action, horror, movie, movie review, The Asylum, zombie movie

July 5th, 2018 Movie – Zoombies

zoombies

Well folks, this is it. I have reached the last movie in my collection….well, as of January 2018. I still have a couple of movies I picked up this year but we will get to that later. Right now, I want to take a moment and think back on this. I started this little project of mine January 1st, 2014, mainly to check and see if any of my movies were messed up and needed to be replaced (side note, 6 movies in total needed to be replaced, 5 of which still in need of that). The whole blog idea came about as a joke 6 months later but it has kind of taken on a life of it’s own since then. Now I find it somewhat fitting that the last movie on the list comes from one of my favorite studios, The Asylum, as it means the list ends on a high note. Now when I first heard about this movie, I thought the idea was fantastic and couldn’t wait to pick this movie up on DVD. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Zoombies.

The plot: At the Eden Wildlife Zoo, which primarily contains endangered species, one of the security guards, Monte, brings in cages full of monkeys into the veterinarian’s clinic as a precaution, while the vets work on trying to figure out what is wrong with a monkey named Sandy, as she is suffering from some strange virus. When Sandy flat-lines, the head vet, Dr. Gordon, decides to inject her with some intracardiac epinephrine, overruling his assistant’s (Robin) objections about it being illegal. After injecting Sandy, they notice all of the other monkey’s acting strangely and, along with Monte, lift the covers to check on them. Suddenly, they hear a sound and when the turn around, they find Sandy is moving again and quickly leaps off the table. As they go looking for her, Sandy knocks a cabinet over onto Monte, killing him, then leaps at Robin when she tries to run, ripping out her eyes, before attacking Dr. Gordon. Meanwhile, Dr. Ellen Rogers, the zoo’s owner, is giving a tour of the zoo to a group of college interns (Amber, Ricky, A.J., Gage, Robbie and Kyle), taking their phones from them when Amber is talking on hers trying to get someone to get her out of the program. Ricky is dropped off with Chelsea, who manages the bird aviary, and as Amber, Kyle, and Robbie are dropped off at the African animal area, it is revealed that the reason Amber is there is because her grandmother is one of the zoo’s largest donors and this was her community service work for being on probation. Ellen’s daughter Thea, who was in the bus with them, says she wants to see Kifa, the zoo’s Cross River gorilla, and when they head over, Thea calls out to Kifa, who comes running out of her cave to see Thea. As A.J. watches in amazement at Kifa and Thea’s interaction, Kifa’s handler Daxton explains that Kifa and Thea practically grew up together and are best friends, then takes A.J. with him while Ellen, Thea, and Gage leave. Meanwhile, Dr. Gordon is still alive and manages to press the alarm button so Rex, the head of security, sends one of the guards, Johnny, to see what is going on. When Ellen, Thea, and Gage return to the main building, Ellen leaves Thea in her old workroom/playroom, then takes Gage to introduce him to Rex and the other two guards. As she goes to meet Leslie “Lizzy” Hogan, the new security guard hire, they get word that they lost contact with Johnny and so Rex, Lizzy, and the two other guards, Boris and Ty, head out to see what’s wrong, taking Gage with them. When they get to the clinic, they turn off the alarm and go looking for Dr. Gordon, finding him severely injured in the lab. After managing to get into the lab, they ask what happened and he starts to tell them before he suddenly starts convulsing and a monkey burst out of his chest. As the other monkeys, which are now infected, suddenly appear, they attack and kill Boris and Ty, then attack Rex. Lizzy is able to help him and they manage to kill some of them but three monkeys manage to escape. Rex contacts Ellen and tells her what is going on and she proceeds to place the zoo on lockdown while contacting the police for help. As the alarm sounds through the zoo, Chelsea and Ricky lock up the aviary, while A.J. and Daxton lock themselves in the lab next to Kifa’s enclosure. Amber, Kyle, and Robbie hear the alarm and their boss, Gus, sees the monkeys leaping through the trees and tells them to run as he gets attacked. The three interns take shelter in a t-shirt kiosk but when the warthogs, now infected, begin attacking the booth, they quickly climb up through the roof and into the trees. They are soon attacked by some infected giraffes and Kyle and Robbie are killed but Rex, Lizzy, and Gage arrive and manage to save Amber. As Rex and Lizzy argue about the aviary, as Lizzy says if any of them gets infected it and escape it would be disastrous, Amber tries to convince Gage to leave with her. When another giraffe attacks Gage, Lizzy and Rex go to help him and Amber decides to take their jeep and try to leave on her own. As the three try to figure out what they should do next, they see some elephants approaching them and Gage theorizes that they haven’t been infected, as they have no natural predators, and they can ride on them and stay safe. Meanwhile, Ellen is in contact with the police, who sends a S.W.A.T. team in to assess the situation but the team encounters some infected lions and is killed. Amber reaches the front gate and after finding it locked, she notices the camera and starts waving at it to get someone’s attention. Ellen sees her and asks where the others are but Amber yells at her to open the gate. Ellen says she can’t do that, as it would release the animals, and as Amber argues with her, Ellen notices  the lions approaching Amber and tries to warn her but Amber ignores her and tries to climb the gate but the lions attack her. As Ellen watches in horror, she notices a sensor saying that an animal is in the watchtower, just as she realizes Thea isn’t with her. Thea is back in the playroom and as she approaches the stuffed koala, she realizes it is a real one when it tries to bite her and when Ellen manages to enter the room, she finds that Thea killed it with a baseball bat. Back in the park, the elephants get spooked by a bunch of infected lemurs in the trees, knocking Rex and the others off of them and accidentally stepping on Rex’s leg, breaking it. As the lemurs start to attack them, they are rescued by Daxton and A.J., who take them back to the lab. As they discuss the situation, Lizzy notices animals approaching the gorilla compound and Daxton runs out to protect Kifa, only to discover that Kifa has become infected. Kifa attacks Daxton, throwing him through the door to the lab and kills him, then begins hunting the others. Rex tells Lizzy to make sure none of the animals, especially the birds in the aviary, escape the zoo, then grabs a machete and stabs Kifa, buying the others time to escape. Kifa kills Rex, then chases after the others, who climb up the rocks of her enclosure then drop a boulder to stop her before they escape. Trying to figure out their next move, they see the jeep driving by and go rushing to it only to find fatally wounded Amber behind the wheel. Amber ends up dying and Lizzy uses the radio to contact Ellen and tell her what is going on. Ellen tells her that she will get Chelsea and Ricky out of the aviary and tells them to meet back at the watchtower. When the lions appear and start feeding on Amber, Lizzy, Gage, and A.J. get in the jeep and drive off, killing some of the lions that chase after them but they end up wrecking the jeep in the process. Hearing some animals moving down the path, Gage leads them towards the ziplines, and they use them to get to the watchtower but the cable snap as they get close and A.J. ends up falling to his death while Lizzy grabs onto Gage, and they then make it to the watchtower. Ellen lets them inside and as they make plans to head to the aviary, they arm themselves with weapons from the security room, as well as grabbing all of the gasoline and fuel they can carry in order to destroy the aviary. When they get there, Lizzy and Gage head inside to find Ricky and Chelsea only to find that they have been attacked by the birds, who are infected. The two begin shooting at the birds when they start attacking them while outside, Ellen notices some of the birds trying to peck through the glass and starts pouring gas around the aviary in order to set it on fire. Lighting the fuel on fire, the fire starts to engulf the aviary but she realizes it won’t kill the birds before they escape. Gage and Lizzy manage to make it out and Lizzy has Ellen move the truck next to the aviary, then uses a flare to ignite the remaining fuel in the truck, causing it to explode and take the aviary with it. As they watch the birds die in flames, they are surprised to see Kifa approach them and they quickly run for the gate. They try to climb the gate but Kifa attacks them and Ellen is forced to shoot him in the head. A helicopter picks them up and takes them to safety but back in the zoo, it is shown that Kifa was not killed and regains consciousness.

This was an entertaining movie but I will admit that I was a little disappointed in some of the effects. The acting was ok, with Andrew Asper (Gage) doing a good job as the surprising male lead while Ione Butler (Lizzy) and Kim Nielsen (Ellen) did good jobs as the female leads. The story was interesting and I liked the idea of the virus turning the animals into zombies, somewhat, but, and I know this is odd coming from me, but I wish they did at least attempt to explain how the virus first started and not just jump into “sick monkey attacks people” part. One scene that I did find funny/plot problem was at the end in the aviary. When Gage and Lizzy were firing on the birds, the shots that missed could have easily broken the glass and allowed the birds to escape but of course, that magically doesn’t happen. The special effects were honestly a little weak, particularly some of the green screen aspects of the movie. One thing I thought was pretty annoying was that after Kifa was infected, they would keep switching back and forth between the infected face and the pre-infected face, even when he was chasing after people. The back and forth with the face really bugged me more than anything else in the movie. Kifa and the special effects aside, this was still a fun movie to watch and another solid entry from The Asylum.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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adventure, fantasy, horror, movie, movie review, zombie movie

July 4th, 2018 Movie – Zombies Of Mora Tau

zombies of maru tau

It’s always interesting to see a pre Night Of The Living Dead zombie movie, as they way zombies were depicted was totally different. While I have seen several of them, this is the only one of those movies I own. The reason for my owning this is because it was a box set of some movies I purchased for the sole reason of it containing The Giant Claw. Now, I have never seen this movie so it should make for an interesting watch. The only thing I know is that there won’t be any flesh eating in this movie. So let’s see what we have with today’s movie, Zombies Of Mora Tau.

The plot: Jan Peters is being driven to her grandmother’s home on the coast of Africa and as she is talking to the driver, Sam, a man appears in the road ahead of them. Sam runs the man over and Jan yells at him to stop but he tells her that it wasn’t a man in the road, it was one of “them”. When they arrive at her grandmother’s house, Jan tells her grandmother what she saw but after Sam explains what happened, her grandmother tells Sam to help Jan take her things to her room. Meanwhile, on a steamer ship off the coast, Captain George Harrison, his wife Mona, Dr. Jonathan Eggert, and diver Jeff Clark are sharing a drink with George toasting to the hopefully successful recovery of $1 million in diamonds. As Jeff and George leave the cabin, one of the crew is getting the landing boat ready when a figure swims up and drags him into the water. George fires into the water, claiming to have hit the man, but Jeff says he could have hit his crewman. When they pull the crewman onto the boat, they discover that his neck has been broken and wonder who the person was that killed him. Back at her grandmother’s house, Jan is putting her things away when she looks out the window and sees her grandmother by the water’s edge, directing a man into the water. Jan heads outside to ask her grandmother what is going on when Jeff, George, Mona, and Jonathan arrive in the landing boat. Grandmother Peters introduces them to Jan and says that she was expecting them, figuring they were their fro the diamonds. When George confirms this, she shows them the graves of the other expeditions that had attempted to reclaim the diamonds over the years and warns them away from it. When Mona falls into an open grave and tells George that she wants to leave, Grandmother Peters offers to put them up for the night. As George and Jeff discuss where they should begin their search, Jonathan talks with Grandmother Peters, explaining that George is after the diamonds but he is after the historical knowledge that can be found from the sunken ship. She tells him how her husband was part of the crew that found the chest of diamonds 60 years ago when 10 men, including her husband, disappeared. The next night, the 10 men returned and killed everyone on the ship and scuttled it, and now continue to guard the cursed diamonds. When Jonathan asks why she is there, she explains that she had come there hoping to find a way to break the curse and send her husband to his eternal rest. Suddenly, Mona and Jan begin screaming as a zombie is in their room and approaching them. Jeff tries to stop it but is easily thrown aside and George prepares to shoot it but Grandmother Peters pushes his gun down and uses a torch to force the zombie outside, explaining that fire is the only thing that scares them. Mona wants to leave but George refuses, saying that he came for the diamonds and refuses to leave without them. Later, Jan is arguing with her grandmother about her knowing about the dangers but Grandmother Peters says she knows what she is doing as she wants them to find the diamonds and hopefully break the curse. Jan heads outside and, seeing Jeff standing by the landing boat, goes over to talk to him. After talking for a while, she tells him about her experience earlier and wants to go find out what happened to the man they hit so Jeff agrees to go with her. After driving to the spot where Sam had hit the zombie, they find the evidence of someone walking away from there and Jeff goes to get something to mark the spot, saying they will come back in the morning with some more men to look further. As he goes to the car, the zombie grabs Jan and carries her into the jungle and Jeff, hearing her scream, goes off looking for her. He catches up to the zombie and attempts to stab him with a knife but it has no effect and the zombie knocks him aside and continues carrying Jan away. The zombie heads into a graveyard and carries Jan into a mausoleum, where the other 9 zombies are also resting and they all move towards Jan but Jeff shows up and uses a flare gun to keep the zombies at bay so they can escape. The next day, Jeff is relaying what happened to George, Mona, and Jonathan as they are eating breakfast and he wants to go ahead and cancel the dive but George convinces him to go through with it. They head back to the ship and Jeff dives down to search for the ship. When he finds it, he starts going to investigate when he is attacked by a zombie, who disconnects his air hose during their struggle. When they lose contact with him, George orders them to winch Jeff back to the surface and as he clears the water, he is finally able to knock the zombie from him, who swims back down to the ship. Jeff loses consciousness and George and the others take him back to the house, where Grandmother Peters explains that the nearest doctor is a 5 hour drive. As Jan looks over him, Jeff regains consciousness and starts talking to her when Mona enters, upset that Jan didn’t tell them he was awake. As Jan starts arguing with Mona, George enters the room, angry to find Mona there, and ends up slapping her out of jealousy. Mona runs off but ends up being grabbed by the zombies and taken away. When the others realize she is gone, Jeff figures that the zombies must have taken her to the mausoleum and leads George, Jonathan, and some men there. When they get there, they see Mona lying on the floor with the zombies around her and Jeff fires a flare to frighten the zombies back. George goes to get Mona but says she is dead when she suddenly sits up. He leads her out of there and the pour some gasoline at the entrance to the mausoleum and Jeff lights it on fire with a flare, keeping the zombies trapped inside. They head back to the house and when they get there, Jan remarks about Mona’s hands feeling cold but Jonathan tries to come up with an excuse for it. When they head inside, Grandmother Peters says that Mona is dead but George refuses to believe it and asks Jan to help him take her to their room. After watching over Mona for a while, George leaves the room and goes to talk with Jeff. While he is gone, Mona gets up, grabs a knife and heads to the bedroom where two of the crew are resting. She kills one of them as the other man cries for help, and George and Jeff rush in and try to stop her. Jan and Grandmother Peters enter the room and and light some candles, then help them guide Mona back to her room, using candles to keep her there. The next day, Jeff and George come up with a plan to get the diamonds, using their cutting torches to keep the zombies at bay underwater. Jeff heads inside the shi, with George keeping watch outside. As Jeff works on cutting into the chest holding the diamonds, the zombies approach the ship but George is able to hold them at bay. Jeff manages to get the diamonds but George is getting overwhelmed and yells for the ship to pull him to safety. They lover the divers stand for him and bring him up, using a flare to scare the zombies away from him. They lower the cage for Jeff and bring him up but the zombies begin making their way onto the ship. Telling Jonathan to take the diamonds and head into the cabin, Jeff and the rest of the crew use torches to try and scare off the zombies but they keep coming towards them. Some of the crew dive overboard and swim away while Jeff and another crewman head into the cabin. Since George is injured, Jeff plans on taking the diamonds and luring the others away from the ship so they can get away and he will rejoin them later but George refuses to let him take the diamonds, thinking he is only going to take them for himself. Jeff knocks George out, grabs the chest, and heads to the launch so he can go to shore but George, recovering from the blow, orders the remaining crew to follow him. Jan meets Jeff at the shore and he takes her inside, where Grandmother Peters says she knew he would succeed. Jeff manages to get the chest open and they quickly work on placing the diamonds into a sack. Outside, George, Jonathan, and two crewmen show up and George tells the crewmen to get the launch ready while he and Jonathan head inside the house. Entering Grandmother Peters’s room, George demands that Jeff hand over the chest and when he does so, he goes to leave with Mona but as they start to get on the boat, Mona kills him and grabs the chest, carrying it away as she leaves with the other zombies. Jeff wants to take the diamonds and leave with Jan but Grandmother Peters says the diamonds must be destroyed or cast to the sea so that the zombies can be at peace. Jeff refuses to believe her and, not wanting to leave either of them there with the zombies, takes them with him. They get to the launch and he plans on selling the diamonds in New York, saying they will be scattered that way but Grandmother Peters says it won’t work. Jeff tells Jan that he wants her to marry him but when she refuses to leave Grandmother Peters, he reluctantly hands her the diamonds. Grandmother Peters proceeds to dump the diamonds overboard and the zombies vanish. Jeff sadly says he will probably never be rich now but Jan smiles and kisses him as they embrace.

To be honest, this was a pretty boring movie. The acting was ok but nobody really stood out. I know that he was supposed to be the “hero” in this movie but I honestly couldn’t find it in myself to really care about Gregg Palmer’s character, Jeff. Actually, I found myself not really caring about any of the characters as they felt too generic and had no real personality among them, even George and his greed. The story was interesting and I liked the idea of the zombies guarding the cursed diamonds but I felt like there could have been a better way of breaking the curse. I mean, obviously they couldn’t destroy the diamonds but scattering them at sea is just boring. Then we get to the end and Grandmother Peters simply dumps them out, fairly close to shore, and that supposedly stops the curse, which makes no since as someone could easily dive down and grab them. The effects were ok for the time but the pacing for everything was soo slow that you could fall asleep waiting for something to happen. If you need something to help you fall asleep, this is the perfect thing to use but I wouldn’t recommend watching it for anything else.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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adventure, comedy, horror, movie, movie review, zombie movie

July 3rd, 2018 Movie – Zombieland

zombieland

You ever find yourself watching a TV show or movie and have a “what if” moment regarding it? That is kind of what happens every time I watch today’s movie. See, this movie had originally been written as a TV series so every time I watch it I wonder what it would have been like as a TV show. Would it be a group of people going from city to city, having crazy adventures, or would each episode focus on a different person and what they would do. Unfortunately, we will never know as the TV pilot never came about and was instead, rewritten into today’s movie. Still, I won’t complain because zombie movies will always be entertaining. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Zombieland.

The plot: Two months ago, someone ate a burger infected with a mutated strain of mad cow’s disease, with the end result being that the person became a zombie. The virus quickly spread until there are very few people left alive in the country. A college student from Austin, TX is making his way towards Columbus, OH to see if his parents are still alive but as he stops at a gas station to use the restroom, he is attacked by some zombies. He manages to get away from them and back in his car but a zombie is in the back seat and tries to bite him and the student ends up crashing his car in an attempt to kill it. As he is walking along the highway, he sees a car speeding towards him and takes cover as it stops close to him. When the driver gets out and points his gun at the student, a brief stand off occurs before the student holds his thumb out and the driver motions him to get in the car. As the student gets in the car, he thanks the driver and asks his name but the driver chooses not to get too attached to other people. Deciding to refer to each other by their destinations, the student, Columbus, and the driver, Tallahassee, head out, with Tallahassee saying he will take him as far as Texarkana, stopping to look for Twinkies any chance he gets. While taking a break, Columbus thinks back to how he wound up in his current situation. A few days ago, he was at his apartment playing World of Warcraft when the girl from apartment 406 starts pounding on his door, asking for help. He lets her in and she starts telling him about how she was attacked by a homeless person but managed to get away. 406 ends up falling asleep on the couch next to him and he falls asleep as well but when he wakes up, he finds that she has turned and attempts to kill him but he is forced to kill her. Back in the present, Tallahassee stops at a grocery store to go looking for Twinkies and after killing the zombies inside, they encounter a young woman, who asks them to come with her. As Tallahassee follows her to the back, Columbus stops to make sure they have a way out, then follows after them. In the back, Tallahassee introduces him to the woman, Wichita, and her younger sister Little Rock. Wichita says that her sister was bitten and as they discuss what to do, Little Rock says that they should just shoot her. Columbus can’t do it so Tallahassee goes to do it but Wichita tells him to let her do it but when he hands her Columbus’s gun, she turns it on him, revealing that they were pulling a con on them. The girls take their weapons and Tallahassee’s Escalade and drive off, leaving Columbus and Tallahassee to fend for themselves. As the two walk through the town, they find an Hummer H2 with a bag full of weapons in the back and Tallahassee decides to go after the girls. They spot the Escalade seemingly abandoned and Tallahassee goes ahead to check it out but when he signals Columbus to join him, he discovers that Little Rock had surprised him. Wichita joins them in the H2 and they start driving when Tallahassee gets his gun back form Little Rock. A stand off occurs but Columbus breaks it up, saying that they have better things to do than try to kill each other with zombies all around them and Tallahassee and Wichita call a truce. As they continue driving along, Columbus finds himself attracted to Wichita and asks where they are going. Wichita tells him they are heading to Pacific Playland in Los Angeles. When he asks if she has heard anything about Columbus, Wichita tells him that Columbus is wiped out and Tallahassee motions to her and she realizes that his family was there and she apologizes. They keep driving and start bonding with each other and end up letting off some steam by destroying a gift shop at an Arizona rest stop. When they reach Los Angeles, Tallahassee decides that they should crash at Bill Murray’s mansion and they head there. As they split up to search the place, Tallahassee and Wichita encounter Bill Murray, who is disguised as a zombie so he can wander around town without being attacked. After hanging out with Bill Murray for a bit, they decide to have him play a joke on Columbus and Little Rock, who had found Bill’s theater room and were watching Ghostbusters. Bill walks in, pretending to be a zombie, and Columbus shoots him, then apologizes when he realizes that Bill wasn’t a zombie. After holding a funeral for Bill Murray, the 4 settle in for the night playing games. As they are playing, they are talking about everything and Columbus realizes that the puppy Tallahassee had said the zombies killed was actually his son. Later in the night, Tallahassee starts bonding with Little Rock while teaching her how to shoot and Columbus and Wichita end up drinking and talking together. When Wichita asks Columbus to dance with her and, starting to feel attracted to him, she is about to kiss him when Tallahassee interrupts them. Chastising herself for allowing herself to get close to him, Wichita decides to leave with Little Rock in the morning and head to Pacific Playland. When they get there, Wichita turns on all of the power for the lights and rides so they can enjoy themselves but they unknowingly attract all of the zombies in the area. Meanwhile, Columbus wants to go after Wichita and convinces Tallahassee, who wants to go to Mexico, to go with him. At the amusement park, Wichita and Little Rock see the horde of zombies approaching them and attempt to escape but when the zombies swarm the H2, they are forced to drive it off the pier and into the ocean, jumping out before it hits. The two make their way to the drop tower ride and take the lift up but as it starts to drop down, Little Rock shoots the control box so that they can stay out of the zombie’s reach. Tallahassee and Columbus arrive and when they see the girls’ predicament, Tallahassee causes a distraction to lure the zombies away, using the rides to help him as he kills zombies. He eventually heads into a shooting gallery and, after sealing it off, begins killing all of the zombies as they swarm the structure. Columbus is chased by some of the stragglers and heads into the haunted house, killing some of them inside while another ride takes out the rest. When he reaches the drop tower, he comes face to face with a clown zombie, forcing him to confront his fear of clowns in order to save them. After killing the clown zombie, Columbus uses the emergency brake to bring the lift down and he helps them out of the ride. Wichita hugs him and then whispers her real name, Krista, in his ear and the two kiss. The three then go looking for Tallahassee and Columbus finds him in a shop that sells deep fried Twinkies looking for the pastry. When Columbus hears a noise coming from the storage room, he fires into it only to discover it was some rats moving around and his shot had destroyed the box of Twinkies. Hearing their car starting up, the two run outside to see it starting to drive away and they think that the girls conned them again, but the car stops and Little Rock throws a Twinkie to Tallahassee, who happily eats it and the group leave the amusement park.

Zombieland met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Wickedly funny and featuring plenty of gore, Zombieland is proof that the zombie subgenre is far from dead.” As of 2017, all 4 lead actors have been nominated for Academy Awards in other movies, with Emma Stone being the only one to win an Oscar for her performance in La La Land. The movie was a success at the box office, earning $102.4 million off of a $23.6 million budget and was the top grossing zombie movie in the U.S. until World War Z came out. Due to the movie’s success, a sequel had been considered for years and the writers confirmed in 2017 that the script is finished and they are shooting for a tentative release date of October 2019, with all 4 main cast members returning for the sequel.

This is a fantastic movie and a lot of fun to watch. The acting was great, with Woody Harrelson stealing the show as Tallahassee. Jesse Eisenberg (Columbus), Emma Stone (Wichita), and Abigail Breslin (Little Rock) were also good in their roles and the chemistry between all 4 of them really helped get you invested in their characters. I loved the Bill Murray cameo and thought that it was a great interlude from the rest of the movie. The story was pretty good and one thing I did like as they didn’t focus on how the zombies came about, just dove right into the fact that zombies were around and took it from there (yes, they did say what caused the zombies but it wasn’t a major plot issue). I did like how Columbus’s rules would pop up every now and then throughout the movie, as well as the “Zombie Kill of the Week”, which was something from the original TV show script but carried over into the movie. The special effects with the zombies were pretty good while the humor was spaced out really well, not being continuous like in Shaun Of The Dead, but keeping things light-hearted enough so that it wasn’t a total horror movie. Definitely a great movie and one well worth seeing.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi, zombie movie

July 2nd, 2018 Movie – Zombie Strippers

zombie strippers

Sometimes, you hear the title of a movie, and who is starring in it, and you just know that it is going to be a train wreck. Take today’s movie for instance. When I first heard about this movie, and that Robert Englund was starring in it, my initial thought was that this would be an interesting movie to watch. Then I heard that Jenna Jameson was also starring in it. Well, that right there just put it into a whole different category. I know that I am being somewhat judgmental on Jenna Jameson’s acting ability but let’s face it, her acting was is not what she is famous for. Anyways, when this movie came out on DVD, I just had to pick up a copy so let’s see just what we have in store with today’s movie, Zombie Strippers.

The plot: In an alternate reality, President George Bush has been elected to a 4th term in office and abolished Congress because they were “cramping his style”. The United States military is stretched thin due to the continuing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Venezuela, France, Canada, and Alaska. Due to the shortage of soldiers, a secret laboratory, run by Dr. Crushfield, is working on a virus to try and reanimate the dead so they can send soldiers back into battle. However, when their test subjects don’t turn out like they wanted, a team of marines, led by Major Camus,  is sent in to deal with the zombies. Crushfield and his partner, Dr. Genet, explain what they were trying to do and tells them that destroying the brain will them for good, while an EMP blast will stun them. The marines head out, killing some zombies while maneuvering the majority of them into a trap so they can blast them all with their EMP guns. As Pvt. Byrdflough (pronounced “Bird Flu”) checks on one of the zombies, they all start moving again and the marines begin shooting at them but Byrdflough, who was bitten by a zombie, hides the bite from his team and escapes the lab as they finish killing the rest of the zombies. Trying to find a place to hide, he ends up at Rhino, an underground strip-club as a Congress had made public nudity illegal before being abolished. As the various dancers go on stage, a new girl named Jessy shows up to start work and as she is about to go on stage, she is confronted by her boyfriend Davis, who is uncomfortable with her doing this. Jessy goes on stage and starts to do her routine but chickens out and rushes off stage. Back in the dressing room, Ian Essko, the club’s owner, chastises Jessy and wants her to go back out there but Kat, his star performer, says she will go on in her place. As Kat begins her routine, Byrdflough, who has turned into a zombie, jumps onstage and attacks her, ripping her throat. As Essko yells at his DJ Cole and janitor Paco to throw Byrdflough in the basement, then the three gather with Madame Blavatski, the girl’s trainer/coordinator, to figure out what they are going to do about Kat’s body when she suddenly stands up and heads backstage. The other strippers are surprised to see her there but Kat seems perfectly fine, as the virus that creates zombies allowed women to maintain more of their identity than when men were infected. When Kat goes on stage, the crowd seems to enjoy it even more than usual, throwing more money on the stage. Kat takes one of the men back for a private lap dance but when they are alone, she proceeds to rip him apart and eat him. Essko, Cole, Paco, and Blavatski witness the aftermath and Essko tells them to clean the mess up but a few minutes later, the go to his office and show him the dead man’s head, which is still moving. Lilith, a goth dancer with a death fetish, asks Kat to turn her and she heads out on stage to dance before grabbing a guy of her own and killing him, and Essko and the others place the dead man in a cage in the basement. The next day, the club has more customers and Kat and Lilith are becoming huge hits so Sox asks Kat to turn her as well. The three zombie strippers become the most popular dancers on the stage and Essko is content to let them continue killing some of the customers, placing the bodies in the cage in the basement, as he is making more money than ever. Jeannie, Kat’s biggest rival, is tired of being upstaged by Kat so she decides to become a zombie herself, heading down to the basement where Byrdflough is still being kept and letting him bite her. Her sycophant, Gaia, chickens out and runs back to the dressing room but later decides to go through with it and heads down to the basement. When she doesn’t see Jeannie or Byrdflough anywhere, she heads over to the cage and allows the caged zombies to bite her. On stage, a now zombified Jeannie heads out on stage and begins to fight with Kat, with the crowd cheering them on. In the basement, Gaia reanimates and proceeds to let the other zombies out of their cage. Essko sees this and decides to lock the doors so nobody can escape, hoping to contain the problem so he doesn’t get in trouble. As the zombies begin attacking the customers, Cole, Blavatski, Paco, Jessy, Davis, and Berenge (another stripper), take refuge in Essko’s office. Deciding to kill the zombies, they arm themselves with some of Essko’s guns and begin firing at the zombies but don’t manage to kill any of them. As the zombies begin swarming them, Jessy and Davis run and take shelter in the basement while Berenge locks herself in Kat’s private dressing room. Paco locks himself in the janitor’s closet but then tries making one final stand before he gets ripped to shreds. Essko, Cole, and Blavatski head back to Essko’s office but when Blavatski lets Gaia and some other zombies in, both her and Cole are killed. Gaia heads towards Essko but before he can, two of Camus’s marines rescue him. Back on stage, Jeannie rips the flesh from her limbs and prepares to finish her off but the marines kill Kat, then Camus kills Jeannie. As the marines finish killing the zombies, Essko is confronted by Lilith and Sox, who perform a sex act on him, then Essko is captured, as he is mistakenly believed to be a zombie. Jessy and Davis are rescued, while Berenge is mistaken for a zombie and killed, and as they are about to leave, Camus finds Crushfield had been at the strip club. Camus confronts Crushfield, who admits that he let the virus out on purpose, as it was hoped a zombie outbreak would distract the American population from realizing how badly the government was screwing up the war efforts and economy. As a clean up crew arrives, Camus and his team leave, as do Jessy and Davis, and as he goes to leave, Crushfield notices a trashbag moving and goes to open it, and as the screen fades to black, you hear him being bitten by the zombie head that was inside.

Zombie Strippers received mostly negative reviews from the critics, holding a 40% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Though intentionally campy, Zombie Strippers suffers from poor execution, and never rises above its silly premise.” The movie was allegedly inspired by Eugene Ionesco’s play “Rhinoceros”, and Robert Englund’s character and the name of the club as a nod to that source. The movie had a $1 million budget but it wound up coming in under budget.

This was about as ridiculous of a movie as you could expect to find and wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The acting from some of the characters was ok, and completely over the top with some others. I thought Robert Englund (Essko) was pretty decent and Jenna Jameson (Kat) was surprisingly decent as well, but all of the marines were over exaggerated. The story was interesting but honestly felt like a bunch of stuff kind of got thrown in there just to see if it would work. The make-up for the zombies was pretty decent and I liked some of the effects but there were some times they went overboard. For instance, the zombie stripper fight between Kat and Jeannie was pretty ridiculous, especially when Kat started using the ping pong balls and billiard balls (yes, she did use them they way you are thinking she did). It’s some ridiculous fun but not worth a watch if you are looking for a new zombie movie to laugh at.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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action, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi, zombie movie

July 1st, 2018 Movie – Zombi 3

zombi 3

About the same time that I picked up Zombi 2, I noticed a sequel to it and decided to pick that movie up as well. Turns out that, while it did have the same director, today’s movie was a sequel in name only. To be honest, it didn’t really matter as I was in a zombie mood and another new zombie movie was just what the doctor ordered. So I picked it up and watched it and my opinion of Italian horror movies pretty much increased in terms of their desire to add more gore to their horror movies. So let’s get ready for some more zombie goodness with today’s movie, Zombi 3.

The plot: In a government lab on an island, Dr. Alan Holder and his assistant Norma are working on a virus called Death One, in the hopes that it will revive the dead. Though the tests on animals were successful, when he tests it on a human corpse, it reacts violently and ends up disfiguring the corpse and turning it into a zombie. Dr. Holder reports to his superiors the failure and resigns from the project and the military arrives to take the remaining samples of the serum to another facility. As the helicopter arrives to pick up the serum, Holder and Norma, accompanied by an armed security escort, head outside to meet it. Suddenly, a van pulls up and three armed men begin shooting at the guards. The guards, as well as the co-pilot for the helicopter, fire back and manage to kill two of the thieves before they are killed but the third crook manages to grab the case and run off as more guards appear. Holder tells the guards to catch the man, as he stole top secret research, and the head off after him, with one guard climbing into the helicopter as it takes off. The helicopter spots the man and the guard opens fire on him, eventually shooting the case out of his hand, and unknowingly breaking the canisters inside. As the crook goes to pick it up, his hand is burned by the contents of the case and he screams before leaving the area. Making his way through the jungle, he comes to a resort and quickly gets a room so he can rest. Meanwhile, Holder is talking with his staff at the facility when General Morton and his aides, Sgts. Tracey and Cheney, enter the room and ask to speak with him and Norma. As the rest of the scientists leave, Morton tells Holder that they found the case but the vial was broken and the contents got out. Holder isn’t worried, as the compound would be rendered inert within 30 seconds after exposure to oxygen but when Morton tells him that the crook was most likely contaminated, as they found blood at the scene, Holder tells him he must find and contain him before he spreads the contagion. At the resort, a bellhop brings some water to the crook’s room but when he get’s no response, he leaves and runs into a maid, causing him to drop the water glass and he cuts his finger on the glass as he picks it up. Inside the room’s bathroom, the crook is becoming even more infected from his contact with the contagion and he cuts off his hand to try and stop the infection’s spread. When a maid comes in to change the sheets, she hears a moan from the bathroom and heads inside and finds the severed hand, just before the crook, now a zombie, kills her. The military, wearing hazmat suits, arrive at the resort and hold everyone at bay, not noticing the bellhop holding his hand, where his cut finger shows signs of being infected with Death One. When the enter the crook’s room, they find the body of the maid pinned to the door with a machete before a soldier says he found the man, leading them to the laundry room where the body is. Morton orders everyone at the resort to be killed and buried in a mass grave, while the infected man’s body is taken to a facility to be burned. When Holder learns about what happened to the body, he chastises Morton for burning the body, as Norma tells him that the ashes could contain the virus and come back down to Earth but Morton dismisses their concerns. However, the smoke that billows out from the smoke stacks does contain the virus, and when some birds fly through the smoke, they become infected and fall to the ground. In the island’s major city, 3 soldiers (Bo, Kenny, and Roger) are on leave and planning on heading out to find some women to hook up with. As they are driving along, they come across a bus containing Nancy, Suzanne, Carole, Lia, Jane, as well as Jane’s boyfriend Tom, David, and the bus driver Joe. Nancy, Carole, and Suzanne start flirting with the soldiers, who decide to follow the bus and try and hook up with them. Meanwhile, two tourists, Patricia and Glenn, are driving along when they come across the birds on the road and go to move them off the road when they reanimate and one of them pecks Glenn in the face before they are able to leave. Meanwhile, the soldiers are still following the bus when some more infected birds attack the bus, managing to get in through the open windows. The birds peck one of the girls, Lia, and when the soldiers go to try and help them, they say there isn’t a hospital nearby but there is a resort they can go to tend to her wounds. Meanwhile, Patricia stops at a run down gas station, as Glenn’s wound is getting worse, and she heads inside the garage to try and find some help but gets no response. When the door closes and locks her in, she continues looking around to try and find some help only to encounter a zombie chained to the wall. As she stumbles back from it, a second zombie, wielding a machete, attacks her. Patricia manages to make it outside and as the zombie continues to attack her, it accidentally cuts one of the lines for the fuel pump, covering it in gasoline. Patricia manages to get back to her car, then seeing the leaking gas, grabs her lighter and throws it at the fuel, setting the zombie on fire, as well as causing the station to explode as she drives away. Back at the research lab, Holder and Norma go to see Morton, telling him that their sensors picked up a radioactive cloud over the city, just as reports start coming in of violence and people eating other people. Holder and Norma realize that Death One is responsible and Morton wants to deal with the problem by killing all of those infected but Holder says that they should focus on creating a cure for Death One. When Morton agrees to let him work on a cure but says he will continue to handle things his way until then, Holder yells at him for not explaining the risks beforehand but Morton mocks him, saying he is just a simple soldier. Elsewhere, the soldiers and bus passengers arrive at the resort, only to find it in disrepair after Morton’s men killed everyone there. Taking Lia inside to the lobby, Roger tries the phone only to find it not working, while Kenny hears a noise coming from the upper floors and goes to investigate. Roger finds a crate of guns left over from when Morton’s men were there and after getting Kenny and Tom to help him, they carry it inside. Meanwhile, Lia’s condition is getting worse so Bo and Carole decide to take the soldiers’s jeep and go find some medical help. As they are driving through the nearby town, which Carole finds unnerving because there is nobody around, the jeep breaks down and when Bo checks the engine, he says they will need some water for the radiator. Carole goes to get some water as Bo starts working on the jeep and as she cries out to see if anybody is there, she doesn’t notice a zombie approaching behind her. As she checks an apartment on the upper floor, the zombie suddenly pushes her over the railing, where she lands in the pool. Carole calls out for help and Bo sees her predicament and dives in to save her but as he drags her out of the water, her legs are shown to have been bitten off. Suddenly, Carole turns and starts to attack him but he manages to push her back into the water, just as more zombies start trying to attack him. Bo manages to get out of the town just as the military arrive and begin killing all the zombies they find. Blue Heart, the local DJ, can be heard over the radio telling people about the reported violence and giving a list of hospitals and police stations they can go to. Bo sees Patricia and Glenn driving by and flags them down, then hops in when Patricia stops, telling him she is heading to the nearest hospital. As night falls, Blue Heart gives another report saying to stay indoors and Kenny and the others, listening at the resort, decide to settle in for the night, with Kenny and Roger keeping watch. Tom and Jane decide to go look for some food in the kitchen and as Tom opens the freezer, a zombie head that was inside suddenly comes to life and attacks him, while Jane is killed by another zombie (or the severed head’s body). Outside, Bo, Patricia, and Glenn are continuing to drive and Bo convinces Patricia to swing by the resort when Glenn suddenly turns and begins attacking Patricia. As Bo struggles with him, Patricia is able to stop the car on a bridge and get out, but injures her leg in the process. Bo continues fighting with Glenn, managing to stop him but more zombies show up and proceed to kill him. As more zombies appear on the bridge and approach her, Patricia jumps off the bridge and into the water below, then swims to shore. Back at the hotel, Roger and Kenny continue keeping watch but are growing uneasy that Bo hasn’t made it back yet. Inside, Lia has changed and killed Suzanne in her sleep then goes after Nancy, who manages to wake up and fends her off. When Lia continues trying to attack her, Nancy ducks out of the way and Nancy ends up falling out the window and onto the street below in front of the two soldiers, killing her. Suddenly, the lights on the bus come on and the soldiers start to check it out when they see Patricia approaching. Seeing the soldiers, she heads towards them and warns them that the zombies are coming. As the others head down to find out what is happening, Kenny and Roger tell them they have to barricade the entrance, unaware that some more zombies are breaking in on the second floor. As the zombies break in to the lobby, Roger sets some of them on fire with a flamethrower but the zombies manage to grab Joe and kill him. Retreating upstairs, they continue fending off the zombies but are forced to leave the hotel when some of the flaming zombies set it on fire. As they make their way through the jungle, Roger goes out in front to scout around and is attacked by some zombies but is able to kill them, then yells for the others to hurry down as there are some canoes they can use to paddle upstream. Back at the research station, Holder and his team continue working on a cure for Death One and think they have come finding one, while Morton’s men continue patrolling the area and killing everyone, zombies and humans alike. Kenny, Patricia, Roger, David, and Nancy make it up river and as they stop to catch their breath, Nancy tends to Patricia’s wound. Seeing a chicken nearby, David tries to catch it but as it gets away, he finds himself facing some of Morton’s troops and is gunned down. The soldiers then try to kill the others but Kenny and Roger begin shooting back, killing two of the soldiers, as they head back to their canoes and get away. As a helicopter team spots them and radios in their position, the helicopter has to refuel and heads to a nearby village to do so. Meanwhile, Morton is addressing Holder and his staff and says the infection is contained and would soon be eradicated but Holder tells him that the virus had mutated when he burned the body and it might be capable of spreading past the island now but Morton feels that isn’t his problem, but Holder and the other scientists, as they created the virus and need to still find a cure. Kenny, Roger, Patricia, and Nancy reach the village and as they explore the area, Nancy and Patricia discover a pregnant woman inside. Patricia goes to get Kenny and Roger for help but she is attacked by Glenn and dragged into another room. Roger and Kenny encounter more of Morton’s cleanup crew and as they reluctantly drop their weapons but when the cleanup crew moves to attack them, they are forced to fend them off. Nancy helps tend to the pregnant woman as she starts to go into labor but a zombie suddenly attacks her and shoves her towards the pregnant woman’s stomach, where a hand suddenly bursts out and grabs her, killing her. Patricia fends off Glenn and manages to behead him, then she is grabbed by Kenny and Roger, who help her out of there, seeing what happened to Nancy as they do. As they head outside, they are confronted by more zombies and are forced to fend them off when they spot the helicopter, now abandoned, and head for it. Kenny and Patricia make it to the helicopter while Roger covers them but as Roger goes to jump onto the helicopter, some zombies spring up from the ground and drag him back down. Kenny and Patricia fly away as some more members of the cleanup crew arrive and begin killing all of the zombies, as well as Roger. As Kenny and Patricia fly away, the hear Blue Heart speaking over the radio, playing a song for his fellow undead as he is revealed to have been infected and turned as well. Patricia wonders what is going to happen to them but Kenny tells her they are going to have to go back and fight.

As good of a movie as Zombi 2 was, this fell short of reaching that same effect. The acting was ok but the dubbing was pretty atrocious at times. The story kind of used the theme that the modern zombie movies (at the time) were using to explain zombies, basically that some chemical reaction revitalized the dead. While I thought the initial idea was good, I felt like the whole bit about the birds carrying the disease was a bit much, though I will admit that it was a somewhat ingenious way to introduce the virus to multiple people in different locations. The special effects with the make up and gore was pretty good and they definitely decided to put some gore into this movie. One thing that I did find incredibly stupid was the bit with the severed head, and how it somehow flew out of the fridge and killed Tom. I’m sorry, but that there had to be one of the stupidest bit of cinematic licensing I have ever seen in regards to a zombie movie. Look, I will give you that a severed zombie head might still try biting you, as the brain would still be “relatively” functioning, but how in the hell is it supposed to move. I mean, if it had used it’s tongue to somehow roll along on the floor, I might, MIGHT, find that believable, in a pretty minuscule sense. That aspect aside, this was a pretty decent zombie movie and worth giving a watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, zombie movie

June 30th, 2018 Movie – Zombi 2 (a.k.a. Zombie)

zombi 2

Now this is one of the zombie movies that I was looking forward to watching this week. Oh, I know it has been a while but I should go ahead and preface that this is an ITALIAN HORROR MOVIE, and you really should take that warning to heart. Now I first heard about this movie years ago when I was looking through a top 25 list of zombie movies and saw this movie towards the top. The thing that got my attention was them commenting about the fight between a shark and a zombie, which I just had to see for myself. So I went online and found a copy to watch and it quickly became one of my favorite zombie. So let’s dive right in to today’s movie, Zombi 2.

The plot: At an unknown location, a body, wrapped tightly in a sheet, suddenly sits upright before a man shoots it in the head with a gun, then says “The boat can leave now. Tell the crew.” Some time later, a seemingly abandoned sailboat drifts into New York Harbor. The harbor patrol head out to investigate it and as one of them searches below, he finds a severed hand in some sheets. Suddenly, a zombie burst out of a cabin door and attacks the officer, biting him in the neck. As the zombie climbs up onto the deck, the other officer yells for it to stop, then shoots it when it continues towards him, knocking the zombie overboard. Newspaper journalist Peter West is assigned to cover the story and when he asks if it is a big story, the editor tells him what little he knows. At the dock, the police are questioning the boat owner’s daughter, Anne Bowles, about her father but she hasn’t seen him in months. At the city medical examiner’s office, two doctors are preparing to do an autopsy on the dead police officer but as lead doctor chastises his associate for the condition of his equipment, they fail to notice the body moving under the sheet. That night, Anne sneaks back onto her father’s boat and encounters Peter West on board, who was searching for clues himself. After managing to fool a police officer into thinking they snuck on board to have sex, they leave, taking Anne’s father’s log book with them, which Peter had found. Peter calls his editor and arranges flights for him and Anne to the Caribbean, where they hope to figure out what happened to Anne’s father. When they reach the Caribbean, they go looking for a boat to take them to the island of Matul and convince Brian Hull and his girlfriend Susan Barrett, who are going to cruise the islands, to let them come with them. On Matul, Dr. David Menard (the man who shot the corpse at the beginning of the movie) is attempting to contact someone by radio but has no success. His wife Paola wants to leave the island but Menard refuses to leave until he figures out the phenomenon occurring on the island. The continue arguing about what is happening on the island, with Paola worried that what is happening on the far side of the island will soon reach the side they live on but Menard refuses to change his mind. Menard heads to his hospital to continue his research, telling his groundskeeper not to let anyone in the house. Back on the boat, Peter is talking to Bill about where the island is supposed to be, though the maps say there isn’t an island there and Bill says that is pretty common, as some of the small islands haven’t been charted or explored. Susan asks him to stop the boat, as she wants to go diving and take some pictures underwater and Bill does as she asks. As Susan dives underwater and starts swimming around, Anne notices a nearby island and Peter says that might be Matul. Meanwhile, Susan sees a tiger shark swimming up behind her and she quickly hides behind a nearby reef. When it passes her, she makes her way to the surface and calls out to Brian, alerting him to the shark’s presence, then dives back down as the shark begins charging towards the boat. Brian shoots at the shark with his rifle but it rams into the boat, then dives underwater. As Susan continues to hide from the shark, she encounters a zombie underwater and is able to get away. As she swims back to the boat, the zombie starts to move after her but it is attacked by the shark and the two begin fighting each other. On Matul, Menard and his assistant/nurse Clara are tending to some of the islanders, who are dying from a strange illness. Another helper, Lucas, tells him that some of the villagers are leaving the island, fearing the zombies that are rising up when they bury their dead but Menard doesn’t believe in his “voodoo”. That night, Paola is getting ready for bed when she hears something entering the house and she quickly rushes to the bedroom and attempts to shut the door, but a zombie pushes back trying to get in. She eventually is able to close the door, severing the zombie’s fingers in the process, but it pounds on the door and smashes through the slats. Paola attempts to push a dresser in front of the door to keep it from getting in but the zombie grabs her and pulls her through the door, impaling her eye on a piece of splintered wood in the process. In the morning, Brian steers the boat towards the island and after he and Susan check on the damage, they say they will be there for a while unless they get some help. At the hospital, Menard shoots the dead bodies in the head so they won’t reanimate and he and Clara carry them out to be buried when Lucas tells him that he spotted some flares coming from the beach. Leaving Clara and Lucas to finish burying the bodies, Menard heads to the beach, where he finds Peter, Anne, Bill, and Susan. Driving them back to his hospital, he tells Anne that he met her father when he visited the island and on his last visit, he had gotten sick and died (and it is shown that Anne’s father is the man Menard shot at the beginning of the movie). When they get to the hospital, Lucas tells Menard about an emergency and as Mernard starts to head inside, he asks Peter and the others to go check on his wife. Inside the hospital, Menard finds his friend Fritz dying of the same illness affecting the villagers and when he says that the villagers had all died, Menard tells Lucas to barricade the doors, as zombies start appearing on the outskirts of the village. Meanwhile, Peter and the others arrive at Menard’s house and head inside to check on his wife only to find zombies feasting on her dead body. As they go to leave, they find two zombies approaching them but Peter and Bill are able to deal with them, then they get in the car to leave. As they are driving back, Bill swerves as a zombie crosses the road in front of him and he crashes the jeep, with Peter injuring his ankle in the crash. The group is forced to walk back to the hospital and as Peter takes a rest, Bill and Susan scout ahead and discover an old conquistador burial ground. Peter and Anne are talking and when Anne says she is scared they won’t make it back to New York, he goes to comfort her and they end up kissing. Suddenly, some zombies come up from the ground to attack them and, hearing Anne’s screams, Bill goes to help them. As he leaves, a zombie emerges from the ground and attacks Susan, ripping out her throat. Bill, Peter, and Anne return and as Peter kills the zombie, Bill cradles Susan’s dead body until Peter and Anne convince him they have to leave. They leave the graveyard, as more zombies begin coming up out of the ground, and eventually reach the hospital. Menard lets them in and they warn him that more zombies are coming and ask what is going on. Menard explains he is a man if science and doesn’t believe in voodoo but that there is no other scientific explanation for what is happening. Deciding to try and arm themselves for the siege against the zombies, Bill, Lucas, and Carla use the kerosene Menard keeps on hand to make some molotov cocktails. Menard goes to get some more shells for his shotgun but he is attacked and killed by a recently deceased patient. Bill hears him and kills the zombie while Lucas and Carla finish making the cocktails but Lucas is attacked by some more zombies. Bill kills the zombies that attacked Lucas and grabs some cocktails, telling Carla to grab the others but she is killed by Lucas. Peter kills Lucas before he can attack Anne and as the zombies break down the door, they begin throwing the cocktails at them, setting the zombies and hospital on fire. The three are soon forced to flee before they are killed in the fire and as they leave, Bill encounters Susan, who is now a zombie. Susan bites Bill’s arm and as he stumbles back, he yells at Peter to shoot her and Peter reluctantly does. They make it back onto Bill’s boat and sail off, moving slowly to avoid overtaxing the damaged drive shaft in the engine. Bill eventually succumbs to the bite and dies and when Anne asks what they should do, Peter says they have to take him with them so that they have proof of what happened. As they get close to New York, they turn on the radio to try and get some news only to hear a report that zombies have begun to overrun the city, as zombies are shown to be walking along the Brooklyn Bridge heading towards New York City.

Zombi 2 met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most critics appreciated the gore and some of the iconic scenes but felt it’s slow pace is too boring. While the movie was written before Dawn Of The Dead (1978) was released in Italy (which was released under the title Zombi), the studio wanted to cash in on the success of Romero’s movie so they shot the additional footage of New York at the beginning and end of the movie and titled it Zombi 2, despite there being no real connection. The newspaper office scenes were actually shot at a busy office building and at one point, they inadvertently interrupted a meeting held by Rupert Murdoch, who kicked them out of the building. Due to the rather high amounts of violence and gore (for the time), airline barf bags were handed out to audiences at the theater but that didn’t seem to stop them as the movie was a success in it’s home country of Italy, earning ₤3 billion off of a ₤410 million budget.

It does seem to shuffle along until it reaches the climax, but this is still a really good zombie movie. The acting was fairly good, with Tisa Farrow (Anne) and Ian McCulloch (Peter) doing good jobs in their roles. I also liked Richard Johnson (Menard) and Al Cliver (Bill) but the dubbing used for Bill’s voice was a little off. The story was interesting, with the writer trying to take the zombies back to their original voodoo definition while adding the flesh eating aspect to them, but it didn’t quite mesh to well. I did like the mystery aspect that had Anne and Peter heading to the island, as it was a nice set up and allowed some tension to build before everything kind of went to hell for them. The make-up involved with the zombies was pretty good and they definitely went all out with the gore, as some of the scenes rivaled those from Tom Savini’s work in Dawn Of The Dead (1978). The scene where Paola’s eye is impaled on the splintered door is just as cringe inducing now as it was the first time I saw it. As for the famed zombie/shark fight scene, it was pretty cool looking and definitely unique but I wish there was a little more to the fight than the brief bit that was shown. The one thing I will give them props for is that, since there was no CGI or animatronics used, the fact that they had a live tiger shark for the scene was pretty gutsy for them. All things considered, this is definitely one of those zombie movies that I would consider a must-see for any fan of the sub-genre.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, zombie movie

June 29th, 2018 Movie – Zombeavers

zombeavers

Well, that’s it for the non-zombie movies. Now to get to the movies that the letter Z is pretty much known for. Now I remember seeing the trailer for today’s movie years ago and thinking that this is probably going to be one of the funniest things to come out in a while. I didn’t see much about for a while after that initial trailer showing and then about a year later, I saw it had come out on DVD and I immediately picked up a copy. So let’s see how they explain this combination in today’s movie, Zombeavers.

The plot: While transporting some medical waste from the Mamaroneck Medical Research Facility, Joseph and Luke are talking about the events in their life. When Joseph looks at his cellphone, he hits a deer, causing him to swerve and a canister fals out the back of his truck and lands in the nearby river, where it floats downstream before coming to a stop at a beaver dam, where one of the branches punctures the container and the contents begin spraying out. Some time later, college students Jenn, Mary, and Zoe are heading up to spend the weekend at a cabin that Mary’s cousin owns. When they arrive there, they are greeted by their neighbor Myrne Gregorson, who invites them to have breakfast with her and her husband Winston while they are there. As the girls get settled in, Jenn and Zoe discover that there is no cell service at the cabin and Mary tells them the whole point of the weekend was to get away from their phones and boys, as Jenn’s boyfriend Sam had cheated on her. The girls head out to the lake to go swim and as they sun themselves on the raft in the middle of the lake, they notice a beaver dam and Jenn decides to go take a closer look. As they go looking around the dam, they see a bear close by but it is chased off by a hunter named Smyth. As the girls thank Smyth for saving them, Smyth warns them to stay clear of any beavers they see, and also tells them to cover up. The girls head back to the cabin and as they sit around drinking, they hear a noise coming from outside and Zoe goes to investigate and they discover that their boyfriends, Sam, Tommy, and Buck, were playing a prank on them. Mary wants the guys to leave but Jenn talks her into letting them stay, as she figures she can talk with Sam about his cheating on her. While Mary, Tommy, Zoe, and Buck are having sex, Sam tries to get Jenn to forgive him so they can have sex but she knees him in the crotch and goes to take a shower. As she starts to undress, she finds a beaver in the bath tub and when it tries to attack her, she manages to get out of the room. As she is trying to tell Sam what happened, the others all come out and they all go to the bathroom to investigate. When they don’t see a beaver in there, Buck starts mocking Jenn when the beaver suddenly appears in a cabinet and tries to attack him. Tommy manages to kill the beaver with a baseball bat and they place it in a garbage bag and leave it outside. The next day, as they are going out to swim at the lake, Jenn notices that the beaver’s body is missing and Tommy says that some wild animal must have taken it during the night. While Jenn refuses to go in the water, Tommy, Buck, and Zoe are having fun swimming and Mary and Sam are on the raft talking, and it is revealed that Mary is the girl that Sam had slept with. As they discuss whether they should tell Jenn the truth, Zoe and the others convince Jenn to come out into the water but as she heads in, she feels something swim up against her leg, freaking her out. Suddenly, Buck is dragged underwater and as blood suddenly starts to appear, he resurfaces holding his foot, which had been bitten off. Tommy is dragged under but comes back up and they head to the raft to get out of the water. Jenn runs to the house to try and call for help, unaware that the phone line has been cut, and as she get’s no answer, she is attacked by a beaver, which scratches her leg, but she eventually manages to pin it to the kitchen counter with a knife. As the beavers begin circling the raft and attacking it from underneath, Sam throws Zoe’s dog into the water to serve as a distraction and as the beavers kill it, they swim to shore and head back to the cabin. As beavers surround the cabin, they realize that the beaver pinned to the counter is the same one from the night before but it is still somehow moving. As they argue over what they should do, Zoe yells at Sam for killing her dog and when Mary tries to defend him, Zoe reveals to Jenn that Mary was the one who slept with Sam. Realizing that Buck won’t survive the night without medical attention, Tommy suggests taking Mary’s car to get help and Zoe goes with him. As they head down the road, they find a tree had been knocked down, blocking the road. Seeing Smyth’s truck nearby, Tommy goes over there and grabs an axe, which he hands to Zoe, then he says he is going to go on foot and try to get help but the beavers cut down another tree, which falls onto him. As another beaver goes to attack Zoe, it is shot by Smyth and she has him help her get Buck and they load him into his truck. They drive back to the cabin but can’t get in, as Mary, Jenn, and Sam, had been forced to barricade it to keep the beavers out so they are forced to head to the Gregorson’s house for shelter. Inside, they find that Winston has been killed by the beavers and as Smyth searches the house, he finds that Myrne was killed as well. Back at the cabin, Jenn, Mary, and Sam are discussing their situation and Mary ends up going to get some rest. When Jenn enters the room and gets into bed with her, she suddenly begins transforming into a beaver-like zombie and tries to attack Mary, drooling all over her. Sam hits her in the head and he and Mary leave the room and board it up, only for more beavers to start coming up form the floor so they take shelter in the bathroom. Back at the Gregorson’s house, Buck changes into a zombie and attacks Smyth and Zoe tries to shoot Buck but accidentally kills Smyth. As she runs from him, she heads upstairs only to have Myrne start changing so she quickly jumps out the window to escape her. Back at the cabin, Mary and Sam take their clothes off to make sure they haven’t been bitten or scratched and end up having sex. Meanwhile, one of the beavers chews through an outlet and catches on fire, which in turn catches the cabin on fire. When they smell the smoke, Mary and Sam stop having sex so they can investigate but Jenn burst through a wall and proceeds to bite off Sam’s penis, killing him. Mary makes it out of the room and finds herself trapped by beavers and the fire but Zoe drives Smyth’s truck through the wall and Mary quickly gets in and they drive away. As they drive down the road, a zombie Smyth shoots at them, causing them to crash into a tree and as a zombie Buck, Myrne, Smyth, and a zombie bear move towards the truck, Zoe is able to get it started again and drives off. Suddenly, Jenn appears on the roof of the truck and Zoe slams on the breaks, sending her flying off, then Zoe runs her over. When they get to where the tree is blocking the road, Zoe explains that they have to go the rest of the way on foot, walking past a changing Tommy. As the sun starts to come up, Mary stops walking and points a gun she found in Smyth’s glove compartment at Zoe. Not wanting to take a chance that Zoe has been infected, Mary is prepared to shoot Zoe, who says she wasn’t bitten or scratched, when Mary suddenly starts to change, having been infected when Jenn drooled into her mouth. Zoe is forced to kill Mary with the axe, then continues walking down the road. When she sees a truck approaching, she tries to flag it down but the truck, driven by the same men who lost the container, ends up running her over. In a post credit’s scene, a bee is seen to be feeding on the corpse of a beaver and when it flies back to it’s hive, it is shown to have been infected.

Zombeavers met with mostly positive reviews, holding a 69% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Zombeavers obviously isn’t high art, but it delivers just enough of the gory insanity promised by the title to earn a recommendation for genre fans.” A joke credit at the end of the movie is a disclaimer that says “No animals were harmed during the making of this film, although the bear did receive a purple nurple (not our fault, he started it.)” Despite the viral nature of the trailer, where it received over a million views in a week, the movie only got a limited release in theaters, where it earned $44,080 during it’s brief run.

This is a pretty funny bit of a horror movie. The acting was decent, with nobody really standing out from the others but nobody was simply awful either. The story was interesting, with the whole medical waste turning beavers into zombies being a little unique. However, the aspect that being bitten or wounded by the beavers would turn a human into a beaver-like monster really did feel like it was taken from Black Sheep (2006). I will say that the bear-beaver- hybrid actually had me laughing out loud the first time I saw it, as did the scene of Jenn, having begun changing, hopping around and slamming her tail onto the floor. The beaver puppets were ok looking for the most part while the special effects involving the blood and gore were better. It’s a fun little change from your typical zombie movie and worth giving a shot.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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