Deadlines: News roundup 10/28/10

Posted by Johnathon Brock On October - 28 - 2010

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… News post by Johnathon Brock and Cory Casciato. Got news tips? E-mail them to cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com. Bookmark the home page or add the RSS feed to your reader for your daily dose of walking dead.

The band Radioboxer sits down in an interview to discuss surviving the zombie apocalypse in a Q&A. (Miami New Times – Crossfade)

Danny Newman discusses why Denver is set to become the zombie capital of the world.(Ed: It’s no coincidence TIZA is based in Denver…) (Westword – Show & Tell)

Colorado University is offering a class on zombie survival, and we’ve got video after the break. (Colorado Daily)

Geo social check-in app SCVNGR has infected random players with the zombie virus in an effort to spread it to the world in a fun new game. (Wired)

NPR talks zombies!? Beth Accmando gives an interview about her time playing a zombie in the short film My Boring Zombie Apocalypse. (NPR)

An announcement was made today that the mock dock World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries 2 is currently in production, and there’s a nice one sheet poster to go with it. (Dread Central)

Scientist Phil Plait gives an awesome breakdown on zombie science and how zombies are a theoretical possibility. (Blastr)

Dawn of the Ted is a zombie short even your girlfriend will want to watch, because it features zombie teddy bears. I’m not kidding, there’s video after the break. (Moviephone)

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Deadlines: News roundup 10/26/10

Posted by Johnathon Brock On October - 26 - 2010

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… News post by Johnathon Brock and Cory Casciato. Got news tips? E-mail them to cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com. Bookmark the home page or add the RSS feed to your reader for your daily dose of walking dead.

There’s an awesome video (that we can’t embed) of an interview with Frank Darabont, the director of The Walking Dead. (FEARnet)

A couple of Florida students just finished shooting Residents Evil, a zombie comedy, and talk about it in this interview. (The Alligator)

Kevin Tenney sits down for a nice interview about his latest film, Brain Dead. Too bad the movie sucks (read my review of Brain Dead). (Fangoria)

Undead Diversion: Kids in the Hall on zombies

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 1 - 2010

Today, our Undead Diversion is a short sketch from Canada’s all-time funniest comedy troupe. In just over two minutes, the Kids in the Hall manage to capture the essential essence of the zombie movie — the running, the inevitable standoff and the ambiguous ending that constitute the raw material of half the zombie movies ever made, boiled down to one short skit. Plus, there is a great recurring shoe gag in it. Enjoy, and happy Friday.

Review: Doghouse

Posted by Cory Casciato On July - 14 - 2010


In director Jake West’s Doghouse, we follow a bunch of loutish men to a tiny, out-of-the-way village, where they hope to carouse and help one of them, Vince, get over his fresh, new divorce. From this not-terribly-zombie-sounding premise, things quickly progress into familiar (for readers of this site, anyway) territory: violent, bloody mayhem explodes within moments of pulling into the town, as they discover that for some reason all the women there have gone insane and are murdering and feeding on the men. Cue Hall and Oates “Man Eater”!

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ZMMM Dailies: 6/5/2010 – Death Becomes Her

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 6 - 2010

Quick! How many Oscar-winning zombie movies can you name that star two Oscar-winning actresses? Just the one, I’m thinking: Death Becomes Her. The Oscar it won was for special effects. Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep are the Oscar-winning star actresses and it also has Bruce Willis and Isabella Rossellini for good measure.

Now, this is a very different take on zombie, but they are verifiably reanimated dead people. As a matter of fact, there’s a scene in the hospital where a doctor is taking the vital signs of Streep’s character that is eerily similar to the paramedics checking out the two main idiots in Return of the Living Dead. No brain eating here, though. Just uber-bitchy diva behavior.

The deal is two women who hate each other both get this fancy youth-revitalizing magic potion that makes you live forever, except there’s a catch. If you die, you don’t die. Your heart stops, your temperature drops and you stop healing, but you continue on as the living dead. That plot is used to deliver a slapsticky comedy about the pursuit of beauty and youth in Hollywood. It’s pretty shallow but very well put together and fairly entertaining, albeit probably not what most zombie lovers are looking for.

My usually zombie-hating fiancée watched this one with me. She’s a big fan, actually (apparently it was one of her favorite movies in high school). Also, I should note this is one of the worst DVD transfers ever. Not only it is a chopped, pan-and-scan aspect ration, it’s also grainy, muddy and ugly. Awful.

Again, circumstances (watching with my SO, in this case) dictated skipping the short. But no worries, I have plenty of shorts to come.

Review: I Sell the Dead

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 8 - 2009

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

Mostly dead: Undead or Alive

Posted by Cory Casciato On May - 7 - 2009

undeadoraliveIs the world ready for a zombie/western comedy with Chris Kattan? Will it ever be ready? The makes of Undead or Alive didn’t bother to ask that question, they just plowed ahead at full speed. The plot give us one of those cliche odd couples on the run, plus an Indian curse that creates zombies, a corrupt sheriff and lots and lots of stupid.

Not surprisingly, the humor here is largely slapstick and juvenile. Surprisingly, some of it actually manages to be funny. And despite being essentially worthless and mostly terrible, I have to admit it was strangely watchable. It was also pretty weird. The ending in particular was just fucking odd — I can’t really say anything about it without spoiling it, but it ranks up there with some of the weirder shit I have seen in any zombie movie and seems wildly out of place in such an essentially lighthearted movie.

I can’t exactly recommend this movie, and I definitely didn’t like it, but it had something … maybe with better leads, or a slightly more polished script, this could have been something worthwhile. As it is, it’s just odd. But if you’ve already seen everything else at the video store or you’re having your own thirty-day zombie fest, it might be worth watching.

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