Friday, May 28, 2010

Questioning 28 Days Later: Are the Infected Zombies?

28 Days Later is one of my favorite movies.  I can watch this movie over and over again.  Most people I talk to call 28 Days Later a zombie movie.  Granted, they aren't zombie movie experts, but they don't separate zombies from the infected.  If we are being honest,  the movie flows and is structured like most post apocalyptic zombie films.  There are flesh hungry mostly dead people wandering the world spreading their living death.  These flesh hungry monsters destroy and eat anyone they can catch.  Like many of my favorite zombie films,  this movie explores elements of human nature and questions what defines us as people.  When all the rules are gone,  people become the real monsters.

All of this said,  strictly speaking the flesh hungry monsters chasing the heroes in this movie are infected with a virus called the rage.  They aren't the dead reanimated.  They are rotting, fleshy sacks.  Their hearts are still beating.  There have been several movies like this lately.  Quarantine has a similar plot line about "infected" people that are driven to act much like zombies.  So my question is,  are these films that act almost exactly like zombie movies, zombie movies?  Certainly a zombie lover can enjoy these movies, but can we talk about them as zombie movies or do we need to put them into a category of their own?  Should we call them infected movies?  Flesh crazed sick people movies?  What are these films?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Night of the Comet

The Night of the Comet is a mixture of several different genres.  It is a zombie film, an apocalypse film, and a science fiction comedy.  As a child,  this was one of my favorite movies.  I was nine when this came out and I think I watched it at least twenty times.   As an adult,  I still like this film that was voted number 10 in Bloody Disgusting's Top 10 Doomsday Horror Films in 2009.

The story of this film is more complex than most zombie films.   Everyone is excited to see an extraordinary comet.  There are comet parties and gatherings of all sorts.  The two heroins in this film are two teenage girls that could care less about the comet.  They hate their stepmother and they both flee her comet party and end up sleeping in metal structures.  They both awake to silence.  The world is empty and there is red sand in all the places people had once been.   The two girls find each other and come to the conclusion that the comet killed everyone on earth, but spared them because of the metal containers they slept in.   Of course, they aren't completely alone.  The comet also turned some of the population into rotting, putrid, hungry zombies.  As the girls run from these zombies,  they meet a helpful man who is romantically partnered with the older teen, raid the mall for new clothes, and end up with a government group that promises them sanctuary.  Of course,  there is not sanctuary.  The government group is turning into zombies themselves and they believe the girls' blood will save them from their zombification.  Many chases and close calls follow, but the girls are victorious and escape into the sunset with the last two men on earth. 

What more could anyone want?  The acting isn't that bad and the plot is interesting.  It is funny and it keeps your heart racing from time to time.  Although this isn't a traditional zombie film,  it is still a fun addition for any zombie movie addict.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Return of the Living Dead III

I love the Return of the Living Dead movies.  They are nothing like your usual zombie movies.  Typical Zombie films are filled with social commentary and moments that make you think about what defines us as human.  I like these elements in zombie films,  but I also like the complete and utter silliness that defines the Return of the Living Dead movies.  They take nothing seriously and make me laugh.

Unfortunately,  Return of the Living Dead III completely breaks from the Return of the Living dead formula.  It is not silly and there is nothing in this movie to make you laugh.  It is romantic and tragic.   It also seems to be a celebration of extreme body piercing.   It is the story of two young lovers,  Curt and Julie.  Curt indulges Julie's wild side and steals his father's key and sneaks on base with Julie to see what kind of crazy experiments are going on in the secret base.  They discover that Curt's father is working on a way to turn zombies into biological weapons.   Of course,  in a tragic chain of events,  Julie ends up dead and Curt takes her back to the base and brings her back to life.  Julie becomes a beautiful zombie.

After an altercation with a gang in a convenience store,  Julie bites a gang member.   Julie and Curt then flee into the sewers while being chased by the military and this crazy gang.  Julie finds the only way to prevent herself from eating Curt is to pierce every part of her naked body with horrible broken pieces of metal and nails.  A homeless man offers the couple a place to hide and is turned into a zombie by Julie.  The gang finds Curt and Julie and after she gnaws on them for a while they become zombies too.   The military catches up with them and after Curt sees Julie eat the nice homeless man,  he lets them take her.

Curt stumbles on Julie and the nice homeless man in the base and sees the horrible things the military is doing to them and decides it is best to free the zombies.  Craziness follows.

This isn't a bad zombie movie.  It is watchable,  but it isn't what you want from a Return of the Living Dead film.   I miss the laughs and the silliness.  

Friday, May 7, 2010

Why is there a zombie in my house!

Oh no! Run!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Zombie Pub Crawl and Poultrygeist

I have not written about zombies in some time now.  It really is terrible since I've had some wonderful zombie experiences over the last few weeks.  First,  I was able to attend the Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl!  This was probably my perfect moment.  At first,  I was disappointed.   People in zombie costumes met at the first pubs.  They were quiet and seemed somewhat lost.  However, as the beer flowed and the undead migrated from one bar to the next,  the moaning and stumbling began.   Zombies reached out for unsuspecting strangers crying out for brains.  It was wonderful!  If you are ever in the Chicago area during the zombie pub crawl,  it is definately worth the trip.

While I was in Chicago,  I was also exposed to the mesmerizingly bizarre, sex-filled, violent zombie chicken movie Poultrigeist.   I thought I knew B-grade movies fairly well, but this was my first exposure to Troma films.   They are famous for killer penis scenes, graphic sex, and mind bogglingly silly gore.  Poultrigeist has all of these things, right down to the giant, chicken headed, zombie penis that broke free from a zombie, chicken woman and went on a rampage.  The plot of this movie really doesn't matter, but for those who are curious.   A fried chicken chain (like KFC) builds a restraunt on an ancient Indian burial ground and zombie chickens are born amidst lesbain sex scenes and silly musical numbers.   When the zombie chickens take over,  the violence is amazing and the rest really doesn't matter.   I really don't know how to rate this movie except to say that if killer, zombie chicken penises and lesbian sex sound enjoyable to you,  you will like this movie.  Otherwise,  you might just want to watch it to know how strange film can be.