Review: ‘Dance of the Dead’ (2008)

Note: This review is also featured on Send More Cops.

There’s more to a zombie movie than brain-eating, dismemberment, and finding clever ways to dispose of the zombie threat.

Granted, there are a lot of people out there who want nothing more out of their zombie flicks.  No matter how idiotic the rest of the movie, if we get a good crowbar-through-the-forehead gag, they’re satisfied.  They’re also stupid, and probably enjoyed the Day of the Dead remake.

What made George Romero’s zombie films as successful as they were had a lot to do with a very important point that a lot of people tend to skim over: What happens when the zombies are off-screen.  Because if you can’t give a shit about the characters involved, what’s gonna make you care when they’re threatened by some flesh-eater?
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‘Hellboy 2′ is better than everything.

It’s currently 3:15 am. I have to be at work (for a double shift) at 11:00am. Realistically, I should be in bed right now, catching up on some much-needed beauty sleep.

I should have come home after work tonight and gone to sleep at a responsible time. But I just couldn’t wait.

I should wait until tomorrow night and just write a full review of Hellboy II: The Golden Army. But, by then, you will have probably already seen the movie yourself and drawn your own conclusions.

But I can’t sleep. Not without getting a few thoughts on this movie out in to the world. I can’t stop thinking about the movie. I want to live in Hellboy’s world. I want to shop in the troll market.

Hellboy 2 is an absolutely wonderful movie with more imagination than any other film you’ve seen this year. It’s breathtaking in its wonder and its magic. Guillermo del Toro is a genius with a mind that works unlike anyone else’s. And in Hellboy 2, his mind is splattered across the screen in a way that he hasn’t been able to accomplish before, for a variety of reasons.

I may one day try to write that full review that I mentioned (if I can put my love for this movie into words other than saying “I want to make love to this movie”). But until then, know this: When you see this movie — and you should, you need to — you will fall in love with it. If you don’t, then you’ve forgotten what wonder is.

Now, I’m going to bed with visions of Tooth Fairies dancing in my head.

Claymation + Zombies = My favorite thing ever.

Ladies and gents, witness Chainsaw Maid by Takena.

[via B-D]

‘The Happening’: The Abridged Screeplay

Ever heard of The Editing Room?  No?  Then you’re missing out on lots of laughter.  Which burns calories.  So you can’t complain about being a fatty if you’re not laughing enough.  Or if you order two racks of ribs with a Diet Coke on the side.  Seriously, man, you’re not fooling anyone.

For the unaware, The Editing Room is a website run by Rod Hilton (no relation to porn star Paris) where he writes abridged screenplays for the latest Hollywood atrocities and points out all of their flaws.  Don’t worry: He’s much funnier than I am.

So here I am to direct you to The Editing Room’s latest masterpiece, The Happening.  Hopefully you’ll shed some poundage in the process.

Here’s how things begin:

FADE IN:

EXT. NEW YORK CITY – PARK

People walk around in the PARK while two unimportant characters have INANE DIALOGUE.

BORING CHARACTER 1

That was weird. Suddenly all of the people in this park stopped dead in their tracks and started acting like brainless robots.

BORING CHARACTER 2

Large groups of people behaving as though they have no personality whatsoever? That can only mean …

BORING CHARACTER 1

Oh shit, we’re in an M. Night Shyamalan movie!

They both KILL THEMSELVES.

EVERYONE ELSE

An M. Night Shyamalan movie! Our careers will be ruined!

EVERYONE ELSE kills themselves as well.

INT. PHILADELPHIA – CLASSROOM

MARK WAHLBERG teaches SCIENCE to a classroom full of middle school students. It’s exactly as believable as it sounds.

You can read the rest of it at Cracked.com, where Rod filled in as a guest columist.

I Love ‘I Love Sarah Jane.’

Thanks to Tha Deej (once again) for pointing out this wonderful little zombie short film, I Love Sarah Jane. I can’t even find anything witty/funny to say about this (though the same could be argued about everything I write). It’s just… really, really good. Here’s the official synopsis:

Jimbo is 13. All he can think about is one girl, Sarah Jane. And no matter what stands in his way – bullies, violence, chaos, zombies – nothing is going to stop him from finding a way into her world.

Although I think I like DJ’s take on it better:

Imagine Harmony Korine’s “Gummo” set inside the world of George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” with a dash of your first schoolyard crush sprinkled on top. In a nutshell, that’s “I Love Sarah Jane”.

The One I Might Have Saved

If given the chance, what horror movie character would you save?  That’s the dilemma presented by Arbogast a couple of months back and it’s one that I’ve been thinking about ever since.  I’ve read several of the other entries that folks have contributed and I’ve been racking my brain to think of someone that I, myself, would save.  But I kept coming to the same conclusion and it just seemed so cliche, I thought.  I wanted to think of someone obscure (kind of like Arbogast’s original post), someone not so obvious, but my mind kept coming around to the same name.


That’s called foreshadowing!

Quint.

Jaws is, without a doubt, my favorite movie.  Oddly, I can’t recall the first time that I watched Jaws.  It wasn’t in the theater (the movie came out… um… a long time before I was alive), so it must’ve been on VHS at some point.  But it’s one of those movies that to this day, I can still watch and still be drawn in as if I’m seeing it for the first time.  I know exactly what’s going to happen at every moment of the film (I’ve probably seen the movie more than a dozen times), but I still sit on the edge of my seat during the Orca’s final expedition to eliminate that damn shark.

And every time, I hope that Quint is going to make it. 

Quint breezes into the movie like a breath of stinky fish air.  We don’t know anything about this guy, who he is, where he came from.  He screeches onto the screen with the sound of fingernails on a blackboard (literally) and when we first see him we think “Hey, here’s someone who might actually be able to stop all this people munching that’s been going on!”  Only later do we find out what brought Quint to where he is now, leading to one of the greatest scenes in film history (and one of the chief reasons why Quint is probably my favorite character from any movie):

How could you not want that man to live to a ripe old age?  Unfortunately, Bruce the Shark had other plans for Quint.

But at least he went down like a man.  He went down fighting mano y mano with a big fuckin’ shark.  I mean, c’mon, hewas still fighting the shark, even as his legs were somewhere in the shark’s esophagus (do sharks have those?)!  And really, I don’t think he’d have had it any other way.  But man, do I wish he’d lasted just a little bit longer… 

At least his appearance could’ve made the sequels a little more watchable.

‘Barackula: The Musical’

I guess this is some sort of new internet sensation that I was somehow unaware of until DJ pointed it out to me.  Where have I been to have missed something as awesome as this.  Not that you’ll need anymore convincing to watch it (I’m sure I had you at “Barackula: The Musical“) but here’s the official synopsis:

Barackula is a short political horror rock musical about young Barack Obama having to stave off a secret society of vampires at Harvard when he was inducted into presidency at the Harvard Law Review in 1990. Obama (Justin Sherman) finds that he must convince the vampire society that opposing political philosophies can coexist or else the society may transform Obama to the dark side. Reminiscent to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and a slight infusion of Jesus Christ Superstar, this short film offers two original musical numbers, “Running” and “This Is Our Time,” which, lyrically, are allegorical to Obama’s current campaign and speeches. The film solely depicts Obama’s strengths, merits and genuineness while being quietly respectful towards the other presidential candidates.

Since I’m a fan of rock operas, vampires, and Barack Obama, the very existence of this video is sort of a win-win… um, -win situation.

You can watch the film in its entirety in awesome hi-def at its official website or if you’re too lazy to click a link, you can watch the craptackula YouTube version after the jump (which still involves clicking a link, I guess).

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