Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some zombie action

I'm a bit of a zombie nut. I've probably mentioned it before. Zombie films and stories probably have more to do with my interest in preparedness than I'd want to admit. Hell, I even started writing a zombie story a while back and never got around to finishing it. You can check it out here if you're interested at all. I keep thinking about finishing it but every time I reread it to try to get caught up again I quickly realize how poorly written it is and decide that it's not even worthwhile to finish. It seems like zombie movies are getting popular again. Up until a few years ago if it didn't say Romero on it then you couldn't even find zombie movies except at the bottom of the bargain bin. With movies like I Am Legend, the Resident Evil series, 28 Days/Weeks later and the Dawn of the Dead remake it seems like some people are finally deciding to spend some real money on these movies to make them worth watching in a theatre. While money and special effects doesn't always make a great movie I've been fairly pleased with what Hollywood has come up with so far. Unfortunately there are still a lot of campy, hoaky, low budget zombie movies coming out that you've probably never even heard about.

Automaton Transfusion - I can't think of anything good to say about this film. If you're a gorehound that loves to watch decomposing corpses rip the guts out of people and spray blood everywhere then you might enjoy this one. While that sort of thing doesn't bother me it doesn't add anything to a movie, either, as far as I'm concerned. The plot, acting and dialogue are all bad. It has a ton of zombies with lots of blood and plenty of firearm action, though, so that may be enough for some people. Usually I try really hard to forgive a low budget movie for things like bad acting and cheesy dialogue but this movie falls below even my normal standards. It just seemed like their sole mission was to make a movie about zombies eating people and getting blown away.

Day of the Dead '08 - This is a Romero remake which, much like Dawn of the Dead '04, bears little resemblance to the original. At least DotD '04, like the original, took place in a mall. More importantly it was better. Day of the Dead '08 is a completely different movie with no resemblance to the original. They both have military guys in it. That's about the only similarity. I would rate this movie a few steps up from Automaton Transfusion. The zombies were pretty good and the acting wasn't bad but I just couldn't get into the story. If you're running out of movies to watch on Netflix or you happen to find it in the bargain bin then by all means check it out. It's not horrible. It's just not that great, either.

Diary of the Dead - This is George Romero's latest contribution to the genre. I liked it. It was pretty well put together. It was slow moving at times and I don't think that he really captured the whole documentary feeling that he was trying to accomplish. I felt like I was watching a movie the entire time. Still, the acting was good, it had it's share of thrills and it was entertaining overall. It's just not as good as any of his other films. It's certainly worth adding to your collection.

The Zombie Diaries - This is another independent film released out of the UK. It's shot documentary style much like Diary of the Dead. The difference is that this movie was actually convincing. The camera work was phenomenal. You honestly felt like you were watching someone's home movies. The acting was every bit as believable as the camera work. The dialogue was good, too. This is not a gore fest. There are some very very disturbing images throughout the movie, though. It does have it's share of blood, guts and plenty of decomposing corpses but the movie doesn't concentrate on that aspect enough to make you sick of watching it like so many other zombie movies do. Without giving too much away the movie is about 3 groups of people who are barely managing to survive. Each group is filming their experiences during the zombie apocalypse. None of them are particularly well prepared and they all make mistakes. Their paths eventually cross. It's a good depiction of how badly small mistakes can cost you, how much worse things get when you're not prepared and how vulnerable trust can make you. This movie doesn't end well. Do not expect a happy ending. This is one of those gems that has a lot to teach people, though, so it's well worth watching. Just make sure that you do NOT watch this one with the kids. You're not going to learn how to tie a spiffy new knot or build some new, more effective trap but you'll get a great insight into human nature and what people are capable of when law and order breaks down and they have to fend for themselves. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who's interested in preparedness.

9 comments:

theotherryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
theotherryan said...

It might need to get edited a bit (focus on the big story a bit more) but I was picking up what you were laying down. I read and enjoyed it though. I would have read a second chapter.

The Urban Survivalist said...

There were over 30 chapters in that thread.

PKS said...

If you haven't already seen them, (they weren't mentioned in your list...) check out Max Brooks' novel "World War Z - an Oral History of the Zombie War", and the ongoing comic series "Walking Dead".

Walking Dead is up to 50-60 issues, and they just came out with a couple of hardcover compilations.

Oh, and WWZ is about to become a movie.

ghost booze! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ghost booze! said...

haha zombiefag! zombies!

dude, my interest in survivalism and disaster preparedness grows almost exclusively out of my love for anything zombie-related.

one of my friends took a sustainable development course for like...two years or something. "sustainable development" sounds lame and hippie-ish but you actually just learn a lot about how to make houses and shit like that from a lot of crap just lying around, which is great. anyway he said there were a lot of other survivalist types there and a fair amount of them were really into zombies, like they talked about it all the time, which i thought was funny.

uhm...i thought "diary of the dead" was serious garbage, even worse than "land of the dead" which was almost unwatchable except for asia argento. romero is a fucking hack now, my friend and i have a theory that his ex-wife was actually responsible for most of the better things about his earlier films.

i think "the zombie diaries" is probably the best zombie movie to come out since "dawn of the dead", and maybe even better.

i've been looking (lazily) for "the walking dead" whenever i can stand to go into a comic book store. "zombie survival guide" is pretty good, although some people take it as a survival bible which, you know, isn't a great idea. WWZ was nowhere near as good.

previous comment deleted due to spelling errors and typos.

theotherryan said...

Oh Snap, I will have go make a pot of coffee and do some reading Saturday morning.

Anonymous said...

I would like to second the World War Z - VERY good for the zombie-phile. The sections involving Russia are particularly good.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips on Zombie movies. I'll definitely have to check some of those out that I haven't seen. Although this is an old post - I don't know if you'll still see this comment or not? But I'm sure that you watched the Walking Dead these last 2 years? What did you think? Survival during the Zombie Apocalypse will be interesting. Its only a matter of time!

American Survival