Deadlines: News roundup 6/30/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 30 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

deadlines

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

The grave robbing horror-comedy I Sell the Dead hasn’t even had a widespread release and already its creator is talking sequel. Also mentioned are influences, details on the comic book version and more. (Screen Daily)

Zombies of Mass Destruction killed it at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Read all about it here. (SciFi Wire)

The director of Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl and Tokyo Gore Police says his next film will feature zombies. Based on the reputation of those two movies and the generally awesome quality of Japan’s zombie movies, I think this could be something to look forward to. (Fangoria)

You have the chance to help select the cover for the Director’s Cut of the alien brain-slug zombies on campus movie Night of The Creeps. Fangoria has the details. (Fangoria)

ZMMM Dailies: 6/29/2009 – Zombie Strippers

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 30 - 20093 COMMENTS

ZombieStrippersWhat would you expect from a movie called Zombie Strippers that stars Jenna Jameson? Lots of fake tits: check. Sub-par acting and story: check. Ridiculous, ham-fisted attempts at humor, scatological and otherwise: check. So yes, it is pretty much what you’d expect. There was a surprisingly high amount of clumsy philosophizing and political subtext (can it be called subtext when they beat you over the head with it?), but it was all so poorly executed it didn’t really go anywhere or engage at all. And besides, anytime they did anything remotely clever, they ruined it with stupid racial humor thirty seconds later.

The story, for what it is worth, concerns a plot to release a zombifying agent by a corrupt defense contractor (see, I told you: poorly executed political subtext!). After the marines clean up the first outbreak, one of them gets bit and wanders into a strip club, where he bites a stripper. Who becomes a super-zombie stripper. And eats patrons, but the owner doesn’t care because she is making mad loot for the club (okay, that part is pretty realistic). Then she converts more of her stripper friends, and other are conflicted about whether to join or stay individual. And a lot more people get eaten. Then the marines return and clean it all up. The end!

I didn’t hate this but I sure didn’t care for it either. I have seen far worse, though. The nudity was meh, because giant silicone stripper tits don’t do it for me. The zombie makeup was all right, but nothing special (pale complexion, sunken eyes, more animalistic appearance the longer they are dead). The gore was decent, but too much of it was this weird trend I’ve noticed lately of “stringy gore” — like everything inside anybody is just lots of gooey twine. It’s weird. Any doctors or coroners reading who want to chime in? Would what’s inside of me look like a bunch of bloody strings tangled together and knotted up if it was pulled out in violent handfuls?

Hard to believe but the end is nigh! The final entry is the blaxploitation/zombie classic Sugar Hill.

Deadlines: News roundup 6/29/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 29 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Bookmark the home page or add the feed to your RSS 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 Montreal July 9 through 27, consider checking out the Fantasia festival. Almost 200 genre films will screen, including zombie movies such as Dead Snow, Deadgirl and I Sell the Dead.  There’s a partial list at Fangoria or you can visit the festival website. Canada gets all the cool festivals! (Fangoria)

Here’s a brief report on zombies in the streets of NYC in another zombie crawl. (Fangoria)

If you subscribe to Official Xbox Magazine, you’re going to get a free Left 4 Dead theme for your Xbox dashboard. Lucky you. (CVG)

ZMMM Dailies: 6/28/2009 – Messiah of Evil

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 29 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

messiahofevilI didn’t get much out of Messiah of Evil. It was, as I feared, deadly slow. It did have a somewhat dreamlike atmosphere and a couple of effective scenes, but there definitely was not enough movie in this movie. I think the most enjoyable aspect was something akin to what I got from Mutant — the bad, late-night, horror-movie feeling. This was the kind of movie that used to come on cheap cable or weird local channels at ungodly hours.

It’s a story about a girl, Arletty, looking for her missing artist father in a town that is slowly becoming all zombie (the alternate title for this is Dead People). It’s not clear what is causing this, but anyone in town is vulnerable. These zombies look pale, can’t feel pain, have a tendency to bleed from the eyes, eat raw meat of pretty much any type (people included, naturally) and are apparently waiting for a “dark stranger” to come and lead them (I guess that is the messiah of evil in the title?). Yeah, he never really affects the story anyway. She’s “assisted” in this quest by a swinging threesome led by a guy named Thom. They basically never figure anything out, but his two girlfriends get killed and Arletty starts becoming a zombie (in one scene, she pukes up a bunch of bugs and lizards, which is pretty cool, if totally nonsensical). Then Arletty and Thom try to escape the zombies by swimming out to sea and Arletty ends up in a crazy house. The end!

Wait, what? Yeah, that was it. Pretty pointless. The best scenes are of Thom’s girlfriends getting murdered, especially the younger one in the theater. The opening is kind of cool, too, although barely connected to the actual movie. This felt like it could have been something, but it just never got there. You can see for yourself if you like, since the film is in the public domain.

Download Dead People from the Internet Archive.

Next up is Zombie Strippers with Jenna Jameson. Are my expectations incredibly low? You bet they are!

ZMMM Dailies: 6/27/2009 – Enter… Zombie King

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 28 - 20091 COMMENT

enterzombieking_ulyssesThere was a certain amount of fun to be had with Enter… Zombie King. I mean, Mexican-style masked wrestlers against zombies — and the Zombie King, naturally — in a  Saturday-morning-superhero-cartoon style story with lots of gratuitous nudity certainly seems like a can’t-miss proposition on many levels, doesn’t it? And it is, to a degree. It’s the kind of movie that can almost get by on charm alone. The problem is, it pretty much has to. The story is basically there as an excuse for masked-wrestling shenanigans. The zombies seem to have been chosen strictly for “cool monster” points. And even at 76 minutes, it seemed a little drawn out.

Maybe if I liked wrestling more or knew more about the culture, I’d have gotten more out of it — there was a lot of wrestling, but not a lot on the zombies. In truth, the zombies were kind of lame — eat flesh, pallid complexion, yadda yadda. They could be domesticated, but that was neither explained nor explored, so it didn’t do much for me. Still, with lots of psychobilly and surf punk tunes, some topless hot girls (and one brief, sort of hard to see full nude), decent pacing and amusing superhero/wrestlers it’s hard to complain too much. A light, frothy slight excuse for a movie, but certainly not a terrible one.

How weird is it that I had two zombie-wrestling movies back to back? These are the kinds of coincidences and connections you notice when you watch thirty zombie movies in a thirty day span. I certainly didn’t plan it that way. Another weird thing is the only other Canadian zombie movie I’ve seen, Meat Market, also had a masked Mexican wrestler character. Coincidence, or are our north of the border friends really so into our south of the border friends’ wrestling culture?

The next entry takes us back to 1973 for the reportedly atmospheric (which might just mean slow) zombie chiller Messiah of Evil.

ZMMM Dailies: 6/26/2009 – Japanese Double Feature

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 27 - 20091 COMMENT

JUNKCompared to last night’s debacle, things went great tonight. My new copy of JUNK worked flawlessly, delivering a great movie that only made me more angry/sad that my own copy is DOA. Fuck. But yeah, JUNK was just fantastic. I didn’t notice the first time around how like the Italian zombie movies it is, probably in large part because I had seen far fewer Italian zombie movies at that point. While it does have a very Japanese sensibility, the look, gore and plot of it were very reminiscent of the spaghetti dead — which is a good thing. Lots of gore, very Dawn of the Dead Romero-looking zombies, visual and audio references to everything from Re-Animator, Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, and Return of the Living Dead (or perhaps Zombie 3) to Terminator 2 and Aliens. It seems like a very influential zombie movie in terms of later Japanese works, which is also a good thing.

If you don’t know the plot, JUNK concerns the intersection of some amateur jewel thieves, their double-crossing Yakuza fence and a U.S. military experiment in reanimating the dead. That’s pretty much it — just throw those elements together and away we go. It had two opposing strong female leads — one of the jewel thieves repping the living, and a super-zombie hottie (yeah, I said it — she runs around naked for a good chunk of the movie and looks good, just kind of pale) who leads up the animate dead. Very feminist, until they kind of throw that out at the end and the jewel thief accepts a traditionally subservient role to get with her man. Lame. But not lame enough to reduce the awesomeness of the movie. It’s a real shame this is out of print. Needs a special edition NOW.

tokyozombie1In a stroke of good fortune, Tokyo Zombie was also awesome, albeit in a totally different way. A movie about two factory workers who live to practice jujitsu and the zombie apocalypse that befalls them, TZ is absolutely absurd from beginning to end. It’s full of slapstick and Three Stooges-style physical humor, takes numerous insane and unexpected plot turns, delivers clever, if not particularly subtle, jokes aplenty and was generally enjoyable. It was also nicely produced, shot and acted, so it looked good and went down easy.

It’s definitely one of the more light hearted and strange zombie movies of not just Japan week, but of my zombie experiences. I can recommend it highly, but I suspect not everyone will agree with me — I happen to really enjoy the Japanese sense of humor and approach to storytelling, which isn’t necessarily a common thing.But if you like manga (this is based on one), anime or similar Japanese pursuits, this might be right up your alley.

So that is it for Japan. We return to mostly themeless meanderings acorss the zombie landscape, although I chose our next entry, Enter Zombie King, because of its Lucha Libre connection, as a nod to a friend of mine who’s doing a lucha thing the same night. Good luck with your event, Sid!

Deadlines: News roundup 6/26/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 26 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

deadlines

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

Friday, July 10 zombies in San Francisco are protesting for equal rights. This awesome event is a promotional stunt for S.G. Browne’s book Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament. There’s a signing after the protest. (Undead Anonymous)

Fans of the zombie epic Planet Terror rejoice, because rumor has it that the complete theatrical Grindhouse experience — both films, all the trailers, etc — is coming to Blu-ray August 11 and DVD December 31. Blu-ray.com broke the story, Fangoria corroborated and expanded it via WalMart’s website (isn’t living in the future awesome?). (Fangoria)

If you are in Waco, Texas this weekend, a new, locally produced zombie movie is premiering Saturday, June 27. Check out a brief piece about the movie, called Risen, with a link to info on when and where to see it. (Waco Tribune-Herald)

Augmented reality (overlaying graphics onto real-life stuff) gets nice and zombified in ARhrrrr, a prototype game from Georgia Tech Augmented Environments Lab and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Get more details at Joystiq, find a nice clip after the break. (Joystiq via Dread Central)

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/25/2009 – FAIL!

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 26 - 20091 COMMENT

junkfailIt wouldn’t be a marathon without at least one epic fail. Last year, we had one where our “zombie” movie had no zombies – Rise of the Dead, if you’re curious, a bad ghost/reincarnation movie with no zombies despite the lying bastard of a cover and name! — and we had to return it and ended up watching an Asylum rip off of I Am Legend (called I Am Omega) instead. Last night, I got my epic fail when my JUNK disc turned out to be totally bunk.

I bought the DVD about a year ago but hadn’t had a chance to watch it. Turns out, it’s useless — none of the players I tried it in, including a PC DVD drive, even registered it as being present in the drive. Of course, I also got a late start last night (it was almost midnight when I got home from a quasi-work engagement) and I was suffering the effects of about $12-$15 worth of $3 pints of beer. So by the time I gave up screwing with the JUNK disc and checking to see if I could watch it online anywhere and put in Tokyo Zombie, I was on my last legs. Not surprisingly, I passed out in front of it after about twenty minutes. D’oh!

So tonight, after securing a copy of JUNK from a friend (it’s good to have friends almost as obsessive about zombies as you are!), I will be watching a double feature of JUNK and Tokyo Zombie to make up for it. Should be awesome — I am staying sober to minimize the possibility of passing out.

Deadlines: News roundup 6/25/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 25 - 20093 COMMENTS

deadlines

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

The biggest news of the day, by far, is that Michael Jackson is dead. How is that zombie news? Ever heard of a little thing called “Thriller”? It’s probably behind only Night of the Living Dead and maybe Dawn of the Dead in terms of popularizing zombies. TMZ broke the news earlier today, but it’s pretty much everywhere. (TMZ)

PC gamers get official support for custom campaigns in Left 4 Dead with an update today. Lucky bastards. (Kotaku)

And that’s it, because today is the slowest zombie news days ever. But to salve the pain, there’s a silly Resident Evil claymation clip embedded after the breka (thanks to Kotaku for the find).

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/24/2009 – Onechanbara

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 25 - 20091 COMMENT

onechanbara2So, Onechanbara. Yeah. Based on a video game, and if you somehow didn’t know that, I think you’d figure it out pretty damn quickly. You’ve got a wafer-thin plot (mad scientist creates zombies to take over the world, now with 70 percent more sibling rivalry subplot!), lots of bad acting, bad characterization and god-awful CGI. The lead character was a samurai chick in a bikini, with a fat, bumbling sidekick, a leather-clad hottie gunslinger as a quasi-partner and a rival/sister who is somehow fueling the creation of zombies. Yeah, it didn’t make a lot of sense to me either. Most of the fight scenes were sped up and it was hard to tell what was going on, and you could all but see the lead character’s special attack powering up. The zombies weren’t half bad looking though — nothing special, but not terrible.They dissolved into spurts of blood when they got killed by our hero, a little like the vampires in Buffy the Vampie Slayer when they got staked, which almost has to be an inspiration.

Honestly, it was kind of okay. I can’t imagine ever sitting through it again (yet I probably will at some point) but it wasn’t really too bad — I’ve seen many, many worse movies. And gratuitous nudity fans, you get two quick boob shots here, and one simulated sex scene.

Next we get JUNK. I really liked JUNK a lot when I saw it before. We’ll see if that is still true.

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