Posts Tagged ‘zombie comedy’

Zombie Movie Night: July! Go!

Buck Wild

Buck Wild

Last year the movie Infected teased us all with the thought of zombie deer. It did not deliver, but lo and behold, my dream of zombie deer tearing shit up was given new hope when I saw that there was a zombie movie called Buck Wild. Going on nothing but name alone, I entered Buck into the ranks of ZMN.

In a standard horror set-up, four buddies are going on vacation to a secluded hunting lodge for a weekend of bonding and not-getting-murdered. Unluckily for them, the lodge’s owner was recently bitten by a chupacabra, the cryptozoological “Goat Sucker,” and seems to be under the weather as a result. Spoiler Alert: He turns into a zombie.

THE GOOD: Buck Wild is a zombie comedy…..and it’s actually funny. The lead is a lovable loser. His buddies are a male slut and an uptight stiff (dare I say, nerd? I’ll leave that for the next review). But the scene stealer in Buck is the lead’s off-kilter cousin, who comes along for the ride and proceeds to make everyone uncomfortable by sharpening his knife in his sleep and practicing martial arts in the nude. This kind of character has been tried plenty of times and typically succeeds or fails based on the actor and dialogue. Luckily, in this case, both are strong.

THE BAD: I liked this movie a lot, but there were two moments that really fell flat. 1) The chupacabra at the beginning was a terrible looking puppet and overall unnecessary. It never returns and there was no reason to include this as the cause of the outbreak. 2) A scene in which a zombie provides Freudian psychotherapy to the main character really didn’t work. It certainly didn’t fit with the type of zombies the movie portrayed, but more importantly, it wasn’t funny. The next scene shows the lead sleeping, so I’ll at least give Buck the benefit of the doubt and say that it was a dream sequence.

THE ZOMBIES: And now the moment you’ve been waiting for! Zombie Deer……..are not present (wah wah). Nope, just standard zombies. Sometimes running, somewhat functioning when first infected, but overall pretty standard (save for scene mentioned above).

VERDICT: I went into Buck Wild with zero expectations. Based on title, poster, and description I thought for sure we were looking at bottom 10% of the list. I can’t really remember the last time I was this surprised on ZMN. This is a damn good movie. Definitely worth checking out. Grade: B+

Current ZMN Rank: #38 out of 146

Golden Zombey Watch: I could potentially see nominations for this one all over the ballot: Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Villain, Duo, Origin, Best Zombie Comedy, Soundtrack, Most Memorable Massacring, Bizarre Zombie Behavior, and WTF Moment.

Attack of the Vegan Zombies

Attack of the Vegan Zombies

If I’m going to give Attack of the Vegan Zombies any credit at all, it has a wacky-ass original premise. Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. A couple owns a vineyard. Years of unsuccessful harvests have led them to the brink of bankruptcy. In order to save the farm, Wife goes to her mother for help. Mom is a witch (resentful of her rebellious daughter, who chose not to be a witch). Wife and Mom make a potion to create a bountiful harvest. One of the ingredients is blood, which Wife collects from Husband (by tricking him into crazy, nasty, vicious, bloody, off-screen sex). Potion works! Fast forward to next year, the vineyard is so successful the couple hires local students to help them harvest all the grapes. But these are angry grapes. Aggressive grapes. See, Husband had been drinking before Wife took his blood. His blood angered up the grapes and now they crave….wine! And what’s the best way to get wine? By creating zombies, of course. Zombies that crave….wine! And if they can’t get wine, they’ll settle for the blood of humans that have recently drank (drunken?) wine. Because the wine is in their blood! Got it? Good. Let’s move on.

THE GOOD: No, let’s start with THE BAD: it makes more sense that way. Because this movie is bad. Really bad. First off, with a title and a description like that, you’d think that this would be tongue-in-cheek, off the walls whack-a-doo. But, it’s played fairly straight the whole time. Odd decision, but OK. Worse than this is the fact that all of the acting and all of the characters are terrible. Two of the students are nerds. You know they’re nerds because they wear glasses, button down shirts, pocket protectors, and reference Star Trek in nasally nerd voices. This wasn’t funny on Saved by the Bell, and it’s not funny now.

THE GOOD: The only saving grace for AotVZ is that it is at least enjoyably bad. Much on the level of Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill, everything in this movie is so bad that you can’t help but root for it. And, there is a throwaway lesbian with some boobage. They’re not the greatest boobs, but hey, credit where credit is due.

THE ZOMBIES: Oh yeah, the zombies look terrible too. Green face and body paint accompanied by neon green blood, a la Troll 2. And did I mention that the zombies attack humans to get at the wine in their blood? WTF!?!

THE VERDICT: So bad it’s good still doesn’t really equal a good movie. For the hardcore only. Grade: D

Current ZMN Rank: #128 out of 146

Golden Zombey Watch: Likely nominations for Origin and Bizarre Zombie Behavior. Best Nudity would be a stretch, but I’m not sure how much competition there has been this year. The whole movie itself could get nominated for WTF.

Advertisements

So far this season, it’s seemed like there haven’t been a lot of exciting or new zombie movies becoming available (or maybe it just seems like a lull considering how many zombie films were released in theaters last year). However, this month 2 new movies that I had my eye on just became available on Netflix. Expectations were high…a dangerous, dangerous place to be. Let’s see how they made out.

Zombie Night

Zombie Night

This is the 2nd film included in ZMN with the title Zombie Night. The first was as low as low budget gets, ranked pretty low in the standings, but was somewhat enjoyable on a laughingly bad level. This new Zombie Night sets itself apart….with STAR POWER….sort of. It features the previously famous Anthony Michael Hall and Daryl Hannah. It was also directed by Project Green Light winner John Gulager (director of the Feast trilogy and son of Return of the Living Dead’s Golden Zombey nominee, Clu Gulager). The movie itself features very little plot, as it follows a group of people trying to survive a night full of zombies.

THE GOOD: If you thought all the stars of Zombie Night had names on the poster, you’re in for a treat because Zombie Night also features Alan Ruck, Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! All of the name actors give decent performances and the movie appears to be adequately put together.

THE BAD: Unfortunately, it’s really just not very much fun. Gulager’s Feast movies weren’t great, but they were campy and had a certain silly charm. Zombie Night has none of that, as everything is played straight, but without anything particularly new or interesting.

THE ZOMBIES: Pretty standard zombies, except that for some reason the outbreak only lasts one night. All the survivors have to do is make it to morning. At the end of the film, it’s unclear whether the zombies will raise again tomorrow night.

VERDICT: Zombie Night brings nothing to the table that hasn’t been done better by someone else. It’s not terrible, but it is incredibly forgettable. Grade: C

Current ZMN Rank: #81 out of 138

Golden Zombey Watch: Anthony Michael Hall and Daryl Hannah for Best Actor and Actress? Maybe, why not? Zombie Night’s best chance might be in Unintentional Comedy for the police officer who dooms more people than he saves.

Stalled

Stalled

Stalled has a simple premise: A man stuck in bathroom stall when the zombie apocalypse strikes. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like there’d be enough meat there to flesh out a whole hour and a half film, but people said the same thing about Booty Call, and Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for that!

THE GOOD: I found Stalled to be quite enjoyable. Having a single, small location allows this low-budget production to succeed without trying to stretch past its limitations. Our hero is stuck in the bathroom when zombies destroy the Christmas party that was occurring in the office outside. Part of the fun of this movie is wondering what kind of craziness happened at that party, as not only did it have zombies, but also multiple people (and little people) dressed up in ridiculous Christmas costumes.

THE BAD: There’s not too much fault to be found here, given the low budget nature of the film. I did find it pretty implausible that the hero would have someone to talk to in his position. I wasn’t really buying that two people ended up in such an unlikely circumstance.

THE ZOMBIES: Regular zombies, maybe extra stupid or under-motivated as they couldn’t crack the nut of gaining entry into a bathroom stall.

VERDICT: I give Stalled a hearty recommendation. It does a nice job of telling a different kind of zombie tale while still remaining entertaining and amusing. Grade: B+

Current ZMN Rank#37 out of 138

Golden Zombey WatchThe film hinges on the performance of Dan Palmer, the main actor, and he does a nice job. I like his chances of making it onto the ballot. It will probably contend for Best Zombie Comedy as well.

2012: Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Apocalypse

For the second month in a row I found that there was nothing really new or exciting that I wanted to watch. Instead, I looked through my back-up list and picked the one with the highest star rating on Netflix. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, based on its competition), that movie was 2012: Zombie Apocalypse, a made for SyFy Channel movie starring Ving Rhames and Crab Man from My Name is Earl. The story is pretty standard: survivors of the zombie apocalypse trek across a wasted landscape trying to reach a safe zone.

THE GOOD: The best thing you could say about 2012 is that it’s decent. Story and acting are acceptable. Ving Rhames was great in the Dawn of the Dead remake. This attempt to recapture that glory is definitely better than his first: the terrible Day of the Dead remake.

THE BAD: SyFy movies are known for their extreme campiness. Outside of a giant zombie tiger, 2012 plays it straight. Unfortunately, this makes it a bit boring. There’s nothing original or humorous (intentional or unintentional) here, which makes it pretty forgettable in the long run.

THE ZOMBIES: Standard zombies. There’s an intro that talks about how zombieism spread, but it doesn’t really matter. There are hints that the virus is evolving some, as animals start to become infected and zombies start to set traps, but there’s not a tremendous amount of time given to this and that subplot never really goes anywhere. Some of the zombies in the film look pretty bad, as if some of them put on a Halloween clown mask and slapped some fake gore on it.

VERDICT: Uninspired and unoriginal. Your life will be unaltered whether you check it out or not, I’d lean toward skipping it. Grade: C

Current ZMN Rank: #80 out of 136

Golden Zombey Watch: Ving Rhames for Best Actor? Sure, why not? The zombie tiger might qualify for WTF Moment.

Dead and Deader

Dead and Deader

Next up, my brother chose the 2006 smash hit, Dead and Deader, starring Dean Cain and Guy Torry (best known as the prisoner who helped un-racistify Edward Norton in American History X). Cain is actually our second Superman found in Zombie Movie Night (Henry Cavill in Blood Creek being the first). Somebody give a shout out if they know of a zombie movie starring Adam West!

Cain is the main character and is quickly killed in a military mission gone awry. To everyone’s surprise, he wakes up alive, as do his fellow military men. He seems to be the only one with any consciousness though, and he sets out on a mission to stop the other, mindless zombies.

THE GOOD: DaD was actually pretty enjoyable. I was surprised. There’s some cheesiness, but for the most part it’s well-acted, sometimes funny, and overall entertaining.

THE BAD: I’m never a fan of zombie super powers. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Why would the zombie Dean Cain have super-tracking senses, super strength, and advanced healing?

THE ZOMBIES: Cain has the aforementioned super powers, but the other guys all seem to be standard zombies. Zombieism is caused by some kind of mutant scorpion and there ends up being a mad scientist behind the whole thing.

VERDICT: I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I think it’s worth checking out, especially if you’re a huge Dean Cain fan (my wife might be the only one left, though). Grade: B

Current ZMN Rank: #56 out of 136

Golden Zombey Watch: The main 3 characters might compete for the acting categories or Cain might show up in Outstanding Zombie. Pretty decent contender for Best Zombie Comedy as well.

Right after Halloween (for some reason) Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady,  NY hosts a zombie movie marathon. This year my brother and I attended with some friends and stayed for the 1st half, which included these three films:

Night of the Creeps

Night of the Creeps

Night of the Creeps was actually the movie I was most excited to see, as it was the only film on the roster that I had not seen previously. It did not disappoint and is a pretty effective comedy. It starts with a bizarre scene with chubby naked aliens chasing one another on a space ship. Apparently one of them had a virus that then crashes on Earth in the 1960s. The virus lands at the same time a serial killer is on the loose and a teenage couple is preparing for a romantic evening in their car (which, if TV and movies are to be believed, is how just about every weekend in the 60s went). We see the killer approach the girl in the car at the same time that an alien slug injects itself into the dude’s mouth, but everything must have been contained as we then flash forward to the present (the 80s) where Rusty from National Lampoon’s European Vacation is trying to impress his dream girl with an assist from his disabled best friend. Rusty figures the best way to do this is to join the nearest, douchiest fraternity. The frat boy leader (and boyfriend of dream girl, of course) tells them they’re in if they can hijack a corpse and put it on the rival frat’s front lawn. Rusty and friend end up in the science building where they stumble upon the frozen body of the 60s alien-infected dude. They thaw him out, and well, you can guess what happens from there. They also run afoul of the local sheriff, who has a dark secret connected to the 60s serial killer. Wow, that was a long description. It sounds kind of convoluted, but it all ends up making sense and working cohesively.

THE GOOD: NotC is pretty funny and entertaining. I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. There are also some good zombie fighting scenes once Rusty and the Sheriff join forces.

THE BAD: Some goofy 80s fashion going on, but people will probably say the same about current movies 30 years from now. What are you gonna do? More critically, the two leads are actually the least interesting characters. The sheriff and Rusty’s friend are the scene-stealers and I was much more interested in what happened to them than I was Rusty and the cardboard cut-out dream girl.

THE ZOMBIES: The zombies here are people infested by a zombie slug that enters through the mouth. Not limited to humans, we also see a zombie cat and dog. They’re pretty tough to slow down unless completely burned. Good thing flame throwers are handy.

VERDICT: I’m surprised that NotC never caught on as more of a cult classic. I know it has its fans, but it was really pretty excellent and deserves a stronger following. It gets my full recommendation. Grade: A-

Current ZMN Rank: #30 out of 130

Golden Zombey Watch: I’ll definitely be looking to nominate either the Sheriff or the buddy for Best Supporting Actor, not sure which will make the cut though. Best Zombie Comedy and Best Nudity are good bets too.

Next up in the marathon was:

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue

Living Dead at Manchester Morgue

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue was part of Zombie Movie Night Season 2, when my brother and I watched it under the title Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, which I think is the superior moniker. It earned a mediocre ranking, so I was not  super-excited to have it be the first film to get a 2nd viewing in ZMN history.

TLDaMM takes place in the swinging 70s, when unattractive women ran nude through the streets of London and it was customary to let a complete stranger drive your car if you accidentally damaged his motorcycle. In the film, two strangers run across some zombies that have been created by a new sonic-pesticide machine being used in the country-side. The machine is designed to make bugs kill each other with homicidal rage, thus leaving tomatoes unmolested. Unfortunately, it also makes babies want to rip your goddamn face off (this scene does not play as awesome as it might sound). Oh yeah, it raises the recently deceased too.

THE GOOD: TLDaMM builds slowly, but once the zombies are on the scene, there’s some pretty good mayhem going on. There’s also some good unintentional comedy as some of the character actions are completely ridiculous, including the local police chief acting like a total dick.

THE BAD: TLDaMM bludgeons the viewer with its environmental message. I don’t mind a little social commentary with my flesh-eaters, but this film takes it way over the edge, so that it’s both distracting and irritating.

THE ZOMBIES: Slow moving, yet incredibly strong for some reason. How the zombies are filled with homicidal rage, yet also slow and emotionless doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but zombies are rich, complex creatures I guess.

VERDICT: I think I enjoyed this film a little more on the 2nd viewing, but I still stand by our initial, below average ranking. Grade: C-

Current ZMN Rank#89 out of 130

Golden Zombey WatchTLDaMM is not eligible for awards this season. In Season 2 it went 0 for 1, losing in the category of Most Original Zombie Origin.

Last, but certainly not least, was:

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead

If you’re reading this blog, then you know Shaun of the Dead. While 28 Days Later and the Dawn of the Dead remake reinvigorated the modern zombie, Shaun completed the resurgence by introducing the zombie comedy. Sure, there had been funny zombie movies in the past (See Night of the Creeps), but Shaun did it with such flair and tribute to the source material that it ended up reaching a larger audience and becoming a classic. Without Shaun, there would be no Zombieland, World War Z (which first showed up in the comedy section of bookstores), or DeadHeads (sorry Shaun, you have to take the good with the bad).

THE GOOD: More than anything, Shaun works because it’s really, really funny. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost work great together (as they have in multiple projects at this point) and all of the comedy in Shaun hits the mark. What makes the film great for zombie enthusiasts is the fact that it is evident that the filmmakers are fans themselves.

THE BAD: Sorry, I got nothing.

THE ZOMBIES: Classic slow-moving zombies, obviously lifted straight out of the original Romero films. Perhaps the best scene of the film has Shaun walking through his normal routine not noticing that his neighbors have all become zombies.

VERDICT: Shaun is an instant classic and a must-watch, essential viewing whether you’re a zombie fan or not. Grade: A

Current ZMN Rank: #2 out 130

Golden Zombey Watch: I’m not sure that we’ll allow Shaun to compete with the rest of the films this season, we’re probably looking at another Lifetime Achievement Award, as we did with NOTLD last season. All of the leads will probably still be eligible for individual awards.

Zombie Movie Night: November! Go!

Frankenstein’s Army

Amaray Wrap.EPS

Those wacky Nazis are up to no good again. This time they’ve enlisted a descendent of Dr. Frankenstein. Apparently, during the end of WWII, he improved upon the family science project by reanimating corpses with various implements of destruction replacing their body parts. Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds, and yes, there is a zombie with a propeller for a head. The film’s victims heroes are a band of Russian soldiers who have been duped into infiltrating Dr. Frankenstein’s lair. It doesn’t go well for them.

THE GOOD: Once the zombies come on scene, F’sA is super crazy in-your-face all the time. If that’s what you’re expecting, and it should be, then you’ll get what you came for.

THE BAD: F’sA is shot in first person, handheld camera perspective. I’m not a fan of the style, and I think it’s run its course in the horror genre. Luckily, it doesn’t detract too much.

THE ZOMBIES: The Army is made up of spliced together reanimated corpses that Dr. Frankenstein can control for some unspecified reason. I don’t consider Frankenstein’s Monster a zombie, but these guys fit the bill. I think the difference is that the zombots (as they’re credited) are more mindless killers, unlike the occasionally sympathetic Frank.

VERDICT: If you like a little (or a lot) of wacky in your zombie movies, then F’sA is for you. You’re going to need to be a fan of the genre going in, so don’t expect Grandma to enjoy this one. Grade: A

Current ZMN Rank: #26 out of 130

Golden Zombey WatchI’d be surprised if Viktor didn’t show up with the Best Villain nominees. Also look for Teddy Bear Zombot in WTF Moment.

Dead Before Dawn

Dead Before Dawn

Dead Before Dawn is a zombie comedy that is funny. It seems so rare that I get to say that. In DBD, a young man who’s scared of his own shadow accidentally breaks a cursed urn while watching over his grandfather’s kooky occult shop. His friends are present at the time and not taking the curse seriously, begin to list a bunch of wacky ways in which they would be cursed. Unfortunately for them, the demon/curse/ghost made note of all their suggestions and later that night it all becomes reality for the group. Most notable is the fact that anyone that they make eye contact with is filled with the desire to kill themselves and then promptly return as a zombie.

THE GOOD: DBD is funny….actually funny, not unintentionally funny or so bad it’s funny…it’s genuinely funny. It works as a comedy and it works as a zombie movie. And Christopher Lloyd says “Great Scott!” Really not one of the film’s finest moments, but worth noting.

THE BAD: SPOILER!:::: I wasn’t crazy about the Wayne’s World-esque Super Happy Ending where all the bad stuff that happened in the film is magically erased, but the good stuff, like the main character getting the girl, remains. But, even with that, it seemed to fit for the movie and, really, you can see it coming from a mile away. I guess you can’t really have a comedy end with an entire town of people dead by suicide.

THE ZOMBIES: The characters call them zemons, meaning half-zombie, half-demon, but they’re really straight up fast zombies. There are some wacky rules involving kissing and zombie slaves, but there’s not a tremendous amount of time spent on those aspects of the curse.

VERDICT: Not since The Happening has suicide been so funny. DBD gets a hearty recommendation and you might even be able to find some non-zombie enthusiasts who enjoy the film as well. Grade: A-

Current ZMN Rank: #33 out of 130

Golden Zombey WatchRecognizable faces are always good for Supporting Actor looks, so watch out for Christopher Lloyd. Some of the other cast members may take stabs at the other Acting awards as well. I’m thinking this one will definitely be in the running for Best Zombie Comedy, unless there’s some amazing competition later in the season.

My brother and I always like to fit it in some extra movies to kick off a new season of ZMN, so we got together a second time and bore witness to:

Cockneys vs. Zombies

Cockneys vs Zombies

Not being of British descent, I have only a very passing familiarity with the term Cockney. From what I know, it describes a working-class segment of the population who use funny-sounding, sometimes indecipherable slang. CvZ pits a group of locals against an undead army. A team of good-hearted, but underachieving brothers plan a bank heist with their cousin, their friend, and an unhinged thug in order to save the nursing home that their grandfather owns. During the heist, zombies hit the streets, and now the team is tasked with crossing town to save the old folks while trying to keep themselves alive.

THE GOOD: CvZ is at times funny, heartfelt, and wacky. There’s some pretty good zombie action and I ended up caring about the characters, which is always good.

THE BAD: Some of the jokes about old people being tough and cursing got a little stale towards the end of the film. Not incredibly groan-worthy or anything that detracted too much. The gags just got a little….old. (See what I did?)

THE ZOMBIES: Pretty standard slow zombies. Slow enough to not be able to outrun an elderly man with a walker (one of the old people gags that was funny). There’s an origin story at the beginning of the film that involves a construction crew unearthing an ancient evil, but the cause of the outbreak is largely inconsequential.

VERDICT: CvZ is a solid film and pretty good throughout. Not great enough to breakthrough to the upper echelon of great zombie films, but definitely worth a watch. Grade: B+.

Current ZMN Rank#31 out of 126

Golden Zombey WatchMain character brothers, Terry & Andy seem likely contenders for Zombie Fighting Duo. The boys’ female cousin and the unhinged Mental Mickey might also take runs at Supporting Actress and Best Villain, respectively. The film also had some good music that might be enough for a Best Soundtrack nod.

Dorm of the Dead

Dorm of the Dead

As you can see, the poster for Dorm of the Dead features a ringing endorsement from Howard Stern: “Nice Job. Congratulations.” I’m quite sure he meant, “Congratulations on getting your horribly shit movie released to the public somehow.” Dorm of the Dead is bad. Really bad. Bad in the “can barely be considered a movie” kind of way. Any amount of time I spend writing about it will only be worth it if one person reads this and decides not to watch it.

THE GOOD: DotD has one very slight saving grace: it features some nudity. That’s the only nice thing I can say about it. It is slightly unsettling though, because after some un-story-related girls show their boobs, the main characters from that point on look like they’re about 15 years old.

THE BAD: But I guess that doesn’t matter because it also seems like most of the actors in this film never actually met one another. Rarely are two characters seen in frame at the same time. Extensive research reveals that this movie was filmed concurrently in California and Tennessee, and it’s pretty obvious which actors came from which region. The villain in the movie never appears in frame with the main character even when they are supposed to be having a face-to-face conversation.

THE ZOMBIES: The bulk of the “plot” revolves around the main character slowly becoming a zombie after the villain pours zombie blood in her mouth while she’s sleeping (did somebody say greatest college prank ever?). She starts to kill people in a very boring fashion. There’s also some other zombies running around, but they don’t really matter.

VERDICT: There’s no way I ever would have watched this for more than 5 minutes if it weren’t for Zombie Movie Night. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Anyway, DotD would have easily been bottom 3 in the Standings if not for nudity. Unlike the very bottom of the list, DotD at least had the decency to be slightly indecent.

Current ZMN Standing: #122 out 126

Golden Zombey WatchAmazing that a movie this bad could still contend for Worst Ending, yet it contains an epilogue completely unrelated to the rest of the film. It is painfully unfunny and seemed to go on forever, even though it was probably not much longer than 5 minutes.

It’s October, a fantastic month full of foliage and monsters. It is also the start of the 5th year of Zombie Movie Night. And this year, the new season came barreling in with a ….meh.

Corpses

Corpses

Corpses is a low-budget tongue-in-cheek zombie comedy whose claim to fame is that it was able to wrangle in big time actor somewhat recognizable actor, Jeff Fahey (Darkman III: Die Darkman Die, Locusts: The 8th Plague). In the film, a local mortician who was on a personal quest to create a bigger, better form of formaldehyde (is that a thing that people are clamoring for?) accidentally discovers a way to raise the dead temporarily. Like any one of us would do, he uses this discovery to make the zombies steal stuff so that he can earn enough money to reconcile with his gold-digging estranged ex-wife. (It sounds a lot more plausible as he explains his plan with visual aids to a group of newly resurrected zombies) Things become more complicated when his ex-wife, who is married to the town sheriff (Fahey), concocts a scheme to turn the mortician’s funeral home into a mall while his assistant (who is dating the sheriff’s daughter) becomes suspicious of his boss’s affairs. Zombies start killing people too, so I guess that also complicates things. I feel like I’ve spent too much time describing this crappy movie.

THE GOOD: Corpses is laughably bad. Part of it is intended, but a lot just comes from the overacting and stupidly ridiculous plot points. It features some boobs, which should always be a given when you’re watching a crappy movie, but sadly some movies neglect this necessity. Kudos to you, Corpses.

THE BAD: This is a bad movie, but not unwatchable. It doesn’t take itself seriously in any fashion, which makes it much easier to swallow.

THE ZOMBIES: The mortician’s formula revives the dead for a brief period of time. He manipulates the zombies into doing his bidding because they need some of his special sauce to remain animated. They are prone to violence, but do not appear to be infectious in the film.  Threat Level: 5

VERDICT: This film is only for those foolish enough to be on a zombie film-watching mission. It won’t make you rethink your life choices for better or worse. Sometimes that’s the best you can do on ZMN, but still kind of disappointing on this anniversary month.

Current ZMN Rank: #73 out 126

Golden Zombey WatchI would be surprised if Corpses has strong representation come awards season, but here are some possibilities: Supporting Actress – Tiffany Shepis, the sheriff’s daughter, Outstanding Zombie – Babs, the prostitute zombie, Best Villain – Fred Withers, the mortician, or Best Nudity.

Dead Space: Downfall

Dead Space Downfall

Dead Space: Downfall is a movie based on a video game franchise that I have never played. I, therefore, have no opinion on or connection to the source material. Maybe someone who has played the game and seen the movie can let me know if that’s good or bad. According to my (vast, vast) research, this film takes place before the first game. Space Miners in a desolate future uncover an ancient obelisk that they proceed to bring onto their giant spaceship. (Sounds like a bad idea already, doesn’t it?) Along with it comes an alien species that takes over the bodies of humans and transforms them into violent monsters (but, really who amongst us wouldn’t like a new set of arms, so it’s not all bad). The presence of the aliens or the obelisk or something also make the survivors paranoid and turn on each other. Fighting against this unwinnable situation is badass female security chief, Alissa Vincent, and her small, racially diverse team of cannon fodder.

THE GOOD: DS:D is a decent film. There’s a lot of action and that creepy, alone in space, invaded by aliens feel, reminiscent of some kick ass sci-fi movies of old. It’s also got a dynamic that my brother and I have always enjoyed: team of good guys goes down one-by-one while fighting evil threat (The Predator dynamic, if you will).

THE BAD: My brother pointed this out during the film: cartoon characters cursing feels uncomfortable, regardless of the context. For some reason, the graphic violence sat just fine with me, but the cursing didn’t seem right (just like when Beachhead said “Shit” to Jinx, back in my childhood).

THE ZOMBIES: They’re humans possessed by aliens, which is an acceptable form of zombie for ZMN inclusion. The infected sprout a new set of arms from their torsos while they’re old arms become crazy, scythe-like blades. They also develop sharp, monster teeth. They’re fast and vicious, and if you’ve played the game, I’m guessing that you can figure out that no one survives this prequel. Threat Level: 9

VERDICT: If Corpses is slightly below the median of zombie quality, DS:D is slightly above it. It’s ok, but nothing that’s going to rock your world. A good watch for zombie enthusiasts or fans of the game, but probably not for anyone else.

Current ZMN Rank: #62 of 126

Golden Zombey WatchIf Animated Feature makes a comeback, then DS:D will be there. If not, look for it in Best Zombie-Fighting Team or Most Memorable Massacring.