the posters show traces of carnal violence: june 15 – july 14

A poster gallery of the psychotronic flicks we’ve been watching over the past month.

Fisty:

Bill:

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Friday the 13th Part 3

IT'S IN 3-D

Friday the 13th, Part III
Director: Steve Miner
Released: 1982
Starring: Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Tracie Savage, Jeffrey Rogers, Catherine Parks, Richard Brooker
Running time: 95 minutes
Genre: horror, slasher

Massacre a trois: After an anticlimactic showdown at the hands of Ginny and Paul, Jason wanders around Crystal Lake till he happens across a small market, run by Harold and charming Edna, who also live on the premises. Despite the adorable rabbit Harold likes to carry around, Jason murders the pair and steals some clothing off their clothesline, and then goes to ground in the barn of a nearby lakeside cabin. The cabin belongs to the Higgins family, and daughter Chris is bringing some friends of hers for the weekend. By a not-so-strange coincidence, while staying at the cabin two years prior, Chris was attacked by a hideous stranger; it is her first time returning there, and she has hopes of laying her fears to rest. Sucks to be disappointed, doesn’t it?

On their way to the cabin, Final Girl Chris and her friends Debbie, Andy, Shelly, Vera, and hippies Chuck and Chili, encounter a bizarre old man who brandishes an eyeball at them and warns them of certain death if they don’t turn back. Though disgusting, this is hardly discouraging, and when Chris’ boyfriend Rick arrives, the group prepares for a restful weekend. Insecure because of his schlubbiness, Shelly plays a series of pranks on his companions that do not prove endearing, though they do lay down the expectation for the Boy Who Cried Prank’s early demise. Shelly does regain a little respect when he and Vera go to a local market (not Harold and Edna’s, though; I wonder how many such marts the Crystal Lake economy can actually support) and encounter some surly bikers. Said bikers track the pair down to Higgins Haven intent on revenge, but are murdered in the barn before they do more than siphon the gas out of Chris’ shaggin’ wagon.

While Chris and Rick take a long walk and discuss what happened to her there before and what it all MEANS, shit starts to get real. Woebegone at the loss of his beloved potato sack, Jason murders Shelly, then steals his hockey mask and goes to town on the weekenders. Soon Chris is the last one standing, and she goes mano a machete with the first Jason Who Wouldn’t Die.

Fisty: In this installment we learn that even though fish food tastes good the mayfly eggs are not good for you, a surefire cure for the backdoor trots is swilling Jack Daniels on the toilet, motorcyle punks fuckin’ HATE hay and other barnyard accouterments, and everything is better in 3D: laundry poles, baseball bats…

Bill: …eyeballs, popcorn, yo-yos…

*pop*

Fisty: …snakes, joints, etc. Oh, and Harry Manfredini started doing coke in 1982.

Before we get to the bitchin’ awesome disco theme and 3D credits, we have to sit through a 2D recap. The first six minutes of F13P3D are just the Ginny/Paul (WHERE IS HE?)/Jason showdown from F13, except this time, Jason just crawls away and there is no Return of Muffin. So where does that leave F13P2’s finale? Was it all a dream? Did Jason never leap through the window? And did Muffin never return? WHAT ABOUT PAUL? We are forced to fill in the blanks for ourselves. Perhaps Jason crawled into the woods, recovered himself enough to butcher Paul whilst he Secured the Perimeter or some other such macho nonsense, and then ran away because of the Coming of the Authorities who took the raving Ginny away, dropping one of Paul’s eyeballs in the process. No one will ever know. Ever.

Bill: You’d think, if they were going to retcon the ending, they’d do so in a way that clarified what happened, but it’s even more confusing now.  Also confusing is Chris saying she was attacked in the woods two years ago and hasn’t been back to Crystal Lake since, even though Rick, who seems to be a local, talks about how she’s changed since last summer.  Did he go and visit her somewhere else?  They never make that clear.  And her story is never really explained either.  She says Jason attacked her and she passed out and woke up in her own bed and no one ever talked about what happened.  So, um…  WHAT HAPPENED?!  Are her parents in on some big conspiracy about Jason?  Maybe, if everyone is just ignoring his presence in the forest; someone should’ve filled in the cop from F13P2 about it before he went and got himself killed in Jason’s swinging bachelor shack.

in lieu of titties, here is edna scolding harold & bunbun

Fisty: OH CHRIST ON A PONY, I KNOW. Chris’ backstory confused the hell out of me. Rick seems like a townie, so I figured they had some kind of summer romance going on (though how many people of that age can stick with something like that longer than two weeks?), but it did seem like he must’ve gone elsewhere to be with her at some point, according to her statements. And yeah, did her parents just interrupt Jason having his baghead way with her in the woods and simply pick her up and tuck her in as though nothing happened? Was that whole interlude a dream? Who fucking knows!

Now, aside from the baffling backstory, I don’t have any major problems with this installment. Well, other than the bunny murder. I like the gimmick of it continuing right after F13P2. It’s largely silly, with some enjoyable deaths. The characters didn’t do much for me, however; they weren’t overtly offensive, but they weren’t all that developed or um, interesting. Chris’ insane history aside, of course. Chuck n’ Chili were pretty amusing, and who doesn’t enjoy a good hippie death or two? (And just how did they scarf so much weed and not freak out?) Vera apparently has some drama as evidenced by her mother’s ‘tude in the beginning, but we never learn anything about it. Debbie and Andy are pretty much my favorite deaths, but the super fascinating tidbit shared about them–that smokin’ hot Debbie is preggo–is never again touched on at any point. How could Miner fail to harp on that later?  And then there’s sex-crazed Rick, who acts like a sixteen-year old boy, though he looks to be twice that age.

Bill: I don’t even know of any teen boys that would act like him.  I think he might be a sociopath.  Chris returns for the first time (after how long?  A year, at least) to the place where she was stalked through the woods and practically raped by a 6’5″ mongoloid town legend and Rick startles her by grabbing her from behind and expecting sex on the spot.  When she’s upset, he asks, “Did I do something wrong?”  Then, when she still doesn’t spread for him right then, he remarks, “I can only take so many cold showers.”  She’s only been there for two minutes!  Then he tries to make her feel guilty by telling her about the girl he’s not fucking right at that exact moment because he chose to spend time with her.  Then he all but says outright, “Gee, Chris, I’m really sorry Sloth from The Goonies touched your no-no spot and your parents covered it up and you’re super creeped out and keep seeing scary shit everywhere, but you’re not fucking me right now, so I’m going to go home and leave you all by yourself.”  This is the guy that’s supposed to be the male hero of the flick?

Fisty: You have obviously never been in an LDR. When reunioning in one–no matter how much time has passed–it is imperative to bang away on one another ASAP. Chris has some seriously fucked up priorities.

Speaking of main men, this installment also features some off the least menacing non-villains (you know, those antagonists who end up as fellow victims of the real killer) in the form of the punk biker gang. Fox, Ali, and Loco are monumentally lame, dressing like extras from Slamdance! and getting their jollies loitering in countryside convenience marts and beating up innocent haybales. Why is it that so many movies portray punks so very lamely? My god, Fox dresses like my mom’s 1982 punk bunny costume. And I mean, it was a great costume for my mom in 1981, but it does nothing for either Fox or the movie. Of course, we must remember that mainstream cinema has a long history of fumbling badly when it comes to depicting punks–they can’t all be TR Kids.

not menacing

Bill: The crazy old foreshadowing guy was also a bit of a let down in this sequel.  They never should’ve killed Crazy Ralph in Part 2, because Paul’s Eyeball is a Sign from God Guy is a very poor substitute.

Fisty: Let’s talk Jason. This movie throws yet more mystery on the ending of F13P2–like it needed it. In P2, Jason is very much a feral mutant hillbilly momma’s boy, lurking in the woods and gutting small mammals and the occasional stray hiker or camper, and experimenting in potato sack haberdashery. Somehow, between the final act of P2 and the start of P3D, Jason metamorphoses into a silent but deadly killing machine, having at anyone who crosses his path. This is a major turning point for the franchise, yet it is never explained or explored in the slightest. What happened to Jason, what did this? Did lightning strike him during that final battle with Paul and Muffin? Did they roll into toxic ooze? Did he quit his anger management group? We’ll never know–unless P2 gets its own reboot.

jason mongs out

Bill: Whoa now!  Don’t get ahead of yourself.  I really think he only seems to have changed because we’re finally seeing him take some punishment.  We never really got the chance to see how tough he was in Part 2.  Also, his more proactive kill ’em all ‘tude could just be his territoriality, since they reopened the camp.  Or maybe Ginny screwed him up by defiling mom’s sweater.  Who knows?  He did finally find his face in this one, when he picked up the hockey mask.  He still seems mostly like himself to me, however.  Same MO…  Stalk, sneak, stealth kill, hide bodies to pop up later.  Maybe he’s just a little more bold.

His kills were certainly bolder!  I’m so glad Part 3 wasn’t completely neutered, like Part 2 was.  Still not completely balls out, but you don’t feel cheated either.  I rather enjoyed the speargun to the eye.  The gimmicky 3-D is fun, as well.  I love having phallic objects poked into my face in three dimensions.

Fisty: You certainly do. P3 doesn’t seem any less neutered than P2 to me, though. They cut the kill scenes like crazy to avoid an X rating (suck it, MPAA!), and it shows. All I can think about is what I’m missing! Of course, I was that way about P2, too. But they’re still some good kills, some of my series faves.

Bill: Really?  While, yes, it’s still far from being the abattoir of a film it should’ve been, it seems to me like they waited just a fraction of a beat longer before cutting away from the kills in this one, as opposed to the second movie in the franchise.  Plus, there were  some great eyeball gags (in 3-D!) to up the gore factor.  There really was a lot of eye damage in Part 3.  Sadly, there was far less eye candy.  The dearth of boobies in Part 2 carries over into this film, as well.  What gives?  Why do they think I watch these things anyway?

Fisty: Let’s be real, Bill. F13 has always been light on the boobage. It’s even brought up in His Name was Jason. But the total lack of tits in P3 is well nigh unforgivable.

Bill: Even more annoying to me than the lack of T&A is the stupid stinger at the end.  *SPOILER WARNING, KIDS*  Who the fuck was that jumping out of the lake?  Couldn’t be Mrs. Voorhees, since she had her head off and Ginny took her sweater, but it couldn’t have been Ginny in the sweater, since she isn’t all dessicated and shit.  It was just in Chris’s head, right?  But she seems to have no knowledge of Jason’s legend or his mother, so why did she imagine that?!  Ugh.  And, as if being totally nonsensical wasn’t enough, it’s a very poorly executed jump scare.  The stinger from the end of the first Friday the 13th still gets me.  Something about it always stops me from figuring the timing right to expect it, so it never fails to make me jump, but the imitation here, in Part 3, disappoints miserably.

Fisty: Fuck the stinger. Maybe it’s Jason’s dream–I don’t know and I don’t care. I really hate that whole sequence in F13, and would prefer to just forget it. Otherwise, I’m gonna get pissed.

Part 3 is a largely forgettable installment in the series, only worth watching as part of the whole. Or if you’re stoned out of your gourd. The characters are largely shallow and interchangeable, the lines aren’t especially memorable, the story’s lost some of its logical elements, and there are no boobies. None! The 3-D is fun, the girls are wholesomely hot, and there are some nice kills, but that’s pretty much it.

debbie: cute AND cool

Bill: But, man, does that disco theme rock!

IN 3-D. IT’S IN 3-D. DID WE MENTION THE 3-D?

Friday the 13th, Part 2

bag-head’s revenge

Friday the 13th, Part II
Director: Steve Miner
Released: 1981
Starring: Amy Steel, Jon Furey, Adrienne King, Warrington Gillette, Stu Charno, Betsy Palmer
Running time: 87 minutes
Genre: horror, slasher

Friday a deux: Alice, sole survivor of the murders at Camp Crystal Lake, lies dreaming of the horrors she went through at the hands of Mrs Voorhees. Awakened by her nightmare, she showers, chats on the phone, and then, before the very eyes of her adorable cat, is brutally slain. The killer is considerate enough to remove her boiling kettle from the hot burner. What a well brought up killer!

Fast forward five years, and a fresh crop of counselors-to-be arrive at a training center on Crystal Lake, not far from the infamous “Camp Blood.” The chief trainer, Paul, advises the n00bs of the seriousness of being a camp counselor, mostly bears, and that night around the campfire, the underlines said seriousness by telling them the story of Camp Blood, Mrs Voorhees, and of course, Jason, who reportedly still lurks in the woods around Crystal Lake. Dismissing the tale as an inflated urban legend, the would-be counselors kick back with some teambuilding exercises like swimming, grilling weenies, and cockteasing. Two of the more intrepid CITs (that’s counselors in training, for those who’ve never read the seminal summer camp classics like There’s a Bat in Bunk Five), Sandra and Jeff sneak over to Camp Blood to check things and or possibly do it, but are caught by a local yokel just as they discover the mangled remains of some animal, possibly Muffin. (Fisty: At this point, Eli declared he no longer liked Jason.) That night, most of the CITs head into town for some partying before their training begins in earnest, but a select few stay behind for shenanigans. And of course, Jason is happy to keep them company. STABBY COMPANY.

Increasing returns: F13P2 is a stalwart entry in the franchise, even compared the the same year’s The Burning. It’s a respectable flick that could stand on its own, and is the last sequel to truly capture the feel and groove of the original–so much so that they could almost be one movie. Unfortunately, the kills (several thieved straight from Bava’s Twitch of the Death Nerve) are censored out of awesome and into mediocre.

Fisty: Good goddamn, I am so glad Steve Miner spent like, six minutes recapping all of F13 in Alice’s dream, because god knows the plot is hard to follow. OH WAIT, NO I’M NOT.

Bill: It had only been a year since the release of the first movie.  No one had forgotten any of that!  Still, you get the recap followed by five minutes of dickteasing with no nudie payout, then a prank call because Jason loves the Jerky Boys, and, finally he shows up (apparently having taken the Crystal Lake Ferry into Manhattan) and kills a girl that has nothing at all to do with this movie, since it all takes place five years after her disappearance!  Then, at last, 15 minutes into an 86 minute movie, we see some of the main cast.  But that’s followed by 10 more minutes of nothing, making the movie practically a third of the way finished before we get the campfire scene that explains everything we just watched and should have been the beginning of the movie!

Fisty:And then even after the campfire reveal of Jason’s story to the CiTs it’s still another six minutes of not a whole lot to the next kill, which is just Crazy Ralph being his crazy self and getting garotted. Next to go is the cop, who wanders off into the woods to investigate that strange man he just saw, and then stumbles across Jason’s Little Shack of Horrors where he bites it approximately eleven minutes later. God, these guys really were following their “a kill every ten minutes” rule.

terry’s abbreviated morning jog

There’s a lot of teaser stuff here, in that we’ve got a lot of mysterious boot-clad feet standing around, and killer POV peeping out at folks from the bushes. And then there’s First Girl Terry, who is never more than half-dressed at any give time, and sometimes much less. Either her ass is hanging out of her shortshorts, or her boobs are hanging out of her skimpy halfshirts–occasionally both! (We won’t go into the vaguely hippie Sandra’s awful attire, as she is otherwise quite likeable.) For all these teases with Terry, F13P2 is sorely lacking in titties, and there’s only a nanosecond of bush shadow. I know it’s par for the course with F13, but still, I was stunned when Terry, after her skinnydip, bothered putting a shirt back on when the towel draped around her neck actually covered more than any of her shirts thus far. HIGHLY DISAPPOINTING. And thanks to heavy censorship, half the kills are off camera, too.

Bill: That brief scene is the only nudity in the movie.  The flick teases you with Mark’s little fan girl, showing her panties slide down her legs, but never makes good on the promise.  And the speared couple have sex without ever even showing a single nipple.  Ugh.  Appalling.

Fisty:But I like Vicky! Her death is, to my mind, the worst in the movie (except for the maybe-Muffin death), because our Bava fan took some notes from the Italians, and her death is very Italian, very Fulci: Long, slow, and excruciatingly drawn out. She just goes tharn in abject terror as the knife slowly approaches. It’s so awful, and I liked her so much. She’s a good girl being naughty! I like her throwing herself at Mark (aka Wheelchair Dude), and I love how she runs off to prep for their hooking up. It’s all so natural, right down to the lipgloss and panties that match her sweater. Despite the amateurish and sometimes hammy acting, I like the look of all our campers/counselors; they all look very real, very natural, like they just wandered out of a Judy Blume or Norma Klein novel and into a nightmare. It’s one of the significant aspects of these movies, that the victims are so very ordinary, that they try to realistically place teenagers in an adult-free setting. Verisimilitude, baby. Right down to Ginny’s halfbaked drunken child psych maunderings.

our sweetheart, vicki

Bill: One of the strengths of the slasher genre was always that it took away all the gothic trappings and scary old houses full of characters that a kid growing up in the 70s, 80s, or even today, could barely relate to.  In their place, we get suburban neighborhoods and camps and sorority houses, the places we find ourselves, filled with kids that could be us or our friends.  The F13 franchise, up until the second half of the series, was particularly good at this.  People like to rag on the characters in movies like these, saying they’re unbelievable, because they do stupid things, go where they shouldn’t, do things they’d be better off not doing, but when I think of my friends or myself as a kid or,  hell, even think of myself now, I know I’m not far off from a Mark or a Paul or a Ginny or Vicky.  I’ve heard your drunken meanderings, Fisty.  Aside from all  the crying and screaming about Laura Ingalls Wilder, they aren’t far off from Ginny’s.  Vicky’s little spritz of perfume on her panties, the way she skips around, oblivious to danger, lost in her hormones and glee…  That could be any of us.  It could certainly be me.   I have sprayed cologne in my pants and skipped around.  I have even worn panties that matched my sweater.

Speaking of Paul…  Fisty, do you know what happened to him?

Fisty: I wasn’t aware that we were, but NOBODY KNOWS. What the fuck happens to Paul? And to Muffin, for that matter? The last we saw, crazed hillbilly mutant Jason crashed through a window just after Paul opened the door to discover the missing Muffin there, purple ribbon and all (and that moment, when the music gets all Benji sentimental and Muffin looks up at them, is totally heartwrenching and pleasing). The music rises to a sudden crescendo, everything goes slow-mo, and then … fade to Ginny being taken away by EMTs, calling, “Where’s Paul?” (Who called them, anyways?) We never see or hear of hide nor hair of either Paul or Muffin again, not even in F13P3. THAT JUST ISN’T RIGHT.

Bill: Maybe he met up with Terry, whose body I don’t recall ever seeing (could she have called the emergency services?!) and they went to hang out with Ted at the bar he never came back from.  Man, you can really tell Jason doesn’t have the hang of this psycho killer thing yet.  He just lets half of the cast wander off and disappear.  As much as I’m enjoying tearing it apart, the very fact that this is Jason’s first go around as the killer and, thus, important to the development of the character and the series, I can’t hate this movie.  I can’t help it.  I’m an unrepentant, Friday the 13th fanboy and even Sack-head Jason has a place in my heart.

Fisty:Awww, Jason the Bag-head! Him and Muffin, togetha 4eva!

muffin the hunted

Bill: You mentioned earlier that the kills were mostly fushing feefed (trans.: stolen) from Twitch of the Death Nerve and they totally are, but I don’t think I’d have minded that so much, if they’d tried to one up Bava’s film.  Instead the kills are totally weak and there’s barely a trickle of blood in the whole movie.

The weak kills, almost total lack of T&A, and Jason’s unprofessional inefficiency force me to place this sequel low on the scale of best Fridays.  I’d still rate this one ahead of parts 8 and 9, but that’s it.  Every other installment in the series is better than Part 2.

Fisty: Hells no. You are a total idiot. P2 is probably my favorite, even in light of later fun with the Dead Fuck Dance or in space(!). It’s got character! Style! The characters are developed, it FEELS like the first movie, and the story works–but for the incomprehensible ending. Plus, Ginny is a totally kick ass Final Girl. Suck it, Bill.

Hell Week of the Shrieking Cannibal Dead

Halloween is on its way.  This is my favorite time of year and I wanted to kick off the season right.   What better way to do that then with hordes of the shambling undead?  I decided that I’d spend a week watching nothing but zombie movies, beginning on September 18th and leading up to Old School Sinema’s 6th Cleveland Charity Zombie Walk, which I knew was coming up on September 25th.   If I managed to survive 30 hours of gutmunchers and the company of hundreds of brain-ivores, this week of extreme carnage would serve as my official beginning to this years Halloween season.

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supernatural voodoo woman

1.  Sugar Hill (1974)

Blaxspoitation voodoo zombies in the funkified seventies, killing organized crime thugs.

It’s a low rent Foxy Brown with zombies by the people who brought you Blackula.  It’s all very cheesy.  Also very fun.  The zombies have bulging eyes devoid of pupils or irises, discolored skin and cobwebs on them.  They look slightly moldered more than straight out rotted.  It’s a look that is, at once, really corny and still pretty cool.  Nothing to see in terms of gore or nudity, sadly, but plenty to laugh at.  Noisiest jungle ever.  And Baron Samedi is hilarious.

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orgy of the dammed

2.  Beneath Still Waters (2005)

Aquatic, grimoire-raised, zombies in a reservoir over a submerged town, killing anyone that goes near the water.  (Great idea!)

Brian Yuzna always makes good with bucketfuls of awesome gore and make up and some nice, healthy titties and, really, that is usually enough.  He doesn’t disappoint here, bringing both in good supply.  With Beneath Still Waters, however, he really goes out of his way and also gives you some creepy atmosphere and it’s a great concept.  Based on a novel, I believe.  Thank you, Brian Yuzna, for Melinda Clarke in Return of the Living Dead 3 and thank you for Beneath Still Waters, a movie that lets me have my cake (smooshed all over a woman’s breasts at an orgy) and see people get eaten, too.

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hong kong gooey

3. Bio Zombie

Chemical weapon, soft drink zombies inside a mall, killing the people locked in with them. How’s that for a twist?

Bio Zombie is a fucking awesome zomcom.   Woody Invincible and Crazy Bee are my new heroes.   They are like the Shaun and Ed of zombie movies. Well, the Shaun and Ed of Hong Kong zombie movies, I guess.  Or maybe I should call them the Brody and T. S. of zombie movies.  Or if Shaun and Ed were the Brody and T.S., then Crazy and Woody could be the Jay and Bob of zombie movies.  Regardless of what I call them or if any of this jabber makes any sense to you, they fucking rule.  The make up is shit and the movie is weird as all hell, like most Asian comedies I’ve seen, but the flick has heart.  And, while Jelly isn’t that hot, her friend, Rolls, is sexy as hell.

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the opposite of good

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4. Zombi 3

Chemical, or possibly viral, zombies (and zombirds!) on a tropical island with one radio station, killing a lot of lousy actors.

So, so very bad.  It steals outright (not pays homage to) Return of the Living Dead, The Crazies and Day of the Dead.  The head scientist over acts so hard I started to sweat just watching him.  He yells every line and throws his arms about wildly and pauses in very odd places.  If Jeff Goldblum and William Shatner had a baby that developed some nervous condition that caused uncontrollable muscle spasms and was always screamingly angry, that child would have given a subtler performance than this guy.  Throughout the whole movie there are zombies throwing themselves off of roofs at people.  Why and how did they got up there in the first place?  Beats me.  Oh!  There’s a helicopter escape, too!   Two of the three remaining survivors get to da choppa and begin taking off, hovering and calling for the third survivor to jump up and grab on.  They do this instead of just waiting for him to get in, which they could have done, since there were no zombies anywhere near them.  Or were there?!  As he’s hanging off of the skid of the helicopter, zombies leap up out of the hay beneath him.  They were hiding there all along!  BASTAAAAARDS!

So bad.  I didn’t even mention the deejay, the zombie deejay.

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you don't have to see to love boobies

5.  Night of the Seagulls (1975)

Evil, blind, Templar Knight zombies in a village of assholes that beat retards with sticks, killing beautiful young maidens.

Ah, I do love the Blind Dead series, of which this is the fourth and final film.  How can anyone not love them?  Gorgeous women, great concepts, creepy atmospheres, awesome sets and those wicked, eyeless, sword-wielding, zombie horse-riding, skeletal knights are some of the coolest risen dead in all of film history.  Even though they’re blind, they’re always nice enough to rip open a young maiden’s dress before killing her.  They do this for us, you know, since they can’t see ’em.  What a considerate bunch of corpses.

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you'll shoot your eye out, kid

6.  Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (1973)

Grimoire-raised, criminal zombies on a misty island with a graveyard for undesirables, killing a local theater group and their slimeball director.

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things is amateurish in every way.  Still, some of the one-liners are clever and the movie can be fairly funny at times. I especially liked one character’s repeated confession to having pissed in his pants.  It isn’t something that I can bring myself to watch often, but I do like it for a couple of reasons.  One of those being the bitchin’ title.  Seriously, one of the coolest titles ever.  The other being that the entire movie has the feel of the kind of local station-produced tv segments that would be hosted by some Elvira-type character.  I can’t watch this movie without getting nostalgic for my days as a youngster, watching all sorts of horror flicks with my local, Cleveland area, horror hosts like Super-Host, Big Chuck and Lil’ John, and The Ghoul.  Ah, good times…  Call me old, but I think TV was better before we all had cable and knew what an infomercial was.

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no boats, no lights, no motor cars

7.  Shock Waves (1977)

Aquatic, Nazi zombies on, and in the water around, The Isle of Peter Cushing, killing a boat-load of stranded tourists.  Hmmm…  That’s three different zombie infested islands already.

Come on…  It’s underwater Nazi zombies in cool goggles and Peter-fucking-Cushing!  Like I have to say anything more about that?

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reich of the living dead


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8.  Outpost (2008)

Philadelphia Experiment, Nazi zombie, masters of time and space in an old, abandoned bunker, killing an international bunch of badass mercenaries .

Here, we have something new!  Some kind of electromagnetic, unified field theory, universal vibration gobbledygook machine has created a breed of Nazi zombie that can blink in and out of existence at will.  I’m not even sure if they would qualify as zombies, since they seem awful ghost-like, but they look like Nazi zombies and they’re solid enough when they’re there.  Bullets hit them, but don’t stop them.  They sure as hell can kill in some pretty nasty, physical ways.  AND I LIKE THEM!  The mercenaries in the flick, lead by DC (Ray Stevenson, who made an even better cinematic Punisher than Dolph Lundgren, if you can believe that) are some badass guys, but don’t stand a chance against these inviso-vibro-zombies.

I love weird war tales.   Outpost fits that genre well and would make a great double feature with Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers, which, itself, is one of the better action-horror, weird war movies from recent years.

My only real complaint about Outpost is the lack of color.  The damn movie is practically in black and white.  I understand that this is a stylistic choice and that sometimes it even works for a movie, but I’m getting really tired of it.  Still, it is a spiffy addition to the zombie Nazi sub-subgenre.

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"they're us. we're them and they're-" YES, BARBARA, WE FUCKING GET IT!

9.  Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Classic, Romero zombies outside of a farmhouse trying to eat the people inside and a few animals outside, because meat is meat and a zombie’s gotta eat.

How about that cast!  Tony Todd, Bill Moseley, Tom Towels, Tom Savini!  And, man, is that Patricia Tallman a looker or what?  Savini does almost everything right with this remake.  My only issues with it are some of the more melodramatic moments, like Ben looking to the sky and screaming, “Damn you!  Damn you all!”  I was waiting for him to say, “Get your rotting paws off me, you damned dirty zombie,” all Chuck Heston-like.  Or Barbara’s, “They’re us. We’re them and they’re us.”  Just seeing the look on Tallman’s face was enough, we didn’t need the sledgehammer to drive the point in.

One awesome moment:  When Ben first steps out of his truck, all you see are his boots, then the hooked end of his crow bar comes down into the shot.  I would swear on my life that this was a nod to Tony Todd as Candyman, except I know that Candyman didn’t come out until 2 years after NotLD’90.  Savini is a horror prophet!

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fuckin' nursery school

10.  Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Red Bull-infused, athletic, viral zombies, outside of a mall, killing the people hiding inside, but dogs are safe.

I like this movie, I do, but, while I mostly love the script, the more I watch this, the more I have to roll my eyes at Snyder’s direction.  How about we turn this into a drinking game?  Whenever you see a slow-mo explosion from far away with muted sound, drink.  Whenever someone is about to be shot and the movie cuts to another shot before you hear the bang, drink.  Whenever the camera gets all up close on a gun barrel with a whoosh sound and hints of slow motion, drink.  Whenever a digital gore effect is shown in slow motion, drink.  Whenever you see shell casings fall and clink and clack to the floor in slow motion, don’t drink.  That would be way too much alcohol and you would die.  If I seem like I’m being extra harsh on this flick, while being very forgiving to others, that’s because I am.  It bugs me that this is just an ok movie.  It really could have been great, but it’s held back by one man’s obsession with quick edits and slow motion and zombies that consume as much Gatorade as they do flesh.

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a mouthful of greek salad

11.  Day of the Dead (2008)

Viral zombies (with the proportionate speed, strength and agility of a spider) in a small town, killing everything.

You know, when you get over the fact that they’re using the name Day of the Dead and realize that it has so little in common with Romero’s movie that it is really a remake in name only, it’s not any better or worse than a lot of other shitty movies, which can be enjoyed as such.  Hell, it’s really more like the Zombi 2 of Dawn of the Dead ’04 than a remake of Day of the Dead ’85.  Sure, Mena Suvari is completely unbelievable in her role, but she has a shapely enough ass that it shows through, even under her army duds, so that’s ok.  Yes, Nick Cannon is the Jar Jar of zombie movies, but legless zombie Ving Rhames is cool enough that I think he should be a legless zombie in every movie he’s in, so that almost balances out.   Also, Cannon’s P. Diddy line made me laugh.  And, ok, zombies with 6-foot vertical leaps and the ability to crawl on ceilings is pretty dumb, but the airborne transmission of the virus and flu-like symptoms are kind of neat.  And, I mean, this movie begins with four teenagers making out in an abandoned building.  That’s a clear sign that they weren’t aiming to boggle your mind with their brilliance. If they had named it anything other than what they did, you could probably watch it just as dumb movie that’s easy to laugh at and make fun of.

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lol wut

12.  Zombie 4: After Death (1988)

I don’t know!  Some kind of zombie, voodoo, I guess, on another island, killing whoever happens to be around, including bisexual porn stars, really ugly mercenaries and a girl who may have been able to run across the ocean as a child.

JEFF STRYKER!  I totally used to sell the Jeff Stryker Cock and Balls dildo at work!  This movie rules!  Except it sucks!  As bad as Zombi 3 is, Zombie 4: After Death is on a whole ‘nother level of bad.  It is AMAZINGLY bad!  Nothing in this movie makes any sense whatsoever!  NONE!

The credits will tell you that this was directed by Clyde Anderson, but that’s a damn lie.  The man behind this pile is Claudio Fragasso.  He is the man who wrote and directed Troll 2, a movie so bad they had to make a documentary about it.  This guy is the Sultan of Suck.  He is the Pope of Putrescence.  And Z4: After Death is worthy of him in every way.

The zombies!  They all seem to be just a little over five feet tall.  This is never really explained, but I think they were probably all jockeys.  They may have also been ballerinas, which would explain their graceful leaping abilities.  Seriously, it’s like watching Ice Dancing of the Living Dead Jockeys, only without the skates.  They’re also really good at synchronized window and wall smashing and masters of leaping out of nowhere in small rooms where they could not have possibly been hiding.

Oh, and the song!  Al Festa’s song, Living After Death, epitomizes every cheesy metal song in every movie from the late ’80s.  Not only does it play over the opening credits, but when you first meet the mercenaries, they’re listening to it on the radio.  It rocks so hard that I started getting excited near the end of the movie, because I knew they would play it again.

The end!  This a spoiler, but I really don’t think that matters with a movie like this.  JEFF STRYKER GETS FIST FUCKED IN THE TORSO BY A ZOMBIE!  Really.  That fist just keeps pumping in and out, with an occasional little twist, through a hole punched into his back and out of his belly.  And this just goes on and on while he makes an O-face and the girl who ran across the ocean plucks out her own eye and peels the skin off of her zombifying face.  None of this makes any sense at all, but who cares, because as soon as it’s done, YOU WILL BE ROCKED RIGHT DOWN TO YOUR CORE BY AL FESTA!  Not only do they play Living After Death over the end credits, as I knew they would, but the song rocks so hard that they let it keep playing over an empty black screen after the credits have finished.  FUCK YEAH!

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bill just farted

13.  Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988)

Trioxin zombies in a small town, eating braaaains!

Return of the Living Dead is one of my favorite movies ever, but I actually saw RotLD Part II first.  While now, I watch it and laugh at the humor, when I was watching it by myself one night, 12 or 13 years-old, it scared the hell out of me.  My house at the time had windows that would rattle whenever there was a strong wind.  As I was watching, the window began to rattle and I could almost swear that there was a silhouette of a person out there, beyond the blinds and I knew, it was a zombie trying to get in.  To this day, even as an adult, whenever a window rattles, I flash back to that moment and imagine rotting hands smacking against the panes of glass, trying to get in and eat me.

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reports that the virus was caused by rage infected monkeys have now been dismissed as complete bullshit


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14.  28 Days Later (2002)

Rage-infected zombies in an emptied-out Great Britain, killing anyone unfortunate enough to catch their attention.

This movie is so great.  Sometimes I forget how great it is, until I watch it again.  I could easily name off 50 zombie movies from memory and maybe as many as 100 or more, but I can only think of two that have made me cry.  28 Days Later is one of those.  Everything about the movie (except for the lame Rage explanation) is perfect.  Love the music and the way it slowly builds through the climax until it’s almost maddeningly intense.

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panic in the streets of london

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15.  28 Weeks Later (2007)

More rage zombies in infected Britain, killing the people resettling the island.  Yes, it’s an island.  That’s five different islands and six movies so far with zombie-plagued islands.  How many more are there?  Zombie, Zombie Island Massacre, Survival of the Dead, House of the Dead, etc…  Why does anyone ever think that going to an island would be a good way to escape zombies?

Jeremy Renner before he made it big!  Not as good as 28 Days Later, but still really good.  Great cast, great music.  Very depressing.  100% less Cillian Murphy penis.

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we're the only ones who've watched the damn thing anyways

16. The Signal (2007)

People infected with a madness, akin to 28 Days/Weeks Later infected, only with more mental ability, run all over a city killing the uninfected and each other.

Neat idea.  Three different men each direct one-third of the movie, with each segment labeled as Transmission #1, 2 and 3.  It makes for some strange tonal shifts in the flick.  The first third is somewhat disturbing and played very straight.  Scary stuff.  The second takes a more comedic angle and had me laughing pretty hard.  Then the final segment takes the movie back to the more serious, though not as suspenseful, territory of the first.

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nothing at the movie show when you're dead

17.  Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Trioxin zombies on the loose in Louisville, Kentucky, eating the brains out of punks and paramedics and anyone else they can get their teeth into.

One of my top 5 most watched movies ever.  Infinitely quotable.  Tarman and the “Pain of being dead” zombie are amazing!  Trash, I love you, codpiece and all.

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I was aiming for twenty movies, but I fell a little short.  I did watch the beginnings of Zombie Strippers, Don’t Wake the Dead and Burial Ground, but since I fell asleep during all three, it would be dishonest to include them and claim the full twenty. But, if you look at some of the movies I had no trouble staying awake for, that may tell you a little bit about how bad these three are.

The zombie walk, like the five previous walks, was a great success and a helluva good time.  A few hundred or so people turned out, massive amounts of food were gathered and the world was made a better place.  The streets were clogged with the rotting hordes and cars were attacked, civilians eaten and at least one dog was lightly sampled by the dead.  Mmmm… tasty!  I can’t wait to do it all again next year.  But for now, bring on the candy corn, because it’s Halloween time.  Silver Shamrock, bitches!