June is Zombie Movie Marathon Month!

Posted by Cory Casciato On May - 14 - 2009

zombi3webI mentioned before, briefly in a news post, the fact trumpeted in the headline above: June is the second annual  Zombie Movie Marathon Month! For the second year in a row, I will be watching a zombie movie every day for the entire month of June. I invite all zombie fans to join me — from the comfort of your own home — whether it be for the entire month, weekends only, a single week or whatever you can manage. I’ll be posting the entire schedule within a week (I hope) and you can join in with the same movies on the same days, the same movies on different days, or your own schedule. If you run a blog or web site and participate in any way, I will gladly link to you and/or any reviews you post in conjunction with the fest.

I will be doing a single public screening, of Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, on June 18 (details to come) if you happen to live in or near Denver. The rest will just be me at home (or wherever — actually planning on going camping in early June, so I’ll be watching in the woods somewhere!) every day. Last year I wasn’t able to make it every single day, so I doubled up other days. This year, I am going to do everything in my power to do one movie every single day. I am taking suggestions for movies to watch, so feel free to leave comments with ideas. During the fest I will be posting daily impressions and lots of movie reviews — hopefully as many as two-thirds of the movies I watch during the marathon (the rest will trickle out over the course of the following months as I finish and polish them).

Finally, after the break I have posted a report I wrote last year on the marathon for the local paper I freelance for. It might have some interesting tidbits for regular readers.

Inside every one of us, there is a zombie waiting to get out.

I’ve just finished watching thirty zombie movies in a thirty-day span of time, and that’s the key thing I’ve learned. Whether because of a voodoo curse or radiation from space, a man-made virus or an alien parasite, we are all zombies in waiting. That’s why zombie movies are so potent – their horror and their capacity for social commentary spring from this one, basic truth.

So why do I love these movies so much? In a lot of ways, it makes no sense. I’m a pretty picky movie-watcher, yet many of them are downright cheesy and relatively poorly made. The acting is usually bad, the direction is frequently shaky, the writing only rarely rises above the level of mediocre competency (if it even makes it there), and the plots tend to be relatively formulaic. Yet the vast majority of these movies were able to transcend their limitations, sometimes to brilliant effect. Not only did they deliver a genuine sense of horror, loneliness and hopelessness, many of them tackled big issues such as racism, class warfare, rampant greed and consumerism, segregation, alienation and even mother issues. Not to mention, they managed to do this while working in at least one disembowelment per film!

When I started my thirty-day endeavor, I liked zombie movies a lot. I guess that’s obvious, or I wouldn’t have been willing to try to watch one every day for an entire month. And after thirty movies in thirty days, I like them more – hell, I probably qualify as a full-blown fanatic now. I even watched an extra zombie movie on the thirtieth day because the last one didn’t live up to my expectations.

Other than my newly invigorated taste for the genre, I suffered no ill effects. I had a couple of weird zombie dreams, but I’ve been having recurring zombie dreams since I was an adolescent – which may be what drew me to the zombies so strongly in the first place. I didn’t suddenly hunger for human flesh, or start believing the people around me were the walking dead. I never once cried for my mommy.

This piece originally appeared on the web site of the Denver Westword. You can see the piece in its original context, including a list of recommendations and the entire list of movies watched, by clicking here.

4 Responses to “June is Zombie Movie Marathon Month!”

  1. Biddie says:

    Wow, it’a almost a year already?? Time does fly!
    I look forward to the upcoming list of movies, and this year I may watch a few myself.
    I think that I will probably trust your judgement a wee bit more too, since I spent $30 on that stinker. (ah, but still, Tom Eplin…Yummy)

  2. Sid Pink says:

    I wish you well. I still hope you will be able to come to the Lucha Libre event on 27 June with the Son of Santo.
    Either way, as part of a wicked cross-pollination of our passions – I submit that you slate “Santo Contra Los Zombies” for June 27th!! Who better to defend humanity from the Undead Hordes than the most famous Luchador of all time?
    Agreed?
    SP

  3. Cory Casciato says:

    @biddie I know, can you believe it? And though I agree that Days of Darkness is nowhere near worth $30, I did find it amusing in a so-bad-it’s-good way (not to mention a so-fucked-up-it’s-great way)

    @Say, that’s not a bad idea! You have a copy I could maybe borrow?

  4. […] thirty-film zombie marathon. If you’re not familiar with the tradition, you can read last year’s introductory post, orlast year’s wrap up post or even the whole batch of posts tagged with Zombie Movie […]

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