Might still post on here about Zombie Movie Night but mostly I’ll be using
from now on.
Might still post on here about Zombie Movie Night but mostly I’ll be using
from now on.
My brother purchased Plaga Zombie: Zona Mutante, presumably because we enjoyed it so much and it comes with an exciting bonus feature. Plaga Zombie Part One! We’re going to try to have a special screening sometime soon instead of saving it until July.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in the year and a half that Zombie Movie Night has existed, it’s that other countries do wacky, over-the-top violence better than us. Such is the case once again with Argentina’s Plaga Zombie: Zona Mutante.
This film is a blast and you can tell everyone who made it was having a really good time. This is a sequel to the unavailable Plaga Zombie, but that doesn’t matter. It can still be followed quite easily. There’s very little regard paid to silly things like continuity, zombie rules or even human anatomy. None of it matters. All the head-scratching impossibilities just add to the often hilarious fun. At one strange turning point, I said, “I would say this got weird, but that would imply that it wasn’t weird before.” At another, my brother asked, “Are we sure Argentina isn’t in Asia?” THAT’S how delighfully weird it is. It should be Asian. Grade: A
On the other end of the spectrum comes FleshEater: Revenge of the Living Dead. Have you ever watched the iconic cemetery scene in the original Night of the Living Dead and thought, “Wow, that first zombie is great! He should write, direct and star in his own movie!”? Uh, yeah, me too. Well, it turns out the dream is better than the reality. The acting is better in corporate training videos. The directing is horrible, as pointless scenes go on for too long, characters enter and exit from the background and if they do walk out of frame, the camera lingers on empty spaces. There’s no plot to speak of. Meet people. People get eaten. Next scene. Meet people. People get eaten. Next scene. We are never given anyone to root for or care about. The movie just keeps starting over and going nowhere. A true turd. Grade: D
*** On a side note: it may seem like FleshEater is ripping off Night of the Living Dead (and by one of the original stars, no less!) but as any true zombie historian knows, Night of the Living Dead cannot be ripped off. It is in the public domain! You can download it for free. You can reenact it in your backyard and screen it on public access. You can use the exact same script and make Night of The Living Dead: Deviant Porn Edition. It’s all nice and legal! …Well, probably not the bestiality, you sicko.***
Someone on Twitter mentioned Vampires vs. Zombies today and I remembered that I wrote a review of it before Zombie Movie Night existed. Here it is, originally posted in my facebook notes section 7/26/09:There are not many valid reasons to watch a movie that you know heading into it is going to stink. One of those reasons (and quite possibly, the only one) is to mercilessly mock the horrible acting and the restraints of the shoestring budget. I thoroughly enjoyed “Zombie Town” because even though it was a bad movie, it was entertaining in its badness. You could tell the creators love movies and tried their best to make a good one. They just couldn’t afford it and made due with what they had. They had a plot, a climax and even some backstory. Everything about the movie was bad, but they kind of knew it, which made it all the more fun.
On the other hand, there is no joy in Vampires vs. Zombies. Faced with the same budget constraints as any independent film, they chose to spend the money on a blender with no lid, threw their script into it and produced a movie that is so incomprehensibly bad, it’s not even funny. First of all, [SPOILER ALERT] there is absolutely no interaction between the vampires and the zombies in a movie that is entitled VAMPIRES VS. ZOMBIES! If that’s not a cardinal sin in itself, then get this- the zombies have nothing to do with the “plot” of the movie. I use plot in quotations because the things that do happen make no sense at all- but I COULD figure out that it had nothing to do with zombies. It would be like Twilight taking place in the mall from Dawn of the Dead with none of the characters ever noticing the undead running around. Even Jack and Rose eventually noticed that the Titanic was sinking. This film takes place during a zombie plague but has nothing to do with a zombie plague, except for when a character hears news about it on the radio or runs over a zombie for fun.
Even worse than the zombies being a non-factor, was the fact that the movie is boring and makes no sense. I can’t even begin to explain how unexplainable this jumbled mess is. I’d be happy to try if you would like to contact me personally, but make sure you have a first aid kit for when my ears start bleeding.
Nevertheless, there are some LOL moments of low budget hilarity that I was able to glean from this brain-numbing experience, which I will now present in list form. I implore you to just take my word for it and never give this movie even a minute of your time.
-The movie’s about vampires, but takes place exclusively in the daytime, where the vampires are fully functional monsters.
-There is a long (and boring) scene where the three mains are trying to hide a dead vampire they killed from a cop. [I thought something nefarious was afoot because the cop was the same lady who played one of the mastermind vampires, but in the end, I think they were just reusing an actress] Anyway, they get out of that jam without being discovered. Later, as they approach a soldier in the road, one of the girls mentions how the dead body is no big deal if its discovered because they killed in self-defense.
-The movie was made in 2004, but somehow the cellphones look like one step up from the Zack Morris special.
-One character kidnaps another and throws her in the backseat of the car where she cannot, for the life of her, open the doors to get out. Later, when it turns out to be mistaken identity, he tells her to get out of the car and she does. So either she was too panicked at first to figure out how to unlock a door, or they didn’t show the guy off-screen hitting the lock button on his keychain over and over again.
- Two of the mains are traveling in an open-topped Jeep, so naturally you would not be able to hear what they were saying if they were traveling over 5 mph. What they are saying is how they will catch up to Dad in no time flat.
-One girl has no less than ten dream sequences which she wakes up startled or screaming from every single time. She even wakes up from one while behind the wheel of an automobile. I guess it was fine since they were only going 5 mph.
-One girl saves her companions from a vampire only to kill them both in the very next scene because she’s in cahoots with another vampire. So, for one thing, why did she bother to save them? Did she want that extra sting of betrayal to send them to hell with? And secondly, the film would have been more accurately titled Vampires vs. Other Vampires On the Backdrop of a Zombie Plague.
-During one of the dream sequences, the main girl finds the bathtub filled with goo. She goes downstairs and tells dad, “There’s something in the tub.” Dad bolts upstairs as if he has just been told his collection of baseball cards is on fire. Next time the toilet is clogged, I’m calling 911.
Okay, that’s all I can think of for now. This was much more fun to write than that movie will ever be to watch, so I guess I’m thankful for that, but overall, I’d say I now have a civic duty to make sure no one ever watches Vampires vs. Zombies on purpose. Learn from my mistakes!
As a movie: 0
As a horror movie: 1
As a zombie movie: 1 (I’d give it a 0 but there are zombies in the movie-it’s just hard to tell)
As an indie movie full of unintentional comedy: 3
As a movie a horny 14 year-old boy would watch to try and see boobs: 2 (There’s more vampire lesbianism than zombies, but even still, it would only be hot if you had never seen a boob before, including in the movies)
First up was my choice, “Demons”, an Italian horror movie from the 80’s. My brother expressed concern that this would be less about zombies and more about demons, but I felt after seeing the trailer that it totally qualifies as a zombie flick. Seeing as how human beings transform into somewhat human-looking monsters that attack other humans, I feel I was right. What does and does not qualify as a zombie is hotly debated and is probably worthy of a whole other entry. I’m going to leave that debate alone for now and simply recommend “Demons” as a good, if not great, horror flick that has zombie-like creatures in it.
Movies like this tend to hold up pretty well, as running for your life from monsters never goes out of style. And the stuff that doesn’t hold up makes up for it by being hilarious. Oh, 80’s style, what were you thinking?
When Cheryl is handed a free pass to a new movie screening by a creepy dude in a mask, the natural thing to do is grab your friend and ditch class together. Big mistake. When the monstrous events in the film start happening inside the theater, the patrons soon realize that they are in real danger and worse still, they are trapped inside. Standard monster mayhem ensues. Who will live and who will become a demon? Will the survivors escape the theater? I will leave that for you to discover, though I will note that a black person dies first. The cliche had to come from somewhere. It was the 80’s. Grade: B
Second, the time machine took us even further back and we ended up in England during the swinging 70’s. Back then, if you accidentally wrecked someone’s motorcycle with your car, you could not only offer them a ride, but let them drive. And if you were going in different directions, you could just loan them the car and send for it later! This all happens in the first ten minutes of “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie.” The title credit lists the name as “The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue” and you can really see the Romero influence. While not quite a remake or a reimagining, it’s like the makers tried to take the same basic story and twist it into their own message; in this case, that messing with the environment is bad. Romero never bothers to explain why zombies happen, but this film makes sure you know that it’s because of THAT BIG MACHINE THAT THEY’RE USING TO KILL PARASITES.
The big problem with the film is that it really gets bogged down and boring. Maybe in ‘74, Night of the Living Dead was still fairly fresh and shocking and LSCL was clearly trying to capitalize on that. But in 2011, it’s not all that shocking. We’ve seen it all by now. Can’t quite recommend this one unless you’re a big Romero fan and want to count the rip-off scenes that don’t work quite as well as the original granddaddy of them all. Grade: C-
"Dylan Dog: Dead of Night" takes every supernatural concept we know and love, mashes them all together and throws them against the wall. Unfortunately, not a lot of it sticks. Or maybe the problem is that everything stuck. There’s just way too much going on and it gets really difficult to become invested because we are not given enough time to care about anything. Worse still, the makers were so busy overloading on concepts that they forgot to give the actors words to say. So they just activated the Cliche-bot 3000 and set it on cookie-cutter dialogue mode. Out came the script. Seriously, if you don’t know what a character is going to say a second before he says it at least two thirds of the time, then you have never seen a movie before.
Dylan Dog is a normal human charged with keeping the peace within the underground supernatural community of New Orleans. At least he was until his girlfriend was murdered by vampires. When an importer and Dylan’s friend are both murdered over a mysterious ancient artifact, Dylan is drawn back into that realm. Along the way we learn that vampires are mostly into club scenes, where they sell their blood to humans as a drug. Nothing new there. Werewolves are more mafia-like with family-owned business fronts, pride, loyalty and naming their children Wolfgang. Zombies are fairly innocuous. The only threat they present is that if they don’t eat worms, they will devolve into savage cannibals.
Got all that? No? Too bad because I haven’t even gotten to the 7 foot tall zombie fueled by vampire blood, the demon that can rise up and destroy all the undead when activated or the human “monster hunters” hellbent on also destroying all the undead. Somewhere lost in all of that, we’re supposed to know who the good guys and bad guys are. Dylan doesn’t want the undead destroyed, so I assume there was supposed to be a message of tolerance in there somewhere, but I was too busy laughing at werewolf Kurt Angle snarling, “It’s dying time!”
When you’ve got so much going on, there’s bound to be some good parts. Everything involving zombies was good (bias, I know!). You could make a whole movie just on that. Dylan torture-interrogating a vampire by blocking the sunlight with his own shadow and then stepping away is also an effective scene. Dylan’s zombie partner tries to wring some laughs out of the terrible script, but they are few and far between. I think the funniest part was that a zombie’s maggot and worm-only diet can still include the occasional hot dog.
Overall, I’d say this would have worked much better as a weekly TV show. There’s just not enough screentime for vampire fans, zombie fans, werewolf fans, supernatural mystery fans or Peter Stormare fans to walk away feeling satisfied.
I’ll give it a C+
I submitted my final draft to Permuted Press yesterday. The next step is for an editor to get in touch with me (and say I use too many dashes-probably)
So what’s different?
I’m really proud of the finished product. I set out to make the new version superior to the original and I can step back feeling like I did exactly that. I hope you will check it out when it is released.
We saw the familiar sign with the trefoil-shaped insignia indicating a nuclear plant nearby. There was a scream and a girl ran toward us being chased by a nuclear zombie. Its skin was radiating a thin, mint colored glow of radioactivity. I blew its head off and it slumped to the ground. Its neck hole oozed congealed zombie blood like dulce de leche.
"Yeah! That’s what I’m all about!" I shout out.
My partner grabs the girl by the arm as she runs by and they spin around in a silly-looking do-si-do. “Tag along with us if you want to live,” he says to the frightened girl.
"Where’d you guys come from?" she asks.
"Well, thank U berry munch for saving me!"
"No problem. What’s your name?"
"Lemon Chalet Creme."
10,000 words have been added to the book. 10,000 more to go. (Probably more. I’m going to stop when it’s done, not when I hit 80,000)