Day of the Dead – 1985

Tropical Storm Irene ate both my access to electricity and any hope of internet service, so instead of one of the other reviews I was working on, you get another zombie movie. Sorry about that.

Please note: This review contains a great deal of vulgarity and occasional bad language.

Day of the Dead was released in 1985, seven years after Dawn of the Dead and seventeen years after Night of the Living Dead. It didn’t do very well in the theaters and, truthfully, it is not one of my favorite movies. Romero’s social commentary is a bit more heavy-handed than previously and while I thought about resurrecting the Bearded Bloke for my commentary, he would have been more to aid in the retention of my sense of humor than to illustrate the point.

It’s a very good zombie movie, but I feel it suffers when held up in comparison to the 1978 Dawn of the Dead. The review took a very long time because I had to keep walking away from the movie before I gave into temptation, reached through the screen and tried to slap some sense into most of the characters.

That having been said, on to the gore and the shambling! Continue reading

Posted in 1985, Hot Serial, It's the Apocalpyse, and I Brought Zombies!, The Shambling Undead, Things Man was not Meant to Tamper with - but Did Anyway | 1 Comment

Dawn of the Dead – 1978

Today’s selection is George Romero’s 1978 ‘Dawn of the Dead’ – another classic and a movie which I felt was very good, although some segments went on for longer than I felt absolutely necessary.

Dear George:

I admire your film-making ability and your grasp of all that makes zombie movies cool… but less social commentary and more shambling undead, please.

Love and kisses,

Me. Continue reading

Posted in 1978, Hot Serial, It's the Apocalpyse, and I Brought Zombies!, The Shambling Undead | Leave a comment

The Mummy Returns – 2001

The problem with reviewing a sequel without first reviewing the original is that sometimes you do have to sum up the previous movie. So. ‘The Mummy’ can be found here at the imdb.

Think Romeo and Juliet with lots of beetles, sand, and people getting shot. And Romeo and Juliet are evil. In fact, there’s so much running around, this could almost be West Side Story, if the warring gangs wore loincloths. Oh, and one of the best weasel-type sidekicks ever.

In short, Imohetep, one of the Pharaoh’s trusted servitors, got it on with the Pharaoh’s favorite and bad things happened as a result. The girl was killed and he tried to revive her only to be caught and sealed in a tomb under a curse for all eternity. My roommate likes to point out that it wasn’t really a punishment for him, as if someone freed him, he got to destroy everyone else.

At any rate, a young librarian (Evey), her cowardly brother (Jonathan) and an unlikely hero (Rick), aided by a devastatingly sexy man who is sworn to keep the mummy eternally buried (Ardeth), accidentally wake Imhotep, suffer through a lot of murders, snarky dialogue, reincarnation issues, disposable secondary characters, killer beetles, improbable running about and ludicrous acts of heroism before sending him back to his pseudo-eternal prison.

Yay!

So, for your enjoyment, allow us to present the sequel which features even more snarky dialogue, improbable stunts, special effects and a total lack of anything even remotely resembling proper Egyptian mythology or Earth Logic. Continue reading

Posted in 2001, Because the Writers Flunked Freshman History and Never Looked Back, That's Why, Hot Serial, Sarcophagi a Go Go | Leave a comment

Boa vs Python – 2004

Today’s movie is Boa vs Python, brought to you by the letters D and H and the number 2.

I am not ashamed to admit that I deliberately picked out this movie and brought it home. That’s right, I did it on purpose. There were three reasons for this.

1. I like snakes – particularly constrictors. That fondness is reflected in the theme of this blog.
2. I like David Hewlett almost as much as I like snakes.
3. It was free with my other rentals.

I did watch the movie. I then forced two of my friends to watch it (for which they have yet to forgive me – and this was six or seven years ago). I then went out and found it second hand for a few dollars so that I could have it long-term just to share with the rest of you. This is a bad movie. I would go so far as to say that it’s a terrible movie… and yes, I’ve seen Anaconda, Boa, Python and Python 2, amongst many others. I love Syfy’s (ugh) thematic bad movie marathons.

On the bright side, it’s not ‘The Cavern’. This is a bad movie you can actually watch.

(As a side note, it is useful to have seen Python 2 before viewing this movie. This is not a recommendation, by the way, simply an observation.)

At any rate, this is a movie starring a pair of huge, CGI snakes, David Hewlett ,and a blonde with the prerequisite amount of cleavage. Also a totally gratuitous bath and almost-sex scene. What more could anyone ask for? Continue reading

Posted in 2004, Herpetologist's Delight, Things Man was not Meant to Tamper with - but Did Anyway, When Animals Run Amuck and then Eat your Face | Leave a comment

White Zombie – 1932

Our next selection is White Zombie, a black and white film featuring Bela Lugosi as a somewhat dubious practitioner of voodoo for hire. It was shot over the course of 11 days in 1932. It is 87 minutes long and is generally credited with being the very first zombie movie.

The trivia having been dealt with…?

I really, really enjoyed this movie, despite the fact that it doesn’t deal with the undead type of zombie. They do, however, shamble like champions. My copy is a second hand video tape, so it’s a bit grainy and there is no closed captioning to give me a hand with the sometimes static-laden dialogue. Bear with me, please. Continue reading

Posted in 1932, That Voodoo That You Do | Leave a comment

Ghost Ship – 2002

Let me begin by stating that I’m not a big fan of haunted [insert structure here] movies. Houses, ships, oil rigs, cemeteries, kitchen appliances… no. I find this type of movie a lot less enjoyable than, say, ‘Random monster runs amuck and eats Pittsburgh’ for example

This movie changed my mind on that in a very big way. Perhaps it’s because it’s not ‘just’ a haunted house/ship movie. There’s a lot more going on here. One of the reasons that I enjoy this movie is that it’s not simply one of these ‘we wandered into something and are too stupid to get out’ type of survival horror movies. Instead, the protagonists have a very believable reason for being trapped and a very good explanation as to the supernatural forces in question.

We liked this movie. A lot. Which is not going to keep us from poking at it for your amusement. We’d also like to apologize for the floating pronouns, as there are two of us watching this movie. Think of us as Statler and Waldorf, if that helps – or even if it doesn’t.

Hey, I’ve always wanted to be a Muppet. Continue reading

Posted in 2002, Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long-Legged Beasties and Things that Go Bump in the Night, Hell is Also a Place on Earth, Ocean Liners or Why a Cruise is a Terrible Idea | 1 Comment

The Cavern (WIthIN) – 2005

Welcome back! Tonight we’re going to look at a movie that I consider one of the worst ever made. Bar none. Worse than ‘The Room’. Worse than ‘Monster a Go Go’. Worse than ‘Eegah’. No one will blame you if you choose to back away now.

In the interest of full disclosure, I often watch the Syfy (and I cringe as I type that) direct-to-tv schlock and enjoy every minute of it, bad or not. I like cheesy monster movies. In fact, I adore them. That having been said, I still think that this is the worst movie ever made – or at least a strong contender.

Still with me? Welcome, then, to ‘The Cavern’ – not to be confused with ‘The Cave’, a movie I actually quite enjoy and will be discussing at a later date. The similarity of the two names is not a coincidence, as ‘The Cavern’ started out life as a direct to video release titled ‘WIthIN’ and had its name changed in order to convince people who’d heard of ‘The Cave’ to buy it. Or maybe just confuse them in order to make a totally unjustified sale. Continue reading

Posted in 2005, Spelunking for Plot | Leave a comment

Night of the Living Dead – 1968

Tonight, we’ll be looking at ‘Night of the Living Dead’ – the 1968 B&W version, not the 1990 colorized remake.

When most people are asked to name a zombie movie, ‘Night of the Living Dead’ will be the one that they come up with – even if they’ve never seen it.  The original, in all its black and white glory, is a bleak, horrible look at regular people in a situation so far out of their control that it actually causes at least one character fairly believable mental and emotional trauma.  The remake (circa 1990) is unfortunately rife with a great many appalling clichés of the genre.

This movie is not for the faint of heart, whether you’re watching the original black and white or one of the colorized re-releases.  While I poke fun of a great many events and choices within the movie, it didn’t get its reputation as a ground-breaking, exploitative gore fest by being coy and suggestive.  It’s a very dark movie and not just because of the way they chose to light it.  If you want a heroic, Hollywood ending, you’re definitely barking up the wrong movie.

And now?  George Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’ – 1968 – B&W – or ‘How to Make a Career as a B-Movie Heroine with Only One Facial Expression’ Continue reading

Posted in 1968, Hot Serial, It's the Apocalpyse, and I Brought Zombies!, The Shambling Undead | 2 Comments