Archive for January, 2011

Zombies: The Cream of the Crop

Posted in Zombies with tags on January 31, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

28 Days LaterProclaiming which movie about zombies is at best a daunting task, given that there’s one billion of  ’em in existence (zombies and zombie movies). And it’s even more of a bitch to pick the Top 14, because no matter what, you’re gonna piss off the hardcores who will no doubt wish a viral plague upon you for leaving their favorite(s) out.

Even with this kind of impending threat, the fine folks at popcrunch.com have posted their Top 14 Best Zombie Flicks of all time. A few glaring errors: No Frankenstein (1931). Was not Frankenstein’s monster one of the first – and best – zombies ever made? And no Frankenhooker (1990)? I thought this was America?

Regardless, let the infection spread…

#1: 28 Days Later/2002
Good (and prudent) choice, although the so-called zombies aren’t technically zombies at all. Real zombies become so after dying first. These guys didn’t die, they just got that Rage juice in their eye and turned into 400 yard-dash Rage-a-holics.

#2: Dawn of the Dead/1978
The benchmark for modern zombies. Hard to top this one as it had so many Hallmark moments, a favorite being the helicopter blade haircut to one unfortunate undead. He was probably a hippie in real life and need a trim in the first place. Gives new meaning to “a little off the top.”

#3: Shaun of the Dead/2004
A wickedly hilarious metaphor for the mind-numbing rat race. Who knew eating flesh could be so darn fun?

#4: Cemetery Man/1994
A cemetery owner/operator has a tough job: burying the dead…and keeping them from getting back out of their graves. The worse part –he makes minimum wage.

#5: Planet Terror/2007
You’d think that you’ve seen it all when it comes to zombie movies. Watch this one and then we’ll talk. Pure genius – and that’s just the girl with a machine gun leg.

#6: Re-Animator/1985
This should be a lot closer to the top of the list as its one of the more over-the-top “bring the dead back to life” movies you’ll ever see. (I.e., the talking head attempting to pleasure a restrained naked girl in the only biological method left to him.)

#7: Versus/2000
An obscure but cool Japanese martial arts zombie flick. The kicker: everybody dies!

#8: Dead Alive/1992
A living dead movie that boasts more flinging blood than an exploding blood bank. Zombie babies, kung fu priests, a Sumatran rat-monkey… And then there’s the lawn mower scene, which should have won an Academy Award for best supporting actor.

#9: Dead Snow/2009
Nazis, buried in the snow since WWII, thaw out and face off (literally) with college students on a ski vacation. The only time Nazis are cool.

#10: Zombieland/2009
The first 10 minutes of this big-budget zom-comedy are better than the thousands of zombie movies that came before it. Proven fact.

#11: Army of Darkness/1992
I would’ve put this and the other two Evil Dead movies in the Top 5. Even my mom likes ’em. And she doesn’t care for anything evil or dead.

#12: Resident Evil/2002
A video game-turned-movie, this violent stunner re-writes the rules of being undead by making zombies out of workers for a corporation. Why does that sound familiar?

#13: Night of the Living Dead/1968
Number 13? Really? The zombie movie with exquisitely graphic flesh-eating scenes that started it all that far down on the list? There’s an unemployment line waiting for whoever decided this.

#14: Zombi 2/1979
Famous for two scenes: a woman slowly getting her eye impaled by splintered wood as a zombie grabs and pulls her through a busted door. That’s surprisingly hard to watch, even with two eyes. Then there’s the scene wear a zombie fights a real tiger shark underwater…and bites it! They missed a real opportunity here by not having an undead shark swimming around, waiting for scuba brains.

These are popcrunch.com’s picks. What are yours?

A Book About The Living Dead? The F You Say!

Posted in Zombies with tags on January 30, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Complete History of The Return of the Living Dead Seems everyone is cashing in on zombies these days. An endless stream of living dead movies, clothing, novels, coloring books, Broadway plays, toys, snacks, costumes, Department of Licensing employees… I’m still trying to perfect my recipe for easily spreadable Zombie Butter, which goes great on whole wheat entrails and brain popcorn. Once that’s done, I’ll be freakin’ rich, and all because I did what everyone else is doing, which is using the dead to generate income.

The latest cash-in comes in the form of  a new coffee table book called The Complete History of The Return of the Living Dead (Plexus Publishing), written by Christian Sellers and Gary Smart. These guys dive face first into the Return of the Living Dead’s franchise history in what Bloodsprayer.com calls “an exhaustive study and appreciation of the films.”

Return of the Living DeadThere are five such morality-about-mortality plays in the series:

Return of the Living Dead (1985)
A medical supply guy and his new employee accidentally unleash a canister of Trioxin, which slowly turns them into the living dead and reanimates all the body parts in the warehouse. Burning the wiggling appendages in a nearby crematorium, the incinerator smoke mixes with the rain outside, which seeps into the local cemetery and brings the dead to life. You’d think this was a serious situation, but it’s actually quite funny – mostly because it’s them and not me.

Return of the Living Dead II (1988)
Survivors of the Trioxin leak try to keep their brains from being taste-tested by a small army of the undead. Good luck with that.

Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993)
A guy involuntarily kills his girlfriend in a motorcycle accident. It was love at first skid mark. He uses Trioxin to bring her back. The plan looked good on paper. In order to hold off the pain of being dead, she self-mutilates with glass, barb-wire, assorted cutlery and nails. Despite her condition, she’s still prom-worthy.

Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis (2005)
Teens try to convince a friend who works for an ill-intent corporation to quit and become a couch-surfing hippie like themselves. While doing so, they unleash zombies made so by a new energy drink called Trioxin 5 (all of the rush, none of the calories – unless you count eating brains loaded with saturated fat).

Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave from the Grave (2005)
Picks up where Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis left off, which was nowhere. A bunch of teens at a rave party (a festive occasion for all-night idiot dancing to the fresh beats of a vacuum cleaner) use Trioxin to spike the punch bowl. Do I really need to tell you how this turns out?

The Complete History of The Return of the Living Dead Says Sellers in Bloodsprayer.com’s cool interview, “ It intrigues me how something can grow from nothing and become a huge phenomenon, then just as quickly it becomes a victim of its own success and self-destructs.” (Save your comments for your solo album.) “The Return of the Living Dead has had a complicated past and it seemed the perfect subject matter, particularly as many of the fans disliked the sequels so much.”

The Complete History of The Return of the Living Dead Count me among the many who thought ROTLD 4 and 5 sucked medical waste. Then again, it’s kinda hard to top a semi-naked girl (she was wearing leg warmers) dancing on top of a grave and a punk rock zombie girl who perforates her own boobs to advance the story line and the mythology of the living dead.

The Complete History of The Return of the Living Dead can be purchased for $17.96 on Amazon.com. And you can bundle it with a barrel of Trioxin to take advantage of their super saver shipping costs. Sweet!

Return of the Living Dead 3

Zombie Soup – It’s All The Rage

Posted in Zombies with tags on January 29, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Zombie SoupIf you’re a fan of all things zombie and/or living dead (I know, same thing), you may as well wear your brains on your sleeve. Literally. Teefury.com, the folks behind the wicked popular new T-shirt for sale every 24 hours for only $9, has just unleashed their latest fashion plague: Cannibal’s Condemned Brain Soup. That’s actually freakin’ darn clever. I would have thought it up first, but my brain is already a can of soup.

Their shirts generally go on sale at 12 Midnight Eastern Time/11PM Central Time/10PM Mountain Time/9PM Pacific Time. That’s way to complicated for me to figure out. Be nice if they could call me on the telly to let me know when I should put my credit card in harm’s way yet again.

The shirts are made of 100% cotton, which means they’ll shrink a bit when/if you wash ’em. So if you’re a tub of zombie lard, factor in your girth and order accordingly.

A quote from Teefury.com’s website: “My girlfriend and I love coming up with new creative concepts. This design would be the love child of Andy Warhol and George A. Romero. Who doesn’t like soup? Who doesn’t like zombies? Most would draw the line at liking Zombie Soup, but not at TeeFury. I know [you guys] are into some fairly whack stuff!”

Actually, they have no idea as to the whack stuff I’m into. It’s best to not go there.

 

Aliens And Ghosts Exist/Don’t Exist

Posted in Aliens, Ghosts, UFOs with tags , on January 28, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

ExistThere aren’t any links to Exist and Ghosts Don’t Exist other than the word “exist” in the title. And yet, here they both are, one a movie about extraterrestrials, the other about poltergeists. But the connection is that neither exist. Sure, I’ve seen aliens – who hasn’t? That doesn’t mean they’re real. It just means whoever sees and reports a visitor from outer space just wants attention or they’ve been drinking heavily. I happen to fall equally into both categories.

As for ghosts, it’s all smoke and mirrors. Smoke coming out of a bong and mirrors covered in Devil’s Dandruff. (Peruvian marching powder, in case you’re not up on your drugspeak.) It’s not that I don’t believe people who’ve said they’ve seen a ghost. I just think they’re on the aforementioned products. (Now that I’ve said that, I’ll probably see a ghost in my kitchen tonight and have to eat my words. That, and a sandwich, as that’s where I keep ’em.)

Ghosts Don’t ExistAnd this is exactly why movies like these work. Who the hell wants to sit through a romantic comedy or another crappy Transformers movie when we can explore the social phenomenon of aliens and ghosts? Aliens are more believable than ghosts because those aren’t robots driving around in flying saucers. But ghost movies, if done properly, can scare the sandwich right outta you.

EXIST
Plot: Two men find themselves in the middle of the world’s first encounter with extraterrestrial life.
Thought: How do they know it’s the world’s first encounter? I mean, did not aliens build the pyramids in Giza? Need some clarification here.

GHOSTS DON’T EXIST
Plot: Brett Wilson, professional ghost hunter, struggles to move on from the death of his wife Nicole and their child.
Thought: If Brett is truly a ghost hunter and his wife and kid are dead, shouldn’t he be able to hook up?

Someone needs to do a movie about a ghost alien and cover all the bases. I’d pay to see that. I won’t pay to see a romantic comedy or another Transformer movie, though. I’d rather spend my money on sandwiches.

The Art of Hell, Boy

Posted in Misc. Horror with tags on January 27, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

HellboyAdmittedly, Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy II (2008) are not my favorite Guillermo del Toro movies. Not that the tale about a demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, who grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness, is lousy and/or dumb. But it’s the Hellboy character itself that seems pretty darn goofy, what with him being all red, having a tail and a crushing Hand of Doom, and what appears to be hockey pucks or soup cans stuck to his forehead. Yeah, I know Guillermo del Toro didn’t create Hellboy, artist/writer Mike Mignola did. But I don’t read comic books as I can never figure out where to plug ’em in.

The one thing I do like, however, are the new Hellboy posters being put up for public grab on one of my fav websites, Mondo, a collectible art boutique in Texas. Part of Mondo’s Director Series, these limited edition prints go up for sale on Friday, January 28, 2011 at a random time, which makes it great for the regular fan to get a shot at ’em  instead of greedy ass collectors who snap ’em up for re-sale.

HellboyHere’s what you need to know: The 24×36 prints are $45 each. Hellboy, which was illustrated by Florian Bertmer, is limited to 240 prints. Hellboy II, designed by Ken Taylor, is limited to a 360 print run. So when do they specifically go on sale? Geez, you’re needy. Follow Mondo on Twitter™ for the on-sale announcement. Click HERE for a link to Mondo’s website.

Remain vigil citizen, or you’ll miss out like you did when Mondo put the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle posters up for grabs, selling out in near record time. Remember how you cried yourself to sleep over that tragic disappointment? Your mom blogged that you were blubbering like someone just spit in your ice cream. There’s no shame in that. Just do the right thing for yourself and snag one of these cool posters before someone who likes to spit in ice cream does.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

 

New Vampires Suck For A Reason

Posted in Vampires with tags on January 25, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

TwilightThe Razzie Awards are like the Academy Awards, except you don’t want to win one. In fact, it might be best to catch the next bus outta town if you see your name on the nominating ballot. These annual awards, usually handed out the night before the Oscars, call B.S. on craptacular movies.

The virtual tar-n-feather ceremonies highlight not only the flush-worthy flicks of the year, but lousy actors, actresses, screenplays and even sequels. Yeesh – I had no idea Hollywood was so bitchy. I thought the place was filled with sunshine and rainbows, where everyone was rich and actors filled their swimming pools with imported pee.

The 31st Annual Razzies, airing February 26, 2011, play no favorites, going after the horror genre as well as the mainstream dreck. (What a cool word that is.) Here’s the list of horror movie nominees for Worst of 2010. And from the looks of things, one movie in particular looks to sweep in nearly all the categories…

WORST PICTURE
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Vampires Suck

WORST ACTOR
Taylor Latuner: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Robert Pattinson: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

WORST ACTRESS
Kristen Stewart: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Megan Fox: Jonah Hex

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jackson Rathbone: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jessica Alba: The Killer Inside Me, Machete

WORST EYE-GOUGING USE OF 3D
Saw 3D

WORST SCREEN COUPLE/SCREEN ENSEMBLE
Josh Brolin’s face and Megan Fox’s accent: Jonah Hex
The Entire Cast: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

WORST DIRECTOR
David Slade: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer: Vampires Suck

WORST SCREENPLAY
Melissa Rosenberg: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse based on Stephanie Meyer’s novel
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer: Vampires Suck

WORST PREQUEL/REMAKE/SEQUEL/RIP-OFF
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Vampires Suck

Jonah Hex, Vampires Suck

Hey – Let’s Resurrect The Dead!

Posted in Science Fiction with tags on January 24, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Resurrect DeadThis one’s so weird, I don’t know what to make of it. Then again, I don’t know what to make of rap music or non-alcoholic beer, either. A sci-fi/horror (I think) movie called Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles is making the film festival rounds. Besides having a butt-scratchingly perplexing title, the movie itself is actually based on real stuff that’s been happening since the ’80s, when immortals like Huey Lewis and Journey ruled the pre-apocalyptic wastelands.

In major cities all over the United States and South America, cryptic tiled messages are literally under our very feet. An urban mystery, the floor tiles, when deciphered, say stuff like “In Toynbee Idea Resurrect Dead On Planet Jupiter.” My response: “Purple Monkey Dishwasher.” Meaning that whatever the message is, it makes about as much sense as crying politicians and exercising.

The movie revolves around some guy obsessed with these tiles. (He’s probably a rug salesman.) Collecting clues from the streets in the U.S. and South America, he discovers a back story so surreal as to blow one’s mind.

Resurrect DeadWikipedia™ even has some info on these tiles, which lends credence to this story, as everything on Wikipedia is 100% true: “The Toynbee Tiles (also called Toynbee Plaques) are messages of mysterious origin found embedded in asphalt in about two dozen major cities in the United States and four South American capitals. Since the 1980s, several hundred tiles have been discovered. They are generally about the size of an American license plate, but sometimes considerably larger. They contain some variation on the following inscription:

TOYNBEE IDEA
IN Kubrick’s 2001
RESURRECT DEAD
ON PLANET JUPITER

“Some of the more elaborate tiles also feature cryptic political statements or exhort readers to create and install similar tiles of their own. The material used for making the tiles was long a mystery, but evidence has emerged that they may be primarily made of layers of linoleum and asphalt crack-filling compound.”

Aha! Asphalt crack-filling compound. And where do we get such a miracle material? From Jupiter! (I found that on Wikipedia™ as well.) Clearly, there’s some heavy sh*t about to go down, possibly involving the fifth planet from the sun, and making the dead come back to life. I’ll keep my eyes on Wikipedia™ and get back to you with any late-breaking news.