Posts Tagged ‘pro wrestling’

Zombie Movie Night: August has a history of getting screwed up, what with vacation schedules and all, but this year my brother and I were able to cram it in before either of us hit the road. First up was:

Overtime

Overtime

If you’re a fan of 90’s era professional wrestling, then you probably recognize Al Snow as the mannequin wielding leader of the JOB Squad. Snow’s wrestling days are done, so now he’s working on his SAG card. In Overtime, Snow and his sidekick, John Wells, play Robin Hood-esque hitmen. They work with a defense attorney who puts them on the case of any particularly heinous criminals that she has just gotten off the hook in court (I suppose that saves people money in the long run, ya’know, incarceration costs and all). Snow is also portrayed as a hen-pecked family man with a nagging wife and ungrateful kids. He is charged with picking up a birthday present and cake for the son whose birthday he forgot, but then simultaneously gets assigned to take out a drug dealer who has designed a new addictive substance, with zombie-like results of course.

THE GOOD: Overtime is moderately funny and entertaining. Snow does a pretty good job, as do the rest of the cast. I might be a bit biased, because I always liked Snow’s schtick in WWE, ECW, and as a trainer on Tough Enough.

THE BAD: The filmmakers must have had some difficulty with their audio equipment because whenever there is dialogue outside, it appears as if everyone dubbed over their lines. It’s a bit jarring and made it feel like I was watching a Japanese movie even though I was pretty sure everyone could speak English.

THE ZOMBIES: Fast moving zombies who have been infected by an alien drug. They sometimes sprout appendages, which our heroes refer to as penises, but they’re otherwise pretty standard fast zombies.

VERDICT: Overtime falls in the mid-range of zombie movies. Recommended for zombie fans or fans of Al Snow. I don’t think it would convert anyone not already in one of those two camps, but there are worse ways to spend an hour and a half. Grade: B

Current ZMN Rank: #70 out of 148

Golden Zombey WatchAl Snow and John Wells may be in contention for Best Actor and Supporting Actor. Other nods might be in Best Zombie Comedy and Memorable Massacring for the Boss Fight at the climax of the film.

The Battery

The Battery

The Battery is a low budget, independent flick that I had been waiting to come out on DVD for a little while before I discovered that you could buy a digital copy off of the film’s website for $5. I figured, “What the hell? Worth a shot, right?” After some technological maneuvering, we were able to get The Battery up on my brother’s television. I’m glad it worked out, because this is one hell of a film.

Ben and Mickey are two (I’m presuming minor league) baseball players, traveling the northeast amongst the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. They’re not exactly friends, but rather two dudes who just happened to be together when the world went to Hell. Mickey is a sensitive fella who longs for what was lost and escapes from reality in a set of headphones. Ben is more of a realist and is more settled in the duo’s bleak existence. There’s some minor conflict between them that becomes escalated when they catch wind of a group of survivors who are not interested in taking on new members.

THE GOOD: Ben and Mickey are the only two characters on screen for most of the movie (Hell, even the zombies don’t get a whole lot of screen time), so a lot depends on their interactions and dialogue. Luckily, the film delivers and the result is an invested viewer. Too many movies focus more on the monsters, but the successful ones have characters you care about.

THE BAD: If I’m pressed to find a negative, some zombie enthusiasts might feel that the pace of the film is too slow or balk at the lack of gore. I don’t agree though, so “Screw you!” group of people I just made up!

THE ZOMBIES: Classic shufflin’ zombies that are straight out of a Romero movie or an episode of The Walking Dead.

VERDICT: The Battery is a great example of what the genre is capable of. Sometimes I question why my brother and I carve out time every month to watch (frequently terrible) zombie movies. Then, we catch a movie like The Battery, and my faith is restored. Do yourself a favor, forgo buying that sexy poster of Daryl Dixon, and spend your money on a download of The Battery. Grade: A

Current ZMN Rank: #12 out of 148

Golden Zombey Watch: I expect to see Jeremy Gardner and Adam Cronheim on the ballot in Acting categories. Also a near-lock for Best Soundtrack, awesome independent music prominently featured throughout the film.

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December got an extra movie this year. My cousins were up visiting, so while the women and children took a ride on the Polar Express, my brother, my cousin, my father, and I settled in for some guy time. And what’s more manly than zombies and professional wrestling? This also gave us the opportunity to put the Zombie Movie Night roster at a perfect 100 films!

Monster Brawl

Monster Brawl

Monster Brawl pits an array of hideous monsters against each other in wrestling matches to the death. You can read that sentence and pretty much know if this is a movie for you or not. The underlying plot is….well, nothing. There is no plot outside of the fact that monsters are fighting each other in a wrestling ring.

THE GOOD: The whole movie is ridiculous in a fun way. Each character is given a little back story and before each match-up they cut a standard pro-wrestling promo, most of which are pretty funny. I think Dave Foley is pretty much playing himself, drinking on the job and wondering what happened to the days when he was the star of a critically acclaimed NBC sitcom. “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart actually does play himself, and if you don’t know who he is, then you should probably skip Monster Brawl.

THE BAD: If you’ve never in your life watched professional wrestling, then there’s no way you could possibly enjoy this movie. There’s no movie outside of the monster tournament. Even if you’re just a monster fan, you’ll probably be thinking things like, “That’s not the technique a witch would use against a cyclops!” or “Why would a werewolf put someone in a figure-four leg lock?” And again, this movie has no plot, so if you like that kind of thing, you might also be turned off.

THE ZOMBIES: ****Spoiler Alert****** This movie actually has more zombie action than I thought it would. Zombie Man is one of the fighters (he’s up there on the bottom left of the poster) and technically Frankenstein and the Mummy are zombies too. But, there’s also a scene with zombies rising from their grave and they effectively infect a few main characters. Unfortunately, Zombie Man doesn’t fair too well in his match, but really a one-on-one match-up does not play to a zombie’s strengths. Threat Level: 4

VERDICT: I haven’t watched wrestling in a long time, but I was a big fan growing up. I spent a lot of that time watching with my brother and cousin. So we all had a good time watching this movie. I was actually relieved that it didn’t have a story, because I’m sure that any attempt at story-telling would have been terrible. Monster Brawl knows what it is and delivers what it promises. Grade: B+

Current ZMN Rank: #35 out of 100. It loses some points for only being partially a zombie movie, though it does not contain the least percentage of zombie action of the movies on the list.

Golden Zombey WatchMonster Brawl will probably contend for Best Zombie Comedy. If the Supporting Actor category is weak enough, Jimmy Hart or Kevin Nash may sneak in a nomination on name recognition. 

Zombie Movie Night, May 2012 asked that age old question: Who makes crazier zombie movies Japan or Italy. Unfortunately, we’ll have to throw this one out as Zombie Mermaid barely qualifies. But, more on that…

Oh! My Zombie Mermaid

Be forewarned, oh lovers of great cinema, Oh! My Zombie Mermaid contains a mermaid, and it contains a zombie, but it does not contain a zombie mermaid. And that’s one of the least bizarre things about this movie.

Successful wrestler, Kouta Shishioh, is having a house warming party. This is a big deal, see, ’cause his wife has always dreamed of having a house (a small house, with big windows, and a small door, and a darling puppy. Trust me, it makes a great song). Unfortunately for Kouta, everything goes to shit when his rival shows up, a jerkass American dude who looks like Albert Wesker from Resident Evil. Wrestling wackiness ensues with broken chairs, tables, televisions, and a giant fish shoved down a man’s throat. The action culminates when a mysterious bomb blows the house to smithereens. House-loving wifey is caught in the blast and ends up in a coma. Even worse while she’s in the hospital, she starts to turn into a mermaid (a surprisingly common occurrence with coma victims, I Googled it.) Kouta is understandably upset by this and he begins to rebuild his house, a move that he is sure will cure his wife. He throws all of his money into the house and soon he can’t even afford to pay his stable of goofy wrestling buddies. In order to make things right, he reluctantly agrees to participate in a Pay-Per-View type event in which he will take on a group of evil murderous wrestlers (one of which being a zombie! ZMN classification satisfied!). The only venue suitable for such an event? Kouta’s new house, which he will lose ownership of if he is not victorious.

THE GOOD: Oh!MZM is wacky Japanese at its finest. There are a number of WTF! moments as well as plenty of times when I laughed out loud. This one is fun and entertaining from beginning to end.

THE BAD: The title is terribly misleading. The subtitles during the opening scene offer an alternate title: Ah! House of Wrestling, which is much more accurate. I was afraid that despite having the word zombie in the title, that it would not be eligible to be listed on the Zombie Movie Night Standings, luckily…

THE ZOMBIES ZOMBIE: Half way through the movie, a zombie wrestler makes the scene. He’s dirty and has white pupils. It seems that he might just be some kind of weirdo, until he starts stabbing himself and strangling our hero with his own intestines. Oh!MZM makes the list by the slimmest of margins.

THE VERDICT: I’d recommend Oh!MZM to anyone who loves wrestling or movies that are batshit insane. If it had more zombies in it, it would have scored much higher in the ZMN Standings. As zombie movie it’s a D, as crazy Japanese movie, it’s an A.

Current ZMN Rank: #37 out of 76

Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror

Burial Ground doesn’t waste any time getting to zombies and boobs, so neither will I! Let’s go!

THE GOOD: Far too often, zombie movies waste a lot of time building stuff up, whether it be character development or tension. BG:TNOT don’t play that! Zombies within the first 5 minutes, nudity within the first 15. BG:TNOT is entertaining in a super-cheesy kind of way.

THE BAD: Unfortunately, once the zombies get going, things slow down considerably. There is no story to speak of and things get really repetitive: zombies show up, people run…only to find more zombies, run and repeat. There are also some really questionable directorial decisions, such as long scenes of zombies walking…..very……very…..slowly, long super close-ups of the actor’s eyes, and the casting of a little person to play a child (although this may have been a necessity based on the fact that all the “kid” does during the movie is put the moves on his mom).

THE ZOMBIES: BG:TNOT zombies are a surprising bunch. They are extremely slow, but seem to put a spell on their victims, as those idiots have a lot of trouble evading the barely moving corpses, deciding instead to stand wide-eyed and get slowly choked. As the movie progresses, the zombies raid the toolshed and start to use scythes and axes. They show some impressive teamwork as they employ the use of a battering ram.

The make-up used for the zombies is interesting. Masks are used most of the time and look pretty gruesome, especially when covered in live maggots. Drawn out close-ups allow the viewer to clearly see the imperfections of the make-up, such as seeing the actor’s mouth underneath the mask’s zombie teeth. Despite this, or maybe because of this, I found myself strangely fond of the cheesy zombies.

THE VERDICT: BG:TNOT is not a good movie. It is stupid, cheesy, and crazy enough to be enjoyable. It started quick, but not strong and ends up a C-.

Current ZMN Rank: #53 out 76

Current ZMN Standings