ZMMM Dailies: 6/19/2009 – Zombie 3

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 20 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

zombie3The idiocy of Zombie 3 left me almost speechless. In all honesty, this was probably the worst movie of Italy week, and probably the worst movie of the festival so far — only Hell of the Living Dead is close, which is, not surprisingly, another Bruno Mattei movie. Yes, Mattei did this, even though it claims to be a Lucio Fulci film, it’s pretty well established he had to leave this for health reasons and Mattei took over. Based on what made it in the movie, Fulci’s involvement was minimal, at best.

Zombie 3 is the story of Death-1, a compound that mutates into a virus (what?) and turns a whole city into zombies. Really stupid-looking zombies that look like a cross between Nightmare City‘s crap-encrusted, radiation-burnt creatures and more traditional grey-face undead. Some of the pulsating, oozing pustules on the zombies were impressive — the rest of the makeup and effects were ridiculous. Also ridiculous were the numerous, extended fight scenes between the zombies and commandos; the near-constant use of dry-ice fog; the severed head in a refrigerator that leaps out and bites a dude (okay, that was awesome and ridiculous);  and the elements blatantly ripped off from Return of the Living Dead and Day of the Dead: Mattei, you are a fucking thief! And an incompetent.

So Italy week was fun. We got to see some of the best and worst of Italian cinema, and at least one that was both (Burial Ground: Nights of Terror). Up next is the mockumentary American Zombie. Monday we start five days of Japanese zombie cinema — we’ll see how they compare with the Italians.

Deadlines: News roundup 6/19/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 19 - 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 for your daily dose of walking dead. Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

You need more Zombieland news? Ain’t It Cool News has a chat with director Ruben Fleischer and since an embeddable trailer popped up today, I have embedded it for you after the jump in case you didn’t want to bother downloading it yesterday from Apple. (AICN)

It seems like just days ago I was talking about a new movie coming out called The Zombie Christ (because it was just the other day) and now here’s another, unconnected movie called Corpus Delecti: The Passion of the Zombie Christ (details at link, trailer embedded after the break). I knew we were in the zombie zeitgeist — I didn’t realize there was a secondary, Christ-zombie zeitgeist thing going on… (Fangoria)

Photos from the recent Night of the Creeps reunion at the Alamo Drafthouse can be found here. (Fangoria)

Been a while since we had a Dead Snow item, so rejoice: director Tommy Wirkola is going to be on Fangoria Radio tonight (Sirius XM Stars satellite radio, Sirius channel 108/XM channel 139, from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. EST) (Fangoria)

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/18/2009 – Zombie

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 19 - 20091 COMMENT

zombiefulciDay four of Italy week was Lucio Fulci’s hallucinogenic masterpiece Zombie. It did not let me down. On the other hand, it did not win my girlfriend over — her complaints included bad acting, terrible dialog, terrible dubbing and way too much cheap gore. I’d personally call the acting functional, but I yield that the dialog is highly suspect and the dubbing is ludicrous. I love the gore though, and think it looks great — maybe not exactly realistic, but totally believable. And obviously, I love the movie and have loved it each and every time I watch it.

It comes down to looking for different things — she likes very linear, dialog and character driven movies (usually ones with no zombies in them) whereas I look for a movie experience that may or may not contain those things, but weighs all sorts of things like mood, camera work, stylistic flourishes, etc. that she doesn’t really register as terribly important. Zombie is a movie experience and Fulci was a master of using the camera,  using sound design, setting a surreal mood and creating great set pieces. This is the most linear, plot-driven movie of his I’ve seen — I think it’s a good thing I didn’t try to have her watch The Beyond.

We watched it in a little theater under a bar. It was a digital projection off DVD, but still freaking cool. This is definitely a movie to watch that way (in a theater, on a screen, with other people there) if you have the opportunity. It’s a different experience than watching it at home on your TV. The turnout was pretty small (I am a terrible promoter, and couldn’t dedicate a lot of time to it since it was a not-for-profit enterprise) but everyone that came, with the exception of my girlfriend, really dug the movie — even the people that came in two-thirds of the way through.

Also, thanks to the people that voted in my poll, especially those that are watching along with us this month. Don’t forget that if you write about the films I watched and wrote about and link back to my writings on the same films, I will return the link/favor and we’ll have a cool little zombie film club. Fun! I closed the poll, since it is over halfway through the month, but I will have something else up there shortly.

Next up is Zombie 3, a movie that Lucio Fulci started (cool!) and Bruno Mattei finished (uh oh…). That will end our five day excursion into Italian zombie cinema.

Deadlines: News roundup 6/18/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 18 - 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 for your daily dose of walking dead. Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

The story reported yesterday about Rob Zombie’s lawyers trying to shut down musician/artist Eric Weiss for using the name Zombie! has been happily resolved — Weiss contacted me to let me know Rob Zombie himself called and they worked it out. Rob Zombie, you’re okay by me!

The Zombieland trailer is available from Apple — but no embeds, damn it. The comedy is about two guys (one scared of everything, the other scared of nothing — crazy!) dealing with the zombie apocalypse. (Apple via Shock til You Drop)

A couple of golden-age classic horror flicks coming to DVD October 6. The four-movie set includes The Walking Dead (a great, original zombie/gangster flick I watched a while ago for the Zombie Movie Marathon Month) and Zombies on Broadway (not heard good things, but who knows?) plus two non-zombie flicks Frankenstein-1970 and You’ll Find Out. The set is priced at $26.98. (DVDActive)

Adam Sessler of G4TV weighs in on the Left 4 Dead 2 boycott. It’s video, and I’ve helpfully embedded it after the break. (G4TV via Dread Central)

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/17/2009 – Nightmare City

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 18 - 20092 COMMENTS

NightmareCityAh, Nightmare City, you have restored my faith in Italy. Actually, it’s an Italian/Spanish co-production, but whatever. This movie had its faults — a pretty bad script, craptacular zombie makeup, ridiculous ending — but wow, was it ever fun to watch. A plane comes down full of zombies, who run out, start shooting (yes, shooting — these are smart zombies!) and stabbing the living shit out of everyone in sight and head out to take over the city. Along the way, they eat (well, drink the blood of, technically) an aerobics/disco show, tear off a lot of chicks’ clothing (gratuitous nudity is a staple of these spaghetti dead flicks), crack open an elevator like a nut to get the tasty treats (i.e. people) inside, kill and get killed in some very entertaining and graphic ways. This is also one of the first movies (if not the first) with fast zombies, and one of the few with smart zombies — apart from being burnt-looking and lacking the ability to speak, they have pretty much the normal capabilities of their non-zombie victims. The last third drags a little bit and the ending is definitely lame, but this is still a really fun, if really stupid, zombie flick.

Next up, Lucio Fulci’s hallucinatory opus Zombie. Free public showing in Denver! Hopefully lots of people show up.

Rob Zombie’s lawyers claim he owns the word zombie…

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 17 - 200929 COMMENTS

zombiebang-bandUPDATED UPDATE: Eric Weiss contacted me and says he was contacted directly by Rob Zombie, who did not know his lawyers were going after Weiss, and has agreed to coexist with Zombie! (aka Weiss). I had a feeling he didn’t know what his legal team was up to, and kudos to him for being a man and a human being and doing the right thing. Rob Zombie, zombie lovers everywhere salute you!

UPDATE: Opinion from my lawyer friend added!

I’ve seen a copy of the letter referenced in today’s news post from Rob Zombie’s trademark lawyers and it’s alarming. They seem to be claiming he owns the right to the word zombie in any musical context, which is just utter bullshit. I can think of a half a dozen band names that use the word in addition to the band Zombie! who they are going after (who, it’s worth noting, is a small, unsigned independent guy who isn’t a great position to fight a legal war). And since zombies are probably the second most popular movie monster ever, it isn’t like he staked out some far-out undiscovered territory with the name Rob Zombie — I guess John Vampire would be slightly less original, but just slightly.

I’ve asked  a lawyer friend if there’s any legal merit to the case and I will update when I hear back from him. I will also be attempting to contact the law firm tomorrow for comment. If you know of any bands that use the word zombie in their name, please leave them in the comments. I’d like to point out to these lawyers how futile and misguided this attempt really is.

My lawyer friend, who first points out that, “trademark law is a branch of Intellectual Property law and is its own unique thing with its own bar exam, etc.  If you really want a completely accurate legal opinion about this you would need to consult a Patent Attorney in all likelihood,” goes on to offer the following:

Without constituting an actual legal opinion but merely being my best guess, you are correct that this is bullshit.  The name “Zombie!” is distinct enough from “Rob Zombie” – the trademarked term – that it is unlikely to be confused and, therefore, unlikely to infringe upon Rob Zombie’s rights or capitalize on the goodwill his name generates.  There are numerous examples (The Mission and The Mission U.K., The Charlatans and The Charlatans U.K., Verve Records and The Verve, Dinosaur and Dinosaur Jr., etc.) where substantially more minor variations have been sufficient to differentiate between two distinct musical entities.  If the mere mention of the word “zombie” in a band name were enough to constitute infringement than Rob Zombie better be prepared to disgorge all of his lifetime earnings to the sixties band The Zombies.

Furthermore, it is unlikely that Rob Zombie’s birth name is Zombie.  He, like any number of others, is capitalizing on a horror creature/genre to give his audience an impression of what he and his work are about before they ever hear a note he has played.  One cannot at this point trademark the idea of zombies.  This is why hundreds of people have made zombie movies without being sued to hell and back while nobody except George Lucas and those who have purchased the rights from George Lucas have made films about Wookies.  Wookies are exclusive to the Star Wars universe and are the intellectual property of George Lucas.  Zombies are an idea in the public domain and available to anyone to use.  It is the zombie genre that your friends, Rob Zombie and The Zombies have all capitalized on for their musical names – Rob Zombie didn’t come up with the idea and cannot lay claim to it.
He goes on to say that Zombie’s lawyers probably will be able to sue Weiss out of business — unless enough unfavorable publicity is shed on the whole affair to convince them to back off. That’s where you all come in — please spread this far and wide, for Weiss and anyone else that ever wants to use the word zombie in their band or musical project without fear of Rob Zombie’s army of undead lawyers.

After the break, you can find scanned images of the cease-and-desist notice sent to Eric Weiss of Zombie!

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Deadlines: News roundup 6/17/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 17 - 20092 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 for your daily dose of walking dead. Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

Musician Eric Weiss of the band Zombie! (a fun, kind-of-Misfits-sounding horror rock band) reported today on Twitter that Rob Zombie’s lawyers have sent him a cease-and-desist notice insisting he stop using the name Zombie! and selling merch with that logo, lest people be confused. Needless to say, this is complete and utter bullshit — Rob Zombie does not get exclusive use of the word zombie and his lawyers need to be eaten by ambulatory corpses if they can’t see that. When a guy comes along calling himself Rob Zombie or another band tries to jock White Zombie (itself STOLEN from an historic zombie movie, I might add), then they can get their lawyer on.

The folks at Fangoria have a bunch of stills and a few details from the cleverly named short film Paris by Night of the Living Dead. (Fangoria)

I’m a fan of poster art (rock concert posters, old movie posters, etc.) and I am totally taken with this print done for the Alamo Drafthouse’s Night of the Creeps showing. If it were up to me, my house would be decorated solely with this sort of stuff. (Fangoria)

ZMMM Dailies: 6/16/2009 – Hell of the Living Dead

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 17 - 20097 COMMENTS

helldeadThere seems to be an inverse square law of sorts when it comes to movies released under multiple names — the more aliases a movie is released under, the worse it is. This 1980 Spanish/Italian co-production was released under at least ten titles in various countries and languages and it is god awful. Director Bruno Mattei is bad — this fucking guy could give Uwe Boll a run for his money. The story is ridiculous (a plot to reduce population goes wrong — or right? hard to say — and creates a fuckload of flesh-hungry zombies) and contains more holes than actual development. Acting: terrible. Effects and makeup: inconsistent, but generally bad. Use of stock footage: excessive, bordering on slapstick. Gratuitous nudity: appealing, but brief. Score: stolen! Yeah, this is a mess all right.

There are a few cool moments. The zombie rat that kicks off the madness is worth a laugh. There’s a zombie kid that is seriously awesome. And toward the end, a cat jumps out of a woman’s stomach cavity. A highlight reel of those would be great — sitting through the rest of this to get there? Not so much. The other moments of levity and amusement are slight and few; the padding and endless, pointless scenes are many. Cut down to about 75 minutes, this could be fun, if ultimately pointless. At its actual run time of just over a hundred minutes, it’s more like a punishing test of endurance.

Next up is Nightmare City, a contemporary of this work of art. God help us all.

Deadlines: News roundup 6/16/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 16 - 20091 COMMENT

deadlines

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

To kick off “The Horror Virgin,” a new feature at new horror site Horror Squad, Elisabeth Rappe watches the original Night of the Living Dead for the first time (how is that even possible?) (Horror Squad)

There’s some good news for all you hi-def zombie lovers out there: The RomZomCom classic Shaun of the Dead is coming to Blu-ray on September 22 for $29.98. (Fangoria)

If you own a Kindle and enjoy reading blogs on it (and don’t mind paying money for things you can get free elsewhere) you can now get The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse (yes, this blog!) delivered to you wirelessly.

ZMMM Dailies: 6/15/2009 – Burial Ground: Nights of Terror

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 16 - 20092 COMMENTS

burialground-leslieI’ve already reviewed Burial Ground: Nights of Terror and I stand by that review. By most standard, it is a terrible movie. Terrible acting, terrible effects and makeup, terrible writing, dubbing, you name it. Yet somehow, it totally works. Probably because of the rule of Spinal Tap: everything works better when turned up to eleven. And this film is constantly turned up to eleven. Or maybe eleven and a half — everything is just a little but louder, or, in this case, just a little bit crazier.

Every crazy thing that could happen does, not to mention a bunch of shit that has no business happening (the incest “subplot” is just unbelievably off the wall, in particular). If you were to look up “exploitation film” in the dictionary, you should see a picture of this movie. Sleazy sex, sleazy gore, a dwarf (Peter Bark) playing an adolescent, random bear trap accident, five disembowelments (four shown in loving, graphic closeup), which I believe is some kind of record — that’s just the start.

The makeup is utterly crap, with little consistency from zombie to zombie, and all of it borrowed from better movies (Fulci’s Zombie mixed with the Blind Dead films). The effects aren’t any better, and are similarly ripped off, mostly from Fulci. A soundtrack that is equal arts cheesy lite jazz stock music and some dude high as a kite dicking around with a synthesizer and organ, horrible dubbing, shaky handheld camera work, poor continuity and weird editing … it’s a frigging mess, top to bottom. But somehow, totally hypnotic and irresistible, with a strange dreamlike quality in parts. It wasn’t quite as riveting the second time through (I watched it maybe four or five months ago) but I still had no issue getting through it. Recommended!

Oh, and Final Girl is doing a Film Club on it this month, so look for a link to that shortly!

Next up, Hell of the Living Dead takes us deeper into the heart of Italy.

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