Zombie Movie Marathon Month 7: THE FINAL REPORT

Posted by Cory Casciato On November - 8 - 2014
Dead Snow 2

Dead Snow 2

After 31 long days (and by now, a week of recovery), zombie movie marathon month is over. My seventh month-long binge of undead action was a rough one. Nearly everything I watched was mediocre. A small handful were reasonably solid, many more were terrible. Overall, it was a mix of boredom and pain, punctuated by the occasional grudging admittance that, yeah, this movie is okay. Nothing truly great, but plenty of stuff I probably would have enjoyed more if it had been surrounded by fewer full-on shitshows. I’d have guessed the overall low bar set all month would make the higher quality stuff seem even better than it was, but in truth nothing stood out enough to actually, you know, stand out. Now, on to the last two films.

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead
Do you like Troma? Because I think this is maybe the apotheosis of Troma-style filmmaking. It’s a musical zombie comedy about a chicken restaurant built over an ancient Indian burial ground. It’s offensive, stupid and cheap looking. That said, it was far from the worst Troma film I’ve ever seen (and I am not a Troma fan, if you were wondering) nor was it anywhere close to the worst movie of the marathon.

In many ways, it was perfectly representative of this particular zombie movie marathon month. I’d had the screener for years, but just finally got around to watching it. It was a dumb and mostly unfunny comedy. Nothing good about it stood out above the crowd and the best thing it had going for it was some gratuitous nudity. So, yay? But now I’ve seen it, so I don’t have to see it again. For real yay!

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Remember the first Dead Snow? Well, how about a lot more of the same, only with a few new wrinkles? The sole survivor of the first film gets charged with the murder of his friends, gets a zombie arm grafted on, accidentally kills a few people (that arm is a little feisty, see) and calls in the aid of the Zombie Squad for help in dispatching Herzog, the king shit zombie from the first movie. Hijinks ensue. Hijinks everywhere. Honestly, if you like the first one, you’ll like this one. It was one of the best of the marathon, for what that is worth. I definitely snort laughed a few times, which was nice. Also, my wife watched it with me, which is always nice.

So that’s it! I made it. I did a little wrap-up/lessons learned thing near the end for my weekly geek culture column elsewhere (“Five Lessons Learned from Binge-Watching 31 Zombie Movies“) and I don’t have a lot to add to that. Maybe to say that the overarching themes of this year were sleaze and dumb comedy, which was pretty painful. And also to give my man Zombie Shakespeare a shoutout (find him on Twitter at @ZombieShakes) for recommending a bunch of movies to me for the fest. Every one of his recommendations was decent, and they made up the bulk of the watchable films in this parade of garbage. Thanks, dude! This would have been infinitely more painful without you.

ZMMM 7 Continues: Volume 5

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 24 - 2014
The Living Dead Girl showing the proper amount of enthusiasm for this batch of films.

The Living Dead Girl showing the proper amount of enthusiasm for this batch of films.

Shit, it’s been a while. I keep having other things to do and the update keeps getting pushed back, but here, at last, the latest batch of movies.

The Dead Matter
Vampires and witches and zombies, oh my! This is an ambitious little indie about a group of friends who accidentally unleash some zombie hell when they find a magical locket sought by a vampire and use it during a seance. There’s also a vampire hunter and a rivalry between vampires. There’s a lot going on, and not all of it meshes well, but kudos to the filmmakers for a bit of ambition! Also, Tom Savini is in this, hamming it up as one a vampire drug kingpin. Parts of this work really well, much of it less so, but overall it’s worth a look. That whole “DEATH IS THE ANSWER! DEATH IS THE ANSWER! DEATH IS THE ANSWER! DEATH IS THE ANSWER! DEATH IS THE ANSWER! DEATH IS THE ANSWER!” thing was surprisingly creepy.

The Living Dead Girl
This is one of those movies that really makes you look at those hard-and-fast definitions of “zombie”, which is probably its sole saving grace. The plot concerns a dead girl brought back to life via toxic waste. She has a hunger for the blood of the living, not the flesh, but she’s no vampire. She also looks as alive as anyone, despite being dead for more than a year, and even retains her personality and conscience, once her old best friend meets up with her and helps her remember. So is that a zombie? Not in the Romero sense, for sure, but a reanimated corpse hungry for the living is pretty zombielike, right? Anyway, the film is dull as fuck, but it does have some gratuitous nudity if that does it for you.

Swamp Zombies!!!
Anyone can make a zombie movie, and here’s proof! There’s a porn star slumming as a “real” actress and a bunch of stupidity and some zombies in a swamp. The zombies got there when a medical researcher dumps them in response to a surprise inspection. They come back to life and start eating people. It’s all very dull, but they get their mileage out of that porn star with a long, salacious shower scene. Pretty sleazy and not all that interesting, but maybe inspirational if you always wanted to make a shitty zombie movie starring a porn actress! I mean, if these guys did it, how hard can it be?

Night of the Day of the Dawn…
The full title of this is actually Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2 and that is by far the most interesting thing about it. It’s little more than a redubbing of the original Night of the Living Dead, replacing the original audio with some idiot doing stupid voices and spewing misogyny, racism and homophobia spiked with juvenile toilet humor. Then, every once in a while, they break for something stupid. Ugh. So awful. I would really like my time back, please…

Johnny Sunshine
In the zombie apocalyptic future, porn and murder have become one, and the titular Johnny Sunshine is the world’s most popular porn star/murderer. Also, sometimes she chops up zombies with power tools for people’s amusement. Okay, this film has a couple things going for it. First, it’s shockingly stylish as far as the credits and interstitial graphics go. Second, it has a lot of ideas crammed in there. On the downside, the ideas are all repulsive, and so is the film. It’s about ten minutes of story padded to eighty minutes of movie with lots of lingering, pron style visual sequences. You get lots of rape and torture and gratuitous nudity and goth kids showing off their wardrobes. It would be even more repulsive if they didn’t manage to make it all so dull. And boy, is it dull. Hilariously, the sets appear to be two generic apartment living rooms/main rooms and one garage, all barely “decorated,” making it completely obvious what you’re looking at. The main character reminded me a bit of my first ex-wife, though.

Living Dead Lock Up
Did I say anyone can make a zombie movie? This movie is evidence that actually, maybe not everyone can. I mean, it is a zombie movie. It does exist. But holy shit is it a mess. It looks like the kind of thing you’d turn in as an assignment in a high-school videography class and get a C- on. Blurry, incoherent and just plain dumb, this is the absolute bare minimum you can even halfway call a movie. Also, it apparently has not one, but two sequels. God save us all. (Oh, it’s about a guy who goes to prison, then zombies. Like that matters.)

EDIT 10/28/14: Had to finish a sentence I somehow chopped off in the Johnny Sunshine blurb. Derp.

ZMMM 7 Progress Report 3

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 14 - 2014
Coeds, zombies and cliches, oh my!

Coeds, zombies and cliches, oh my!

Dead Before Dawn
Canada is a really mixed bag when it comes to zombie movies. Some great, brilliant stuff — Pontypool, for example — comes out of there. Also some of the worst, most painful attempts at zombie movies ever made, like Zombie Night or Forest of the Dead. This movie is Canadian, and luckily it falls toward the better end of the spectrum. It’s not great, by any means, but it is reasonably entertaining and well put together. It’s kind of a meta-horror piece, like Scream, that comments on its own genre. That’d be zombies, if you didn’t figure that out on your own. Specifically these are curse zombies (lot of those this ZMMM — seems to be an emerging theme) that are brought to life when a dumbass kid does something dumb to try to impress a girl, then his dumbass friends make it much, much worse. It’s also horror comedy, and heavier on the laughs than the scares. Pleasant, if a bit forgettable.

Daddy, I’m a Zombie
More zombie movies for kids! This one looks to be aimed at tweens, based on its own just-teenaged protagonist, a girl who gets killed after being a jerk to her dad, then comes back as a zombie. The animation was weak, the plot was thin and I honestly had a hard time paying attention to this. It was just kind of dull and perfunctory, like some people decided to make a dumb tween movie and randomly decided to throw in zombies because, “Hey, kids like zombies!” It was made in Spain, I believe, which is neither here nor there, but worth mentioning.

Buck Wild
What happens when three idiots and one psychopath go on a hunting trip and run afoul of a bunch of chupacabra-spawned zombies? Buck Wild is what. Yet another horror comedy, working in the classic mold of the “guys getaway that goes awry” mold. A plan to marry a girlfriend is revealed, an affair uncovered and lots of zombies are killed. I enjoyed it honestly, but mostly because I expected nothing and got slightly more than that. The chupacabra was kind of pointless, but if you squint hard you can pretend it’s a Sumatran rat monkey.

The Coed and the Zombie Stoner
Is there anything you need to know about this movie that isn’t contained in the title? Okay, maybe one thing — it’s from Asylum. It is also exactly what you would expect — an artless melange of college movie cliches crammed into a sack with a handful of zombie movie cliches. And lots of gratuitous nudity, of course. The plot, if you can call it that, concerns a nerdy sorority sister who has to find a frat guy boyfriend or get kicked out of her sorority. She meets a zombie that her science teacher has kept on ice since the ’80s, spruces him up and dates him. Then at a party he goes berserk and makes more zombies, and it’s a full-scale campus zombie apocalypse! But really, just an excuse for a lot of dumb jokes, including a homage/rip-off of one of Airplane!‘s iconic scenes, and tons of weed jokes. How awful does it sound? In truth, it’s a lot less awful than it could be. I even was amused once or twice, though it did seem to go on forever. Probably only watchable if you are as stoned as the people in the movie (i.e. very fucking stoned).

Zombie Movie Marathon 5: Five things we’ve learned so far

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 17 - 2012
Mindy Clarke is one sexy zombie

Return of the Living Dead 3

Yesterday marked the halfway point of the fifth annual Zombie Movie Marathon Month, so it seemed like a good time to check in. For those of you who haven’t been reading since last time, ZMMM is my annual month-long zombie-a-day film fest: one zombie movie a day, every day, for an entire month. For those who have been reading a while, you may be wondering why the hell this is happening now, rather than in June as it has in years past. My reasons are twofold:

1) My wife has long petitioned for me to move the marathon to a fall/winter month, arguing (rightly) that we have too much going on in summer — camping, travel, friends visiting — to give up time every day in June to watch a zombie movie. This might have been reason enough but then something came along to seal the deal…

2) We had a baby May 29, two days before I would have ostensibly started the marathon. Let me tell you, having a newborn in the house makes it pretty hard to get something like this done. It’s been hard enough now, and she’s almost five month old! Bottom line is, June was out, so October is in! And let’s face it, October is a more fitting month anyway.

Okay, on to this year!

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Deadlines: News roundup 11/18/11

Posted by Johnathon Brock On November - 18 - 2011


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.

Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd and special effects wizard Greg Nicotero both discuss this season of The Walking Dead. (FEARnet)

It looks like Plants vs. Zombies is making it’s way to the new Kindle Fire for the low price of three dollars. (Buy Zombie)

Director Jaume Balagueró talks REC 4: Apocalypse, how it will tie into the other three movies, and his disappointment with Quarantine. (Fangoria)

It looks like the latest ruling by a judge in the Jenna Jameson no-show case where she bailed on a screening of Zombie Strippers to attend a private party shows that the theater owner may just have a case against her. The rumor mill is stating that Jameson’s attorneys may advise her to settle. (Chicago Tribune)

We got an e-mail from the team behind Zombie Wasteland Goners and it looks like the game is now available as an alpha build. So go download it and give it a shot. Let us know what you think and we might join you online.

If you’re in Vegas when the zombie apocalypse starts then you’ll be safe provided you’ve got some cash and access to the Zombie Apocalypse Store. (Guardian UK)

Deadlines: News roundup 11/01/11

Posted by Johnathon Brock On November - 1 - 2011


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.

After the break, check out the teaser trailer for the claymation epic ParaNorman which is brought to us by the very talented team behind Coraline. (Fused Film)

We’ve also got the trailer for the Uwe Boll produced flick Zombie Massacre after the break. He’s not directing this one, so it will be interesting to see how it’s received. (Worst Previews)

Bar owner and indie film maker Bryan Goff hope to be finished with his zombie movie Bloody Border sometime in January. I’m assuming the 2:00 AM drunk crowd will be used as both zombie and victim extras. (The Republic)

It’s been confirmed that director Craig Gillespie has walked away from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The rumor mill is pointing to budget issues and a lack of funding to make a proper film. (Deadline)

After the break, check out the “Sex, Blood, and Rock and Roll” grindhouse style trailer for Lollipop Chainsaw, which I think will be one of the best games of 2012 from what I’ve seen. (Dread Central)

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Deadlines: News roundup 08/01/11

Posted by Johnathon Brock On August - 1 - 2011


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.

It looks like Kevin Bacon will be the next actor to grace the cast of R.I.P.D. (Hollywood.com)

Well, it might have taken five years, and the movie was already in production (as you know), but A Little Bit Zombie finally reached its million dollar goal that it needed for production. Congratulations! (Net News Ledger)

Here’s another good hands on preview with some more multiplayer details and storyline development for Dead Island. I can’t wait for the game to come out so I can make “…well the book was better” jokes. (Digital Spy)

After the break, watch this video of Garth Ennis, the comic writer extraordinaire, talk about his latest short film Stitched. (Dread Central)

I guess the only thing you can do to a sad franchise is add boobs. That’s what the House of the Dead series decided to do when they added a LOT of boobs to their new game. (Kotaku)

Top commenter and indie webseries creator Jon Dixon sent us a message to let us know that the latest episode of his series …And Then Everything Changed is now online. Check it out after the break.

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Deadlines: News roundup 07/25/11

Posted by Johnathon Brock On July - 25 - 2011


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.

Well I’m back from vacation and well rested so naturally I want to talk about undead fiends and the San Diego Comic Con which contained them. Bear with me because I’m going to try and catch up on all the key news from last week. So let’s get to it!

Let’s start off by diving into the MASSIVE pile of The Walking Dead news from Comic Con.

Carlos Gallardo, the producer of El Mariachi, and Kevin Eastman, the co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, have paired up to bring us Zombie Apocalypse, a working title comic book and potential screen play that looks pretty slick. (What Culture)

Speaking of comic books, it looks like the popular build a weapon zombie killing franchise Dead Rising is set to receive the comic treatment courtesy of IDW. (Gamepro)

Last Blood, the graphic novel about the war between zombies and vampires for control of the last of the human population in the post apocalyptic wastelands, is set to receive the film treatment with none other than Simon Hunter, director of The Mutant Chronicles at it’s helm. (The Film Stage)

In sadder news, Ruben Fleisher, director of last years fan favorite Zombieland, gave the bad news that Zombieland 2 is most likely a no-go due to scheduling conflicts and an unfinished script. (I Am Rogue)

The judge in the Jenna Jameson lawsuit recalled his victory ruling against her after she was a no-show in court and now it looks like a settlement may be in the cards. Who would have thought we’d have this much legal drama over Zombie Strippers? (Woodridge Patch)

Another nice little surprise at Comic Con was the trailer for the short film Stitched, about a group of soldiers who combat a deadly undead enemy in the Middle East, and written by none other than comic book legend Garth Ennis. Check it out after the break. (io9)

After the break, check out the game play trailer for Zombie Gunship, the iOS game where you command a flying assault plane trying to mow down the horde of undead scum who are aiming to take down a group of human survivors. It actually looks really good. (148apps.com)

Undead Labs spoke up and gave some more information about their upcoming zombie MMO Xbox Live exclusive games Class3 and Class4. (Gamasutra)

Issac Marion, the writer of Warm Bodies, the zombie romance that hopefully won’t be another Twilight, recently gave an interview about the film and the book. (USA Today)

Regular commenter and webseries creator Jon Dixon sent me an e-mail with a really cool zombie commercial for the new Toshiba laptops. Check it out after the break.

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Deadlines: News roundup 07/14/11

Posted by Johnathon Brock On July - 14 - 2011


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.

Gwyneth Horder-Payton, the woman behind the camera of the first episode of season two of The Walking Dead, discusses surviving the zombie apocalypse. (MTV)

Jenna Jameson’s lawyers are fighting back in the lawsuit regarding her no show appearance at a film screening of Zombie Strippers earlier this year, and making a claim that the theater owner, and his attorney, are trying to extort Jenna for cash. You be the judge… Actually don’t do that, let the judge be the judge. (Daily Herald)

Even if you don’t like tales about loveable cancer ridden meth makers, you should tune into the season premiere of Breaking Bad on July 17 to catch a special sneak peek for season two of The Walking Dead. At least set your dvr to record it. (Daily Blam)

We’ve got a new name to add to the roster for Evil Dead 4 and it’s a name that carries a fiery vengeance. It’s Diablo Cody, the woman behind Juno, and she’ll be overseeing some script re-writes for the film. (FEARnet)

After the break, check out yet another great special effects behind the scenes video of the zombie creation process for The Walking Dead. (Bloody Disgusting)

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Deadlines: News roundup 07/07/11

Posted by Johnathon Brock On July - 7 - 2011


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.

Yet another lucky writer has gotten some hands-on game play time with Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City and they’ve done a great write up about the experience. (Buzz Focus)

A local Glasgow mother is organizing a zombie walk, which should tie in nicely to World War Z and good times will ensue. (Lennox Herald)

Jenna Jameson was a no-show in her court case where she is being sued for bailing on a sponsored party at a theater during a special screening of Zombie Strippers back in March. Maybe she was just at another Perez Hilton bash… I mean she was medically exhausted, right medically exhausted… from all the porn. Hey at least we get to use the “gratuitous nudity” tag. (Woodridge Patch)

After the break, watch Captain Awesome, AKA Robert Kirkman, sit on a motor cycle, try on Rick Grime’s hat, and talk about season two of The Walking Dead. (Buy Zombie)

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