Thursday, June 7, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
EDITOR'S NOTE: This week, I turn the reviewing duties over to my fellow zombie lover, Meghan Russell, and let her younger eyes tackle the sequel to the stone-cold modern zombie classic "28 Days Later." Enjoy.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Stars: Claude Perron, Jean-Pierre Martins, Eriq Ebouaney, Yves Pignot, Doudou Masta, Jo Prestia, Antoine Oppenheim, Aurelien Recoing,
Writers: Arnaud Bordas, Yannick Dahan, Stephane Moissakis, Benjamin Rocher
Dir: Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher
Stop right now. Go to Netflix or any other movie site you frequent for streaming/renting films. Watch “The Horde.” Then, come back here and thank me.
Since “28 Days Later,” I really had not been so excited to review a zombie film. Sure, there have been several fine entries since “28 Days,” but they have been few and far between.
Then I discovered, by accident, this film.
“The Horde” delivers on such an epic level, so feel free to accuse me of gushing over it.
The story is so basic that anyone with any moderate level of cinema knowledge will instantly scream that this film is “Assault on Precinct 13” … WITH ZOMBIES!
Screw those rubes. This film is far deeper than that. It is a refreshing take on a very, very tired genre. I admit, I slogged away at this blog, as did my counterpart, just looking for a moment of ingenuity, and we came up lacking for the most part.
So, in the past few months, I found myself looking to “resurrect” the zombie blog. I have recruited a great level of talent in this endeavor, of which you will see very soon. And while my love of the undead has not waned, I needed such a film as this to kick me in the ass. And kick ass it did. In spades.
“The Horde” follows a group of four police officers, hell-bent on exacting revenge on a drug dealer, who is holed-up in an abandoned apartment high-rise. A member of their team was killed, and they want to make the Nigerian dealer and his gang pay with their lives. They launch an assault on the apartment building, and it goes horrifically wrong. Facing execution by said drug-dealer, a once-thought dead informant bursts forth from an apartment bathroom, taking out several of the drug dealers stooges, all the while a horde of the undead besiege the ground floor of the apartment building below.
As both the cops and the felons make their way to the roof, they discover all of
In order to make it out of the decrepit apartment, felons and policemen are forced to work together to make it down nearly 14 stories of undead, raging munchers.
It’s an uneasy alliance for sure, and many a plot point is made to ensure these people hate each other.
I suddenly realized I’ve gone far too long without giving you any description or make out of the characters, which, indeed, make this film work. Oussem (Martins) originally suggests the alliance on behalf of the outnumbered and outgunned police; Adewale Markudi (Eriq Abouaney, the second real star of this flick), the dealer, uneasily accepts, much to the protests of his violent and mistrusting brother, Bola (Masta). Add in Aurore (Perron, who has the intensity, bravado, and acting chops to shadow a young Sigourney Weaver circa “Alien,” which makes her the bona fide star here), Markudi’s other bodyguard Jo Prestia (who, in one scene, secures his vote for me as a guy I want to be fighting on my side come the zombie apocalypse), and Vietnam vet Rene (who comes across as a military man far too happy to have another chance to slay people, hence his accusations that the undead are “chinks,” and, once bitten, you become “a chink;” I’ve never been an advocate of blatant racism, but I laughed heartily once he came into play; and I don’t feel guilty for it).
Stunning action scenes (zombie beatdowns the likes I have never seen), fast-pacing, attention to character development, and just the right amount of attention to what we, as zombie fans want, makes “The Horde” stand out as a modern classic of the zombie lore. I loved this movie. I wish there were many more like it.
Romero Rules Followed: Get bitten, turn. As an added bonus, this one incorporated the “recently dead” just return from death due to some unknown force, so that is nearly 100 percent.
Gore factor: Very, very gory. And all warranted. What else can you expect from a movie that features a scene of one person against horde of zombies in a parking garage? (I got the biggest goosebumps ever with a single camera shot during that scene. That is how epic it is).
Zombies or Wannabees? Zombies
Classic, fine, or waste of time: Classic
Additional comments: I have read some of the reviews on Netflix regarding this fine, fine flick. To those assholes who want to continue to argue the running/shambling debate, get the fuck over it. Your ADBD (attention deficit brain disorder) caused it. If I can get over it, you can. Also, stop your bitching about subtitles. Do you think only good movies get made in
So, yeah, ingenuity lies across the pond. Deal.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Stars: Jason Yachanin, Kate Graham, Allyson Sereboff, Robin L. Watkins, Joshua Olatunde, Caleb Emerson, , Rose Ghavami and Khalid Rivera
Writers: Gabriel Friedman, Daniel Bova, and Lloyd Kaufman
Dir: Lloyd Kaufman
Let’s just be honest with each other: If you are not familiar with Troma Films, you would lose any trivia game with a semblance of movie-geek trivia against me.
Troma studios have been unleashing tasteless independent classics such as “The Toxic Avenger,” “Class of Nuke ‘Em High” “Troma’s War” and countless others (which will, and have, appeared in this blog before) since way before 1983.
While lacking in a true, based-in-lore, zombie story, Troma does what it does best with “Poultrygeist” — Gut the mainstream.
Warning: If you are offended by redneck, religious, gay/lesbian insults or racial slurs/stereotypes, anti-Semitic jokes, or anything else that would offend absolutely anyone who is too uptight for the human race, just click out of here. Go to youtube and watch cute cat videos. If you have a sense of humor, read on.
So maybe you have seen “Fast Food Nation” or read the book. If you bought into it, you might be a moron (kidding…maybe…maybe not).
Look, we all know that eating fast-food is bad. We don’t need it pounded into our faces, right? We’re smart, right?
Apparently, Troma realized we are morons and decided to take it to the next level.
“Poultrygeist” starts out like many would not expect: A young go-getter, Arbie, is attempting to have sex with his high-school girlfriend, Wendy, (see? They are so subtle over at Troma) while the inhabitants of an Indian graveyard revolt against the thought that their once-peaceful resting place will soon become the site of a new Chicken Bunker — well, the revolt is more of a finger-in-the-ass, and Arbie and Wendy flee.
Fast-forward, and Arbie has done little with his life. He comes home from college, hungry for a job and finds his once-girlfriend, Wendy, joining in a protest against the new Chicken Bunker Restaurant — led by her newfound-college-lesbian-friend, who is heading the protest group called C.L.A.M. — College Lesbians Against Mega-Conglomerates.
In a musical fit of rage (yes, this film is a musical), Arbie decides to piss-off his one-time love by becoming an employee of the Chicken Bunker.
Folks, this is just the first 15 minutes.
What follows is this in a nutshell: A Muslim fry-cook figures out the “chickens have declared Jihad,” on the restaurant, Sloppy Jose’s talk to people, all the while violently spastic food-poisoning body transformation, fake lesbian make-out scenes, many more catchy dance numbers, riffs on films ranging from “Night of the Living Dead” to “Aliens” to “Assault on Precinct 13” take place. In a word, “BatshitCrazy.” But, later, the film hits it stride, welcoming a buttload of pissed-off chicken-faced zombies, who then begin to feast on the clientele. And bloody, gory, insane scenes ensue.
And, despite my open-mind and desire to rise above the apes, I can’t help but chuckle a shitload throughout this grotesque-fest of inappropriate humor.
If you want to offend absolutely everyone you know, show them “Poultrygeist.” If you lose friends, they weren’t friends to begin with.
Romero Rules Followed: Well, this time around, spoiled/rotten/(possessed?) eggs cause the outbreak, and nothing really applies here.
Gore factor: Bonkers. Blood flies more than a Sam Raimi test shoot.
Zombies or Wannabees? First-ever TIE
Classic, fine, or waste of time: Fine
Additional comments: I could never call this P.O.S. a classic, but, you know what? It is damn fun, too much fun for a movie with an IQ level of 50. Sometimes, it is great to just shut off the brain and have fun. This is fun, and not for the thoughtful.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin
Writers: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick
Dir: Ruben Fleischer
First and foremost, thanks for coming back. There was a (too-long) hiatus for this blog, but I plan to have at least two updates a week beginning with this week. As a promise, I will at least have one update per week, plus Twitter updates.
So, how better to re-launch the blog than to review a modern classic?
For the layperson who happened to miss this gem on initial release and henceforth online, on Blu-Ray, DVD or streaming/on-demand, stop reading this right now, and go watch it. I’ll wait. And you will thank me.
For those who know others uninitiated to the zombie-genre, this is how you bring them in: Show them “Zombieland.”
It has it all: great writing, great comedy, one of the best cameos ever in a film ever, superfluous gore, a simple story, and a cast of actors perfect for the film.
Jesse “Social Network” Eisenberg stars as the perfect, reclusive nerd who one day wakes up and finds himself thrust into an entire world filled with fast-moving gut-munchers. In order to survive, he writes a set of his own rules for survival (for the likeminded dorks, I have the ones listed in the film in order below), many of which are demonstrated repeatedly throughout the film. The hapless, goofy nerd meets up with testosterone-personified in “Tallahassee,” the name given to Harrelson’s character which is derived from Tallahassee’s ultimate destination (Tallahassee, upon picking up the young nerd, firmly states “No names,” as to not get unnecessarily attached to a stranger). The nerd then claims his name as “Columbus Ohio.”
Harrelson is clearly having a blast in this role, channeling his character Mickey Knox from “Natural Born Killers,” and putting a perfect deadpan comedic spin on the tough-as-nails character and making the blood-thirsty killer into a gleeful zombie-killing Twinkie-lover. Harrelson just chews-up nearly every scene he is in.
Columbus, wary of stepping outside of his rules, seems happy to have human contact and aids Tallahassee in his on-the-road quest for the golden Hostess treats, wherein they meet a cunning set of sisters, Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin). Despite several back-stabbing moments, the girls become part of the fold, with Wichita becoming a love interest for Columbus, and Little Rock standing in for…let’s just say, a hole in Tallahassee’s life.
The sisters reveal they are heading to an amusement park, which they heard is zombie-free, Pacific Playland (a place where Little Rock can be a kid again), and the girls con the men into tagging along. As they head out of Texas and into California, a whole lot of hijinks, zombie killing, and the murder of Hollywood-royalty occurs.
And all of it is played for laughs, accompanied with extreme gore.
Romero Rules Followed: A handful, but these suckers are fast. But, for the most part, they are followed.
Gore factor: Extreme.
Zombies or Wannabees? Zombies; I can’t keep the fast-movers out of the category.
Classic, fine, or waste of time: Classic
Additional comments: Just watch and enjoy. Oh, also, here are Columbus’s rules (the ones noted in the film):
Rule #1: Cardio
Rule #2: Double-tap
Rule #3: Beware of bathrooms
Rule #4: Seatbelts
Rule #7: Travel light
Rule #17: Don’t be a hero
Rule #18: Limber up
Rule #22: When in doubt, know your way out
Rule #31: Check the back seat
Rule #32: Enjoy the little things
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