Been a movie watchin’ fiend lately & luckily most of the flicks, most of which I’d call largely forgotten cinema, have been surprisingly damn good! So listen up I’m gonna throw a bunch of short reviews for some films that are worth the trouble to track down if like me you’re looking for some lost gems! Let’s get on with this shit today we’ve got some great what I like to coin ‘John Hughes Horror’ in…
Night Life (1989)
First up let it be known this cool ass little movie was never officially released on dvd so it’s a tuff one to track down. You can hunt down a copy on vhs or like I did buy a bootleg copy of it on dvd from Ioffer.com, a great site for stuff like this. Anyway I wanna start off saying that this movie has Scott Grimes, that red headed kid from Critters 1&2 so it instantly had me there as I love those two movies. It’s essentially an 80’s teen high school bully movie with zombies. Scott Grimes or “Archie” in the movie, who channels a bit of Michael J. Fox, works at a mortuary for his jerky uncle (John Astin) and is bullied by four assholes (two preppy jock-y couples) from his school. Turns out he’s totally infatuated with one of the girls and the bullies quickly devise a plan to set him up on a “date” that ultimately destroys him teenage life. He’s also got an older lady pal, a cute local mechanic that he hangs out with all the time that he’s also crushed out on, who’s clearly put him in the friend zone. Ahh to be a teenager again…
Well one day those same four prepster bullies meet their demise in a horrible car crash, and of course Archie has to take them back to the mortuary. It seems though he’s in high school he accompanies the police to crimes scenes and is oddly in charge of the “dirty work” of dealing with the dead, I guess that shit flew back in the 80’s huh? Only problem is the four assholes become zombies when a bolt of lightning strikes the roof of the mortuary, something clearly foreshadowed earlier when a dead frog’s legs twitch when given an electrical charge by his science teacher. The nice thing here is these Zombies aren’t your mindless walkers, they’re more ruthless, cunning & have one clear driving their every move: to turn Archie into mince meat!! This begins a totally outrageous game of cat and mouse that plays out like a great extended episode of Tales From The Crypt in the best way.
The movie’s got a light hearted feel to it but isn’t afraid to get down and dirty when it needs to either. The zombie bullies use their newly acquired blood lust to carry out some pretty inventive on screen kills too. This may not be a traditional zombie apocalypse flick, but it’s one of the most unique and who needs more of the apocalypse anyway. Even in the 80’s that shit was overdone. Even way back in 89′ Tony Timpone of Fangoria praised it “the most original, off-beat & entertaining zombie films in years, a must see!”. I gotta agree it’s a ton of fun, has great stunts, cool fx, gore, rad looking zombies, sets & characters. Pretty much everything I love about the 80’s all wrapped into one. This one deserves an official release it’s definitely a lost gem. I’m pretty floored at how this movie doesn’t have more love these days, hopefully someone will clean it up and give it a proper release if you’re a fan of 80’s horror and those John Hughs-esque flick of that era you’ll find a lot here to love!! One last interesting tidbit here is that director David Acomba was one the two directors responsible for the infamously bad 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special!! But hey don’t hold that against him!!
I’ve been looking forward to checking out the new horror comedy “Night of Something Strange” for quite some time and finally this week I decided to check it out via rental on Google Play. From what I’d heard about it and seen in the trailer, it looked liked a super fun homage to splatter flicks of the 1980’s with an unhealthy dose of comedy splashed in for a good time. I’m all about a good indie horror comedy, in fact the horror comedy is easily one of my favorite genres. However ‘Night of Something Strange’ just really didn’t do it for me. I give them a serious ‘A’ for effort but when you’re making a movie like this it’s extremely important to nail down the comedy aspect of the horror first. That can be a hard task & precisely where this movie really falls flat, at least for me.
This one is all about grossing you out in every middle school way you can imagine. That’s perhaps who this movie’s comedy might truly appeal to. For me though gross out poop, pee and sex humor gets old real quick. NOSS is jam packed with potty humor and as the movie plays on it continuously tries to top last the poop, pee-pee, gross out sex scenario with something more “outrageous”. It simply tries way too hard to get a reaction, kinda like if Seth Rogan wrote the script for this when he was thirteen years old but with “gross out” dick jokes and zombie rape scenarios sprinkled throughout. Yeah the movie has a lot of undead raping & it’s not really the kind of stuff that’s offensive, since clearly it’s incredibly unrealistic looking and it’s actors aren’t exactly out to win an academy award with their performances. So none of it will stick with you for days or scar you as the scenes aren’t even the least bit convincing. That’s a good thing, because I’m not a fan of the rape-y horror movie. It’s all just too damn stupid, and though I do like me some ridiculousness this one tries way too hard.
This flick is essentially an 80’s horny teen throwback movie with even more horny undead creatures roaming around the grounds of a spooky motel. There’s a few scenes that are actually pretty well done and the practical effects here are at times actually pretty impressive. It also looks pretty nice too, it just suffers from a ton of stale comedy. I don’t know, maybe when I was twelve years old this would have been funny? However it’s just trying way too hard to gross us out with farts, poop, dirty tampons, boners & nasty sex humor around each & every corner. It’s also maybe about 20 minites too long. I haven’t got much else to say about this one, (I really like the poster art at least) but if you dig this kind of mega excessive potty humor then hey, this movie delivers the goods and then some!!
I just saw the trailer for the super duper indie horror movie “Night of Something Strange” which is a total throwback to gory horror of the 1980’s. From the trailer, this one looks a cut above most of the other indie throwback style flicks being churned out on a shoe string budget. It follows a monstrous STD as it spreads amidst five teenage friends headed off on Spring Break vacation. The trailer looks like a ton of gory fun and of course it doesn’t hurt to have an awesome poster to accompany your movie.
This one will likely make you think twice before sitting on that toilet seat in the restroom on your next road trip. It appears this one is making the horror festival rounds at the moment. If you’re in the Pennsylvania area you can check it out at the Indie Horror Drive In Fest September 16th in Vandergrift. How fun does that sound? I’m all in for cool indie horror films that actually look like they truly give a shit about giving us something memorable. This one looks like a winner so far expect this one to be hitting the VOD circuit soon as well.
I just saw this cool little trailer for the a new horror comedy called The Night Watchmen which seems like a helluva great gruesome time. Despite the fact that there’s a new trailer for The Ghostbusters reboot that just dropped recently to me a smaller flick like The Night Watchmen thus far captures the vibe of a Ghostbusters movie than this latest reboot.
I know that there’s a lot of negative press out there already about The Ghostbusters and though I really want to be excited something about it feels incredibly forced.
It’s not the fact that the cast are all women either as many seem to like to claim is causing all the negative hype . Perhaps it’d made more sense to have at least a couple of the original Ghostbusters pass the torch. It would have been cool to have Dan Akroyd & Ernie Hudson be a part of the movie as the last two Ghostbusters standing who need to hire some new recruits once the supernatural start to stir in the city again.
Instead we get another bland reboot that thus far doesn’t look like it’s got much of a personality of it’s own. It also feels more like a sequel to the recent Goosebumps movie in it’s way of bad CGI effects that in 2016 somehow still don’t improve on the original movies. Anyway check out this new Night Watchmen trailer as a horde of vampires led by an undead clown attack the after hours employees of a boring ol’ office building..
This was news to me a few days ago, I had no idea that “Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout” even existed! But back in 1990 the legendary scream queen best known for her appearance in Return of The Living Dead (among many others) actually put out the first horror workout video ever! Here you can see her getting the out of shape undead into some serious workouts and sweating their rotting asses off!
Expect of course that you’re going to see Linnea naked in this workout video, as that seemed to be in part what she was most famous for in the 1980’s, in fact the video starts out like a scene from “Creepozoids” with her showing off her bod in the shower. This one also gives you a full on history of the scream queen too before the creep-tastic working out happens! It also begins with a “serious” warning for those ready to give up their “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” vhs up for a moment it reads as follows:
WARNING : The activities depicted in this video are strenuous and highly physical in nature. They should not be attempted without first consulting your doctor. Since they can also become violent, you might also seek advice from a psychiatrist, clergyman, or criminal attorney. In any case, we accept no responsibility for any harm you do to yourself or to others after viewing this tape. Whatever happens, IT’S NOT OUR FAULT!
So if you’re tired of the same old workout I recommend hunting this one down on vhs or maybe on dvd as I believe it was released back in 2013 but maybe out of print again. Either way this one is most definitely not your average workout ! You can see most of this one right on Youtube!
I know I’ve talked some shit here in the past about how The Walking Dead comic book had become a bit boring and that the whole dang thing has become a bit of a stale read. But now I’m starting to actually kind of dig the current direction of the book slowly but surely. We’re at a point now where things are beginning to become interesting again….I hope. In the previous issue, we had Carl losing his virginity to a weird girl who’s part of the clan who wears zombie skin on their bodies to go undetected by the undead. What things are looking like lately is that Carl actually just might be able to carry this book on his own someday replacing Rick. I really am enjoying this version of him filled with a bunch of teen angst and rage.
Issue 139 also shows the return of Michonne finally, and we learn what she’s been up to all this time and much more. We see the return of Ezekiel and see Rick’s crew venture to the coast where as you can see on the cover, people are indeed out venturing on boats. We also get an emotional long overdue conversation between Rick and Michonne and most interesting we see Carl’s raging hormones/teenage emotions brewing some serious trouble for everyone, whether they like it or not.
I’ve been with this book from issue #1 and it’s been quite a wild ride, some of it I have loved and some of it hasn’t been too inspiring. I see a light at the end of this tunnel and for the first time in a while I can say I’m looking forward to the next issue. Let’s hope things get totally out of hand here and Kirkman moves the book into some new directions, my fingers are crossed…don’t blow it Kirkman!
If you’re a fan of punk rock and old school 80’s style horror there’s a good chance you’ll get a kick out Black Mask’s “Toe Tag Riot” a new rowdy zombie comic book adventure! This one reads more like an installment of the “Return of the Living Dead” movie franchise than “The Walking Dead” and that’s a good thing because we really don’t need any more comic books hitting the shelves these days trying to capture what Robert Kirkman has so gloriously accomplished. Written By Matt Miner and illustrated by Sean Von Gorman we get bloody good tale of a touring punk rock band with a zombie curse mysteriously cast upon them. They fight with the urges to eat flesh as they spend only part of the time as undead (from what I can tell thus far it seems right before they hit the stage) and when they do turn into flesh eaters they spend much of their time ripping apart Nazi Skinheads, angry moms and pissed off bible thumpers!
This series so far really reminds me of something you might have found in a punk rock fanzine back in the 1990’s, full of crude humor & gore, while hitting on several political and social issues like racism, homophobia and nut job religious groups like the Westboro Baptist Church. It follows the bands exploits while giving us brief flashbacks of how the band came to be and just how they developed into zombies. If you’re looking for a serious zombie epic you’ll most likely be a bit disappointed here, but if you’re looking for a good tongue in cheek comedy you’ll probably dig Toe Tag Riot quite a bit.
The first read really reminded me of a canadian vampire flick called “Suck” which had a pretty similar premise but not hitting on issues Toe Tag Riot delves into. If you’re familiar with that movie, the band, like in Toe Tag Riot are struggling with their popularity & end up tragically becoming Vampires. They use their unique new attributes to their advantage to hit the big time. Still I found the first two issues to be a pretty sweet little ball of mayhem and I’m curious to see where the next couple take us.
A fun read which would go down nice with a few stiff drinks, the only part of it I wasn’t particularly keen on was the odd inclusion of the main dude from ‘Fall Out Boy’ into the story-not exactly screaming punk rock to me at least, I’m actually kinda hoping that guy gets eaten by the band (nothing personal, I just think that’d be kinda cool)….. either way Check it out! A cool zombie comic that’s quite a bit different from the herd!
Late last night I finished reading Walking Dead #132, and just as this book was finally starting to grab my interest again it kind shifted back into the same gears it has been for far too long. So stop reading now if you fear any SPOILERS! I’ve said it here for quite some time now, that this title needs a major injection of something different to add some new excitement to it’s ongoing apocalyptic story. Well most recently we had a stir of exactly that, when a group from Rick’s settlement stumbled upon supposed zombies that could speak! The idea of this alone was exciting and intriguing to me, perhaps a little nod to “Day of the Dead” and full of possibilities for future story lines.
Could you imagine a new threat in the form of an intelligent horde of flesh eaters! Now that’s frightening! I imagined villains far more ruthless than Negan or The Governor, an undead villain and the threats that they could pose to the existence of the human race. Well along comes issue #132, and it once again hits upon this new threat now being confirmed by Dante and his crew, the dead indeed are speaking! I felt that surge of excitement I haven’t felt in quite sometime in this title-but then I turned the page and yet something entirely different was revealed, something I had been hoping would not be the case here…The undead are still mindless-we have a new group of evil, evil humans once again…uggh….only this time they are dressing up as zombies. I had figured this might be the case when the idea was first crossed in the book a couple issues back.
My balloon is officially deflated. It seems that Kirkman wishes to keep this title on the same rails it always has been, Zombies=bad, Humans=more bad!! We have read this story countless times here in this title, it was great for the first 100 issues if that. Now though a great opportunity has been missed, the chance to do something different here. Perhaps people are totally digging this comic book still and I’m totally off base here and runnin’ my mouth like a mo-fo?!
Still I can’t help but wonder how this title could be if Kirkman wasn’t so afraid to break the mold he’s made for this series. What about the rest of the world? No one in Rick’s company cares to know if perhaps there are areas that are safe or unaffected? They just wanna build this little settlement and live? No one cares about a cure? What if there’s more to this whole story, one that’s larger than Rick? Are we at this point just supposed to accept that Rick is starting civilization again and that the rest of the world is a total wasteland? I’d love to see these questions answered and I’d love to see this threat evolve into something more interesting, if zombies can be a reality what else might be out there? Unfortunately that’s a subject Kirkman doesn’t feel confident enough to explore, I love a good drama but come on, this book could be SO much more today…please tell me what all of you think?! Am I just a Walking Dead hater?!!
Ok first off let me tell you there’s SPOILERS here, so if you aren’t caught up with the series stop reading now! Ok then, yesterday I read the final chapter of the “All Out War” twelve issue story arc of The Walking Dead. First I am going to state that the finale did not go the way I predicted it would which is actually a good thing. However, it seems to me that the series is stuck in the mud at this point. It has been for a while I think. This finale didn’t really offer up any real excitement, what I did predict was that Rick’s slicing of Negan’s throat in in issue #125 was certainly not going to be fatal. I enjoyed the fact that Rick is letting Negan live and trying to push the world in a better direction, trying to fix the mistakes the previous world made with war, revenge and killing. Very admirable Rick. However now that he has Negan as a prisoner that means that we’re going to have to have that character around for even longer!
I’ve heard from many people that Negan is their favorite character, that “he’s like the greatest villain to ever grace the pages of a comic book”. To me he’s unbelievable, annoying and just not that interesting. So I guess now what we’re most likely going to see is the gradual change of Negan from a villain into a part of the crew. I am guessing that he’s going to develop into some sort of anti-hero. That being said, where can Kirkman really take this series? Are we going to meet another Negan/Governor? I’d say that’s likely. To me though that’s also a bit boring.
I’d like to see this book go in some new directions dammit! Let’s face some new threats that aren’t a bunch of asshole humans, add some mystery to the book, search for other people in other parts of the world-I mean isn’t anyone interested in what might be happening elsewhere on another continent? Wouldn’t finding a plane be a priority? Or chartering a boat? I’m just not that interested in seeing Rick become the next President of the USA!! What do you think? Are you all satisfied with the direction the book has been stuck on?
I had the pleasure yesterday of watching ‘Dead Weight‘ a great little indie horror gem all the way from my home state of Wisconsin. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from this one and to be honest, I haven’t really seen too much in the way of cinema coming out of “America’s Dairyland”. I’d have to say that Dead Weight is much less of a horror movie than it is a drama set in an apocalyptic wasteland.
I could draw some comparisons obviously to The Walking Dead, as I’m fairly certain that writers and directors Adam Bartlett and John Pata are big fans (I’ve heard the DVD will feature artwork by original Walking Dead artist Tony Moore!) but this plays out as something much more than a mere carbon copy. Sure the story revolves around a small band of survivors of some sort of viral outbreak traveling a barren landscape and yeah they meet some ultra sketchy people along the way. What we are really witnessing is one man’s psychological breakdown as he desperately travels by foot to reunite with his lover in a small northern Wisconsin city.
The movie shows flashbacks of Charlie (Joe Belknap) and his girlfriend Samantha (Mary Lindberg) before tragedy struck while at the same time following him on his journey to reunite with her after these events. I really loved the contrast between the warm colorful flashbacks and the cold, grey, dismal look of Charlie’s journey in the aftermath. Who would’ve known that Wisconsin would make such a convincing setting for a zombie wasteland?
The film really looks great too, the locations chosen really give you a feeling of dread and isolation which makes it that much more tense when other survivors enter the equation. What also grabbed me was the tightly woven story, which I might add has it’s fair share of twists and turns, something I truly appreciate in my cinematic viewing when done effectively. The short explanation for what may have caused this tragedy was also an interesting addition to the plot as it unfolded.
Dead Weight is pretty light on the violence and we barely see a “zombie” in sight anywhere throughout the movie. To me that’s great, as I’m quite honestly pretty burnt out on the zombie genre at this point. It seems people are still cranking out zombie movies by the boatloads these days, jam packed with, shoddy gore, CG blood and weak ass plot lines. That’s exactly why Dead Weight succeeds, its unique character study plays out quite differently than most zombie flicks.
Without giving too much away, I’d say this is a pretty true to life tale of how people might actually act in this type of situation. Sometimes there are no real heroes and people act simply off of their own emotions and selfish motivations, making the idea of a situation like this much more hopeless and bleak. Something this movie did a great job of portraying. That’s not to say the movie was flawless, the flashbacks were well put together but I really wasn’t fully convinced of the love and emotion Charlie and Samantha had for each other. In fact the two of them together felt a bit off at points. It would have been nice to really feel exactly what made Charlie go against all odds to try and reunite with her.
Plain and simple Dead Weight is a great slice of cinema from Wisconsin! An intriguing story and solid acting by all involved. This was a true independent film and the first for Adam Bartlett and John Pata. I was truly impressed that they pulled off a horror drama, I consider it quite daring as most people on a small budget in this genre go for the tired “over the top” zombie comedy. So kudos for putting some real heart and emotion into a memorable zombie film. That alone is an incredibly tough thing to accomplish in the sea of undead movies flowing onto the shelves these days! I’m pumped to see what these guys do next, I’d say they’re going to be putting the cheese state on the map of movie making in a big way in the near future….
Dead Weight will be released nationally on DVD and VOD January 21st, 2014. Look for it here soon on Netflix too. Check out the trailer: