To get in the mood for my favorite holiday, (and because Mrs. Correia was visiting her parents all week), I watched a mess of monster movies. As many of you know I’m a bit of a monster movie nerd, and I’m getting ready to start writing the 3rd MHI novel, so I need to get my geek on. So, in order of how I watched them:
Severed, Forest of the Dead http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0428390/
This one was okay. It was a decent bleak zombie flick, and considering the basic plot, it wasn’t nearly as obnoxiously preachy as I expected it to be. Basically a logging company uses genetically modified sap to make trees grow faster, and if I’ve learned anything from the movies, anything with genetics involved automatically equals zombies or mutants. When a bunch of enviro-morons go out to protest, the sap causes somebody to turn into a zombie, hilarity ensues. And by hilarity, I mean about an hour of grey, depressing, zombie stuff, followed by pretty much everyone getting eaten.
Surprisingly enough, Severed attempted to be a little deeper than most zombie movies, and tried to make the characters plausibly flawed. The environmentalists weren’t the saints that Hollywood usually portrays them as, and most of the loggers were pretty normal human beings… until they made it to the second logging camp, where it had turned into Lord of the Flies.
Which brings up a pet peeve of mine, and I personally blame this on George Romero. Where does this idea come from that within a week of trouble, all of us blue collar background types will suddenly build a Thunderdome?
Trick R Treat http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0862856/
I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed Trick R Treat, but maybe after watching an hour and a half of granolas being eaten in the rain, it was time for something a little more light hearted.
TrT is made up of several interconnected stories, with a little opening and closing story bracketing them in. We’ve seen this done in the horror genre many times, (remember Creepshow?), only this time it was pretty seamless. The best part was once the movie was over, when you want to go back and watch it again just to catch all the little clues that you missed about how everything is intertwined.
The less you read about the plot, the better. Just watch it. And don’t watch the preview either, because once again, Hollywood just loves to show bits during the preview that give stuff away. (don’t get me started on the preview for Quarantine. Hey isn’t that Deb from Dexter? Oh, never mind.)
You’ve got serial killers, the chick who played Rogue, werewolves, ghosts, surly Brian Cox, zombies, poison candy, razor blades, black magic, Helo from Galactica, revenge, and a cute little guy with a sack head with a stitched on happy face and button eyes that will kill the ever living hell out of you for breaking the ‘rules’.
I rate this one a Woot. Everyone who likes monster movies needs to get this one.
A classic. Though I absolutely despise most of the characters, and find myself wishing that the Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers would have been able to eat more New Yorkers.
The plot is needlessly convoluted in order to introduce us to a bunch of unlikable jerk offs, who then proceed to unravel the mystery about toxic waste turning homeless people into flesh eating mutants. Eh… I can think of worse things to use Manhattan for.
Regardless of how bad this movie actually is, every monster movie geek must see it at least once. The only thing that holds this back from true awesomness is that more of the main characters needed to die, preferably painfully. “Oohh, look at me, I’m a trendy fashion photographer. I don’t like guns. I’m so clever… Oh NO! It’s eating my FACE!” and then it would have been perfect.
Night of the Creeps http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091630/
Another classic, and one that we’ve been waiting for to show up on DVD for a long time. Think Revenge of the Nerds, college frat movie, mixed with alien slug zombies and you’ve got the basic idea. This is an absolutely great B movie. It is cheese, but it is good cheese.
Tom Atkins is great as the butt-kicking, retro-pulp, tough guy detective. Too bad how it turns out, because MHI would totally have offered this dude a job.
Mexican Werewolf in Texas http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0756689/
A werewolf movie with no werewolves. It is actually about chupacabras, but I guess Mexican Goat Sucker in Texas was already taken. This one really doesn’t have much to recommend it, which is too bad, because there were some decent performances from a few people, and they actually made it look pretty decent.
But overall, it was just kind of blah. There wasn’t a lot of stuff that made sense, then there were good bits they could have did more with that they didn’t, then there were some idiotic subplots that dragged it down. My favorite bit of stupid was when there was a monster attack, and literally three minutes after that scene, the survivor retells the whole thing, with flashbacks. So we get to see flashbacks of something that we just barely watched. That’s just sad editing right there.
Also, this movie falls under that dreaded shade of stupid, where the only people it is okay to stereotype and make fun of are red-staters, dippy-ass teenagers are the real heroes, and everyone in Texas is a bigot.
Rated Meh, for suck.
Shaun of the Dead http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365748/
And finally, on Halloween night, the greatest buddy-comedy/romantic-comedy/zombie-movie/dramas ever made. There is not much I can say about this one. If you haven’t seen it, then you’re missing out.
I watched this with my kids. One of my kids got a little freaked out (as it actually turns into a real zombie movie there at the end), and didn’t want to go to sleep. So I took the time to walk her through the Correia Family Zombie Response Plan. “See this one? It can blow a zombie’s head clean off. We have five of this particular model.” “But, Dad, what if we run out of ammo?” Opens crate. “That’s ten thousand rounds.” “Oh, okay. Night, Dad.”
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