Saturday, May 28, 2011
Z Nation 2014 - **** You can't see it, but I'm smiling. I've just finished watching the first episode of "Z Nation", a new series that begins this evening (September 12, 2014 - 10 P.M. EST) on SyFy and Space in Canada.
The series stars Harold Perrineau, who fans will remember as Michael from "Lost", Tom Everett Scott from "Southland", and Michael Welch from "Twilight" among others.
The setup is a familiar one, a group of disparate survivors must make it from New York to California to the last remaining CDC lab, Camp Northern Light, while trying to avoid the multitudes of fast moving zees, as they are referred to.
The good news is that this first episode contains a smorgasbord of the kind of action that devotees require. We begin to see glimmerings of who the central characters are, and what they are about. There is a lot of zombie violence which, for the most part, is well done, and the writers throw in a few original FX gags and situations that will probably disturb some viewers. There are also some glimpses into how the government and military try to handle the initial outbreak, the depiction of which are probably closer to home than some idealistic audience members might feel comfortable with.
If I have a complaint at all, it is a technical one. The Director of Photography uses a stark, washed out look for a majority of the episode. Its unnaturalness pulled me out of the viewing a few times, especially during exterior scenes. But this is a minor quibble, no?
Why am I smiling? Because this pilot is a stark contrast to "The Walking Dead". That series seems to focus on character development with secondary zombie violence as its focus. "Z Nation" will find an audience if it continues to focus on zombie violence with secondary character development as displayed here. This is a fine line, but an important one.
I urge all fans of the genre to tune in, set your PVRs, then sit back and enjoy this initial episode. Show some support so that this new series can find its footing. There is a lot of promise shown here, and it is clear that a lot of good people are involved in the creation of this series. You've captured my attention, and I'm looking forward to the payoff.
Zombie 1981 - ***1/2 (A.K.A. Zombi 2) There are some who claim that this is the best zombie film ever made. We would, of course, dispute this, but it is a truly great film. The gore effects are remarkable, the zombies look great, and you get to see a zombie battle a shark. How can you not love it ? This is truly Fulci's masterpiece.
Zombie 5: Killing Birds 1988 - 1/2* We had initially written this review as a sort of primer for Italian genre films. That review shared penetrating insight into the history of not only Italian zombie films, but Italian horror as a whole. This allowed us to properly define why this film ended up the way it did. Unfortunately, when we hit the "publish post" button the Blogger site froze, and we ended up losing everything. Consequently you will have to wait for another time for that sage information, as we cannot bring ourselves to expend any more energy on this piece of shit. To summarize, an unnecessarily convoluted plot finds a group of student ornithologists on a field trip where they encounter zombies, a creepy blind guy played by Robert Vaughn, and vengeful birds. The zombies themselves don't show up until roughly the one hour mark, and they are quite secondary to the plot, such as it is. There is an awful lot of filler where students walk through the woods talking about nothing of consequence. Vaughn was clearly in a low point of his career to have even read the script. This is an entirely predictable film, if you haven't figured out everything by the halfway point you are a superior imbecile. The best parts of this mess are the unintentionally funny moments where the European actors are trying their damnedest to portray much younger American students This is simply another film calling itself a sequel to something that is entirely unrelated. Avoid it.
Zombie A-Hole 2012 - *1/2 We had great trepidation when this film began, one can tell instantly that there was no large budget involved. Certainly this is a B effort, but every once in awhile one comes along that isn't half bad.
The production values in this film are terrible, scenes are poorly lit, and the makeup on the zombie asshole himself is laughable. But it was the story and characters that reeled us in. One of this film's saving graces is the performance of Josh Eal as protagonist Frank Fulci.
Fulci is a gate keeper who makes sure that the worlds of the living and the dead don't interact. He is a bit of a hick cowboy hunting down the zombie asshole who killed his sister. He is joined by his other sister who survived the attack, and the zombie asshole's brother who wants him dead because he can't stand what his brother has become. The asshole in question is murdering sets of twin women and collecting their souls to open a gateway to Hell. The three must stop him before he can open it, and with the help of the Necronomicon (yeah, you read that right) set out to destroy him.
This film borrows, copies, and pay homage to some horror classics. There is plenty of nudity, some that you don't necessarily want to see, and some inventive kills that are carried out competently for the most part. One must give credit to writer/director Dustin Mills for a script, that while absurd at times, keeps you interested and entertained. Make no mistake this is a B indie film, it was shot for a mere $3000.00, but there are far worse films to waste 108 minutes on. (Think "Fast Zombies With Guns")
Zombie Apocalypse 2011 - 1/2* A new made for television zombie flick produced by Scyfy, and starring Ving Rhames invoked much curiosity in us. Would it suck? Would Rhames redeem himself after his turn in the dreadful remakes of "Dawn Of The Dead" and "Day Of The Dead"? Sadly the answer is yes, it did suck. There is virtually nothing here to recommend. The only original idea in this film is that some of the undead are runners. We are told these runners are the highest zombies on the food chain, which makes no semantic sense unless they eat the slower of their own kind. The writers also use a dog to illustrate that animals can be zombified in a scene that is so obviously foreshadowing that it sticks out like a sore thumb.
The movie contains its share of violence however the CGI employed is subpar even for television standards. It looked positively phony in high definition, even the city backgrounds were poorly executed. The script was amateurish and clumsy, and the acting was no better. The performance by Lesley-Ann Brandt, lately of "Spartacus" fame was particularly smirk inducing. Which brings us to Ving Rhames. He basically phones in this one, as he is given very little to do except kill zombies and utter vacuous lines. Any actor of large stature could have played this role: think Michael Clarke Duncan, or even Kane Hodder.
The plot is one we've all seen dozens of times. A group of survivors tries to make their way to safety, along the way they run into various zombie hazards. It can only be made interesting by adding a new twist. Having said that, the new twist the screenwriters came up with for the climax of this film is right out of left field. At best it can be described as ludicrous, it is so incongruous to everything that leads up to it that it takes the viewer right out of the movie. Those who have survived, are waiting for a ship to rescue them and shuttle them to their safe haven. Suddenly out of the blue they are attacked by zombie tigers, not once but twice. The scene is completely unnecessary, hokey as hell, and the poorest example of computer animation that we've seen since screening a stinker entitled, "Birdemic: Shock And Terror". With television bringing us such gems as "The Walking Dead" and "Dead Set" this movie must be considered an utter failure and a huge disappointment. Maybe Ving Rhames should stay away from the genre.
Zombie Child 1977 - ** The first half of this film will bore you to tears though it does pick up the pace in the second. Unfortunately the film is also beset by bad gore effects. It is pretty hard to find a copy of this movie these days, so unless you are a true completist it is hardly worth seeking out.
Zombie eXs 2012 - 1/2 * We were on such a roll, we should have known it wouldn't last. This film is just another low budget lame attempt to make a zombie comedy, and is one of the worst examples in recent memory.
If you can check off any one of the above as being detrimental to your film viewing experience, then avoid this cinematic excrement at all costs. (Chances are that you, astute and discerning viewer that you are, will check them all) We actually hated this movie. Hated it ! We wanted to lash out at children and kittens for the 24 hours following our screening. Our world is now a darker place, it will take some time for optimism and light to return. The mere act of recalling the film and writing this review seems to be triggering a form of post traumatic stress disorder. As a small aside, why do the very worst films in this genre begin with the letter "Z" ?
Zombiefied 2012 - 1/2* I had the pleasure of viewing this film free at www.indiehorror.tv. I had a truly wonderful time making comments whilst in the chat room with others as the movie played. My pleasure was not derived from the film itself, it is terrible, it was sheer fun riffing on it with like minded individuals. This motion picture is exactly that, a picture that moves. It moves from rock bands performing, to endless chase scenes, and a multitude of lame zombie attacks with incessant heavy metal performed during each.
As we have stated here many times, Steve and I applaud young would be film makers who take on a project such as this, for the most part. But when one of these wholly amateurish stinkers comes along it is hard not to deride it for its lack of overall craft, plodding pace, atrocious acting, and horrible effects. Not one line from any "actor" here is delivered with authenticity or conviction. The story, such as it is, revolves around a tape containing a song that when played causes listeners to turn into zombie like creatures led by a man in a Nixon mask. As plausible as this may all seem, it doesn't translate into anything remotely interesting when viewed.
The half star this film receives are for the first five, promising minutes that involve a nice pair of titties and cocaine. Sadly after that it's all downhill. Had I had to sit through all 100 minutes of this drivel alone in my man cave, I would now be a sad, mortified shadow of my former self. Thank you Indie Horror TV for making my time with this film bearable. You don't have that option, so do anything else that springs to mind.........anything.
Zombiegeddon 2003 - 1/2* When during the introduction to a film the world's worst mainstream director Uwe Boll tells you not to watch because the movie is an utter piece of shit it should behoove one to listen. Make no mistake about it this is a shitty film, but we're giving it a break because we watched "Santa Claus Versus The Zombies" right after it. We decided that while this is indeed an atrocious film on many levels, it does have enough chuckles and nudity to give it that half star.
Troma films range from delightful camp to cringe inducing offal, this film leans hard to the latter. The first question we asked ourselves was how did they get Linnea Quigley, Tom Savini, Brinke Stevens,and William Smith to make appearances in this film alongside the likes of Ron Jeremy, and that mainstay of awful cinema Joe Estevez? It seems to us that director Chris Watson purposefully set out to make as bad a film as he could muster. How else does one explain the ridiculous special effects? At one point you can actually see a pair of hands holding a paint tray throwing "blood" on the wall during a killing.
Plot wise the story revolves around a pair of dirty cops who have to save the world from an outbreak. The zombies here are an actual separate race of beings created by Satan. They can appear human to the rest of us, co-existing and causing most of the nasty shit that plagues our planet. They talk, live fairly normal lives, and apparently are all skilled at martial arts. The humor is pretty much what one would expect from a Troma film, politically incorrect, largely sexual and scatological in nature. There are a few gags where one will laugh probably in spite of one's self; and like we said, obligatory nude scenes. Beyond that there is nothing that would make us recommend this one to you. It is really rather hard to sit through this one, skip it.
Zombie Hunter 2013 - * A drifter whose mission it is to kill "eaters, a slut, a sexy good girl and her 15 year old brother who has a compulsion to masturbate, an overweight inbred redneck, an old guy who happens to be a pilot, and Danny Trejo playing the role that Danny Trejo always plays must band together to survive an outbreak caused by a drug called "Natas".
It is difficult to decide which aspect of the film is more cloying, the voice over narration by the characters or the fake looking CGI blood that keeps spraying on the camera lens.
Most of the zombies here are of the mindless variety, while others wield weapons including a chainsaw. No explanation for this is given and it makes no sense, especially when a breed of giant monsters are introduced that have nothing to do with the symptoms of taking the drug. The script seems based on a bad video game that hasn't been invented yet, and Trejo is by far the best actor here. Yeah you read that right. The most enjoyable part of the film for us was the most ridiculous, pointless sex scene since "The Room". It has to be seen to be believed, and of course it contains no nudity.
This was a Kickstarter project and it shows, the zombies are not believable looking, the gore effects are poor, and the script contains every trite cliche imaginable. Crowdfunding for films is the proverbial dual edged sword. At its most noble it allows young and talented film makers the opportunity to get their project produced, but also lets the not so talented who may have some sales skills the same benefit to the detriment of cinema in general. You can skip this one and feel no guilt.
The Zombie King 2013 - *1/2 Being peripherally involved in the film industry ourselves we understand that when producing a mid budget film it is to one's advantage to attach one or two big names to your project to draw viewers to your film when there are many to choose from. We're just not sure if Edward Furlong and Corey Feldman would be the first that would spring to mind.
From its cover one is led to believe it is a straight forward horror film, but it is actually a British zombie comedy. Furlong's character calls upon a voodoo Demon played by Feldman to bring his wife back to life. In return the Demon wants to destroy the Underworld and unleash chaos, it involves seven steps, seven souls, blah, blah. The undead take over a small country town, and a group of survivors including a milkman, a postal worker, and a bylaw enforcement officer are the only ones that can stop the plan. They wander in and around the town as they cannot leave, the army has set up a perimeter and will shoot anyone who tries to leave on sight.
Eventually they arrive at a church where they meet a drunken Father Lawrence.The Priest as played by Jon Campling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) looks, and to some degree acts like Bill Moseley's "Otis B Driftwood" from "The Devil's Rejects". Together they have a final showdown with the Zombie King and his minions. The films ending resorts to the tired and cliche, we have seen it dozens of times.
This is certainly not a gory movie, and for a comedy it's laughs are limited. It's like the screen writers couldn't agree as to what tone the film should take, and it ultimately suffers for it. There really is nothing here for the serious zombie fan. It is simply better than some, and worse than others.
Zombie Love 2007 - ***We don't know about you, but we loves us a zombie musical. This love story between the zombie Dante and human Claudia actually brought a huge smile to our faces. It's pretty hard to find, but we present the full 45 minute film you courtesy of your friends at youtube. The end sequence is a bit out there, and doesn't seem to fit with has come before, but we can live with that. There have been stage adaptations of the film, if you are lucky enough to have one where you live you'd be foolish to miss it. If we have one complaint with zombie musicals it's that the soundtracks are almost impossible to find. Enjoy, and leave some comments - we'd like to know what you think.
Zombies And Cigarettes 2009 - **1/2 This 17 minute Spanish short film is a perfect example for would be zombie film makers of what can be done on a small budget. It is well shot, well acted, and well executed. The makeup is very good, we just wish there were more depictions of actual gore to go with all the blood. We present it here in its entirety.
Zombie Town 2007 - *** A.K.A. "Night Of The Creeps 2" This is a really enjoyable, smaller budget production. Slug like parasites show up in a small town and begin forcing the residents to bite other victims in order to propagate. There is solid action, humor, and the acting is actually very good for a production of this size. There is enough very well done gore to satisfy blood thirsty viewers. It does not however have anything to do with "Night Of The Creeps" apart from the slugs. Definitely check this one out, you won't be disappointed.
Zombies Versus Strippers 2012 - No Stars. We approached this one with no small level of trepidation given the title and more than a modicum of experience. How surprised were we then to experience this smartly written, tautly paced piece? This film contains high humor, pathos, visceral thrills, and ultimately themes of courage and redemption that are clearly metaphors for...............just fucking with ya, it's absolute garbage. To call this film witless and base would be extending it an unwarranted kindness. This ill conceived tale of a struggling tittie bar, and its caricature ridden staff fending off the undead assaults the viewer with mediocrity in its every aspect. It touts itself as a comedy, but contains approximately the same amount of laughs as "Schindler's List". We've posed the question before, but let us pose it again, who the fuck green lights this shit? Who was the person at, what in years past was a reputable horror film distribution company, "Full Moon" who would gamble money that this script was filmable? Did they actually foresee a return on that investment?
Which of us actually believe that zombies and strippers are such a seamless combination that they deserve not one, but three movies? Note to film makers: if you are going to shoot a movie that revolves around a strip club cast actresses that male viewers would like to see naked. One would think that this should be a no brainer, not in this case. Here we are treated to not one, but two of the ugliest sets of man made fun bags in recent memory. There really isn't any point in referring to the gore here, it is sad and amateurish at best.
Regrettably, the best part of this film is a verbose, pedantic Christian biker character named Red Wing portrayed by Brad Potts.(Red wings on a Hell's Angel logo is a status symbol signifying that the wearer performed cunnilingus on a menstruating woman). We did not laugh once during this movie, we couldn't even muster a snort of derision. We urge you friends, skip "Zombies Versus Strippers" and watch "Strippers Versus Zombies" instead (see below). We give this one No Stars.
Posted by guttercat at 9:05 PM