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Zombie

Grave Mistake

index.jpgGrave mistake starts off with a drunk guy in the middle of the desert by A shallow grave pouring chemicals on it in the hopes it will destroy the body… Well, at least we know how the zombie apocalypse got started on this one!

During the credits we get a zombie attack on a truck in and some kids heading home from the skate park. It turns out the drunk with the chemicals is also an abusive father – nice.

We kept to the mechanic in his office having flashbacks of his time at war – things ended badly there, and there is some PSTD involved. You are moving seen of him trying to decide whether or not to kill himself we cut to a jump in the car reading is on the box and then what appears to be an impromptu medieval fair going on in the wilderness. I’m extremely confused. (It seems to be more of an excuse to have guys who can swing swords at the zombies later on)

Mechanics assistant is a goofy Conrad Brooks type who’s written a book on surviving the zombie apocalypse. Good thing to do, because there is some news report that the zombies have arrived!

Zombie some cells are only in airbrushed grey with some gruesome flight details, but it’s effective enough and someone’s certainly beginning to learn their gore fx . There are some clever mixtures of gore and camera trickery used to achieve some of the more interesting kills, but not much of a story – it’s secondary to the filmmakers ability to show off their make up skills.

index2We get to standard small group on a run (heading to the local armory), as well as the occasional zombie attacks, the running out of gas gag and the “let’s go shopping” scene.

The actors do a fair job and the cinematography is adequate despite the consumer grade equipment being used here.

It’s worth watching as part of a collection like this, especially for some of that kills force the end and hopefully would serve as a good calling card for the filmmakers to go on to bigger and better things.


Awaking the Dead

index.jpgAwaking the dead begins with a highly stylised to CG sort of introduction. It worries me because it usually signals a poor production values throughout the rest of the film.

From shots of the city we move to a small bedroom, desaturated with a young muscular man waking up to an annoying alarm clock.

He opened up a letter that reads “they didn’t die in vain, go to the old house and wait for me”

The next person to wake up is a young woman in an equally desaturated bedroom, her nudity tastefully obscured.

She has a note as well, “stay inside the house, I’ll be there soon…”

Back to the man who is now revealed to be a priest. He tosses a suitcase in the car and heads out.

Driving montage with gloomy metal playing over. He enters the house with the key that was hidden in a Bible. The girl greats him with a baseball bat. It turns out he used to index.jpgwork with her father and had come for her.

Outside, a plane releases vapour trails that infect a couple of badly dubbed schoolgirls. Children play and neighbours point and priest and discovers his tires been slashed.

Knock on the door and the girls huge, slightly homicidal boyfriend makes his way in. She convinces him to leave with a large knife. The priest continues to wait for her father. She also managed to secure a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses with a knife in a particularly funny scene. The boyfriend’s been sitting in his car though, stewing and finally busts out again ready to go get her. It’s too late, the schoolgirl zombies get him first.

index2.jpgInside, the priest falls asleep with dreams of faceless people. Children point of him accusingly. dream wakes him, Disturbed, he turns over and attempted to go back to sleep. In the meantime, zombies are at the windows.

Good news is there only one zombie out there. The bad news is it’s her hulking boyfriend. a blow to the eye dispatches him quite well.

As the zombie plague grows, the house becomes a refuge for more and more survivors.  But the priest notices outside someone watching and taking notes – he begins to suspect that this is not a natural phenomenon on, but rather a manufactured one.

Things go badly and it becomes time to leave the relative safety of the house to go seek index2out the location on a map where this or may be stemming from. Survivors get up and take to the streets.

Some of the action is interesting and the character signs suddenly look a lot better but it’s not enough to salvage the film. Waking the dead as the germ of a good idea but drags in its pacing… The constantly saturation seems to be there to disguise poor production values and attempt in artistic astetec, but the film itself never really manages to get up and running. This one is a pass, even in the box set.


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!