Army of the Dead

 

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I never thought – as a parent – that I’d have to warn my children of the dangers of “road head” over dinner, but here we are in 2021 and Zack Snyder just made me have that conversation!

Sure, there are plotholes you could drive a hummer through…but Army of the Dead is a load of fun, from beginning to end! I am absolutely a Vegas aficionado and thoroughly enjoyed the work they did to make fallen Vegas feel real. The credits were absolutely the best part of the whole film. I giggled like a madman as soon as I heard Richard Cheese – welcome back from Dawn of the Dead! All of the music was on point. Not only was my favorite Elvis song, Suspicious Minds, featured prominently, but there were some spicy covers I’d never heard before. Excuse me while I pause and make an Amazon Music  playlist for this movie…

No spoilers, but it was a TREAT to see Garret Dillahunt play against type in a genre he’s so known for. He became the absolute heart and soul of Fear the Walking Dead and the show just won’t be the same without him. I also never knew how much I needed to see a zombie tiger, a definite Walking Dead missed opportunity. In fact, there were a few other nods to The Walking Dead: Easy Peazy Lemon Squeezy, Dieter’s bat. I also loved that Army of the Dead brought us an entirely new type of zombies – smart, fucking zombies! That comma was intentional, because these zombies are smart and HAVE SEX. Although we don’t get to see it…trust me, they are totally doing it. (I just remembered the zombie sex in Dead Alive! Oops!)

Let’s talk about the late addition of Tig Notaro to the cast…her character was one of the funniest and I really cannot imagine Chris D’Elia in her place. The technology was so seamless that we wouldn’t have known she was added in later…can we please digitally replace all sexual predators with Tig Notaro? Let’s make #tigtoo happen!

I’m looking forward to the inevitable sequel, but also the other pieces of this universe. I’ve read that Zack Snyder is building a whole “Dead” universe for Netflix, including an Anime prequel about the fall of Vegas and a prequel about Dieter’s safecracking career. One can hope that James Gunn finds some time in his busy schedule to collaborate…

The House with a Clock in Its Walls

 

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Hey, kids! Let’s watch the new Eli Roth film!

Not something most parents would say, eh? But The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a kid movie, so it’s okay…I think. I can see why Roth was drawn to this story – it’s full of every kid’s worst fears: dead parents, a creepy old house, being the new kid at school, peer pressure, ghost moms – it’s like a fucking laundry list of fear! And don’t get me started on baby Jack Black – I’m having flashbacks every time I close my eyes.

My kids are coming around on Jack Black, I think. I mean, my daughter practically begged us to see the new Jumanji (haven’t yet) and she was excited about this one.

Cate Blanchett is an amazing actress and a joy to watch. Please let her be in every movie – all of them!

Kyle MacLachlan has got to be having so much fun playing quirky villains these days. He was absolutely chewing the scenery – it was greatness.

I didn’t even realize it while watching, but Angelica Schuyler herself was in the film. Such a shame that there wasn’t a call for her to sing.

I was expecting to play games on my phone the whole time I watched this, but it sucked me in and was a great bunch of fun.

We had watched this film months and months ago…it would blow their little MINDS if they knew this was the same guy who made Cabin Fever.

Zombie Tidal Wave

 

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Good lord, this film was a boring-ass stinker!

Look, I get it. Why not try to capture the “lightning in a bottle” success of the Sharknado films and put Ian Ziering in another water-based disaster situation…it just did not work. Zombies are just not cut out to be an ocean invasion.

First off, these zombies were blue – they looked like goddamn herpes-infected Smurfs. Per the plot contrivances, they were blue because of phosphorous dumped into the ocean. Sure, Jan. Some of them were super-fast and some of them were super-slow. I stopped paying much attention, but they were really hard to kill, until the end of the film, then all of a sudden, they were easier to kill? I don’t even fucking know.

Don’t bother with watching this one – there’s no humor in this one AT ALL, nor are there any silly celebrity cameos – it’s a total waste of time.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

 

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The kids and I have been watching Eli Roth’s History of Horror and the first episode was about zombies. I figure that the best way to introduce them is to begin with the film that started it all – the original Night of the Living Dead.

My kids act like they’ve never seen a black and white movie before. Well, except for the beginning of the The Wizard of Oz and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, they probably haven’t. Spoiled brats – we didn’t even have a color TV when I was growing up until I was like 7 or 8.

I seriously forgot how annoying Barbra was. When she recounts to the story of her attack to Ben, she makes it sound like the zombie was trying to rape her. Ugh, false accusations are a thing, ya’ll.

For a film that is fifty years old, it holds up well. The taboos that it breaks are still taboo and still unnerving. The social constructs that it holds up to the light are still valid and the ending is as shocking as ever. My kids were like, “What just happened?”

Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies

There has been nothing on my TV but the Winter Olympics for the last 2 weeks…so why not just go with it and watch a movie full of Snowboarders? I’m talking Mountain Dew, baby!

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Obviously, I was drawn in by the title of the movie – Lederhosen Zombies! I was disappointed to find there was exactly ONE Lederhosen Zombie, although there were quite a few Dirndl Zombies. Attack of the Dirndl Zombies just doesn’t have the same ring to it?

I guess there could be hidden lederhosen underneath the guy’s Snowboarder gear…devil’s advocate, ya know. And yes, I said Snowboarder gear. The film is Snowboarders vs. Zombies. Not just people, there are also zombie deer. Those zombie deer are fucking horrifying!

I noticed a few nods to classic horror deaths. Death by Espresso Machine was previously seen in Leprechaun 2. There was a nice Lost Boys moment as a lederhosen zombie was impaled on antlers, with our “hero” quoting, “Nice rack.” There’s a push snowblower scene that’s awesomely reminiscent of the lawnmower scene in Dead Alive. Dead Alive is a good yardstick for the level of gore and ridiculousness in Lederhosen Zombies – it’s at THAT level. It’s fucking great.

My husband warned that it’s a dumb waste of time, but I enjoyed the Lederhosen-less Zombies. It would be great for a family movie night.

Zoombies

Exactly what you fucking think it is. Zombie. Zoo. Animals. Thanks to The Asylum, for going where no film has gone before.

It starts when the capuchin monkeys come down with a nasty virus, turn into zomb-onkeys and go beserk. Of course, they escape and start zombifying the rest of the zoo population. Zombie giraffes tearing folks limb from limb should be horrifying, but I just couldn’t stop laughing. The one truly horrifying “zoombie” was the Koala. Koalas are just so cute and so…chill. Zombie Koalas are NOT cute and definitely NOT chill.

No one I’ve ever heard of is in the cast and not single character is particularly memorable…except for the little girl, LaLa Nestor. The look on her face after she’s forced to bear Mr. Koala to death with a baseball bat…she’s seen some shit, man. That girl’s got a bright future ahead of her as a Scream Queen.

I didn’t expect this film to be good by any stretch of the imagination, but more than anything – it was just boring. There was nothing in between the CGI “zoombie” carnage scenes to keep the viewer entertained. Is it possible to laugh maniacally and snore at the same time?

Zombies Vs. Strippers

We had a difficult decision tonight…Zombies Vs. Strippers or The Tale of the Voodoo Prostitute. I know…how on earth did we choose?

Zombies Vs. Strippers is about a zombie invasion in a strip club, not to be confused with Zombie Strippers, a movie in which the strippers are actual zombies. Other than that, the films are pretty similar…titties and zombies, zombies and titties.

I didn’t realize it until after we had finished watching it, but the film is actually kind of Tarantino-esque. I don’t mean the fact that it takes place in a Tiki-themed strip club called the Tough Titty, as much as the tone and the way characters interact. Besides the violence, all of stripper music was Surf Rock, although I was POSITIVE that all strippers danced to ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me.’ (Just goes to show how long it has been since I’ve been in a titty bar.) In addition, one of the characters was a born again biker named Red Wings (yes, it means EXACTLY what you think it means) and he was spouting religious nonsense. The black stripper was basically an amalgamation of every Pam Greer character from the 70s. There were multiple Mexican Standoffs…and really, who can see a Mexican Standoff without thinking Tarantino?

Zombies are almost to the point of overdone right now, so I get REALLY excited when I see something new when it comes to zombies. Zombies Vs. Strippers did show me something new…zombies actually eating each other while having sex. Not eating like 69, but actually biting pieces of flesh off of each other. It was pretty damn funny.

It was mercifully short at 75 minutes, short even for a Full Moon picture. There were funny moments, but the beginning was painfully slow. I do recommend the film though, even if it’s just for the dancing Michael Jackson zombie.


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Seriously? THIS is the best they could come up with?

A bunch of pirates racing to find the fountain of youth? If pirates wanted to live forever, wouldn’t they take better care of their eyes and teeth? To be fair, it does pick up right after the third one left off, but still…

Was anyone surprised that losing Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley had no effect on the franchise whatsoever? No one ever gave a shit about their characters anyway, they were just filler. It was odd that the filmmakers didn’t even bother to allude to them, then again, their lives in between conjugal visits would be pretty boring…

I don’t particularly care for Penelope Cruz, mostly because she is not Salma Hayek…but also because she always looks like she is smelling a fart. Honey, that look is not sultry…it’s stinky.

I’ve got to mention the evil mermaids – they freaked my four year old’s shit OUT. She’s going through a mermaid phase right now, between her Mermaid Barbie and some movie with Dora saving mermaids that she’s watched no less than 300 times. She kept asking if those mermaids were mean. I wanted to tell her that they’re pissed off that they have to be in this stupid, shitty movie, but I restrained myself. Being a good parent is hard.

My husband thinks that this one was slightly better than the second and third ones, but I’m not so sure about that. The plot was only slightly less confusing, or maybe I was just not paying attention while playing Words with Friends on my phone. I’m sure I will pay just as little attention to the fifth one when it comes out…

Honestly, I’ll watch and somewhat enjoy pretty much ANY movie that has Johnny Depp in a cool costume. On Stranger Tides was at least less tortuous than The Astronaut’s Wife or The Ninth Gate.

   

Diary of the Dead

I was starting to get bored until the Dynamite-tossing Amish guy showed up.

Even then, it was still boring in between zombie attacks – probably because the characters kept talking and talking and talking about their predicament. As I’ve said before, it’s not that Existentialism has no place in Zombie movies…it just comes off as pretentious if it’s not done right. Diary of the Dead was not the least bit subtle – the characters kept rehashing their situation. I was ready for all of them to die, I was so sick of their bellyaching. Is it better to die now or die later? Fuck you, I want to see more zombie attacks!

The Mockumentary style was somewhat interesting at first, but as the other characters began to get annoyed, I got annoyed right with them. There’s no such thing as privacy in times of crisis – or ever, really. It was another not too subtle point – we now live as voyeurs through the Internet. Under the same circumstances, I can’t say how I would react…but I’m guessing there would be a lot of facebook updates and zombie pictures posted. I tend to upload a lot of pictures to facebook, so I’m thinking that a picture of my first zombie kill would get a lot of ‘likes.’ Unless, of course, it was someone on my friend list…I wonder how long facebook would last during a zombie apocalypse? Farms would go untended, Mafias would no longer fight, it would chaos! Chaos! Twitter would die, as would FourSquare. MySpace already appears to be the victim of a zombie invasion – nothing left at MySpace but Pedophiles and Scammers. World of Warcraft would likely be unaffected, as those losers are already hiding in secure, light-proof basements and attics.

So…I liked the premise, but did not like the execution. The premise would have been better served by either comedy elements or by less ass-holish characters. However, I would watch a sequel to see how the survivors fared…they were pretty much fucked as the credits rolled.

 

Zombieland

I understand how Tallahassee feels about Twinkies, because that’s how I feel about Ding Dongs. In fact, I just finished one…I love me some Ding Dongs.

The past couple of years have been a fight for Pop Culture Relevancy between zombies and vampires. The recent success of The Walking Dead indicates that zombies are pulling ahead for the lead, but the upcoming season of True Blood and yet another Twilight movie might give vampires an edge in 2011. In either case, the real winners are people like me, who count vampire and zombies as their top two horror genres. Zombieland has been at the top of my DVR list for awhile, so I was pleased to get to finish watching it, after a false start while doing laundry over Xmas Break.

Much like The Walking Dead, Zombieland picks up after the “zombie apocalypse” has already occurred, and follows our protagonist Columbus, played by the poor man’s Michael Cera…Jesse Eisenberg. (I wish I had originated that term, but I know I must have stolen it from somewhere…I’ve heard it so many times since, that I can’t remember.) Columbus has these rules for staying alive during a zombie apocalypse, a funny running gag, but I still felt a little twinge at how original I thought ‘rules’ where when Scream did it 15 years ago. I tried hard to like Columbus, but I just couldn’t sympathize with him. If a zombie apocalypse did happen…and I had to choose between Columbus and Tallahassee…you can bet I would be using my bottle of wine on Tallahassee. Columbus would just have to wait until Little Rock hit puberty. I’m not just saying Woody because I’m 35 years old…ask 18 year old me and I’d say the same. Hot off of seeing Natural Born Killers, I’d double that wager. 18 year old me had no time for nerdy pussies, 18 year old me wanted a bald, homicidal maniac. Too bad 18 year old me started dating a nerdy pussy in real life…how ironic.

I would be remiss in not mentioning that Zombieland has the best cameo in any movie, EVER. I will not, however, say anymore about the cameo, because I somehow made it almost 2 years after the theatrical release without knowing and/or remembering that I heard about it on The Scream Awards…and it blew my fucking mind.

So there’s a sequel in the works…so maybe the zombies will beat those damn vampires after all!