The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Zombie

Last of the Living

mastersofterrorindexLast of the living actually starts off pretty nicely – with shots of young men cinematically exploring and abandoned city juxtaposed with news footage of the zombie apocalypse. It’s overlaid with a punky rock song and sets the tone perfectly

We introduced to the trio guys who are living in a house together – young bachelor types reminiscing about the girls  and wondering what they’ve got as far as supplies. The real problem is the beer is low, so they decide they need to make a run. They gear up with sports equipment and run through the abandoned city trying to avoid the zombies while high energy pop music plays in the background. We get some inventive zombie kills and a generally fun vibe from the film. Adam takes a detour to try and rescue a hot girl, but she turns out to be a zombie. We get the impression this isn’t the first time this has happened. They finally arrive at the grocery store and enter cautiously. It’s a stock scene, very much a rip-off of what we saw in Shaun of the Dead.

index1Right around the end of the first act I’m wondering if this is going to be just a slacker dude zombie comedy when our group discovers a young woman and her father hiding in one of the abandoned buildings. The father is immediately dispatched of course because we need some romantic tension, and the young woman reveals that they were trying to transport a sample of what they think might be the cure for the zombie plague to the authorities. She convinces them to help.

They arrive at the lab but things take a turn for the worse when the power goes out in the zombies invade.

index2What was a much more lighthearted film suddenly turned serious as the zombies become more of a threat and the bickering starts amongst our characters. It’s almost as if the film can’t decide what it wants to be, and as we attempt to get this sample to the people who can help during the zombie apocalypse things turn all of it more dire. We get a couple of deaths that I totally didn’t expect towards the end. It ends up being exciting but a severely uneven film. Definitely worth a watch, especially on late night cable or when included in a box set like this.


Fall Zombie Walk 2021

Let me just say, Carol Baskin and the Tiger King were definitely the peak of our day.

I’ve been going to the zombie walk in Lakewood for ages now. Ryan got up and announced that it was the 14th one, seven years… But I’ve got photos that prove it’s been going on longer, just under a different name and management. Nevertheless, the thing I noticed this year, was a lot more children. October is always a little bit light, because the hunters already have gigs that they are committed to. We usually see more in April, but both Madeline and I commented to each other on just how many kids were running around, playing, bonking people in the head with plushy bats, and playing catch with the odd grenade. It’s a glorious time, and nice to catch up with friends like Ryan and Rhonda.

Madeline got to break out her Clementine for the third time this year, and she was thrilled. There weren’t a lot of survivors this year, so she was delighted to be one of the few humans participating in the walk. I decided to go half-hearted, and bust out my Starro mask on top of a Gotham city police detective outfit – I got the badge for my birthday! Nice subtle way to celebrate Batman day at the same time.

I do still enjoy these events, and I’m far more curious to see what April brings. Attendance has been dwindling over the years, but with a good 70 people are still in attendance this time around it’s still gives me hope. We love being able to serve the community this way, and all donations go to the greater Cleveland Food Bank. Will be back at the bar in April, and you should totally come out and join us!


Autumn

midnighthorrorautumn_xlgAutumn has some good ideas. I genuinely like the concept where we see the evolution of the Zombie.

It starts off in urban England which gives it an initial 28 days later feel, but soon moves out to the country and we gt far more of a Night of the Living dead vibe. Forget the cover art by the way, it’s not the sci-fi epic about a plague that the cover would suggest. We don’t really see alot of it, we see more of that first shelter that the survivors are huddled in. We see the first zombies, wandering aimlessly…not eve noticing other people…..not hungry. Not yet.

As the film goes on, we se the zombies start to develop senses, becoming  triggered by sound and light. as time passes, the hunger kicks in and they become the real threat we’re used too. The progression is original and fascinating.

81JvVEaNr2L._SL1500_If this movie has a real problem, it that it’s too long, and WAY too talky. It’s a melodrama in the extreme and would really benefit from some judicious cutting of some of those dialogue scenes. I understand how we got here, the film is based on a book and there’s a LOT of ground to cover. From everything I’ve heard, it’s really true to the source material. Still I think it could have been streamlined into something a bit better paced. This is definitely one to watch, but you need to be prepared for a long somewhat PBS style zombie film and be in the mood for more philosophy than horror.


The Backyard Zombie Movie part 13

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The Backyard Zombie Movie part 12

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The Backyard Zombie Movie part 11

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Charles Craig from Night of the Living Dead guest stars!


The Backyard Zombie Movie part 10

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The Backyard Zombie Movie Halloween

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The Backyard Zombie Movie part 9

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The Backyard Zombie Movie part 8

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The Backyard Zombie Movie part 7

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The Backyard Zombie Movie part 6

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Guest Starring Troma’s Lloyd Kauffman!


The Backyard Zombie Movie part 5

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The Backyard Zombie Movie part 4

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Night of the Living Dead’s Judith Odey and Kyra Schon guest star!


The Backyard Zombie Movie part 3

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Evil Dead’s Tom Sullivan guest stars!


The Backyard Zombie Movie part 2

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The Backyard Zombie Movie part 1

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The Backyard Zombie Movie Trailer

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Special appearance from Night of the Living Dead’s Charles Craig


12th Annual Monster and Zombie Walk

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69009733_2333753603543070_5775853031610384384_n.jpgIt’s that time of year again when the monsters crawl out of the darkness to come and haunt Lakewood.

69906351_2703083343069405_8334918516503216128_n_2703083339736072I’ve been doing these for the better part of a decade, and this time around I had my daughter with me. She’s been getting more and more into the cosplay scene this year and decided she wanted to pull her monster cupcake out of storage for this event. The costume had to be altered to fit her (She’s grown a lot in in two and a half years) but once we added some extra frosting and accessorized with a chainsaw, she was ready to go!

For my own part, I wanted to do something related to Friday the 13th (which had been the previous day). The thing is, I have always been way more of a Freddy guy than a Jason guy (More of a Dracula fan  than a Frankenstein one too fora that matter). I ended up doing a hybrid – Freddy vs. Jason. Half on each side.

A lot of the zombie walks out there have gone by the wayside. It’s fallen out of fashion, but the event at the 5 O’Clock Lounge shows no signs of slowing down. I’m glad. It’s a great charity event and was one of the ways I taught my children about giving and service that’s not just confined to Sunday mornings at Church. As long as they keep holding these zombie themed food drives, I’ll keep on showing up. See you in the spring!

 


Fall Zombie Walk at the Five O’Clock

events41334437_2106309569413455_8145805982564352000_nSlowly the metal tentacle slid around Rhonda, getting in position to take a candid photo. She looked over at the click, startled, then paused.
“I know that arm!”
She whirled around and hugged the zombie Doctor Octopus behind her…and that’s how this fall’s zombie walk started out for me.

The Five O’Clock is kind of home base for Cleveland Zombie Walks. Familiar faces and a neighborhood that still likes poking thier heads out the windows to see the zombies shamble.

This was a special walk for me because the wife came along to help us raise money and food  for the Second Harvest food bank. Ryan was back in his old Sgt. Cunningham fatigues and in the back of the bar, performers from the Legion of Terror (of the local 41279363_2106309686080110_4882021671038353408_nhuanted house at Bloodview) ate fire and blew streams of fluid to create huge fireballs.

We got started about twenty minuets late. In an open field the little clowns and ghouls chased a drone filming the whole thing. Undead Doc Ock menaced Lakewood and the bloody day wore on.

These days, I’m seeing fewer zombie walks around the area, but as long as the dead haunt Lakewood, I’ll be joining them.

 

 

 


Die-ner

boxdw148-1-lDiner is well acted well put together – the only thing that’s missing here is the story. I was surprised by the serious tone here… They’re very much playing it straight and I’m not sure I get it. With a name like die ner (get it?) it seems like the makers of this film had a self referential sense of humour and I thought that would come through in the movie itself . No such luck – this entire thing is played pretty deadly earnest. We have a killer who has already murdered the cook and waitress in the establishment but patrons come in before he can make it to get away.  . We’re given no explanation for why the dead walk, but they are  standard zombies. Shanbling, flesh eating, nothing to see here. Our killer occasionally pontificates on the meaning of life and our couple is just screamingand freaking out. Like I said, the actors here are all competent – the editing is fine, there’s just no story here. There is no rhyme or reason to anything.  It would fit right in with an  episode of a Walking Dead anthology series, as part of a bigger world but standing alone,it fails to satisfy.


River of Darkness

boxdwThis should be awful.

river_of_darkness_filmposterI mean it. The credits started rolling and up comes Kurt Angle’s name. Then Kevin Nash’s.then another wrestler…and another wrestler…. Crap, this is a wrestler movie???

It shouldn’t work, but then again, we don’t watch horror movies for the Oscar worthy performances do we? The wrestlers give a serviceable showing in their roles and are joined by some Romero alumni. I recognized the late Bill Hinzman’s name in the credits ( he was the very first zombie in Night of the Living Dead) and quickly recognized Dawn of the Dead Alumni Joe Shelby and Nick Tallo. We even get a shot of the old crypt and the graveyard from Night of the Living Dead.

I’m surprised at how much  I like this. It’s a nightime movie about a group of wrongfully lynched hicks who return – bearing more of a resemblance to ghosts than zombies. Whatever they are, the monsters have a great look to them and the carnage they wreak is bloody, gory and enormous fun. The film manages to create a spooky atmosphere, very reminsant of the Fog with the monsters reminding me a great deal of the Blind Dead. It’s that kind of movie. The killing and the gore start almost immediately, and it didnt take long before I was totally on board.

River of Darkness was one of the more pleasant discoveries on this box set and a perfect example of why I still buy these things!


Monster walk 2017

It was slightly chilly for a spring afternoon as the creatures crawled out of their holes and congregated in the back patio of the 5 o’clock lounge for their annual food drive and monster walk. I was particularly excited this time around because my girls were both with me – but something was different this time… This year, instead of being zombies, they had chosen to arrive as hunters. Madeline carried her bow, and Lydia packed her crossbow under her purple survivor vest.

The monster walks at the 5 o’clock lounge are familiar – it’s where the first zombie walks I can remember started, and the rout is a traditional block of Lakewood that I’ve spent many years on. It’s probably the one that I’ve taken the kids on the most frequently as well – with familiar streets and faces. The umbrella corporation was there, as well as our typical field leader – this time decked out in a slightly more armoured persona of major iseue. The zombie hunter aspect is new for the kids though, it’s something I’ve been suggesting for years since they don’t always dig the make up… This time however, it’s fueled by a desire to play a little more into the world that Maddie is creating with her backyard zombie movie. Indeed, the girls cornered various zombies before the walk and got some footage for their web series…

I was actually a little disappointed with my own make up, but the kids decision to go was a last-minute one… Lydia informed me the night before that she wanted to go and wanted a costume, but she didn’t know what… Something like survival clothing – with tools and weapons on it… I cut up an old purple bag and added a walkie-talkie, spare arrows, and grenades to it (she was inexplicably excited about the grenades – a tool she recognises from some of her video games). On the back she requested a cute and tie zombie picture which I whipped up using gel markers, paint, and glitter.

With Maddie deciding the day of the zombie walk that she wanted to go, there is no time to really create much for her though I did build her some balsawood arrows with blunted foam tips, that way she can carry her bow though she wasn’t allowed to fire it. She was a little bummed, especially since Lydia was allowed to shoot her soft foam arrows from her crossbow.

While your average zombie walk brings out the typical undead featuring torn skin, splattered blood, and oozing sores, The 5 o’clock monster walk always seems to encourage a greater variety of creatures – you never quite know what kind of monsters will show up… Killer panders or demented Easter bunnies – Gas mask fiends, zombified dogs and Teen Titans, not to mention the star cars from the weaponised zombie Dodge, to the glitterati art car that pulled up behind it.

Lydia mention to her mother that she wanted to go to the zombie walk because it was something that daddy liked and she wanted to do something with me… I think that’s the best part of these kind of things… We all had fun, and in the end the walk wrapped up too soon – leaving the girls asking when the next one was. We’ll find out soon.


Eaters : Rise of the dead

boxftdeaters__rise_of_the_dead_eaters_dvd_s5_03bEaters : Rise of the dead is a by the number is zombie film.it’s right out of the Romero playbook, zombie outbreak and fall of society. Very standard fare, with a lot of actors who are definitely into horror and genre films. The zombies here are viral, not quite as fast as rage zombies but certainly that same origin done make up is good, the splatter is fun and the filmmakers are trying very hard to make an enjoyable film. They realise this is not art, and there are definately not trying for a high concept piece here.  It’s good bloody fun to throw on and play in the background at a party or will you do something else.it’s exactly the sort of thing that I expect to see a compatible like cinema wasteland done it also exactly the sort of film that I could see myself renting back in my College days. It’s a recommend, but a shaky one. Go in with low expectations and you’ll have fun.