I guess it was officially announced as happening around April/May, but George A. Romero is working on getting another zombie movie going. The screenplay has been written and it’s being shopped around in Montreal later this month at an international film festival where Romero will be seeking financing.
Honestly, I’m not too excited for it. I was very excited for Land of the Dead (went to see it opening weekend at the movie theater), less excited for Diary of Dead, and then even less excited for Survival of the Dead. Those entries into Romero’s ‘Living Dead’ series range from disappointing to god-awful, so I’m not too sure if Romero really has anything left in the tank.
Further giving me mixed feelings is the fact that Romero isn’t even directing. He’s a co-writer and co-producer, so it leaves me to wonder if we can really call this a Romero zombie movie since the film’s director Matt Birman also gets a co-writer/co-producer credit. Maybe this is actually a Birman zombie movie?
To me, the film sounds like a mix of Mad Max and Death Race 2000, but it’s being described by Birman as a mix of Mad Max, Ben-Hur, Rollerball, and NASCAR.
Uh… okay. That doesn’t help sell it. This sounds like it’s going to be really hokey cartoon horror.
It’s Romero and it’s zombies, so I’ll give this movie a shot, but I’m expecting very little from it. What I would love to see is Romero direct one final entry into the series. Get back to the bleak & nihilistic vibes of Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, but end the film on a hopeful note. I don’t think that will ever happen though.
It’s midnight, which means Halloween has officially arrived! I have a few errands to run early in the morning, but after that my entire day is wiiiiiiiiiide open for binging on horror movies.
I’ve already watched a number of classics this past month such as various offerings the Universal Monsters, the original Fright Night, and Trick Or Treat. I was hoping to get around to watching some classic horror from Hammer Studios along with a few Friday the 13th films, but it doesn’t look like I’ll make it in that regard.
However, it’s not Halloween without watching Halloween and zombies…
Obviously, there’s no way I can watch ALL of those movies, but I’m definitely in the mood for the 1990 Night of the Living Dead remake, Return of the Living Dead, and Halloween 1/2/4/5.
Night of the Living Deb
2016, Freestyle Digital Media
Hot on the heels of watching A Little Bit Zombie, I decided to watch yet another zombie horror-comedy. Also like A Little Bit Zombie this movie was crowd-funded. However, unlike A Little Bit Zombie (which I stumbled across on Amazon Prime Video), Night of the Living Deb had been on my radar for awhile. It looked like it was going to be fun and since it was released in September, I was waiting for it to appear on Netflix’s DVD service. Yes, I still use their DVD service. Better catalog of movies, IMO. Anyway, while it isn’t available through Netflix on DVD yet it is available to stream. As soon as I discovered that, I immediately pressed ‘play’.
Despite only having a budget of $100,000 the movie is well-shot and professional looking. The effects used on the zombies were pretty good for what they are, as are the few special effects used. The Shaun of the Dead comparisons I’ve seen online are apt. The movie starts with a familiar scene of two friends (Deb and her best friend) getting drunk at bar, one thing leads to another, and Deb and her one-night stand wake up the next day to see that everyone in town has turned to zombies.
The comedy is done really well and most of that is derived from the ridiculousness and charm of Deb (playing by Maria Thayer). I liked the character of Deb a lot. It’s like if you put Kimmy Schmidt in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. There’s a lot cuteness, silliness and naivete to both characters, but also a bit of darkness as well (I thought the “tap tap” part was really funny). Maria Thayer, by the way, is also an extremely cute redhead just Ellie Kemper from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!
Again, the horror part is downplayed as the movie centers around Deb’s personality and the romance angle with Ryan (played by Michael Cassidy). Both actors were charming and had chemistry together.
Well worth watching!
A Little Bit Zombie
2012, Cave Painting Pictures
I’m always up for a horror-comedy featuring zombies. More-so than any other sub-genre of horror movies, zombie movies lend themselves to the over-the-top ridiculousness that plays well in a comedic fashion. A Little Bit Zombie is no exception. While the movie’s humor isn’t as subtle or as sharp as Shaun of the Dead, nor does it feature that movie’s budget, it doesn’t have to be.
A Little Bit Zombie is really more of a slapstick comedy that just happens to revolve around one of the leads becoming a zombie. It’s basically the plot of a sitcom — a guy becomes zombie and craves brains, so his best friend, sister, & fiancee set out to procure said brains while keeping to keep the fact that he’s a zombie hush-hush so that he can get married. Oh, and there’s also two zombie hunters in the area who catch wind of what’s going on.
I enjoyed the parts of the film involving the zombie hunters. Emilie Ullerup is just gorgeous and a feast for the eyes while Georga Buza was great as the old “I’ve seen it all” zombie hunting curmudgeon. I also have to point out that Kristopher Turner as Steve (he becomes the zombie) and Shawn Roberts as his best friend play their parts extremely well. Turner has a very likable and humorous every man quality to him. His facial expressions were great and I would love to see him featured in more movies. Roberts was funny and charming in his role. I initially thought he was going to be the annoying Sean William Scott type character, but he was played a bit smarter and compassionate than that.
The gore is minimum. There’s some blood splattering here and there, but it’s done in a comedic fashion. The never never tries to look realistic or go for true gore and I think that’s fine. The movie is a good compromise for people who like zombies and people who maybe don’t care for horror movies at all.
A Little Bit Zombie is definitely worth checking out for fans of horror-comedies.
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Today I’m taking a look at Zombi 3, AKA – Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, which is the sequel to Zombie AKA – Zombi 2, AKA – Zombie Flesh Eaters, which was an unofficial Italian sequel to Dawn of the Dead, AKA – Zombi. Confused?
I first became a big fan or horror movies during my last year or two of high school. So, we’re talking probably 1998 or 1999. I was making Friday and/or Saturday night trips to Blockbuster to get my fix of zombies, slashers, Evil Dead and Phantasm. I often turned to the internet and sites like the defunct Zombie-Keeper.com or the now-dilapidated HouseOfHorrors.com for reviews and suggestions.
It was after watching the original Zombie that I decided I wanted to try the sequels. Except the sequels weren’t easy to come by. This was in the days before things like Netflix, YouTube and even DVDs (which had just started out about this time). Amazon wasn’t the major e-commerce force that it is today with virtually everything so sale, so you’d have to go the local route and head off to a place like Suncoast or FYE and hope they had a copy.
The point I’m trying to make is that in the late 1990’s, obscure Italian zombie movies from the 1980’s were not cheap or easy to come by. Therefore, it’s only in 2014 that I’ve finally been able to watch Zombi 3. It’s actually pretty cheap to find on DVD these days but the copy I’m viewing came from Netflix (it’s actually been in my queue on/off for the last couple of years).
1979, The Jerry Gross Organization
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I always thought this Italian horror movie was made in order to cash in on the popularity of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, but it wasn’t until recently that I found out that production on Zombie started before Romero’s classic had been released. This movie’s scenes in New York City were added after the success of Romero’s film (which was released in September ’78 in Italy) in what I’m guessing was a slight attempt to give American audiences something they could relate to.
The producers did make one blatant attempt to cash in on Dawn of the Dead though. The movie was known as Zombi in Italy, so the original title for this movie is Zombi 2. Neither film has any true connection other than their Italian movie titles and the fact that they both feature zombies. In America, this movie is simply known as Zombie but in other parts of the world it’s called Zombie Flesh Eaters (UK) and Woodoo (Germany).
I waited weeks before I could finally buy and bake this Zombie Dance Party Cookie Kit by In the Mix (which apparently is a gourmet line of cooking kits from a company called Brand Castle). Despite having it sitting in our stockroom at Walgreens, it wasn’t listed in our system when I initially tried to buy it and the system wasn’t letting our managers manually add it in. When it finally did drop into our system (about two weeks later), it wasn’t ringing up with a price! That was easily solved though: $5.99.
Much to my dismay when browsing Target the other day, I found this for $4.99:
The Zombie Dance Party Sugar Cookie Baking Kit! I didn’t think the Zombie Dance Party Cookie Kit was a Walgreens exclusive but I didn’t think I’d ever see it in different packaging with a slightly different name (and no mention of In the Mix; it looks like Target is trying to claim it as their own). I think the packaging found at Walgreens is much better. The Target version is a bit more straightforward and basic while the Walgreens version uses a better font, has a dance floor, a starry night and doesn’t shy away from the word “zombie”. It also includes an additional zombie on the cover.
I went to the Brand Castle/In the Mix website and there’s no mention of any zombie cookie kits. They have a cupcake kit listed though: