I’m not going to pretend to have a vast knowledge of the Austrian horror movie scene and, until this film, I just assumed it existed rather than had proof it was there. So I was a bit surprised that writer-director Dominik Hartl made the first-ever Austrian zombie film, and decided to give it a try. Continue reading →
Does it count as World Cinema if a film is from Argentina, is a post-apocalyptic zombiefest and you have to read the subtitles? No clue; but as soon as I found out it existed I knew I had to watch Soy Tóxico, as that combination is something you don’t come across often. And I am so glad I did! Continue reading →
This film was picked based purely on having a nifty title, a 50/50 rating on Amazon Prime, and there being zombies in it. It was a gamble, and it absolutely did not pay off because this is one of the worst films I’ve seen in a long time. I often used to say “I can’t remember the worst movie I’ve ever seen, because it was so dull that I forgot it”; this is simply not the case, as the unending dullness of this has seared itself into my mind forever. It’s a bad zombie movie, a bad plague movie, and just outright unenjoyable. Continue reading →
When Zach Snyder debuted in the feature film world, it was with his 2004 remake of Dawn of The Dead. It was a smart, exciting, and overall interesting take on George A Romero’s classic zombie story; taking the basic set-up and social themes, then working in some new flourishes to keep the audience guessing. The movie had something to say, it knew how to do that in a visually and emotionally satisfying way, and whilst it played with themes of inertia and boredom it did so without frustrating the audience. It was an explosive, captivating film, from a director with everything to prove. Continue reading →
Horror movies have always traded on two key things; novelty and transgression. They’ve also always held a dark secret; the more “high concept” those two are, the more likely it is that a film will try to trade on those elements alone and not bother to actually be any good in and of itself. So, it’s with great joy and relief that I can confirm that this zombie musical coming-of-age Christmas movie is also a great movie. Well, assuming that you like the idea of multiple song-and-dance numbers mixed with blood-soaked scenes of walking dead induced slaughter. Continue reading →
A regular criticism I hear about zombie movies is that “no one does anything different with them”. This annoys me for three main reasons; firstly, that there could be anything wrong with the classic plot of “people fine, zombies turn up, zombies eat people”. Secondly, because there is a massive difference between plot and story and it’s pointlessly reductive to confuse them (“person commits crime, they think they go away with it, turns out they didn’t”, I’ve saved you watching everything from Hound of the Baskervilles to Wolf of Wall Street), And thirdly because it’s so ignorant of all the amazing work that’s been done in the genre, even within the “confines” of it’s three-act framework. Continue reading →
Pitching itself as “an apocalyptic fairy fail”, and featuring the praise of both Llyod Kaufman (head of Troma Studios and psychotronic cinema royalty) and Richard Elfman (brother of Danny), I had never heard of this film until my father-in-law dropped it off as one of his £1 charity shop finds. Whilst the ridiculous cover drew me in, I was also interested by it being a “Von Piglet Sisters” movie. I wanted to see what director/producer Sue Corcoran and writer Angie Louise could come up with, as female created films are still less uncommon in Bargain Bin genre flicks, so sat down in anticipation and wondered “how crazy could this be?” Continue reading →
Before we start, two observations that apply to all of these films and need to be addressed.
Firstly, they all look very good. Both in terms of production values and how they are shot, all of the movies show a surprisingly high level of technical ability within the crew. The cast are, mostly, similarly talented. Whilst there are a couple of bad performances, most are quite good IF you ignore the material they have to deal with. These are multimillion-dollar productions, and they have the look and feel of multimillion-dollar productions that don’t sap your will to watch. As such, any and all criticism has to be placed directly at the feet of the director and producer, Uwe Boll, for the active decision to make such god-awful movies when they could so very easily have made perfectly okay ones.
Secondly, the sex scenes are atrocious. They are not sexy, most of them are not needed, there is next to no chemistry between anyone involved, and even the ones that you can just about accept as part of the plot are excessively long to the point of dullness. These films were obviously made with a predetermined boob quota and the assumption that showing a breast is, in and of itself, erotically charged. The most pointless was in Along In The Dark, as it could have been cut from the film and made zero impact on any of the story even though it involved two of the main characters. The most offensive was in BloodRayne 3; wherein the hero and unconscious heroine in a van taking them to a concentration camp, with zero romantic build-up, decide to have wild, freaky sex because he groped her whilst she was unconscious. Everything else is somewhere between those two points, and all are down to “artistic” decisions Uwe Boll made. Continue reading →
Rock and Roll and horror movies have always been connected at the swaggering hip. From the ’50s onward they have shared an undying bond of heightened emotions, juvenile daydreaming, cheap production values, the mystique of delinquency, and high tempo drama. So, getting Guitar Wolf, arguably the finest garage rock bands to have come out of the 80’s Tokyo punk scene, and putting them in a zombie movie is a bit of a no-brainer. That the movie is this fast, chaotic, and unwilling to slow down for anyone just makes it even more perfect. That Takeuchi Tetsuro, a prominent music video director, directed this 1999 psychotronic rock-&-roll fable is just the cherry on top of the Molo Continue reading →
Thanks to Stranger Things, Day Of The Dead has gained a bit of an increase in its otherwise tepid reputation. Known mostly for being the final of George A Romeo’s original Living Dead Trilogy, it never gained the prestige of Night nor the hipness of Dawn. It was just “the third one”, and didn’t really get talked about. That’s probably due to it being so utterly downbeat and bleak, even by the standards set by the master of zombie cinema.
The main reason for this is that it doesn’t follow the three-act drama set by the previous two films. Both of them, for all their diversity and difference to each other, have three key beats: zombies turn up, the humans find sanctuary and then quarrel, the zombies get in and nibble everyone. Day doesn’t have this tempo, as it’s set in a post-zombie apocalypse world. It’s three acts are: the zombies have won, the humans have false sanctuary and are already quarrelling, and then… well, no spoilers. Let’s just say it’s all far less optimistic, far less positive, and somehow far more realistic than the others. It’s also far more satisfying, if you are willing to entertain something close to a nihilistic zombie Waiting For Godot. Continue reading →