February 2, 2009

A zombie film guide, part 4 (of 4).


Here’s the fourth and final part of the zombie movie list. This time around I’ve got sequels, a few unknowns, and cult classics that no zombie list should be without. I even managed to make it to an even forty movies, which I didn’t think I’d get. There’s a couple I’ve downloaded but haven’t watched and a few I still would like to find, so I may end up making a fifth addition later, but for now, here is the rest of every undead movie I can recall ever watching.

House of the Dead 2 (2005)

A virus lets loose on a college campus, and a special ops team isn't sent in until about 30 days later. Somehow the zombies created from this virus never seem to venture off campus, probably because they're still waiting for their classes to resume. This is the sequel to Uwe Boll's masterpiece, but since he's not behind this one, it's actually a bit better. Just a bit. The characters are still plain and 2-dimensional, with the only exception really being the main female lead, though still nothing spectacular. The action is par, but the whole film takes place at night and begins to wear on you, since everything just looks too dark. But you can't expect much from a made-for-TV movie. All in all, it's better than it's predecessor, but still crap.

Best line: I don't remember any and I can't find a single quote anywhere. So, none.

Re-Animator (1985)

Jeffrey Combs (the crazy FBI agent from The Frighteners) stars as Howard West in this H. P. Lovecraft-inspired horror about a medical student assisting West in reanimating the dead. I've put this cult classic off for years until just the other night. It's campy, cheesy, and filled with so much damn blood that I'm amazed it's an 80's movie. It really surprised me at how much I like it. Some of it doesn't really make sense (like a severed head that's still able to talk separated from its body), but it's meant to be silly like that. Some of the lines are hilarious and well timed, and the make-up is pretty damn good. I can see why this movie has such a huge following. There are two sequels to Re-Animator, which I'll have to check out later. I'm glad I finally watched this one.

Best line: "You steal the secret of life and death, and here you are trysting with a bubble-headed coed."

Braindead - Dead Alive (1992)

"A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors." It's hard to believe this is Peter Jackson, the man who brought you The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it is. It's hands down the goriest and most disgusting movie I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. That's no exaggeration either. It's sick. Actually, the zombie game Dead Rising took inspiration from Braindead, because in the end the main character holds up a lawn mower and hacks up tons of zombies. It's gruesome. Braindead is technically a horror/comedy in the same style as Re-Animator and many others on the list, but I can't say I've seen anything much like it. It's low budget obviously, and one of the funniest parts is the Sumatran rat-monkey, that looks like complete shit. It's so cheep that it cracked me up. I can't see too many people appreciating this movie like I do.

Best line: "I kick ass for the Lord!"

Wicked Little Things (2006)

A widow and her two daughters inherit a house from her late husband up in the mountains near a mine, where kids used to work and were all killed. Now the zombie kids are back for blood. Despite the film being beautifully shot, especially the opening of the kids in 1913, tinted in black and amber, the movie was stale. I predicted the plot and the actions of the characters with ease, and it never once surprised me. It's definitely not as bad as some of the crap already on this list, but it's never good. I'm not really sure that these kids are zombies, though they call them that in the movie. They are undead though, and eat the people that they kill, so that means they aren't ghosts. I guess that makes them zombies. Overall, a boring flick with wasted cinematography. The trailer sucks, but it's the only one I could find. Sorry.

Best line: "Run." "What?" "Run." "Where?" "With me, RUN!"

Night of the Creeps (1986)

A cult 80's horror movie about alien parasites that take control of a person, turning them into a zombie, taking place at a college university. I'm not really sure why this one is so popular. It blows. It has its moments or humor, though sparse, and it's never all that terrible. But it suffers from too many clichés and I can't really tell if they took it too seriously or not. I hate movies like that, when it seems like the crew thought they were actually making a good film, when they weren't. I found this movie to be too slow and boring, until the last fifteen minutes or so. And the make-up and props, like severed heads, or just horrible. It's the true definition of a B-movie.

Best line: "Detective, other than confessing to a murder, is there a point to this conversation?"

Outpost (2008)

Starring Ray Stevenson (the new Punisher), a scientist hires a group of mercenaries to take him to an abandoned bunker in Europe, that turns out to be an old Nazi bunker. Apparently, the Nazis built a machine called a field generator that allowed them to turn a troop of soldiers immortal, existing within this field and enabling them to come and go at will. It's better explained in the movie, which is actually rooted well in science, but that's the basics. I just found out about this one the other day, and it sounded amazing. Nazi zombies. It doesn't get much better than that. To become immortal in this field, they had to kill all of the soldiers first. This is how they basically become zombies. At first, it sounded more like they were ghosts, but they're technically still somewhat alive and when they "take shape" they are real and can interact with objects at will. It's probably the most innovative zombie idea I've seen in years. The movie itself is beautifully shot and the actions scenes are great, but it's actually more of a scary movie than zombie shoot-em-up, and some of the scenes are creepy as hell. The best being the first time the forest lights up showing their silhouettes. Definitely a good low budget horror movie.

Best line: "See, the bright light...it ain't Heaven, son. It's just a muzzle flare."

Pet Semetary (1989)

Based on the Stephen King novel, the Creed family move into a new house in the country, near an old pet cemetery, that used to be an Indian burial ground. There's a curse on the land, and the family decides to bury their dead pet there. And it decides to come back. But it's not really alive anymore. Eventually people get buried there, including the Creed's little boy, Gage, which is one of the creepiest little kids in any movie, far surpassing these shitty Japanese horror knock-offs. This is one of the many good Stephen King adaptations, and still a creepy flick. The acting is great by everyone too, and like I said before, especially the little boy.

Best line: "Today is Thanksgiving day for cats. But only if they came back from the dead."

Pet Semetary II (1992)

The sequel to the Stephen King-based movie, this time starring a young Edward Furlong before he disappeared off the face of the Earth. It's basically the same ideas as the first, though nowhere near as entertaining or creepy, mainly because there was no novel to base it off of. It's been years since I've seen this, so I can't fully remember it all, but it was average at best. There were a few scenes that came off a bit hokey, and this brought it down quite a bit. The acting was nowhere near as good either. Definitely not as good as the original.

Best line: "Drew, I know your dog died, but get a grip, man, you're freaking me out!"

Route 666 (2001)

Beneath Route 66, four prisoners were buried and then paved over. They come back as zombies. I vaguely recall this film and just remembered watching it the other day. I can't give a great review giving that I’ve forgotten most of it, but I can tell you that it was a shitty made-for-TV kind of movie and I don't even remember how it ends, or if I finished it at all. I do remember that the Feds kept firing hundreds of rounds, not taking down the zombies at all, and obviously it was quite profound, seeing as how I couldn't even find a trailer for it. I guess that says a lot in itself.

Best line: "Don't leave me here with Helen Keller and the Three Blind Mice! I am not safe with these guys!"

No trailer.

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