The third film in the REC series has arrived, and with it arrive some changes. The first film inverted the paradigm of Night of the Living Dead, trapping survivors in a building with zombies. REC 2 turned the dials to 11, injecting a first-person shooter angle into the cinéma vérité mix and upping the adrenaline levels (think of REC as Alien and REC 2 as Aliens and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect.) Now REC 3: Genesis adds something else entirely unexpected: humor. Even weirder is that it works surprisingly well. (The rest of this review will contain the occasional spoiler for the first two films, so if you haven’t seen them and are spoiler averse, stop here).
Greetings, undead masses! Johnathon reporting in to unveil the latest episode of the Inevitable Zombie Podcast…
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Episode 007 – Zombie Movie Marathon Month: Part 2
Hosts – Cory Casciato and Johnathon Brock
Run Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes 42 Seconds
Week 2(and a half-ish) of Zombie Movie Marathon Month is complete, and we’re starting to feel the pull of the undead in our daily lives.
So come listen in to our reviews on the movies we’ve watched so far, and make sure to weigh in with any questions or comments for next weeks show.
One final note… This podcast isn’t too graphic, but it is labeled Not Safe For Work. We drop the f-bomb on more than one occasion and talk about some of the more graphic images of shows like The Walking Dead, as well as numerous other grotesque scenes from all forms of zombie media. Just a heads up for those of you listening at your work cubesâ€”wear headphones.
Alright, that’s it, go listen to it and let us know what you think in the comments. Tell us what you’d like to see from us on future shows, make fun of my impressions, or ask some questions for next week’s show.
There’s not a lot of reason to seek out the forgettable and forgotten zombie-alien invasion movie Invisible Invaders. Maybe if you were on a quest to see every movie John Carradine ever made? Or a quest like my own, to see every zombie movie ever made? Both would suffice, but in either case, put it near the end of your list — it sucks.
Its primary sin is it’s boring. A story about unstoppable aliens who can reanimate the dead should not be this dull. But if you tell that story largely via voiceover and stock footage, I guess it isn’t too surprising. The majority of the rest of the “action” takes place in a bunker, where four people argue, fight and “do science.” The result of their “science” is a goofy looking sonic raygun prop that can stop the aliens, thus saving the Earth. Also, two of them fall in love and the asshole guy dies.
Zombies? Yeah, there are zombies. They’re pretty incidental, though. The aliens occupy dead people in order to … uh … occupy dead people? Once they strangle a guy and they seem to cause some trouble elsewhere, but mostly they just stagger around looking vaguely creepy. I guess cinematic scares were hard to come by in the ’50s and maybe this was enough? Anyway, these are among the least interesting zombies ever. Even Plan 9 from Outer Space has them beat.
To reiterate: don’t watch this, it really isn’t worth your time.
This movie was viewed as part of my third annual Zombie Movie Marathon Month â€” read the initial Invisible Invaders reaction piece.
Once upon a time there was a porn star named Jamie Gillis. And that porn star went on to try his hand at acting in a zombie movie called Night of the Zombies (aka Gamma 693, Night of the Zombies 2 and probably a handful of other names). And since Gillis had the acting range and skill of a heavy, wooden plank, that movie was bad.
Oh, and it didn’t help that the story was nonsense, the writing was shit, the effects crappy, the pacing painfully slow and the sound and lighting totally deficient. So is there any reason — any reason at all — to see Gamma 693?
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”!
It’s impossible to properly review Quarantine without referencing REC, the Spanish film it remade (review here). In fact, it’s really not even fair to call it a remake — it’s barely more than a relanguaging. The plot is essentially identical: There’s a TV news crew filming a reality show about late-night workers. The on-air personality Angela and her cameraman are following a group of firefighters around. A call to help a woman trapped in her apartment turns into a harrowing ordeal when the woman turns out to be irrational and violent and the building is sealed from the outside by the authorities. Zombie mayhem ensues.
The biggest change in the two films is the root cause of the outbreak. REC‘s cause is quasi-supernatural, while Quarantine goes with a purely natural form of super-rabies. The effect of this on the actual film is nil. Seriously, apart from a few lines of dialog and minor variation on one scene, there’s no real effect.Â Apart from that, Quarantine boasts a slightly padded cast (and consequently padded body count), a slightly padded intro (more on this in a moment) and a bonus kill where the camera man beats a zombie to death with the camera.
There are a handful of zombie movies that attempt to use a kind of cinéma vérité style. REC is easily the best of the lot. The film uses a TV news crew filming a reality show about late-night workers as its central storytelling device. The on-air personality Angela and her cameraman are following a group of firefighters around. A call to help a woman trapped in her apartment turns into a harrowing ordeal when the woman turns out to be irrational and violent and the building is sealed from the outside by the authorities.
In many ways, REC plays out as an inversion of Night of the Living Dead. Both feature a small group of strangers trapped inside a building facing zombies. The difference is, in REC, the people are trapped in with the zombies, by hostile or uncaring authorities outside. This inside-out take on a classic situation serves to ratchet the tension up to excellent effect. Being trapped in a building by zombies is scary. Being trapped in a building with zombies is much, much scarier.
From time to time you’ll run across an odd, unpolished gem among the rubble pile of half-assed, incompetent, direct-to-DVD zombie movies. Insanitarium, despite some notable issues, is one such movie. The story follows a young man named Jack Romero (see what they did there?) who gets himself committed to an insane asylum to try to rescue his sister Lilly. Once inside, he finds a mad scientist is using the patients to experiment with a nanotech compound that turns its users into raging, flesh-hungry freaks. Before long, all hell breaks loose (naturally) in the form of mobs of hungry patients running amok.
George A. Romero is the undisputed master of the zombie genre. There’s simply no arguing that anyone else has ever — or likely will ever — come close to his contributions. So the release of a new Romero zombie film is always a big deal, even if his latest offerings have received mixed reactions from critics and fans alike. And if you were expecting Survival of the Dead to buck that trend, allow me to let you down now: this is not a return to the majesty of Dawn-era Romero. It fits firmly in with his post-2000 zombie offerings Land of the Dead and Diary of the Dead.
That being said, I didn’t hate either Land or Diary. I came to appreciate Land after several viewings, and I really liked Diary from the beginning, although my enthusiasm waned to some degree after additional viewings. That said, I think neither of those films is as bad as their detractors claim. Both have merit and both are at least as good as 90 percent of the zombie films out there.
When there’s no more room in the sewers, the rats will walk the Earth. Or so might run the honest tagline of Mulberry Street (aka Zombie Virus on Mulberry Street), one of the selections for the 2007 edition of After Dark’s Horror Fest.
The story focuses on the tenants of a Manhattan apartment building that are about to lose their apartments to make way for upscale development. Before that happens, there’s an unfortunate outbreak that turns people into zombie-like rat mutants. Together, the tenants must face the zombies. Er, rats. Whatever. In other words, it’s a basic zombie siege film, with a rodent twist.
At first the creatures look and act like zombies; later they go all ratty (elongated faces, big incisors, pointy ears) but still love biting the shit out of everyone. It’s a weird twist, and while I appreciate the desire to do something different, it comes off as being different solely for the sake of difference — there’s no real effect on the story, tone or even look of the movie except for the rat makeup near the end.
It’s a symptom of the film’s real issue, which is lack of focus. Weird subplots never get resolved and odd character notes go nowhere. The intent may have been to add depth, but the result is to simply distract from the heart of the film. Despite those issues, it’s a decently paced and quirky, if unremarkable, zombie movie that just ends up feeling a little muddle-headed.