Saturday, June 2, 2018

Junesploitation 2018 Day 2: Zombies!

They rise at night!

107 comments:

  1. Sang-ho Yeon's TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016, 118 min.) on Netflix Instant for the first time.

    When you think of modern day exploitation cinema done right (not a handful of titles every once in a while, but consistently over close to two decades now), South Korean filmmakers are second to none. With "Train to Busan" the filmmakers manage to turn a one-in-a-zillion derivative zombie premise ("World War Z"-meets-"Snowpiercer") into a cinematic vehicle for tension, thrills and social commentary. You'd think a two-hour flick about a train trying to reach its final destination as passengers aboard succumb to a zombie-like virus within seconds of being bitten would drag or become tedious. But OH-HELL-NO-SPLOITATION! The survivors we follow are either likable (cute cheerleader Ahn So-hee), interesting (cool-as-fuck Ma Dong-seok trying to save his wife and unborn child), relatable in their foibles (Ye Soo-jung and Park Myung-sin's elderly bickering sisters) and/or have an interesting-to-follow arc (Gong Yoo going from "Hook"-type worthless father to a hero in the tear-covered eyes of his little daughter).

    Even though the zombies are a bad-enough and constant source of danger, they pale compared to the asshole human trying to save his own skin at the expense of everyone else's (Kim Eui-sung, the Bob Gunton of South Korea! :-P). He's like the mayor in "Jaws" times a million. While trafficking on every zombie genre trope results in a story with few surprises, "Train to Busan" never loses sight that the humanity of its survivors is what keeps us invested. The movie earns the right to end in a nihilistic or downbeat tone (the groundwork has been set throughout the narrative), but it's a testament to the talents of everyone involved that it chooses to end as it does to my (and I assume most viewers') satisfaction. Highly recommended, two for two on Junesploitation! 2018. :-D

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    1. Train To Busan is my favorite watch from last year. It succeeds because it is as much about the characters as the zombie mayhem. The setting of the train was also an inspired idea.

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    2. I wept during like I was cutting onions. It was the last movie I expected to get to me in that way. So good.

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    3. Didn't know what I was going to watch today. As soon as I got done reading this post I rewatched TTB and it was even better the third time. I am super burnt on Zombies, at the moment, but felt none of that fatigue here. So many great moments it's just such a great movie. I want the character Sang-hwa to have infinite spinoff movies! Action, drama, thriller, sci-fi, romantic comedy it really doesn't matter. He can die in each movie (or not) and just re-spawn for the next installment and I'd be there all day everyday.

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    4. I mean it end with a little girl singing Aloha 'Oe to prove she's human. Drop the mic, best zombie movie ever!

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    5. I wasn't in tears or anything, but that ending moved me because in my mind I was ready for the snipers to take the kid and Sang-hwa's wife down with headshots. It would have been a fitting end to a well-made but very cynical portrayal of government ineffectiveness. The fact it went the slightly uplifting route was a bonus I wasn't expecting. :-)

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  2. Zombie Honeymoon (2003)

    This one hit me where I wasn't expecting. In my meaty, succulent heart. I never thought a zombie movie could ever make me get emotional but here we are. I wasn't expecting it to take that tone at the start but in the end, it got to me. When you get married, you don't expect your spouse to get black goo thrown up into their mouth. But sometimes, life throws you a curve ball. How far would you go to protect someone who wants to eat your friend's brains?

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  3. The Rezort (2015)
    The premise is pretty interesting: The humans have won the war against the zombies. For fun and entertainment The Rezort was created where people can come and shoot zombies for entertainment and sport.
    Its Jurrasic Park with zombies, and it better than I thought. People making smart decisions, and most of the employers are capable individuals. Awesome!

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    1. Yes! This movie is a blast. In a genre that can so frequently feel tired (or at least over saturated), this felt fresh and fun. Cool premise that is well executed.

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    2. Yeah everything is quite good except the acting, and final fire/explosion CGI. A pleasant surprise.

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  4. Swamp Zombies!!! (2005, dir. Len Kabasinski)

    From visionary filmmaker Len Kabasinski (or Leon South, as he's credited when he's acting), who I'm only familiar with because of RedLetterMedia. And it's exactly as advertized, clunky writing, incompetent directing, cringy acting that makes me think Len had a strict "one and done" policy on set, laughable makeup effects, and slow fight scenes overwhelmed by loud heavy metal. Highly entertaining if you're into that sort of thing, eve though it's at least half an hour too long.

    The highlight is a scene (totally unrelated to the plot, obviously) where a busty woman goes into a shower, gently soaps her breasts for a few minutes, then leaves. The funniest scene I've seen in a long while.

    I watched it on YouTube, but it also inspired me to order another Len movie, Curse of the Wolf, on DVD. Will most likely watch it on one of the free space days if it arrives on time.

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  5. RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD PART II (1988, dir. Ken Wiederhorn)

    The original is near the top of my list of favorite horror films. Considered as a sequel, Part II is a disappointment. It lacks the memorable characters and comedic balance that give the original film its charm. Despite that, taken on its own, Part II is a film that manages to be slightly entertaining in an '80s way. (I considered it for 1980s horror, too.) The one thing that it does better than the original film is portraying the zombie mayhem. Its biggest flaw is the characters, who tend to be on the annoying side. The boy is the one who got on my nerves the most.

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    1. Caught a 35mm screening of "ROTLD Part II" at Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn a few weeks ago. Yep, it doesn't hold a candle to the original and the kid is particularly annoying. Glad I've seen it, but have no desire to rewatch it unless Patrick bestows an FTM commentary track privilege on it. Fat chance! :-)

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    2. It IS getting the Scream Factory special edition treatment...

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    3. Doesn't mean it deserves one. ;-) "Scarecrows" got a killer Scream Factory Blu-ray (I own it), and the movie doesn't warrant it.

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  6. Nightmare City (1980)

    This is my first Umberto Lenzi.

    These are blood sucking Zombies, they are armed, organised (well kinda, in that maybe two people know what is happening they just haven't told the rest) and they are mad about something.

    I'm not sure I completely loved this movie. It can get a little repeative, but it felt like the perfect pick for Junesploitation. When this movie pops it's nutty and gory and doesn't always make any sense.

    And I have the Zombie attack music stuck in my head.

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    1. All I have to say is, why can't local newscasts bookend their government-censored news reports with a T&A dance number? :-P

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    2. The movie spends a long, long time with those dancers.

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    3. The soundtrack is the part of Nightmare City I liked the most. Although entertaining, the film is a mess.

      Umberto Lenzi's best work is found with his crime and giallo films. By the time he was making Nightmare City and the cannibal films, he was not really into what he was doing. Nightmare City, though, is better than the cannibal films.

      I am looking forward to getting a chance to see some of Lenzi's films on a big screen later this month.

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  7. The Return of the Living Dead (1985, dir. Dan O'Bannon)

    Everyone here knows what this is, I don't have to review it here. And if you don't know it, I recommend you check it out immediately.

    I'm glad that Linnea girl got over those shyness issues of hers.

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  8. Night of the Creeps (1986):

    I wish Tom Atkins was my dad. Better yet, my drunk uncle.

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  9. The Return of the Living Dead Part 3 (1993 Dir Brian Yuzna)

    I went for the other ROTLD. This is a special movie. The practical effects are off the hook. It is fitting that the special effects and make up teams were first noted in the credits. Looks like I am going to have to grab myself a copy of Society.

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  10. The Dead (2010) Dir. Howard Ford; Jonathan Ford

    I give this movie respect for using "slow zombies" especially in 2010 when zombie films were like watching a track meet. Not bad considering this sub-genre is all but dead. bu-bum-bum.

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  11. Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
    By no means a traditional Zombie movie, but wow (WOW) what a perfect antidote for it. The minimalism and naturalism of early 70s film-making pops in a way that makes for an incredible tone-piece, and I marveled at the way story beats and characters are doled out in drips and drabs. Enigmatic and hypnotic, I'll be wearing this movie like a warm comforter for times when the gnashing of viscera becomes too much.

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  12. Zombie (1979, dir. Lucio Fulci)

    Despite the fact that I've loved the Gates of Hell trilogy for some time now, I'd never gotten around to this one until today. Crazy, I know!

    I can see why this is the closest thing Fulci has to a more mainstream cult film, as it is less weird and more of a straight forward zombie movie (zombie/shark scene aside). Still, Fulci sure knows how to make a zombie flick. The special effects are out-of-this-world incredible and the zombie action is amazing. While I caught myself finding the first hour a little slow on occasion, the third act plays like absolute gangbusters.

    A great choice for today!

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  13. Is anyone else's favorite part of Junesploitation watching the trailers that Patrick puts up?

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    1. Watching them? No, since they're new-to-me flicks that I don't want even a little bit spoiled. Guessing which movie Patrick will choose to highlight (as both picture and trailer)? You betcha. :-)

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    2. The trailer for today is amazing!

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  14. Raw Force (1982)

    A slight disappointment, but only because the zombies don't show up until the last 15-20 minutes or so of the movie. Aside from that its a fun movie in a cheesy sort of way. The acting and martial arts are mediocre at best and the director would only go on to make one other movie, but it does have cannibals and piranhas going for it.

    Wild Zero (1999)

    Now this one I really liked. It's a Japanese horror-comedy about Aliens causing a zombie attack, and features the band Guitar Wolf playing themselves. Granted, I didn't know Guitar Wolf prior to watching this, but it's still worth mentioning. There's a surprisingly progressive aspect to the love story subplot in this movie though which I don't want to give away, but which I thought was handled pretty well. On the downside it's only available on DVD, but I would recommend it.

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    1. I thought the fight scene in RAW FORCE in the bathroom between the two guys was pretty incredible. It's the one moment in the film that seems to have real intensity. But I really like the movie for how wacked out and ridiculous it is.

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    2. Best party-on-a-cruise-boat scene ever!

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    3. The Boat should have been called STD Party. This movie is nuts, I kinda love it.

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  15. I only have time for one today. What do you guys think...Land of the Dead or Return of the Living Dead Part 3? I've never seen either one.

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    1. Return of the Living Dead 3.

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    2. Hate to say it, but early 80's Brian Yuzna towers over post-2000 George Romero's output. Sorry George, don't eat me when you come back to life! :'(

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    3. Good call, really liked ROTLD3. Awesome practical effects and I liked how they kept the mythology of the first film but then expanded it into a different kind of story.

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  16. City of the Living Dead (1980)
    “That giant drill seems out of place in that garage.”
    -10 minutes later-
    “Oh shit, I was not ready for that.”

    Human cigarette Christopher Gerorge’s hair is a real rat’s nest in this too.

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  17. Train to Busan (2016)

    A friend of mine has been trying to get me to watch this for over a year. Sorry I waited so long.

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  18. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

    On the nose, I know, but I hadn’t had a chance to watch th new 4K Criterion. Gorgeous and timeless. The amount of special features is daunting but It looks like there are some great ones.

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  19. Shock Waves (1977)

    Ken Weiderhorn's OTHER zombie movie has the look and feel of an Italian offering, with none of the graphic gore. Two out of three ain't bad. There's even a Jared Martin look-alike and an Al Cliver clone with the requisite '70s 'stache.

    This was a fun start to my Zombie day.

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    1. Watched this a while back alongside "ROTLD Part II." Not impressed by either flick. How can you make Carradine and Cushing seem like they're bored and phoning in their performances? That takes the wrong set of skills, and Weiderhorn had them in spades. :-(

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    2. It was probably a day or two's work for both of them. I thought they were fine. It was enough to hear Peter Cushing in that quasi-German accent.

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    3. If you want to see dull and boring, watch Oasis of the Zombies.

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  20. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
    28 Weeks Later (2007)
    The Girl With All the Gifts (2016)

    Love all three of these movies and they make a good triple feature with the downfall, the failed recovery and the next step of the infection.

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  21. City of the Living Dead (1980)

    This Fulci fella really knew how to make the moving pictures.

    A priest commits suicide, opening the gates of hell allowing the dead to walk the earth. It looks great, the sound design is fantastic and a wonderful score.

    I look forward to more Fulci throughout the month.

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  22. City of the Living Dead (1980)

    I'd seen and liked this one before but this was the viewing where it really clicked for me how awesome it is. The music, the atmosphere, the surreal gore, the Christopher George. It's all so fantastic. Some of the most frightening zombie imagery ever in a film.

    That last shot though....

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  23. LUST OF THE DEAD (2012)
    All the men in the world become ravenous zombies who single-mindedly pursue the women, forcing them to defend themselves by any means possible. While there’s some small attempt at playing up the obvious satire and/or social commentary in this premise, the filmmakers are much more concerned with cheap, porn-y sex and violence.

    LUST OF THE DEAD 2 (2013)
    It’s sequel time, so everything has to be bigger and loader. There are a ton more characters and threats, including sword-wielding street gangs and a laser-blasting female cyborg. That might sound awesome, but it’s all dumbed down with the most bargain-basement CGI you’ve ever seen.

    LUST OF THE DEAD 3 (2013)
    This and part 2 were obviously filmed back-to-back, because it picks up right where the last one left off, continuing what I suppose you could call the plot. The filmmakers add a few speeches here and there about toxic masculinity, but you don’t get to have that conversation and your shock-value-for-shock-value’s-sake sleaze at the same time.

    LUST OF THE DEAD 4 (2014)
    After an inexcusable fifteen minutes of “previously on” clips from the first three films, this cheap series just gets cheaper, with all the action now confined to just three or four rooms. A fight between the cyborg and a bunch of swordswomen is kind of fun, but mostly the movie keeps repeating the same megaviolence and tawdry sex of the previous entries.

    LUST OF THE DEAD 5 (2014)
    Now there’s nineteen minutes of “previously on” clips at the start, followed by another hour’s worth of sleaze. Whatever. I can only recommend this garbage series for people who are really, REALLY into the “extreme Asian cinema” thing. The rest of us are better off sticking with Romero and Fulci.

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    1. Thanks for doing Jury Duty for us, Mac. Sometimes you win (the "Female Prisoner Scorpion" series) and sometimes, well...

      There's always tomorrow, you know? :-)

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  24. Dead Heat (1988)

    Typically during Junesploitation I try to stick to movies I either haven’t seen or ones where it’s been long enough that I barely remember them, but some days you just gotta go with a ringer. This one came out when I was 12 and was a cable mainstay for a big chunk of my teenage years, I watched it all the time and I can still recite most of it. So much fun.

    Treat Williams is Roger Mortis (this movie deserves all of the Oscars for that name alone), a cop who has the opportunity to solve his own murder thanks to a resurrection device (courtesy of Vincent Price, natch). Joe Piscopo is his partner and while he’s his usual abrasive self he does manage to score a few laughs along the way. Treat is really fun and the whole movie is a crazy, violent genre mashup that pulsates with Junesploitation spirit. Also, it was written by Terry Black, brother of F This Movie icon Shane Black. I really wish the producers had fired up that resurrection machine a few more times to give us a franchise.

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  25. Nightmare City (1980)
    What the hell did I just watch?

    It's as if Andy Sidaris had directed The Crazies!

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  26. The Fog (1980, dir. John Carpenter, re-watch) I've seen it several times now and just can't get into it. The atmosphere, photography, score, are of course awesome, but I never understand why the Tom Atkins and JLC characters are in the movie or what they have to do with anything, it's just weird. It's in my bottom tier Carpenter, but hey that's still great. Plus I will never complain about Pirate Zombies!

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  27. Zombie Holocaust aka Dr. Butcher, M.D.(1980)

    I've gone from one movie with no gore that reminded me of Italian mood and atmosphere, to a genuine Italian chunkblower. Like Shock Waves before it, these are movies we had at Red Rabbit Video when I worked there in '95; movies I always meant to get around to and never did. The title is a cheat. Dr. Butcher, M.D. is a far more applicable title. And it's more of a cannibal flick than a zombie movie. The zombies that do appear aren't really worth a damn, but it's a worthy cannibal horror movie. Probably the one thing that can turn my stomach the most in a horror movie are graphic surgeries and autopsies, and Dr. Butcher is filled with them. Oh, and of course, cannibalism.

    Oasis of the Zombies (1981)

    Jess Franco. I should have known.

    I've been bamboozled once before by a Jess Franco "zombie" movie during a past Junesploitation. Zombie Lake. That one was less a zombie movie and more a sexploitation flick that from time to time cut away to Nazi zombies.

    There's even less zombies in Oasis of the Zombies. You'll see 'em at the thirty-six minute mark and roughly the last fifteen minutes. The rest of the film concerns treasure hunters who mill about and do very little treasure hunting.

    Jess, what am I gonna do with you?

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    1. I am unabashedly a Franco fan, but even I would recommend staying away from any of his films involving zombies or cannibals.

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    2. I'll definitely take that under advisement.

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  28. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015): It was on Netflix so I gave it a go. I wanted to try something new. I did think a few parts of it were fun so not a total disaster, unlike some parts of the film. One of the parts I liked was their suiting up with weapons. Plus, I liked Denise. One of the total disasters, for me, was the police woman's zombie boobs somehow being displayed. Firstly, that woman would wear a bra. Secondly, well, there's too much quite frankly.

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  29. Graham the Haunted MarshmallowJune 2, 2018 at 6:42 PM

    The Return of the Living Dead (1985, dir. O’Bannon)

    I saw the first fifteen minutes of this once and never finished for whatever reason. What a blast. Wasn’t expecting it to have such thoughtful characters and be so patietly paced. I was thinking it would be a Killer Klowns type parody but it was more the thing than it was a joke of the thing and that was really nice.

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    1. Dan O'Bannon had a hell of a writing stretch going...Alien, Dead & Buried, Blue Thunder (one of my favorite 80s action), this, Lifeforce, etc.

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  30. Night of the Living Dead (1968 - dir George Romero)

    Just wanted to check. Yes, still a masterpiece. The sequence when Barabara is running from the cememtary to the house is an incrediable silent movie.

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    1. I did the same, cuz, well Zombie day. As you say, still a masterpiece and I really enjoyed the visual upgrades on the new Criterion disk.

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    2. I still have my scrappy DVD. I have always thought it was a good looking movie. But I am going to have to upgrade very soon.

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    3. Hi def or No def? That might be a question? Either way amazing.

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  31. Train to Busan (2016)

    First time watch for me and I really, really liked it. Can't say anything that JM didn't say in his review, so I won't try.

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    1. Aw, you tease! :-P Go on, spell your guts gushing over "TTB." You know you want to.

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    2. Is there a scene that really stood out to you? The only downside of the movie was there were no Leprechauns.

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    3. Just a small joke...(in a Mark Jones accent).

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  32. Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993 dir. Brian Yuzna)

    As many have already said, tbis one is great. Excellent practical effects, fun expansion of the original story, and the characters have 90's attire but it feels like an 80's horror film at the same time. Super fun!

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  33. Graham the Haunted MarshmallowJune 2, 2018 at 8:11 PM

    Spring (2015, dir. Moorhead & Benson)

    There’s a “zombie doing heroin” in this movie, so I’m counting it. Maybe my favourite romance film since Let the Right One In. I am so excited for The Endless, you guys.

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  34. Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight (2017, dir. Alan Lo)

    I'm fucking up my Junesploitation pretty bad so far. This movie is fine. The actors are kind of fun and there's at least one "holy shit" moment, but it's just every zombie movie ever made except it's Chinese so it's also weird. Didn't think it was bad, but I wouldn't recommend it and it's not what I want out of today.

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    1. The night is still young, Bromley. Try again. :-)

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  35. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
    The winner and still champeen!
    “They’re coming to get you... Barbara...”

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  36. DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
    Photography is a little garish here and there, but it's pretty fun, overall.

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  37. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
    Masterpiece.

    Makes me want to watch Carnival of Souls

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  38. Night of the Creeps (1986)

    What I've come to love about the 80s, and it took me a little while, is that you can watch a lot of the movies and just tell everyone had fun making them. All the crazy practical effects and ridiculousness of it all just had to be a blast.

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  39. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

    I introduced this film to a bunch of 13 year olds who wanted something "like Deadpool."
    The first hour was a hit, then I think most of them just wanted to get up and go play, so they did. One kid and I watched through to the end.

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    1. I've often noticed that the first hour plays better. It is the more joke-packed portion.

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    2. Look at you corrupting today's youth. Nicely done. ;-)

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  40. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
    This one was a fun time. The style of it was really neat.

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  41. Zombi 4: After Death (1989, dir. Claudio Fragasso)

    Well, it's certainly more of a Junesploitation movie, but it's not a very good movie. I don't even think it's about zombies, really, since the movie has them talking at points. The structure is repetitive, the story nonsensical. I've grown a pretty high tolerance for this stuff, and even I was left cold.

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    1. Bullshit. This movie's got lots of style, if nothing else. Keep going & watch Zombi 5: Killing Birds, and you'll encounter some real coldness.

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    2. Shit, i dunno, maybe I'm oversensitive; it's just that I see this movie shit on all the time, when I think it's absolutely the best of the Zombi sequels; I don't like Zombi 3 at all, and Zombi 5 is a shitshow without question, and I just think After Death doesn't get enough credit. Oh well.

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    3. Hey, man! This is the film that paved the groundwork for Fragasso to write/direct "Troll 2" the following year. Show some respect!!! :-)

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  42. The Battery (Jeremy Gardner, 2012)

    Firs time viewing, on Shudder.

    A languid road movie where two friends and baseball teammates have to navigate a zombie apocalypse. The bold move here is that they actually spend time on the smaller moments (like finding the means to brush their teeth), and you're sort of charmed over by the two leads, which makes the horror elements all the more impactful. Not much time wasted on exposition, instead just letting the events unfold like a sort of slice of life. They certainly got the rights to some great songs and use them to maximum effect. Any issues with the look/dialogue/performances are minor enough as to not be too distracting...and hell, it's a 6k budget. Damn impressive, I'd say. Grade: B-

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    1. Graham the Haunted MarshmallowJune 3, 2018 at 12:20 AM

      I’m with ya. I finished off the day with The Battery and it was a real treat. The slice of life is my favourite kind of story. I’m not big into zombie movies, typically. Maybe I should have used this opportunity to try on something a bit more ambitious and essential that I’ve never given a chance, but I figure I have the rest of my life to check out Night of the Living Dead. I’m sure the last 20 of Day of the Dead are incredible, but the last 20 minutes of this blew me away, too

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    2. To quote that great thespian-in-training of horrordom, Patrick Bromley, "The Battery" is fine. :-)

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  43. Day of the Dead (1985)

    First time watch and the last remaining Dead film I needed to see. The last 20 min are fun, the gore is great and so is the score but the performances are often grating and the pacing draggy. Sorry to be a bummer. I know this is beloved, it's just not for me.

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    1. You're just reacting the way anyone seeing it for the first time would. It's no Dawn of the Dead, and folks hold that against it for obvious reasons. You'll like it a lot more on viewing #2, & even more on #3. But there's no getting back to the heights of DotD, unfortunately.

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    2. I've watched this 3 times and it's just ok. After seeing Land of the Dead at the Music Box of Horrors last year, I would take Land over Day.

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    3. I like Land more than Day too.

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    4. I put forward that Land of the Dead is for people who think the DotD remake is better than the original. I'm happy to admit that it's a worthy successor to the original trilogy (any movie starring Asia Argento is worth anyone's sincere attention), but NO, it is not a sufficien replacement for part 3, especially not if it leads us to the worthless Diary and Survival. Day is a compromised masterwork, but I defy somebody to tell me a genre movie starring John Leguizamo is superior to one NOT starring him.

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    5. Jesus fuckin Christ, why am I even engaging you assholes? Adam Riske?? I may as well be talking to Lights Camera Jackson

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    6. It's an opinion. Don't have a meltdown.

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    7. ESADD, fthismovie is not the place to talk to people like that.

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  44. Zombie 3 (1988), directed by Lucio Fulci and Bruno Mattei

    Had to go with this since I picked up the new Severin blu ray. It was a first time watch and I dug it quite a bit. So much green light, so much fog, so many zombies dropping from rafters. Not much plot but a lot of fun action and a surprisingly amount of quality atmosphere with an interesting setting. Good and gooey effects work. Not a masterpiece by any stretch but I enjoyed it a lot.

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  45. Night of the Living Deb (Kyle Rankin, 2015)

    First time viewing, Netflix Instant.

    Cause I love cheesy wordplay and was looking to end on something light. Another entry in the zombie rom-com sub-genre. The rom is a bit clunky, the com a bit oafish, but the leads really do give it their all. There are a few chuckles, and the zombie action is decent. Grade: C-

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  46. Day of the Dead (1985)

    Vibrant, violent, smart and sharp as a tack. Highly recommended.

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  47. Train to Busan (2016)
    In a genre that can do a lot of repetition, Train to Busan felt very original. I really enjoyed what they did!

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  48. Hell of the Living Dead (1980)
    First time viewing this Italian Dawn of the Dead rip-off that drags a little but by all means still gives you everything you need from a zombie flick, including a borrowed Goblin score, plenty of gross outs, and native stock footage. Biggest take away: dancing like Gene Kelly will most always get you killed.

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  49. Cargo (2018)

    Rob pretty much covered my thoughts on this in his excellent review last week. It's not GREAT, but it's very good - adds enough of its own flourishes to the standard zombie tropes to make it interesting - the general situation is heart-wrenching and Martin Freeman totally sells it. Definitely worth a watch!

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  50. Zombieland - first watch

    I wasn't really feeling like a zombie movie, but I've heard this one was similar to the excellent Shaun Of The Dead.

    Meh. Jesse Eisenberg isn't funny at all, and the story was as straightforward as 1) zombies chase 2) heros kill zombie 3) boy gets girl.
    I'm happy that it works for other people, as it's popularity seems to suggest.

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  51. City of the Living Dead (1980)

    Despite being Fulci’s first entry in his “Gates of Hell” trilogy, this is actually the only one I’ve never gotten around to viewing. Overall, I didn’t dig it as much as the latter films, but only because this one is still clearly honing what these movies would be as a whole. I know the rough edges are a symptom of this one being the initial effort - shots of the petrified victims often linger too long, all the deaths after the gut puke scene are the same (lots of head-plugs yanked?), and the story lacks the fever dream quality and atmosphere of the others. That said, I think this movie also has some rad shit that’s visually and aurally masterful - the blood tears, the teleporting zombies with extreme closeups and bonkers lighting, the gag-inducing burp/vomit noises during the gut puke death, the scratching/shuffling of the zombies, etc. Again, not my favorite in this series (at least for now) but I still had a great time with it.

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  52. Land of the Dead (2005)

    Slowly but surely ticking through Romero's Zombie legacy. Not quite as visceral an experience as Night, or Dawn but still very very worthwhile. A joy to see Romero playing with what at least felt like a substantial budget and always interesting to see how he plays with and tweaks some of the post apocalyptic themes and characters that interest him the most.

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