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What the &#$% is ZOMBIES & SHARKS?

Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here with another AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. Let’s get right into this week’s slew of horror films both new and old!

(Click title to go directly to the feature)

Retro-Review: LIVING DEAD GIRL (198
Advance Review: SICK BOY (2011)
And finally…DISOWN!

New this week on DVD/BluRay from Redemption Films!


Directed by Jean Rollin
Written by Jean Rollin & Jacques Ralf
Starring Marina Pierro, Françoise Blanchard, Mike Marshall, Carina Barone
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug

I’m not ashamed to admit that before this year, I had not seen a Jean Rollin film. But in the last few months, I’ve reviewed THE RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE, REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE, and THE DEMONIACS and will be checking out TWO ORPHAN VAMPIRES next week on AICN HORROR, so in a short time, I feel I’ve had a crash course in Rollin. Having received all of the films I’ve seen so far in a lukewarm fashion, I wasn’t really looking forward to checking out this new one in my cue. Rollin seems to definitely have an eye for style, atmosphere, and ambiance, but storywise, I found his films to be a bit too fartsy for my tastes, lacking substance and narrative appeal. Sure I can appreciate a film which simply serves as a feast for the eyes, but leaves the mind hungry. But too much of it just doesn’t hold my interest.

Though some may think LIVING DEAD GIRL is Rollin’s most commercial work, I think it’s his most interesting. Made in 1982, Rollin seems to drop a lot of the pretention found in his earlier vampire films and tell a more straightforward story which is much more like Bava’s BLACK SUNDAY than anything else, as a perfect storm of events cause the resurrection of a dead woman in a coffin. A pair of gravediggers happen to be robbing a tomb at the same time an earthquake knocks over a few barrels of toxic waste which seep into the ground and awaken Catherine Valmont (the sultry actress Françoise Blanchard), who like Robin Williams’ Mork, or—to keep things in the genre of horror--Frank from Clive Barker’s HELLRAISER, drinks through her finger. But instead of Mork’s favorite liquid, milk, here Catherine shoves two pointy fingers into the throats of her victims and starts sucking. The results are gruesome and gory.

But aside from the over the top moments of gore (and there are many), there’s a complex story of a relationship going on between Catherine and her childhood friend Helene (played by the sultry Marina Pierro…ok, let’s just make it a given that every woman in a Jean Rollin film can be described as sultry from here on out). The two are the best of friends, but having been reawakened from the dead, Catherine is a mindless monster. But as with Clive Barker’s HELLRAISER, each victim brings the bloodsucker back to humanity a little more. Wanting her best friend back as a whole, Helene begins setting up people for Catherine to drain, but as she returns to her normal self, guilt begins to set in and Catherine finds it harder and harder to kill. I love this complex conundrum of Helene, a friend who is willing to sacrifice her humanity for her best friend, but as her best friend’s humanity returns, she finds herself repulsed by what Helene has become. The humanity that was sorely lacking in all of the films I have seen from Rollin is present in spades here and in the end, I agree that this is both one of his most commercial films, but also one of his most engaging ones.

I think those who may be hesitant to check out Rollin because of his tendency to go the artsy route would be surprised at LIVING DEAD GIRL. Having only heard about this film through the Rob Zombie song, I was floored at how fantastic this little gem is. Really, it’s just a woman going around killing one person after the next, but under all of that it is about the love shared between two women and what we are willing to sacrifice to reclaim the idealistic past. Maybe it took all of those films from Rollin to finally get so deep, but whatever the reason, LIVING DEAD GIRL is the best Rollin film I’ve seen to date.

Though certain Rollin-isms perservere—the abundance of women stripped nude and then killed, the amount of time the camera lingers on said nudity and violence, and some truly haunting music, I found LIVING DEAD GIRL to be a fantastic mix of BLACK SUNDAY and HELLRAISER, two films I hold in high regard. Watching both HELLRAISER and this film, one can see Barker’s influences at play which is equally fascinating. In the end, the reason why LIVING DEAD GIRL is the film folks think of when Rollin is mentioned is because it is densely themed and a damn entertaining film with a powerful ending.

WARNING: Here there be boobies! NSFW!!!

New on DVD from Midnight Releasing!


Directed by Chris Wojcik
Written by Chris Wojcik
Starring Greg Hoople, Stephanie Motta, Adam Schonberg, Nikki Preston, Charles Bigelow, Phillip Musumeci, Katie LeVander, Melissa Orioli, Laura Blank, Tricia Dalusio, Brittany Cerra, Renee Radwan, Reviewed by Ambush Bug

A while back, I posted a sneak preview of RISE OF THE ANIMALS, and while there were those who aren’t afraid of a film whose budget most likely was low, the film got a lot of flack in the talkbacks and I was even accused of somehow being a part of the film to post such a preview. Though I didn’t have anything to do with this film, after seeing it, I am a little jealous about not being able to be a part of it because it looked like a damn fun time.

Yes, this film was put together on a shoestring. More money was most likely put into the poster than on any of the practical effects and computer generated effects combined. But somehow, that’s part of the charm of RISE OF THE ANIMALS. It knows its effects suck and doesn’t give a shit about it.

Remember the scene in I’M GONNA GET YOU SUCKA when Keenan Ivory Wayan’s momma gets into the bar fight? One scene it was an elderly black lady in a dress, the next it was a white guy with a moustache wearing a grey wig and the same dress kicking ass in a barfight—then the scene switches again and it’s back to the old lady. It’s that type of wink to the audience that this film is doing throughout its running time. The guys who put together RISE OF THE ANIMALS are winking right in the audience’s faces when they have sock puppets posing as animals chewing through walls and ripping off limbs. This isn’t a film that’s trying to take itself seriously and neither should you.

So this film, about a sudden shift in attitude in all animals from the elephant to the kangaroo changing from mild mannered beast to rabid flesh hungry monsters eager to eat people, turns out to be a lot of fun. The acting is quite stiff, the story is pretty simple, and the humor is definitely low brow. This isn’t one of those sittin’ and thinkin’ films, but it does have a lot of charm.

Maybe I’m alone, but the fact that the cast are reacting to cartoony CGI and hand puppets as if they were the most detailed and realistic effects imaginable makes me think of those old rubber suit monster movies of the 50’s or the Godzilla films that are still being made today. Yes, if you’re looking for convincing scares and pitch perfect quality, this is not the film for you. But if you want to see a CGI deer rip the arm off a woman and a stuffed animal cat being thrown in a sink and stuffed down a garbage disposal, RISE OF THE ANIMALS will have you guffawing and gnu-ing. No animals were harmed while making this film, but a whole lotta bad puppets were used to make some downright goofy and fun horror.

New on DVD this week!


Directed by Jason Paul Collum
Written by Jason Paul Collum
Starring Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, Fred Olen Ray, David DeCoteau, Kenneth J. Hall, Jay Richardson, Richard Gabai, Ted Newsom
Find out more about this film here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug

Though none of the films with Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, and Michelle Bauer were immense successes to the general public, if you are a horror fan like me, you’re sure to recognize their names as well as their shapely bodies which they were more than willing to show in just about every and any movie they made. Sure, these ladies were hired for their powerful lungs and their willingness to show the boob-flesh covering them, but despite the fact that most of the time the furniture had more character written for them in the schlocky horror films they appeared, these three vixens stood out as the ones who invented the term Scream Queen and, according to this film, they are damn proud of it.

My favorite aspect of this film was the clips of all of the old horrible films these three ladies have appeared in. Films like CREEPAZOIDS, SORRORITY BABES IN THE SLIME BALL BOWL-O-RAMA, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, and NIGHTMARE SISTERS are impossible to find but treasured memories of my misspent youth watching every horror film in my video store, so seeing this compilation was a thrill for me.

Director Jason Paul Collum does a great job of illustrating how these three women went from innocent waifs with stardom in their eyes to superstars whose names have become synonymous with the term Scream Queen. Though actors and directors are interviewed as well, most of SCREAMING IN HIGH HEELS focuses on Bauer, Quigley, and Stevens through in depth interviews. The film talks about each of the trios’ rise to stardom and how distinct the three of them were while highlighting their similar paths. Collum patiently maps out how they got their most famous roles with in depth talks with filmmakers like Fred Olen Ray. It also showed the darker side of their stardom as each learned to walk the tightrope of embracing their fans and appreciating them while keeping deranged stalkers, creepy fans, and weird happenings at conventions at a distance. I also appreciated the bits about how the public and the actresses’ families reacted to their roles in these types of films.

Collum might be guilty of putting a little too much fanfare into this one in lauding the mad skills all of these girls are supposed to have. But these three ladies have accomplished a lot by being in so many trashy and schlocky films, so credit deserves to be given and is done so generously. SCREAMING IN HIGH HEELS is one of those nice obscure documentaries that serves as a great dissection of a very specific corner of horror. At a running time of an hour, this little doc gives just the right amount of information about how a bona fide horror staple started for better or worse and how it is appreciated much more today than it was back then. Anyone who lived and loved the schlock of the eighties and nineties during the VHS boom should give this one a look see.

WARNING: The presence of boobies gives this trailer that Not Safe For Work Feeling!

New on DVD!


Directed by Adrián García Bogliano & Ramiro García Bogliano
Written by Adrián García Bogliano & Ramiro García Bogliano
Starring Christina Brondo, Camilia Bordonaba, Sabastian Berta Muniz, Maria Nela Sinisterra
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug

I’ve seen some slow burners in my time, but PENUMBRA takes the cake.

Though the film starts out with an abduction of a beautiful young lady, PENUMBRA, which translates to GLOOM, then goes on for what feels like ages before anything of substance occurs. When Marga (played by a feisty Christina Brondo) shows an apartment to a potential new renter, she is caught up too much in her love life, her business, and her chaotic lifestyle to notice the danger she is in. Though I’ve seen (and unfortunately dated) girls that seem to have their cell phones surgically implanted into their ears and texting fingers, this film illustrates how oblivious those types of girls really are to the world around them. A cautionary tale of too much phone time? Yes, that’s kind of what this movie is, though the filmmakers make one crucial mistake—making the path that leads us up to this cautionary beat worth taking.

The more I think about PENUMBRA, the more I think it would have been a much better short film. There is a lot of great symbolism at play, with an eclipse making the world act insane and how our heroine is oblivious to all of that due to her busy lifestyle, but the endless phone conversations this lead actress tangents onto really tried my patience.

But the ending of this Argentinean thriller is a whopper and plays out almost pitch perfectly. Had there been a little less chitter from our chattery female lead, PENUMBRA would have been a fantastic film. As is, it’s a film that made my fast forward finger twitch to get closer to an ending that really does leave an impact.

New on DVD!


Directed by Niki Drozdowski
Written by Niki Drozdowski & Ralf Betz
Starring Daniel Buder, Luise Bähr, Jerry Coyle, Tobias Kay, Lee Rychter, Bina Milas, Christian Stock, Klaus Ebert, Heinrich Baumgartner
Find out more about this film here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug

Though the intention is there, EXTINCTION: THE G.M.O. CHRONICLES just doesn’t seem to want to do anything too new or exciting with what it’s got. Think of any zombie film—all the beats, all the turns, all the moments that cause scares, jumps, and frights--and you’re most likely going to see it at play in this film.

A guy who looks like a supermodel with perfect hair is alone and cursed to be ridiculously good looking during the zombie apocalypse. Soon he runs into a couple of other survivors. Then a couple more. Just when you think the cast is going to be overflowing, you can always count on those pesky zombies to keep the cast to a manageable number. As the survivors forage for food, weapons, and supplies and hole up in an abandoned military bunker, EXTINCTION hits all the beats we have seen recently in zombie films which focus more on surviving rather than the initial shock of the zombies actually existing.

Though I can appreciate this subtle shift in perspective when it comes to the zombie subgenre, and it could be said that this is some thematic indication that we live in a time where the shock of 9-11 has given way to the apathy of the post-9-11 walking wounded, still, to stand out as a zombie film these days you’ve got to give me something new. The effects in this film are the most original part of it. The zombie plague manifests itself out of the blue and affects the infested with demonic attributes more at home in a SILENT HILL film than your typical zombie flick, especially one eyeless female zombie with an alarm-like scream.

But some cool looking zombie designs aren’t enough to save this one. There’s got to be an engaging story or cast or something and this films just doesn’t seem to have it. Though the atmosphere is moody and the effects are great, EXTINCTION takes most of its beats from THE WALKING DEAD and other zombie survival stories and does so capably, but its main offense is just not being different enough to stand out from the hordes of other zombie flicks roaming around these days.

New this week on DVD/BluRay from IFC Midnight!


Directed by Mary Harron
Written by Rachel Klein & Mary Harron
Starring Sarah Bolger, Sarah Gadon, Lily Cole, Judy Parfitt, Melissa Farman, Laurence Hamelin, Gia Sandhu, Valerie Tian, & Scott Speedman
Find out more about this film here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug

Mary Harron, director of AMERICAN PSYCHO, offers up another sublime horror film with THE MOTH DIARIES, which like AMERICAN PSYCHO takes its time to play out dreadful mood and heavy ambiance before sinking its teeth in the jugular of the viewer. Though much less based in our reality and less heavy on the social commentary on the culture of a specific era, Harron’s gothic teen girl romance is a thinking person’s teenage horror film—the kind of horror you would wish kids were into these days rather than vapid vamp flicks like TWILIGHT where emotions and feelings are fathoms more complex than choosing between the brooding vamp and the shirtless wolf.

The film is filled with fresh young faces, specifically best friends Rebecca (played by Sarah Bolger) and Lucy (Sarah Gadon) and new girl in school Ernessa (played by the ethereal Lily Cole). As their year in boarding school begins, Rebecca is delighted to see her best friend again after the long summer break and the two seem to be besties again without a pause until Ernessa arrives at the school. Immediately Ernessa takes interest in Lucy, which concerns Rebecca. I understand in this explanation, one might want to recheck the top of this column to see if it’s AICN SOAP OPERA rather than AICN HORROR, but I assure you, things get creepy pretty quick.

Harron’s story, adapted from a book by Rachel Klein deals with the real connection young girls have with one another as they reach womanhood in a sophisticated way. Yes, there are themes of lesbianism throughout as Rebecca’s suspicions about Ernessa’s motivations are written off as jealousy at first, but as faculty and students start having unfortunate accidents and Lucy becomes less and less interested in being friends with Rebecca, Rebecca begins to believe that something much darker than teen jealousy is afoot. The story is dark in tone and deathly serious. As we see the film through Rabecca’s eyes, we see Ernessa walk through walls and lustily nibbling at Lucy’s throat in the midnight hours. Harron is not very subtle with the fact that Ernessa may very well be a vampire early on as in all horror films set in a classroom, the readings that dreamboat literature teacher Scott Speedman is teaching from in class are CARMILLA and DRACULA. As with most horror films, this is a cautionary lesson and though the metaphor lacks subtlety by blatantly stating it in class, the vampire tale here is definitely an ambiguous one here as Ernessa doesn’t resemble what one typically thinks of when we think of a vampire.

That said, the performances are absolutely fantastic in this one by the three lead girls. Bolger shows great range and maturity for her age as Rebecca; our eyes and ears of the story. But Cole is the standout though here as her porcelain doll face is otherworldly and lifeless throughout the entire film, looking more mannequin like as the story progresses. Though her look is distinct, it most definitely can be called beautiful in an absolutely horrifying manner in this film. Both girls are asked to do and feel a lot in this film and are able to deliver.

Though the more hardcore of the readers here at AICN HORROR will not really be into this film, which is more along the lines of THE LADY IN WHITE and also has the same sort of dark tone as Sofia Coppola’s THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, it definitely is a welcome change of pace from all of the torture porn, found footage, monster mayhem, and slasher flicks. Like a razor so sharp that you don’t know it has cut you until it is too late, THE MOTH DIARIES is dangerous in its delicacy; a modern Gothic tale that is more hauntingly beautiful than anything else.

Advance Review: Coming soon from Raven Banner Entertainment!

SICK BOY (2011)

Directed by Tim T. Cunningham
Written by Tim T. Cunningham
Starring Skye McCole Bartusiak, Marc Donato, Debbie Rochon
Find out more about this film here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug

SICK BOY is one of those films with a premise that definitely may seem familiar, but its power lies in the skill of the actors involved and the director/writer steering the wheel. Because of this, even though we may know the layout of this type of film, the road to the end remains interesting because of strong performances in front of and behind the camera.

The one thing that stood out immediately with this film was the acting. I’ve never seen Skye McCole Bartusiak before, but she’s definitely got the chops of a good actor and convincingly plays Lucy, an engaged girl who can’t seem to find a job she really wants to do. Her husband Kris, played by Marc Donato, delivers a nice performance as well as her loving but frustrated husband who is sick of hearing about how one job after another doesn’t work for his wife. Out of desperation, Lucy responds to an ad as a babysitter. Enter Scream Queen Debbie Rochon as Dr. Gordan, a busy woman with a sick child with an unusual disease. She immediately takes a liking to Lucy and hires her to watch over her son for the next few days. Her directions are just to sit in the house and never…ever…go downstairs into her child’s room, no matter what.

Now, as with HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, where a babysitter is set up to watch a house rather than the person upstairs, you know sooner or later, Lucy is going to ignore the warnings of her employer and for one reason or another she will be checking in on the sick boy in the basement at some time. It’s the tension between the hiring and the snooping that will either make or break this film and director Tim T. Cunningham creates this tension with expert precision as Lucy begins looking through drawers, solidifying what we already know—that she will be going into the basement at some time.

Now, the scary stuff doesn’t really happen until the 45 minute mark, which is usually an exercise in tedium for me with films that take this long to get running, but the time whizzes by mainly because Skye McCole Bartusiak completely owns every scene she is in. She’s energetic, likable, personable, and easy on the eyes. I could see her becoming a big star some day and given her performance here, she’s got what it takes.

SICK BOY does a fantastic job of amping up the tension. Telling you what subgenre this film belongs to or identifying what the sick boy is sick with would be giving away too much of this film. Let’s just lump it in with such fantastic “Babysitter in peril” films as HOUSE OF THE DEVIL and WHEN A STRANGER CALLS and leave it at that. Effective in a nail-biting build-up to a climax that definitely is worthy of the wait, filled with blood, gore, and mega-violence, SICK BOY is one of those infectious little horror films that needs to be spread to more viewers. When this one is available for the masses, I’ll definitely let you all know. But for now, keep an eye out here and on the Raven Banner Entertainment website for when and where you can see it.

And finally…this one really made me jump by the time it was over. Sure the first person POV is always something that works with me, but the way this one is cut sent chills down my spine. Check out DISOWN below from Ramesh Laktharu, Muvindu Binoy, Pamuditha Anjana, & Praveen Aasith. See if it has the same effect on you. Enjoy…

See ya next week, folks!

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. He has written comics such as MUSCLES & FIGHTS, MUSCLES & FRIGHTS, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & has co-written their first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in late 2012 as an 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark has just announced his new comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment to be released March-August 2012. Also look for Mark's exciting arc on GRIMM FAIRY TALES #76-80 which begins in August 2012.

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Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 31, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Michelle Bauer was always my favorite

    by art123guy

  • Can't remember the last non-Romero zombie I saw that wasn't constantly screeching. Why exactly would a zombie screech and menace? All the hacks say it together: because screeching and making scary noises is scarier and more exciting! Zombies are supposed to be fucking creepy. I loved 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead 2004 but man it's been almost ten years can someone besides George Romero make a zombie movie that is not a fucking balls-to-the-walls action fest with people running and firing guns at screeching zombies?

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST

    If it's not clear: "

    by Autodidact

  • Goddamn idiots always have to say the most predictable and impertinent bullshit that contributes nothing to a discussion. My point was that every goddamn zombie in a movie since 28 Days Later and DOTD remake has screeched constantly.

  • About "Sick Boy": If this movie is very much like "House Of The Devil", then i'm absolutly in, because i loved the hell out of that movie. And "The Innkeepers". I love this horror movies based on 70s filmmaking style. About "The Moth Diaries": your description of this movie, for some ereason it came to my mind another horror movie set in a all girls boarding house, the rather underlook and underrated "The Woods" directed by Lucky McKee. I really liked that one, should be more well known, in my opinion. About "Living Dead Woman" and Jean Rollin: I do not know of this film, but i have seen others by this director, 3 of them if memory serves. They are "Lips of Blood", "Fascination", and "The Grapes of Death", the later having the distinction of being France's first zombie movie. So far my favorite is "Lips Of Blood". I have enjoyed them. All of them are obviously movies made on very low budgets. Half the cast must not had been professional actors. And there is quite a few instances of special effects failures, most often being bad rissible false vampire teeths. And yet, there's something quite enthralling in his movies. Either it's the eagerness and honesty of intentions, the mood they exhude, or the very pretty ladies, but i find myself connecting with them, even if they can be silly. So, i'm down to know some more of Messieu Rollin's filmmography. More horror movies to check out. So many movies, so little time.

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    it's "mossieu", dammit!

    by albert comin

  • Zombies caused by radiation leaked by a fallen artificiall satellite? BLASPHEMY!!! Fuck that fucking hack Romero, doesn't he know what a proper zombie is? Fucking stupid hack!

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 10:51 a.m. CST

    That's not what I'm doing though

    by Autodidact

    I'm not saying all zombies should be the same. I'm saying they should be creepy, and NOT all the same. They currently ALL screech (zombies and not-zombies-but-pretty-much-the-same-thing you pedantic cunts)

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST

    I won't point it out then. Have a nice day!

    by art123guy

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST

    The Living Dead Girl

    by Jason Lloyd

    Yeah I'm not a big fan of Rollin films either but I also found it enjoyable.

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Screeching zombies is a stupid concept.

    by Judge Briggs

    V|H|S is now available via on-demand ... hope to check it out this weekend.

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Another finely written column

    by Horrorfanatic

    Not sure about the offerings. Living Dead Girl had too much screaming in the trailer. It makes it look like screaming and moaning replaces all sense of dialog. I'm sure that isn't the case, but they really needed to cut back on it. Screaming in High Heels...nothing is quite as fun as a good horror documentary (unless it's rednecks killing folks). Rise of the Animals...This just look like good old fashined fun. It seems like the kind of low budget schlock Troma would do (and that is a compliment in my book). Everything else just seemed...meh. I will say this, I don't know if I'm just tired, but Disown really mad absolutely no sense to me. I may try to watch it again when I'm more awake.

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 11:20 a.m. CST


    by IamHERE

    Just didnt feature the undead. See the difference. Zombie just means altered state, like a voodoo zombie or such.

  • I did see it in its entirety before. If they don't start running and screeching in the second half of the movie, well you got me there.

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST

    THE WOODS and screeching zombies

    by Ambush Bug

    I admit, zombies with the capability to do anything consciously other than pursue humans and eating them are of little interest to me. This is why I started liking ROmero's zombie films less and less with the trend starting with Bub and proceeding to the black gas attandant and the dead twin chick on the horse. The less personality, the scarier, in my book. My nightmares often consist of me running from zombies and the scariest part of the dream is that they just keep coming and there are more and more of them. Screeches and speaking are a way for filmmakers to spice up things by incorporating sound, but rarely does it seem necessary or interesting. I saw THE WOODS recently and though I love me some Lucky McKee, I felt the film didn't live up to the calibre that MAY and THE WOMAN achienved. Speaking of which, look for some in depth interviews with both Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum in the coming months on a new collaboration between the two talented creators.

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Anyone know when the screeching zombie started?

    by art123guy

    If it started with 28 Days Later (2002), that may explain a lot. Those zombies were not dead like we'd been taught in previous films. When everyone saw how scary those zombies were and how well the movie did, they just added it to the traditional, or dead zombies. Interesting, looks like this insufferably pedantic idiot actually may have actually added something to the discussion at hand.

  • art123 your first comment was still pedantic and didn't add anything, although later comments have just fine. I'd just love to mention 28DL in conjunction with zombie movies without having to state a disclaimer that I'm aware that they're not technically zombies. It's totally unnecessary to point it out and sorry if I overreact to such pet peeves.

  • So, not only the very first modern zombie broke with the "slow zombie" tradition, but it was actually a pretty smart fellow with an intelligence almost similiar to a living human. Hell, one of his first acts was to win a fight against a young man. In fact, come to think of it, the zombies in Romero's first movie are not evenc alled zombies, or considered as such. They are more like ghouls. And their direct inspiration was the vampires in Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend".

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    FYI - Penumbra and Moth Diaries are N-flix streaming

    by Brett

  • But I wonder if the zombies in 28 Days Later had been slow moving and quiet, would people have had an easier time accepting it as a zombie movie? Would we have accepted it as a zombie movie if it had come out AFTER the Dawn remake? 28 Days changed the rules as to what a zombie is and does. Maybe that's why people had a harder time calling it a zombie movie. Plus it possibly created the running, screeching zombie many hate today.

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Also, isn't pedantic synonymous with a talkback?

    by art123guy

  • Slow, moaning zombies and a sudden, unexplained outbreak.

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    DEADLY FRIEND. Zombie movie?

    by Autodidact


  • Aug. 31, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST

    DEAD HEAT. Zombie movie?

    by Autodidact


  • Aug. 31, 2012, 2:42 p.m. CST

    The Dead was great

    by Brett

    In spite of the lead's wooden performance (he was the most zombie-like presence in the movie), this film proves you can reinvigorate the genre.

  • I put it on one day expecting to turn it off after 5 or 10 minutes like most zombie crap. But it turned out to be pretty good stuff, and had a lot of my favourite bits in zombie movies which are just people hanging out watching the world fall apart on TV and lots of creepy establishing shots. really enjoyed it. Fast zombies, but that's okay sometimes.

  • It's just in the first movie they go unnamed, or probably called as ghouls.


  • Aug. 31, 2012, 4 p.m. CST

    And here's Charlie Booker's response to that

    by Autodidact

  • I think it was on before Walking Dead was on, kinda like a warm up before the series premiere. I liked it a lot.

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Can't wait to check out SCREAMING IN HIGH HEELS.

    by adeceasedfan

    I grew up during the Scream Queen era and used to keep a log (pre-internet) of all the movies and the beautiful women they contained. My personal favorite is Elizabeth Kaitan, but no doubt the three above are the biggest. I have an autographed set of Scream Queen trading cards floating around here somewhere. Just might have a marathon tonight, I'm lucky to have several classics on DVD.

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 10 p.m. CST

    The Grapes of Death is one of my favorites...

    by 3774

    ...if you not only have a tolerance for European horror, but actually enjoy them and seek them out, try to find it. Living Dead Girl is pretty good, and is the only other JR film I own. Like Bug, I hadn't seen any of his work. Les Raisins de la Mort and La Morte Vivante were both something I bought during a zombie movie hunt. I had no idea I was getting a vampire movie with the latter, which is something I tend to avoid, but was pleasantly surprised. Every single JR film I've seen beyond those two has been a mind-numbing, dull, pretentious waste of time, with boobs and blood. Yay. Yawn. Scary? Not so much. I'm restless for something genuinely creepy. Gonna try and find V/H/S on demand and give it a shot. I vaguely recall it getting good buzz.

  • Sept. 1, 2012, 5:46 a.m. CST

    Watching something called DEAD BIRDS right now

    by Autodidact

    It's freaky, and it has Michael Shannon in it.

  • Has anyone seen this thing? DEAD BIRDS?

  • Sept. 1, 2012, 8:03 a.m. CST

    If being "infected" classifies you as a zombie...

    by buggerbugger

    ...does that make 'Cujo' a zombie dog movie?

  • Sept. 1, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST

    re: "Has anyone seen this thing? DEAD BIRDS?"

    by buggerbugger

    Is that the one with the cowboy bank robbers hiding in an abandoned plantation house? Yup, saw it a few years ago. Nicely creepy atmosphere. Pretty decent, overall.

  • Sept. 1, 2012, 5:59 p.m. CST

    HIGH HEELS, Michelle Bauer

    by Bill George

    SCREAMING/HEELS is handicapped by the filmmaker’s own self-indulgence. It’s initially enlightening but then grinds to a halt. Some trimming would have been practical. Example: in lieu of filler, it would have been cool to compare the uncensored NIGHTMARE SISTERS to the sanitized revision edited for the TNT network (the girls’ nude bathtub scene was scrapped and replaced–if memory serves me right–with balloon-tossing. Honest!). Similar compromises–“erotic” content corrupted by censorship--could have been probed (Linnea performing BLOOD CHURCH scenes in lingerie and, in an optional version, in the buff). But the three “scream queens” are deserving of homage, most especially Michelle Bauer (who performed in fetish and adult videos as Pia Snow and Pia Sands). Gotta love Michelle’s over-the-top hubris, her talent is criminally underrated (sample her evisceration of a blissful date in HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS). Though the trio voluntarily or reluctantly abdicated their cult celebrity, the subsequent successors have transformed the “scream queen” mantle into a dumping ground for poverty row clones. Wish I would have had the privilege of addressing Michelle Bauer at her ‘90s convention appearances (she will be attending Cinema Wastleland next month! I’m there!). Quick footnote: Dave DeCoteau drew extraordinary performances from all three actresses in NIGHTMARE SISTERS; as nerdy alter-egos, the ladies shaded their comic stereotypes with sensitivity–I mean, hey were quite endearing (watch a corpulent Michelle [padded before her transformation into a wildcat] try to negotiate a game of Twister!). Fred O. Ray and Michelle seemed to have developed a n engaging rapport–sample Michelle’s effortless sex appeal and timing in THE PHANTOM EMPIRE, TOMB OF THE WEREWOLF and ATTACK OF THE 60-FOOT CENTERFOLDS (she plays it pretty straight in the latter sans the routine quota of t&a). Michelle should have been an A-lister (though her adult films likely circumvented this opportunity). She's a treasure. By the way, SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-A-RAMA was released on my side of the pond as THE IMP. It’s a fun film though Michelle, Brinke and Linnea forfeit the more intimate bond that they sustained in NIGHTMARE SISTERS. Not sure why the title was altered though the Brit censors absolutely pounded HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS--not just the nude/mayhem scenes (which were but a burlesque of more clinically violent vignettes) but the title! The word "chainsaw" was gauged as objectionable!

  • Fantastic movie. This is the type of vampire movie that teens should be seeing, not that "Twilight" bullshit. The movie even has a shadow o ambiguity to it, a case could be made in that it's more about what is in the in of the protagonist. The acting is spectacular, specially from Sarah Bolger and Lily Cole. This movie is a real keeper.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    I saw (and LOVED) DEAD SET

    by mojination

    Amazing series. They were fast if i recall, despite being classic zombies of the undead flesh eating variety. DEAD BIRDS is good, not great. What i did like about it though, and other films recently, is the mash up of period piece and horror film. The AWAKENING, THE BURROWERS, EXIT HUMANITY - great new ways to explore horror themes.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST


    by Cressida

    After watching the trailer you provided for Penumbra, the more I want to see it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie quite like this and my curiosity has gotten the best of me. I added this movie to my Blockbuster @ Home queue and it should be headed my way within the next few days via mail. It saves me the time of trying to find this film at kiosk after kiosk. A Dish co-worker suggested it to me a few months ago and after trying it out, I’m hooked. I’m glad to hear that this film is a solid one and I think that will just make me like it more. I love foreign films and sometimes I miss the really good ones unless I go looking for them.