Zombi

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White Zombie






















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Zombie Holocaust


























The Beyond






















Shaun of the Dead

Zombi-Fest!

The zombie movie has long been my favorite sub-genre in horror. Although I’m not 100% sure why I think there may be several reasons linked to my disposition towards the zombie. One of my earliest memories is of Mario Bava’s "Black Sabbath" omnibus which contained the story of the corpse rising up to avenge her stolen ring. I also remember seeing "Night of the Living Dead" each and every Halloween starting when I was about 12 or 13. There’s something so bizarre and taboo about the rising and walking corpse (let alone the added cannibal element via Romero).

I think another element of my liking the Zombie flicks has to do with it feeling more in the realm of possibility. Of course the mythos started in the realm of magic, voodoo, and the supernatural, but during the sci-fi 50s the emphasis shifted towards radiation, chemical spills, or, of course, invading aliens. Regardless, it still all seemed more plausible than vampires, werewolves, or even mummies (which could sort of be considered zombies I guess). It’s not that I really look for realism in my horror, but it helps if it ‘feels’ more real or not totally beyond the realm of reason, and the zombie, more or less, seems to fit that bill.

So below are my zombie horror reviews, I’ve added a line or two to each review for this section to help place the movie into the zombie mythos. Check back as I will update this section along with the reviews as I see more zombie flicks and for a great read on zombie cinema I recommend Jamie Russell’s "Book of the Dead". It is a very thorough look at the zombie in movies and is written very well too.

  1. White Zombie (1932)- (The original zombie movie, it was a huge success and showed that no name non-copyrighted zombies could make for scary monsters.) Old school zombie flicks and love triangles. A man is marrying a woman who is loved by another man who knows a guy that makes zombies. So of course, turn her into a zombie and keep her as your slave. Lugosi is good as the zombie master filling his factory with free labor. The movie was ahead of its time in use of sound effects and also had some really great sets (especially the graveyard set). Yeah it's dated but I think this is a forgotten classic and deserves more respect. B+

  2. Maniac (1934)- (Kind of an odd early combination of Poe's "The Black Cat" and Lovecraft's "Reanimator") Apparently the director of this movie was a real estate agent in Hollywood. He came upon this house that was full of movie making gear so naturally he made some movies. I don't remember his name but you'll find it in the annuls of film history along side other great directors like oh I don't know, Ed Wood. The movie is called "Maniac" but it should be called "Maniacs" because everyone in this show is insane. The mad scientist finds a way to reanimate corpses so he naturally wants to kill his assistant and then revive him. His assistant isn't too much into the idea so he kills the scientist instead and bricks him up in the wall like E Poe's "The Black Cat". Then he dresses up like him and shoots a crazy guy up with drugs that make him crazier and he goes out on a rampage (complete with a pre-code brief nude scene). Somewhere in here the neighbor explains why he breeds so many cats. It has something to do with cat fur and rats. Anyway the cops are looking for the scientist's assistant but don't realize that he is just dressed up as the scientist. They run a scheme to make him think he's inherited some money and then his wife shows up. Somewhere in there one of the neighbor's cats is killed and its eyeball popped out and eaten. Yup, it's a pre-code horror flick. If you're looking for old school insanity you're not going to get any better than this. If you're not then stay away. B+.

  3. Walking Dead (1936)- (Probably not technically a zombie flick but Karloff is so odd after reanimation that it more or less fits the mold.) Boris Karloff is a simple ex-con who is framed by the mob for killing the judge who sent him away. A medical student who is working with a doctor on reviving the dead happens to be a witness who knows Boris is innocent, but he speaks up too soon and Boris is executed. The med student and his professor bring Boris back from the dead in a lab scene very reminiscent of Frankenstein. Boris isn't quite the same though and he's on a mission to find out why he was framed but every time he gets near one of the mobsters they end up dead. This is an effective movie with good sets, pretty good acting and a decent enough plot. It's another Warner horror set in modern times with science as the co-star. Nothing special but nothing bad either. B.

  4. Revolt of the Zombies (1936)- (Supposedly a sequel to "White Zombie" but really just crap.) A better title might be revolt of the former zombies because the revolutionaries are no longer zombies. I guess this is sort of a prequel to "White Zombie" except it takes place in Cambodia where apparently there are some strong Voodoo Cults or something. Some Voodoo types try and persuade the French that using zombies in the war would be a good idea. (That's WWI by the way.) They seem to agree and then they disagree, and, although confusing, we seem to be off in a nice zombie flick. Switch to Cambodia where some people are on an expedition for something Cambodian. They sit around and talk, there's a love triangle, more talking, a party with love triangle tension and talking. Some walking around, a hilariously rotten staged swamp scene, the finding of the Voodoo formula, talking, zombie making, talking, love triangle mess, zombie making, talking and somewhere in there a revolt of former zombies. Except for the terribly great swamp scene the final grade is an F.

  5. King of the Zombies (1941)- (Because of its West Indian, and ultimately African heritage, the zombie lent itself to the racial stereotype movies of the early days. Was it a positive or a negative that that Nazi spy tried and failed to put that uppity Jeff in his place?) Sure this one is chock full of racial stereotypes typical of the early 40s, but the black man servant Morland made the best of his character Jeff and basically out performed everyone else in this little cheapy. A plane gets lost in a storm near an area where a naval admiral recently disappeared. Luckily there’s an island with enough area to land on and someone on the island is sending radio transmissions. The plane crashes and the 3 occupants, Bill, Mac, and Bill’s valet Jeff find a creepy old house occupied by an Austrian doctor, who claims there is no radio on the island. The plot thickens as we meet the Dr’s wife who is almost catatonic and his niece who seems very nervous for some reason. Jeff soon discovers there are zombies on the island and quite possibly some ghosts too and we’re lured into a spy comedy horror drama that only the WWII era could give us. Yeah, it’s mostly crap and if you’ve seen one of these you’ve seen them all but still, it moves along at a good pace and has a couple of effective set pieces. Yeah the racial stereotypes are played up but if you think about, Jeff the valet is really the only one that is right about everything all along. Not quite craptacular stuff so I’ll give it a D+.

  6. Bowery At Midnight (1942)- (Weird Poverty Row entry in the much maligned gangster-professor-killer-soup-kitchen-director-zombie movie sub genre. The zombies only make a couple of brief entries as the perpetrators of ultimate justice, sort of.) Another Lugosi Poverty Row flick. Here Lugosi basically plays three characters, by day he’s the brilliant psychology professor, by night he’s the kindly soup kitchen director, by later at night he’s the criminal mastermind behind several jewel heists, using the patrons of his soup kitchen as help. Once they help him out they wind up dead, but apparently only for a short time as the junky janitor of the soup kitchen, whose nickname is "Doc" and who maybe was a doctor before becoming a junky, has found a way to reanimate the dead crooks, and you better bet there’ll be Hell to pay! The cops are already closing in when one of Lugosi’s students recognizes him while visiting the soup kitchen for a class project; the grand plan all comes crashing down, complete with angry zombies. In the end the soup kitchen assistant sets up some wedding plans with a zombie. Weird. I’ve seen better but I’ve seen much much worse. If you like the Poverty Row quickies you’ll like this. Fun dialogue and more shoot first ask questions later cops make this one complete. A strong C+ on the craptacular scale.

  7. I Walked With a Zombie (1943)- (Classic moody voodoo zombie masterpiece.) Very effective and atmospheric tale about a woman who is acting very strangely (actually the whole family is a little off its rocker) and may in fact have been zombified. A nurse comes to the island to help her and a love triangle starts, or is it a love square. This movie purposely avoids judging the zombie angle and the whole thing works really well in a subtle suspense horror way. It starts on a ship and a woman observing how beautiful dolphins are jumping in the ocean. A man remarks that they fear for their lives and that's why they are jumping. It's all down hill for the characters from there. Very dark and there are some creepy Voodoo ceremony scenes. Val Lewton produced and his RKO Productions would save the horror genre from inept no-budget quickies and the "Curse of the Sequels" suffered by the small indie studios and Universal respectively. A+.

  8. Revenge of the Zombies (1943)- (I liked this one better when it was called "King of the Zombies", John Caradine was OK though.) More or less a sequel to "King of the Zombies" and more or less the exact same movie. This time. Rather than zombifying folks to get information from them, the Nazis plan on raising a zombie army to fight for them. I think I can say, without giving too much away, it totally backfires on the mad scientist, competently played by John Caradine. The idea of a zombie army is good, and was done in 1936’s "Revolt of the Zombies", and done quite a few times after this one too. Racist comedy relief keeps us all in stitches again too. Probably better made than "King..." but that doesn’t mean it’s better to watch. Not fun enough for the craptacular scale. D

  9. Zombies On Broadway (1945)- (When they're bad, they're bad.) A gangster is going to open a new nightclub and he wants it to have a zombie theme. He’s promised the public real zombies and a reporter is going to hold him to it. Can his idiot publicity agents get him some real zombies from Bela Lugosi’s dastardly island? Terrible 1940s zomedy not even worth the time on the craptacular scale. Did people actually ever like this crap? F.

  10. Valley of the Zombies (1946)- Another movie title guilty of hyperbole. This is a short about a guy who got into voodoo hoping to stay young forever. He dies, but then comes back to life and needs blood to survive. Over-the-top stage acting and horribly dated ‘jokes’ follow as a young doctor is accused of murder and must clear his good name. As I’ve said before, I am often forgiving of older flicks, but not this time. F.

  11. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)- (More automatons than zombies but the supernatural element was being erased, opening the door for the modern zombie vision of Romero.) Another allegory for the Red Scare of the 50's. Alien spores turn people into pods that spit out identical albeit alien twins of themselves. Damned Commies. Paranoia and fleeing ensues. Don't trust anyone! I love the paranoid feel movies like this invoke, when it works that is, and here is does work A-.

  12. Indestructible Man, The (1956)- (Not strictly speaking a zombie movie, but Chaney is a dead man walking.) A worn out looking Lon Chaney Jr. stumbles through this craptacular mess in a nether world between Frankenstein’s Monster and Mad Max. Lon is a bad man, or was a bad man. He stole $600,000 and hid it away, then was framed by his lawyer, but even on death row wouldn’t tell where the money was hidden, but he does promise to get revenge, and, in a quirky twist of fate, is accidentally brought back to life by a couple of scientists experimenting on his cadaver. He can’t talk, but we know he’s incredibly pissed off by the close ups of his twitching eyes... Or maybe that’s just those pesky delirium tremens. Anyway, we’re subjected to the noir voice over of the detective on the case as Lon makes his way from San Francisco to Los Angeles to exact said revenge and get his money back too. His plan isn’t all that great by the way, if he even really has one. This is pretty typical revenge flick material not unlike Chaney Sr’s. "The Unknown" and "West of Zanzibar" and very similar to Karloff's "Walking Dead" or later flicks like the aforementioned "Mad Max", except those movies were good. This is a train wreck definitely worth a viewing for the lovers of the craptacular. I’m giving this one an A on the craptacular scale, I might have given it a B+ but that back and forth between the detective and the stripper is just too good. Stripper: "Do you have a first name?" Cop: "Dick." Stripper: "Oh, then I guess it’s a date." And at the end; Cop to stripper: "I just got you fired." Check it out to see why!

  13. Zombies of Mora Tau (1957)- (Far from a masterpiece, still, this is a must see for those really into zombie flicks and their lineage.) You know you’re in for a treat after just the first couple of minutes of this flick. A young woman is returning to Africa to stay with her grandma and on the ride to the house she sees a man standing in the road. Then ‘bump-bump’, the car drives right over him. The lady freaks out and the driver casually says, "He was one of ‘them’". This is a low budget low grade Sam Katzman production about zombie sailors guarding the diamonds they lost their lives for after their ship was sunk off the coast of Africa. Expeditions keep coming to dive on the ship and retrieve the diamonds but they always end in tragedy. Will the expedition that just arrived end that way too? Hilariously bad underwater (but not really underwater) scenes ensue as zombies attacking divers, zombies kidnap maidens, zombies stumble around, etc. Typical B grade 50s stuff but this one does have some character to it. B+ on the craptacular scale.

  14. Voodoo Island (1957)- (Pacific Island voodoo zombies... sort of) I’m a Boris Karloff fan and this one made me sad. Boris was getting pretty old and here he was stumbling around a pretend jungle uttering some of the worst dialogue ever written, not that other movies he made after this were quality but at least he was in a castle or lab or somewhere decent. I really like most of Boris’ Z grade stuff but this one was just sad. The plot? A rich man realizes he owns a small Pacific island that has a reputation as a place of voodoo (in the Pacific? Seriously?) Anyway, he sends a group of engineers there to scout locations for a resort and only one returns and he is all but comatose. Another expedition goes to find out what happened to the first. It includes a famous ‘debunker’ (Karloff), his assistant, and a couple of others, including a designer who will look for color schemes for the resort?!? Of course she’s just there to create sexual tension, as she’s obviously a lesbian who has it for Karloff’s assistant, but it is about as racy as you’d expect from 1957. Anyway, the island is full of carnivorous plants, voodoo dolls, death wish fetishes, bad radio communication, and we crawl along to a pretty terrible ending. I’ll give this a B on the craptacular scale as it is almost a must see for lovers of 50s man-eating-plant type schlock.

  15. Invisible Invaders (1959)- (Another sci-fi step toward the Romero vision.) It was the 50s and if it wasn't the commies trying to take over America then it was the aliens. Luckily we can learn, as a species, to work together, and, even more luckily, all invading aliens, no matter how advanced or invisible, always have one glaring weakness that will ruin their plans of invasion. These aliens are indeed invisible, but they take over the dead bodies of humans and stumble around in Romero zombie fashion until scientists find that fatal Achilles Heal. This is great 50s schlock complete with terrible effects and hilarious 50s sci-fi props so if you like that sort of thing you'll like this but if not stay away. One think you will notice is this film almost had to have been an influence on Romero and "Night of the Living Dead" as some scenes are very similar. C

  16. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)- (Aliens reanimate thousands of corpses and use them as an invading army... well, OK, they reanimate 2 or 3 corpses and then get beat up.) Of course the joke is "What happened to plans 1 through 8?" Who cares? Voted as the worst movie of all time (although I think "Showgirls" might have replaced it) it has that sweet "I could seriously do better than this with some crappy gear in my basement" feel to it. Simply the worst sets ever in a movie and the some of the worst acting ever. Which is why it's become such a cult favorite and a favorite of mine! Aliens have apparently been trying to invade Earth and have failed 8 times. Plan 9 has them raising the dead to use as an army of zombies. I'll give it an A for awful.

  17. Teenage Zombies (1959)- (The name says it all.) Jerry Warren directed this little masterpiece of horror and suspense. Jerry Warren was a director just as great, if not even better than Ed Wood, and you know how much I love Ed Wood! These teenagers live near an 800 square mile lake. One of them has a nice boat with a V-8 on it and they like skiing. There always seems to be a problem deciding if they should go skiing or horseback riding (I never got to do either when I was a teenager, the 50s must have ruled!). So one group of kids goes skiing, the other goes horseback riding. Those that go skiing wind up on a huge island in the 800 square mile lake that apparently no one knows about. They stumble across a gal in a really nice evening gown who offers them soft drinks and tells them no one ever comes to her island and when the kids go to leave their boat is missing. They are duly captured by a zombie and put in a cage and say things like "What kind of creep joint is this?" Meanwhile the kids that went horseback riding realize something is amiss when the kids that said they were going skiing but went to the island instead don’t show up later in the day. It must be about 7PM by the time the sheriff heads out in his tiny boat to look around the 800 square mile lake. He finds nothing and gives up after searching for what must have been like 10 minutes because then the kids go out and find that island. They said it was 30 or 40 miles away and I’m not sure how they got there and back in their row boat with the little trolling motor on it in the same day but apparently they did and they go and tell the sheriff about it. Then I guess it’s daytime again as the boys break the lock on their cage door and then it’s night again and they leave the girls alone while they build a raft out of an old door and door jam in what looks like broad daylight but apparently was night. Not to give away the plot but it’s a damn good thing they didn’t have to try and float 4 people on that thing as they would’ve drowned for sure (apparently it is a 10 hour swim to the main land). Anyway, they sneak back into the jail to wait until the next night to finish their incredibly incompetently built and dangerous raft but they have no idea the horrors the day holds. One thing leads to another and we find out the lady is a spy from "The East" and is planning on turning Americans into zombie-like slaves. She needs to hurry though as headquarters needs results or they’re just going to nuke us. See, they were dealing with a double agent and now the military is going to search for them state by state starting in California and working their way east, provided they can get enough helicopters and planes from the army, navy, and air force. Soon we get an ape turned into a zombie, an all out fight between spies, a zombie, and teenagers, and later on the ape, and an exciting escape in the sheriff’s tiny patrol boat. In the end the kids can’t decide if they should go horseback riding or skiing and they hope to get a medal. Shew, sorry, I just had to get all that out. You have to see it to truly appreciate it though. For MST3K treatment only. If this doesn’t get an A+ on the craptacular scale, nothing does.

  18. Dr. Blood’s Coffin (1961)- (All too brief zombie shows up at the end)This movie tries pretty hard and comes close. Yeah, it is low budget schlock to be sure but it works as it is well constructed and the acting (all things considered) isn’t bad. The story revolves around a brilliant young doctor returning to his small town roots. Is he there to take over his ageing father’s practice, or is he there to experiment on raising the dead? Oddly ‘accidental’ deaths seem to follow him around and his ambition, as is so often the case, gets him in a tad too deep. This thing starts out like it is going to be a mystery, but drops all mystery pretense pretty quickly, which seemed a weird shift, still, if you find this in the 99 cent bin at Wal-Mart and like low budget insanity this ain’t too bad, as this stuff often goes, I have seen WAY worse. Not bad enough for a craptacular grade. I’ll give it a C, nice effort, oddly put together.

  19. Tales of Terror (1962)- (Vincent Price gets a short turn as an angry zombie.) Pretty strong entry into the Roger Corman Poe Cycle. This is a 3 tale omnibus, story one being that of ‘Morella’. She died young and blamed her infant daughter on her sickness, her husband sent the daughter away when she was young and keeps his wife’s body in the bedroom. The daughter, now 26, returns and all is far from well. It is well acted with great sets and use of color but seems to end a tad abruptly; I’ll give it a B-.Story two combines ‘The Black Cat’ with ‘The Cask of Amontillado’. A drunken wine expert embarrasses a famous wine expert in a contest. The famous wine expert then begins an affair with the drunkard’s wife and things of course do not end well for anyone involved. Peter Lorre is great as the drunkard and Price as the over the top wine taster, A+. Finally ‘The Case of M. Valdemar’ gives us a dying Price character who agrees to be hypnotized at the moment of death, against the advice of his doctor and wife, so that moment can be studied. He becomes trapped between life and death and winds up being very unhappy. I’ll give this an A+ too. These are subtle flicks that fall in line with the rest of Corman’s Poe output of this era, if you dislike them then you will dislike this, but if you dig the others then this is a must see. The 3 grades average to an A-.

  20. Black Sabbath (1963)- (Story 3 is more avenging ghost than zombie but sure freaked me out as a kid.) A tight little trilogy directed by Mario Bava and hosted by Boris Karloff. Story one deals with a woman who turned her boyfriend in for a crime and he has now escaped and is terrorizing her. A great little suspense piece. Story two deals with the warduluck, which is basically a vampire that preys on its own family. This is a good story but too slow moving. Karloff stars and is effective but it still drags. The third story is one of those 'put the hook in me' works. I was pretty young, 9 or 10, when I first saw this movie. The odd thing is I don't even remember the first two stories but I sure remember this one. It's the story of a woman who goes to sit with the corpse of an old woman who recently passed. She was into séances and such and tended to scare folks when she was alive. She's pretty hideous in death too. The woman decides to steal a ring from the corpse's body, bad idea. The corpse in this movie scared the crap out of me when I was young and, although now it's not really scary, it is still pretty effective. Story one gets an A, story two gets a C, and story 3 gets an A+ which averages to a B+.

  21. Last Man on Earth, The (1964)- (A giant leap towards the Romero zombie.) Another take on a Matheson novel. This is based on his "I Am Legend". A great book about a virus that turns people into vampires. Matheson hated this movie, as I believe did its star Vincent Price but I like it quite a bit. You can really see where modern zombie movies comes from, as this movie is a bridge between the old school Voodoo zombies and the cannibal zombies of Romero. Price is locked away in his house all night waiting out the vampire/zombies as they try to get in and kill him. During the day he reinforces his house and kills the sleeping vampires/zombies. There are some suspenseful moments as he is late getting home etc. and the ending, though weird, is effective. The pseudo-scientific explanations work too rather then getting in the way of the story and the flash backs to the plague sweeping Europe and coming to America work well for me. I'm not sure why this movie is looked down on most of the time; yeah it's cheap, slow at times, and the editing is pisspoor but over all it still works on a B movie level. B.

  22. Plague of Zombies (1966)- (Hammer should've made more zombie flicks.) A Hammer Classic. In the scheme of zombie flicks, zombies are still Voodoo slaves but have moved along into scary looking, evil doing folks, not just sleep walking slaves, which is a big leap forward. A man is slowly turning townsfolk into zombies to work his mines. A brilliant young doctor is out of ideas as to why people are dying so he calls in his professor to help out. Some shocking and influential scenes come from this movie including the dropped and broken coffin, mass rising of the dead in the graveyard, and the shovel decapitation. There are some nice camp moments too like the police catching the good doctors digging up graves. Well-directed, written, and acted story when Hammer was still peaking. A.

  23. Night of the Living Dead (1968)- (By combining elements from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "Invisible Invaders", "Carnival of Souls", and "The Last Man on Earth" with cannibalism Romero single handedly recreated the entire zombie mythos, removing it from the voodoo witchdoctors and placing it firmly in post nuclear America. With his cynical vision of modern society, Romero has been copied, but never duplicated!) Another of my all time favorite flicks. The recently deceased are rising up and eating the living. Yeah they're slow and stove up with rigormortus but there's so damned many of them. Definitely influenced by "The Last Man on Earth" which was an adaptation of Richard Matheson's novel "I Am Legend", and by "Carnival of Souls", this is still an original take on what amounts to the vampire legend. Ignore the flimsy explanation as to why this is happening. Great beginning, incredibly tense, well-directed middle, and a great non- Hollywood ending. Some great performances too. A+.

  24. Astro-Zombies, The (1969)- Oh my! An absolute must see for fans of the craptacular! Here we have dancing go-go girls, bubbling chemicals, save the day G-Men, scientists and their hotty assistants, mad scientist and his hunch-back assistant, solar powered remote controlled zombies (you read that right!), spies from ‘The East’, day for night shots, stock footage, etc. YES! A scientist figures out a way to control people with brain waves, the government thinks it would be a good idea to use for the space program, the scientist however experiments on military men and is fired, so he opens up his own lab where he gives long winded explanations as to exactly what he is doing to his hunchback assistant (thereby clueing us in on the plot, or what there is of one). Spies, intrigue, and painted dancing girls ensue! Toss in lots of stock footage of cops parking cars and you have suspense! Well not really but if you like ‘em bad you have GOT to catch this one. A+ on the craptacular scale, just for the rock’em, sock’em like robot intro!

  25. Crucible of Horror (1970)- (Not sure if this is a zombie flick or not, too weird to tell really!) Atmosphere! This has it. An almost repressive feeling of being trapped in a nightmare permeates this whole movie, and when the instigator of the trapped feeling is removed, it gets even worse. Walter is a perfect English gentleman. Outside his house; inside his house he is a sadistic obsessive compulsive who has an unhealthy like for whipping his 16 year old and feeling her bicycle seat. The darker aspects of his doing are only hinted at, but we know no matter how much he washes his hands he can’t wash those sins away. After one particularly bad beating mother and daughter decide to do away with Walter. They plan it out to look like a suicide, things seem to go as planned, but with enough guilt to go around, everyone in this flick, with maybe the exception of odd brother Rupert, who seems to enjoy the sadism from a distance, are trapped in their own shared Hell. This one verges on too artsy at times, with odd dream sequences, lightning fast flashbacks, and an ending that leaves way more questions than answers, but this time out it worked for me. Some will call this slow, yes it is slow, but in a Hitchcock suspense building way, which I like, not in a ‘let’s get on with it’ way, in my opinion. I’m going to give this a very strong A, it definitely ain’t for everybody but if you like the weird atmospheric British horror flicks of the late 60s early 70s then you will like this one.

  26. Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971)- (Spanish director de Ossorio was the first in a long line of directors to follow in Romero's footsteps, although he didn't consider he's reanimated knights 'zombies' and he added the natural European sex edge to the equation.) Huge disappointment on my part here as my DVD of this won't play non stop all the way through and I've been wanting to see this one for quite some time. Still I got to see most of the film (although it took awhile as it kept stopping and restarting and I had to keep going to the chapter selection and finding what I'd seen and hadn't seen). The story is about Knights Templar who return from Crusades in Egypt with pagan knowledge and practices. They torture and abuse the locals and are eventually killed by them. Now the locals avoid the castle where they lived because the Knights will return for dinner whenever someone is there. The Knights are effective (although maybe a little too much of them riding horses in slow motion is shown). I liked this film quite a bit although it is a little 'clunky' and has some plot holes. It was pretty far ahead of its time and became a huge influence on later Euro-trash. B+

  27. Snake People, The (1971)- (The zombies are few and far between but there are a couple of sequences, including a man who is obsessed with his zombie and wants to ‘get a little’.) Another sad entry into the final days of Boris Karloff. This low budget Spanish/Mexican zombie-voodoo-sci-fi-mad-scientist train wreck I believe was his 2nd to last film. Here Boris plays a super rich guy who lives on an island melting pot of folks, which makes sense since the island may be in the Caribbean, but when they show it on the map it is the South Pacific, but it looks more like a desert than the tropics either way. Why can’t low budget film makers set their movies in places that at least look like where there are filming? Anyway, Karloff’s niece comes to visit at the same time a police captain shows up. They are both there to clean up the island, her by trying to spread the temperance movement, him by stopping the laziness and corruption in the police force. Mexicans with French accents and Americans who are supposed to be French but have no accent abound as we find out some islanders have telekinesis, which is what Karloff is there studying. They are also into cannibalism, snakes, and bringing zombies back from the dead to work in the fields, scratch their backs, and fan them. The cult is getting ready for a major ceremony in which it must sacrifice a human in order to bring back their great deity Baron somethingorother. Will the police be able to stop them? Who is the cult’s true leader (you won’t see that one coming for miles)? This movie barely made any sense and rather than try and be scary I think the director just tried to be psychedelic and ‘sexy’ by tossing in tons of belly dancing sequencing, lots of women holding (and sucking) phallic snakes, and an odd dream sequence where the goody temperance niece unveils her penis envy and deep seated love for herself! Oh and there’s also a midget called Midget. This was pretty craptacular but by the same token it was just too tedious to really be fun, for Karloff completists only. I will give it a D+ because the plot, where it was visible at all, was pretty good and would be done with more success in "The Serpent and the Rainbow".

  28. Omega Man, The (1971)- (Like in Matheson's book, these folks blur the line between zombies and vampires but are really neither) This is a remake of "The Last Man On Earth" which it seems many people hate but I actually liked well enough. Both are of course based on Richard Matheson’s book "I Am Legend" (as, at least to some degree, is "Night of the Living Dead", "28 Days Later" and of course film of the same name) but this one adds a bigger budget and a tougher main character in Charlton Heston. Heston is apparently the last (Omega) man on earth and tools around LA in some nice rides, scavenging for whatever he needs. He’s obviously lonely as Hell and we soon learn is being hunted by some sort of zombie/vampire types, but he hunts back! It’s not long before we are then assaulted by some pretty heavy handed 70s clichés, music, slang, race relations, and clothes as Heston takes on the zombie/vampires and learns he is in fact not the last man (or person) on earth. The end is pretty predictable and that last shot of Heston is well, an interesting choice. They tried so hard to make the movie relevant to the times that they made it totally irrelevant to any time so it really doesn’t hold up too well at all but early on it almost manages to capture that elusive ‘feeling’ of desolation these movies need to succeed for me personally. Yeah, it is very dated and definitely looses steam and believability with ‘honky paradise’ type of lines and the heinous soundtrack but still, it is a classic. B.

  29. Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972)- (While Ossorio's Blind Dead may have been an original take on the zombie mythos, Bob Clark's entry was a direct descendant of Romero, even with biting (sorry) social comment on the failure of the 60s idealist left.) With a title like that there really is no going wrong. Bob Clark wrote and directed this and went on to make "Black Christmas", "Porkey's", and "A Christmas Story" among others. This is a low budget offering to be sure but the cast and crew made due with what little they had and like Peter Jackson's early low budget work you realize that there's quality under the hood. The story is about a smart-assed theatre troop director who takes his smart-assed actors out to a burial island to dig up a grave and try out some black magic to see if it really works. The theatre director is a pompous ass and continually holds his position as the actors' boss and how hard it is to find work as an actor over the heads of his cast. At first they are willing to go along with his insanity and view it as a great gag but then things go too far, sadly, by then it's too late as an entire cemetery's worth of zombies are on the hunt. This is a black comedy in the vain of "The Evil Dead" which I think borrowed quite a bit from this movie. It's no masterpiece but if you like the stumbling Romero zombie vision (and this was riding on "Night's..." coat tales) then you'll probably like this. There's something about this movie that I liked even though I honestly can't quite put my finger on what it is. A-.

  30. Psychomania (1972)- (Zombie Bikers!)Really, the name says it all. This is more a product of its times than maybe any movie I have ever seen. Very groovy soundtrack (‘acid rock’ and even a nice folk ballad thrown in for good measure), educated bikers wearing turtleneck sweaters, amazingly fantastic wallpaper, the hippest furniture made, tons of motorcycles, and of course, the occult! What more could you ask for? How about an awesome plot that has the leader of a biker gang realize (through his devil worshipping mother) that if you want to live bad enough, you can come back to life after killing yourself. You have to want to live so bad that you want to die, kind of a Catch-22. Anyway, he pulls it off, and then convinces his gang to do the same so what we wind up with is a zombie biker gang. Brilliant!!! What you have to realize going in however is that this is done tongue in cheek as they say. Although the actors are taking their roles very seriously, everything else is played up for effect. Like a lot of the British horror movies with insane dialogue and ridiculous circumstances and Peter Cushing et al playing their roles like it is Shakespeare. This flick takes that approach to its logical conclusion, completely ridiculous, played straight as an arrow, no irony or winking at the camera so to speak. Also no sex and although there is a lot of violence, it is really bloodless and more slapstick than anything. I know some will hate this movie but I loved it for what it was. A+

  31. Fury of the Wolfman (1972)- (The wolfman fights a zombie werewolf very brielfy at the end!)A great early 70s train wreck brought to us by the great Paul Naschy! Really nothing about this one makes any sense at all. A man is bit by a werewolf and carries the curse; a woman scientist wants to control him. She has a bunch of freaks chained up in the basement of her castle. She captures the werewolf guy and chains him up, he escapes, goes on a rampage, apparently changes clothes, rampages some more, changes back, fights a zombie werewolf hybrid in his wife who he killed sometime earlier, and then a twist ending I am still trying to figure out rolls around. If you like horrifyingly bad dialogue, dubbing, acting, and editing that takes something already bad and lifts it to the realm of surreal then this is a must see! A+ on the craptacular scale.

  32. Messiah of Evil (1972): (Enter into the "could've been good" file. Kind of a mix of the Blind Dead, Romero, and withcraft zombies.) I read that this was a good zombie movie in the vein of "Night of the Living Dead" but more subtle. That sounds pretty awesome. Not sure who wrote that review but I have to disagree with them. The plot? A lady is worried because she hasn't heard from her dad in quite awhile so she heads to the town were he lives to investigate. She runs into weirdness from the get go and things just get weirder. Lots of talk and attempts at good writing follow. Boring stuff! Yeah, there are a couple cool shots, like near the beginning when the lady is gassing up just outside of town. The other guy gassing up obviously has something to hide! There's a cool scene in the grocery store where a pack of zombies is horded around the meat counter munching and near the end the zombies start dropping through a skylight. But those scenes are few and far between. It's all rounded out with a good dose of bad acting. D.

  33. Tales From The Crypt (1972)- (Omnibus with Peter Cushing making a brief appearance as a zombie.)This Amicus omnibus flick is based on the 50s comics of the same name (as is the 80s version). Story one has Joan Collins killing her husband on Christmas Eve to collect the insurance, she’s so wrapped up in the murder that she gets a little neglectful of the news report of an escaped homicidal maniac dressed as Santa Clause in her neighborhood. I give this one an A, almost an Italian Giallo. Story two has a man leaving his family to live with his mistress, during the move he dreams that they wreck the car and he becomes a corpse, or is it a dream? This one was OK, a little too circular for me, B. Story three has Peter Cushing playing a kindly old garbage collector. His neighbor would like to run him out of the neighborhood as his house is a mess, but he owns it outright so instead he plays a series of tricks on the old man, which of course backfire in a horrible way. This one is great and gets an A+. Story four has a rich businessman forced to declare bankruptcy, but just before he does he and his wife discover an old statue that has the power to make three wishes come true, of course, in Monkey’s Paw fashion, these wishes don’t turn out like they hope. I knew what was going to happen but the ‘how’ it happens is great. A. And finally story five has a miserly old military retiree taking over a home for the blind. While he lives in warmth and luxury, the home’s residence freeze and eat slop. Needless to say, he gets his in a most creative way! Good stuff but not the strongest of the stories. A-. All of the stories are very well acted, paced, and directed. Highly recommended if you like the British omnibuses of the 70s. A.

  34. Crazies, The (1973)- (Romero returns with a similar vision of "Night..." but these aren't really zombies, an obvious influence on "28 Days Later".) Romero's 3rd film it delves a little deeper into themes he had touched on in "Night of the Living Dead". Where that is about a society of consumers and isolation, this is about mistrust in the military and the government. A government plane carrying a man made biological weapon (a virus) crashes near a small Pennsylvania town and leaks the weapon into the water supply. The town is quarantined by the military and misinformation, lack of preparation, and general disarray cause a black comedy of errors that all but ensures the spread of the virus, which effects different people in different ways, causing some to act 'high' and some to become very violent. It is a typical Romero film with a cast of no names, some of which are really good and some, well, not so good, fairly shoddy editing and camera work, which isn't a bad thing in Romero's case and makes for a better film (I think he has been a huge influence on the look and feel of horror movies today with the over exposed and shaky shots, which now often seem forced but in Romero's hands give the film an edgy documentary feel). This is a good movie with an obvious and still very relevant message but it doesn't hold up, in my opinion, to Romero's Dead films. For me it just doesn't quite capture that elusive 'atmosphere' many of his other films capture. B-

  35. Return of the Blind Dead (1973)- (Probably the strongest of the Blind Dead flicks.) I read a review which stated that this was the strongest of the 4 Blind Dead movies and I agree. It isn’t really a sequel as the Templar Mythology is different (in the first one they were hung and had their eyes eaten by crows, here they have their eyes burned out before being burned at the stake). A small town in Portugal is having their big yearly celebration, it is the 500th year since they defeated the Templars and there will be drinks, fireworks, and Templars burned in effigy. But this time out the Templars decide to also attend the festivities. Using the same resurrection scenes from the first film the Templars rise, mount their horses and ride to town, offing folks along the way. Sub plots involving the mayor and his love of his assistant, his other assistant who also loves the assistant, and a fireworks expert hired to put on the fireworks show who used to love the mayor’s assistant and may still love her take up the time when the Templars aren’t on screen. Obvious ‘hat tips’ to "Night of the Living Dead" crop up, especially in the siege of the church and the attempt to get in the car by scaring the Templars away with a torch. For zombie movie fans the scene when the Templars first arrive in town is one of the greatest in zombie cinema. Bad dubbing, silly dialogue, and some bad acting don’t do much to lesson my grade this time out, I did like this one quite a bit and will give it an A-.

  36. Vengeance of the Zombies (1973)- (70s crap.) Groovy baby! Someone is raising hotties from the grave to exact revenge. A gal has to visit her guru after said zombies attack her. Her guru is an Indian mystic who talks a lot about finding himself. Could he have something to do with all this? Is there actually somehow a connection between Indian mysticism and voodoo? Incredibly inappropriate acid jazz/rock soundtrack envelops everything, as should be expected. This is a classic piece of history right here and worth the price of admission for the hilarious music! From a true horror movie perspective there’s little to offer, although there does end up being a little good atmosphere and some of the effects, like the train station attendant’s suicide, are really well done. Still, this is for completists or those looking for Mystery Science Theatre laughs only. B- on the craptacular scale.

  37. Horror Express (1973)- (The zombies kind of show up at the end so this wouldn't really qualify as a zombie movie strictly speaking.) Lee and Cushing together again, this time in a Spanish production set on a Russian train leaving China for France in 1909. The copy I have isn't so good. The picture is dark, the color and sound bad. Still I enjoyed the movie. Lee is a smug archeologist who believes he has found the 'missing link' between man and ape. Cushing is a somewhat jealous compatriot who wants to know what Lee is up to. Lee loads his find into a big crate and gets on the train with Cushing and several other colorful characters. Chaos ensues as the missing link turns out to be alive and thirsting for ... knowledge? Find the movie and watch it to find out what I mean. Over-all effective movie, especially the blind zombies at the end, stick some zombies in a movie and it'll almost always bump its grade a letter. Basically it's 'The Thing' on a train. Or maybe better "The Creeping Flesh" which came out the same year and also stared Cushing and Lee. Solid B.

  38. Ghost Galleon, The (1974)- (The worst of the Blind Dead flicks.) If part two of the Blind Dead movies is the best, then this, part three, is the worst. A couple of fashion models take a boat out into the open ocean (a little speed boat?!?) in hopes of being rescued by a passing merchant ship and then creating lots of free publicity for the marketing firm they work for. A terrible plan that goes terribly awry when the girls wind up boarding the old apparently abandoned ship they float up to. A rescue party goes looking, but must enter another dimension to find the galleon and the girls. They do so and find the Templars and their treasure. Will dumping the Templars coffin/crates into the ocean save them? A couple of "I don’t know about you but I’m getting out of heres" later and we find out the answer to that one. This movie is ripe for the ol’ MST3K treatment. Horrible acting, hilarious dialogue, long boring sequences, no where near enough Templar zombies, and probably the worst 'ship on the ocean' effects ever filmed outside someone's bathtub. B on the craptacular scale.

  39. House on Skull Mountain (1974)- (1970s Blaxploitation Voodoo Zombie) One word. Hilarious! This flick is almost custom made for some MST3K treatment; 70s Blaxploitation horror at its best. An old voodoo priestess dies but just before she does she sends for her distant great-grandchildren who didn’t know her. They get together for the reading of the will, and begin dying off. No real need for red herrings in this as everything is painfully obvious as the plot unfolds. Actually ‘unfolds’ might be too strong of a word, maybe ‘flops out’ might explain it better. Luckily Victor French who is unexplainably related to the black folks is there to run around and save the day, well, sort of save the day. He stands around watching people die until the last minute and then kind of figures everything out. Seriously, this is a must see if you like the craptacular, mainly because everyone is trying so hard to take it serious, and failing so bad. A+ on the craptacular scale.

  40. Deathdream (1974)- (When Andy comes back from The War he is only a shell of his former self, more like a zombie than anything!)Retelling of ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ story. A kid is killed in ‘The War’ (we’re never really told what war other than it is not WWII or Korea so it is a pretty safe assumption that it is Vietnam). His family is devastated when the telegram arrives, especially the mother who just refuses to accept the truth. Then suddenly late one night the kid (Andy) shows up at home (other than him hitchhiking we are never really cued in as to how he got home) and everyone is relieved and amazed at the mistake the army made. But all is not well as Andy spends his days sitting and staring into space, or rocking in his rocking chair staring at the walls. He doesn’t want a party, he doesn’t want people to know he is home, and is showing violent reactions when he doesn’t get his way. And then there is the truck driver who was killed by a hitchhiker in an army uniform the night Andy arrived. Everyone starts to notice these things except his mother who lives in denial, content that her son is home from the war. This is a product of the low budget 70s and it shows. Bad lighting, poor cinematography, etc. but it still holds up well, with some good acting and engrossing story. At the simple horror movie level it also works, a tad slow at times but there are some classic sequences (the drive-in scene among the best), but on a deeper level as a metaphor for the effect loosing a son (or daughter) in a war has on a family is pretty heavy, and maybe even heavier is the idea that some of those who do return home alive are not the same, with post traumatic stress disorder, etc. clouding them the rest of their lives. So yeah, it is OK as a horror movie, but as a study of the effects of war disguised as a horror movie it works really well, despite the few weaknesses mentioned above. A-.

  41. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1975)- (A classic early Italian movie obviously influenced by Romero but it works on a lot of levels.) Surprising little zombie flick about farmers in the English countryside using a machine to kill off the insect pests, one unfortunate side effect of this machine is it tends to reanimate the nervous systems of the recently deceased, and, as would be expected, they aren’t too happy about it. A couple, thrown together by accident, literally, wind up at the center of a murder investigation as bodies start piling up about the time they arrive, which also happens to be about the time the insect machine goes into use. There are some effective moments and nice atmosphere in this Italian, set in England, zombie movie. It feels like it could be a Hammer film at times, which is sad because by 1975 Hammer was all but finished. If you’re looking for Italian Zombie movies a la Fulci then this isn’t for you, but if you’d like a subtler well-paced zombie story then check this one out. A

  42. Night of the Seagulls (1977)- (The last of the Blind Dead films) I would say this was the best of the four Blind Dead flicks, the acting was better, the plot believable (believable in the sense that cult-black magic-zombie movies are believable), the cinematography was good, pretty much everything worked, except the glaring fact that the film was pretty unoriginal. Basically Ossario took the best elements from the first 3 films and crammed them into this one, all wrapped up with a plot very similar to movies like "The Wicker Man" (small village, pagan rites, etc.) What is the plot? A new doctor and his wife move to a small village where they are greeted with the cold shoulder by the locals. They hear the ‘quaint’ nightly rites taking place but think they are innocent superstitions of the locals. Soon they find out that the locals are tying up young virgins to the rocks on the beach for the Templar zombies to come and take them away. Every seven years for seven nights seven virgins have to be sacrificed, and when the locals try and kill the village idiot and take the doctor’s little hottie house keeper, well, times must change. Really it all works pretty well (if you like Euro-trash I mean) and I liked the flick but I have to knock it a mark or two for such a lack of originality and such a lame ending. B-.

  43. Rabid (1977)- AKA ‘Rage’ this is a typically bizarre little flick that further explores Cronenberg’s fear of women in general and vaginas in particular. A woman survives a pretty bad motorcycle wreck but her torso is burned pretty badly. Luckily a hospital specializing in plastic surgery is nearby and they do some experimental surgery, which seems to have worked (we see her tits quite a bit), except for the awkward side-effect of turning the woman into a blood craving vampire who uses a bizarre boney needle clitoris kind of thing in her armpit. Even worse, the folks she ‘drinks’ blood from become violent ‘zombie-like’ monsters who spread the disease far and wide. This is an interesting and early take on the ‘insanity contagion’ sub-genre. Yeah, it is basically Romero’s ‘Night...’ mixed with his ‘Crazies’, but it did beat ‘Dawn...’ by a year. I knock it some for some bad acting and goofy dialogue. B+

  44. Shock Waves (1977)- Nazi Zombies! Peter Cushing and John Carradine! Awesome! Almost. Some annoying tourists get trapped on an island in the Caribbean after their boat is hit by an ancient looking freighter running at night with no lights. The captain, a pissed off Carradine, quickly winds up dead despite being an old salt full of all reason and no superstitious sailor stories. Everyone else takes the tiny dingy to the nearby island and find Peter Cushing waiting on the return of his SS squad, who he knows will be out to get him, and everyone else. When the Nazi Zombies do show up they are pretty effective and there are some pretty awesome shots and atmosphere generated here and there. Obviously shot on a budget (most of which probably went to Cushing, Caradine, and the underwater camera), this flick does muster some atmosphere and is important in the scheme of Zombie movies I think, but it does drag on with scenes of people walking around and Cushing’s part all but wasted. Too bad, this one is just full of potential and not much else, also, if you’re a gut munching gore zombie fan you’ll hate this one. More Nazi Zombie flicks followed, mostly terrible, but Carradine starred in ‘Revenge of the Zombies’ which was probably more or less the first Nazi Zombie flick in 1943. I’ll give this a B, I really dug some of the shots but felt like too much was left out for it to work well.

  45. Dawn of the Dead (1978)- (The maestro returns with what many consider the greatest zombie movie of them all. The Italians loved their zombies too and Argento basically funded this venture.) Romero's follow up to "Night of the. Living Dead". Sometime has passed since the problems with the living dead began. Inner cities are becoming unlivable. Some members of a SWAT team, after a botched raid, decide to get out of town. They hook up with a reporter and a news helicopter pilot and fly off to safety, but little safety is to be found. They wind up barricading themselves in a shopping mail. The rest is zombie movie history. Romero likes his horror with a message, like we are a consumerist society bent on consuming everything, including each other. What better way to symbolize that than cannibal zombies at a shopping mall? This a great zombie flick and one of my favorites, some of the effects are a little dated and I don't understand why the mall never loses power but still great story with great direction and a great Romero ending. A+.

  46. Dawn of the Dead (Zombi) (1978)- Dario Argento would help finance Romero’s "Dawn of the Dead" if he could do his own European edit and keep all the European profits. A match made in horror heaven! This is the same flick as Romero’s but with a different soundtrack (provided by Argento’s favorite band The Goblins) and ‘some’ of the ‘American’ humor removed. For instance we still get the zombies tumbling down the escalator to Muzak, but we don’t get the zombies walking into the helicopter rotors. The movie has a faster paced ‘feel’ to it and in some points the new soundtrack adds to the suspense, but in some spots actually detracts from it, sounding very techno 70s dated, which of course it is. I didn’t watch the two versions back to back so it’s hard for me to say which I liked better. As it stands I’d just say this one is a little different, not really better or worse, which means it gets an A+.

  47. Grapes of Death, The (1978)- (What do you get when the French make a zombie movie? Though these are technically not zombies, just really really really sick folks along the line of Romero's 'Crazies'. You get wine and tits.) What happens when folks decide to make their own pesticide and spray it on their grape crops and then make wine with said grapes and then have a harvest bash and invite the whole village and get them loaded up on the wine made from the grapes that had the homemade pesticide sprayed on them? You get French people decaying before your eyes and going batshit insane. A girl is heading to be with her fiancé who works at a winery. At a stop a man boards the train obviously in very bad shape; he kills her companion and then chases her. She runs, and runs, and runs, meets a few more folks who seem to be decaying both physically and morally. She runs some more. She gets a gun, which she seems to have sometimes, and not have sometimes. Although she hasn’t had any of the wine, she is obviously loosing her mind. Finally she reaches the village with the help of a very bizarre and whiney blind girl. The entire village is deserted... or is it? Blood, puss, and decapitations follow. Only the French could make a zombie movie like this (though technically not zombies). It does have its moments, some genuinely creepy atmosphere, some good effects (and some bad mixed in), but also tends to drag and leaves you screaming "no one would act like that in that situation" as the girl kind of ambles around and watches as horrifying things go down. A slow mover at times to be sure but it is after all French and the French do like to show people walking around a lot in the their movies (people walking around with the intermittent tit shot). My main complaint is the atrocious editing though, the now she has it now she doesn't pistol, the blond gal's ability to change clothes at the drop of a hat (and where did those dogs come from), it is jarring at times, almost moves the movie into a surreal feel, but I don't think they really wanted it to go that way. With some judicious editing this could've been great but...If you are a ‘must see all things zombie related’ kind of fan then you should see this one, but I can’t recommend it too highly. However, keeping in mind it was made in 1978 it does hold an important spot in the pantheon of zombie horror, beating the Italian cycle by a couple of years. B-.

  48. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)- (Big budget remake, they're still not really zombies though.) Hollywood felt it was time to remake the classic tale of suspense. The original was a nice metaphor for the Red Scare, not sure about this remake. There are some obvious religious cult over tones (Born Again) and also a look into how our modern lives are becoming devoid of emotion but metaphors aside is this good? Well the plot is basically the same except now we're in San Francisco. The alien pods hatch out their clones while the real people sleep, they look like the regular folks but there's just something not quite right. A nice feeling of paranoia is built up and the acting and directing work for the most part. And this one has a pretty classic ending that I still dig. There are some weaknesses such as the dog with human head clone, seriously man, that wasn't necessary, and the silly "We've been floating in space... riding the solar winds... we survive... we adapt..." speech. Why would these aliens feel compelled to explain themselves at all, especially when said explanation is a poorly written 70s sci-fi goofy speech. Still, weaknesses aside this is a classic. A-

  49. Living Dead Girl, The (1978)- (Not as good as the White Zombie song) European sexploitation and horror; nothing to see here, please move along. A dead girl’s crypt is disturbed by toxic waste and general dumbassery. She gets up and craves blood, kills some naked folks, gets naked herself etc. Her former lesbian lover happens to be a real estate agent trying to sell the now living dead girl’s castle. They made a promise to stay together forever so the real estate agent works to get the living dead girl the blood she needs. Pretty standard stuff with some of the worst ‘acting’ I have ever seen. And in typical low budget Euro-trash ways people kind of stand around and let themselves get eaten; assuming screaming is a better defense than beating the crap out of somebody or just running like Hell. Anyway, there is an interesting change of positions as the living dead girl begins to feel guilty about killing folks but the living real estate agent seems to start to enjoy it, could’ve been an interesting angle to explore. I understand some cats really dig this stuff, I guess I also sort of understand why to be honest, but I just generally don’t dig it all that much. I’ll give it a C-.

  50. Zombi (1979)- (The name Fulci is to Italian zombies what Romero is to American zombies. It began in earnest with this flick, billed as, but not really, a sequel to Romero's "Dawn...") Italian zombie flick that was promoted in Europe as a sequel to Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" and actually called "Zombi 2". A sailboat is found in the harbor at New York. Police board it and are killed by a messed up raving lunatic. The woman whose father owned the boat sets out with a reporter to find out what happened to her father. They set off for the Caribbean, where her father was working. There they discover a zombie plague (and some "Plague of Zombies" influences too.) Full of what would become typical Euro-trash effects and gore but here they are still fresh. The story works even though the acting and direction don't hold up incredibly well. Nice ending that would 'sort of' be repeated in the remake of "Dawn of The Dead". One influenced one that influenced another I guess. A-

  51. City of the Living Dead (1980)- (Fulci's zombi followup to "Zombi" and the beginning of his zombi trilogy.) The first in Fulci’s loosely tied together zombie trilogy (followed by "The Beyond" and "House by the Cemetery"), these zombies are some oddly powerful supernatural zombie ghost like things. Here we have the priest of a small town parish (probably not coincidentally called "Dunwich") who, by hanging himself in the cemetery, opens the gates of Hell. He, along with his victims, walk around town killing folks, either by causing them to regurgitate their innards, bleed from their eyes, or their apparent favorite, squeezing the brains from their heads. Although there are no stabbed, removed, or poked out eyes, we do get lots of close-ups of eyes and we also get a drill through the head. Most of the effects work pretty well, and while there isn’t exactly a great narrative story going on here, we do get some good Fulci atmosphere and gore. I like "The Beyond" a little better despite its obvious flaws, and neither measure up to "Zombi 2" but this one was still pretty good. C+

  52. Zombi Holocaust (1980)- (Zombies meet cannibals.) Another Euro-trash Zombie flick. This time out its more about a group of cannibals than zombies though. Some folks stumble across a cult of cannibals that are munching on cadavers at the local medical school, one thing leads to another and we wind up in the South Pacific hunting cannibal cults with some adventurous types. Zombies show up along the way and the whole thing is tied together with a plot twist at the end that doesn’t really make sense if you think about the whole movie. But what did I expect? There is mucho gore in this one (do the dead people have bones?) and some good (some of the cannibal munching scenes) and some really bad FX (watch the suicide scene near the beginning closely, the guy jumps out a window and the mannequin that is supposed to be him hits the ground and the arm flies off, awesome!) The zombie makeup is terrible as the faces are mangled up but you can plainly see where the makeup ends at the neck. Still, all in all if you’re into EuroTrash zombie movies then this one is for you. It tried really hard to copy Fulci’s "Zombi 2" and although it failed at least it shot for the right target. C+

  53. Hell of the Living Dead (1980)- (A hilarious rip off of "Dawn...") A classic masterpiece of total EuroTrash, I would even cal it Ed Woodian in scope. A corporation leaks a gas from one of its third world factories and soon zombies are roaming all around. A SWAT team is dispatched to clean things up (A SWAT team? That makes no sense, where did they get an idea like that... oh yeah, "Dawn of the Dead"). Throw in TONS of stock footage that doesn’t fit, totally inane dialogue, the poorest excuse for tit shots in cinema history, and bad zombie makeup and you’re in for a ride down Craptacular Lane. This flick is hilariously bad and a must see of zombie film lovers. It unapologetically rips off "Dawn of the Dead" (Argento’s cut with The Goblin soundtrack) throughout and moves steadily from one train wreck to another. Watch as a rat attacks a factory worker and his co-worker stands by and watches. Watch as terrorists kidnap folks and are then brutally murdered by the SWAT team who yell "Drop your weapons" then open fire before giving them a chance to comply. Watch as said SWAT team is dropped into the jungle (well, what passes for a jungle) and are apparently given no orders, directions, or transportation once there. Watch as a female reporter whips her tits out to prove she lived with natives, then jogs down a road with the SWAT team right behind her in a Jeep. Watch as archival footage of a tribal funeral ceremony is poorly edited into the movie, along with slo-mo shots of monkeys and birds. Watch as the SWAT team uses their guns as baseball bats rather than as, well, guns. Watch as a SWAT team member, while looking for zombies, puts on a little tutu and top hat and dances around. Watch as the SWAT team escapes in their Land Rover, but not fast enough to get away from stumbling zombies. And finally, watch as the survivors make it to the factory and then seemingly forget there are zombies everywhere. Every cliché imaginable is crammed into this one movie, and don’t let people tell you the gore is good. Oh yeah, there’s lots of it, and if quantity defines quality then they are right, but when someone gets bit on the leg, intestines don’t come poring out. A+ on the craptacular scale. They don’t get any better/worse than this.

  54. Children, The (1980)- (Zombie kids! Apparently head shots won't kill these zombies, but chopping off their hands will! A must see for zombie craptacular fans!) All I can say is this is law enforcement at work! This flick follows the trials and tribulations of a small town sheriff as he half-heartedly tries to solve the mystery of ‘where the kids went’. Or at least where 5 or 6 of them went. What we know but he doesn’t is that their school bus drove through a radioactive cloud caused by some seriously lazy half-wit nuclear power plant workers who didn’t want overtime. Said cloud causes the kids’ fingernails to turn black and makes them want to hug folks to death. Pretty much everyone in this flick is nasty and deserves to die from the sheriff who always acts like he’s in a big hurry but winds up just standing around, to the local lady doctor who is a complete bitch, and I guess her lesbian partner who is blind and spends her days apparently looped on pain meds. Then there’s the vanity couple who don’t care about their daughter but lift weights and sunbath nude while toking up. The deputy looks to be about 21 and he is dating a gal that might be 16 and she gets pissed when he has to do his job. And don't forget the poaching drunk rednecks the sheriff chooses to man his roadblock! Then the main couple who the sheriff ends up hanging out with are just hysterical dim-wits with the pregnant wife whining and losing control and the husband barking out orders and withholding what one might consider vital information. Can you tell this is one of those train-wrecks that I really liked? They do try pretty hard and there are a couple creepy late 70s-early 80s scenes but over all this thing is a hilarious romp through the craptacular. Be warned, it gets a tad slow near the end as you can’t help but think A) I know exactly how this is going to end and B) PLEASE JUST END ALREADY! Still, if you like ‘em bad then check this one out! A on the craptacular scale.

  55. Nightmare City (1980)- (Not too original Italian Zombi flick.) This zombie/cannibal/vampire/nuclear accident Eurotrash flick starts strong with an unidentified airplane landing at the airport and unloading a cache of starving zombies (actually the director insisted they weren’t zombies but people who needed human blood to replace their blood as it broke down with radiation poisoning, the fact only a head shot will kill them along with the obvious influence from Romero and Fulci tips the directors zombie filled hand). The zombie attack everyone, drinking their blood and contaminating more and more people. Sadly, the intro is as good as it gets as from there on we’re subjected to about every late 70s Eurotrash cliché. Bad music, low budget, bad acting, bad dubbing, ineffective gore, TERRIBLE makeup and lots of ‘what the’ moments like the TV station that apparently only broadcasts Solid Gold dancers, people barricading doors with barrels on the inside even though the doors open ‘out’, stopping to discuss nuclear power over a hot cup of joe while being chased by zombies, and lots of excuses to show tits, including one being cut off a Solid Gold dancer. Now I can take that if we substitute some atmosphere, gore, and over all weirdness, but here there's none of that. Anyway, the zombies pretty much take over the city and we follow a reporter and his doctor wife as they try and stay alive and end up with a disappointing twist circular logic ending. D-.

  56. Beyond, The (1981)- (Classic Italian gore fest.) Italian Zombie Master Fulci Strikes Again. Here's how I figure the planning for this movie went down. Meeting #1: "Hey I have an idea. Let's do a movie about a hotel built on top of a gateway to Hell and strange things start happening when someone decides to restore it." "Great idea!" Meeting #2: "Hey let's make this movie extremely gory with lots of slow death scenes throughout!" "Great idea when do we start?" "How about right now?" "But we don't have a script or have the plot hashed out yet." "That's OK, ACTION!" So, if you're looking for a coherent plot with good dialogue and acting look elsewhere. If you're looking for an atmospheric gory Eurotrash Zombie flick, look no further! Fulci gets in lots of eye obsessed kills which include but aren't limited to eyes gouged out, spider eating an eye, and a nail through the back of the head and popping out through the eye socket in front. Some of the dialogue is great too. At one point the lady who now owns the hotel and is trying to restore it finds out about the hotel's past (a man had found the key to Hell and was killed there as a devil worshipper) she says something to the effect "I'm not going to let a few electrical problems and a silly story scare me away." Of course she has left out the fact that her painter fell from the second story and was mumbling incoherently about 'The eyes' after the fall and then the plumber was inexplicably murdered in the basement by having his eyes gouged out and a body was discovered severely mutilated and bricked up in the wall and then the plumber's wife is killed by acid being poured on her face while at the morgue. Regardless, this lady ain't scared PERIOD! Some of the effects are really good some are really bad. The spider scene is hilarious as they very obviously only had two real spiders to use and used very poorly executed blurred camera work, quick editing, and some fake spiders pulled along on strings to make it look like more spiders. Another scene has a doctor hook a 'brain wave machine' up to a corpse that's been dead for 60 years, I'm not sure what he's expecting to see. A close up of the 'brain wave machine' reveals it is an old oscilloscope, not very impressive. Of course it eventually does kick on but seems to be showing heart rate rather than brain waves. Also look for the sign on the morgue "Do Not Entry", which the plumber's wife duly ignores as she goes in amongst the dead to put her dead husband's best suit on for his funeral. Is that a European custom? . And wow, I would love to get me one of those self loading .357s that doctor has in his desk (that must be one rough New Orleans neighborhood if the dotor keeps a handgun in his desk at the hospital)! And seriously, even if you didn't know it takes a head shot to kill a zombie wouldn't you be able to figure that out? I mean shoot on in the head it drops./ the next one you shoot in the shoulder, stomach, arm, it keeps coming then you shoot it in the head and it drops. Next one you shoot in the neck, shoulder, stomach, keeps coming. Shoot it in the head it drops. After about TEN OR TWELVE OF THOSE IT WULD STAND TO REASON TO JUST SHOOT THE DAMNED THINGS IN THE HEAD!!! Anyway...This is generally one of those love it or hate it flicks. Having said that I fall somewhere between, it is over rated stuff by many zombie fans but not as bad as the haters would have you believe. I'll give it a B for atmosphere and pure discomfort level. Fulci's "Zombi II" is better.

  57. Dead and Buried (1981)- (Dan O'Bannon's first entry in the zombie subgenre. An interesting twist on the subject) Twist on the ‘town with a secret’ flick, this town has a secret, and it’s a doozy! New folks who show up in town wind up dead, killed in some pretty heinous fashion as to mutilate their looks. But then they turn up as town residents later on. The local sheriff starts looking into the deaths, and starts to wonder just how his wife and the local weirdo mortician all fit into the mystery. Very well done by horror master Dan O’Bannon, this is a fun ride, frightening, mysterious, and campy to boot. An almost perfect mix (that Dan would perfect a little later with "Return of the Living Dead", this is kind of almost "Return of the Living Dead" light). The ending probably could have gone one of two ways; I think it went the right way over all (you knew it had to be one or the other, that’s all I’ll say.) I liked this one a lot, nothing great, but no glaring weaknesses either. A-.

  58. House By The Cemetery (1981)- (More weirdness from Italy's Fulci.)The third in Fulci’s not-tied-together zombie trilogy. What do you get with a Luciano Fulci film? You get atmosphere, creative camera angles and shots, gore galore, and did I mention atmosphere? You also get bad acting, bad dubbing, and virtually no coherent narrative plot. So if you want storyline with your horror, leave Fulci at the door, if you want atmosphere and gore, then check this one out. A family moves into an old house by a cemetery so the father can continue the research of his predecessor who committed suicide. The couple’s incredibly annoying and poorly dubbed son keeps seeing and talking to a little girl, who may or may not be a ghost, and who warns him about moving into the house. They move to the town, a place the father may or may not have been before, and hire a babysitter who may or may not be in on some sinister plot or something like that. Then the zombified remains of the crazy doctor that lived in the house back in the day starts killing people off in gruesome and slow ways. We end with a typical Fulci circular logic ending and wonder to ourselves "What?" I’ll give this one a B because I like Fulci’s direction and vision, but don’t expect great acting, dubbing, or a story that makes much sense. This is only a step or two away from "Eraserhead".

  59. Fear No Evil (1981)- (Well, Lucifer conjures up these demons but they look and act like zombies.) Wow. I’ll cut to the chase. This movie is total crap! Terrible! How can a movie like this be made and the director etc. not just know that it is going to suck? I guess by the time they realize that it’s too late and they have to produce a product. A priest kills the human incarnation of Lucifer; the priest is the human incarnation of an archangel (Gabriel, Raphael, or one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I can’t remember now). Of course the authorities don’t believe him and put him in jail. His sister continues to fight the good fight (she’s actually an angel too) but can’t do it alone; problem is she can’t find the third archangel. Lucifer is reborn and just after his eighteenth birthday starts getting his reign ready, well sort of, he ruins a local play which I guess marks the beginning of the end of the world. It’s a good thing too ‘cause the kids at school are picking on him. Guys making out with him in the shower, offering him free weed and such. The bullies at this school are weird. Lucifer acts odd and kills animals to drink their blood (why, if he is in fact an archangel also, just a rebellious one, would he need to do that). Anyway, he rises up some zombies who I guess are supposed to be demons like Beelzebub and such. They stumble around carrying pitchforks, axes, and gas cans (?) and promptly kill off some of the rebel rousers from Lucifer’s school. Luckily the priest’s sister has found the other archangel in time for her to stand there and do nothing at all. Hilariously bad dialogue mixed with some rotten special effects follows in the not so exciting climax. An awesome punk soundtrack can’t help this one, a plain and simple F.

  60. Evil Dead (1981)- (More demon possession than zombies but it's close enough, plus it was obviously influenced heavily by "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things".) Is it camp or is it horror? Or is it a perfect mix of both? I vote for the latter. A group of college kids set out for a vacation in a secluded cabin in the mountains of Tennessee. They find a tape with incantations on it left by a previous visitor. They play the incantations and release the evil dead. Made on a shoestring budget and ignored by mainstream Hollywood, this movie quickly became an underground hit and for good reason. It is scary, full of jolts, gore, and possessed disgusting people, and still remains campy along the way. There's a great decapitation scene borrowed from "The Plague of Zombies" too. A+.

  61. Burial Ground (1981)- A classic piece of Euro-Trash and a must see for Italian zombie movie fans, Hell, the bizarre man-child with the Oedipus complex is worth the price of admission alone. Plus dialogue like "Mommy, this cloth smells like death", man, what can I say? A scientist apparently raises up some zombies who then go on a rampage after some weird folks staying at a mansion in the boonies. Not sure what they are doing but it seems they may be prepping for an orgy. Some of the effects are good, some of the zombie make up is good, some of it is bad. Over all this is just a classic piece of work of total trash. I think this gets an A+ on the craptacular scale.

  62. Oasis of the Zombies (1981)- (Garbage.) This movie is one big ol' turd! Let's see if I can lay it out for you. A couple whiny bitches are exploring an oasis out in the middle of the desert (I'm assuming somewhere in North Africa), one is very whiny and wants to leave and one wants to explore. They die. Cut to a meeting. A guy tells another guy where to find some treasure; it's in the oasis in the desert. The guy who told is killed, or drugged, or something. Zombies take forever to get out of the sand and the makeup job looks like something a 10 year old would do for Halloween (are these really supposed to be German WWII soldier zombies?). A story about Nazis with a load of gold being ambushed is told with a fairly well staged flashback, camera lingers on desert, people, stuff, time stands still. Man who told where gold is son and his annoying friends decide to find the gold. Camera lingers on desert, pointless stuff happens, time stands still. Camp is set up, other people want the gold, forced sex scene to ensure R rating, camera lingers on desert, I'm screaming at the TV to get this agony over with. Zombies rise from the sand again and attack, sort of, if that really passes for an attack. Some kids die, zombies are burned, really bad 'philosophical' ending finally roles around. This movie had bad lighting, camera work, direction, acting, dialogue, dubbing, and pretty much everything else you could think of. Kind of fun to rip on but it just moved so slow that I can't even recommend it for that. F

  63. Creepshow (1982)- (Although not strictly a zombie movie a couple of the segments do have zombies and it is Romero too!)A classic pairing of Stephen King and George Romero that works. King is a fan of the old horror comics from back in the day and Romero has the perfect black humor camp meets horror style to direct and it works, bringing to the screen in omnibus movie form the feel of those classic comics without going totally overboard like Tales From The Crypt was apt to do. The stories: In "Father's Day" an old man who really wanted a cake for father’s Day and got murdered instead, comes back for his cake many years later, and he gets the cake too. Although not much really happens it is good to see Romero able to kick the flick off with a zombie tale! B+. In "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" Stephen King plays a country bumpkin who finds a meteorite on his property, dreams of getting rich selling it to the university soon turn bleak as a green moss starts growing and spreading from anywhere the meteorite has been, and I mean anywhere. Great FX in this one with the day glow grassy moss growing everywhere, but King’s performance is a little too campy, but considering the material it passes. C+. In "Something to Tide You Over" a filthy rich Leslie Nielson isn’t about to let his wife leave him for Ted Danson so he buries the couple up to their necks in the sand on his beach and waits for the tide to do them in. Great suspense, acting, and directing on this one, and of course, water logged zombies soon show up. Predictable but as Hell but it is still a classic very well done. A-. In "The Crate" a janitor finds an old crate under the stairs at a university and calls the professor to check it out, one thing leads to another and it turns out there is a living monster inside the crate. Maybe the professor’s best friend could help him out, and could also use the monster to help him with his horribly obnoxious wife. A really good segment with great effects and a great mix of horror and camp to boot, kind of ‘Lovecraftian’ in feel.. A. And in "They're Creeping Up On You" an old Mr. Scrooge business man type is obsessed with cleanliness, especially when it comes to bugs, specifically roaches, and the roaches decide they don’t like him either. A classic and perfect closer to the omnibus, genuinely creepy and well done. A+. Final grade is a strong A.

  64. Frightmare (1983)- (A sort of zombie is raised during a seance to avenge his crypt being disturbed, but I think he was asking for it.) Bizarre tale about a famous old school horror movie star who dies (in a long and bizarre way) and then has fun by staging his own funeral. (He knew he was dying so he made a film to play at his funeral.) Some of his biggest fans, who happen to also be film school students, promptly disinter the body and take it to a party (where the film goes off on a sort of a 70s psychedelic trip for a short while). Soon the crypt is found to be disturbed; a séance takes place, and the corpse of the movie star rises up to take revenge on those who disturbed him, even though they actually did it out of admiration. The plot is a lot like "Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things" except it is just one super powered zombie rather than an island full of normal zombies and the kids aren’t quite as annoying. This isn’t a bad movie, it creates OK atmosphere, but at times is terribly slow moving. The acting is OK; it just leans towards boring at times. I’ll drop a C on it.

  65. Night of the Comet (1984)- It is amazing how much different horror movies made in the 80s are than pretty much any other decade. Horror movies made in the 30s and 40s are pretty similar, 50s and early 60s are almost indistinguishable, late 60s and most of the 70s seem the same, but the 80s. You can pretty much tell instantly when a movie was made in the mid-80s and this one is no exception. This flick has been called ‘quirky’, a ‘cult classic’, and ‘low-budget spoof’ etc. It is sort of those all things, but not fully any of them. It is a movie about earth going through a comet tail, a comet that hasn’t been around since when the dinosaurs became extinct. Coincidence? No. Anyone exposed instantly turns to ‘calcium dust’ (and most are as they celebrate at comet parties), those ‘kind of’ exposed turn slowly, becoming dried up angry zombies in the process, those who were in steel buildings are safe and now must learn to survive. We follow a couple of smart-ass teen sisters through LA as they dodge zombies, meet another survivor, and get rescued by scientists, are do they? 1984 was at the tail end of the Italian Zombie cycle (this isn’t Italian) but this actually predated the brief resurgence in the American Zombie cycle (beating ‘Day of the Dead’ and ‘Return of the Living Dead’ by a year). I’m not saying this was overly original, and there really aren’t that many zombies anyway, but it was at least ‘slightly’ ahead of its time. This flick sways uncomfortably between comedy, action, and horror and falls a little short at all of them in the process though. Although as a tribute to all crazy zombie/sci-fi/action movies that had come before it holds up fairly well. I’ll give it a B-, a great idea, but the execution felt almost too ‘made for TV’.

  66. Day of the Dead (1985)- (Romero lets another relevant entry fly.) Many consider this the weakest of the original Romero trilogy and Romero himself was disappointed that he couldn't get the budget to make the movie he wanted (an all out war between humans and zombies). Personally though, I like this movie a lot. Another great mix of camp and horror as scientists 'protected' by soldiers, try and figure out what is causing the cannibal zombies. No one really trusts anyone and the two sides soon are at war with each other, especially when it's discovered that the lead scientist is using dead soldiers as experiments. 'Dr. Frankenstein' is one of the great horror movie characters and is one reason I like this movie so much. Another well-directed Romero movie, although the acting isn't as strong as his last two zombie films, the pacing and the story work in the cramped, paranoid, claustrophobic surroundings. A.

  67. Return of the Living Dead (1985)- (Although this is a modern classic, it is sad that it was basically released at the same time as Romero's "Day..." and promptly beat the master at his own game. At least it gave credit where credit was due. I like this one a lot, but not that much!) Set up as a direct sequel of sorts to Romero’s original "Night of the Living Dead", this movie starts on the premise that those events actually happened, with some changes to the movie to keep the military from suing the writers and directors. The action starts at a medical supply company, a new hire asks the old foreman what the strangest thing he’s ever seen is. Turns out the military accidentally sent the bodies of those resurrected in 1968, and the chemical that caused the reanimation, to this particular medical supply company, and they’re still stored there in barrels. With one swift kick the chemical is released into the air, and with a series of unfortunate events, the chemical is released into the atmosphere, where it promptly returns in the form of rain and begins to reanimate a graveyard full of zombies, hungry for brains! These zombies are fast, can talk, and can think. Throw in some punk rockers partying in the graveyard, a good punk soundtrack and you have a classic zomedy, which, for the most part works really well. Sure, everything is over the top (although, compared to Eurotrash the gore isn’t as excessive as the films reputation would have you believe), especially the acting, but it works in an almost horror three stooges sort of way. The reaction of the actors to their impossible situation is perfect and gives the movie the fuel it needs to work, played straight, this would’ve probably been a forgotten installment in the zombie subgenre. A.

  68. Dead Next Door, The (1985)- Extremely low budget flick (although it was supposedly the most expensive ‘shot-on-video’ movie at the time) not so secretly underwritten by Sam Raimi. Despite the obvious budget constraints and amateur look and feel of the film, it works on its own level. We are some time into a zombie infestation, caused by a virus that reanimates corpses in order to feed itself. We follow along as government ‘zombie squads’ work to eliminate the zombies, scientists work to find a way to stop the zombies with a serum, protestors try and stop the government from mistreating the zombies, and a religious cult has decided that it is God’s will that the world be turned over to zombies. Yes, it is a detailed and fairly well thought out plot, executed by amateurs on a shoestring budget. Some of the effects are really good, some aren’t and some of the sight gags work too (a disembodied head bites the fingers off a person, then the fingers can be seen poking out of the neck, a zombie gets his hand caught in a car door and the car drives off, dragging the zombie along until the hand falls off). If you can handle the piss poor acting, editing, etc that comes with these types of efforts and/or you’re a zombie fanatic (look for the heavy handed references to other zombie flicks) then you will like this one, I give it a strong A for effort.

  69. Re-Animator (1985)- (Classic over the top zombie mayhem.) If you like campy horror al la "Evil Dead", "Return of the Living Dead" or "Dead Alive" then you’ll like this. It is almost a masterpiece in that sub-genre. There is no doubt; this flick plays by its own rules. We start out with Herbert West, a very bright and promising med student whose professor and mentor apparently has died, Herbert thinks he can bring him back from the dead. Things go slightly awry and he has to leave the country (Switzerland) and shows up at the famous Miskatonic Medical School, where he rents a room from another student who is dating the dean’s daughter (which makes for some blackmail material), and promptly clashes with the head professor there. You see Herbert has a solution that can re-animate the dead, sort of... One thing leads to another and we’re off and running down the road with insane reanimated corpses, mad scientists, a decapitated body and its love interest, and a room full of walking cadavers. The casting, especially Jeffry Combs as West, is perfect for this over-the-top, take-it-so-seriously-that-we’re-obviously-not-taking-it-seriously approach. A very strong A.

  70. Zombie Nightmare (1986)- I will try and explain this: A kid and his mom and dad are walking home from baseball practice when they happen upon some neighborhood ‘toughs’ threatening a young immigrant girl. The dad intervenes and gives the toughs a beating, then gets stabbed and killed by one. Cut to today, the kid is grown up and still plays baseball, with full on late eighties hair in tow. Then, when in a case of serendipity he breaks up the robbery of a local deli, steps outside and gets hit by a car full of more high school ne’er-do-wells. Shew, anyway, the deli owner naturally takes the corpse to the kid’s mom who then calls up the girl who her husband (the now dead kid’s dad) saved years before. She is now a voodoo priestess and she turns the kid into a zombie to exact his revenge, and maybe get a little revenge of her own while she’s at it: horrible detective work, badly written plot twist, and oddly jumped to conclusions follow. Damn, did you get all that. Anyway, this is a classic of the craptacular so if you like bad dialogue, horrible acting, atrocious lighting and sound, ridiculous make-up and effects, and awful zombie sequences then you will love this one. I have seen much worse/better though so even on the craptacular scale this gets about a B.

  71. Night of the Creeps (1986)- Classic stuff from the 80s with obvious (and not so obvious) hat tips to lots of great horror flicks and horror icons (I’ll let you find them). The plot mixes in pretty much every sci-fi/horror convention it can muster from the 50s on and it works pretty well. We have an alien slug that lays eggs in humans’ brains and while the eggs incubate the human becomes basically a zombie. The only known victim was cryogenically frozen in the 50s, only to be thawed in the 80s by a couple goofs trying to play a frat prank. Once the slug is loose and breeding the cop who was on the first case gets this one and slowly puts 2 and 2 together. This is full of very self-aware clichés and frankly is fun as hell. I’ll give it a strong A.

  72. Falling, The (1987)- Goofy 80s piece that can’t quite decide just how campy it wants to be. Three Americans are traveling across Spain when they stop in a village. Said village is near the spot where a satellite crashed, which in turn is causing residents to become some sort of melting zombie sort of things. Bad acting, poor effects, and the previously mentioned ‘is this horror or is this camp’ doom this one; sort of a really bad rip off of The Evil Dead. D-

  73. Bad Taste (1987)- (Kind of a movie mashup between Romero's zombie vision and the sci-fi space invaders of the 50s. An over the top "Night of the Living Dead" meets "Invisible Invaders".) This is a classic horror comedy in the vein of "Evil Dead". Over the top gore comedy rivaling that of Wile E. Coyote and the roadrunner. Yeah it's ultra low budget but still, there is a quality of film making and editing that lift it above the usual low-end fluff. It's pretty obvious that even with little to work with Peter Jackson knew how to make a movie and yes, this was his first made with friends and family on weekends. The plot? Aliens have discovered earth is covered with billions of delicious animals, humans that is and they fit nicely into shipping boxes. The aliens are half moronic zombies that seem to fall apart pretty easily into gooey messes of brains and bodily fluids. The over the top effects work really well in this one too, I was pretty impressed with some of the scenes (considering the budget) especially the fight on the side of the cliff between the geek and the alien. Perfectly filmed and paced and a classic ending! This definitely isn't for everyone but if you like low budget silly gore fest comedies then I think you'll dig this one. A.

  74. Prince of Darkness (1987)- (Are they possessed servants of satan or zombies walking around outside the church?) Underrated and almost forgotten little gem from John Carpenter about a religious order who have, for thousands of years, kept Satan locked up and away from the world, but Satan’s time is coming and he’s looking to get out. Weird stuff is happening all around the church, which sits in a run down neighborhood, as the end of times nears. A group of advanced physics students set up shop with lots of scientific gear to try and explain what is happening via science, I doubt that’ll work out so well for them. Like many Carpenter films a palpable sense of dread and suspense builds as we inch towards the conclusion. Carpenter was a student of Hitchcock’s and, while many Hitchcock fans might resent the comparison, I am a fan of both and see many similarities. The very end is a bit of a let down but what do you expect really? A.

  75. Video Dead, The (1987)- (So chock full of cliches it may be the only zombie movie you'll ever need to see.) This should be renamed ‘The Video Cliché’ or maybe ‘The Straight to Video Dead’. If you thought of every possible 80s horror/zombie movie cliché and crammed them into one movie this is what you’d get. I don’t even know where to start; this flick had to have felt ‘old’ in 1987! The plot? A TV is supposed to be delivered to an occult studies program and is instead delivered to someone’s house, that someone is killed by zombies that come out of said TV, new people buy the house, the new people’s kids arrive early, zombies come back out of the TV, death follows as does bad acting, bad dialogue, bad effects, and as mentioned, worn out clichés and zombie ‘humor’. But you know what, as bad as all that sounds I really didn’t mind this. I knew going in what I was getting and got just that so there was nowhere to go but up really! So if you go into this knowing it is a goofy, cliché ridden, 80s, low budget flick then you just might enjoy the crappiness for what it is. I’m going to give this a C+, I’m getting easy to please in my old age I guess.

  76. Zombie 5: Killing Birds (1987)- (Italian zombie movies are now themselves zombies.) "Zombie 5" really has nothing to do with "Zombie 4", which really had nothing to do with "Zombi 3", which had nothing to do with "Zombi 2", which really wasn’t actually a sequel to "Zombi", but since "Zombi" was successful the powers that be wanted to try and ride those coattails for years. I don’t think it worked. Also note "Zombie 5" was actually made before "Zombie 4". You know you’re in trouble when the ‘e’ was added back in. A Vietnam vet returns home to find his wife in bed with another man. In a fit of rage he kills both of them, kills some birds from the cages on the front porch, then kills a couple that show up in a car with a baby (this Vietnam vet can seriously hurl a knife!). Some birds peck his eyes out and then he leaves with the child the couple he killed outside had. Jump to ‘now’ and a group of college kids are getting ready for an expedition to find an endangered bird in the swamps of Louisiana. First they have to stop and talk to a bird expert, who happens to be the Vietnam vet. They get in a van they keep calling a ‘camper’ and head out and end up in the house where the murders happened in the intro. They sit around and talk for hours then zombies show up and random stuff happens like while starting a generator one of the kids gets his necklace caught and instead of ripping it off, or pulling him right in, he struggles for a couple of minutes against the generator’s gears while his ‘friend’ just stands there and doesn’t bother turning the generator off. Another guy catches on fire and runs away. Also, if you are hiding from zombies, never barricade yourself in a room if the zombies are strong enough to just bust through the walls because it will be hard to get back out. PLOT SPOILER (if that’s possible). The blind guy shows up and says "I’m glad I’m not too late", apparently not knowing all but two of the kids are dead. The gal says "You’re Steven’s father aren’t you" and I thought, "what, how did she come to that conclusion". He mumbles something about ‘them’ feeding on fear, the kids walk off, cut to stock footage of birds swarming and edit in a guy yelling, roll credits. I want so bad to find something redeeming about this one but it wasn’t even fun to rip on. You can sacrifice narative logic if you have atmosphere but if you have neither you're in trouble. F

  77. Zombie 3 (1988)- (Not actually a Fulci film) I’ve read so much bad about this one that I was expecting total garbage. I was pleasantly surprised to only get garbage. This is credited to Fulci but he dropped out about halfway through because he was ill, or maybe he just wanted to keep this one off his resume (which didn’t work as my DVD states boldly at the top that it is part of the Luciano Fulci Collection). Scientists at a government installation in the Philippines are experimenting on something that wasn’t real clear to me. Terrorists steal the experiment (I think it was a gas) and, due to the incredibly terrible marksmanship of the guards, get away into the jungle. It isn’t long before one of the terrorists is infected and low and behold an outbreak of zombies spreads through the area, aided by cremation (in an obvious rip off of "Return of the Living Dead") and by infected birds (?). Partiers, soldiers, and Philippinoes run from, fight, and become zombies. If you’re looking for any coherent dialogue or plot then forget it, but there are some effective zombie moments like the legless zombie girl in the pool, the zombie baby birth (which was stolen by the remake of "Dawn of the Dead"), and the insane flying head zombie which made no sense but is a must see for hardcore zombie fans. I wasn’t impressed by the zombie makeup but some of the effects were good. Yeah, there’s too much running around between these scenes and the dialogue and acting are terrible. I get the fact they are trying to show the incompetence of our leaders but holy crap, if our leaders were this incompetent we would’ve never swung down from the trees! Anyway, the bad outweighs the good here but I have to admit I kind of liked this one. C+.

  78. Dead Heat (1988)- (Avoid at all costs) I knew going in what to expect, and I got exactly what I thought I would get. A big evil corporation is reanimating folks and an evil doc is using the zombies to rob jewelry stores. Cops are confused but a couple of loose cannon types are on the case. One gets killed and reanimated and now he’s pissed. Joe Piscapo is in this so you know it is going to suck. It tries to be funny, campy, and scary and fails at all three. The people making this knew it was going to suck so they just went all out. I’m going to give this an F, I know it was supposed to be dumb, but it’s just too damned dumb, despite a great part by The Night Stalker and a cameo by an old Vincent Price.

  79. Flesh Eater (1988)- (Romero never intended this!) The guy with the bit part (and distinction) of being the first zombie seen in Romero’s "Night of the Living Dead" decided that was qualification enough for him to make his own zombie film. He was wrong. We start off with some college kids on a hay ride, zombies (this time awaken by some sort of black magic curse) attack and the kids head off to hide out in a farm house. Sound familiar? From there we just kind of travel along in a totally plotless way from person to person, none of which have anything to do with the story, as much as there is a story anyway. I think really it was an excuse for the guy to bite girls while they were topless. This is low budget crap with nothing to offer but some MST3K treatment. The writing, directing, editing, sound, and acting all suck ass but it is fun to rip on (the Halloween party scene in the barn is fertile fun-making ground indeed). B+ on the craptacular scale.

  80. Zombie 4: After Death (1988)- (It wasn't supposed to be funny but...) Here we have one of those "so bad it’s good" flicks. The plot barely makes sense. We start with a group of gun totin’ doctors on a tropical island. Apparently, while researching cures for deadly diseases, they killed an islander’s daughter and now he’s pissed. He opens the gates of hell and turns the entire island into roving ninja-like zombies, including a gal who’s dancing around the cave with him. She comes back as a zombie with a serious dental problem and attacks the doctors. They shoot at her, sort of; mostly they stand around and yell. We jump to a young family trying to escape the zombie onslaught. The father is caught and the mother tells the young daughter to run, then gives her a necklace with the key to Hell attached and I wondered, "why didn’t she just use that right then to stop all of this?" but then we wouldn’t have a movie. Jump ahead to now and a group of mercenaries find themselves on the island, with the girl, now all grown up, and with another gal that is wearing a miniskirt, high heels, and a giant 80s fashion belt, not exactly tropical exploring attire. Anyway, zombies show up, bite folks, some other people show up, not sure where they came from, and zombie mayhem is in full swing. Our heroes... wait are the characters the heroes or are the zombies? Anyway, the characters end up back at the hospital and are attacked by the zombies and make one stupid move after another. Why don’t they seriously set up lines of fire and also use their grenades. These guys are terrible soldiers of fortune. Will the key to Hell be used in time? This movie is terrible in all the right ways (where can I get the soundtrack!). It is great for the MST3K treatment. Have fun. A on the craptacular scale.

  81. Serpent and the Rainbow, The (1988)- (After years of radiation and chemicals bringing cannibal zombies to life, we go old school again.) This ‘zombie’ flick places zombies both squarely back in the world of Voodoo and in the world of science. An investigator is sent to find the drug used to turn people into ‘zombies’ in Haiti. He meets a great amount of resistance from the locals, and risks his life in the political turmoil of Haiti. Based (very loosely!) on a true story, this movie is kind of ‘action adventure’ meets horror. There are some very effective visuals (buried alive and hallucinatory visions of hands in soup etc) but it is subdued when compared to other Wes Craven efforts so don’t go in expecting "Nightmare on Elm Street". I liked this one quite a bit, but it does go on a tad too long. B+

  82. Pet Semetary (1989)- (Hhmmm, a cemetary that actually creates zombies, interesting.) Though I am generally not impressed with Stephen King material this is one that I always liked. The acting is really good (especially Fred Gwynne [Herman Munster] as the neighbor) and the scares are effective. A young family moves into a house on a very busy highway. After their cat is killed the neighbor tells them about a pet cemetery nearby that legend tells can bring back the dead, problem is, they are never quite the same. Of course tragedy later strikes when their young son is killed and you can guess the rest. The directing and effects work pretty well, especially the haunting visits from the wife’s deceased sister. B+.

  83. Night of the Living Dead (1990): (An OK remake.) Tom Savini wanted to do a little more than just effects so he sat down in the director's chair for this remake. It is pretty faithful to the original with a couple notable exceptions, which you'll have to watch to find out. It was different enough to keep me interested. Plot? The same. Some people are holed up in a farmhouse as the dead are coming back to life and craving human flesh. I liked this remake OK but I realize it really didn't have to be made and that's what I kept thinking. There's a little too much screaming too. I mean, yeah, the first couple times you see a zombie trying to eat you you'd probably scream but after awhile you'd just get down to business beeyatch. Plus, if this farmhouse is 5 miles from the nearest town where the Hell are all those zombies coming from? I guess they did show how they could hear all the hammering going on but jeezate. If you want some old school Romero zombie-ism you could do worse but if you want something original you could do much better. C.

  84. Two Evil Eyes (1990)- (Tale one has Romero using hypnotized zombies!) What?!? Argento and Romero both direct a short based on a Poe story?!? What’s not to love?!? Right?!? Well, not quite. This is a pretty good flick, but not nearly as good as it would seem on paper. Tale 1 by Romero has a woman who married a rich old man bilking him for his money as he dies. She is in cahoots with the old man’s doctor who uses hypnosis to make the old man basically sign everything over to the lady, things go downhill when the old man dies before everything has been transferred, but the bigger issue is the old man was hypnotized when he died, leaving him in a nether world between living and dead. Not a bad concept over-all and it was executed fairly well, just too long, you could tell it was being stretched a tad too much, I’ll give it a B-. Tale 2 is Argento’s take on The Black Cat. A crime scene photographer, who happens to also be a published art photographer (?) living with a famous violinist, is loosing his mind from all the bizarre crime scene photos he has to take. He kills his girlfriend’s cat (while taking pictures of it for a book he then publishes almost instantaneously) , she wants to leave him ,he has a very bizarre dream, and things spiral out of control. This is really typical Argento, all style, but not much substance. I’ll give it a C+, I’d grade it higher but the dream sequence was ill-conceived. Tough to average a B- and C+ so I’ll say over-all it was a strong C+ effort.

  85. Dead Alive (1992)- (More insanity from the mind of New Zealand's Peter Jackson. I think he just wanted to top them all!) Peter Jackson some time before he had the budget of "Lord of the Rings". Wow, this one is simply insane. There's a particular monkey that if it bites you, well, you die... sort of. Actually you become a flesh-craving zombie. Can't go wrong with that plot. A guy still lives with his overbearing mother. He'd like to get away and date some girls but his mom won't hear of it. Then the monkey bites her. Loyal son keeps her around despite her hunger and the fact she seems to be spreading the disease all over the neighborhood. Like taking the "Psycho" plot to the next level. Insanity ensues including a simply unbelievable climax that involves lawnmowers. This is probably the goriest movie I've ever seen but it's done in such a cartoon way that you really don't notice it. It's over the top in about every aspect of filmmaking. Next year I'll have a review of Jackson's "Bad Taste" which, from what I hear, is the perfect name. A-.

  86. Cemetery Man (1994)- (A must see for hardcore zombie fans) This is one of those surreal movies that seems to take place in an alternate universe. The cemetery caretaker and his half wit helper always have to kill the dead folks who’ve been buried in the cemetery. They just always come back around 7 days after being buried, that’s just the way it is. He wants to complain to the government but there’s just too much paper work, and they don’t really want to hear about it anyway, especially in an election year. So the Cemetery Man and his side kick bury everyone twice, and live a lonely existence. Love interests come and go under even odder circumstances (especially for the assistant) and the line between living and dead blurs even more. This is a great camp ride, a must see for lovers of the bizarre and zombie film addicts. Well done and some great zombie effects (the Boy Scout zombies are awesome and the head zombie is classic!) too. A+

  87. Versus (2000)- This movie has it all, zombies, violence, gore, comedy, scares, so what’s not to love? All of it! I know I know, lot’s of hardcore zombie fans, of which I consider myself one, love this flick, but I just hated it. Maybe it was just too much of a good thing but the terrible over the top acting (kind of a bad combination of Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns and The Matrix), horrible dialogue (I watched a dubbed version which was obviously a mistake), and cheese dripping slapstick just wore me out. Basically a bunch of gangsters have been dumping dead bodies in a forest which just happens to be one of the 666 portals to ‘the other side’, the dead rise up and attack the gangsters, but the gang’s leader actually has the whole thing planned to face off against his really old nemesis, or something like that. If you like the over the top Japanese zombie flicks then by all means, indulge, but I’m giving it a D.

  88. 28 Days Later (2002)- (The zombie makes a critically and commercially successful return in this movie that's not really about zombies at all.) Do gooders want to free some chimps that are being experimented on. Someone at the lab that catches them and warns them about a virus they carry. They ignore him and release the chimps. The chimps attack everyone. Now it's 28 day later and London has been evacuated. A bike delivery rider awakens from a coma and has no idea what's going on. We find out the virus Rage has run rampant across England, turning those infected into violent maniacs. An extremely effective turn in the zombie sub-genre (though they are technically not zombies), I think this is one of the best horror movies to come along in a long time. Great sets, great acting, and a look at the problems of food, water, power, and companionship that other zombie movies have swept under the rug. Very powerful stuff. A+.

  89. Resident Evil (2002)- (I wonder what Romero would've done with material about a huge corporation accidentally making zombies. Could've been brilliant... Wasn't though) I’ll just cut to the chase, everything that is wrong with modern Hollywood Horror is contained in this one movie. I guess I shouldn’t complain as this one is unapologetically aimed squarely at the pubescent video game loving crowd and in that it hits its mark. Action figure JC Penney catalogue model heroes (and villains), complete with our heroin walking around in a red miniskirt, black leather knee high boots, and a leather jacket, which makes for some wicked good kung fu clothes (apparently the only way to stop a Resident Evil zombie is a full clip from a sub machine gun to the head or a kick from those leather boots). Sure there’s lots of action, bullets firing, sometimes in slow motion, zombies popping up at the most opportune times, etc. but the whole time I just felt like I was watching someone else play a video game, which I guess in a sense I was. The characters are flat, the acting terrible (lots of monosyllable monotone tough guy lines), and the scenes pretty much all stolen from other movies (for better or worse they are stolen from the Alien movies, not zombie movies, for instance, how come this huge underground lab looks very much like the inside of one of space ships from alien?). The plot? A huge corporation (The Umbrella Corporation, seriously) with its giant underground facility (next to Raccoon City, seriously), is developing viruses, doing genetic experiments, etc.etc. When something goes wrong the facility's computer (complete with silly hologram and English accent) closes the place off, very very slowly, by gassing everyone and erasing their memories and setting a timer to close blast doors in a couple of hours, a team of superduper soldiers arrives and goes in to try and figure out what went wrong and finds zombies... Does any of this make sense? Yeah it makes sense if your playing a video game but if you’re watching a movie it’s crap. I often say a movie won't hold up to much scrutiny but this one doesn't hold up to any, like why do some of these lab techs know martial arts so well? Maybe you have to play the game, in which case, why bother evenmaking a movie? I’ll give it a D+ as on the rare occasion a zombie or two looked effective and there was a second or two I felt a little suspense.

  90. House of the Dead (2003)- (Stay away from "The House of the Dead".) House of the Dumb. This is one of the worst, most predictable horror movies I've seen in a long time. "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" meets "Return of the Living Dead III". Kids want to party on an island. Crusty old guys warn them to stay away from the island. Crusty old guys take them to the island. Everyone gets trapped. Death, mystery, and mayhem ensue. Some of the worst acting and writing ever and the rottenest generic action scenes on film. Not to mention terrible video game segues. The fun part? The editing. Sometimes its raining, then it's not, then it is. Sometimes a character might be carrying a pistol, then a shotgun, and then a pistol. MSTK3000 time. F-

  91. Undead (2003)- (More crap.) I heard good things about this indie Aussie zombie movie. A small fishing village is rained on by meteorites that seem to be turning the villagers into murderous zombies, and things just go downhill from there for the locals... And the viewer. There are apparently more than just meteorites falling from the skies and this action/horror/comedy/sci-fi adventure is a no holds barred pile of steaming crap. The action sucks, the comedy isn't funny, the plot makes no sense, and the acting is terrible. F.

  92. Dawn of the Dead (2004)- (I was pretty pissed when I heard they were remaking "Dawn..." But I gave it a chance and I have to say it works really well. Sadly, much of Romero's social commentary is more or less glossed over, but it still delivers the goods.) People hiding from zombies in a shopping mall is really about all this movie has in common with Romero's. The first 10 to 15 minutes of this movie are some of the best ever made for a horror movie. I was instantly into it. (And picking Johnny Cash's "When the Man Comes Around" as the opening song was a stroke of genius). Even after those first 15 minutes the movie really doesn't let up. It gets a tad McGuyverish/action movie near the end but not enough to lessen its impact. Great ending too. Even if you don't like Romero's version of zombies, you should see this remake. A+

  93. Dead Meat (2004)- In the mood for a mindless zombie flick? Looking for something in the vein of the classic Italian Zombi films of the late 70s early 80s? Don't really care about things like plot, good acting, interesting dialogue, or character development? Then "Dead Meat" is for you! This is an Irish zombie flick (?) that has no originality at all, but who needs that? A man and woman are driving across Ireland, unaware of a new strain of mad cow disease that seems to infect humans. They run over a man and kill him, the man comes back to life, bites the guy on the neck, he dies, attacks his girlfriend (or wife, whatever), she kills him (with a wicked strong vacuum cleaner), meets up with a local, and they run from hordes (and HORDES) of zombies (why are there always so damned many zombies out in the country?). Tons of zombie 'kills', low budget gore, and everything zombie aficionados love. Keeping in mind the obvious deficiencies I listed above I am going to give this a strong B. I liked it, yeah it is cheap and unoriginal, but I like zombie flicks!

  94. Shaun of the Dead (2004)- (Simply a masterpiece in basically the modern retelling of "Night...") The zombie sub-genre of horror is probably my favorite and I've seen many a zombie flick so I say this with some hesitation and at times argue with myself about saying it, especially considering my tendency to think old stuff is better, never the less I may go way out on a limb here and say this is my favorite zombie flick ever. Sean's a slacker who lives with another slacker and another guy who's out to prove he's not a slacker anymore. Suddenly there are zombies about. We aren't brought down with reasons why this is, it just is. But Sean takes awhile to really notice since everyone pretty much seems the same anyway. Once he does notice and finally catches a news bulletin he decides to become decisive but he can't quite decide what to do. Finally its decided. Save his girlfriend (who's made at him for being such a slacker and hanging out with slackers), save his mother, but not his step dad, and go to the pub until the whole thing blows over. This is a hilarious, gory, horror movie with wit, gore, scares, and real characters. Great story, great acting, great directing. A+

  95. Severed: Forest of the Dead (2004)- (Not a bad entry, not a good one either.) I went into this one with absolutely no expectations, which may be why I ended up liking it. There are no Sears Catalogue super heroes and there's only one blatant stereotype (a corporate sheep). A logging firm has been looking into genetic engineering so they can cut more old growth forests with less damage. Problem is the sap from the genetically altered trees turns folks into flesh eating zombies if it gets into their blood streams. Throw in some nice loggers, some mean loggers, and some protestors and you have zombie movie tension. Yeah it borrows heavily from a lot of recent zombie flicks but it remained fairly original. Budget constraints were obvious during zombie attacks as the camera moved and blurred to cover up the lack of money, still, what effects there were were done really well. And I have to admit the movie didn't end as I thought it would, actually it just kind of ends sudden like. A little too much time is spent running around and whining and not enough character development takes place. Some interesting characters were never really fleshed out (who was Clark and why did everyone know him? Etc). Still, if you expect crap you'll be pleasantly surprised. B-.

  96. They Came Back (2004)- (French cerebral zombies!) While not close to the volume of the Italians, the French have never the less put out their share of zombie flicks. And the French have never been ones to follow formula. Here we have people who have died within the last 10 years rising and coming back to their lives. How this happened (I mean how literally as in how they reanimated and how the hell they got out of the grave) is never really mentioned. The gist is the fact we have a problem. The problem isn’t flesh eating homicidal zombies, it’s the fact that all these dead people will need jobs, or pensions, places to live, and everything else people who aren’t dead need. A lot of people die in a 10 year span so you can imagine the scope of the problem, not to mention people who are, or who have gotten over, grieving for their dead relatives have some pretty mixed emotions about the whole situation. And that is pretty much what happens most of the movie. People sit around and talk about the problem, or they sit and stare at each other in silence. Definitely not an action packed, horrifying zombie cliché ridden flick, but a very heavy atmosphere exudes. If you’ve read many of my reviews you know I like that a lot of times, but here? I don’t know! I do this as a hobby, generally speaking I like horror movies so I write reviews of why I like or don’t like individual flicks, and I have no idea on this one. The whole idea was pretty interesting, maybe a metaphor for immigration, or the poor, I don’t know but I liked it. It was well done and well-acted. But damn, at times I just wanted it to end, and when it did I couldn’t help but think “What the hell?” I don’t want to be spoon fed so I don’t mind inconclusive endings but I just got more and more confused, and to be honest, started nodding off, so that’s on me! I’ll give it a B-. Sorry I can’t be more specific but if you want action you’ll hate this, if you want ‘Euro-cerebral’, check it out.

  97. Zombie Honeymoon (2004)- (Nice little twist on the zombie film.)A newlywed couple all stoked about the prospects their futures hold together spend their honeymoon at an uncle’s beachfront home. After surfing the husband (Danny) is attacked by what appears to be a very sick surfer who stumbles right out of the ocean. He is rushed to the hospital and, after dying on the operating table, promptly sits up and says he feels OK. The couple head home but Danny, a vegetarian, now has an insatiable hunger for raw human flesh. His wife is shocked, confused, and torn. I went into this expecting another zomedy in the vain of "Undead", which I hated. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to find a movie with quite a bit of depth, good plot, and good acting. It is a zombie love story with some campy elements but overall not a comedy at all (apparently the story is based on the director’s brother-in-law who died in a surfing accident shortly after being married). Some of the digital hand held cinematography and editing left a little to be desired, as did the zombie makeup, but overall I liked this one. B+

  98. Land of the Dead (2005)- (Romero seems to have the ability to take his basic idea, the dead return to eat the living, and mold it to fit perfectly into whatever decade he's working in. The racially divided failing of the "Great Society" of the 60s, the consumerist 70s, the 'Me' 80s, and now the return of the super consumer in a more class divided, post 9/11 society of the late 90s and new millennium.) The 4th in Romero's Zombie Trilogy... um. Anyway, people have learned to live with the zombies, or at least have learned to keep the zombies outside the gates of a well-fortified city. They have to occasionally go into the surrounding towns, which are filled with zombies, and get supplies though. It's on one of these outings someone realizes the zombies are learning and evolving. It isn't long before the zombies realize where the raids are coming from and attack the city. Romero gets his war between man and zombie and gets to symbolize the plight of the lower class (Zombies), the squeeze on the middle class (regular people in the city made to do the dirty work), and the greed of the upper class (the rich who live safely in the skyscraper). Great effects compliment a good story combined with Romero's great directing and finally a budget to match the vision. And there in lies the rub. Maybe too much of a good thing. I feel the actors come off as action heroes more than the "ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances" feeling I got from the other Romero zombie flicks. Also the truck Dead Reckoning is just over done and seems dumb. Not to get too geeky but the zombie plague began in 1968 so when did they invent all that technology in that truck, like flat panel infrared monitors? They were still driving old Army Jeeps though, nice touch. Also, Dennis Hopper is great as the wealthy leader of the city. Despite the above mentioned weakness I am still compelled to give this an A because there was still so much good about it. A.

  99. Tokyo Zombie (2005)- What do you get when you combine "Dumb and Dumber" and "Napoleon Dynamite" with "Shawn of the Dead" and "Land of the Dead" and toss in a heapin’ helpin’ of Japanese humor? You get this very bizarre zomedy from Japan. I guess I’d describe this as the ultimate in opposites. It is both funny, and not funny. Fast paced, and tedious. Original, and derivative. And at times it seems it is all those things at once. The story centers around two buddies, one an older jujitsu expert, the other a younger half-wit who is trying to learn jujitsu from his older buddy. They work in a fire extinguisher factory, but mostly practice moves all day. They accidentally kill their boss and decide to bury him at ‘Black Fuji’, a huge mountain of trash, waste, and dead bodies in Tokyo. As luck would have it, the waste there is causing all the dead bodies to reanimate (although later we are told it is caused by a virus which spreads via bites). The zombie plague soon takes over Tokyo and we jump ahead 5 years to a "Land of the Dead" type of world where rich folks live isolated from everyone else and find entertainment in making the poor fight the zombies. Of course our younger hero, who has devoted himself to jujitsu after loosing his friend and teacher, is on his way to becoming the champion, using jujitsu to kill the zombies. Along with his whining wife and mute daughter he eeks out a living among the dead. I don’t know what grade to give this. I knew going in what to expect so I wasn’t surprised at the bad (and at times completely tasteless) humor, over animated acting, etc. The first half of the film was just bad for me, but I felt after the jump to 5 years in the future it hit its stride so I will give it a C+. Just remember this is a full on slapstick zomedy done in totally bad taste and doesn’t try too hard to ever rise above that.

  100. Boy Eats Girl (2005)- As you can tell from the title, this isn’t meant to be taken too seriously. It is like a low budget John Hughes film with zombies; kind of "Pretty in Pink" meets "Shawn of the Dead". We have a kid who likes a girl, she’s good friends with him, he wants to date her but feels she is out of his league, but she likes him too. When she doesn’t show to hang out one night he becomes depressed, starts drinking, and accidentally commits suicide (accidentally commits suicide? Yes). His mother works at the local church and knows they keep a book of voodoo spells in the basement, she uses them to bring her son back, but a page is missing, its an important page as now her son craves human flesh and when he bites a bully classmate the disease spreads, rapidly. How will the boy and his goofy classmates get outta this one? At no point does this movie take itself too seriously. It isn’t laugh out loud funny or as witty as "Shawn of the Dead" but it is funny at spots and over all fairly well done. There are no real ‘scares’ in it, and while slow to start the gore is pretty good and the climax was obviously influenced by Peter Jackson’s "Dead Alive" lawnmower ending. Purists will hate the ‘stronger faster’ zombies but if you just want 80 minutes of goofy zombie-zaniness you could do much worse. B.

  101. Fido (2006)- (Odd zomedy about a kid whose only friend is his zombie.)The story of a boy and his dog...er zombie. "Is Timmy in trouble Fido?" I heard a lot of bad stuff about this one but those are probably people that expected "Shaun of the Dead" again. Sure it’s supposed to be a funny horror movie about zombies but the similarities end there. In the future (past), after the zombie wars, Zomcon has found a way to domesticate the zombie. Of course precautions have to be taken, but, for the most part, everyone is safe. When a security expert from Zomcom moves into the neighborhood, things are bound to be secure, or maybe that will end up making things worse. Since I expected nothing I was pleasantly surprised at the strange approach of this one. I thought it would be derivative in some sense but it came across as pretty original, an odd "kitchen of tomorrow’ 1950s vibe, like a weird Twilight Zone or something. There are lots of ‘hat tips’ to other zombie movies too but I’ll leave those for you to find. I’m not sure what to grade this, the writing, directing, and acting were all good, the story pretty original (yeah, it expands on the end of "Shaun of the Dead" but it does it in an offbeat way), but I’m not too sure it qualifies as horror actually. I will give it an A, that may be generous but I can’t find a reason not to give it an A.

  102. Zombie Diaries (2006)- Another ‘point-of-view’ horror movie, this time following different people during a ‘zombie Armageddon’. We begin with news reports of a virus ravaging Asia and people's reaction to it in England. A film crew heads out to interview a farmer about having to kill his livestock as a precaution against the virus and as they are leaving the virus begins to take hold in England and very rapidly spreads, turning people into stumbling mumbling flesh craving zombies. Of course the setup of these movies tends to all be the same, it’s what happens after the setup that can set them apart (or lump them together). And after that setup we jump through several film ‘diaries’ following different groups as they try and survive after modern society has broken down. One group is trying to find food, another is trying to keep a small community at a farm together long enough to survive. A thread sort of ties them all together and there is a wrap around story that if explored more deeply could have been very interesting but as it stands didn’t really seem to make sense in context (without giving too much away it follows a couple of psychopaths and how the zombie hordes have made it easier for them to plow their trade). If you dislike the jerky point of view style then you aren’t going to like this one. It is often dark, very jumpy, and the editing is disjointed, as these flicks really should be if they are to seem ‘real’ and although these films typically shouldn’t have a soundtrack at all, this one does use some ‘ominous’ keyboard pads during points of suspense. I liked this one, it was much better that Romero’s attempt at a POV zombie flick (sorry George) and it almost caught that elusive end of the world "We are truly screwed" feeling that is an important part of zombie movies for me, but as it comes damn close in every category, it never quite made it over the top for me. (One minus was some of the acting was bad, in POV movies dialogue HAS to be delivered in a believable way and there were points in this one that were pretty awkward). I’ll give this a B, file under ‘almost was’.

  103. Slither (2006)- (Alien controlled zombies are back.) This is over the top comedy horror in the vein of ’Evil Dead’, ‘Return of the Living Dead’, and ‘Dead Alive’. Although probably not as good as any of those it does hold its own as a tribute to all that have come before in the comedy horror sub-genre. Look for obvious (and not so obvious) head nods to lots of flicks. The plot? Does it matter? Anyway, an older man who is worried his younger eye candy wife may be getting tired of him wonders off into the woods and is injected by an alien ‘spore’ of some sort. He begins to change and can’t restrain the need to spread the aliens far and wide. Lots of gross out FX follow as worm progeny enter their hosts via the mouth. This flick has tongue planted firmly in cheek (sorry) and shouldn’t be taken too seriously, and on that level it worked for me, I liked it quite a bit, I’ll give it an A.

  104. Wicked Little Things (2006)- (Nothing new here and these would probably be avenging ghosts but they are referred to as zombies in the movie.) One of the Eight Films to Die For Festival. The story revolves around a mother of two daughters, one a smart assed teenager who needs an ass kicking and one typical cutesy blonde girl a la "Poltergeist" etc. The mother is recently widowed and her husband’s death has left them low on money, but it did leave them a run down rat infested old house in the middle of nowhere. Feeling she has no choice they all move into the dump. Weird locals (remember, everyone who lives in the country is weird) abound, a stuttering staring, but over all friendly shopkeeper, a nut who spreads blood on everyone’s doors, a grizzled old bastard of a plumber, you get the idea. Anyway, back in the day a mining ‘accident’ killed off a group of kids who were forced to work in the mine, needless to say the kids are out for revenge, and they’re a tad hungry too. Pretty much every character we have here is the stereotype, from the above mentioned down to the descendent of the mine owner who now wants to build a ski resort on the land and gives us the ‘focus of rage’ these movies can’t go on without. There is nothing original about this one at all, it’s really basically "The Fog" with a few other plots loosely mixed in (and way too many "hey there’s someone behind you oh no there’s not" pseudo scares). Taking into account all its faults, I still didn’t hate this one. Yeah it is predictable and at times silly, but it also serves up some good enough visuals, a story that despite feeling like I’d seen it several times before kept me interested, and some nice location shooting. So if you’re in the mood for a somewhat creepy, albeit cliché ridden revenge ghost story (although they make the kids out as zombies) you’ll probably like this. If you want original truly scary material then you probably won’t dig it too much. I’m feeling generous today so I’m going to give it a B-.

  105. Mulberry Street (2006)- (Obviously influenced by "28 Days Later" this is a virus which turns folks into 'were-rats', not zombies, but it follows the zombie formula.) Part of After Dark Films 2007 HorrorFest here we have a "28 Days Later" clone, and that ain’t a bad thing. Obviously low budget and filmed on the move this is an intense ride through Manhattan as a virus spread by unusually aggressive rats turns people into murdering cannibalistic rat people. We follow the tenants of an apartment building (and one of the tenant’s daughter who is trying to get home after being wounded in Iraq) which is about to be torn down for redevelopment ("The neighborhood is changing" we’re not so subtly told) as they battle the plague and do their best to stick together and look out for each other in the face of impossible odds. Yeah, it is basically "28 Days Later" only instead of ‘later’ it follows the outbreak and spread but get past a little plot unoriginality and you get a great and intense flick. The acting is great, the look of the film is perfect (dark, grainy, and jarring, if you don’t like this sort of cinematography then stay away from this one!), and the characters are believable, well rounded and developed. Plus you kind of get the feeling that this is more or less how folks would probably actually react to such circumstances. A strong A.

  106. 28 Weeks Later (2007)- (More movie making evidence that our leaders have no idea what they're doing, as if we need more proof than real life offers us.) "28 Days Later" was a brutal film and a nice twist on the zombie/I Am Legend/Omega Man genre. "28 Weeks Later" is even more brutal and is one of the tensest films I’ve seen in quite a while. It picks up during the initial outbreak. Several people are holed up in a cottage in the country when the inevitable attack occurs. What follows is probably the 2nd most intense intro to a horror movie since the remake of "Dawn of the Dead". 28 weeks later and England is being repopulated, with great caution, and of course, too soon as scientists still know next to nothing about the Rage virus. As it turns out, some people can be carriers without showing symptoms. And of course, all Hell soon breaks loose. One doctor thinks she has someone genetically able to carry the virus without the symptoms, but will she live long enough to get them to safety? This movie is very violent, as should be expected, and it is well acted (for the most part) and well directed. There are a couple of weak spots and one or two "That wouldn’t happens" but suspend a little belief and this is a great horror ride. Not as good as the first but pretty close. A strong A.

  107. REC (2007)- (Rabies have'n crazies) This was remade in America and called "Quarantine", this is the original Spanish version. Although I saw the American version a couple years prior to seeing this one, it seems, from what I remember they are very similar. The American makers obviously knew not to mess too much with what was already a great flick! And this is a great flick. The story? A reporter and her cameraman work for a show called "While You Were Asleep" where they follow people who have night jobs. This episode they follow the night shift of a fire department/first responder crew. The first call they go on is for a lady who has been screaming in her apartment building and may be hurt. Hurt indeed, she seems to sway from semi-catatonic to very violent at the drop of a hat. She bites a policeman, attacks a fireman, and slowly the pot begins to boil over as we find out there is an infection at work in the apartment, turning folks into living very angry zombies, and bringing a quarantine from the government. This is a point of view film so I will start by saying if you hate that style then stay away. For me, I like them generally, and here it simply works very well. I really dug the American version but knocked it a partial grade (from A+ to A) because I felt the end became just a tad too chaotic. I didn’t get that vibe here (maybe because I saw this one on the small screen and maybe because reading subtitles with a POV film is trickier than a regular film since the dialogue tends to move faster and people interrupt one another more so I focused on that at times), and yeah, it is "28 Days Later" in POV, either way an A+ it is.

  108. Zombie Town (2007)- This is just another in the long line of super cheap zombie movies dating back to Romero’s ultimate indie cheapie. Some of these flicks are hit, some miss, so where does this one fall? Well the story is pretty tried and true, something is causing folks to become violent flesh eating zombies (this time it is slug like creatures that enter the body and force the host to consume). A small group of survivors (a mechanic, a snow plow driver, and a biology expert who coincidentally used to date the mechanic and looks way too young to be so full of knowledge) look for ways to stem the tide. What follows is pretty typical. I went into this one expecting nothing at all, and as is often the case, ended up liking the movie enough. Yeah it is very cheap, the acting is pretty bad, some of the effects are hilariously bad (look for the wrecked truck scene), and some of the humor is a stretch. Still, it seems they knew when to turn the humor on and when to go for more of a visceral scare, which is important (a lot of times the makers of these flicks just know they are going to suck so they simply go for all out camp and fail at both horror and comedy). If you hate cheap zombie flicks or stupid wise cracking campy humor then steer clear, if you like movies that are only a step or two away from train wrecked garbage then enjoy. I’ll give it a B- since I expected F material to begin with and ended up not hating it.

  109. Cadaverella (2007)- (Goofy but fun.) Twist on the Cinderella story. Our main character is a smart assed librarian who acts like she pretty much hates everyone. Her boyfriend is a college guy who’s always trying to get her to go to college. She’s a clepto and lifts things from his apartment all the time, including a small voodoo charm of the spirit who guards the door between the living and the dead. Her dad died soon after marrying a stripper so she was raised by her stripper step mom with her two very strange twins. Her dad was loaded and left her a nice trust fund that she’ll get when she turns 21 but, the day before her 21st birthday she decides to do a little partying with the gardener and winds up dead. A visit from the voodoo spirit from the voodoo charm gives her until midnight to avenge her death. For a no budget flick this is pretty well done. It drags at times and plays up the camp a little too much though. It feels very much like those syndicated shows "Tales From The Dark Side" from back in the day so if you liked those you’ll like this. B-

  110. I Am Legend (2007)- (Again, strictly speaking these aren't zombies but it is close and the evolution of Matheson's novella is interesting.) Yet another interpretation of Matheson’s novella joining "The Last Man On Earth", "The Omega Man", Romero’s Living Dead films (more or less), "28 Days Later", "Blade" (sort of) and probably some others I am forgetting about. It proves what a ripe idea his book was to begin with: a virus turns people into vampire like creatures and one man who is immune fights them. That is the basic gist. Here we have Will Smith as Legend, capturing the creatures by day, hoping to find a cure for them as he races around an otherwise completely empty New York City. Many of the effects are great, including the look and feel of the dead city and Smith’s acting carries the film. I was leery about him playing the part when I first heard about it but I must say he is perfect for the role, with a very believable range of emotion you can’t help but feel for him as he slips near insanity from loneliness and a feeling of responsibility for not being able to stop the virus in time (he is a military scientist assigned to find a cure). We get an overview of what happened (a genetically mutated measles virus was released as a cure for cancer), and brief glimpses of New York falling apart, but like "28 Days Later", not much time is spent in the past. This is really a very effective interpretation of the book and I liked it quite a bit. I have two complaints: The CGI vampire creatures leave quite a bit to be desired and give an otherwise intense flick an almost comic book feel when they are around. CGI works for Spider Man movies but here I think it would’ve been a lot more intense had the creatures been batshit insane humans (and I won’t even bother with the CGI vampire dogs, they almost lost me there). And second we miss the relationship between Neville and the vampires. That is part of the appeal of the book, the vampires pounding on Neville’s door, taunting him, and calling him, some of them his friends (and even his wife). The creatures are much more distant and not human enough here, even though we know his assessment of them as having lost all of their humanity is proven wrong, the reason for their attacks on him are only hinted at (he is Legend, who travels by day, killing their kind). All in all I liked this one a lot, a couple of weak spots hurt its final grade but don’t let that deter you if you like these apocalypse type flicks like me. A-.

  111. Beneath the Surface (2007)- Low budget zombie flick about an ‘Emo punk’ who happens to like a cheerleader. You would think that would just lead to heartbreak but they used to be friends when they were kids and she just might be interested in him, despite her super rich football playing date rapist boyfriend. Speaking of, things go bad at her boyfriend’s party when a tad too much Ecstasy stops her heart. Her death is labeled as a suicide, end of story. Not quite. A quirky neighbor of the emo kid happens to be an archeologist who studies voodoo. Raise one dead cheerleader to prove she was murdered and we’re off. Yes this is LOW budget and the acting often leaves something to be desired, but despite those obvious flaws this isn’t a bad flick. If you want brain munching violence and gore you’ll be disappointed but as a tale of high school stereotypes and what happens to someone who breaks stereotype I think it holds up pretty well. Just be budget aware! B+

  112. Planet Terror (2007)- (This is a good one, it really just amounts to a tribute to the horror film, especially the Zombie film.) From the Grindhouse double feature. Here we have a military experiment gone awry. Some soldiers have been exposed to a gas and now they must get an antidote, but in the process of acquiring it, it leaks and exposes a town to it’s less desirable side effect of turning them into flesh eating zombies. Soon all Hell breaks loose and we get tons of movie references, everything from "Dawn of the Dead" to "Escape from New York" (plus an awesome appearance by Tom Savini, be sure and catch his demise!). Sure it is completely over the top, but we knew that going in and it delivers the goods in the gore and camp departments very well. No, there’s nothing terribly original here, but that’s kind of the whole idea, it is literally a mishmash of all that has come before and in that it succeeds. A.

  113. Invasion, The (2007)- (For the 3rd time, these aren't really zombies but they are close.) We really didn’t need another take on "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers" but oh well. All in all this isn’t a bad flick, starts off suspenseful enough with the space shuttle crashing and a possible alien virus being found in the remains. People start acting weird and a psychiatrist starts to notice. Things slowly unravel, and then very quickly unravel and there are some interesting scenes. We slide into action adventure complete with car chases, explosions, and helicopters and then just like that it’s over. Yeah, it was a little anti-climactic at the end but I didn’t hate it PLOT SPOILER AHEAD! Recently a lot of these type of films have had the negative ending (the 70s version did too), this has the happy ‘Hollywood’ ending and I guess what I’m saying is that ain’t always bad. This one may be a little more realistic in its approach than the 50s version or the 70s version but over all I liked those two better, you’re best bet would be to do a Bodysnatcher weekend and catch all 3. B-

  114. American Zombie (2007)- A mockumentary chronicling the plight of zombies trying to eek out a 'living' in LA. Some lower functioning zombies are taken advantage of, some higher functioning ones are trying to help the others, or just survive being dead. The film comes off as a real documentary very well, the acting is actually brilliant as you would truly believe what the subjects are saying and how the filmmakers act throughout. There is some camp and comedy relief but it isn't over the top and done to the detriment of the movie. We start out feeling sorry for the zombies but things slowly start to crumble as the veil is lifted from their world. And that is where I think the movie stumbles a bit. It seems a little too slow to start, but a little too quick to end. I didn't hate the end, but by the same token, I just felt it seemed like they just ran out of ideas. Also, I read that this was a 'gorefest', it isn't at all. Still, over all, I liked the movie. It is flawed but it still worked for me. A-.

  115. Dairy of the Dead (2008)- (Don't trust the media... Don't trust anyone... Romero returns to the genre he basically created, and fumbles the ball.) Romero is back with another zombie movie entry, this time taking a cue from "The Blair With Project" and "Cloverfield" by making a point-of-view film about zombies. It is sort of a retelling of "Night of the Living Dead" set today. A group of college film students/actors are making a horror film for their senior project when suddenly and for seemingly no reason the dead begin to rise up to consume the living. The student director becomes obsessed with turning his fake mummy movie into a real documentary on what is happening. So the group gets together in a Winnebago to head home. I guess they all live in the same direction and/or don’t own their own cars. Bottom line, Romero is the master, but even the master can have a bad game. Maybe Romero’s directing doesn’t lend itself to the point-of-view style, maybe the dialogue was just too clunky, maybe the acting was just too bad, maybe the plot holes were just too deep, maybe some sequences were just too unbelievable, maybe the message this time was just too heavy handed, maybe the camp parts seemed out of place, maybe it was a combination of all of the above, but I have to admit, as much as I don’t want to, I was very disappointed in this flick. It just felt like I was walking through a haunted house with a zombie theme. Here’s the outside scene, here’s the dorm scene, here’s the hospital scene, here’s the house scene, here’s the warehouse scene, here’s the panic room scene. This could’ve been so good, the idea was there, some of the parts were great (the opening with the police at the apartment complex, the team clearing out the apartment building with the old people, some parts of the hospital scene), but some were just bad (Deb’s house, the cameraman not doing anything when a zombie walks right in front of him to bite someone at the hospital, the mummy/zombie camp part). Also, from a realism point regarding the point-of-view- style, love it or hate it, the camera work and editing is supposed to feel bad and amateurish, here it was just too slick with the security camera angles edited in, the double cameras, and the soundtrack playing almost throughout. It just totally lost that ‘shot on the run vibe’. I know I know these were film students and had editing gear, they show that, still... And George, I dig my horror with a message, always respected you for your abilities in that respect, but crap man, I don’t need it hitting me like a baseball bat. Information overload indeed. I can’t believe this but I’m forced to give the Master a C-.

  116. Recycle (2008)- (Not 'zombie focused' but they play an important role, symbolising lost and rejected ideas etc., very weird actually.) This starts out like a very typical Asian horror film. A writer who is known for her love stories decides to write a horror novel, and it seems she may be getting too involved in her work as weird sounds, images, and shadows begin to show up, effective but I was starting to think "saw it". Then all of a sudden the gal finds herself in another dimension and we’re off into a very strange fantasy/horror film in sort of almost a "Lord of the Rings" vibe; very weird as the gal tries to find her way back with the help of a little girl, dodging zombies, ghosts, and generally bad situations (all based around the idea that they are rejected ideas, left in the 'recycle bin'). It felt like one of those video game movies except better and in the end kind of had a ham fisted message that may have been over the top, depending on how you feel about such things. This is a tough one to grade, I think I’ll drop a B+ on it, I dug it for the most part, but did find it a tad over the top.

  117. I Sell the Dead (2008)- (Digging up vampires and zombies for profit) Comedy horror flick about grave robbers back in the day. They are plying their trade, basically being threatened and under paid by a local doctor who needs the corpses when they stumble across a way to not only get even, but a way to make more money. Rob the graves of the ‘undead’! A conflict with other grave robbers along with plenty of hijinks follow. This is all told in flash back fashion by one of the grave robbers who is to be executed at dawn, his partner having been executed earlier. File this one under ‘almost was’. There are some great bits but they seem to be strung together by a lot of nothing. Flicks like this rely on a faster pace and this one lacks that in spots (although at just under 90 minutes it isn’t that long anyway). I’ll give this a C+, the acting, directing, effects all worked but it ended up just being really good ideas floating in too much talk.

  118. Quarantine (2008)- (Very much like "Mulberry Street" or "28 days Later", this is more about sick folks than zombies, but the gist is there.) Point of view movie about a reporter and cameraman riding along with a firefighter/first responder crew one night. The first call they go on turns out to be a call about a very sick woman in a small apartment complex. She is delirious and obviously sick, she also attacks them, biting a police officer on the neck and tossing one of the firefighters over a stairwell. Turns out she may be suffering from a very contagious and rapid gestating version of rabies. It seems the CDC knows about the infection outbreak and completely cuts off the apartment complex from the outside world. Naturally, other folks inside become infected and all hell breaks loose. Shot in the point of view style like "Blair Witch..." it, for me anyway, works this time. This is what Romero’s "Diary of the Dead" should’ve been. It was very well done, with believable acting and some great fast paced shots. If you dislike this style then you will probably dislike this movie though so keep that in mind. My only complaint is it gets a little long in the tooth as we near the end with a little too much running around and screaming. Although the end became tedious I did like the conclusion. A.

  119. Deadgirl (2008)- This is a movie full of contradictions and inconsistencies. For instance, some of the acting is terrible, some really good, some of the editing is great, some atrocious, some of the atmosphere is perfect, some ill fitting at best. You get the idea, inconsistent. Plot-wise this is a flick about 2 outcast 17 year olds who don’t fit in at school and whose parents really don’t care too much about where they are or what they are up to. One day while skipping school they break into an old abandoned mental hospital to drink and vandalize. While exploring the basement they stumble on what at first they think is a dead body, they soon realize she is alive, and sometime later realize she can’t actually be killed. One of the teens rather rapidly descends into depravity while the other is conflicted about whether he should care and just what he should do about it. Zombie rape scenes ensue. Weird yes, but an interesting look at another side of the zombie tale (although this was somewhat addressed in the extras on the ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake DVD). Hardcore zombie fans will be disappointed in the lack of gore and action, but those not used to the zombie gore flicks might actually think there is too much gore; such is the beast when making one of these flicks! Regardless, this movie in the end I think is really a metaphor for humans’ ability to be inhumane, and how easy a slide it can actually be from bored to criminal, kind of a disturbing modern twist on ‘Lord of the Flies’. I don’t want to read too much into what the film makers were trying to accomplish here but I also think it is a metaphor for the post-Web-porn generation. A generation whose contact with others is often texts and FaceBook, and Internet porn and objectification is everywhere. The rape scenes are so detached as to be just masturbatory fantasies for porn surfing teens, the zombie woman only as real as a monitor’s 2D anonymous prostitute 1000 miles away. As a straight up horror flick this might not pass the muster, but as a look into modern depravity, regardless of intentions, it holds up very well. A-.

  120. Signal, The (2008)- (More 'Crazies' than Zombies, but you know that by now.) Derivative yet effective take on the ‘people have gone crazy’ horror sub-genre. Some sort of signal is being broadcast over all televisions, radios, and phones in the city of Terminus. At first it seems to just be an annoyance, but soon people start acting on violent impulse, killing one another at the drop of a hat, and having trouble discerning reality from hallucination. Yes, you can sit and pick out the influences, ‘Crazies’, ‘Dawn of the Dead’(remake), ’28 Days Later’, ‘Mulberry Street’, etc. but this flick is still able to rise above its influences and have something to offer. It is an interesting look at madness, dependency, jealousy, rage, and to some degree society and technology and is worth a viewing in my opinion. Perfect? No. Unnecessarily weird at times? Yes (It comes in 3 ‘chapters’ each directed by a different director and it makes a strange twist from deadly serious to over the top camp and back again, while it makes for a bumpy ride I did find it an interesting approach.) I’m going to give this a pretty strong B+. Close to an A but it just slightly misses the mark in really maintaining that ‘hopeless’ feeling these flicks need to work and while I actually liked the shift in and out of camp, I also feel that maybe it was a surrender to some extent.

  121. Dance of the Dead (2008)- Zomedy about a really really bad prom night. Yeah, it is as goofy as it sounds and is at times typical B-grade stuff. Having said that I liked it, I guess because I knew what to expect going in, which was nothing. The high school stereotypes are everywhere, the bully, the nerds, the comedian, the cheerleaders, the class president and vice president, the date rapist, etc.etc.et al and they are played to camp hilt. ‘Shaun of the Dead’ or ‘An American Werewolf in London’ it ain’t! But a goofy high school prom flick with zombies it is. B

  122. Splinter (2008)- (Zombie body parts) There’s some sort of bacteria/mold that takes over organic material (animals, people, body parts) and then searches for blood and more organic material. Situations like that are never good, toss in a wanted man, his junky girlfriend, and their hostages, an adventurous girl and her nerdy PhD seeking boyfriend and you’ve got trouble. The lot of them get stuck at a gas station in the middle of nowhere and a variation of ‘Night of the Living Dead’ follows. Yeah, it’s not overly original, the stereotypes and clichés come by the handful, and there are some unintentionally funny scenes, but I’ve seen much worse in this category of horror flick. The acting and directing manage to keep up the tension so while far from perfect I will give it a B-, that might be generous but I’m feeling generous today.

  123. Colin (2008)- First off, this was done on a shoestring budget, so if you don’t like the shaky handicam, poor lighting, and often inaudible audio of these productions you might as well stop here! So, no it isn’t ‘well done’ in a big budget sense, but is it well done in a low budget sense? Sometimes. The plot here is taking a look at a zombie apocalypse from the zombie’s point of view, more or less. We follow Colin after he is bitten and becomes a zombie as he stumbles along aimlessly. Mainly what we discover right off is zombies wonder around, slowly, later we find people are idiots. Like a lot of flicks like this it is full of great ideas, shoddily executed. If you think about what is happening even a little you get confused (that is when you can see what is happening on the screen at all). Examples? Well, we get a couple thugs who are taking advantage of the zombies by stealing from them, they want Colin’s shoes. Naturally they take a blunt instrument to his head, crush his skull and steal his shoes right? No, the movie would’ve ended early. Instead they put him in a choke hold and try like mad to steal his shoes. Later we see the inside of a house completely full of zombies, I was at a loss as to what exactly was going on there but some folks were either fighting the zombies with various household utensils or they were trying to escape by hitting zombies with pots as they ran through hordes of them, after several of them are killed one of them runs upstairs, locks a bedroom door and escapes through a window, which left me wondering ‘why didn’t they all just do that right off?’ the next several minutes were too dark to quite figure out. We are cued in to the killing squads though (via newspaper clippings hung by Colin’s mother) and we hear gunfire in the distance throughout, but when a killing squad shows up they are wielding golf clubs and slingshots, poorly equipped to say the least! Had a little more thought and a little better lighting been put into this it could’ve worked really well, as it stands I’ll give it a C-, nice try, better than I could do, but that doesn’t mean it goes down all that well, pun intended.

  124. Dead Outside, The (2008)- (Student art film?) Another in a line of ’28 Days Later’ coattail riders. Not a bad thing sometimes, other times? Here we have an infection that has turned people into raving schizophrenic lunatics (not technically ‘dead’ but the title may refer to the dead bodies or maybe just a jump on the zombie bandwagon, not sure). Apparently a vaccine was developed but all that did was delay, and thereby worsen, the effects. A man finds a, what else, isolated farm house to hole up in, but it isn’t empty. A teenage girl happens to live there and she might have had a pretty brutal past, possibly because she might be immune to the disease. Yeah, pretty vague and that’s how I feel about the whole movie. Everyone is a little insane, whether infected or not, I suppose you would be after living through the worst, but damn. We get some weird flashbacks, really artsy dark cinematography, infected people who seem normal then don’t and apparently don’t have enough reasoning power to climb a fence, and lots of moping, yelling, and whining in thick accents. I don’t know, I really wanted to like this but I was just a little too confused. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect to be spoon fed and I don’t mind some ‘artsiness’ with my horror but it was just too hard to tell what was going on a good portion of the time, both visually and aurally. I guess for as low a budget as it had it ‘looked’ pretty good, and it created a pretty good atmosphere of hopelessness, just not quite good enough! D.

  125. Zombieland (2009)- Do we really need another ‘zomedy’? Sure, what the Hell! And this one works. We pick up just after a virus-caused zombie apocalypse with a guy who has pretty much been a loner/shut in his whole life. He likes Mountain Dew and video games and has made a list of rules that help him survive life after zombies. He is sort of hitchhiking when he runs into Tallahassee, a good ol’ boy who is looking for the last Twinkie. The two of them eventually find a couple of con artist girls and, after a few cons, the four of them head off to Pacific Playland, where apparently rumor has it there are no zombies. Yeah, it is a very warped version of "National Lampoon’s Vacation" and it works really well. Great characters, all of them opposites, find a way to finally get along and make the best of a bad situation... sort of. Purists may not like the faster, smarter zombies I guess but I liked the whole damn thing myself. A+.

  126. Dead Snow (2009)- More Nazi Zombies and their gold stashes! Some med-school students head out for a ski trip in a remote cabin in the mountains in Norway. Turns out they are staying not too far from where the locals turned on and stole back the gold stash the Nazis had stolen from them during WWII. Now those Nazis are very pissed! From the very beginning we’re off on a romp that both pays homage to teen-slasher and zombie flicks that have come before, and parodies them at the same time. From the early quote about ‘how many horror movies start with college kids heading out for a weekend’ to the old guy who shows up out of nowhere and sets the story up, stuck in a remote cabin surrounded by zombies, to the chainsaw/shotgun action packed ending. Yes, equal parts ‘Evil Dead’, ‘Night of the Living Dead’, and ‘Shaun of the Dead’, with a little ‘Friday the 13th’ thrown in. Remember this is a tribute, a comedy, a parody, and a horror/zombie movie all rolled into one. If you appreciate the over the top campiness of flicks like ‘Evil Dead’ then you should like this one, I’ll give it an A, I liked the Nazi zombies a lot and there were some pretty funny and outrages moments.

  127. Survival of the Dead (2009)- (Romero returns yet again) I wanted to like this one after I felt Romero had fumbled pretty bad with the painful ‘Diary of the Dead’ so maybe I was biased going in but dammit I did like it. Some soldiers decide that they would be better off on their own (a la the SWAT team in ‘Dawn...’) so they head out on some adventures (including a forced nod to ‘Diary...’) and wind up heading for an island where they believe they will be left alone, but find a Western in waiting, with cowboys trying to tame the zombies rather than Indians. Romero really didn’t cover any new ground and didn’t manage to whip up that ‘we’re seriously screwed now’ atmosphere that made his original trilogy so raw and powerful, but this isn’t a bad entry and almost redeems him in my eyes after the ‘Diary...’ debacle. The lines between right and wrong, good and bad were blurred enough to keep me interested and the social commentary, while obvious, was relevant. B.

  128. Zombies of Mass Destruction (2009)- Do you think you’re funny? Do you have a soap box you’d like to stand on? Fancy yourself a filmmaker? Do you like zombie movies? Then just get together with some friends and make a preachy attempt at a funny zombie comedy. That’s what these guys did and here is their message: People who live in small towns are asshole rednecks who hate gays and anyone who might be ‘foreign’, however they aren’t really smart enough to know who’s gay and what ‘foreign’ is. That’s pretty much it, so we have a guy and his boyfriend come back to the small town from the paradise Big City to come out of the closet to his mom (which despite being petrified to do he blurts out ‘I suck dick mom’ hahaha, and the hilarity is just starting). Another portion of the multi-pronged plot has a girl of Iranian descent being called Iraqi all day (will the fun never end), and finally a mayor who is friends with a homophobic preacher and running against a woman in the next election of all the crazy things. Not sure I want to waste any more time on this flick, I’ll just give it an F for being WAY too preachy, WAY too wordy, and, well, just plain dumb.

  129. Horde, The (2009)- (Action movie or horror movie, we can't decide) What happens when some rogue cops head into a really bad neighborhood to avenge the death of one of their own at the hands of some ruthless drug dealers? Well, plans go awry, zombies attack, and the cops and drug dealers need to work together to get out alive. How well do you think that will go? We don’t know why dead people are rising up and eating the living, we do know that it looks like the entire city is under attack and even if they get out of the condemned apartment building they may not have much of a city left. The movie has some very intense scenes and some very good acting (a French flick with subtitles) in the ’28 Days Later’ vein, which I dig, but then at points it goes all action packed, in the ‘Resident Evil’ vein, which I don’t care for too much; so we waiver between intense scenes of tension and fear and scenes of kung-fu fighting zombies, and in-fighting among characters who you end up not caring much for anyway. In the end it proved to be just a little too over the top for me, but if you dig that approach you might want to check this one out. As for me, I’ll give it a C-, cut back on the hand to hand zombie combat, the cartoon characters (like the Vietnam vet), and give me at least one or two characters to actually care about and it would’ve worked.

  130. Mutants (2009)- Zombie movies have become a dime a dozen over the last few years, there are the balls out gory ones, the ones with a message, the ones that try to really be frightening, the comedies, and the ones that try and be a mix of all of the above. I’ve said before, I like zombie movies and give them the benefit of the doubt, having said that, this one might not be for everyone. I think this French vehicle might be more of the message kind, however there is some occasional projectile-blood-vomiting gore available. The story follows a man and his doctor/nurse wife as they travel through the French countryside in seek of refuge after a virus turns people into ravenous pissed off beasties (not technically zombies but…) bad move after bad move leads them to a huge abandoned building in the woods, and the man slowly slides into zombieness, but does his girl have an idea for a cure? It is slow moving at times, and decisions only people in movies make are made so you may be screaming at the screen at times, and if you’ve seen a lot of zombie movies you’ll catch yourself quoting where each idea came from. But, if you can allow yourself to get into the story and ignore the obvious flaws, it does tend to work. The exploration of losing a loved one to a slow, painful, and debilitating disease, the absolute fear of being alone and cut off, humanity vs. inhumanity, and in the end the need to do anything to survive are interesting and well used themes here. With all the pop culture references to ‘the zombie apocalypse’ this flick reminds us that such an event probably wouldn’t end up being all that fun. All told I would put this in the same category as ‘Deadgirl’, maybe not a great flick over-all, but interesting if you follow the theme. B+.

  131. Last of the Living (2009)- Very low budget, and it shows, New Zealand zomedy about 3 guys living it up after the zombie apocalypse. They meet up with a woman who may have a cure and set about trying to get that cure into the right hands. There are parts that are funny, and well done, but the bad acting often stands in the way. I can over look a lot of things in a low budget movie but you have to have some folks that can act and these guys aren't too good at times. I didn't hate this but I didn't much like it either so I'll drop it a high-to-middle grade like a C+.

  132. Zombie Farm (2009)- I read some scathingly negative reviews about this one before watching, but I watched anyway, and really, it wasn’t that bad. It is FAR from a masterpiece, but it isn’t as bad as the reviews made me think it might be and it didn’t fall into the craptacular scale either, which proves you shouldn’t trust anyone’s reviews(?!?) or when you have very low expectations they’re easy to rise above! Anyway, this is a flick about Mexican-American culture (and in that it stumbles badly I think). A documentary filmmaker sees an ad for a psychic on TV and decides to make a movie about him. But she finds out he’s actually a good guy who is trying to help people. One of the people he winds up not helping is a woman whose husband is abusing her. This woman then goes to a ‘real’ psychic who turns her husband into a zombie. The fake psychic then tries to help, as does the documentary filmmaker, get rid of the woman’s zombified husband, which leads to a “zombie farm” a la “White Zombie”, run by the real psychic. As mentioned it is no masterpiece, with some forced dialogue and less than stellar acting and cinematography, low budget and pretty much no effects. Still, it wasn’t a bad flick, a low quality made-for-TV feel basically. I’ll give it a C+.

  133. Crazies, The (2010)- (Again, not striclty zombies, but these flicks all fall under the same sub-genre in my book) Remake of the Romero cult classic about a military plane carrying a bio-engineered virus that crashes near a small town and then leaks said virus into the local water supply. Townsfolk start acting a little strange, even violent, and the local sheriff takes it upon himself to figure things out, even after the military shows up and quarantines the whole town in a poorly executed attempt at containing the virus. This is pretty much a standard plot nowadays and this has nothing new to offer the genre at all. Pretty much stereotypical characters (hero small town sheriff, fat rich mayor who won’t listen, distant faceless government that doesn’t care about the locals, out of control rednecks who will very obviously cause problems later, people who do stupid stuff like sitting in a brightly lit truck stop when the quarantine is on and folks have all gone bananas) still, it works. If you want fresh and original then steer clear but if you don’t mind the retelling of a familiar tale then jump on in. The characters are interesting, shallow yes, smart no, but you still find yourself rooting for them. The action is well paced and there are plenty of suspenseful well filmed segments, and a fair amount of violence and gore (although not over the top) for those of you that like that tossed in for good measure. So was it better than Romero’s? Well, as seems to often be the case, Romero I think was just better at getting his point across with regard to his social agenda than the remakers tend to be, so in that vein his is better, however this has the budget to ‘feel’ more real, where Romero’s suffered a little as his vision outpaced his budget I think. Also, how come in these movies the infected never attack each other, only those not infected and how do they know? I’ll give this a strong B+, points for suspense and feel, points taken away for a total lack of originality.

  134. Stake Land (2010)- (Yes these are actually vampires, but it is a nice combination of the vampire/zombie/I Am Legend mythos so stop being so stringent!) Surprising hybrid vampire/zombie flick. Civilization has come to an end as millions of humans became vampires, and these aren’t your suave Dracula vampires either, these are basically zombies with vampire powers and I think the movie does well at mixing the two mythos together (better than a lot of the ‘I Am Legend’ variants on which this must have been loosely based). So we follow a vampire hunter and his assistant as they travel north in hopes of finding New Eden, a haven for what’s left of humanity. Along the way they run into the best, and of course, the worst of humanity, teaching us the ever present zombie movie lesson that we are in fact our own worst enemies. A loose subplot involving some far right Christian sect falls a little flat as it enters action movie territory but that aside this flick works really well I think, maybe since I actually expected it to suck! I’ll give it a very strong B+.

  135. Rammbock (2010)- (Could play as a sequel to '28 Weeks later') A German zombie/infected flick that follows the formula pretty well. A man heads to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment to return her keys but he is really hoping to fix their relationship which hasn’t been working as a ‘long distance’ one. When he arrives at her apartment a couple of men are working on the radiator and his girlfriend has gone out. Suddenly one of the pipefitters becomes very angry and attacks the man and also his own assistant. From there we embark on the ‘virus spread by bites, stay indoors’ tip pretty much started in ‘Night of the Living Dead’. Here we’re stuck in an apartment building where others who are stuck can speak to one another via windows facing a courtyard; an interesting approach. Although never billed this way it sort of comes across as a sequel to ’28 Weeks Later’ although with a tiny budget (remember at the end of ’28 Weeks Later’ the infection had spread to mainland Europe, although the news reports in the movie have it being something new). There isn’t much gore if you’re looking for that, but the acting is pretty good and the flick is short and very fast paced so I have no real complaints. I’ll give it a B+, it could’ve used a little more zombie action and I’m not sure the additions to the mythos are great ideas (sedatives maybe, camera flashes, not so sure, although Romero tried something similar in ‘Land of the Dead’ with fireworks).

  136. Zombie Apocalypse (2011)- I generally hate Scy-Fy original movies. They try too hard to be dumb, and in my opinion succeed at being really dumb. But I figured one about zombies might be worth watching. So was it? Not really. Several months after a virus causes the dead to want to eat the living, society is breaking down and some survivors trek across the country to find safe haven on Catalina Island. It kind of plays out like a typical video game, each survivor has a different weapon, different strengths, etc. They walk, fight, walk, fight, and talk occasionally. The effects are bad, with really bad looking digital blood splatters (I would think buying a case of corn syrup and food coloring would be cheaper, and would look better). How is it blood is splattered everywhere but no one has any on their clothes, or even on their weapons? Things like that pop out everywhere and after a while it gets tedious making fun of it. Then the zombie dog shows up, and I won’t even get into the ending. Yeah, the Scy-Fy originals love to take things over the top; subtly is not in their vocabulary, and I realize it’s not supposed to be. There’s an audience for it, I’m just not in that audience I guess. This is good for goofy fun but I didn’t dig it too much, even on that level. D.

  137. Juan of the Dead (2011)- (Cuban zombies!!!) A Cuban zombie flick in the vein of Shaun of the Dead? Yup. Does it work? Welp, here we have Juan and Lazero, a couple of slackers hanging out in Havana, barely making ends meet, trying to do right by their families... sound familiar? Suddenly Havana is full of zombies and the two, with the help of a few friends, start a business to rid people of their dead (and hungry) relatives! So we have capitalist Cubans listening to news reports claiming American influenced dissidents are causing the mayhem, of course we know it's zombies. Zombies, humor, a small dose of political jokes, and yes, it did work for me. I found it pretty funny, well written, well acted, the FX weren't great and if you want lots of gore you'll be disappointed. I wouldn't rank it as high as Shaun of the Dead, but I wouldn't rank too many flicks that high, I'll give this an A-.

  138. State of Emergency (2011)- An explosion at a chemical plant causes many residents of a suburb to become stumbling cannibalistic killers (not zombies per se but in the same ballpark). The story follows a few survivors as they hide out in a warehouse and scavenge for food, water, and medicine. It’s an interesting look at human interaction during a crisis with the standard themes of who to trust, will help be coming, what’s a necessary risk, etc. There’s not a lot of action and if you want something heavy on the zombie gore you’ll be disappointed. Over-all not a bad flick considering what is obviously a low budget, I’ll give it a B-.

  139. Exit Humanity (2011)- (Civil War zombies!) A zombie flick that aims really high and falls only a little short. It has a great look and mixes in comic book panels in place of some scenes (to save money I’m sure). It is the story of how zombies began showing up around Tennessee near the end of the Civil War. When a soldier returns his wife has become one and his son is missing. His sanity slowly slips away as he hunts for his boy, and embarks on a mission to keep a promise and maybe restore his hope along the way. Yeah, it aims to be almost ‘epic’ and it does fall a little shy of that goal, but seriously, it’s “Outlaw Josie Wales” with zombies (and without the humor!) so you really can’t go wrong. I’ll pass out an A+ on this one.

  140. Deadtime Stories II (2011)- (Romero hosts and a zombie shows up at the end) Romero returns with 3 more tales of terror, sort of. This is pretty low brow stuff. Story 1 is called ‘The Gorge’, get it? 3 friends go cave exploring and a rock slide traps them and injures one very badly. After about a month of eating bats they decide their friend’s leg needs to be amputated, and eaten. Eventually other parts apparently need amputation. The gore is so over the top as to be camp, especially the sound effects of the tearing of bone and flesh. Oh, and now do you get the name? I’ll give it a C+, pretty obvious stuff with a goofy ending, but not all bad. Story 2 revolves around a college professor who has his life planned out perfectly. His only weakness is he likes the college girls and gets one pregnant. When she commits suicide right in class his perfect life quickly unravels. This one is pretty well done and I’ll give it an A. As you may know, these anthologies often try and save the best for last, well story 3 is about a lab worker who discovers that soil from Mars may have healing qualities. He confides in a security guard whose wife is dying of cancer. The guard steals some soil and it works. His wife is fine, and it might be noted, horny as hell. The lab worker is none too happy when he finds out and he must be killed, taken home, and hidden in the freezer, and more Martian soil procured. Pretty campy and a tad too long but done well enough, in a hokey camp sort of way. This should have been the first with The Gorge following. Anyway, I’ll give it a B- which averages to about an even B.

  141. Cabin in the Woods (2012)- (Redneck, incestuous, zombies) Take every ‘slasher in the woods’ movie ever made, round up the clichés, and spin those clichés on their heads and this is what you get. How to give a brief plot description without giving too much away? Well, some college kids head off to a ‘cabin in the woods’ for a weekend party, I wonder what will happen, but more importantly, why? The blonde slut, who isn’t really blonde and isn’t really a slut, the red head who maybe is, maybe isn’t a virgin, the dumb jock who isn’t really dumb, the sensitive guy, who isn’t so sensitive, the fool, who is the only one who knows what is going on, they’re all here, and all doomed! As is every horror movie ever! A fantastic idea played very well. I’ll give it an A+

  142. Doomsday Book (2012)- Korean omnibus with a strange mixture of camp, horror, and depth. Story one, 'A Brave New World' centers on a man who eats tainted meat and soon becomes a zombie, the disease spreads and affects different people in different ways. All in all a unique take on the zombie sub-genre but a little too campy and over-the-top for me. It seemed they were going to for that almost Japanese 'craziness' and while they got close, they just fell a tad short for me C+. Story two 'The Heavenly Creature' focuses on a robot purchased by a Buddhist monastery to do some menial tasks. Over time the robot begins to show signs of enlightenment, when the company that makes the robots is contacted they want to immediately shut the robot off, as they are aware of the threat any robot who becomes too 'human' might be. This segment gets very heavy and may not be for everyone as it focuses much more on ideas of enlightenment, life, etc. These concepts have been visited a ton of times but are done very well here and in a unique Asian way. I liked this one A+. Story three follows a young girl who, after losing her father's eight-ball, orders one off of the Internet. Little does she know it is a huge eight-ball flying in from space that may devastate the earth like a huge meteor. Um, what? This is a very bizarre segment following the family as they prepare for the Apocalypse caused by the Internet order of a pool ball!?!? Despite the oddness this wasn't a bad segment, well done and I can appreciate oddness, I'll give it a B. This averages to about a B+, which frankly seems a tad too high on second thought but let's run with it.

  143. Dead Season (2012)- ZOMBIES! Tried and true plot about survivors of a zombie creating plague trying to find someplace safe. They find a way to trek to an island that just might be a safe haven, but, as is always the case, who is really the enemy here? Nothing original but the suspense as to who are the bad guys (zombies or survivors) works; I can’t praise this one, there’s just nothing overly great about it, but I also don’t find too much fault, considering budget etc. this one works pretty well. I’ll give it a B-.

The Living Dead