Deadlines: News roundup 5/14/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On May - 14 - 2009

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

Talky zombie thriller Pontypool is coming to DVD July 21. No word on special features but the cover art has been revealed. (Bloody Disgusting)

Portland, Oregon residents should get out of the house and go enjoy the wonder of Zompire: The Undead Film Festival this weekend. Cemetery Man, Day of the Dead and other great films are on the bill and you can get the full lineup at the festival web site. (Dread Central & everyone I know in Portland — you know who you are!)

If you didn’t already know, the Zombie Reporting Center sent out a helpful reminder that Walking Dead Compendium One is out and available for purchase. Robert Kirkman’s ongoing graphic novel of life after the zombie apocalypse is fantastic, and this collects the first 48 issues into a massive 1,088 page volume. (Zombie Reporting Center)

Los Angeles goes zombie mad as alt-weekly paper LA Weekly gives us a giant cover story on the zombie zeitgeist, a brief history of the zombie in film, a slide show from the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors con and a memoir of one man’s experience with zombies. Wow, zombie blowout! (LA Weekly)

Finally, on a personal note, my post earlier about the June Zombie Movie Marathon was the 100th post for the blog! Not bad for just over three months, eh? Looking forward to hundreds more with you fine people.

Deadlines: News roundup 5/11/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On May - 11 - 2009

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

I’ve got two words for you: zombie prom. Now go look at the pictures and read what that’s all about. (Fangoria)

Can a lone scientist and a super-babe asskicker overcome armageddon, hordes of ravenous zombies and the worst acting and CGI you will ever see to save the human race? These questions and more (such as why does the stock footage look like the best thing in this movie?) are asked in the Experiment 7 trailer (which you can find after the break). (Fangoria)

Jesus, zombies, male stripper, Abraham Lincoln, time travel, apocalypse. No, it’s not the highlights of my last cough-syrup-fueled bender, it’s a bullet list of the major plot points for Jesus Hates Zombies, a suitably insane sounding comic. Geek in the City walks you through it all. (Geek in the City)

The opening cinematic for Prototype, an upcoming game with a lot of zombie-looking enemies (oh, and a hero who says he woke up in a morgue, which strongly implies zombie heritage), is available (no embeds, sorry). It looks okay, but my excitement meter is firmly set at “whatever.” (GameTrailers.com)

Loved that whole zombies-in-space thing happening in Dead Space? Then you will be happy that this tiny tidbit from the Tumblr blog Superannuation implies there will be a Dead Space 2. (superannuation)

Zombies may yet make it to your TV in weekly, serialized drama form. The pilot for Lifeless is supposedly drawing some interest from the shadowy cabal that apparently decide such things. Of course, they’ll probably just decide to put on another doctor show, but we can hope (oh, and there’s five minutes of the pilot embedded after the break). (Quiet Earth)

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The inconveniences of the “Zombie Apocalypse”

Posted by Cory Casciato On May - 4 - 2009

Kirby Krackle is the self-styled “World’s First Comic Book Rock Band,” and they have produced this lovely ukelele-driven ballad about the horrific inconveniences of the zombie apocalypse. It’s a fun, clever ditty that should appeal to anyone who’s ever spent way too much time pondering what the zombie apocalypse would look like in real life.

For more info on Kirby Krackle or to buy their album, visit the band’s web site.

Introducing The Zombie Years

Posted by Cory Casciato On April - 30 - 2009

zombieyearsI wanted to draw your attention to a newish web comic called The Zombie Years. It’s a post-apocalyptic zombie story that follows a young Cuban-American named Frank who lives in Miami and so far it looks great. Here’s what you can expect from the series, in the creator’s words: “Zombie Years is a Horror Drama with lots of action and Humor, Survival tips, both real and unreal, DIY concepts, Latin American/Caribbean culture, while featuring Miami as a whole other character in the story.”

The writing is solid, the art is appealing and vibrant and the series doesn’t waste a lot of time with clumsy exposition or setup — it’s action packed from the word go, with explosions, face-shooting and hand-to-hand mayhem abounding in the few short pages available. Poking around on the site, it’s obvious a lot of thought and care has gone into the comic. The author, Juan Navarro, seems to have crafted a deep, engaging fiction and backstory and it will be exciting to see it come out in the comic over time. He’s already outlined the varieties of zombies, the timeline of the epidemic and other important details.

Really, the only complaint is that there just isn’t enough of it yet. I read the entirety of it in no time at all and now I have to wait a week for the next page. Damnation! Patience is not one of my many virtues. On the other hand, if you want to check it out, you can still get in at the more-or-less beginning, which is kind of nice in its own way.

Read it and judge for yourself at The Zombie Years web site.

Deadlines: News roundup 4/21/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On April - 21 - 2009

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

The new Left 4 Dead DLC is available for both PC and Xbox 360. You get the “Dead Air” and “Blood Harvest” campaigns playable in Versus mode, plus the all new Survival mode. And it’s free, which is extra awesome.

I lost interest somewhere around the middle of the second Marvel Zombies series, but the tireless folks at Fangoria have kept at it and have a review of Marvel Zombies series four up.

When the real zombie apocalypse happens, good tools will be of utmost importance. This modern steel tomahawk looks to be just the thing for zombie killing (hey, it was a slow news day…).

Deadlines: News roundup 4/20/09

Posted by Cory Casciato On April - 20 - 2009

deadlines

A daily roundup of all the undead news that shambles into view… Got news tips? E-mail me at cory.casciato[AT]gmail.com.

Shooting on the Woody Harrelson-starring zombie flick Zombieland has wrapped, according to director Ruben Fleischer’s blog. There are also a couple of still images of a deserted, apocalyptic Hollywood, but none of them have zombies, unfortunately. Also, no word yet on whether Woody Harrelson will assault someone else in a misguided publicity stunt/overreaction to paparazzi to mark the end of shooting.

Fox is shuttering Fox Atomic, the studio responsible for its comedy and genre works. Why should you care? Because it leaves the fate of the 28 Months Later, the third Rage-infected zombie movie, in development limbo for the time being.

The canceled ABC TV series Pushing Daisies was kind of a nontraditional zombie tale focused on the cutesy, charming and chaste relationship between the guy who raised the dead with a touch, and the girl he raised from the dead but couldn’t touch again lest she return to the dead for good. Now it’s returning in comic book form from DC and getting in touch with the shambling dead at its core as it introduces a storyline that sees the lead face off against 1,000 reanimated corpses. I always enjoyed the show, despite never loving it, and this wrinkle sounds promising.

A new story, a new medium: Night Zero

Posted by Cory Casciato On April - 8 - 2009

nightzeroI came across Night Zero today, an interesting new zombie tale told in the innovative (for the U.S., anyway) format of fumetti, which are comics that utilize photos rather than illustration. Specifically, Night Zero uses high dynamic range (HDR) photography and a process called tonemapping to produce its images. The results are interesting, an almost hyperreal look that still has a “comics” look. It seem like they are still working out the kinks, as some of the panels look markedly better than others.

Format aside, Night Zero is set in a world that has collapsed due to a plague of “scratchers,” zombies of the infected and crazed type, similar to 28 Days Later. The first two chapters are available, along with a third vignette. So far, it’s an intriguing story that centers around a Land of the Dead type “city on the hill” stronghold. The city is run by a group that doesn’t exactly see eye to eye on everything and it looks like the intrigue between the various factions will drive the narrative, similar to the political intrigue that drove Battlestar Galactica. One amusing detail is booze seems to stave off the infection — an idea I’ve seen once or twice elsewhere that never fails to amuse me.

There isn’t enough there to give it a full review yet, but my initial impression is that it shows some promise in its narrative structure and a well-developed setting, while the characters seem a little two dimensional (no pun intended) and the format may not be up to displaying the degree of action that will be necessary to pull the story off properly. Time will tell if I am right. For now, considering it’s free and available online, it’s definitely worth a look. I’ll be watching it and you can expect a full review at some point in the future.

Read it and judge for yourself at the Night Zero web site.

Marvel Zombies

Posted by Cory Casciato On March - 24 - 2009

mztpbIf you’ve ever wondered how superheroes would fare against the zombie menace, Marvel Zombies holds the answer, and the answer is: not too well. See, Earth’s superpowered, pajamas-clad best are no more immune to the zombie bug than anyone else. That means once the first heroes get turned, it’s all down hill for humanity.

The story is set on one of the many, many alternate universes within the Marvel multiverse and it follows the zombie plague from its beginnings as an evil supervillain plot through the ultimate destruction of just about everything in one of the most epic zombie apocalypses ever. It’s a convoluted, fairly dense story that unfolds over the course of lots and lots of comics, which have been bundled in a series of collections. There’s a couple of miniseries, a bunch of Marvel tie-ins, some limited one-offs and even a crossover with Army of Darkness.

When I heard of the series, my first thought was it was ridiculous, utter trash designed solely to cash in on the zombie craze. But after a friend loaned me pretty much everything up through the second miniseries, I had to revise my unfounded opinion. The authors do a good job, especially through the first miniseries and its tie-ins, of following through on the premise of superpowered zombies. See, the zombies retain most of their superpowers, losing only any healing abilities they might have (they are dead, after all). So as dangerous as a regular zombie is, these walking/flying/laser-beam-shooting dead are infinitely more dangerous. As you might imagine, it takes them almost no time to devour every normal human and most of the “special” humans on Earth, leaving them to seek sustenance elsewhere. I can’t reveal much more without going into major spoilers but it gets really wild in no time at all.

The enjoyment to be had from these books is predicated on the level of interest and/or knowledge you have in both individual subject matters. If you aren’t at least moderately interested in superhero comics and zombies, this isn’t going to do much for you. If the interest is there, no deep knowledge of comics is required. The story wisely features a cast of “heroes” that will be familiar to just about everyone: Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and other heavyweights of the Marvel continuum. There are plenty of obscure characters for the hard-core fans, too, but if you’ve seen a summer blockbuster in the last decade, you should be able to “get” who most of these characters are well enough to follow everything.

If the interest level is there, it’s an entertaining, fun and slightly campy mash up, at least through the first series. Sure, the story is spread over enough different comics, tie-ins and special issues it gets a little hard to keep track of everything (though the collections may solve that issue), but it’s largely worth it. There are lots of gruesome ends met,  epic battles fought and clever plot twists revealed. By the end of the second miniseries, it’s devolved into a pretty standard superhero comic with zombies becoming just a minor element. It’s all supervillain this, secret plot that, so-and-so isn’t really dead, and so on and so on:  in short, all the stuff that killed my appetite for superhero shenanigans years ago. The should have quit while they were ahead; I certainly have no interest in reading further despite really enjoying the initial story.

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