Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Night of the Creeps, Dawn of the Dead

The Zombie Prom is this Saturday, so I dubbed this week to be Zombie Week.  I'm only going to watch zombie movies in the days leading up to the prom.

Night of the Creeps

A zombie comedy.  The movie starts in the 50s, on an alien ship.  A vial gets released into space, and eventually ends up on Earth.  The vial contains slug-like creatures who jump into people's mouths, kill them, then reanimate them.  Luckily this only happened with one person in the 50s, and they were able to freeze him before anything happen.
Fast forward to the 80s, and his body is kept near a college.  To try to get into a fraternity, two college kids break into the facility and release the body.  The body's head explodes, releasing the slugs into the unsuspecting world.
They start jumping into college kids, and pretty soon the town is overrun with frat zombies.  A detective, a college kid and his love interest try to stop the horde, armed with guns and a flame thrower.

It's a fun movie.  Good characters.  Funny lines.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Random actor sighting: David Paymer

Rating: 4 stars

Dawn of the Dead

This is, of course, a classic in horror cinema.  Night of the Living Dead may have given birth to the modern zombie movie, but Dawn of the Dead took it to another level.  On many lists, this is considered the greatest zombie movie of all time.
But not on my list.
I can understand it's place in history, and I can understand what it means to the genre as a whole.  I understand it, and I can appreciate it...but I can't rank it at the top of the list.  It spawned a generation of zombie movies, and that's amazing...but a number of those movies are better than this one.
For one, it kind of suffers from the 70s era of filmmaking, when scenes were drawn out longer than they should be, and the movie kind of dragged along as a result.  I also had a problem with the characters.  I didn't really like any of them.  They also didn't really have much of a progression.  It's almost like they completely changed how the characters were supposed to act halfway through the movie, but didn't really have any lead-up to it.  I'm not sure if that makes sense, but that's how it felt.

All of this sounds like I hate it.  I don't hate it.  It's a little long and kind of boring in spots, but I still like the movie as a whole (and I love the theme).  I can also see why it was so influential.  It really did great things for the horror genre, and the zombie subgenre, specifically.

So...I liked it.  I can respect it for what it is, but I can't call it the greatest zombie movie ever made.  In fact, I have it ranked pretty far below Night of the Living Dead.

Rating: 4 stars

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