ZMMM Progress Report No. 2

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 10 - 2014
Frankenstein's Army

Frankenstein’s Army

Four more new (to me) zombie movies in the can! The month continues nicely, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised so far at how relatively painless it’s all been. Sure, a lot of the movies have kind of sucked, but nothing (s0 far) has reached the brain-curdling levels of awfulness that the worst zombie movies do. Anyway, on to the films…

Phantasm III
Since Phantasm II was part of the mix, I figured why not go ahead and just finish up the series? The third installment undid the weird casting change from volume two, while simultaneously making the reasons behind it more clear. (Spoiler alert: the kid who played Mike in the original isn’t a great actor, and is also sort of a funny looking dude.) The romance subplot from the second is similarly ditched within the first two minutes and then we get Mike and Reggie running around, chasing the Tall Man and fighting zombies and spheres and stuff. This one continued the horror-action vibe of the second (the original is much more pure horror) while adding something else: comedy. It worked really well. Even my wife liked it, and she has never seen a Phantasm movie in her life.

Frankenstein’s Army
If you ever dreamt of seeing Steampunk-style clockwork cyborg zombies, this is the film for you. A mad scientist is making weapons out of dead people for the Nazis and only a bunch of murderous Soviet commandos can stop him! Or get chopped up real good in the process of trying. The story here seems almost incidental to the use of the film as a showcase for some bad-ass creature designs, which is okay once in a while if the creatures are truly great, and these pretty much are. They look like a mash-up of Castle Wolfenstein and BioShock, and the plot is videogame level, but if that sounds fun, you will dig this.

Phantasm IV: Oblivion
The final of the original four Phanstasm films is kind of a letdown after the surprising awesomeness of the third. It’s not bad, per se, but it doesn’t do as much with the comedy and it feels a lot like it’s just going through the motion. Hardcore fans of the series will appreciate the inclusion of unused footage from the first film. Otherwise, there’s not a lot going on here. Final confrontation with the Tall Man, a little origin of the Tall Man and not much else. Still, competently made and not unwatchable. Just not essential.

Erotic Nights of the Living Dead
Hey, you got your porno in my zombie movie! Hey, you got you your zombie movie in my porno! The result is … less satisfying than a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, I’ll tell you that. Really, what you have here is a mediocre zombie movie about a greedy developer scouting out an island inhabited by zombies with about forty minutes of schlocky early ’80s porn mixed in. Cut out the porn and you’d have a forgettable, dull zombie flick with poor effects and lazy performances. Instead, you have something that will make you squirm for all the wrong reasons. Mercifully, the porn and the zombies are largely segregated. This one is eminently skippable, unless you just have to see every Italian zombie movie ever made, which I kind of do.

That’s all for now. Check back Monday for three more!

Deadlines: News roundup 06/08/11

Posted by Johnathon Brock On June - 8 - 2011

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.

Want to see Quarantine 2 for free before it hits DVD? Well Fangoria is making that happen, but you’re gonna have to jump through a few hoops and send them an e-mail. (Fangoria)

Neal Wilkinson, one of the minds behind Fancy Dress Outfitters, sent us an e-mail to let us know that they’ve got a nice zombie survival toolkit infographic to promote their upcoming zombie costumes. It’s not really news, but it looks cool and if you asked them nicely they might sell you a print for your wall.

Helen Grace with Left Films also dropped us a line and a link to the trailer for UK fright flick Cowboys and Zombies (or The Dead and the Damned as it will be called in the US) and to let us know it will be out on DVD late July or early August, depending on which side of the pond you live on. Check out the trailer after the break.

Robert Kirkman finally stopped teasing us and unleashed the first picture from season two of The Walking Dead to his twitter fans. (Hollywood Reporter)

It seems that War of the Dead, another in a long line of Nazi zombie movies, will actually see a 2011 release. Check out the teaser trailer after the break. (Quiet Earth)

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Deadlines: News roundup 02/14/11

Posted by Johnathon Brock On February - 14 - 2011

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 Dead, a zombie film that’s been making the festival circuit for some time now, has finally picked up distribution through Starz/Anchor Bay. This is actually good news because that means it will hit Netflix instant watch and On Demand early on, giving it a wider audience. (Shock Till You Drop)

Worst Case Scenario was a Nazi zombie film that unfortunately never saw the light of day. It’s been partially resurrected though in the form of Frankenstein’s Army which will borrow some of the main plot points, namely said Nazi zombies. Check out the trailer after the break. (About, Buy Zombie)

A lot of us were disappointed at Night of the Living Dead 3D, despite horror giant Sid Haig’s attempts to make it watchable. Well they’re making a sequel called Night of the Living Dead 3D: Resurrection (part 2: the Return)which will have everything the first movie had, minus Sid. Bummer. (Dread Central)

More pictures were released from the upcoming McFarlane Toys lineup of The Walking Dead figures, including a bad ass Samurai sword wielding Michonne. (Dread Central)

Jason Bolinger dropped us a line this weekend to unveil the trailer for his film Collapse. You’ll need to follow the link to see the trailer.

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Deadlines: News roundup 10/25/10

Posted by Johnathon Brock On October - 25 - 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 some teaser news of the new Call of Duty: Black Ops game which centers around a Russian dictator causing a zombie outbreak through chemical warfare. (Device)

The latest Nazi zombie flick A Chance In Hell is under fire for featuring scenes revolving around concentration camp experimentation. Check out the trailer after the break and judge for yourself. (io9)

Scotland’s beautiful Glasgow will be overrun with zombies during a walk on October 31. (Herald Scotland)

A few cities will be premiering the Walking Dead pilot episode on the big screen! (Dread Central)

There’s a few really nice behind the scenes images from episode one of The Walking Dead. (Dread Central)

Speaking of The Walking Dead, AMC is staging a 24 hour zombie invasion in cities all over the world. (Dread Central)

Our own Cory Casciato sits in with the Denver Diatribe podcast to talk about the level of his city’s zombie preparedness and other Halloween-centric topics. (Denver Diatribe)

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Review: Night of the Zombies

Posted by Cory Casciato On July - 21 - 2010

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?

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Fashion Zombie: Nazi zombies must die!

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 21 - 2010

Some things are so self-evident they go without saying. But sometimes it’s fun to say those things anyway. And this shirt shouts one of those things loud and clear! Nazi zombies must die. I mean, they’re not only Nazis, they’re zombies and somehow the combination is worse.

You can own this proclamation of common sense for $21.55 (usually $24, on sale at the moment!). Yeah, it’s a little steep as far as shirts go, but they are American Apparel shirts (I like my AA shirts, personally) with a lot of colors printed on, so… There are also a lot of options as far as where you want it printed and what kind of shirt, which is kind of nice if you only like V-necks or something.

I’m attempting to assemble an all zombie-themed wardrobe. Fashion Zombie is my weekly post detailing the coolest zombie-themed clothes and accessories I can find. Check back every Monday for another look at the hottest zombie apparel.

ZMMM Dailies: 6/3/2010 – Night of the Zombies

Posted by Cory Casciato On June - 4 - 2010

Last night’s enterprise was the murky, confusing and thoroughly ridiculous Night of the Zombies. It goes by a few other names, including Gamma 693, Night of the Wehrmacht Zombies and Night of the Zombies II. I’ve mentioned before that there seems to be an inverse relationship between the number of names a movie goes under and its quality. That applies here.

Oh, it’s also a Nazi zombie movie, a genre which seems to be cursed (of the many, many Nazi zombie movies in existence, only one is any good) and it stars a porn star in a non-porn acting role. So, yeah. Pretty much a terrible movie.

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Deadlines: News roundup 4/21/10

Posted by Cory Casciato On April - 21 - 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.

Max Brooks reveals that the film adaptation of World War Z may be moving forward at last. Paramount has renewed the option, director Marc Foster is ready to go and they’re waiting for the latest draft of the screenplay by writer Matt Carnahan. (FEARnet)

Yesterday, word came down that Dead Rising 2 had co-op multiplayer. Today, video (non-embeddable, unfortunately) of it in action is available. And a preview, which reveals some of the plot points (main character Greene is motivated by a need to get anti-zombie drug for his kid), game mechanisms and more. (Kotaku)

There’s also a new trailer for Dead Rising 2 embedded below. (GameTrailers.com)

The upcoming comic book miniseries Lot 13 is about a family facing all sorts of beasties, from zombies to giants. Artist Glenn Fabry describes it as “Romero meets Miyazaki.” Sold! (FEARnet)

The new poster for Left 4 Dead 2‘s DLC episode “The Passing” seems to reveal which of the four survivors from the original doesn’t make it. (Kotaku)

Resident Evil: Afterlife producer Jeremy Bolt speaks about the decision to take the franchise 3D, the balance of action and horror and more. (FEARnet)

Get your first look at the “high school football meets zombies” movie Play Dead with stills and behind-the-scenes video. (FEARnet)

Nazi mad science makes creepy, flesh-hungry freaks out of people in A Chance in Hell, coming later this year. Trailer is embedded below. (Quiet Earth)

The poster for the After Dark original feature Re-Kill (about a zombie killing group facing a second uprising of the dead) is here. (FEARnet)

A three-point guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse, or finals (whichever comes first). (Columbia Spectator)

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Deadlines: News roundup 3/2/10

Posted by Cory Casciato On March - 2 - 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.

Hellraiser vet Doug Bradley has joined the cast of upcoming Nazi zombie flick The 4th Reich. (Dread Central)

According to this report, Deadly Premonition is the video game equivalent of Plan 9 from Outer Space — so bad it’s good, or at least unintentionally hilarious. And like that “gem,” there are zombies. There’s an utterly bizarre, albeit zombie-free, clip embedded below. (Dread Central)

People who like zombies and bowling will be thrilled to know that version 1.6 of the iPhone app Zombie Bowling has been released, adding the “Tropical Depression” bowling environment and a tie-dyed ball.

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Review: King of the Zombies

Posted by Cory Casciato On February - 26 - 2010

The pre-WWII potboiler King of the Zombies is more spy movie with zombies as a plot device than zombie movie, and it’s a dull, plodding spy movie at that. Two men and their faithful, comedy-relief black servant (I mention his race because it’s a constant theme in the movie) crash land on an island somewhere in the Bahamas. There they find a Nazi (not identified as such, but not hard to decipher) scientist who’s using voodoo to raise a zombie army and interrogate a captured admiral. A lot of not very much happens, the black servant (played by Mantan Moreland) does a lot of icky playing to broad stereotypes, some “zombies” shuffle around not very menacingly, the scientist gets caught and killed, the end.

I’m not one to hew to political correctness, but the way blacks are presented in this movie is hard to ignore. I know it was a different time, but it’s a very “gee, aren’t uppity negroes just hilarious! And isn’t it even more hilarious when they get put in their place!” kind of thing. It essentially takes over most of the movie, making it into a grotesque, anachronistic race-relations slapstick. Moreland seems a decent, perhaps even gifted actor, but he’s given a shitty row to hoe, here.

The bottom line is, this isn’t much of a zombie movie. The zombies are just stiff-shouldered black guys who don’t do anything. Pass on this one unless you’re determined to thoroughly explore the history of zombie film.

King of the Zombies/US/1941

Note: King of Zombies has entered the public domain, so if you’re curious, you can watch or download it from the Internet Archive.

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