Saturday, March 10, 2007

Recently Viewed Films/Enjoy Spring Break

Below are the most recent Zombie films I’ve seen with a brief statement about each (I can't say I recommend any of them). If you've been busy like me, you've had time for a few of them, so respond with some of your break activities and/or films watched. Right now I’m writing the sequel to the one I wrote a few years ago that I’ve shown a few of you (this time the techies are the star). Ok, here we go.

Oasis of the Zombies
by Jesus Franco

My first Jesus Franco film (fate tells me this won't be the last) is a boring little number. Nazi stock footage guards an oasis on top of hidden gold. An Italian boy who apparently attends university cause it's just something to do inherits a map to the oasis and a bunch of his idiot friends go searching for the treasure and instead find...Zombies. The effects and acting are miserable affairs (some of the zombies look like paper machete, some are rip-offs that go as far back as I Walked With A Zombie). The scenes of the zombies far away in the desert look dreamlike, but not particularly scary and the gore and nudity are tame because of its Spanish audience and board of censors, so all in all, a big mistake.

Hell of the Living Dead
by Bruno Mattei

A film that rips off Dawn of the Dead so heavily I couldn't watch all of it. Everything from the exact Musical score is stolen (even the outfits of the main characters) and the plot is nowhere near as sustainable as even the loosest of Italian films. Directed by Bruno Mattei the man responsible for sullying Lucio Fulci's reputation by finishing Zombie 3 as a tragic farce that many refuse to credit as actual cinema. Awful, terrible, big, mean, dumb.

Dead and Buried
by Gary Sherman

A misty film about a cult that inhabits a salty New England fishing village that kills visitors and turns them into productive members of society. This film scores points for treating zombies as the real thing: in Dead & Buried, it's manual labor in exchange for a soul. Bits are silly, like when a couple with their young child stubbornly investigate a house while having an argument that consists of the same two lines of dialogue ("Let's get out of here!" "I saw a light!"). A lot of really frightening stuff involving syringes and bugging eyes. Could have been a bit better, could have been a lot worse. At the time of the film's release, the producer put Dan O'Bannon's name on it to drum up business, but he himself never came within 10,000 feet of the project. He claims he was embarassed by the film after having seen it. Eh, I don't think it's all that bad.

by Joe Dante

Showtime original movie and part of the Masters of Horror film series, Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins) makes an all-too-obvious statement about Bush on a shoestring budget. The story follows a campaign worker and conservative pundit who helped the president get elected and supports the war in Iraq starts sleeping with an Anne Coulter character after he makes a comment on national TV about wishing the dead soldiers could come back to life. Soon after, they do and they want to vote and they won't die until they do. Iraq war veterans spring up as a Karl Rove character tries to spin it as a pro-war zombie epidemic, he pays for it. In the end there is not enough money to achieve any kind of success with the effects or scale of the zombies and the film's look is too dry to scare anyone. Dante employs the old trick of putting zombie director's names on the names of veteran gravestones after republicans fix the election.

All in all, not a hugely successful haul, but after Zombie Lake anything's preferable.


Beccah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beccah said...

I deleted the last one because it was incoherent and contained bad spelling errors because this keyboard sucks. Anyway, I can't wait for the sequel!!! You should email me what you have so far ( I check that more than the school account). How's your break been? Mine has been painfully uneventful (a few babysitting gigs, putting off Heart of Darkness, endless hours of T.V., staying up/ sleeping late, etc. boring things). Call/ email me to save me from boredom.