Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The fruits of Zombie Night '07

Here are the two new films we watched during Zombie Night, the rest were just old hat (and old favorites). What a blast we had. Shame the two films I made a point of having available for our viewing pleasure were such turkeys.

by Pupi Avati

What a muddy mess of a picture this is. Ok, so Pupi Avati I know solely for his directing the Lynchier-than-most giallo House Of Laughing Windows which featured midgets, jarred oddities and vagaries surrounding a coven of witches. This picture, shot on video, relied pretty heavily on weirdness over gore, but there was some of that too, all in all not totally backwards and even a little creepy. With that in mind I got a hold of what I thought was his take on the zombie movie. What I actually got a hold of was one of the slowest, most confusing giallo I’ve seen yet. It’s one of these pictures where a reclusive billionaire is trying to attain the secret to longer life for some fucking reason. Anyway a guy inherits his typewriter and then gets wrapped up in a mystery he’s nothing to do with and then finds himself in a lot of porno set-ups and then the picture is an hour and 15 minutes old and we are no closer to figuring out what made Avati think this one would be a big hit. It’s nothing but talk, talk, the odd murder & talk. The only zombie was really just the billionaire come back to life and then killing some people off screen. Oh and there’s a subplot with a woman with an injured leg, but I assure you it won’t matter when you hit eject and send this back in the little red and white envelope to whichever sucker thinks this movie has gut-munching.

Grapes of Death
by Jean Rollin

Well, given that Zombie Lake was in Jean Rollin’s future, he could have actually started out much worse than this. Yeah, I was able to predict just about every act of cruelty the film had in store for us, but, the silliness and stark confusion made it worth the hour and a half…sort of. First, we see some people working at a vineyard, one of them has a rash, the other smokes a pipe really well. Anyway, rashy gets on a train where two twenty something French women are already riding. They leave separately and one of them is killed and rashy sits next to the other and then he starts decomposing and festering pretty sickly. She flees and runs away across what looks to be the entire French countryside. She finds a house where an abusive husband has a similar rash and a wife has a smaller one just below her soon-to-be-exposed breasts. The girl tries to help, but the wife just gets pitchforked for her troubles. She runs away, meets with a particularly pusy forehead and a blind girl whose solely purpose is to be stripped of her clothes and crucified on her own door. Then her boyfriend cuts her head off, carries it around and makes out with it. If I Drink Your Blood taught us one thing, it’s that if you spend money on a severed head, you’re going to see a whole lot of it before the end of things. She meets a spooky lesbian who sets up what could have been a humorous outfit changing scene only to discover she’s leading the zombies in her town. Then some of the vineyard workers meet the girl, burn the lesbian to death and flee the scene. They come to a vineyard where they’ve slowly figured out is the root of all evil. Slow, gross, confusing, mean, pointless.

I dare you to make sense of this. The only thing i can say in defense of these two reprehensible trips is that now I'm two films closer to having seen every zombie flick ever made.

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