Review: The Earth Dies Screaming

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 15 - 20092 COMMENTS

earthdiesscreamingI do love a movie with a great name, and The Earth Dies Screaming is a great name if I ever heard one. The movie itself? Not bad, but not great either. The whole thing kicks off with a sequence where everyone dies. Trains crash, planes crash, people fall down dead in the street — your basic apocalypse. A few survivors in England group together and figure out that it’s some kind of gas attack, perpetrated by robots — alien robots to be more specific. And the alien robots reanimate corpses to use as slaves, which is where the zombie element comes in.

earthdiesscreaming_zombiesIn terms of rough plot outlines and imagery, TEDS seems a clear predecessor to Night of the Living Dead. You have the same ragtag group of survivors thrown together by circumstance — and a very similar interpersonal conflict within the group fueled by its more weaselly members. You have the same staggering, reanimated corpses — although these don’t eat anyone and can be dispatched with a few shots in the gut. But what it really lacks is the grim, gritty realism that made NotLD so special — this feels stagy and typical of movies of its era. Everyone is remarkably chill considering they’re the last  people on Earth and are being stalked by both alien robots and the walking dead. And it has a resolutely upbeat ending that’s pretty cheesy. As I said, not bad — just a little slow and finicky, and a bit hard to swallow.

The Earth Dies Screaming/UK/1964

Deadlines: News roundup 10/14/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 14 - 20094 COMMENTS

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Bookmark the home page or add the RSS feed to your reader for your daily dose of walking dead. Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

With Halloween approaching, the zombie walks and movie screenings are coming thick and fast. Luckily, folks like Fangoria (and me, at times) take the time to round up what’s going down with the undead. (Fangoria)

In this week’s “Savage Love,” sex-advice columnist Dan Savage addresses the issue of zombie sex (it’s the second letter, you’ll have to scroll down a bit). (The Stranger)

The Reaper Awards saw a couple of zombie flicks winning. REC took home Best Indie/Foreign, while the inferior remake Quarantine took home Best Zombie. That is a TRAVESTY! REC should have nabbed best zombie, it is far better than Quarantine and reading subtitles isn’t that hard, people! Why stick the foreign stuff into some arbitrary ghetto?(Dread Central)

If you really love Night of the Creeps, maybe you should grab one of these limited-edition soundtrack CDs and get it signed? (Fangoria)

The Left 4 Dead 2 boycott is officially over. (Kotaku)

The coverage of The Zombie Game Experiment continues with some concept art. (Zombie Command)

Deadlines: News roundup 10/13/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 13 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Bookmark the home page or add the RSS feed to your reader for your daily dose of walking dead. Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

Get a sneak peak at Life Undead, a comic about a zombie cop from Lost writer Paul Zbyszewski. (io9)

The crack researchers of Zombie Command dug up a wealth of detail on the brains behind The Zombie Game Experiment, a collaboratively designed zombie game. (Zombie Command)

Draw a picture of a vampire or zombie and submit it to EerieTube and you might win a copy of FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency #1 and other fabulous prizes. (Dread Central)

Someone over at Horror Squad does not like Dawn of the Dead (1978). That’s just crazy talk — and you can hear him talk it, since it is in podcast-y type form. (Horror Squad)

Another zombie webseries crops up — this one is called Semi-Dead and it’s about two roommates dealing with the apocalypse in very different ways. Zombie Command has some more info and there’s a teaser trailer after the break. (Zombie Command)

Zombies, bowling — seems like a perfect match, eh? If you liked Elf Bowling, I bet you’ll pee your pants in glee over Zombie Bowling. (Zombie Command)

Finally, a couple of zombie walk reports. One from the Lincoln, Nebraska Journal-Star and another from Seattle’s 570 KVI radio.

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Collapse pics and info

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 13 - 200910 COMMENTS

COLLASPE logoJust got a batch of shots and some info direct from the set of Collapse, a zombie movie filming in Iowa. It looks to be a family drama about a man trying to provide for the family in the face of the zombie apocalypse. Here’s the official synopsis I received:

Chris Mulkey (Saving Grace, Cloverfield, North Country, Radio) stars as Robert Morgan, a farmer struggling to make ends meet. When zombies invade, Roger must protect his wife Molly, played by Karen Landry (Six Feet Under, St. Elsewhere) and his son Will. Roger fortifies his home, but as supplies dwindle, he is forced to fight his way through the small town of Plains Falls.

None of the images they sent had any zombies in them, but I know if there’s anything zombie fans like almost as much as zombies, it’s guns. And we have guns:

Collaspe rogers guns

Roger likes guns.

After the break, more images and additional info…
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Deadlines: News roundup 10/12/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 12 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Bookmark the home page or add the RSS feed to your reader for your daily dose of walking dead. Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

Starz is airing a program called Zombiemania, about the rich history of our favorite undead. Damn, I wish I had Starz, now…  (Trailer embedded after the break!) (Dread Central)

Over at Fangoria, there’s a new column on Zombieland if you haven’t had your fill of Zombieland yet. (Fangoria)

Also, Zombieland won the Audience Award at Sitges, Europe’s largets genre-film event. Good one, Zombieland! (Fangoria)

The final two Left 4 Dead 2 campaigns may have been leaked, if rumors on a Taiwanese website are to be believed. If they turn out to be true, those will be “Hard Rain” (it’s wet there) and “Dead Center” (mall!).  (Kotaku)

And this list of achievements from Left 4 Dead 2 seems to verify those are, indeed, the final two campaigns. It also reveals two new items. You can find the new items in a list after the break, for the very spoiler-sensitive.(Xbox360Achievments.org)

Liberal writer David Sirota explains that the zombie zeitgeist is a side effect of the current political culture. (AlterNet)

There’s a zombie apocalypse map/mode coming to the Champions Online superhero MMORPG and this developer’s chat has a few details about how it works. (ZAM)

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Deadlines: News roundup 10/9/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 9 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Bookmark the home page or add the RSS feed to your reader for your daily dose of walking dead. Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

It’s a very LEGO zombie apocalypse. (io9)

If you were waiting for a version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with even more zombie mayhem, then you’ll be glad to hear that’s exactly what the new deluxe edition of the book delivers — along with a new preface from the author describing the writing process and thirteen full color illustrations. (Dread Central)

Another mainstream outlet opines on the popularity of zombies. (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune)

And there’s a Left 4 Dead 2 Scavenge mode gameplay clip embedded after the break. (GameTrailers.com)

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Deadlines: News roundup 10/8/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 8 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Bookmark the home page or add the RSS feed to your reader for your daily dose of walking dead. Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

The new Left 4 Dead 2 multiplayer mode is revealed. It’s called Scavenge and it tasks survivors with collecting gas cans and refilling a generator while Infected try to prevent same. It’s supposed to be fast and furious. (Kotaku)

While previewing the L4D2 Scavenge mode, the folks at 1Up noticed a new option called Realism, which they learned is for the super hardcore player — details are scarce, but I bet it will make you cry. (1Up)

Also, the edited/toned-down version of Left 4 Dead 2 has been approved and rated in Australia, so zombie killers Down Under need no longer fear being left out of the party. (Kotaku)

Additional casting details and a synopsis have emerged for Resident Evil: Afterlife. The basics: There are zombies, Alice is still fighting them, she gets help from some old friends, it’s in LA and there’s a trap. (Bloody Disgusting)

Review: I Sell the Dead

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 8 - 20095 COMMENTS

ISelltheDead

You think there are no new ideas in the zombie genre? Well tell me how many historically based comedies about two shiftless grave robbers who specialize in the undead you can name? The number, as far as I know, is one, and that one is I Sell the Dead, a charming little tale from first time director Glenn McQuaid. And, to be fair, it isn’t really a zombie movie. But it is a movie with zombies in it (as well as a vampire, some undefined weirdness and one thing I can’t reveal without ruining one of the movie’s best scenes) and hey, that’s enough to qualify it for inclusion.

Set sometime in the 18th century, the story is told in flashback. On the eve of his execution, grave robber Arthur Blake recounts the highlights of his career in the “resurrection trade,” as he calls it, to a strange priest. From his first grave robbing to his last job, Blake expounds on the vagaries of digging up corpses — some quite lively — for cash. Each story is essentially self contained, yet a clear narrative thread runs through and connects them all. It’s a nice mechanism that allows the film to explore a much wider swathe of story than would have been possible with a more straightforward tale and it keeps things moving along at a consistently brisk pace.

One of the film's zombies

One of the film's zombies

It’s the last, climactic vignette that introduces the clear-cut zombies of the film. In attempting to recover two of them, the luckless heroes clash with a rival gang, with fairly disastrous and generally humorous results all around. The zombies look good, with an exaggerated, almost cartoonish design and are quite expressive for zombies – especially the one who, while caged, seems to display a bit of affection for both the heroes. The look of the zombies fits well with the obvious influence of old-school, EC-style horror comics. The other main influences here seem to be the British horror of Hammer and Amicus – the period setting, fog-drenched moors and other atmospheric clues nod towards those classics. It’s a nice mix and it works well.

The script is good and the funny bits are actually funny. The leads – Dominic Monaghan and Larry Fessenden – are fine actors and display a good on-screen charisma. Two familiar genre vets – Ron Perlman and Angus Scrimm – do a nice job in supporting roles as well. And the twists of the ending, while not completely unexpected, work well and leave things open for a sequel – or even a series (the format would work very well…). All in all, a pleasant, light horror comedy that’s a great way to get a zombie fix without treading much – if any – familiar ground.

I Sell the Dead/US/2008

Deadlines: News roundup 10/7/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 7 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Bookmark the home page or add the RSS feed to your reader for your daily dose of walking dead. Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

Australians, fret not! Valve is still trying to get the “full” version of Left 4 Dead 2 classified via an appeal, but if that fails, they have an edited version ready to go. (Kotaku)

In this interview with Night of the Living Dead: Origins director Zeb de Soto you will learn about casting, his conception for the film, the technology he’s bringing to bear and how 3D will play a part. (Bloody Disgusting)

Residents of Ramsey, New Jersey can enjoy a free screening of Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated this Saturday, October 10. (Fangoria)

Deadlines: News roundup 10/6/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 6 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Bookmark the home page or add the RSS feed to your reader for your daily dose of walking dead. Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

Word is the writers of Zombieland could whip up a sequel if need be. (io9)

Word is that the World War Z film adaptation is moving forward again, with a new script due soon. (MTV Movies Blog)

The comic adaptation of I Sell the Dead is coming soon. Like, tomorrow soon. Find it at your local comics shop. (Fangoria)

It’s looking more and more like REC 3 is going to happen. Now, there’s a teaser website up. (Bloody Disgusting)

You want your Resident Evil 5 alternative edition as a download rather than in a box? Better tell Capcom — they may actually listen. (Kotaku)

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