Archive for the ‘ZMMM Daily’ Category

ZMMM Dailies: 6/16/2010 – Resident Evil: Extinction

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 17 - 2010

Well, these Resident Evil movies just keep getting more and more ridiculous. I can’t decide if that means each one gets better or worse. In any case, Resident Evil: Extinction is utterly ludicrous. And still kind of fun.

What it isn’t is original. At all. In any way. It’s barely more than a pastiche of scenes and ideas from other, better movies. Start with a base of Day of the Dead — same underground base, same mad scientist doctor, parallel scenes and more — then mix in, well, everything. A little Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome fashion sense, a Texas Chainsaw Massacre/Devil’s Rejects style crazy family, the Rancor-pit scene from Return of the Jedi, shots straight out of Lawrence of Arabia, bird attack from The Birds, ideas from Scanners and/or the X-Men … How you feel about this sort of “borrowing” and your ability to shut your brain off for ninety minutes will largely determine how you feel about this film.

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/15/2010 – Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 16 - 2010

Let me point out the obvious. Resident Evil: Apocalypse is pretty goddamn dumb. It’s a comic-book action movie loosely based on a videogame known for an incredibly convoluted and melodramatic storyline. With zombies. That said, it was also pretty fun. Shut off your brain, relax and float downstream.

I can see why “serious” zombie fans would hate these movies. They are utterly lacking in the sort of subtext and symbolism we enjoy in the best zombie films. On the other hand, there are two hot women that spend the entire movie in skimpy clothing kicking, stabbing and shooting zombies and other bad guys in the face. You don’t come to these movies to be enlightened, you come to be entertained. And I was entertained.

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/14/2010 – Dead Meat

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 15 - 2010

I have to say that Dead Meat was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting much out of it but it was actually a decent movie for fans of the genre. That’s not to say it was without some substantial flaws, but it was watchable and entertaining.

In Dead Meat, a massive outbreak of a mutated strain of Mad Cow Disease causes cows to go nuts and attack other cows and farmers. And what of the people they attack? You guessed it, they become zombies. The story proper starts when a youngish couple accidentally hit a man on the road, killing him (or so they think). They load him into their car to get help, only to have him awake and bite the man. The girl goes for help, finds more zombies and thus starts an uninterrupted chase scene that comprises the rest of the movie.

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/13/2010 – Dead & Breakfast

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 14 - 2010

After watching Dead & Breakfast, I feel like it is somewhat unfairly overlooked. I didn’t love it, but I definitely liked and enjoyed it. It’s a high-quality movie, albeit one with some flaws, and it surprises me it doesn’t have more of a following.

Ironically, I’d guess one of the reasons D&B doesn’t have a big cult following is it obviously tying very hard to be a cult movie. It’s just a little too self-conscious and tongue-in-cheek for its own good and I think that turns a lot of culty people off. That said, it never gets in its own way like some movies trying hard to be cult do. It keeps the film/story itself front and center from beginning to end.

The story follows a group of young, attractive people on their way to a wedding. Naturally, they get lost and end up in the titular bed and breakfast, only to get stuck there when the cook is murdered and the proprietor dies of a heart attack. Before long, one of them has opened a box containing an evil spirit and bodies are being reanimated left, right and sideways.

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/12/2010 – Zombies of Mora Tau

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 13 - 2010

For a second-rate movie form the late ’50s, Zombies of Mora Tau isn’t half bad. I mean, it’s slow, somewhat dull and ultimately pointless, but aside from that, not too bad.

This pre-Romero zombie “horror” movie (not at all scary and can’t imagine it ever was) gives us some tireless, waterlogged undead guarding a cache of cursed diamonds. When a pack of treasure hunters come for the diamonds, they run afoul of the zombies and … not very much happens. And it’s too bad, because the idea has some promise.

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/11/2010 – Return of the Evil Dead

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 12 - 2010

You know, I am just not really feeling these Blind Dead movies. I saw the first, Tombs of the Blind Dead, a few years ago. It earned a solid “meh” from me. It wasn’t bad, it was great, it just sort of was. I heard the second, Return of the Evil Dead, was much better, so I scheduled it in this year’s marathon. And it was better, but still kind of mediocre.

It’s basically a reboot of the first. Similar story, of undead Knights Templar returning to terrorize the land, but with some details tweaked for eye-burning goodness. That is to say, the knights get their eyes burned out this time, not pecked by birds. And a weird village idiot dude has to kill a girl to reawaken them. So he murders a girl (and a girl is murdered/raped in flashback by the original knights), the zombie knights come back and terrorize everyone. One by one they get killed, until morning. The knights disappear, the survivors survive, hurray!

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/10/2010 – Weekend at Bernie’s II

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 11 - 2010

A while back, I stated that “when a zombie fights a shark, we all win.” Imagine my surprise and joy, then, at discovering that in Weekend at Bernie’s II, a shark and zombie square off!

Admittedly, it’s not much of a fight. The shark sees zombie Bernie, bites him, then lets go. It’s all played for comedic effect. But it feels like a little sly nod to Fulci, especially since it’s followed by an extended underwater zombie scene. Those scenes are pretty much the highlight of Weekend at Bernie’s II.

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/9/2010 – Autumn

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 10 - 2010

"I'm so sorry this was my last movie..."

Oh, the highs and lows of Zombie Movie Marathon Month. One day it’s the excellent not-quite-zombie flick The Signal. The next, it’s the definitely zombie trainwreck of Autumn.

And Autumn had such promise. It had an unusual take on zombies. It had David Carradine in what I believe was his last completed movie role. It had … well, that’s all it had going for it. The rest is all crap and all that crap pulverized the promise of those two elements.

So, storywise, pretty much everyone, all at once, drops dead in their tracks, leaving but a small handful of survivors. They band together to freak out and figure out what to do next. After a few days, the dead rise and start walking around. At first, they are docile and insensate. Later they recover their senses and become aggressive and nasty. In the meantime our protagonists scurry off to a farm to set up camp. And then … a whole lot of not very much, stretched out over nearly two full hours.

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/8/2010 – The Signal

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 9 - 2010

There’s two things I want to get out of the way regarding The Signal right off the bat. First, it isn’t really a zombie movie, although I wasn’t sure about that until I saw it. Second, it is freaking awesome.

On that first point, it is clearly inspired and informed by the zombie apocalypse meme. Like most of the movies I chronicled in my list of almost/sort-of/barely zombie movies, it definitely works an at-times very zombie-like vibe yet manages to be different enough to separate itself from the pack. So, technically speaking, it isn’t suitable for ZMMM and I wouldn’t schedule it again. But it’s close enough I didn’t feel compelled to watch another movie. Some people would definitely classify it as a zombie flick, others would say I am crazy for even calling it close enough to pass on a limited basis. Clear?

On that second point, it is awesome. I really, really liked this movie. Great idea, great execution, based in classic themes but with a completely unique flavor. I recommend it wholeheartedly and without reservation as a top-notch zombie-like film. Seriously, see it.

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/7/2010 – They Came Back

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 8 - 2010

So, this is why doing these marathons is so worthwhile. Yesterday’s film, They Came Back (aka Les Revenants) could not be any more different than the one that preceded it (The Necro Files). Where Necro was gross, amateurish and hilariously bad, They Came Back is polished and thoughtful, if ultimately a little unsatisfying. It’s amazing and wonderful that the zombie genre can encompass both. Were it not for the marathon schedule, I can’t imagine I’d have ever seen them back-to-back like this.

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