Never mind that it’s over 4 months since the last post, just imagine it was only yesterday. Okay, maybe a few words of explanation why it took so long to update the blog. Again a motivation problem and of course other things which became a bit more important. Still I’d like to continue posting regularly, especially with upcoming movie nights (Halloween, hello!) and also covering all kinds of other events from the past (like Nippon Connection, Fantasy Filmfest, gamescom etc.). There’s also a chance that you might see these blog entries on another website soon as well ;).
Saturday, June 11th
Even in the early hours of morning, the mayhem with zombie goodness continues…
Dead & Breakfast
(USA 2004, director: Matthew Leutwyler)
Another zombie comedy flick, even though it takes a while before the brain-munching people show up. I guess the German FSK censorship people only watched the first part and then gave it a 16+ rating without knowing about the rest, because what happens afterwards is one hell of a splatter feast. Sure it’s silly and the story is nothing to write home about, but there are lots of stupid and likeable characters, funny one-liners and situation comedy to keep you entertained. What’s also quite interesting is the way the events are told: a band playing songs and singing in country/rock and even rap-style about what’s happening (in the credits retelling the whole movie). You can’t go wrong with singing, dancing AND organized zombies, now can you? It may not be the next Braindead (and most definitely doesn’t have anything to do with Shaun of the Dead as it says on the cover), but it’s a funny little flick to pass the midnight time.
Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead
(USA 2006, director: Lloyd Kaufman)
Like Cannibal – The Musical there’s something to be said about the “acting” qualities and overall way a Troma movie is presented. This could be the closest it gets to mainstream as the tunes are quite catchy, the actors seem to be capable of more and there’s actually a story. But then again there’s lots of gore which puts even Rodriguez’ final From Dusk Till Dawn fights to shame, it has gratuitous nudity and overacting of the extras. This doesn’t mean it’s not fun to watch. Just the idea of having a fast food restaurant built on an old Indian burial ground and then having undead chicken people going on a rampage is in a way pretty unique. There’s quite a lot of social criticism to be found in the songs as well, even though they are cleverly (or not so cleverly) hidden behind sometimes off-key singing and dancing. It’s tasteless fun which has you craving for more, just like fast food itself. And seeing Lloyd Kaufman, the director of this movie and producer of so many others, making an ass out of himself has to be seen to be believed. Maybe that’s why beyond the whole silliness and bad acting this is more enjoyable and genuine than most big blockbuster comedies (or other genres).
Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical
(USA 2005, director: Andy Fickman)
Another full-blown musical, this time with not so much gore (even though there is some at the end) and more songs, the genius twist being that it’s an adaptation of a 30ies-propaganda movie against marijuana (which is also included as a special feature on the BD/DVD). Even though I usually don’t like most musicals with their sugar-coated songwriting, I really enjoyed this one (my favorite songs being Mary Jane or Romeo and Juliet). It had me laughing all the way through (which only happens in very few movies), I really liked every actor’s/actress’s performance, simply everything. The use of black and white telling the story of the educational film presentation and the oh so colorful happenings with the downfall of the over-the-top goody-two-shoes 30ies-characters help making it like Fido a heartwarming and highly entertaining musical.
(USA 1982, director: George A. Romero)
Okay, actually this doesn’t even count as a zombie flick because there are only two episodes with those brain-munching characters, but never mind. Like the popular TV show Tales From The Crypt (which will hopefully be treated in an upcoming blog entry), it tells individual horror stories which are both twisted and gory, even though the special effects and make-up didn’t age that well (even if it’s not as bad as Romero’s Dawn of the Dead). Unlike the series there’s no introduction by the Cryptkeeper (a wisecracking rotting corpse), but rather a frame story with a boy reading the original Tales From The Crypt comics who is tyrannized by his father, which, as you can probably imagine, doesn’t end well.
The first story, Father’s Day, is the weakest of the bunch and involves a family get together, only with the father being dead and taking revenge. There’s really not much more to it, it’s slow paced, no twists, everything’s so predictable. Rather skip this one.
The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill about a farmer who gets infected with a plant virus from a meteorite (which literally grows on him) is very entertaining, especially with the atrociously bad acting of Stephen King (who also wrote the screenplay). It’s funny and sad at the same time making it a huge step forward from the first lame episode.
Something To Tide You Over is a very sick story with Leslie Nielsen (well-known for his Naked Gun role) who likes to watch people get drowned while being buried in the sand with only their heads sticking out. This is also an episode which was completely left out in the German version (the uncut movie is on the Index and the available DVD has so many cuts that it’s not even watchable), which is really a shame because it’s funny to watch and at the same time makes you pretty uncomfortable with Nielsen’s convincing performance. Of course it’s a bit predictable later on and the make-up doesn’t hold up to today’s standards.
The Crate is another great tale about a professor who somehow wants to get rid of his abusive drunken wife and finds the solution in a recently discovered crate where something sinister is waiting to feed. What makes the episode so good is that it’s quite scary (even with the make-up this time) and the professor’s imagined scenes of killing his wife are implemented so well that you don’t really know if it’s really happening. The dialogue between him and her is also highly reminiscent of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and is a joy to watch.
They’re Creeping Up On You is about a Scrooged-like business man who lives in a clinically clean and sealed-off apartment. But he finds out that more and more roaches get in. A great little tale which is disgusting, scary and funny and encompasses all the virtues the original series has going for it. Not much else to say about it.