Category Archives: Zombie Movies
One chilly night in October of ’68, my husband and I along with two other couples squeezed into our old, rusty, oil-leaking Caddy and headed to the drive-in theater. It was a cheap date, but we were extremely low on funds and it was all we could afford. We thought we would be watching the typical Hollywood horror film, but we were all wrong. Find out why after the jump.
ParaNorman is the latest gem from Lalka Entertainment, best known for Corpse Bride and Coraline. Using many of the same stunning stop-motion filming techniques, Chris Butler makes his directorial debut with this endearing film about a misunderstood kid and his supernatural abilities.
I recently saw ParaNorman in 3-D and can pretty much guarantee you’ll love this flick, regardless of age; if not for the characters then for the AMAZING eyeball feast of animation.
Check out the trailer below and a wicked “making of” featurette after the jump!
Zombies have been featured in the news lately thanks to a couple of bizarre, flesh-eating attacks taking place within a fairly short period of time. Then of course there’s the body parts being shipped in care packages around Canada. Most of have made light of the situation, and some of us might even enjoy the idea of being tested in a Walking Dead scenario…
And then there’s THIS guy. Real prank, real reactions and a real gun at about 2:00 in:
Crazy Russian Vitaly ZD was featured on Tosh.0 this week, and hands down this is the CRAZIEST prank I have ever seen pulled off. Wanna learn more about how it was done? Read on…
Since his Stoker Award winning first novel Ghost Road Blues, Jonathan Maberry has been one of the most prolific writers of the last 5 years, working on everything from adult novels (the Joe Ledger Series), young adult titles (Rot and Ruin, Dust and Decay), non-fiction titles (Zombie CSU and Wanted: Undead Or Alive, which I was lucky enough to be featured in) and comic books (Marvel Universe Vs The Punisher, Marvel Universe Vs Wolverine, Black Panther). Jonathan’s latest endeavour is his first standalone novel, Dead of Night. It’s also, in my opinion, his best work yet (you can check out our review here). Set in small town called Stebbins County, Dead of Night traces the spread of a manmade disease that turns anybody infected into zombies. In the middle of a brutal storm, two cops, JT and Dez, work to protect the town while reporter Billy Trout uncovers the truth of the zombies, where they came from and what could happen if the virus spreads.
A long time friend of the site, Jonathan was kind enough to answer some questions via email about Dead Of Night, his creative process, what he was listening to while working and much more.
Horror films are a scary (pun intended) subject for me. For perspective: My best friend’s mom took her and I to see Jurassic Park in theatres when we were nine. I had nightmares about about being chased through my kitchen by velociraptors for almost an entire year. IT ALL SEEMED SO REAL AND POSSIBLE!
That was the first – and last – movie that even resembled frighting that I watched for a decade.
You want to know why it’s so hard to adapt H.P. Lovecraft stories to film?
It’s simple: the concepts of Lovecraft’s stories are too big for most people to see and believe.
If you read a story like “The Call of Cthulu” and create in your own mind a vision of R’lyeh (where dead Cthulu waits dreaming), that vision is likely to be far more terrifying than anything that Hollywood could give form to. Buildings and hallways with impossible angles in a slime-covered city risen from the bottom of the ocean tend to be hard to bring to life on a budget, even with CGI.
There is one film, however, that did Lovecraft right. If not literally, then certainly in keeping with the spirit of the material.
It’s a film that deserves your attention, and a space in your collection.
Rule #45: Do not spoil Zombieland for any Biff Bam Pop readers.
We’re weeks away from Halloween, which of course means there’s a new zombie movie in theatres waiting for us die-hard, blood-thirsty lovers of the undead to shell out our dough and sit through. Us zombie fans sometimes have it rough. For every new classic Shaun Of The Dead, there’s an offensively awful experience like Night Of The Living Dead 3D (someone burn the negative). For every innovative take on the genre like Diary Of The Dead, there’s a crappy remake like Day Of The Dead. You can understand then why I had some trepidation walking into the latest zombie offering, tantalizingly titled Zombieland.
Let me tell you, what a relief! The latest cinematic zombie opus, written by Emmy winners Rhett Resse and Paul Wernick and directed by Ruben Fleisher, is as good a film as any fan of the genre could ask for. It doesn’t even matter that the subject matter is more often than not played for laughs. Zombieland is full of appealing characters, a strong story, and perhaps best of all for this fan, it doesn’t start at the beginning.
Zombieland happens post zombie apocalypse, where scant amounts of humans are just trying to survive their situation. We meet four of them – Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg); Tallahasee (a never better Woody Harrelson); Wichita (Emma Stone); and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) – and watch as they navigate their situation and the world that they’re no faced with, often with hilarious results. Rather than watching the characters figure out the rules of Zombieland, before the film even starts they’re already well aware of them and even helpfully provide the basic means of survival to viewers. None of the characters are stupid; they’re quite intelligent, and the film treats the audience with the same level of intelligence. If only more horror movies could be that way.
Zombieland proves that genre films need not cater to the lowest common denominator. It stands firmly beside Shaun Of The Dead as the rare horror-comedy that perfectly executes the combination. Truthfully, Zombieland wound up exceeding every expectation I had of it. It was thoroughly engaging throughout its 81 minutes and is a must see if you’ve even remotely enjoyed a zombie film.
(And for the record, I haven’t even mentioned the brilliant surprise that comes around the middle of Zombieland. And I won’t. Do yourself a favour and avoid spoilers at all costs.)
Last night the strangest thing happened. The lovely Queen actually sat through a horror film. This, my friend, never happens. She doesn’t like scares or jolts or gore. Colour me surprised that she even considered going to the sneak preview of the new Bruce McDonald film, Pontypool, which screened at the University Of Toronto’s Innis College prior to going into wide release this Friday. Director McDonald (Highway 61, Hard Core Logo) was in attendance and introduced what some are calling a zombie film.
Pontypool, for those of you that are wondering, is the name of the small Ontario town where the film is set. Written by Tony Burgess based on his novel, it stars a small cast, most familiar of which is Stephen McHattie, who’s likely best known for playing Elaine’s psychiatrist on Seinfeld. McHattie plays Grant Mazzy, a morning radio show host who’s called into action when terror breaks out in Pontypool. Citizens begin repeating words over and over, eventually turning into mindless, cannibalistic drones trying to infect one another with a virus that’s transmitted via the English language. It’s a lot more complex than rage infected monkeys, I can tell you that.
Going in with absolutely no idea about the film, and not having had as much exposure to McDonald’s work as so many others (I still haven’t seen Hard Core Logo), I really enjoyed Pontypool. There’s a high level of tension amongst the three main characters, locked in the basement of a church where the radio station is located, essentially cut off from the outside world. It’s different from so many other horror films, in that the majority of the violence happens offscreen. While it’s not unwarranted to call Pontypool a horror movie, it’s interesting to note that virtually all the violence and tension is aural. From dying screams to the actual disease that overtakes the town, the horror is all in the hearing.
Having only briefly studied linguistics back in university, I doubt I got as much out of Pontypool’s use of semiotics as other’s will. But that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of it.
Stephen McHattie is absolutely awesome as Grant Mazzy, a commanding presence on the screen. Had he ever actually tried to make it in radio, I’m pretty sure he’d have done very well for himself. While his two co-stars, Lisa Houle and Georgina Rielly, acquit themselves quite nicely as Mazzy’s producer and board operator respectively, there’s no question that Pontypool is totally McHattie’s film.
As for whether or not this is a zombie film, I suppose that depends on how you like your zombies. The rotting flesh lovers will likely be disappointed that there are no onscreen disembowelments, or that the virus in question isn’t transferred by bites but by vowels. But for those without the taste for raw human snackiness, like the Queen, Pontypool proves to be an appealingly non-graphic thriller.