphic novel, couldn't sell it but then managed to find someone sap to film it. 

Basically our hero Shad sold his soul to the devil and for centuries has walked the Earth as a collector of souls. Now he wants to renege on the deal. While he tries to regain his freedom he must save the residents of a small town from zombies. 

On paper this doesn't sound like the worst premise I suppose, but it is lacking in its execution. 

The acting is such that you never come to care for the characters, there is little actual gore, and most of what there is computer generated. You can't buy into it as a western because of the clothing, and as a post apocalyptic vision you are distracted by the cliches that you would find in any spaghetti western. There is nothing to recommend here.




 Devil's Playground 2010 - * A corporate mercenary must find a lone woman whose immunity may hold the key to a cure during a viral outbreak. It's been done before, and much better too.

 These are the Danny Boyle style, very fast, very agile variety of "zombie". I still have trouble with this, as they aren't undead as such, but progress is progress they say.

 It is a shame that a reasonable budget, and some big name actors like Colin Salmon and Jaime Murray are wasted in a monotonous endeavor such as this.

 The gore is mainly zombies being shot; the pace is slow, the script is full of stereotypical characters and predictable outcomes, it is simply boring.




 Diary Of The Dead 2007 - ***1/2 This fifth living dead movie by George A. Romero centers around a group of film students who wind up shooting much of the early zombie apocalypse. The film has everything you'd expect from the master - excellent kill effects on a larger budget, decent acting. But what impresses are the characters introspective moments, and the symbolic story telling.




 Die-ner (Get It ?) *** - What a pleasant surprise ! I've had a bad run lately: one stinker after another. So this one's title didn't have my blood racing to watch, but it's very good.

 A young couple have the misfortune of stopping for a bite to eat shortly after a serial killer has dispatched the night staff. They become stuck in the diner with him as the zombie apocalypse begins.

 The film is not overly gory, but when it is, the effects are very good. The acting is above average for a movie of this size; in fact the actor who plays the serial killer, Joshua Grote, reminds one of a young Ed Norton. 

Update: In July 0f 2012 this film was renamed and repackaged as "KFZ Kentucky Fried Zombies". We thought we'd share this so you don't buy it twice y'all.

 Die You Zombie Bastards! 2005 - 1/4* Ever wanted to see a villain who looks like a cross between the Emperor from Star Wars and Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf get his penis beaten with hammers by three green, topless zombie women for his sexual pleasure? Neither did I, but that's just one of the lowlights that this film provides.When the selling points on a DVD cover are that the music is provided by a member of "The Butthole Surfers", and there are cameos by aged porn legend Jamie Gillis and psychobilly artist Hasil Adkins, one should immediately recognize that this is not indicative of quality assurance.

What a fucking mess, Lloyd Kaufman would laugh at you if you asked him to distribute this. The hubris, the conceit it would take to film this script fully believing that people would enjoy, laugh, and pay money to see it at is tantamount to insanity. If you think that I just don't get it, and you are a fan of this film, you are a cretinous, lowbrow product of incest who would be equally happy observing a shiny object, I'm not afraid to say it.

This film is actually a sequel to "Red's Breakfast 2: Dawn Of The Red", which I would rather stick my dick in an active beehive while listening to Nickelback than ever view. That film introduced serial killer Red Toole to audiences, as portrayed by Tim Gerstmar. Gerstmar is to acting what Terry Schiavo was to football.

 Here Red's girlfriend Violet is kidnapped by Baron Nefarious. Nefarious lives on Hell Island in the Bermuda Triangle where he plans to unleash his "Enormo Zombotron" on an unsuspecting populace, mutating them into the living dead. Red turns into a superhero (wearing a costume made largely from the skins of his victims), and goes on a journey to rescue his love.

 Along the way he meets an alien played by Gillis who resembles Anthony Bourdain's older, simple brother, and others who help him on his quest. His tribulations are replete with the lamest of scatological and dick gags, all leading to a ridiculous conclusion.

 I won't even get into aspects such as direction or effects as there are really none to speak of. This is not a zombie film as the title suggests, and it is not as bad as some that appear elsewhere on this site. It is though an utter waste of 90 minutes of your life that not even copious gratuitous nudity can save. Woe unto you if you ignore this.




Document Of The Dead 1985 - **1/2 This documentary centers on not only the making of "Dawn Of The Dead", but George A Romero's film making techniques and philosophies as well. It contains a lot of interesting footage and interviews with the cast of "Dawn", and his previous vampire film "Martin". This is where the film succeeds.

 Where its failure lies is in the almost pedantic way it treats the audience in regards to the process of film making. It presumes the viewer has no awareness of how movies are made, the female narrator drones on about what terms like "pre-production" mean. I figure anyone who would have an interest in a documentary such as this is a film buff, rendering the narrative unnecessary. It is though a must see film for those who love Romero's work, and particularly his masterpiece "Dawn Of The Dead". There isn't an actual trailer as such,so below is a promotional video released for the Japanese market.



 Doghouse 2009 - *** An enjoyable British zombie comedy revolving around a group of male friends stuck in a small town where all the woman have been zombified. 

Funny, gory, and inventive. A thinly veiled commentary about the battle of the sexes.


2 comments:

  1. I read that you are looking for the movie Doomed. I saw it on YouTube's movie section. It is a free movie.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.youtube.com/movie/doomed

    ReplyDelete