Deadlines: News roundup 5/5/10

Posted by Cory Casciato On May - 5 - 2010

deadlines

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

The cast for the TV version of The Walking Dead continues to expand, adding Laurie Holden (The Shield, The Mist) as Andrea and newcomer Steven Yeun as Glenn. Adam Fierro has joined as a consulting producer. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Learn what it’s like to be a zombie on a George Romero film, from a man who’s been there, done that. And taken pictures! (Dread Central)

There’s a new German zombie/infected movie called Rammbock coming and it looks amazing. The plot concerns a man looking for his ex-girlfriend and a young stranger he teams up with amongst the zombie-fueled chaos. Trailer is embedded below. (Quiet Earth)

If you’re going to be in Toronto on May 27, you can catch a screening of an uncut 35mm print of Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead, complete with a pre-show leccture on its importance by Fangoria editor-in-chief Chris Alexander. (Fangoria)

Producer Don Carmody talks about the making of Resident Evil: Afterlife. (FEARnet)

If you like board games (and personally, I love them) then Inevitable, a board game about an insane supercomputer, a dystopic future and zombies, might be something you’re interested in. (io9)

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Great moments in zombie history

Posted by Cory Casciato On April - 28 - 2010


There have been many milestones throughout the eighty-year history of the zombie in Western culture. In today’s world, where zombies are such a part of everyday life that every college campus is aswarm with games of Human vs. Zombie, zombies are used in advertising and we get a new zombie movie or game released every few months, it’s easy to forget our roots. To make sure that doesn’t happen, I’ve compiled a quick overview of ten great moments in zombie history, from the earliest days to modern times. Without these milestones, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Remember and rejoice.

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Deadlines: News roundup 3/17/10

Posted by Cory Casciato On March - 17 - 2010

deadlines

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

Actor Mark Pellegrino confirms he’s up for a role (presumably Rick) in the Walking Dead TV adaptation. Scroll to the end of the interview, it’s the last question. (TV.com)

More details emerge for the just-announced Zombie Diaries sequel. The second film (working title Zombie Diaries 2) will focus on the UK’s military response to the outbreak as they face everything from zombies to bandits. And supposedly, the budget is “big.” (Dread Central)

Director Bill Plympton’s animated film Hair High, a tale of high-school revenge that has some zombie action, is coming to DVD. Not impressed yet? Wait until you take a look at the list of voice talent, which includes Eric Gilliland, Sarah Silverman, Dermot Mulroney, Beverly D’Angelo, Keith and David Carradine (RIP David), Tom Noonan, Justin Long and Simpsons creator Matt Groening. (Fangoria)

The UK is getting another deluxe Blu-ray/DVD edition from Arrow. This time it’s Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead and it’s packed with extra features. Oh, and it’s region free if you are into importing stuff. Incidentally, City of the Living Dead has one of my favorite horror-movie scores of all time. I listen to it on a regular basis. (Dread Central)

It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Need an Irish zombie movie for the holiday? Horror Squad wants to tell you about Dead Meat. (Horror Squad)

Learn about the about the “survival comedy” iPhone game Zombie Smash in an interview with Matthias Hoechsmann of German developer Gamedoctors. (Joystiq)

Deadlines: News roundup 1/28/10

Posted by Cory Casciato On January - 28 - 2010

deadlines

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

The 1980 Lucio Fulci zombie/psychic/apocalyptic insanity of City of the Living Dead is getting a new DVD/Blu-ray release on May 25. (DVD Active)

There’s a documentary on zombie culture in the works at Camelot’s DarKnight Pictures called Zombie Culture: Documentary of the Living Dead. (Horror Squad)

LA residents and visitors can go see the world premier of Zombies of Mass Destruction (review here) as part of After Dark’s Horrorfest 4 this Saturday, January 30. Celebrity guests, the director and several of the stars will  be present. Get tickets here.

And New York? You can zombie walk  through the Village this Friday, January 29 to celebrate the ZMD release. (Dread Central)

The tagline says it better than I ever could: “man and machine in the fight against the zombie apocalypse.” It’s the manga Biomega, and it’s coming February 2. (Active Anime)

ZMMM Dailies: 6/19/2009 – Zombie 3

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 20 - 2009

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.

ZMMM Dailies: 6/18/2009 – Zombie

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 19 - 2009

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.

The Beyond

Posted by Cory Casciato On March - 30 - 2009

beyondIs The Beyond a zombie movie? It certainly has plenty of zombies, but at its core it’s more of a haunted/cursed house movie with zombies instead of ghosts. Our story introduces us to unlucky Liza, who’s inherited a hotel from her rich, bachelor uncle. It seems as if her luck has turned, but alas the hotel is built over one of the seven gateways to hell (way, way worse than being built over an ancient Indian burial ground, as it turns out). Plagued by a series of accidents and unusual (not to mention unusually awesome) deaths, poor Liza’s plan to reopen the hotel and solve her money woes is quickly derailed. Soon, she’s met a mysterious blind girl who seems to know a lot about what’s going on, a skeptical doctor who refuses to believe any of it and a whole slew of zombies. Things process haphazardly to a slow climax that sees her entering the gateway to hell for a long and likely unpleasant stay.

This is a hard movie to judge. It’s the third of Lucio Fulci’s forays into the wild world of the walking dead and while it’s beautifully shot and nicely paced, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. In some ways, it’s a precursor to the slasher film, concentrating most of its energy on a series of creative and outlandish death scenes. A man’s face gets eaten by tarantulas; a woman gets melted by acid into a frothy, bloody mess while her daughter looks on; a woman gets her neck torn out by a dog; a doctor gets a face full of glass; a woman gets her head impaled by a nail (complete with Fulci’s trademark eye-gouging action!). These are really the highlight of the film, and presumably the reason for its existence.

The zombies appear only intermittently until the last fifteen or twenty minutes, and then just kind of sway drunkenly while posing a vague, unconvincing threat. They look good, and there’s a definite air of menace to them when they are filling the halls of the hospital en masse, but the movie doesn’t do much with them. And the bits of movie between the death scenes and vague zombie menace are just bewildering and inexplicable. In a generous estimation, you could call it a surreal atmosphere reminiscent of a dream or drug trip. Less generously, you might call it an incoherent mess. And the characters? They exist solely to give the director some people to kill. They are not unlikable so much as unknown and unknowable.

Despite its shortcomings, it’s worth a watch. The gore is well done, if a little cheap looking in a few isolated instances. For all of its lack of a coherent storyline or decent characters, it’s remarkably entertaining. For the trainspotters out there, it’s sure to provide fodder for many a conversation about the films it’s influenced: Hellraiser in tone and, to some degree, story; every slasher flick ever in the pacing and buffet of clever death; probably others that didn’t occur to me. And hey, it’s Lucio Fulci and it’s got zombies.

This review was part of the Final Girl Film Club challenge for March. For more info and her takes on many other fine horror offerings, visit her invariably awesome blog early and often.

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