Cooties (2014) Review

Cooties (2014)

Directed by Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion

Starring: Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer, Jorge Garcia

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives.

My Opinion:

I know I’ve been reviewing horror movies for all of October but I didn’t actually watch any of them in October. I’ve finally watched my first horror movie this month! I watched Cooties on Thursday night. I have to say it was one hell of a disappointment, especially as it’s the only damn horror I’ve watched in quite a while.

I’ll keep this review short. I love a good horror comedy (Yes, I did a Top Ten HERE). I especially love a good zombie comedy (as you’ll see on that list, I chose several ZomComs). ZomCom! I love that term. And I love that there’s actually a ZomRomCom with Warm Bodies… By the way – I know this is “virus” movie and not strictly a “zombie” movie. Whatever. It’s still a zombie movie. And possibly the weakest of all the ZomComs that I’ve seen.

What can I say? Mainly that Cooties wasn’t very funny. I had a couple of very small giggles & that was it. For me, the comedy part of a horror comedy is far more important than the horror part, so… I expect more than a couple small giggles. This is no Shaun Of The Dead! As for the horror part, I wouldn’t say Cooties managed to get this right either. It’s mainly some “gross-out” low budget effects & there’s no real sense of fear for these teachers trapped in a school while the children go berserk. I’ll say that I hadn’t watched this sooner as, even though it’s a comedy, I still didn’t like the thought of them having to kill a bunch of kids. They did what I expected: They made the kids complete & utter assholes so you wouldn’t feel so bad! They did at least make two kids likable, who aren’t infected & end up with the teachers. I was glad about that. Just FYI for the childless or the child-haters watching this: Kids aren’t usually evil, people! If they’re bratty, it’s probably because their parents are c*^ts. Yeah, I used that word since it was used in this movie. 😉

Meh. Sorry. I know I don’t have a lot to say about this one. I was just kind of bored. Elijah Wood, Alison Pill & Rainn Wilson did a decent enough job with a weak script but I didn’t care about the rest of the characters. Oh, wait – I also kind of liked Jorge Garcia’s stoner character. I kept going “Hurley!” because I loved him in Lost. Remember those first couple of seasons when Lost was good?! The ZomCom I’d say this is most similar to is Life After Beth. That was also meh. But I think I ever so slightly preferred that one…

My Rating: 5.5/10

By the way, I thought of a positive comment to add so I don’t sound so negative. I do think this Cooties poster is pretty great and I liked how it appeared outside a cinema in the film, next to a poster of A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night:

**Edit to say that I watched another horror movie after writing this review. I watched the Netflix adaptation of Stephen King’s 1922. I’ll be reviewing that on Monday followed by a review on Tuesday of Gerald’s Game.

I’ll then do a few days of Mike Flanagan movie reviews before ending on the 30th & 31st with reviews of my two favorite horrors that I watched at home this year. Neither of those films are in English. You need to start making better horror movies, Hollywood!

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R.I.P. George A. Romero 

I was very sad to hear of George A. Romero’s passing. He’s a true master of horror and his Dead films have never been topped, although many have tried to copy them.

I’ve always wanted to review Night, Dawn & Day Of The Dead but never have as I always struggle to write about my all-time favorite films. Dawn Of The Dead is one of a very small handful of horrors that I consider to be all around favorite films despite being within the horror genre. I’m sad now that the only Romero film I’ve reviewed is Monkey Shines (which was a lot of fun to review!). It’s certainly no Dawn Of The Dead, though, which has topped many top ten lists that I’ve posted (such as My Top Ten Horror Movies & My Top Ten Horror Movie Quotes). Heck, I even managed to review the Dawn Of The Dead remake for Mike over at Screenkicker. Yet no review of the original. The best. I’ve never reviewed Romero’s TRUE ZOMBIE CLASSICS Night Of The Living Dead & Dawn Of The Dead. Or Day Of The Dead! Also love Day. And now we’re stuck watching the inferior The Walking Dead while humanity turns into a Romero mall zombie. The horror legends are dying. It sucks.

Rest in peace George Andrew Romero
February 4, 1940 – July 16, 2017

Oh, here’s an odd recommendation but Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill, has a great short story in his collection 20th Century Ghosts called Bobby Conroy Comes Back From The Dead. It’s a love story, of sorts, between two extras on the set of Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead. Loved it! I highly recommend the entire book – it’s a fantastic short story collection.

**Seriously? I just finish this post then read that Martin Landau has died as well. I must admit that I didn’t know him from much but did love him as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. His Oscar for that was well deserved!

Rest in peace Martin Landau
June 20, 1928 – July 15, 2017

The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) Review

The Girl With All The Gifts (2016)

Directed by Colm McCarthy

Based on The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Starring: Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, Glenn Close, Sennia Nanua

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The plot depicts a dystopian future following a breakdown of society after most of humanity is wiped out by a fungal infection and focuses upon the struggle of a scientist, a teacher and two soldiers who embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.

My Opinion:

First of all, I’ll point out that we’re dealing with a lot of my favorite things when it comes to this movie: Post-apocalyptic, dystopian, an infection that turns people zombie-like… So this movie is totally my type of thing but I have to say that I thought it was really good & quite an original take on a genre I never would have expected to become as mainstream as it has nowadays. I liked zombie movies before they were cool, dammit. 😉 lol

This is from the book of the same name by M.R. Carey & it’s a rare occasion that I haven’t read a novel in this genre before seeing the movie. I really want to read it now (but I hate doing it that way around). Has anyone here read it? It’s had very good reviews. But I have to say that it was nice to watch a movie like this where for once I didn’t know much about it beforehand & had no idea what would happen. So that probably helped but I really did enjoy everything about this film. I liked the story, I really liked the ending (I often complain about horror movie endings), and I thought it had a great overall atmosphere & very interesting score.

The characters are also really good in this, which is always extremely important to me. I’d have liked a little more character development & to know more about their pasts (maybe there’s more in the book?) but the movie still did well with them for its running time & I cared about what would happen to everyone. That’s more than can be said for most modern horror films (like Don’t Breathe, which I’ll review next week – hateful characters in that!).

Glenn Close plays a scientist trying to create a cure for the infection & Paddy Considine plays a soldier. They’re both good & have big roles in this story but the main characters are Gemma Arterton as a teacher & fantastic newcomer Sennia Nanua as her favorite student, Melanie. These two have a great mother/daughter type of relationship that kind of made me think of Ellen Ripley & Newt in Aliens. Being the mother of a daughter, I always enjoy that maternal instinct thing in movies (especially cool movies with aliens & zombies since I’m not a girly girl). Arterton did a very good job but Sennia Nanua was amazing. I immediately looked her up & she’s been in nothing else other than a short film (a ska film set in 1980 – I want to see it!). She’s certainly an actress to watch. What’s with young people being so damn good in movies nowadays? Between her & Jacob Temblay in Room, this has been quite a year for amazing performances from young people (btw – Room was this year in the UK before anyone corrects me).

I don’t want to get too detailed on the plot as, from what I can tell, this movie doesn’t yet have an American release date? That’s a shame – I do recommend it if it makes its way overseas (it’s an English film). If you liked 28 Days Later, this is worth a watch as it has a similar mood & vibe plus, of course, a deserted London thanks to a contagious infection that turns people zombie-like.

I think this is a good one to watch without knowing too much but I promise that it’s not “just another unoriginal zombie movie”. As there are so many now, it’s hard to bring something new to the table but I think this movie does manage to give us something a bit unexpected. It’s a serious film – almost more thriller than horror & more about the relationships between the characters & moral implications involving Glenn Close’s work as a scientist. So, yeah, it has people who want to feed on brains but it’s not a braindead film. I like a movie that makes you think & it’s a good one for discussion afterwards. I’m really glad I saw The Girl With All The Gifts – I hope it gets a wider release & that more people give it a chance. And Sennia Nanua is definitely one to watch.

My Rating: 8/10

**Here’s the trailer if you do want to know a bit more than what I’ve told you. I did see this trailer beforehand & it didn’t ruin anything for me.

My Top Ten Horror Comedies 

I love a good horror comedy! Horror isn’t exactly my favorite genre, especially in recent years, but horror comedy is something that I really enjoy when a film gets the balance right.

With this list, I found it even harder to define “horror comedy” than I did to define “body horror” for last week’s top ten. This time, I won’t bore you all with a rambling explanation of why I’ve excluded certain movies – I’ll just list those at the end. This time, I’ll get straight to my list.

So here are My Top Ten Horror Comedies, counting down to my favorite:

**New additions to this Top Ten as of October 2017: The Final Girls, Trick ‘r Treat, Hausu, and The Babysitter. But I don’t want to take any out, so… Sorry for all the “ties”!

10. TIE: Zombieland & Warm Bodies & The Final Girls


9. TIE: Grabbers & Tremors

8. Tucker And Dale Vs Evil

7. Night Of The Creeps

6. Fright Night

5. Shaun Of The Dead

4. Night Of The Comet

3. An American Werewolf In London

2. The Return Of The Living Dead

1. Gremlins

Honorable Mentions:
– Gremlins 2: The New Batch
– Creepshow
Dead Snow
– The Cabin In The Woods
Rubber
– Killer Klowns From Outer Space
– Black Sheep
– Teeth
– Eight Legged Freaks
Waxwork
What We Do In The Shadows
The Babysitter (2017)
House (Hausu) (1977) (probably Top Ten material but I’ve added to this list too much)
Trick ‘r Treat (2007) (this also probably actually just makes it into my Top Ten but I already have way more than ten in my Top Ten…) 😉

Ones I’ve Excluded:

Some of my top ten are iffy & I’m not sure if I’d really consider all of them horror comedies. Oh well – I didn’t want to stress about it! I worked off of this list at Wikipedia but there were some that I really didn’t agree with so these are the ones that I excluded. I love these! Just don’t consider them horror comedies…

Ghostbusters (excellent, funny movie. horror, though? no. just be happy that I included Gremlins – I think that one is very borderline on the “horror” too)
The Lost Boys (hubby & I disagreed on this one – he said it’s not horror & I said it’s not comedy. whatever it is, it’s still a favorite of mine)
The ‘Burbs (just a comedy)
Phantom Of The Paradise (no. why does Wikipedia consider this a horror comedy?)
Beetlejuice (not really a “horror”)
Slither (it’s great but I put it on last week’s list – it is a horror comedy but I still think of it more as a body horror)

Dead Snow 2: Red Vs Dead (2014) Review

**Welcome to Horror Comedy Week on Cinema Parrot Disco! I actually got my shit together enough to have an actual theme this week! Okay, it wasn’t originally my plan but I realized that I’d watched enough horror comedies to have a themed week. Yay!**

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Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (2014) (Norwegian: Død Snø 2)

Directed by Tommy Wirkola

Starring: Vegar Hoel, Orjan Gamst, Martin Starr, Ingrid Haas, Jocelyn DeBoer, Stig Frode Henriksen, Kristoffer Joner

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Still on the run from a group of Nazi zombies, a man seeks the aid of a group of American zombie enthusiasts, and discovers new techniques for fighting the zombies.

My Opinion:

I really liked the first Dead Snow (I reviewed it HERE). I mean, it’s full of Norwegians and NAZI ZOMBIES for crying out loud. That’s so awesomely crazy. Then the second film came out and all I heard was that it was absolutely hilarious and even better than the first one so I of course had to check it out. I actually bought both of these on DVD. Does anyone do that anymore? I buy hardly any these days – I miss physical copies of movies! And I miss physical copies of music even more. *sigh* I miss the old days… Tangent over! The first Dead Snow is far better than the sequel. Sorry sequel lovers! Dead Snow 2 definitely ups the comedy BIG TIME and I did get some laughs out of it but it goes so far overboard that, as a film, it pales in comparison to the originality and the subtle dark humor of the first film. Plus, where’s the fucking SNOW in this one?!


(See? I was so proud of my foreign DVD haul when I picked up Dead Snow that I tweeted this photo in March 2014. That’s probably the last time I bought so many at once.)

I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t watch this one if you liked the first one. It’s definitely worth checking out if you did but be aware that it’s a very different film. As this is a sequel, there will be slight spoilers for the first film (but I’ll still try to avoid spoiling things too much as I really want any zom-com lovers to watch the first film). Anyway, when you fall behind on horror movies you can’t help but know who survives the previous film when they’re clearly in the sequel, so… The survivor from the first film is our hero in this one and I like him so was happy to have that link to the first film.

He’s the best thing about the sequel (along with that other guy in the picture, who was a fun new addition) and, without him, I’d have enjoyed this movie far less. He’s the only true link here due to there not only being NO SNOW in this one but, also, our main Nazi zombie from the first movie is so completely different in this one. In Dead Snow 2, the Nazi zombies aren’t really threatening or scary – they’re just silly. Well, the whole movie is just plain silly.

Silly! That’s really the best way to describe the comedy in the sequel and, while I’m certainly not above “silly” (I still crack up at the silliest knock knock jokes), I just usually prefer my comedy to be a little more subtle and less over-the-top. Which is “funny” as I remember my main complaint about the first film was that it wasn’t funny enough. Maybe there’s just no satisfying me! 😉 Well, I take back that original complaint as this movie took it a little too far. Maybe Dead Snow 3 can find the perfect comedic balance! I’d still watch a third film as I really did enjoy both of these films despite my complaints.

Yes, I did enjoy this one despite my negative-sounding review! I just can’t help but compare it to the first film… Sorry! I can see why some people like this one more – I guess it just depends on what type of movie you prefer. Plus, I really hated the “American zombie enthusiasts” who help our hero fight the Nazi zombies. I found them annoying and completely unfunny (even the Star Wars nerd-girl!). They’re the worst example in this of “trying too hard” whereas the horror-movie-loving-nerd from the first movie was a lot of fun and a really likeable character. Plus, the back & forth language thing between Norwegian & English once the Americans arrived was actually very distracting (and confusing, in a way, as I didn’t immediately realize that I was no longer reading subtitles! Odd).

I’m going to wrap this up as I’m sounding negative again & I don’t want to be that way as I would definitely recommend both of these movies to horror comedy lovers (especially zom-com lovers). Despite some annoying new characters, there are quite a few funny moments and I did laugh out loud a few times (like with that kid in the hospital room. Funny!). I just prefer the characters and the “spirit” of the first film (and the fact that there’s actually SNOW in the movie, which is pretty damn important, yeah? Blood-splattered snow & all that? It’s a big selling point! There’s snow on the damn poster for this so at least the poster-maker realized its aesthetic importance).

I’ve realized while writing this what it is about this movie compared to the first one and I really shouldn’t make this comparison as my knowledge is limited on the movies I’m about to mention, but… Here I go anyway! When I was about 18, I rented The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II and wasn’t really the biggest fan of them so I’ve not watched them since (although I do appreciate their importance). So, I don’t remember them well but I do remember preferring the first one while the second one went all silly, right? That’s exactly the same with Dead Snow & Dead Snow 2 so, thinking about it, it makes perfect sense as the Snow films both owe a lot to and reference great classic horror movies, especially the Dead films (without giving away too much, the Evil Dead II arm thing plays an important part in Dead Snow 2). Holy shit – these are clearly an homage to the Evil Dead films and I only fully realized that while writing this review. I’m such an idiot! Ignore everything I said before this paragraph! 😉 If you’re a fan of the Evil Dead films, you’ll love the Dead Snow films too! Huh. Well, damn… I guess Dead Snow 3: Nazi Zombie Army Of Snowless Darkness comes next. I’ll watch that but I’ll still always like the first one the most.

My Rating: 6/10

My Top Ten Horror Movie Quotes

Happy October everyone! Let’s kick off this month of horror with a top ten list of my favorite horror movie quotes. 🙂

I fully expect to have missed some with this list (I don’t re-watch horror movies to the degree that I watch favorites from other genres) but I’ve tried to pick the first quotes that popped into my head from my favorites. Oh, and I’ve never considered the Alien films or Jaws to be horror, FYI, so you won’t find “Get away from her, you bitch!” or “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” on this list. Those would top the list.

So here are my mainstream & super obvious Top Ten Horror Movie Quotes:

10. “If it’s in a word, or it’s in a look, you can’t get rid of the Babadook.”

As Heard In: The Babadook

I loved The Babadook – it was one of the very few horror films after 1989 that didn’t totally suck. Anyway, nothing is more freaky than that damn book and this is a cool rhyme (even though it doesn’t actually rhyme if you have an American accent…).

9. “The soil in a man’s heart is stonier.”

As Heard In: Pet Sematary

This is probably my only choice on this list that’s not totally predictable. I don’t know why but I had a slight obsession with this movie when it came out – it probably helped going & seeing it with a group of friends (I assume it was rated R? I actually wasn’t old enough. Hmm). Plus, one girl would shout out “PASCOW!” at school for months after seeing this. Anyway, “Sometimes dead is better” is probably the more famous line but the above quote, said by two characters, is more important to the story & the one I always liked.

8. “They’re all gonna laugh at you!”

As Heard In: Carrie

I also love “I can see your dirty pillows.” Ha! Dirty pillows! Carrie’s mom is such a nutjob. Yeah, I like my Stephen King movies…

7. “You are all my children now.”

As Heard In: A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge

Oh man, there are SO many A Nightmare On Elm Street quotes to choose from! Funny I’ve chosen one from my least favorite & least watched of the series. In fact, I was like “does he say that in number 2??”. It’s just such a well known Freddy line. I was also always fond of “Welcome to prime time, bitch!” and Nancy’s “Whatever you do… don’t fall asleep“. Well, I have another one higher on the list.

6. TIE: “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach; all the damn vampires.” & “Death by stereo!” & “My own brother, a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire!”

As Heard In: The Lost Boys

Dammit, there are also so many quotes in The Lost Boys! I’m also fond of saying “Maggots, Michael. You’re eating maggots.” anytime we have Chinese food. Goddamn I must be shit-sucking annoying to live with.

5. “They’re here!”

As Heard In: Poltergeist

Well, duh. So obvious. But you all immediately knew what it was from!

4. “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab your crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. Nine, ten, never sleep again…”

As Heard In: A Nightmare On Elm Street

I’m a sucker for rhymes or creepy lyrics to the tune of some kids’ song. “One, two, buckle my shoe” will only bring the above lyrics to mind for a generation of Freddy fans now. Or, maybe more than one generation – you young kids seem to like this one too!

3. “Heeere’s Johnny!”

As Heard In: The Shining

Again, like the Poltergeist quote, this one is super obvious. But The Shining is my favorite horror movie (along with The Omen, the Nightmare On Elm Streets & the series that my top two are a part of) so it’s naturally going to be high on my list. Guess that’s three Stephen King movies on my list (even though he hates this movie).

2. “They’re coming to get you, Barbara!”

As Heard In: Night Of The Living Dead

I love Romero’s zombie movies (yes, even Day, Land and Diary. but especially Day!). The Barbara (it’s spelled “Barbra” on IMDB but that just looks weird) line has to be the most famous Romero line & the one I quote the most by far, unlike my number one choice. But number one is just so damn cool

1. “When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth.”

As Heard In: Dawn Of The Dead

Love it. I don’t find this to be a very “quotable” quote like most of those on the list but it’s just such a great line. And I also love it being said by once again by Ken Foree in the (also totally excellent) 2004 remake. I suppose it’s somewhat quotable – you could say things like “When there’s no more room in hell, the Kardashians will walk the Earth“. Or something. Nah, that doesn’t really work – someone come up with something better! Well, I love these movies & keep saying every year that I’ll review the whole lot in October but never do. Maybe next year! 😉

Fido (2006) Review

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Fido (2006) Review

Directed by Andrew Currie

Starring:
Carrie-Anne Moss
Billy Connolly
Dylan Baker
Kesun Ray
Henry Czerny
Tim Blake Nelson

Running time: 91 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Fido is a 2006 Canadian zombie comedy film that takes place in a 1950s-esque alternate universe where radiation from space has turned the dead into zombies. In order to continue living normal lives, communities are fenced with the help of a governing corporation named Zomcon. Zomcon provides collars with accompanying remote controls to control the zombies’ hunger for flesh so as to use them as slaves or servants.

A bullied boy named Timmy befriends the zombie his mother has bought to be their household servant & names him ‘Fido’.

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My Opinion:

I’ve been wanting to see this movie for years. I’m a big fan of zombie movies & enjoy a good zombie comedy. I’ve reviewed quite a few zomcoms on this blog & my favorite by far was The Return Of The Living Dead. Shaun Of The Dead is of course a classic now, Dead Snow was pretty fun, I kind of totally love Warm Bodies for some reason, and Life After Beth was a fairly big disappointment. Where does Fido rank? Well, I certainly liked it more than Life After Beth but it’s a pretty strange film. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but I appreciate its uniqueness.

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I loved that they set this in what appears to be the 1950s. Has there been another zombie movie set in this time period? It’s a great idea. It’s a cool contrast seeing stereotypical 1950’s perfect housewives using flesh-eating zombies as servants & knowing that those zombies will rip them apart if their remote-controlled domestication collars are removed. It’s like watching an episode of Leave It To Beaver with zombies. Actually, it reminded me a lot of The Stepford Wives (had that been a comedy – I’m not talking about that shitty remake that was supposedly a comedy but sucked and wasn’t funny).

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Fido‘s concept is very clever and I understand that it’s satire but I’m not sure that it ever really lives up to its potential or makes its point. If it has a point? It’s not as obvious as the satire in a straightforward zombie film such as Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead but I suppose it’s maybe making a statement on corporations controlling the living just as the living control the undead with special collars? I don’t know. And although it’s a fun decade to explore as it’s so extremely different from nowadays, the 50’s satire thing has been done before and done better in plenty of other films. Still, it’s a fun movie and I really liked the setting.

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Summary:

There’s not much else I can really say about Fido. I was hoping to like it more than I did as I’ve wanted to see it for ages but, overall, something about it didn’t really work for me. I loved the concept & the setting and thought the comedy worked fairly well. However, I didn’t think the characters were very strong and I lost interest a few times. I was hoping for more exploration of the main characters & their relationships with Billy Connolly’s Fido. Fido himself was disappointing as I suppose I was expecting a more loveable “Bub” type of zombie as in Day Of The Dead. In a way, I think it would have been better if they’d focused a little more on the zombies & their background stories. It’s a clever film but it’s another film that I felt like I “appreciated” more than actually enjoyed.

My Rating: 6/10

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Dead Snow (2009) Review

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Dead Snow (2009) (Norwegian: Død snø)

Directed by Tommy Wirkola

Starring:
Vegar Hoel
Stig Frode Henriksen
Charlotte Frogner
Lasse Valdal
Evy Kasseth Røsten
Jeppe Laursen
Jenny Skavlan
Ane Dahl Torp
Bjørn Sundquist
Ørjan Gamst

Running time: 91 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Dead Snow is a 2009 Norwegian zombie splatter film that centers on a group of students surviving a Nazi zombie attack in the mountains of Norway.

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My Opinion:

This is my second favorite Norwegian movie of all-time after Troll Hunter! (Okay – they’re the only Norwegian movies I’ve seen). This is also the third zombie comedy I’m reviewing for my month of horror movie reviews (that I totally flaked out on and stopped posting for a week). I liked Dead Snow much more than Life After Beth but, while I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much The Return Of The Living Dead, I did like it and thought it showed a lot of promise. I’ve heard some pretty positive things about the sequel and am not surprised as I thought this was a great concept that didn’t quite work overall but could possibly be improved upon in a sequel. I’ll have to check that out at some point.

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What does work is, as I said, the concept. Nazi zombies! Why did no one think to do that sooner? Or HAS it been done before? Not that I can think of. A lot of reviews have also mentioned the look of the blood on all that white snow and it did make for a great look to the film. Also, the characters are decent. At least, as far as horror movie characters go, a few of them are fairly well developed. There’s a great “movie nerd” guy who keeps talking about & quoting movies throughout the film so that was fun for a geek like me. And guess what? Slight spoiler, but… He’s the one who gets laid! So there may still be hope for movie geeks (maybe even Mike?). 😉

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I think what didn’t work quite as well as I’d been hoping was the comedy. The movie takes itself slightly more seriously than I was expecting and a couple scenes felt a little too dramatic for a comedy. The pacing was a little off as well as it seemed too slow at first then suddenly gets pretty mental at the end. These aren’t huge complaints, though, as I still thought it was pretty good. I think I’m just trying to figure out why I didn’t like it QUITE as much as I should have as it’s my type of thing and all the elements are there for it to potentially be great. I think they could have upped the comedy more and been a little more silly and made it a bit more “fun”. It sounds like this may be the case in the sequel?

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Summary:

If you’re looking for comedy horror, I’d recommend Tucker & Dale Vs Evil or Grabbers instead as they were just loads of fun. If you specifically like zombie movies, though, I think you’d be perfectly happy with this as a zombie comedy as well as just a zombie movie. The gore gets fairly excessive at the end so that should keep zombie fans happy. It’s not as funny as The Return Of The Living Dead but there were a few unexpected laughs and the characters are more well developed and likable than a lot of horror movie characters manage to be. The movie doesn’t quite reach its potential but it’s still a pretty good effort. However, I can’t believe that girl sucked that guy’s finger just after he’d done a poo & wiped himself and hadn’t yet washed his hands!!!!! That’s just nasty.

My Rating: 7/10

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CPD Classics: Night Of The Comet (1984) Review

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Night Of The Comet (1984)

Directed by Thom Eberhardt

Starring:
Catherine Mary Stewart
Kelli Maroney
Robert Beltran
Sharon Farrell
Mary Woronov
Geoffrey Lewis
Peter Fox
John Achorn
Michael Bowen

Running time: 95 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A comet wipes out most of life on Earth, leaving two Valley Girls to fight the evil types who survive.

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First of all, I know I promised “Zombie Fridays” through October but I’ve had to change my schedule slightly so may not manage that. I’ll try. Night Of The Comet is KIND OF a zombie movie! Second of all, I should point out that CPD Classics are simply some of my all-time favorite movies or movies I just feel deserve more attention. Not all of them will necessarily be “good” but they’re all special to me (like Hardware!). Night Of The Comet won’t be for everyone but I grew up with it and it’ll always make me think of my early teens and make me feel all nostalgic.

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Why It’s A CPD Classic:

Night Of The Comet is part of the post-apocalyptic genre that I adore. I did a list of My Top Ten Post-Apocalyptic Movies HERE and gave this an honorable mention. I think that’s back when I wanted you all to take me seriously but, if I’m honest, this would be in my Top Ten. This is certainly one of the movies most responsible for my fascination with this genre.

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So, as the above plot synopsis says, a comet wipes out pretty much everyone on Earth besides the two sisters in this film and a small group of scientists who were the only ones smart enough to worry about the comet and took shelter. Oh, and it also turned some people with limited exposure to the comet into “zombies”. See? Zombies! (Don’t go expecting a full-on zombie movie, though – there are only a few of them!)

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There truly aren’t many survivors in this movie and I was always quite fascinated with how desolate it is (think Will Smith in I Am Legend or Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later). These two girls are left roaming around these silent big city streets and there’s not a soul in sight (except for a couple of those zombies). They first go to this great massively 80’s-looking radio station as they figure there may be survivors there since the station is still on the air. Then, and this is my FAVORITE bit, they realize they can go to THE MALL and take whatever they want since everyone is dead! So we get this great 80’s montage where the sisters, seemingly not too terribly bothered about the planet being wiped out, go on a fun little shopping spree and try on loads of clothes. I LOVE IT. Now, I’ve never been a girly girl but I first saw this when I was 12 or 13 and I think a small part of me wished for a similar scenario in real life so I, too, could go on a post-apocalyptic shopping spree. Is that fucked up?? Lol. Screw that shopping spree in Pretty Woman (where Julia Roberts shows those snobby bitches that she’s not just a slut, she’s a slut with MONEY!). Night Of The Comet has THE best cinematic girly shopping spree.

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Now, onto the characters… The little sister is played by Kelli Maroney and, when I used to watch this all the time, I found her character a little annoying. I actually did re-watch this for the first time in years the other day and liked her much more. She’s just very “young” and she’s meant to be the less mature one who kind of needs to be taken care of by her older sister. It’s quite cute how the only thing she cares about with everyone dead is the fact that she may never have another boyfriend plus I have a soft spot for her as she was also in Fast Times At Ridgemont High and the awesomely bad (but I love it anyway) Chopping Mall.

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Probably the MAIN reason I liked Night Of The Comet so much, however, was because of the older sister (played by the lovely Catherine Mary Stewart). She’s COOL. There are a few (mostly obscure) actresses I wanted to “be” as a young teen. Regulars here will already know how much I loved Elisabeth Shue in Adventures In Babysitting. I also had a thing for Meredith Salenger (most her movies were crap but I wanted to look like her) and Tammy Lauren (a prize to the first person who can name something she’s been in without looking her up! she’s going to be in another review of mine this month). Then there was Catherine Mary Stewart in THIS. First of all, she works at a movie theater which I thought was pretty cool. She’s wearing this dumb uniform at the beginning but manages to look awesome in it. She’s also screwing the projectionist, which is super cool (yeah – I think it would kick ass to make out in that little room while a movie is playing). Hell, it’s what saves her life as she’s not outside when the comet appears!

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Let’s see… She’s also amazing at playing video games (she’s super pissed off that some new initials have emerged in amongst all her high scores on the video game at the movie theater where she works). Oh! And… She’s good at fighting off zombies and is really good with a gun as the girls’ father was in the military or something and taught them both how to shoot (now very convenient for these comet-apocalypse girls!). Finally, she wears the coolest 80’s clothes and is of course totally attractive.

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Summary:

Wow. I hope none of you actually read any of that above – it sounds like I was a massive geek! Well, all kids are geeks at that age, right? This is the first CPD Classic that I actually re-watched before writing my review as I hadn’t seen it in a long time. I already knew it wasn’t that “good” so was expecting it to be horribly dated now. You know what? It’s better than I remember. I can’t say anyone watching this for the first time now is going to love it unless they love 80’s movies (and this is VERY 80’s) but it’s a fun film and has a very “cult classic” feel to it now. There are plenty of 80’s films I still adore even though I will readily admit that they’ve not aged well but I was very surprised to find that, after re-watching Night Of The Comet, it’s actually gone up in my estimation. Worth a watch for lovers of the 80’s, anything post-apocalyptic, zombies, video games, girls dressed as cheerleaders while shooting guns, no thorough plot explanations, and shopping.

My Rating: 8/10

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The Return Of The Living Dead (1985) Review

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The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

Directed by Dan O’Bannon

Starring:
Clu Gulager
James Karen
Don Calfa
Thom Mathews
Beverly Randolph
John Philbin
Jewel Shepard
Miguel A. Núñez Jr
Brian Peck
Linnea Quigley
Mark Venturini
Jonathan Terry
Allan Trautman

Running time: 91 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Return of the Living Dead is a 1985 American black comedy/zombie horror film that tells the story of how three men accompanied by a group of teenage punks deal with the accidental release of a horde of brain hungry zombies onto an unsuspecting town. The film is known for introducing the popular concept of zombies eating brains, as opposed to just eating human flesh, like previous zombie iterations, as well as its soundtrack, which features several noted deathrock and punk rock bands of the era.

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My Opinion:

Confession time: any regulars here will know that my first love when it comes to movies are those from the 70s & 80s and that I’ve seen my fair share from those decades. However, I never saw this one. This is a movie people like THIS GUY and THIS GUY love and one of them will moan at me for not being all like “Oh my god this is the best movie EVER!!!” like he did when I reviewed Night Of The Creeps HERE even though I gave it a positive review. 😉 I’ll probably compare the two movies a bit as they’re a similar genre from the same era & I didn’t see either of them until years later.

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I’m still trying to decide which film I prefer. Overall, I think I liked the story and characters in Night Of The Creeps a bit more but think The Return Of The Living Dead is actually the better movie and script & slightly more my thing as I do love my zombies. As with Night Of The Creeps, however, I won’t ever love it in the same way I might have had I seen it as a young teen and grown up with it.

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So, anyway – the director of this film wrote a few other obscure things such as the Total Recall screenplay and, um… the story for something called… Alien?

In The Return Of The Living Dead, one of the female characters rips her clothes off at the beginning and then runs around fully nude for the ENTIRE movie. I’m sure this made those two guys I mentioned earlier quite happy, especially as horny teenage boys. For an old lady watching this for the first time now, it was a bit of a chuckle at first then got a little tiresome. This is from the guy who created the story that gave us one of the strongest (and probably my favorite) female movie characters of all-time. Lol. No, I’m not being a prude – I just found it kind of funny. (I’ve looked into this as I was curious and he actually wrote them all as generic non-gender-specific characters for Alien so he wasn’t the one who created the final character of Ripley. FYI in case you’re curious too!). Hey – the naked actress in this follows me on Twitter which I think is kind of awesome so I’m not really complaining. 😉 This movie is a laugh and I did have fun with it. Ellen Ripley rules, though! I know which character I’d rather have with me in a zombie apocalypse – she’d be awesome fending off the zombies with her flame thrower.

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Summary:

I’m not being harsh – I enjoyed this movie quite a lot. I got a good few laughs out of it too (“send more paramedics…” lol! that was hilarious!). If anything, my main criticism would be that I felt this was too short and the ending was pretty abrupt. Being a typical horror movie, I’m assuming there may be longer cuts of the film? I’ve not looked into it but this is one case where I actually wanted the movie to go on for longer. So, that’s probably a good sign that I was enjoying it. I liked the “punks” and love how that ties the movie to an era I love but the characters I actually liked the most were all the older men in this. A bit more character development would have been nice but I know this movie is more about the fun, the cheesy gore, and the laughs. Hey, if “black comedy/zombie horror” is your type of genre, you should be watching this if for some odd reason you haven’t seen it. Yes, I think I’d rate this one above Night Of The Creeps. In fact, I think it probably doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves. When you think about it, this was 19 years before Shaun Of The Dead but certainly doesn’t seem to get mentioned as often as that one does.

Actually, I’d really like to watch this one again…

My Rating: 8/10

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**FYI: This movie is waaaaaay better than Life After Beth. THIS is a proper zombie comedy.

Life After Beth (2014) Review

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Life After Beth (2014)

Directed by Jeff Baena

Starring:
Aubrey Plaza
Dane DeHaan
Molly Shannon
Cheryl Hines
Paul Reiser
Matthew Gray Gubler
John C Reilly
Anna Kendrick

Running time: 89 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A young man’s recently deceased girlfriend mysteriously returns from the dead, but he slowly realizes she is not the way he remembered her.

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My Opinion:

I can’t figure out how I feel about Aubrey Plaza. I’ve never seen Parks And Recreation. I first saw her in Safety Not Guaranteed, which I didn’t exactly love but I didn’t mind her. Then I saw her in a couple interviews and thought she was kind of weirdly funny. Then I watched that awful The To Do List and she just got on my nerves. This is my “horror month”, however, so I figured I’d check this movie out as I love a decent zombie movie (even though there are too many of them now).

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This movie had potential even though it’s too much of the same old “been there done that” when it comes to zombie comedy. The title is perfect and it makes you wonder if they came up with the title first then tried to write a movie around it. Some of this movie works but most of it doesn’t. Unfortunately, the weakest thing about the film is its two main characters (played by Aubrey Plaza & Dane DeHaan). I didn’t really like Plaza in this one – she played the role fine, I guess, but it possibly could have been a bit better with a different actress. That funny-looking Dane DeHaan was fine (sorry, Zoe – I think he’s a little funny-looking). 😉 I liked him most in Chronicle but it feels like he plays that same sort of role too much and his role in this one is somewhat similar in that he’s again a “troubled youth with issues”. Oh well – the role suits him. His main issue in this one is that he seems perfectly happy to have sex with a girl who has just returned from the dead and is very likely a zombie. Ew. The ROT…

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I understand the point this movie is trying to make about relationships and how we can sometimes stay in unhealthy ones because we find it hard to let go. It doesn’t work that well in the film, though, as I really didn’t care at all about the two main characters (especially poor Beth, who we don’t get to know at all in “life” – we only see her as a thoroughly unlikable zombie-girl made to represent the stereotypical “crazy bitch” girlfriend, which was almost a little sexist & insulting). It may have been better if we’d seen her as she was before her death. Maybe. I don’t know.

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What DOES work fairly well in this movie are all the lesser characters that provide the comic relief. Both sets of parents (John C Reilly & Molly Shannon as Plaza’s and Cheryl Hines & Paul Reiser as DeHaan’s) were pretty funny and I liked DeHaan’s asshole brother (Matthew Gray Gubler), who was a little bit like Bill Paxton in Weird Science. I wish these characters had had more screen time and that we’d had more of the overall story explained & happening all along (there’s a bit more to it than just “girlfriend comes back from the dead”) but, unfortunately, they chose to pretty much focus ONLY on the relationship between Plaza & DeHaan. This may have worked if their characters had been at all developed so that the audience cared one way or another what would happen to them. Without knowing what their relationship was like before the death, it just seemed a bit pointless.

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Summary:

Pretty pointless zombie-romance-comedy when there are plenty of better ones out there in this day & age of zombie movie obsessiveness. Just watch Zombieland or Shaun Of The Dead if you want a zombie comedy (or the movie I’ll be reviewing tomorrow) or Warm Bodies if you want this weird new genre of zombie romance. Those are good – Life After Beth is not. A waste of a good movie title.

My Rating: 5.5/10

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Children Of The Living Dead (2001) Review for Shitfest at The IPC

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Well, I’ve gone and forced myself to watch another godawful movie for Shitfest 2014: Winter over at my good friend Eric’s blog Isaacs Picture Conclusions. Shitfest is always loads of fun so it’s worth a couple of hours of pain in order to take part. I first tortured myself with The Hottie & The Nottie for Shitfest 2013: Fall. This time I’ve chosen Children Of The Living Dead. You can read my “review” HERE. Thanks again for letting me join in, Eric! 🙂

My Top Ten Horror Movies

Happy Halloween! I guess I better do this now, then. Below are my Top Ten Horror Movies.

This was difficult. In order to do this, I’ve decided to leave a couple films out which are favorites of mine because I don’t exactly see them as “horror” films…

Alien/Aliens (Two of my favorite films. I don’t think “horror” with these – I think sci-fi)
Jaws (Again, I just think “classic blockbuster”)

So here are my Top Ten Horror Movies counting down from ten:

10. Carrie

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9. An American Werewolf In London

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8. Poltergeist

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7. Halloween

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6. The Thing

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5. A Nightmare On Elm Street (whole series but the first movie obviously the best by far)

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4. Psycho

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3. The Omen

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2. The Shining

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1. Dawn Of The Dead, Night Of The Living Dead, Day Of The Dead (I love Romero)

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Honorable Mentions:

Rosemary’s Baby
Don’t Look Now
28 Days Later
Let The Right One In
The Orphanage
Slither
April Fool’s Day
Friday The 13th (first two)
Child’s Play (first three)
The Descent
The Changeling
Fright Night (original)
The Lost Boys (if I was honest this would be top ten but I see it as more of a teen movie)
Night Of The Comet
Chopping Mall (yep)
It
Pet Sematary (screw it – most every movie based on a Stephen King story)
Society
The Birds

ParaNorman (2012) Review for Halloween Horror Fest

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ParaNorman (2012)

Directed by Sam Fell & Chris Butler

Starring Voice Actors:
Kodi Smit-McPhee
Jodelle Ferland
Tucker Albrizzi
Anna Kendrick
Casey Affleck
Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Leslie Mann
Jeff Garlin
Bernard Hill
Elaine Stritch
Tempestt Bledsoe
John Goodman
Alex Borstein

Studio: Laika

Distributed by: Focus Features
Universal Pictures (International)

Running time: 92 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Norman Babcock is able to see & speak with the dead. No one, including his family, believes him and he’s ridiculed & bullied at school. But it’s soon up to Norman to save his town from an old witch’s curse.

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This is my second review for my Halloween Horror Fest. I first reviewed From Beyond (which was pretty messed up). I liked the sound of ParaNorman after reading Abbi’s review at Where The Wild Things Are HERE. She liked it okay so I figured it must be good as she’s not a huge fan of this sort of kids’ stuff usually. 🙂

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My Opinion:

ParaNorman was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed it! This is from the same studio that made Coraline, which I fell asleep in the middle of in 2009 and haven’t yet bothered to finish. I know that was more highly rated & looked great but I really didn’t find it any fun to watch. ParaNorman is fun & a few things actually made me laugh (I’m not a “laugh out loud” person).

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Norman can see all of the dead people in his small town of Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts, including his own grandmother (who lives in Norman’s living room & watches zombie movies with him). His father doesn’t believe him and wants him to start acting “normal”. His sister and his schoolmates think he’s a freak. One day an overweight bullied boy named Neil Downe befriends Norman after he sees him being bullied as well. I loved Neil! He’s a typical dorky chubby kid in a movie but he’s so sweet & funny that you can’t help but like him. He’s the first one to believe Norman & thinks it’s really cool that he can talk to the dead (As he says to Norman: “Can you see my dog, Bub? He was hit by an animal rescue van. Tragic and ironic.”). Ha! Well, it was funny in the movie.

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I think what makes this film better than a lot of other kids’ films (Other than Pixar. Sorry – Nothing beats Pixar!) is the fact that it’s aimed at a higher age so a lot of the jokes and references are “older” and will also be funny to the adults watching it. I’m not talking anything risqué (I don’t think that has a place in a kids’ film) but things such as a great reference to Halloween (the movie, not the holiday). Loved that! And a Friday The 13th gag that was pretty damn funny too.

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And speaking of that, it was great that this film has a clear love of old scary movies (traditional stuff – zombies, witches, etc). Norman’s room is full of classic movie monster toys, posters, a cool alarm clock, etc. It reminds me how little I’ve watched the old horror classics (Vincent Price, Hammer Horror, that kind of stuff…). It gives this film a great “Halloween” feel (the holiday, not the movie). This movie actually reminded me a bit of the 1986 Amazing Stories episode called “Go To The Head Of The Class”. I used to watch that EVERY October but had sort of forgotten about it until Norman made me think of the teenage boy in that (Scott Coffey), who is obsessed with classic horror films & agrees to perform some black magic on his mean old teacher (Christopher Lloyd) to impress a girl (Mary Stuart Masterson). Oh man – I want to watch that again. It’s been years! Hell – I’ll watch it and do a mini review later. Let’s finish talking about ParaNorman instead…

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Summary:

ParaNorman is a great family film for the slightly older kids (maybe 8 or 9 and up but don’t quote me on that in case your 8-year-old is traumatized) that the adults will enjoy as well thanks to some genuinely funny stuff and references to horror classics. There’s still a “moral to the story” for the kids but it’s not a Disney-style one that’ll make the adults gag – It’s actually a good one for pre-teens. A pleasant surprise and a fun watch for this adult.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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Sorry – that review was even more rubbish than usual because I’ve just realized that if I’m going to manage this Horror Fest I’ve planned, I’m going to have to post one review every day until Halloween now. Argh! So they’ll be written quickly…

Oh – Here’s another ParaNorman quote that made me giggle like an 11-year-old boy:

Mr. Prenderghast: [hiding behind statue] Psst!
Neil: [whispers to Norman] I think that statue just pissed at us.

Hahaha! I loved Neil. I’m immature…

Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz & The World’s End (Cornetto Trilogy Review)

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Poster by Tyler Stout for Mondo. Link here for this & alternate poster: SlashFilm

1. Shaun of the Dead

The first and still the best. I don’t have a lot of history with Simon Pegg & Co. I watched Shaun of the Dead in the cinema when it came out and it was my first experience with them. And I thought it was pretty good! I’m a HUGE fan of Romero’s zombie films (especially Dawn of the Dead) so a zombie comedy spoof was something I was more than happy to watch. As I watched The World’s End and Hot Fuzz for the first time last week, I thought it was time to re-watch Shaun as well & review all three.

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I appreciate Shaun of the Dead more after this second viewing. I think it starts out VERY strong. I like how it takes a while to actually get to the zombies while they take time setting up the characters (these days not many people have the patience to wait that long for the “action”). The two morning walks where the first morning is normal and the second one is clearly not yet Shaun is completely oblivious to all the zombies lurking about is brilliant and probably my favorite bit of the film. This is closely followed by the other best bit of the film where Shaun & Ed discover zombies in the back garden and proceed to defend themselves with some vinyl records (but not the REALLY good ones…).

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Shaun & Ed are of course great characters and Shaun’s girlfriend is fine. I also really liked Shaun’s mother & stepfather but I found Shaun’s girlfriend’s friends slightly annoying. And while the film starts out brilliantly, I do think it loses steam once Shaun & Ed are joined by these friends. I feel this way about all three films, actually. I kind of feel like Shaun of the Dead (and the rest) isn’t sure how it should end. Then it just… Does. Not a horrible ending or anything but just a bit of a let down after such a strong beginning. But still a great movie for its genre.

My Rating: 8/10

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2. Hot Fuzz

My least favorite of the three. Not saying I didn’t like it, though – it’s very close between this & The World’s End.

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I actually knew next to nothing about Hot Fuzz. I thought it was JUST a buddy cop movie spoof. But it actually ended up being more than that and I liked it better than the film I was expecting to see. I’m not a fan of the “buddy cop movies” that it does spoof (well, other than Point Break. I love Point Break!). So I wasn’t going to go for this one as much as Shaun Of The Dead.

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I didn’t buy into Pegg’s or Frost’s characters as much in Fuzz as in Shaun. And while there were some funny moments, nothing really compared to the funny moments in Shaun. I liked the story, though. I don’t know if this is a spoiler but I liked that Fuzz suddenly sort of went all Wicker Man on our asses. Hell, Edward Woodward was even in it! That was fine by me – The Wicker Man is a classic. So, again – not at all the movie I was expecting but that was a good thing in this case. However, I always enjoy a movie more when I feel they’ve done a really good job setting up the characters and I like them or maybe even identify with them in some way. Shaun is superior on story but also far superior when it comes to the characters.

My Rating: 7/10

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3. The World’s End

I actually saw this and then immediately watched Hot Fuzz when I got home from the cinema. Although Hot Fuzz is third for me, it’s probably actually a much better “film” than this one. I know it’s not out for ages in America (ha!) but I can see this one dividing people much more than the other two films. Not entirely sure but that’s kind of the impression I get from those in the UK who have seen it so far. I think it’s not going to be for everyone.

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So why did I like it more than Hot Fuzz? Well first of all – the genre, like zombie movies, is much more my kind of thing. I love sci-fi. And apocalyptic! Oh I love apocalyptic! (What’s with so much of that this year? You’ll have to check if The World’s End makes my list of My Top Ten Apocalyptic Movies HERE). 🙂 Secondly, as with Shaun, I think the characters are much stronger than they were in Hot Fuzz. Although this time, not necessarily “likeable”. Finally, because of my age, I was able to identify with some of the themes in The World’s End unlike in Fuzz (mainly the fear of getting older and wanting to relive the past but knowing deep down that none of us can). So, that’s why I prefer The World’s End. Oh, and decent music as well. Although nothing tops Grandmaster Flash in Shaun. 🙂

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The World’s End suffers the most of the three in “not knowing how to end”, I think. That’s the bit that will probably most divide people. As for supporting characters (so, other than Pegg’s & Frost’s), I think they’re actually the strongest in The World’s End. I really liked the different personalities of the friends in this one (which helped to make up for the two lead characters being a bit weaker & less likeable than in Shaun). I can see people not liking Pegg’s character in this one but I could really feel for him & what he was going through so I found him to be a good strong character. There’s not much more I can say about this as I try to keep my reviews spoiler-free plot-wise. I did quite enjoy The World’s End although I think it’s definitely flawed. I look forward to seeing what people in the US think of it once it’s out there.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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Quote from my hubby on the Cornetto Trilogy:

“I can’t believe they got away with making the same bloody film three times”.

(To be honest, that IS a very accurate summary. Much more concise and to the point than my three reviews.) 😉

Recap for those who don’t actually read my reviews & just scroll to the ratings:

Shaun Of The Dead: 8/10
Hot Fuzz: 7/10
The World’s End: 7.5/10

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Remake Alert! DAY OF THE DEAD

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The following is from this link: GeekTyrant

Texas Chainsaw 3D producers Lati Grobman and Christa Campbell have picked up the rights to George Romero‘s zombie film, Day of the Dead, and they are going to remake it.

Yeah. That’s all I need to know. Click the link if you want to read the whole thing.

Piss off! Piss off, Hollywood, with all your damn remakes. Piss OFF. Leave Romero alone. Go make some inferior zombie movie of your own, dammit – can you not come up with an original idea?!?!?

That is all.

World War Z (2013) Review

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World War Z

Directed by Marc Forster

Produced by:
Brad Pitt
Dede Gardner
Jeremy Kleiner
Ian Bryce

Based on World War Z by Max Brooks (Supposedly. Like… Extremely LOOSELY based on! Lol.)

Starring:
Brad Pitt
Mireille Enos
Daniella Kertesz
James Badge Dale
Fana Mokoena
Ludi Boeken
Matthew Fox
David Morse
Elyes Gabel

Plot Synopsis:

Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), a former employee of the United Nations, is called upon to leave his family & travel the globe in search of the cause of a worldwide zombie pandemic and in the hope of finding a cure.

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My Opinion:

So, okay – I read World War Z by Max Brooks (son of Mel!). I LOVED it – I thought it was one of the best books I’d read in years. Then I heard they’d be making it into a movie and I’m usually happy about that – although I rarely like the movies as much as the books, I still enjoy seeing how they adapt them. After all kinds of known problems while trying to make this movie, we finally got to see the first proper trailer. And, like everyone else who read the book, I was like “what the HELL is that?!”. Lol. I don’t need to say more – I think everyone knows by now that, aside from the title, the book and the movie have VERY little in common. So let’s move on…

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Knowing this was NOT going to be the World War Z I know, I went to this with fairly low expectations and also went to it knowing it was going to be more of a serious “nationwide pandemic” film than some kind of Romero zombie movie. This is more I Am Legend or even Contagion than Night Of The Living Dead. And that’s fine – I ended up enjoying it more than I had expected. Not that the book was a full-on zombie thing anyway – it’s more like a book on war… (Sorry – not going there! I won’t mention the book again). 😉

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Apocalyptic Movies of any sort are always my type of thing. Don’t know why… And World War Z is a decent enough example of this type of film. We got to see the human side of things through seeing Brad Pitt’s character have to leave his wife and two daughters behind as he travels to try to discover the cause & a cure. We briefly meet some soldiers that we get to know a little bit about – this was one of the better parts of the film (and a small part of this was in the book!!). And Brad helps a female soldier in Israel played by Daniella Kertesz. She’s probably one of the best characters in this and she wasn’t even listed when I looked up the actors’ names on Wikipedia! We meet quite a few characters as Brad travels the globe and I enjoyed that and actually wished they’d been able to spend a little more time with some of these characters.

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As for the action & “gore” – well, there IS no gore. Honestly. Never seen a zombie movie with pretty much NO blood whatsoever. But that’s fine by me. As I said, this isn’t some zombie horror movie – this is a human drama exploring the effects of a worldwide pandemic. And, aside from a few minor silly things, this movie does the “apocalyptic” thing so much better than a Roland Emmerich movie. Other than some CGI zombies piling on top of each other and looking a little silly, World War Z felt much more realistic than an Emmerich film ever has. And the action seemed just right – just enough but nothing too insane and over-the-top (hello Man Of Steel!).

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Summary:

If you go to World War Z with an open mind and expecting a human drama about a worldwide pandemic instead of a gory zombie horror movie, you may find that you actually enjoy it. It certainly has some problems and is far from perfect but it isn’t the total disaster we were all expecting after hearing about all the production problems and all the changes that were made. I’d have liked to see a bit more character development of some of the lesser characters but we meet them all too briefly to really achieve this. So, overall, I’d probably recommend this film. But I’d DEFINITELY recommend the brilliant book. You can do both – they’re completely different things…

My Rating: 7/10

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**I think a lot of people will have by now read about the original World War Z ending and how it was massively changed. If you’re interested, this is a very good article explaining the changes: The Playlist.

I hate the sound of this original ending! I have to say they made the right decision.

See if World War Z has made this list of My Top Ten Apocalyptic Movies. 🙂

My Top Ten Apocalyptic Movies

In order starting with my favorite (and I’m cheating massively with this list by putting films together that are part of a series). 😉

1. Alien & Aliens

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2. WALL-E

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3. George A Romero’s zombie films

(I love them all but especially love Dawn Of The Dead, which is one of my all-time favorite movies in general)

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4. The Terminator & Terminator 2: Judgment Day

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5. Hardware

(Yeah, I have a thing for this film for some strange reason. Especially the music in it. And the shower scene…)

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6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (the BBC series)

(That’s right. Not that horrible Hollywood film. Ugh. The BBC series was a much better adaptation of my favorite book.)

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7. Dr Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

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8. 28 Days Later & 28 Weeks Later

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9. Planet Of The Apes

(Spoiler! Screw it. It’s old. Everyone has seen it.)

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10. Children Of Men

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Honorable Mentions:

Night Of The Comet

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
Zombieland
The Matrix
Warm Bodies
Deep Impact
The Stand
Omega Man
I Am Legend

World War Z
This Is The End
The World’s End

An explanation of this list:

This was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I love apocalyptic (& post-apocalyptic) films. I don’t know why but I’ve always been drawn to them. I made the mistake of discussing this list with my hubby and we ended up arguing over ones that he insisted are NOT apocalyptic.

After spending way too long discussing it, I decided to just go by this list of what’s considered an apocalyptic film according to Wikipedia. And two we disagreed on (WALL-E & Alien/Aliens) are on the list. So, nyah! I win. I’ve included them.

There are some that are iffy, like The Omen. Not in the Wikipedia list so I’ve left it out although I’d consider that to fit their criteria of a “prelude to such an end”. And there are others I thought might be considered apocalyptic but are really dystopian (turns out I like a lot of those as well so I’ll do a list of that at some point too). And I’ve now spent way too long thinking about this… So, bye. 🙂

Warm Bodies

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When I first heard there was going to be a zombie love story movie I was like “Whaaaaat….??” I LOVE zombie movies. Is that weird for a girl?! Forget wussy sexy vampires and all that – give me a good zombie movie! It started years ago when I watched Night of the Living Dead and then Dawn of the Dead, which I now consider one of my all-time favorite movies. So, anyway – even being a big-time zombie fan I did think the idea of a zombie love story sounded ridiculous. I like the comedy ones, such as Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead, but… Love story? Puh-lease!

Well, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by Warm Bodies! I suppose it helped that I went into it with fairly low expectations. I do like a lot of the young adult fiction these days but I didn’t know about this book so I’ve not read it and I went to the movie really knowing nothing about it.

I liked that this movie had a sense of humor about the whole zombie thing and had some funny moments. It wasn’t taking itself too seriously, which actually meant that you could sort of buy into the whole crazy idea of a zombie romance and the even crazier ending a bit more than if it had tried to be all serious & dramatic (like Twilight. Gag!).

The movie is kind of a strange mix of trying to be a little bit indie/quirky and trying to be a little bit mainstream (think somewhere in the middle of The Perks of Being a Wallflower & Twilight). If I’d made the film I think I would have gone much more “indie” with it but I think the way they’ve done it did work. It’s still not mainstream enough to get the entire Twilight crowd going to it, though (thank god!). To be honest, I’m not entirely sure who WILL go to this… It’s an odd one and the people at the cinema were an odd assortment – there were mothers with children way too young for it (8ish – WTF? I know it’s a 12A in the UK but this movie is too old for them!) through to one quite old couple in front of me. It’s not going to get all the young adult girls who want a dramatic love story with a pretty boy but, being a 12A, it’s certainly not going to get hardcore horror movie fans going to it either. I’m surprised it has quite a healthy IMDB rating of 7.4 at the moment, to be honest. Although I really enjoyed it I have to say this is one movie that people are gonna like or they’re gonna REALLY hate. I’ve told my co-workers that I really liked it but know I shouldn’t have because I KNOW that every single one of them would hate it. But they all suck when it comes to movies anyway, which is why I blog to people who are proper movie fans instead of talking to the people I work with about movies! 😉

In conclusion…. Hmmm… Not sure where to go with this now. Would I recommend this movie? No, not to EVERYONE. It’s not for everyone and it’s one of those rare ones where I can’t really predict who would like it and who wouldn’t (if I know a person well enough, I’m usually very good at recommending movies they’d like). Honestly, I have NO idea who will like this and who will hate it. If you go to it, go to it with an open mind and knowing that the premise is ridiculous and just have a bit of fun with it. Remember that it’s a 12A romance if you’re a horror movie fan and expecting lots of gore and remember that it’s a zombie movie if you’re thinking you’re going to get some lovely girly romance.

Oh yeah – the romance! Did I believe that a girl could actually fall in love with a zombie? Er… No. It’s a rotting zombie, FFS! Gross! Lol! But I did actually find the relationship in the movie very sweet and FAR less annoying than the one between Bella and vampire-boy. It was good that it was told from the zombie’s point of view so you could understand how he’s feeling and I have to admit that I really liked the WAY he gains his feelings (I won’t give that away but I liked that it felt like an original idea – there aren’t many original ideas in the tons of zombie movies these days. If you don’t like your zombie lore messed with, though, you might want to skip this one!). I was fine with them breaking a lot of zombie rules as I think you really HAVE to if you’re going to turn it into a romance. I didn’t go to it for the romance side of things to be honest, though – I went for the zombies! And I enjoyed it.

My Rating: 7/10 (but don’t get mad if you see it & hate it because I’ve warned you that it’s not for everyone!) 🙂

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