AICN HORROR: New horrors WAR OF THE DEAD, SUMMER OF MASSACRE, DORM OF THE DEAD, A DARKER REALITY, & DON’T GO IN THE WOODS! Plus the winners of THE DIVIDE Contest & TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE Contest & celebrate the holiday with FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2!
Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here with another AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. Not only do we have another pack of horror films for review this week, I’m also celebrating Friday the 13th with a look back at the first sequel in the series.
But before we jump into the reviews, here’s a few news bits you might find interesting…
So a while back, I ran a contest for TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE asking readers to tell me the most frightening sound they've ever heard. Then the holidays happened and the whole thing slipped my mind. My apologies go to both the Glass Eye Pix folks and the participants in the contest. So below are the winners of the contest and their most frightening sounds, all fascinating reads and admittedly frightening.
Jon Holland - "It is hard for me to tell, I’ve heard so many scary sounds, being a fan of old time radio and horror movies. One sound that stands out for me in my own life, was the sound of a 12 year old boy's heart monitor slowing down to almost nothing. His mother and sister were in the room breaking down with each beep."
Keith Meyers - "The scariest, most bone chilling sound I ever heard was when I was volunteering as an EMT one night around Christmas eve. A car wreck. Victim lost control while driving and hit a phone pole sideways so hard he was crushed against the passenger side. Coroner’s assistant was MIA, so we helped extricate his body and place it on the body bag. Every bone in his body was broken. The sound as his body hit the ground…his skin a literal bag of bones…I will never forget."
Bradd Parton - "The scariest sound I ever heard was spoken by a dental assistant after my root canal. When she removed the rubber shielding strapped around my clamped open mouth, a quiet, but VERY disturbing "oh, no..." was her response. One of the tools the dentist used to perform the procedure had gotten very hot, and while it did not burn through the rubber shielding, it did burn my lower lip leaving a large, quarter-sized, painful-after-the-novacaine-wore-off white blister. All is well now, but at the time...scary."
Patrick Smith - "The scariest sound I've ever heard was last year, when I was lying in my bed reading when I heard the movement of something in the walls of my room. On its own this would not be that bad but I was right in the middle of reading HP Lovecraft’s "The Rats in the Wall" and as I neared the end of the story the movement I heard in the walls got more and more frantic to the point where I left my house and crashed on my friends couch."
Truly scary stuff. Congratulations to all of the winners and thanks to all who participated!
We also have the winner of our BIEHN DIVIDE CONTEST EQUALS AWESOME Contest. Adam Wentworth will be checking out the double feature of THE DIVIDE and ALIENS at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin this Saturday night with Michael Biehn in attendance for a Q&A.
Meanwhile, I'll be shoveling snow in Chicago...grumble...
Congrats to Adam and thanks to all who took part in the contest. If you didn't win, you can still buy tickets to the event here!
Just an asshair late for the holidays comes ROID RAGE: THE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL from the makers of ROID RAGE. That murderous hemorrhoid is at it again. This time, they’re here to deck the halls with bowels of holly! It’s ho-ho-O-ring! Enjoy the shenanigans…
THE CHAINSAW SALLY SHOW begins its second season on January 31st and the producers of the show at Forbidden Pictures were nice enough to give my faithful readers of AICN HORROR a sneak preview of the first episode. On the 31st, the first episode will be free; then the remainder of the 8-episode season will be pay-to-download.
Beware, this might not be safe for work!
Click here to check out the first episode.
Here we go…
(Click title to go directly to the feature)
FEARNET Catch of the Week: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981)
DORM OF THE DEAD (2009)
A DARKER REALITY (2008)
THE SUMMER OF MASSACRE (2011)
DON’T GO IN THE WOODS (2010)
Advance Review: WAR OF THE DEAD (2011)
And finally…Ryan McDuffie’s FOREST FALLS (short film)
Happy Friday the 13th!FEARNET’s Catch of the Week:
Available free On Demand all month!
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981)Director: Steve Miner
Writer: Ron Kurz & Victor Miller
Starring Amy Steel, John Fury, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Walt Gorney, Tom McBride, Marta Kober, Bill Randolph, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Russell Todd, Betsy Palmer and Warrington Gillette as Jason Voorhees
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug
Continuing to cover a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie every time a Friday the 13th comes around, this time we’re looking at the original sequel. Can you believe in the year and three months this column has been running, we’ve only had two Friday the 13th’s so far? Click here to check out my retro-reviews of FRIDAY THE 13TH and the stinky 2009 remake.
Even from the shocking opening moments of FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 there’s a lot of metaphor to be read into the story. A small boy plays in a puddle, he’s called in by his mother, and as he walks away, a large boot splashes into the puddle immediately after. The boy has been replaced by the man. Now, the FRIDAY THE 13TH series has always been the butt of a lot of jokes, but while films like the original, THE FINAL CHAPTER, JASON LIVES, and maybe bits of JASON X were crowd pleasers, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 actually seemed to want to resonate with some sophisticated themes.
While adhering to the basic structure established in the first film, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 sets the tone for all of the sequels to follow. Five years after the original massacre at Camp Blood, another set of campers set up camp in the cabins across the lake. This group, like the first, are fun loving, sex crazed, and rambunctious; just the type of fodder that always lines up to be chopped down in these films. Though no Academy Awards were given to any of the actors in this one, at least the actors in this film seemed to give it their all. Unlike recent stalk and slash flicks, this film isn’t packed with GQ and MAXIM models. Making the kids in this one relatable and downright earthy makes them infinitely more appealing, and you find yourself actually caring whether they live or die. Every one of these kids in peril could be you or I, something modern horror doesn’t seem to get by populating their films with ridiculous good lookings.
Unlike the other sequels, there are a few things different in this film that make FRIDAY THE 13TH a little more frightening than the rest. First and foremost, I’ve always been a fan of the bag-head Jason. The hockey mask has become an iconic symbol of the series, but it wasn’t until the next chapter that our hero dons his famous ice hockey face plate. The bag head, reminiscent of the hooded killer in THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN and of the mask the Zodiac killer was known to wear, always seemed more frightening in its ruggedness and simplicity. Jason is a faceless killer in this film, but the mere glimmer of an eye through the hole in the mask is infinitely more frightening than any goalie in my opinion.
Also in this film, Jason is not treated as a lumbering retard. Played here by Warrington Gillette, this Jason is sophisticated enough to call his first victim, F13 survivor Alice (played by Adrienne King), to make sure she’s home and even knows to take the kettle off the oven so as not to alert the neighbors of his kill. He sets snare traps for his victims and is a much more meticulous killer than in later films, stalking the campers set to reopen Camp Crystal Lake and hunting them before dispatching them.
Final girl Ginny (played by Amy Steel) seems to be the only one who actually wants to be a counselor here. She tries to psychoanalyze the legend of Jason after an ominous tale (revisited in PART 4) is told to the campers around a fire. In the end, it’s this understanding that saves Ginny as she fools Jason into thinking she is his mother long enough to deliver the final blow. But of course, as with the first film, the shockeroo ending makes it difficult to understand whether or not the survivors live or die or if the unmasked Jason who crashes through the window at the end is just the nightmare of a traumatized victim.
Though this is a great addition to the F13 franchise, it is definitely not the most original. Some of the kills are almost exactly swiped from Mario Bava’s BAY OF BLOOD AKA TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE. Director Miner amps up the tension by having the camera follow the weapon as Jason moves closer toward his victim. Miner also highlights the sex and death angle, not only by killing off any camper who has sex, but cutting to people having sex immediately after someone is killed. Miner also keeps the mystery going until the end. Though the identity of the killer is common knowledge now, you have to understand that at this point in the series, the film is set up to be somewhat of a mystery. There most definitely is a killer stalking the campers, but who it is remains a mystery until the end.
The kills in this film are especially brutal. A man’s neck is slashed while hanging upside down with blood gushing. A spear is stuck between two kids having sex (swiped directly from BAY OF BLOOD). And the fan favorite machete THWAK across the face of the wheelchair guy (lifted straight from BAY OF BLOOD) then the roll backwards down the stairs occurs in this one as well. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 continues to set the bar high after Savini’s blood filled rampage effects in the original.
I think one of the major problems I had with this film is that it killed off one of the coolest characters in the series. Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney) may have been made fun of when he warned the campers that “Camp Crystal Lake has a death curse!” but it made for some of the most memorable scenes in the early parts of the series. Killing off Ralph in this one might have added to the body count, but it took out one of the characters that could have made for some nice continuity from one movie to the next and offered some of the local flavor as well. What did Ralph know about the lake? What made him crazy? We’ll never know.
It’s the continuity that makes the first few FRIDAY THE 13th’s so special. The latter films forgot all of that. This one began where the first ended; acknowledging the history that was just building. It made you want to seek out the original and watch it back to back. Sure the storyline is almost identical, but the evolution of the killer from Pamela Voorhees to her son in this one felt like parts of a bigger story.
A couple of firsts occur in this film. First nudity in the series by the svelte Terry (Kirsten Baker) who decides to go skinny dipping, first showing of Jason’s house where he keeps a shrine to his mother (visited later in PART 3), and first use of a chainsaw (though it’s used by Ginny and not Jason himself). It’s also the first in what became the standard in following films: the unmasking to see what kind of ugly metamorphosis Jason has gone through since the last film. This bearded lumberjack Jason is not my favorite Jason FX, but it is a pretty great evolution from the kid who leaps from the lake in the original.
As you can tell, I’ve seen PART 2 quite a few times and never really get sick of revisiting it. It’s got some great kills, some absolutely suspenseful moments, another great score by the master Henry Manfredini, and one hell of an ending with an unmasked Jason taking care of business. This FRIDAY THE 13TH, if you’re looking for one of the better installments in the F13 series, PART 2 is tough to top.
New this week on DVD from Brain Damage Films/Midnight Releasing!
DORM OF THE DEAD (2009)Directed by Tobias Canto Jr & Tyrel Good
Written by Michael Joyner, Tobias Canto Jr., Jimmy Anthony Donahue, & John Strong
Starring Aaron Sosa, Ryan DeLuca, Dana DiRado, Brian Oviedo, Ashley Pegg, Michael Miller, Jonathan Michael McClune, Chelsea Bowdren, & John Shartzer
Find out more about this film here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
There are a lot of zombie films out there these days. Seems anyone with a digital camera and a little fake blood can make their own. Proof positive of that is DORM OF THE DEAD. I’m all for indie films. Most of my favorite films of the seventies and eighties would be considered indie by today’s standards and though I can look back on those low budgeteers with a healthy sense of nostalgia, they also had imagination and that creative spark that guaranteed timelessness. Though it would be quite a leap to say that DORM OF THE DEAD will be looked at as a classic some time in the distant future, I have to applaud the filmmakers for giving the film their best.
DORM OF THE DEAD is a student-made film that is now being released on DVD from some youngsters from Tucson, AZ. And in the end, it plays like a student made film--as if the AV Club decided to get together and make a movie over the weekend. This isn’t a polished product. Actors flatly deliver lines. Sound is off and/or spotty most of the time. Directing is pretty flat and stationary most of the time. Even the gore is pretty uninspired.
Still, even though there probably wasn’t a lot of thought put into the production, you have to admire the spunk of these kids to put a film together. It looks to have been fun to make. Just don’t expect big budget standards or payoffs here.
There is a pretty fun scene where our band of survivors, attempting to make it through a zombie Armageddon, and stumble upon two fraternity zombies holding another zombie over a dead body as if he were doing a keg-stand. Though DORM OF THE DEAD tries to add some depth with a conflict between two brothers, most of the drama falls flat. The makers didn’t seem like they really wanted to tread into innovative territory. They just wanted to have fun making a zombie flick, and it shows.
I would never want to discourage today’s youth from making movies. Though somewhat uninspired and amateur, DORM OF THE DEAD shows that the folks behind the camera have big aspirations. The concept of a zombie keg-stand is fun and made me laugh out loud. But I feel as if the filmmakers might have made a better film with a little distance from college life itself to actually make any impactful commentary about dorm life through the lens of the zombie apocalypse. DORM OF THE DEAD is for those among you who are total zombie completists and appreciators of amateur filmmaking.
New on DVD this week from Phase 4 Films!
A DARKER REALITY (2008)Directed by Chris Kazmier
Written by Sxv'leithan Essex
Starring Daniel Baldwin, Sunny Doench, Alisha Seaton, and James C. Burns
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
A DARKER REALITY so much wants to be a cross between SE7EN and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS you can taste it. Across the board, the cast seems to really want you to believe in their performances, but upon viewing this serial killer/torture porn exercise, I found myself checking off one beat from a better film to the next in my mental checklist of superior shockers.
I know I’m not the only one to sit through the abomination that was TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION starring a then unknown Matthew McConaughey/Renée Zellweger disaster, but as I watched Daniel Baldwin act crazy in this film as its serial abductor/torturer/rapist/killer, all I could think about was that film. The scene where McConaughey embarrassingly acts insane makes me cringe for him in TCM:TNG.
Here, Baldwin is trying his best to be scary, when in reality the stuff he says and does in this film borders on stupid and most certainly dives head-first into a deep pool of misogyny. Baldwin is over the top and back again as The Ghost, a man who abducts women and then tortures them in various ways while verbally abusing them until they end up dying. With his retarded manservant, The Ghost has a gaggle of half naked women to choose from, all of them model-like mannequins with very little by means of character. Baldwin’s abusive rantings are fascinating only because I can’t believe any name star would play this role as he has. In that, it’s a brave performance, but either the director didn’t really see how ridiculous things were getting or the script really was that bad. Either way, that cringe I felt while watching McConaughey spaz out in TCM:TNG came back big time every time Baldwin’s sweaty face appeared.
And he appears a lot. Most of the film is Baldwin in a basement with his mental midgetine assistant and a flock of bloody models. The script of A DARKER REALITY tries really hard to be fathomous, but ends up choking on five-dollar words and faux intellectualism. At its core, it’s 90 minutes worth of girls being abused with the torture interrupted every now and again by a pair of investigators 500 steps behind the killer. These detectives don’t even leave the house in this investigation; they just sit, interview one person each, and look at documents and pictures right up until the ending. The film succeeded in making me feel uncomfortable with the myriad of scenes of women in peril, but fails in creating characters or a story around all that abuse worth investing in.
The ending suggests that Baldwin’s The Ghost may return for some sort of sequel. Here’s hoping that won’t be the case.
New on DVD this week from Breaking Glass/Vicious Circle Films!
THE SUMMER OF MASSACRE (2011)Directed by Joe Castro
Written by Joe Castro & Schroeder
Starring Brinke Stevens, Lisa Garcia, Lauren Boehm, Tim A. Cooley, Nicole McAuley, Dawn Roche, Chioma Nwosu, Samantha Dunn, Miss Tammy, Daniel Hubscher, Michelle Rico, Anahit Setian, Nicole Dome, Nick Principe, Cleve Hall, Rene Pena, Scott Barrows, Felipe Winslett, JT Seaton, Evan Owen, Ken Hall, Daniel Aldema, John Karyus, & Bahram Khosraviani
Find out more about this film here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
This film boasts the dubious distinction that it has the Guinness Book of World Records’ highest body count ever in film at 155 deaths. And when your film consists of nothing but one psychopath going around offing one person after another, I can see how they achieved this goal. Those looking for a story filled with character, nuance, and emotional depth should look elsewhere. This is a film for gore-hounds and if you like watching people kakked in a myriad of ways, THE SUMMER OF MASSACRE is the film for you.
Fans of the so-bad-it's-awesome effects on the TIM & ERIC AWESOME SHOW GREAT JOB! will delight in the spectacle of computerized gore on display in SUMMER OF MASSACRE. The makers of this film seem to be using the same style, as none of the effects are realistic by any means, but they are damn fun to witness. Blood spurts in an excessive fashion. Faces are turned to pulp. Every hit, slice, scorch, blast, or kick to a person results in a cartoonish guesstimation of anatomy and violence inflicted upon it.
SUMMER OF MASSACRE is not a film you go see for story. It's a showcase for gore. The film is loosely laced together with interviews of a couple of convicted murderers who have holed themselves up in a building with hostages. In between this setup are four stories. The first simply is about a man who is hit in the head while jogging and then goes on a murderous rampage for a half hour. The second is about a girl who wants to kill her retarded sister rather than take care of her. The third is about the son of a serial killer called the Boogie Man haunted by his father's legacy, and the fourth is about a homosexual fireman couple who kill themselves in a murder/suicide pact and haunt a forest. None of the stories are particularly well written or acted, but they do serve their purpose--that being a highlight for cartoony effects and of course, a record high body count.
Not to be taken seriously, SUMMER OF MASSACRE would be a great drinking game where a group of friends must do a shot or chug a beer whenever someone dies. Just watch out for alcohol poisoning because this film has a massive and bloody body count. Those not looking for substance with their gore should seek out SUMMER OF MASSACRE; an impressive, grue-strewn gorefest.
Available now on VOD!
DON’T GO IN THE WOODS (2010)Directed by Vincent D’Onofrio
Written by Vincent D’Onofrio, Sam Bisbee, Joe Vinciguerra
Starring Matt Sbeglia, Cassandra Walker, Soomin Lee, Nick Thorp, Casey Smith, Jorgen Jorgensen, Gywnn Galitzer, Alyssa Jang, Kira Gorelick, Nuriya Almaya, Ali Tobia, Kate O'Malley & Eric Bogosian
Find out more about this film here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
So do you remember that scene in ANIMAL HOUSE when John Belushi grabs the guitar from the hippie singing to the girls on the stairs and smashes it into bits? Well, if you laughed your ass off at that scene, you will definitely find this film satisfying.
Thing is, I don’t think that’s the point director/writer Vincent D’Onofrio is trying to make with this horror/”musical”. DON’T GO IN THE WOODS attempts to blend horror and song together seamlessly and meaningfully, but ends up unintentionally leaving me in stitches.
An emo band tries to get back to their roots goes into the woods in order to write a new album’s worth of music. The especially moody bandleader gets super pissed when the band takes things less than seriously by bringing drugs, liquor, and cell phones and confiscates them all. Soon after, the band leader has more to whine about when a gaggle of girls show up to swoon and clap along to the music. And then, as luck would have it, a guy with a sledge hammer shows up to kill them all.
DON’T GO IN THE WOODS seems well-intentioned. D’Onofrio is skilled with the camera, capturing a lot of great scenery and making what is, at its core, a repeated scene of kids singing around a campfire, digestible. The thing is, the film is an uneven mess. For the first hour ten, this film is a series of songs played back to back to back around a campfire and sitting on a log in the woods with about five minutes of story peppered throughout hinting that there is a killer in the woods stalking them. Two campers are killed early on, but for the bulk the film it’s mostly skinny jeans-ed kids strumming a guitar and wailing in the woods. D’Onofrio attempts to tell the story of these kids through song, giving each of them angst-ridden scenarios in order for the audience feel for his cast before the slaughter in the end. Instead, since the songs aren’t as soul-searing as the band wants to make you think they are and since most of the cast are pretty one dimensional, you end up rooting for the killer more than usual to shut these kids the hell up. The cast are either played as dopers, groupies, total pricks, or idiots—idiots especially as the band leader smashes all of their cell phones while another for no apparent reason hacks his shoe in two with a hatchet then whines when he steps on a piece of glass in his bare feet. Of course, the band was too busy making sure their hair looked like they didn’t comb it to think to bring a first aid kit.
The portrayal of pretty much every woman here is especially annoying. Not only do each of them attempt to yodel their Christina Aguilera-ed version of the song the band just sang five seconds ago around the bonfire to fit the situation they are in, but they are also simply cast as distractions and groupies. A song is sung by one of the band members; one of the undistinguishable blondes sits at the lead singer du song’s feet and purrs “Was that song about me?”, then the band member either spurns or humps them. I actually shouted, “YES!” when the sledge hammer man clonks one female warbler in mid-holler towards the end of the movie. You will too.
The effects here are pretty rudimentary but effective. D’Onofrio isn’t afraid to shed a lot of blood, and the gore definitely redeems the film in the final moments. There are a few details that left me scratching my head, though. The killer uses a sledgehammer, but somehow body parts are severed and strewn throughout the forest for folks to find at just the right time. There’s a nice tracheotomy scene with a wind keyboard which is inspired. The killer himself/itself is left ambiguous throughout, with the only explanation being a campfire tale of the Wendigo, a monstrous legend stemmed from cannibalism. But I’m not sure how the sledgehammer fits into the legend.
D’Onofrio was trying something interesting here and this is a nice looking film. But just as music videos are often bereft of anything but literal, surface level emotion, so is this film. Maybe D’Onofrio would make some great music videos, but he fails to make any of these people we are supposed to care for matter for anything other than upping the body count. One could argue by the way the killer dispatches the cast that D’Onofrio is taking just as much glee in killing these douchebags as the audience, but I think that he wants this film to resonate in the end and be up-ended in a wave of irony at the way things turn out. The final scene where the band leader stops in the middle of being chased by the killer in order to strum the perfect song he’s been working on for the bulk of the film is both hilarious and reeks of pretention. It seems D’Onofrio wants us to be heartbroken to see these just-blossoming flowers plucked just as their glorious music begins to shine through. But honestly, in the end, I couldn’t wait for the hammer to fall on these whiners.
DON’T GO IN THE WOODS takes itself way too seriously to the point that it becomes laughable. Other than the scenes where the women sing, this is basically a campfire hootenanny that forgot what it was advertised to be until the last ten minutes, then rushed a killer in there to fulfill the promise at the very, very end. It’s as if a straight up film following a band trying to make it wasn’t interesting enough so they threw in horror because they knew it was much more commercially profitable.
Though the songs weren’t half bad, I’d recommend listening to the soundtrack rather than watching DON’T GO IN THE WOODS. If emo/folksy music is your taste, DON’T GO IN THE WOODS might hold your interest, but the cast makes it hard to root for anyone but the killer.
WAR OF THE DEAD (2011)AKA STONE’S WAR
Directed by Marko Mäkilaakso
Written by Barr B. Potter, Marko Mäkilaakso, Starring Andrew Tiernan, Mikko Leppilampi, Samuel Vauramo, Jouko Ahola, Mark Wingett, Andreas Wilson, Antti Reini, Magdalena Górska
Find out more about this film here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
For those of you who like your horror with a heavy dose of action, adrenaline and BALLZ, I present to you WAR OF THE DEAD. Though it lacks the scope of Max Brooks' WORLD WAR Z, it incorporates a lot of the attention to military that occurs throughout that book and most likely will occur in the upcoming Brad Pitt production. WAR OF THE DEAD views like an episode of BAND OF BROTHERS with zombies as American, Russian, and Finnish soldiers attempt to work together in a battle where the Nazi soldiers they are fighting simply will not have the decency to die.
WAR OF THE DEAD opens with a man captured in battle being led to an operating room where he's experimented on and then dies, only to reawaken as a zombie. Cut to a group of grunts chugging through frosted and forested terrain. The troops make their way to a cabin and I was getting a very DOG SOLDIERS-ish vibe for a while as the soldiers battle the zombie soldiers bursting through the windows and walls. Thankfully, the film moves out of the house and into a secret Nazi scientist facility bunker where most of the latter half of the film takes place.
Director Marko Mäkilaakso does a good job of incorporating the action with the horror. Though he does seem to like to use slo mo a bit excessively to highlight dramatic events, most of the time he does so effectively. I'd put WAR OF THE DEAD in the same category as the UNDERWORLD series, using all kinds of flashy camerawork in its action-oriented tale.
The film fleshes itself out by delving into the relations between the Finnish, American, and Russian soldiers, casting the American as the soldier less gung ho about working together. In a commanding performance, Andrew Tiernan stars as the most sensible (and most badass) of the soldiers and delivers a gruff and powerful performance as he hits all of the action beats with a lot of gristle as well as provides some soul to the quieter scenes in the film. Given the backdrop of World War II when this film is set, WAR OF THE DEAD does seem to want to make a statement about the fragility of international relations at the time and today, but doesn't let that get in the way of making some gripping scenes of battle and action with the unkillable dead.
The ending of this film suggests that this war is definitely not over by a long shot. I liked WAR OF THE DEAD. Though it tries to get heady, it's much more enjoyable as a fun mix of war stories and horror—a subgenre which doesn't dance often. Here the mix is most definitely digestible and delivers enough hard hitting action to satisfy folks liking a bit of punch with their scares.
And finally…here’s a really fun way a filmmaker can challenge themselves. The below short film, FOREST FALLS, was made with a handful of constraints. Filmmaker Ryan McDuffie set up constraints, limitations, and rules for making this short film. The fun part is guessing what they are. If you’re the cheatin’ type, you can find the constraints used here, but check out the short first and see if you can spot them. McDuffie seems to get a lot of mileage with this film despite the constraints. I know everyone always wants to shatter constraints, but sometimes I think the best films are the ones with limitations and sensible ways around them. Check out FOREST FALLS…
See ya, next week, folks!
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole / wordslinger / reviewer / co-editor of AICN Comics for over nine years. Mark is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and has just released FAMOUS MONSTERS first ever comic book miniseries LUNA (co-written by Martin Fisher with art by Tim Rees) You can pre-order it here! Support a Bug by checking out his comics (click on the covers to purchase)!
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Jan. 13, 2012, 10:39 a.m. CST
by Iowa Snot Client
Jan. 13, 2012, 10:57 a.m. CST
Wasn't a fan of that one.
Jan. 13, 2012, 11 a.m. CST
Jan. 13, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST
That dude is crazy. He will hunt. You. Down. Be careful.
Jan. 13, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST
by Sick Fixx
Shit's beyond old now. Stopped being funny the year before last. I get it. Some guy gets a fluff piece on the news because he went to all this trouble to build a real life shelter in case of a zombie attack. How cute. Haha. Now, can we find a new trend in horror to engage in? Maybe we can make werewolves 'hip' again? Anything but one more Night of the Dawn of the Land of the Walking Dead, 28 Weeks after 28 Days Later... Of the Dead.
Jan. 13, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST
Even if I won't end up seeing most of the movies mentioned, I still love reading news about the genre and finding out about a few good movies I would have missed otherwise.
Jan. 13, 2012, 11:46 a.m. CST
Damn that was really good for a short.
Jan. 13, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST
Shit's beyond old now. Stopped being funny the year before last. I get it. Some guy doesn't like zombie movies so he has to trash a whole genre to make himself feel significant. How cute. Haha. Now, can we find a new trend in horror to complain about? Maybe we can make people complaining about werewolves 'hip' again? Anything but one more complaint about Night of the Dawn of the Land of the Walking Dead, 28 Weeks after 28 Days Later... Of the Dead.
Jan. 14, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST
There needs to be a revival of the old cemetery zombie. It is more fantasy based,but I am sick of the "virus" induced zombie outbreak. Been done to death....heh,heh.
You can do more with makeup with the cemetery zombie. Various stages of decay and such. It would have been awesome if John Landis actually made a full feature zombie film with Rick Baker designed cemetery zombies a-la Thriller. They were great looking. Like a companion piece to American Werewolf in London.Come to think of it, that is a great idea. Never been done before....zombies and werewolves? I would be there. No CG of course, all practical makeup.
Jan. 14, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST
There's something uniquely horrifying about rotted corpses literally crawling out of the ground, vs the more 'realistic' infection depictions. It's a different flavor of scare, and I can't recall experiencing since RotLD. The supernatural angle seems to get ignored in favor of the 'science' angle now.
Jan. 14, 2012, 6:21 p.m. CST
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