Gary Sherman's DEAD & BURIED (1981, 93 min.) on Amazon Prime for the first time.Does anybody else get a serious "Jaws" vibe from this one? The sheriff of the small Maine coastal town (James Farentino, excellent) is overwhelmed by the sudden spike in killings (a photographer, a fisherman, a hitchhiker, etc.) suddenly piling up on his desk. From dealing with the quirky town coroner (Jack Albertson's Dobbs) to the unorthodox curriculum of his teacher wife (Melody Anderson's Janet), Sheriff Dan can't catch a break at work or home. Then a hit-and-run accident and a civilian's firm declaration that one of the murdered victims is pumping gas at a nearby station send the sheriff down a rabbit hole of startling revelations about his hometown of Potters Bluff. A town that, as one of the locals mentions, has a hard time attracting any tourism whatsoever.Except for an underwhelming head-pumped-full-of-acid gore gag filmed after he was done with the production, the Stan Winston-designed make-up effects are one of "Dead & Buried's" many highlights. The screenplay by Ronald Shusett and Dan 'I didn't write this' O'Bannon makes sure we always know more than what Sheriff Dan discovers, but not enough to get a complete picture of what's truly happening until the very end. Considering the behind-the-scenes production turmoil it's a miracle director Gary Sherman ("Death Line") manages to make this flick as entertaining as it ends up being (at least on first viewing). Recommended.
Saw it at a festival just a few months ago, and enjoyed it immensely. It really played to the packed house, which made it ever more fun. Loved the ending. Sherman was also present and did a little Q&A after the film, sadly hampered by the mics not working properly, so I heard next to nothing he said, sitting in the back row.
The Rezort (2016, dir. Steve Barker)Basically Zombie Jurassic World. A safari park where rich people hunt zombies is almost a novel idea, but the characters fail to make any kind of impression and the plot is exactly what you think it's gonna be. Not worth anyone's time.
Bonus: L4ST (2014 short film, dir. Mikko Löppönen)In this 9-minute Finnish short film, a pair of survivors of a zombie apocalypse on a scavenger hunt bite off more than they can chew. You can't tell much of a story in 9 minutes, but it's well put together and manages to create some atmosphere.It's on YouTube.
You'd think V.C.'s would stop funding theme parks where the pitch is "it's like Jurassic Park but...".
Bonus: The Simpsons S4E5: Treehouse of Horror III (1992, dir. Bloodcurdling Carlos Baeza)Inspired by Paul's mentioning it in regards to RotLD and brain-eating. With a living Krusty doll, King homer the giant ape, and Bart raising the dead, it's one of the classic Treehouses (though my fave is still Kang and Kodos running for president).
Cullen, Rayburn, Narz, Trebek!
The Girl With all the Gifts (2016)Having mostly seen Gemma Arterton in stuff like Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia, and the Clash of the Titans remake, I'm happy to see her in a good movie for a change and Paddy Considine is always a welcome addition to any cast as well. It's hard to stand out in the Zombie genre these and even with the few things that might seem unique I'm sure someone could point out other zombie fiction that did it first. Still , there's something to be said for a good execution on an old formula. Worth watching and it's on Prime.
It's a unique take on an old formula. The thing I love most about The Girl with All the Gifts is how scientifically plausible its take on the zombie idea is. The notion of reanimated corpses is nonsensical, but fungi altering the behaviour of other organisms they've infected does actually happen.
The video game The Last of Us did Fungi zombies to a pretty cool effect a few years back. I'm not sure that there's any particularly good way for non-gamers to experience the story there (watching a playthrough would be slow and just watching the cutscenes might not have the same effect), but it's one of the few video game stories that I've found to be really well done.
The last video game I played was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, so I'll have to take your word for it. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem was pretty good too, and that one has a lot of zombies in it. There's some weird stuff in that game.
Funny that The Last of Us should come up, the short film I mentioned, L4ST, is basically a TLoU fan film.
Slither (2006)More of an homage alien monster movie with added Zombie elements. But it is still as awesome and disgusting as I remember. It has one of my favourite casts, Michael Rooker and Gregg Henry are point perfect and Nathan Fillion and Elizabeth Banks' are as charming as their eyes are blue (and those are eyes you can drown in).
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)A cool update of Jacques Tourneur's 'I Walked With A Zombie'. But Craven is so much more interested in Haiti, voodoo and the magic of Zombies (or a version of it) that he is portraying. Bill Pullman is the perfect outsider to take us into this world, and Craven creates a point of view that is almost like a tourist. WHich is smart, you are dropped in the middle into this world that already has an established history, tradition and structure. This sets up a great dream like vibe, of which I am always a fan. I liked some of the imagery a lot, with all the colours of the Caribbean the movie really pops!The only thing I will say against it, is that the editing feels a little choppy and at times, it feels a little more episodic than it should. But it's a movie I would go back to.
Night of the Living Deb (2015, director Kyle Rankin)I made it to the forty-three minute mark (that's a mark; you're not the boss of marks) before I had to turn this off. The dialogue is fuck-awful, the performances are wretched, the humour is sitcom-level and makes Two and a Half Men look like The Phil Silvers Show.Avoid like a zombie apocalypse.
Tombs Of The Blind Dead (1972)Gothic Zombies, yes please!There are just some castle ruins you shouldn't visit while travelling around Portugal, you don't know which one is going to have the Templar Zombies. A mannequin designer goes in search of a school friend who went missing in said castle.What is really intersting and cool about the movie, apart from the Templars themselves looking like Dementors, is that the leadcharacter is gay. The fact the movie doesn't make a huge deal out of it is cool, but it gives the central friendship or frenemies an extra layer the movie would not have had other wise.
Return of the Living Dead (1985) first view.I don't know why I waited so long after it was so highly praised here before. This was an absolute blast! The gang of "rockers" were brilliant. When the redhead got out of the car by slidding down the hood, I sensed she would lose her shirt. Oh boy. I was kind of relieved when she was finally given something to cover her chest (but she never did get her shorts back). The 2nd half featured some great practical effects done with a wink to the viewer. Is this the first movie to have fast zombies? Does anyone know if the sequels are worth seeking?
I was going to watch this, but I released I could only rent the ROTLD2 not the orginal. After your praise I might just blind buy
"ROTLD2" is worth a curio viewing just to see cast members from the prequel return as different characters (not as fun as it reads). Every other "ROTLD" sequel or remake is like any post-2000 Romero "Dead" movie.
I just saw this for the first time recently theatrically! It was a crazy blast, I really loved it. I watched ROTLD2 for 80s Horror Day and kind of hated it.
I don't know about fast zombies, but I seem to remember that RotLD is the first movie where the zombies specifically crave brains, which of course has become basic zombie lore.
I'm not going to say that ROTLD3 is a good movie but I still think it's worth watching at least once.
Ah, you're right Mikko. Romero's zombies just wanted flesh, but they make a big deal of being brains in this movies, even going some way to explain why.I read that it was The Simpsons, in a Treehouse of Horror episode that parodied RotLD, that effectively linked zombies and brains to a whole generation of kids too young to have watched any zombies movies. And here we are today. There are some slow zombies in RotLD, such as the first one which is lurching in such an exaggerated way, while the hoards of outdoor zombies are full-on sprinting like undead Carl Lewis.
Lindsay - I couldn't believe how much I loved this movie when I watched it for the first time a couple SMMs ago - I'd highly recommend the blind buy!
Sol - Done!
Dead Gamers a.k.a Virtually Dead (2014) Dir. Paolo BertolaItalian virtual reality video game zombie movie. A guy creates a pill that allows his friends to enter in a game he created. He secretly drugs them with the pill and makes them fight zombies in his game. I would have rather watched JB play Pong for 90 minutes.
Maniac Cop (1988)I love this movie, I know it's not a traditional zombie movie but Matt Cordell is a Maniac Cop who can't die no matter what you do to him so he is the undead. I'm one of the rare people who likes the 1st Maniac Cop better than the 2nd. Maybe it's Tom Atkins. Maybe it's Bruce Campbell. Or maybe it's the fact that they are in the same movie together which makes it so unbelievably awesome. It's got great kills, and a crazy ending that is jam packed with car chases and violence. I love the sleezy new york feel of the movie too. It wouldn't make my top 10 horror movies of all time but it would probably make my top 25. It's so great. Bluray looks amazing too.
Maniac Cop 2 (1990)Matt Cordell is in full zombie mode in this one. His zombie make up is much better this time around. This is a really good sequel, picking up right where the last one left off with some new characters. It feels bigger than the last one which is cool. you can tell Bill Lustig had some more money this time and It's on the screen. There's a sequence where the Maniac Cop handcuffs the female lead to the steering wheel of a car while her body is outside of it and pushes it down a hill into oncoming traffic. It's fantastic! Great stuntwork in this one. I'm not sure why I like the first one better but I just do. Maniac Cop befriends a serial killer in this one and It's fine but I'm not crazy about that storyline. This one has an awesome ending too though involving lots of fire. Its one of the better horror sequels, big fan.
Zombie (1979)The great Lucio Fulci directs the story of...wait a second. Did you see that? Did...did a zombie just fight a shark? Like, not an animatronic special effect, but a real-life, living, breathing, swimming, has-more-teeth-than-the-entire-Romney-family-combined, actual goddamn SHARK?! How the hell did they shoot that? That was amazing (and weirdly beautiful).I'm sorry I slept on this movie for so long because it's really great, and truly has to be seen to believed. Zombie v shark! Hordes of zombies invading New York (kinda)! Eyeball trauma (goddammit Italians, I used to work in an ophthalmic surgery center and nothing I saw there was as unnerving as the poked/stabbed/sliced/impaled eyeballs you're always putting in these movies)! Legitimately frightening zombie makeup! Gratuitous Daily Planet t-shirt! I already can't wait to watch this one again. Fulci was the best.
Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981)Uhhh.... look... it's... horrible. But you know, it's peppered with WTF moments throughout so there's that! I do enjoy how insane the zombies look. You got to hand it to them that they didn't just make people look pale. These zombies are covered in paper mache!
The Beyond (1981)Lucio Fulci film takes forever to get going, and for awhile I was thinking I was really not going to like this one. When the zombie apocalypse finally happens, there's only about 10 minutes of screen time left. Still, the film finally gets good, except for the moronic doctor who persists in shooting zombies in the chest instead of the head - even when it has been demonstrated time and again that only a head shot will take a zombie out. The movie ends just as I was finally getting intrigued by where it might go next.
I misread that for a second as "butt spiders" and wondered if there was an extended cut of The Beyond that I hadn't seen. I remember the bit when the guy is covered in arachnids, but it occurred to me that we never actually get to see whence they came. They could have come out of the guy's bum. We don't know.
The spider scene is hilarious - they need to have a prop spider to do the actual like "bite a huge fucking chunk out of the guy's face" thing but it looks ridiculously fake marching towards him with all the other real spiders. It does look like it came out of a bum.
Bride of Re-Animator (1991) (First Time Viewing): Almost as fun as the original, with even more gross-out gags, but something was missing... hmm... what could it be? Barbara Crampton! Still a fun watch, gotta love Jeffrey Combs in everything. Recommended.
I was wondering if I should track this down, and now I think I will.
MY BOYFRIEND’S BACK (1993) A nerdy guy dies and comes back as a zombie, just so he can take the girl of his dreams to the prom. I like the running gag of everyone just taking our hero’s condition in stride, saying stuff like “There’s that zombie kid again.” Unfortunately, the movie’s poorly made, with constant voiceover narration and way, way too many it-was-only-a-dream fake-out scenes. THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (2016) The hype for this one insists that it’s a fresh new twist on the zombie genre. That’s not true, but it is very well made. A bunch of great actors elevate the material, and there are some genuinely unsettling moments. Great stuff. THE DEAD PIT (1989) An amnesiac woman enters a Cuckoo’s Nest-style psychiatric hospital, where there’s supernatural freakiness. This is a “horror stew” movie that attempts to combine a bunch of subgenres, with psychic visions, ghostly possessions, a Freddy Kruger-like evil doctor, ultimately leading to a zombie attack. It took me a while to get into the movie’s low-budget vibe, but once I did, I liked it.
Mac, I am one that has been tired of the Zombie genre for many years and I actually did think TGWATG felt fresh. Curious as to why you didn't think so. Was I forgetting a film it referenced?
It seemed to me that the movie was building off of Romero's Day of the Dead, with all the soldiers vs. scientists drama. I still really liked it, though.
Zombi 2 (1979) I love any unofficial Italian sequel. Fulci does some insane stuff here (shark fights) and the score is awesome. This is my first time watching this full movie and I can't believe I've waited this long.
Night of the Comet (1984, director Thom Eberhardt)This was really great. I wasn't expecting much from an eighties science fiction comedy about a couple of valley girls who find themselves for the most part alone when the rest of humanity has been turned into red dust. The script is funny* and self-aware; there's a bit in the inevitable montage scene (done to Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," because of course it is) where the leads are trying on clothes and one of 'em when asked which outfit is better says to the other "The second one, because it'll stay in style longer." Way to acknowledge the faddishness of that decade, movie.A pre-Star Trek: Voyager Robert Beltran is super-charming, Catherine Mary Stewart is gorgeous and makes one wonder why she didn't become a star. There aren't that many zombies, and this probably doesn't even qualify as a zombie movie. The walking dead talk and even use weapons, and I don't think anyone was even bitten.Great, fun film.*A few demerits for the looped line "There goes the neighbourhood."I don't say this enough, or even at all, but thanks F This Movie for giving me a reason to watch films that I otherwise probably wouldn't.Is this the best podcast/site on the internet or what?
I'm hosting a movie marathon for my birthday next weekend of some favorites that I want to show people. This is totally in the line up. I love it so much!
I've just put on Zombie Flesh-Eaters and I can't get into it because there was a shot of the Twin Towers and I'm racking my brain trying to remember what the term is that JB coined and Patrick approved for when that happens in a movie and you go a bit sad. Help me out, F-Heads, so I can fully appreciate Signor Fulci's masterpiece. The clock is ticking here.
There were a couple he coined the one I remember was shock and awww.
Yeah, that was deffo one of them. I'm trying to think of the really tasteless one that made me laugh more than I should have.
The Battery (2012)Ah, Zombiesploitation Day. A day to sift through the rotten guts of this bloated corpse of a genre to try and find something worth sinking your teeth into. Or a day to just watch The Battery again because it's fucking awesome. I love this movie - such a great example of how you don't notice the limitations of a small budget if the filmmaker works within them.
Zombie Flesh-Eaters, aka Zombi 2 (1979, director Lucio Fulci)Pretty dull for the first hour or so, shark-munching scene excepted, then becomes really good. Nicely bridges the gap between the mystical, Jacques Tourneur-type voodoo zombie films and the atheistic a-comet-might-have-done-it (comets were invented by science) Romero movies.Trowel rating: three-and-a-half out of four trowels.
The Walking Dead (1936, dir. Michael Curtiz)Karloff as a man executed for a murder he didn't commit, brought back to life by a scientist, and out for revenge against those who framed him. Karloff doesn't kill anyone! People just jump out of windows and step in front and traffic 'n' such because they're so terrified that they're seeing him. Karloff is wonderful in the role, and Curtiz was a master, so it's a classy, nay, enriching experience, but a doofy story.Panic aka Bakterion (1982, dir. Tonino Ricci)Argh, so frustrating. It's a lone zombie movie, and the premise hinges on somebody getting it before the government decides to nuke the whole city it's loose in. It's more a procedural, more Soderbergh's Contagion than Fulci's Zombi, despite starring the latter's David Warbeck (as a dude named Captain Kirk!) Not much fun, despite the typical Italian Horror wonkiness running through its veins.The Hanging Woman aka Bracula (1973, dir. Jose Luis Merino)Hammer-style Spanish-Italo production starring Paul Naschy as a necrophile hunchback named Igor, and a guy who looks like Peter Wyngarde mixed with young Chuck Norris. It's one of those "we're in a castle and a rich guy just died and the remaining family members are all killing each other" movies, but this time we find very, very late into the story that it's zombies doing it. Really, there's no zombies till the last five minutes. Still, it's hard not to have fun with Naschy around, and the characters are all amusing amoral. Released on vhs as Zombie 4.Revenge in the House of Usher (1982, dir. Jess Franco)Another Hammer-y entry, with exactly zero zombies. Howard Vernon is looking so old that he looks like Michael Berryman, and Lina Romay is a little chubby this time out. :) Much more a straight Usher adapt than a zombie flick. Notable that this movie has Franco doing the 'use footage from an earlier role of the same actor' for the flashbacks, nearly twenty years earlier than Soderbergh did it in The Limey! (Why is Soderbergh coming up to much on Zombie day?) Released on vhs as Zombie 5.Zombie Death House (1987, dir. John Saxon)A lot of fun, imo. Reminded me a lot of the last act of Natural Born Killers, or, kinda, has the feel of a very very low rent Predator, since it's a bunch of macho names reveling in the chance to work with each other. I prefer it when zombies are full-on dead bodies coming out of the ground, but as my movies today have demonstrated, that's more rare than you might think.Flight of the Living Dead (2007, dir. Scott Thomas)And here it is, the best thing I saw today. Sorry. Kevin J. O'Connor is great in this, and makes it feel like you're watching Deep Rising 2. Good work from other actors you probably know by face but not by name, like Erick Avari and Tucker Smallwood. Also, I guess I just like movies set on planes (Langoliers, right?!)
Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988, dir. Ken Wiederhorn)I have no idea why I decided to revisit this one for Zombie day, seeing as it's my least favorite of the first three RotLD movies (I haven't seen the ones after III). I didn't dislike it as much this time as I have in the past, even though I still think it's shrill and shouty and pretty annoying. The comedy barely works, the horror not at all. Still, it was mostly watchable this time.