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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Claymation + Zombies = My favorite thing ever.

Ladies and gents, witness Chainsaw Maid by Takena.

[via B-D]

I Love ‘I Love Sarah Jane.’

Vodpod videos no longer available.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”.

Final Girl Film Club: Tobe Hooper’s ‘Lifeforce’.

Lifeforce (1985)

What the hell was that?

Okay, I’ve got to admit it. Before Lifeforce was chosen as the latest (and my first) entry in the Final Girl Film Club, I really didn’t know anything about it. I mean, yeah, I’d heard it mentioned in passing, but I pretty much thought that it was considered just another of Tobe Hooper’s failed directorial efforts (read: Everything that’s not Leatherface- or Spielberg-related). Oh, but it’s so much more! We’ve got boobies, space travel, giant bat creatures, boobies, zombies, Patrick Stewart, space vampires, and boobies! Really, what more could you ask for in a movie?

Oh. A coherent plot? Well, erm…

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Trailer for Pakistani horror flick ‘Hell’s Ground’

I just read about this flick yesterday in the latest issue of Rue Morgue Magazine and lo and behold, today I find the trailer in my Google Reader (naturally, at the Rue Morgue blog, Abattoir). This, apparently, is like the first gore movie to come out of our friends in Pakistan.

The movie is being screened at The Bloor tonight at 9:30. Unfortunately, The Bloor is in Canada. It’s times like this that I wish I was a Canuck. And also when I can’t go to the doctor to treat a massive head wound brought on by zombie attacks because I don’t have health insurance (Medicare, of course, doesn’t cover zombie attacks). Thanks, America!

Luckily, it’s going to be released on DVD next week.

Pakistan s first splatter flick in the tradition of Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre delivers spine-tingling thrills when an attractive group of teens pile into a van that runs out of gas in the middle of a dark mysterious forest. Their ghoulish nightmare begins when rotting fresh-eating zombies and a decapitated head-toting screaming banshee-like hitchhiker begin to terrorize them at every turn. But when a mysterious figure dressed in a blood-drenched burqa appears sporting a medieval weapon dripping in gore even the teens prayers won t save them from a night of savage demented horror.

Good looking teens run out of gas in the middle of nowhere? I’d make a crack about how unoriginal that sounds, but the synopsis saved itself with “blood-drenched burqa.” I’m all in.

Does ol’ George hit the mark with his ‘Diary?’

Diary of the Dead (2008)

Alright let’s get this out of the way: George Romero’s Diary of the Dead is nowhere near as good as Night. Or Dawn. Or even Day (which, unlike a lot of folks, I really like). It is, however, better than Land (which, unlike a lot of folks, I also really like). I had to get that out of the way because any real horror fan that watches Diary of the Dead is going to make comparisons to Romero’s other brain-munching films, even if they’re not trying to. I did it myself when the movie began, but I quickly got over that and just started judging it on its own merits.

And compared to most of the horror films that get theatrical releases, Diary of the Dead is a success. Plus, it’s got everything you’d expect from a Romero zombie flick: slow-lumbering zombies, awesome kills and, yep, that ol’ Romero social commentary. This time around, he’s got his sights set on the media, and the version of the “truth” that floods the airwaves every day. Basically, it’s George Romero vs. Fox News, with much brain destroying involved. (Not that the Fox News folks are big on brains. Zing!)

As you might have been able to figure out by reading the title of my site, I’m a big fan of all things zombie. Good, bad, whatever. If it’s zombie-oriented, I’m probably gonna see the movie and hope for the best. And with the successful remake of Dawn of the Dead, along with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (technically, not a zombie movie, I know, but work with me here), there was a resurgence in zombie movies that allowed Romero to continue his series, bringing the whole genre full circle. But really, nobody does it better than Uncle George, and he proves that with Diary.

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