Saturday, November 6, 2010

Survival of the Dead

George A. Romero is known as the father of the zombie movie.  It makes sense...his Night of the Living Dead is a classic, and the movie that kick-started the modern zombie movie.  His second movie, Dawn of the Dead, is usually considered his best movie, and also helped to introduce more of a social message into zombie movies.  Personally, I like Night of the Living Dead better, and I like Snyder's Dawn of the Dead better...but that's neither here nor there.

It's no secret that Romero's zombie movies have been in a steady decline recently.  I liked Land of the Dead, but I didn't love it.  It appears as though I'm in the minority of people who enjoyed Diary of the Dead...but, again, I didn't love it.  The message was extremely heavy-handed, and I really only enjoyed the movie because of some of the characters involved.

I can say, with no amount of uncertainty, that Survival of the Dead is Romero's worst movie.  It follows a minor character from Diary of the of the jackass soldiers that showed up and took the RV.  It didn't help the movie that this guy was one of the worst actors I have ever seen.  I actually started to watch this movie with Daniel...but he forced me to shut it off after he delivered a terrible line in the worst way possible: "You're dangerous kid, but not as dangerous as me."  It should be noted that he said this to some punk kid, who was not a great actor, himself.


Needless to say, I went back and watched the entire movie at a later date.
I wish I had not done that.

I guess the story wasn't terrible.  It was set up like a modern western, but with zombies.  I sounds pretty cool.  The majority of the movie took place on an island that housed two warring families.  One of the families believed that zombies could not be cured and should be killed.  The other family believed that zombies could be taught to be useful members in society.  They also believed that zombies could be taught to eat something other than human flesh (they believed that zombies would also feast on horses).  While we start on the side of the first family (zombies must be killed), we begin to see the point of the second family when we see zombies bringing mail in from mailboxes and whatnot.

The movie ends in classic western fashion...a showdown between the two families in a corral.  A gunfight while using bales of hay, trees and fences for cover.  With, of course, zombies roaming around.

When I write it out, it doesn't sound that bad.  Trust is.  As I mentioned, the acting is atrocious.  The story, while not terrible, didn't have much depth to it.  The zombies looked decent, but the death scenes were terrible.  Instead of using exploding blood capsules, they opted for CGI blood splatter, which looked awful.'s Romero.  If you're a fan of Romero, you're going to watch it regardless.  But this is just not a good movie.  There are other good zombie movies that have been released over the past couple of one of those, instead.  Colin showed what a zombie movie can be, even with next to no money.

I was unable to embed the trailer, but you can see it here:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sugar Hill

It's been a while since I've updated this blog, but it doesn't mean I've stopped watching zombie movies.

This movie was ranked #24 in the list of Best Zombie Movies of all time in Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Glenn Kay.  It was described as "The Shaft of zombie flicks, effectively combining a blaxploitation crime plotline with traditional zombie lore" (Kay, 303).  That short sentence describes this movie perfectly.

The movie follows Diana "Sugar" Hill (played by Marki Bey).  Early in the movie, her boyfriend (a club owner) is killed by the local mob (headed by the nefarious Morgan).  Sugar goes to Mama Maitresse, a local voodoo woman, to help her get her revenge on Morgan and his crew.  They go to see Baron Zamedi, the Lord of the Dead, to help her in her quest for revenge.  He raises an army of the undead.  With her army behind her, Sugar Hill kills her way through the local mob, which eventually leads her to Morgan.

Baron Zamebi loves to kill

The zombies in this movie are not of the flesh eating variety.  Rather, it takes its cue from the zombies of voodoo lore.  These zombies are not out for flesh; these zombies exist only to follow the wishes of their zombie master.  They don't kill by attacking and biting; they attack by whatever means the zombie master wishes.  In one instance, they kill by chopping up a man with swords, eventually decapitating him.  In another, they throw a man into a pen of hungry pigs.

The look of the zombies is pretty cool.  They have silver eyes which reflect the light to a fairly creepy effect.  They walk around covered in cobwebs.

The acting wasn't great (Marki Bey, in particular, varied from very good to incredibly wooden), but it was good enough.  The plot worked off a pretty standard revenge story, but it worked very well.  The zombies looked great, and the scenery was terrific.  I loved Baron Zamebi...he would show up at random times during the movie, and, when he did, you knew the zombies would be attacking soon.

This isn't your standard zombie movie, but I really liked it.  One of the better zombie movies I've seen in a while.  If you're looking for something kind of different from your standard zombie movie, check this one out.

Marki Bey demands that you watch this movie