Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 2009: ZOMBIES!

Find Me A Zombie
Zombies Bite

I like the Zombie genre, but unlike zombie movie fanboys, I think a truly great, epic zombie film that's truly scary with serious tone has yet to be done. Infact, I'd go as far as to say that a good 99.5% of zombie films are crap, unfortunately.

How do I like my zombies? I like 'em gruesome and slow, I don't believe they should all be capable of running, and I prefer my zombie flicks as straight-ahead creature features sans any heavy-handed social commentary please, thank you.
The infamous Tarman

My favorite zombie films;
Some of the films listed below are not true-to-spec "zombie films", but in the vain that any living dead are zombies, regardless of whether it was from airborne toxins, a virus, being buried on cursed ground, a comet, or taken over by slimy slug like creatures from outer space. If you're the walking dead, you might be a zombie.

Ahhh George Romero, "father of the zombie".
I've never been that much of a fan of the original B&W Night Of The Living Dead or Day Of The Dead, and Diary Of The Dead was an utter piece of crap.
I fell asleep during the Dawn Of The Dead remake starring Ving Rhames (yes, it was that good. I guess I'm just not a fan of Zack Snyder, I feel his movies are somehow devoid of substance), which took place in a fictional suburb of my hometown of Milwaukee, and I haven't seen the direct-to-DVD remake of Day Of the Dead directed by Steve Miner (also with Ving Rhames).
I'll check out Romero's newest, Survival Of The Dead, when it secures an official DVD release.

Even though I may think that Romero's zombie films as a whole are overrated, I do like select films in the Romero series/Home Page Of The Dead
Dawn Of The Dead[1978], Night Of The Living Dead [the 1990 remake by Tom Savini], and Land Of The Dead[2005],

Return Of The Living Dead I[1985] & II[1988],

Night Of The Comet[1984] and Night Of The Creeps[1986],

Pet Sematary[1989] (not really a "zombie film", but does feature the undead),

Shaun Of The Dead[2004], Slither[2006], and Planet Terror[2007],

28 Days Later[2002] and 28 Weeks Later[2007],

and Quarantine[2008]

Other notables;
Resident Evil[2002] (the first film in the live-action adaptation of the video game was the least worst of the series), and the CG film Resident Evil: Degeneration[2008].

As for the pre-1980's so-called "classics", I've seen 1971's Amando de Ossorio's Tombs Of The Blind Dead and Return Of The Blind Dead for the first time a year or two ago.
Tombs Of The Blind Dead is sometimes recommended as a zombie film, but "Ossorio objected to the description of the living dead Templars as "zombies," insisting that they more resembled mummies and that, unlike zombies, the Templars were not mindless corpses.", and I agree with that assessment.
Holy mackeral, that was some seriously laughable shit. Not only did I not find it scary, but also rather exploitative as well with the whole lesbian thing, rape, and you get to see almost every girl in the movie topless at some point.
The sequel had a couple of the same actors (who died in the first one) playing different roles, but looking nearly the same! More topless shots, and one attempted rape.

I have yet to see Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 from 1979.

-Video Games Featuring Zombies -
It's almost hard to believe there was a time when those pesky undead weren't running amuck within the video gaming world.

One of the first post-golden age home console games to feature a zombie theme was Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Super Nintendo version pictured above), which was released back in 1993.
The SNES version was recently released (Oct 26, 2009) for the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console.

The Resident Evil series, debuting on the Sony Playstation in 1996, is the title best known for bringing Zombie's to the forefront of gaming for years to come. (See upcoming blog post)

The House Of The Dead series is a popular "on-rails" gun game which debuted in arcades in 1996, and has subsequently seen numerous home console ports starting with the first in the titular series for the Sega Saturn in 1998. Though it may be better known for the near arcade-perfect port of House Of The Dead 2 for the Sega Dreamcast in 1999.

House Of The Dead 2 & 3 [2008] and House Of The Dead Overkill [2009] were both released exclusively for the Wii (Overkill having the dubious honor of being the first video game to receive the Guinness World Record title of most swearing in a video game with 189 counts of the "F" word).
Here's to hoping Sega decides to release House Of The Dead 4 on the Wii as well.

Taking a page from George Romero's Dawn Of The Dead with a shopping mall setting, Dead Rising was released for the Xbox 360 in 2006, it's sequel planned for a Q1 2010 release date.

Left 4 Dead for the Xbox 360 was released in 2008, while it's sequel is set to be released November 17, 2009.
And lastly, another fun game is Zombie Apocalypse, which was released for download on their respective consoles through Xbox Live and Playstation Home in 2009.

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