ZMMM Volume 6 progress report part IV

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 14 - 2013
You'll have this same look after you watch Burial Ground

You’ll have this same look after you watch Burial Ground

We’re approaching the halfway mark of the sixth annual zombie movie marathon and I’m happy to report that things are going fine. I fear I may have front-loaded the quality new stuff a little too heavily, so the back half might be a little painful, but what’s a zombie movie marathon without a little pain, right? That’s why god invented bong hits, anyway. Enough about the future, though, let’s look at the very recent past.

Dead Alive

Peter Jackson’s splatstick masterpiece satisfied as usual. Man, that fucking zombie baby is just the creepiest thing, too. That little bugger  earned his spot on my top ten zombie tots list, that’s for damn sure. Also, the best use of a lawn mower as a zombie killing weapon ever. Plus, it’s actually a pretty decent story and the characters have a bit of life to them. Indie zombie film makers, please take a lesson or five from this film when you go to make your own, okay? We’ll all be better off and I won’t have to suffer as much for future zombie movie marathon months.

Zombie Hunter

Remember what I said about low expectations in my last progress report? This movie is another perfect example. I was bracing myself for some deep hurting, but it turned out to be merely aggressively mediocre, so WIN! A bunch of no-name actors kind of mill around a low-key zombie apocalypse brought on by a drug called Natas (it’s Satan backwards, get it? SO SUBTLE!) and there’s a guy in a car with sort of a Mad Max vibe, only he has frosted tips, so he is impossible to take seriously. Danny Trejo plays an axe wielding priest (or guy pretending to be a priest, whatever) for like ten minutes, until some CGI thing takes him out (yeah, yeah spoiler alert, whatever — there’s not enough story here to worry about shit like that). It did have some stylized elements that were pleasant, and it moved along at a reasonable clip. I could even see myself watching it again. I wouldn’t go out of my way to do it or anything, but it’s not out of the question.

Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror

My love for this awful, awful movie is boundless. I can watch it any number of times, so I did. I don’t have anything to add to what I have already written, so if you want to hear more of my thoughts on the madness of this movie, try my original Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror review or perhaps my list of the top ten most insane moments from Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror. You could also check out my previous year ZMMM daily note on it. Also, you should watch it, because holy shit, what a lunatic movie.

ZMMM Volume 6 progress report part III

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 11 - 2013

World War ZNever underestimate the power of low expectations. That is the lesson of the  past three days of Zombie Movie Marathon Month. I’ll get into the specifics below, in my movie notes, but it boils down to this: the lower your expectations for a film, the easier it is to have them exceeded and thus your net enjoyment is positive. Conversely, the higher your expectations, the harder it is to live up to them, much less exceed them, and thus the harder it is to have a positive experience. With zombie movies, it really pays to expect pain and suffering, because then if the movie is merely mediocre, you’ll end up quite pleased. Anyway, enough pontificating, on to the films!

Beyond Re-Animator

Oh, boy, were my expectations low. So, so low. The reason for that dates back to last year, when I finally got around to watching Bride of Re-Animator. Earlier in ZMMM5 I watched the original Re-Animator and it was as kick-ass as ever, so when I sat down to watch Bride, I was like, “Oh boy, this is going to be sweet!” And it was not sweet. It was awful, and I hated it. So I was braced for Beyond to be just abysmal and it was… not terrible. I mean, it was pretty lame — bad acting, bad writing, mediocre effects — but it was better than Bride (it ditched some of the lame attempts of humor, for one thing) and it wasn’t painful to watch, so I kind of enjoyed it. See, low expectations never  let you down!

Plotwise, Herbert West goes to prison, and some jackass doctor gets hired at the prison and helps him get his re-animation back on, and shit gets all wacky. It’s pretty weak, but hey, zombies in prison are always a good time.

Phantasm

It had been about five years since I saw this one, so it seemed like it was time again. It’s a very ’70-s movie, from the pacing to the dialogue to the clothes and decor. Also, it’s a damn ambitious movie for what had to have been a shoestring budget. Dimension-traveling alien/demon things, dwarf zombies, flying silver balls of death… I’m a big Don Coscarelli fan, and I have no doubt that seeing parts of this movie when I was like seven helped that. Highly recommend this, despite the “Oh shit, look how fucking ’70s this is!” vibe.

Also, read my interview with Don Coscarelli. He is a rad dude.

World War Z

When this was over, my wife asked, “So, how close was it to the book?” The answer: hahahahaha. By my count, there were three similarities — the title, the fact that dogs can detect the zombies, and the bit about Israel being the best-prepared for the zombies. Everything else was different. I don’t mind, because hey, the book is the book and the movie is the movie. I can enjoy both on their own merits.

My expectations for this were super, super low, and I was pleasantly surprised. I found it all a little heavy handed and predictable, but it was pleasant enough. Brad Pitt was fine (although he is falling into that typical older actor “fuck you, I’m going to play every part the same way, because I am fucking famous” mentality) as the globe-trotting UN super sleuth who figures out all the answers. The army-ant like super zombies were kinda meh, as usual. They strain credulity, since there is no real way to escape such things, much less fight them. It could have been a sequel/parallel film to Zack Snyder’s 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake, really. Is that a bad thing? Depends on your perspective, I guess. I will say this: it established that “zombie apocalypse” is a fine premise for an action movie, which is nice, because action movie premises get a little stale, and we can always use another.

Oh, any you can read this little essay I wrote about how it doesn’t matter that the film World War Z  is so different from the book World War Z.

ZMMM Volume 6 progress report part II

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 8 - 2013
Ken Foree is Peter in Dawn of the Dead

Ken Foree is Peter in Dawn of the Dead

Four more days, four more movies! Without further ado…

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

I got to watch the original Dawn of the Dead  in a theater, with an audience, for the first time ever! It was sweet. You notice the funny stuff more with a hundred and fifty people there to laugh when they hit. Before the show there was a good Q&A with Tom Savini and Ken Foree. Mostly standard stuff, but they told a funny story about the shooting. Seems that the Brown Derby bar in the mall stayed open until 2 a.m., so zombies would go in there and drink. One night, two of the zombies got loaded, “borrowed” a golf cart, and ran it into a column, causing about $7,000 worth of damage. Funny stuff. Oh, and I interviewed Ken Foree, too.

Also, Dawn of the Dead is never not fantastic.

ParaNorman

So, yeah, they make zombie movies for kids now. Wild, huh? I am not a big kids’ movie fan, despite having kids, so I wasn’t too sure about this one. That said, I do feel it is a sacred duty to see all the zombie movies, so… The thing is, this was pretty entertaining. It’s about a kid who sees and talks to dead people, and the obligatory kids’ movie message is about accepting people different than you for who they are, which a freak like me can get behind easily. Nice stop motion animation, too. You could do a lot worse for your kids’ “My First Zombie Movie.”

Frankenweenie

Since there are two kids’ zombie movies out, I figured I might as well just knock them out back to back (also, I’d watched two previously seen films back-to-back for logistical reasons, so this seemed like a good way to get two new ones out). This one is barely a zombie movie. More like a monster movie with one sort-of zombie in it. Still, kid resurrects a dead dog, that’s a zombie dog, right? It was just okay, I thought, but my wife liked it. She’s a Tim Burton fan, I am not, so that probably explains it.

When it was over, my wife leaned over and asked, “So, is Frankenstein a zombie movie?” to which I could only reply, “That is an excellent question that I have been meaning to address.” And I do mean to address it someday, but it is a deep topic, so I don’t have time to go into it now. Let’s just say “Sort of” and move on, shall we?

Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Last time I watched the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead I quite liked it. This time… well, less so. The zombies didn’t look as good as I recall (spoiled by The Walking Dead‘s zombies, I guess) and the acting was way worse. The writing too. It’s like half as smart as the original, which makes it pretty dumb. It was still a decent watch, and it belongs at the top of the middle, mediocre third of zombie movies, but that’s as good as I can do right now. I still think Savini should have gotten a shot to direct again, but I guess I can see why no one was too eager to hire him.

That brings us up to speed. Pretty sure tonight I am going to brave the depths of awful presented by Beyond Re-Animator. I’d like to believe it will be good, but Bride of Re-Animator was the worst piece of shit, so my expectations are basement level.

Zombie Movie Marathon Month Vol. 6 progress report!

Posted by Cory Casciato On October - 4 - 2013
This guy is smarter than all the living characters in Dawn of the Dead 2004

This guy is smarter than all the living characters in Dawn of the Dead 2004

Zombie movie marathon the sixth is underway! What, you thought the site was dead, just because I haven’t posted in almost a year? Pshaw! You should know by now — if you didn’t shoot it in the head, it ain’t fucking dead.

Anyway, I’m three days into the annual month-long orgy of zombie movie goodness (and badness) and thought it was time for a quick update, in case anyone at home was following along. So, without further ado, here are brief recaps and random thoughts for the three movies I’ve screened so far. (Like last year, I am alternating movies I have seen with movies I have not, so expect about half old chestnuts and half newer/random shit.)

Dawn of the Dead 2004

The Dawn remake still holds up pretty well. It has some issues with its timeline — like, how long was it from the time the pregnant woman is bit until she dies? Days? Weeks? How come it takes so long for her, compared to just hours for everyone else? — and a lot of the action scenes make no sense if you think about them for a second (those zombies move too fast for escape to ever be plausible, really). Set that aside, and it’s pretty sweet, though. I particularly like how stupid it makes everyone seem, because face it, most people are fucking morons and a zombie apocalypse is not going to change that. “Hey, we’re holed up in a mall with a reasonable amount of supplies and no way for zombies to get in, what should we do?” “I know! Let’s fuck all that and head for some goddamn imaginary zombie-free island in the middle of a fucking lake, because ‘I don’t want to die in a mall’ is a good reason to die sooner!”

Seriously? Yes, seriously. You know people would actually be this stupid in a real apocalypse, so I love that aspect of it. They all get what they deserve.

Warm Bodies

I heard a lot of good things about this and… yeah, not so much. It wasn’t terrible, by any means. Reasonably well made, moved along at a decent clip, yadda yadda. I even appreciated the fact that it takes a standard zombie apocalypse trope and uses it for its own purposes. But those purposes were a horrid mashup of Tim Burton-style whimsy and a teen romance (come to think of it, that’s Edward Scissorhands) and I was just kind of meh on that approach. I can see why people like it, though. I am just not one of them.

If you haven’t seen it, it goes like this: Zombie meets girl. Zombie decides not to eat girl. Zombie falls in love with girl. Can girl reciprocate? Definitely different, and worth seeing for that reason, but don’t expect too much.

Pet Sematary II

Oh, Pet Sematary II you are SO FUCKING NUTS. I made a list of all the insane things in this movie as I watched it. They include a kitten massacre, a bunny holocaust, dog murder, death by dirtbike, scenery chewing greatness from Clancy Brown, two insane dream sequences complete with furry fetishism, and, of course, zombie rape. Come for the kitten massacre, stay for the zombie rape, that’s what I always say.

In case you didn’t guess, this is a “so bad it’s good” kind of film. It is SO BAD and SO SO GOOD. I cannot recommend it highly enough for connoisseurs of the terrible.

Okay, that’s all for now. I’m going to see the original Dawn of the Dead in the theater tonight (Tom Savini and Ken Foree in attendance!), plus two new films this weekend. See you Monday if I can find the time to bang out a quick post.

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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The Inevitable Zombie Podcast episode 007 has arrived!

Posted by Johnathon Brock On June - 17 - 2011


 

Greetings, undead masses! Johnathon reporting in to unveil the latest episode of the Inevitable Zombie Podcast

Now there are several different ways to get the Inevitable Zombie Podcast.

Episode 007 – Zombie Movie Marathon Month: Part 2

Hosts – Cory Casciato and Johnathon Brock

Run Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes 42 Seconds

Show Notes

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 cubes—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.

~Johnathon

 

The Inevitable Zombie Podcast episode 006 has arrived!

Posted by Johnathon Brock On June - 6 - 2011

Greetings, undead masses! Johnathon reporting in to unveil the latest episode triumphant return of the Inevitable Zombie Podcast

Now there are several different ways to get the Inevitable Zombie Podcast.

Episode 006 – Zombie Movie Marathon Month: Part 1

Hosts – Cory Casciato and Johnathon Brock

Run Time: 0 Hour 44 Minutes 49 Seconds

Show Notes

WOO! We’re back baby! You guys asked for it and we’re delivering. Cory and I are currently well into Zombie Movie Marathon Month (2011) at this point and we’re loving every minute of it. 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 cubes—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.

~Johnathon

 

ZMM 4.0: Zombie Movie Marathon 4.0

Posted by Cory Casciato On May - 19 - 2011

Zombie Movie Marathon 4
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since last year’s Zombie Movie Marathon month, but here we are, with June just days away. Due to a lack of time I had considered skipping the marathon this year, until I realized, that’s just crazy talk. So, as it has been the past three years, June will be a month of undead action: 30 days, 30 movies, countless undead. Let the rejoicing commence.

This year, my Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse co-pilot Johnathon Brock will be joining me. We’ll be watching the same movie, on the same days, sometime even at the same time (maybe). Instead of last year’s daily updates (definitely no time for that), we’ll be doing a once-a-week podcast wrap up of that week’s zombie films. We may also live blog or live tweet some of them, if there’s interest and we can work out the logistics.

We’re also forgoing the themes of the last two years, apart from a general theme of “Johnathon catches up on the classics,” since he’s somehow missed seeing a number of all-time greats (such as the original Dawn of the Dead—for shame, Johnathon, for shame). This will mean a lot of repeats from past years and other, non-marathon viewing times for me, but I’m down with that. A lot of these are, after all, classics, totally worth seeing again. And I’ll also be catching up on some recent stuff that I missed out on (such as Resident Evil: Afterlife—for shame, Cory, for shame). And we’ll be filling in the cracks with stuff that’s available on Netflix Instant Watch, stuff from my voluminous catalog, and stuff recommended by you, our faithful readers. After the break, you can find the list of this year’s movies, both those that we’ve settled on and those still in the “maybe” pile. And please, leave us a comment about what else we should watch this year.
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Review: Invisible Invaders

Posted by Cory Casciato On September - 8 - 2010

Look! A zombie!

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.

Invisible Invaders/US/1959

This movie was viewed as part of my third annual Zombie Movie Marathon Month — read the initial Invisible Invaders reaction piece.

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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