Posts Tagged ‘James C. Burns’

The last Zombie Movie Night of 2012 is here and we’ve added three new movies to the roster. First up:

The Revenant

The Revenant

I had first heard of The Revenant back in 2009 from a review by Cory Casciato over at The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse. I thought, “hey that sounds good, can’t wait to check it out.” Unfortunately, as is the case a lot times with zombie movies, it took quite a while to find a wide release. Now, three years later I finally got my hands on it…and, as is the case a lot of times with zombie movies, I was sorely disappointed.

Bart is a soldier who meets a grisly demise during the war in Iraq. While his friends and loved ones mourn their loss, Bart finds himself alive and nearly buried. He seeks out his slacker buddy and they eventually deduce that he’s a revenant: part zombie and part vampire. He has the decomposition of a zombie and the bloodlust of a vampire. He’s virtually unkillable and doesn’t have all of the inconvenient weakness of typically vampires.

THE GOOD: The Revenant could have been a really good movie (I feel like I make that statement a lot). It looks good and has a bunch of familiar looking actors (Bart had a recurring role on Heroes and his sidekick was a regular VH1 Best of… talking head). But…

THE BAD: …it ends up trying too many things with none of them really working. It goes for buddy comedy, romance, action , and drama. The comedy bits are only occasionally funny and the romance really falls flat as Bart’s girlfriend is really poorly developed. The action piece is probably the strongest and the film would have been better if it spent the majority of time on Bart’s vigilantism.

THE ZOMBIES: In reality, Bart is really more vampire than zombie. However, he looks like a zombie and they call him a zombie, which is enough to make the list. Threat Level: N/A

VERDICT: Damn it! I should know better than to have high expectations on Zombie Movie Night. I wanted The Revenant to be good, but it’s just not, and I can’t recommend it.
Grade: C-

Current ZMN Rank: #68 out of 99

Golden Zombey WatchThe Revenant’s strongest contender will probably be in Unintentional Comedy for featuring the most hilariously inept SWAT team ever on film.

Insane in the Brain

Insane in the Brain

Two minutes into Insane in the Brain, I declared, “I think this is the worst movie I’ve ever seen” as some of the worst looking zombies I’ve ever seen entered repeatedly shouting “More Brains!” After 10 minutes, I didn’t think I’d be able to watch any more as a zombie killed a prostitute with his gigantic penis.

THE GOOD: Then, just as things couldn’t get any worse…they actually started to get better and I began to grow fond of this terrible, terrible movie. About half way through, the movie really seems to embrace its limitations and becomes something seriously ridiculous and fun. Cue the goofy sound effects and characters moving in fast motion. (More movies should use fast motion. Benny Hill was really on to something.)

THE BAD: Make no mistake, though, this is a bad movie. Low budget all the way and the first 20 minutes are nearly unbearable.

THE ZOMBIES: Like I said, some of the worst looking I’ve ever seen on film. They’re basically just guys wearing bad Halloween masks. Eventually I did start to enjoy the zombies though I could do without their giant dongs. “More Brains!” Threat Level: 5

VERDICT: I have trouble placing this one. It’s certainly entertaining, but it’s really not good at all. It was definitely the most fun of the three movies this evening. Grade: C

Current ZMN Rank#77 out of 99

Golden Zombey WatchI’d keep an eye out for Funky Pheromones in Original Zombie Origin and funky cops, Sloan and Goldie in Zombie-Fighting Duo.

Gangs of the Dead

Gangs of the Dead

Gangs of the Dead is a film that feels really familiar. A radioactive meteor has hit the Earth (just like Night of the Comet, Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood, Days of Darkness, and others) and now mortal enemies are forced to attempt to survive despite their lack of trust (just like The Horde, Severed: Forest of the Dead, and others). It also features Noel G. (recently seen in Evilution) and James C. Burns (recently seen in Dead Season).

THE GOOD: It’s not a bad premise and it’s been done really well (see: The Horde). Unfortunately….

THE BAD: It’s been done really well, but not in this movie. It starts out fine, with zombies running wild and the gang members and cops holing up in an abandoned factory. But then things slow down to halt and the rest of the move just kind of meanders in mediocrity.

THE ZOMBIES: Start out strong despite the poor choice to have them spit out stupid-looking green liquid. They run amok and cause a significant amount of damage, but they’re really a non-factor through most of the movie as the film focuses it’s attention on the boring drama inside. Threat Level: 6

VERDICT: If you want to see a good version of this movie, watch The Horde. If you’d like to see a funny version of this movie, watch Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood. If you like mediocre, forgettable movies, watch Gangs of the Dead. Grade: C-

Current ZMN Rank#60 out of 99 (Somehow this movie has the highest rank out the movies I watched tonight, though it was probably the least entertaining. After almost 100 movies, I’m confused by my own ranking system.)

Golden Zombey WatchNoel G. may make a run at Best Non-Zombie Villain. There’s also got to be some category where we can include the pure stupidity involved with having a meteorologist character named Dick Weatherman.

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October always means extra zombie movies, so my brother and I snuck in another evening slate of movies. It’s always nice when ZMN exceeds expectations and tonight it did. Not because the movies were great, simply because they weren’t as terrible as they might have been. First up was…

Evilution

Ok, first things first here. That might be one of the most misleading posters in the history of ZMN. Explosions. Bullets. Fighter Jets. A Terminator-looking Skull. And a screaming soldier boy brandishing a syringe and a machine gun. This looks like some kind of crazy military action movie, huh? Well, no, not at all really. I don’t know who that guy on the poster is, but he’s definitely not the sheepish, glasses-wearing main character in Evilution.

Which, actually turns out to be just fine, because Evilution is a quality movie in its own right. Our main character is a fellow returning (escaping) from the Middle East where he was a part of some military experiment with an alien virus that could reanimate the dead. Surprisingly, things go wrong and our boy gets out of dodge right before the area is wiped off the face of the Earth and covered up with a story of a terrorist attack. Fast forward to soldier boy moving into the worst apartment of all time. His room is in a dusty old basement full of crap and his first night in he is awoken by the sounds of a gang member and a pair of prostitutes outside of his door. The apartment building itself is full of bizarre folks such as said gang member and his bumbling buddies, a creepy effeminate apartment manager, a stereotypical junkie, and a woman who is way too attractive to be found in such a shit hole. As it turns out, the main character still has a sample of the alien virus and he attempts to continue the good work of fucking around with something capable of destroying all of humankind. Good thinking, jackass. Of course, the virus gets loose and soon zombies have infested the wacky apartment building.

THE GOOD: Evilution actually has a coherent plot, some decent acting, passable dialogue, an adequate romance subplot, and some comic relief characters who are actually funny. When you’re watching zombie movies that last sentence is actually high praise.

THE BAD: The female lead has a pretty nice rack, but never shows the goods. There’s even a sex scene with no nudity! Boo!

THE ZOMBIES: I don’t think you could call the main character of this story a hero, and here’s why: He causes the outbreak of an apocalyptic, alien, zombie virus not once, but twice! He simultaneously has the virus stolen by a whacked out junkie and purposefully injects a friend to try to save him from death. Geez guy, why not just introduce it into the water supply and call it a day…oh wait, he does that, too! He plays as sympathetic, but my God, what an ass!

So anyway, the zombies in Evilution should be intimidating. They move fast, almost on Devil’s Playground, parkour levels and it’s intimated that they might have a hive-mind, since the virus is alien in nature. In reality, though they’re kind of inept. They take down a few suckers, but the uninfected run through big crowds in cramped hallways and frequently come through unscathed. Their weakness to ammonia is pretty embarrassing too, as in one scene, two dudes run through them spraying them with shaken bottles like they had just won the pennant while the zombies cower in fear. Kind of hard to get a read on these guys, but I’ll give them a Threat Level: 5.

VERDICT: Some of the quirks in this movie make it more endearing and the end result is pretty enjoyable. It ended up being much better than I anticipated. I’ll give it a B and recommend it for zombie fans.

Current ZMN Rank: #27 out of 91

Golden Zombey Watch: Possible nods for Best Actor as well as Supporting Actor and Actress. There was an impressive Old Lady Zombie, though I don’t know if she was strong or memorable enough depending on how strong Outstanding Zombie is this year. Possible nods also for Zombie Fighting Duo for the comic relief gangsters. It did have some unnecessary Nudity, a clear Zombie Origin, and some original Music, so it might pop up in those categories as well.

Dead Season

Next on the docket was Dead Season. I kind of accidentally got this one from Netflix after mistakenly placing it at the top of my queue, so again, expectations were not incredibly high.

Dead Season opens up post-apocalypse as a guy who calls himself Elvis struggles to survive with an untrusting female companion, who calls herself Tweeter. After fighting to live on the mainland, they decide to roll the dice and hop on a boat to a supposed island paradise. They find the island to be tightly run by a militaristic leader, and of course it’s not the perfect, zombie-free paradise it was advertised to be.

THE GOOD: Another zombie movie with decent acting, the gods must be good. It was also nice to see how the filmmakers attempted to give all their characters some depth. It would have been easy to paint all of them with a broad brush of good or evil. So often the leader with military training is a straight-up douche, and I was glad that Dead Season didn’t take that easy way out. There are also some good moments that play on the common zombie themes: what would you be willing to do to survive? at what point does survival trump morality?… yadda yadda yadda.

THE BAD: Goddamned zombies popping out of nowhere! When they’re on-screen, they’re loud, clumsy and easy to point out. But goddamn if our heroes don’t constantly find themselves suddenly surrounded. Did the zombies look at each other, give the universal “shush” motion, and start tiptoeing towards the survivors? I hate that shit. I wag my finger at you, Adam Deyoe (he’s the director).

THE ZOMBIES: Bites will kill you and bring you back. Zombies here are slow for the most part (though they can sneak up on ya…ugh). They do a fair amount of damage in the movie though they do have some scenes that demonstrate a serious lack of effort. Right in the beginning, our heroes sprint through a big crowd pretty easily. Threat Level: 5.

VERDICT: Despite some flaws and cliches, Dead Season is pretty well done and worth your time. It’s not ground-breaking, but it’s well above terrible. It’s a solid B.

Current ZMN Rank: #41 out of 91

Golden Zombey Watch: I could see nods for Best Actor and Actress for the main characters. Maybe a Supporting Actor nominee in James C. Burns, the military leader. Elvis and Tweeter may also show up for Zombie Fighting Duo. Tweeter shows her boobs, which may be enough for Best Nudity.