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)

Deadlines: News roundup 10/5/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 5 - 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.

Don’t read it unless you’ve already seen Zombieland (we’re talking major spoilers here, folks), but io9 has an interesting piece on celebrity cameos that didn’t make the cut and some background on the brilliant one that did. (io9)

Learn all about what went into creating Zombie Survival Guide Recorded Attacks, the graphic-novel entry in Max Brooks’s popular living dead series. (Fangoria)

If you don’t already know about Left 4 Dead 2, you will soon — Valve is planning a $25 million advertising blitz.  (Kotaku)

Enjoy this story on excellent zombie illustrator  and author Rob Sachetto. He does zombie portraits, including mine and he has a new book called The Zombie Handbook out. (The Sudbury Star)

Sorry about the delay in getting this posted — technical difficulties intruded. Mainly, that I am technically a dumbass.

Google Poem: “I am the Walking Apocalypse”

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 5 - 20091 COMMENT

cautionzombies

What is an apocalypse in the night of the living dead?

Zombies may be real.

Where will you be when the zombie apocalypse comes?

2012 Nazi zombie apocalypse,

doublebear zombie.

Are you ready for a zombie attack, Uncle Sam?

I am the walking apocalypse.

That slice of genius is an original poem on the nature of zombie apocalypse, courtesy of Google and you, the visitors of this site. What I’ve done is culled the most intriguing, poetic and weirdest search terms used to find this site in the month of September. I’ve added nothing but a bit of punctuation and a few capital letters. I also selected and organized the snippets, of course. Each line is a separate search term. The image is essentially unrelated, just something I found online a while ago. It seemed to fit. Enjoy!

Deadlines: News roundup 10/2/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 2 - 20091 COMMENT

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.

If you’re going to be in las Vegas from October 30 through November 1 for Fangoria‘s Trinity of Terrors, you can catch a screening of George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead — with Romero in attendance. (Fangoria)

Pre-order Left 4 Dead 2 from Steam or select retailers and you’ll get 10 percent off the cost, early access to the demo (planned for October 27) and an in-game exclusive baseball bat weapon. (Kotaku)

Here’s a hefty feature on Zombieland, centered around director Ruben Fleischer. (Fangoria)

Tune in to Fangoria Radio from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. EST tonight on Sirius XM Stars satellite radio, Sirius channel 108/XM channel 139 for a whopping dose of zombie-related material from Max Brooks (Zombie Survival Guide Recorded Attacks) and Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland). (Fangoria)

Zombies, cars and guns collide in Zombie Driver, a PC game in development by Polish studio Exor. (Shoot for the Head)

Review: Zombieland

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 2 - 20096 COMMENTS

zombielandThe hype for Zombieland has been, at times, overwhelming. As a defensive mechanism, I’ve maintained what I consider to be a healthy skepticism. But I have to say, now that I have seen the movie, the hype was largely justified. By the time the opening credits rolled, I had little reason to doubt that this is a fine zombie film.

Now, make no mistake, many a hardcore zombie fan will find reason to hate this movie. These are fast zombies, for one thing. I know that’s enough to earn a “how about no?” from plenty of people. Possibly worse, in many eyes, is these zombies are probably closest to 28 Days Later zombies. That is to say, there’s no reason to think they died and reanimated. Technically speaking, these are just very sick people with an appetite for eating their former friends, not reanimated corpses. Over that? Okay, this is also not a film with a heavy — or any, really — social commentary. It’s just not. It’s an action-movie buddy comedy with zombies. If you haven’t swallowed your tongue in apoplectic horror yet, read on. It’s smooth sailing from here.

Zombieland is the story of four people thrown together by unlikely circumstance — the zombie apocalypse. That’s pretty standard fare for any buddy pic, and especially familiar to zombie fans. But the chemistry between the four, especially main leads Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg, is enough to make it work. The foursome, after some intitial hijinx, are headed for Pacific Playland (read: Disneyland), an amusement park rumored to be free of the zombie scourge. That’s it. That’s the story. Now twists, no turns, no fanfare.

Okay, there are a couple of subplots (Eisenberg falls for the older girl, there’s a hilarious interlude with a famous actor I’d hate to spoil) but the point is, this is all very straightforward, by the numbers, action-oriented zombie stuff. But it works, in part becasue director Ruben Fleischer does an excellent job of keeping things moving as he puts the characters throughout their paces. That, and there are some really great effects, inspired musical cues, clever jokes and utterly awesome zombie kills and set pieces. It does slow down a tiny bt in the middle, but by the time you notice it, things have revved back into high gear and you’re headed for the climax full steam ahead, so it’s no big issue.

Call it shallow, call it slick, whatever. It’s fun and that’s the bottom line. I don’t know that this moves the zombie genre forward. But I do know that it could easily introduce zombies to a whole generation of fans that haven’t ever paid much attention to our walking dead frenemies. I’ve said many times before that Shaun of the Dead is an excellent “gateway drug” zombie movie. In all honesty, this may be even better for the purpose of introducing newcomers to the living dead. It doesn’t have the same kind of reverent, deeply rooted respect for the genre that Shaun displayed, but it’s not really any worse for lacking that. And just as Shaun was a deeply British movie, this movie 100 percent all-American. It may lack depth and substance but it more than makes up for that in sheer awesome. If you have doubts, let them be banished. Zombieland is a kickass good time and you should absolutely go see it.

Edit: Added a clause to clarify comparison to Shaun of the Dead.

Zombieland/US/2009

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