Knight of the Dead & Contracted

Posted: 09/08/2014 in Misc.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wel’p, 5 years of watching zombie movies on a monthly basis are in the bank. September marks the end of another season of flesh-eating fun. Let’s take a look at the last two entrants of the year and determine whether they belong comfortable at the top of the standings or tied up in the basement.

Knight of the Dead

Knight of the Dead

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table vs. Zombies! Sounds awesome, right? Well, it might be. Unfortunately, Knight of the Dead is not that movie. Instead we’ve got a bunch of knight-ish fellows and a priest being as boring as possible while still engaging in sword fights with zombies.

THE GOOD: KotD actually looks pretty good. Aside from some bad-looking CGI blood splatters, the cinematography, costume design, and make-up are pretty decent. Some zombie movies are good despite looking pretty bad and low-budget. KotD pulls off the reverse, and looks better than it is.

THE BAD: Despite looking good and containing plenty of medieval-type action sequences, there’s simply not enough compelling story to make KotD any good. The characters and story are not given much of an introduction, which left me wondering what the hell was going on for about the first 30 minutes of action. By the time I figured it out, I didn’t care anymore.

THE ZOMBIES: The zombies are residents of a cursed area of land where the dead rise and feast on the living. We know that the land is cursed, because the characters make sure to exclaim, “This is cursed land.” every 5 minutes or so. If you were looking for a hard-to-kill zombie in full battle armor, you won’t find it in this film. In fact, none of the characters ever resemble the big guy you see up on the cover art.

VERDICT: I’m still surprised that a movie with this many medieval action scenes could be this boring. I could not wait for this one to end. Grade: D+

Current ZMN Rank: #127 out of 150

Golden Zombey Watch: There might be something in here worthy of a Most Memorable Massacring or Best Zombie Fighting Team nomination.

Contracted

Contracted

Samantha’s having a rough time. Things with her girlfriend are not going well. She’s recently moved in with her mother and their relationship is less than ideal. Her career also does not seem to be taking off as she works as a waitress and passively hopes to get accepted into some kind of flower-related institute of higher learning. So, when she attends a party that her girlfriend no-shows for, I guess it didn’t seem like the worst idea to get drunk and have a one-night-stand with a random stranger. What’s the worst that could happen? Unfortunately for Samantha, she’s in a zombie movie, so the answer’s kind of obvious.

THE GOOD: Contracted is a good movie. Samantha’s journey from down-on-her-luck cute girl to full on raging zombie is engaging, tragic, and often times stomach-turning. Good acting and make-up complete the package.

THE BAD: I’ve read some criticisms that the characters around Samantha do not react to her condition realistically, particularly her mother. I did not find this to be the case. You’d be surprised how much blaming occurs when people have a history of poor decision making. While Mom could have pushed more for medical care, I don’t think that it was unrealistic for her to make the assumption that Samantha’s condition was a result of drug use or self-harm.

THE ZOMBIE S : Poor Samantha turns into the film’s sole zombie, vagina first. I think I’d rather be bitten on the arm. She becomes increasingly zombie-like as the film progresses.

VERDICT: This film was one of the stand-outs of this season and a good way to conclude it. Definitely not for everyone (especially the squeamish), but definitely one that any zombie enthusiast should check out. (Also, a good moral for the kids: Don’t have sex with anyone, ever.) Grade: A-

Current ZMN Rank: #15 out of 150

Golden Zombey Watch: Strong contender for Best Actress. There might be a Supporting Actress nod in there as well.

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