Tag Archives: zom-com

Burying The Ex

Max, an inveterate nice guy, moves in with his girlfriend Evelyn, who turns out to be a bit of a bitch. You know, classic manipulative, controlling stuff that makes you wonder what kind of a nitwit Max is to have sold his gas-guzzling car and given up delicious, delicious meat for her in the first place. But anyway, eventually Max grows a bit of a backbone and decides to break up with her…but before he can do the damage, a bus obliterates her to hell. Evelyn is now his dead ex-girlfriend.

Which is the next best thing to a breakup, I guess, in that he can now make a move on the hot girl at the ice cream place. They’re so well-suited because she has streaks of fake purple hair, and they both like monsters and cemeteries and stuff! Unfortunately, Max Photo by Suzanne Tennerhad made a promise on the devil-genie to love Evelyn forever, and she takes that shit seriously. So seriously that she digs herself out of her cold, dark grave and returns as a horny little zombie. Which may sound appealing until you account for the slipping flesh and her commitment to making Max’s life a living hell. And that’s before her cravings for brains start!

Anton Yelchin plays the nice guy, which makes sense. I miss Anton Yelchin. Alexandra Daddario plays the hot ice cream girl, which sort of makes sense, except she’s not a convincing princess of darkness or even just a goth. But she’s got big, pillowy breasts so I guess if I just keep my eyes where the director wants them, I’d have less to complain about. The crazy dead girlfriend is played by Ashley Greene and this is where I really must object. Nobody who’s ever hired her has truly been serious about their movie. There are certain women in Hollywood whose inclusion in a cast signals to the rest of us that this is not going to be a quality movie and is probably not even going to pretend be.

Max and Olivia share a passion for horror, but this movie doesn’t really fit the genre, despite the whole zombie thing. I think it’s supposed to be a comedy, as evidenced by the annoying, low-rent-Jonah-Hill half-brother character who doesn’t even have the decency to be played by actual Jonah Hill. Anyway. I couldn’t take this thing seriously, it sure as heck wasn’t scary, but it wasn’t funny enough (or funny at all) for me to even acknowledge it as a comedy. The makeup and effects are sub-par and the story is so unimaginative to call it derivative would be to give it respect it doesn’t deserve.

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Dead Shack

Dead Shack is that rare comedy-horror hybrid that actually works on both counts. It was yet another surprise from Fantasia’s lineup and I really have to stop being surprised because the truth is the programming is quite excellent even if the movies tend to do be a little wheelhouse-busting.

[I mean, what the hell is a wheelhouse anyway? Well, okay, I know what a wheel house is, it’s the little shack on a fishing boat where the wheel goes. If something’s in your wheel house, then you’re capable of doing it. And it’s not that I’m incompetent or unable MV5BZTgzODJjNDUtNGVhNC00NmUxLWJmYWUtMWU0ZTRiMGZmMzMxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjEwNTM2Mzc@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,743_AL_to watch genre films, it’s just that I’m rather chicken and often shy away. But here I am, grabbing the ole wheel by its…spokes? And I’m loving it.]

Dead Shack is about a family who goes on a budget camping trip to a rundown cabin in the middle of some bug-infested hellhole, and if I stopped writing right there, well, that’s horrific enough for me. But no. While on the trip, Dad and Dad’s new girlfriend immediately set to partying (euphemism for heavy drinking). His teenage Son and Daughter and their Ambiguous Friend knock about in the creepy surrounding woods and stumble upon a neighbour who looks like a Volvo-driving soccer Mom until she puts her armor on and brings home human prey for her undead family to feast upon.

For a movie about cannibalism, it’s actually quite funny. A lot of the fun comes from Dad, who is earnest and geeky and trying just a little too hard to be Cool Weekend Dad. But then it’s his kids who have to come to the rescue with their improvised armaments and slapped-together weapons. Death Shack kind of has the feel of an 80s movie – picture a Goonies-Evil Dead mashup. And there’s still plenty of gore and tense framing and a pretty heart-pounding soundtrack to satisfy the sickest of you souls. Bon appetit.

 

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

I know exactly what is wrong with this movie: it deviates too much from Seth Grahame-Smith’s book – and for that matter, from Jane Austen’s.

Grahame-Smith’s novel was a clever and funny mash-up that clearly honoured its source material (credit to Quirk Books editor Jason Rekulak, who came up with the idea). Fans of Austen will follow along delightedly, finding all of their favourite bits suddenly transformed by the presence of the undead and the ninja Bennett sisters’ unparalleled fighting skills. It almost feels like untitledAusten left her novel wide open for a zombie attack, having an independent heroine spoiling for a fight and lots of solitary carriage rides through unpopulated areas.

Unfortunately, writer-director Burr Steers thought he knew better than both Grahame-Smith AND Austen, and departs from their material quite substantially. This from the esteemed writer of How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days.

The movie has glimpses of period drama and some real horror gore but has no idea how to unite the two. Instead, it drives toward an action flick, concocting very weird scenarios in which the zombies are not just a plague but a formidable, willful enemy. Lily James acquits herself well as the delightful maxresdefaultMiss Bennett, and seems to remember that she’s supposed to be having fun. The movie, however, takes itself too seriously and winds up being ludicrous. All the juicy bits of Austen’s writing are MIA and the zombies lack bite (it’s rated PG-13) so it rather fails on both counts. The zombies keep looking for brains, but they won’t find any here.

Zombeavers: a totally real movie. Apparently.

So it’s come to this: Zombeavers. If this isn’t a sign of the apocalypse, I don’t know what is. I don’t want to know what is. Sean’s cousin pointed me toward this gem and I can’t thank her enough.

The worst thing about this movie is that it doesn’t really know it’s a joke. It tries to be a real movie. There’s no parody here (I mean, can you even parody a parody?), no wink toward the audience. It’s genuinely, earnestly a movie about zombie beavers.zomb

Okay, that’s not the worst thing. But it’s a very bad, terrible thing.

Is it outrageous? No. It’s tired. The beaver jokes start almost immediately (to call it innuendo is aiming a bit too high, considering the script…innuendo implies something clever is happening, and there is NOTHING clever happening) unless you count the title, in which case the first and only joke is made before you even start the movie. If you’ve seen the poster, you’ve seen enough.

Bill Burr and John Mayer in a handlebar (believe it) open this thing up with a discussion about shitting in your friend’s house. It turns out that this would be the high point of the film (plus or minus the gratuitous dick pics), and it shouldn’t come of much of a surprise that it’s these two chuckleheads responsible for the whole zombified beaver mess.

Cue the pretty people partying and sexing it up in a secluded cabin in the woods. The script refers to them variously as college kids and sorority sisters but leaves the audience wondering which college exactly lets in kids who don’t know what a beaver dam is, or a landline for that matter. There is near-immediate toplessness (admittedly some pretty great tits) but then the douchebag boyfriends show up and a round of pointless fuking ensues.

A fun drinking game to play while watching this movie (and believe me, you’ll want to be on the vodka train for this doozie) would be to guess which douche is the first to bite the dust. Or better yet: which douche goes for a swim in the lake and comes back holding his own severed foot?

But wait! These zombeavers aren’t just hungry for human meat, they’re also quite devious. They don’t just sever feet, they also sever phone lines.

By the way. This movie goes the way of some 80s classics of the genre, eschewing effects for animatronics which are inevitably terrible. You’ve seen better animatronics on the 25 cent carousel in front of your grocery store. They’re not funny, they’re not scary, they’re just beaver puppets and totally, totally regrettable. A real dog is thrown in as beaver-bait and when he dies, so does the best actor in the bunch.

The worst actor of the bunch, “Hutch Dano”, does in fact “play” a very convincing dickwad. What he fails to convey with any aplomb is “guy hammering a nail.” Seriously. Watch this guy hammer a nail. And then watch him play whack-a-mole when the beavers start popping up through holes gnawed in the floor.

And if you thought the zombeavers were bad (and they’re godawful, truly), you should see what happens when a human gets bit and morphs into a zombie-beaver-human hybrid. It’s almost poetic and the costume lady seems to have saved herself some time by reusing the Miley Cyrus’s redneck teeth she bought for Halloween. Two birds, meet one stone. Love it.

There are a lot bad choices in this movie, but there is one redeeming factor: this movie clocks in at just 71 merciful minutes. So there’s that.

FrightFest: Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead

So, full disclosure, I’m a chicken shit when it comes to watching scary movies. Which doesn’t mean that I don’t watch them. It just means that I sound like a woman in the late stages of labour when I do. Lamaze is my friend. This one’s classified as a “zom-com” and while it’s got some good laughter blasts, make no mistake: by the 13 minute mark, you’ll have seen some shit.

The movie’s intro does a fairly decent job of catching us up if we haven’t seen the first, but in case you’d like some details, SPOILER ALERT: the 2009 original is a Norwegian zombie splatter film directed by Ttumblr_my816oqRJG1t0demio1_500ommy Wirkola, who is a sick, sick individual. He sends 7 students to a remote cabin in the woods, because that’s what the horror movie template tells you to do. A lone and mysterious hiker interrupts their partying with a local tale of a Nazi occupiers who looted the village until the villagers fought back, killing many and forcing survivors to flee into the woods. The next day the students find two things: the hikers dead body, and a cache of treasure. What’s more terrifying than a Nazi? A Nazi-zombie, obviously. Nazi zombies start popping out of the snow, and they whittle down the students, one by one, until Martin, who has had to chainsaw-off his own bitten arm, returns the box of treasure to them. Back in the safety of his car, he discovers that he’s still got a gold coin in his pocket…

 dead-snow-2-herzogCut to, Dead Snow 2. The Nazi-zombies are super mad about the one who got away. Martin (Vegar Hoel) wakes up in a hospital bed with a new arm…a severed zombie arm that’s now been attached to him and is intent on doing evil zombie things! So now Martin’s fleeing the zombies as well as his own dark impulses, and he enlists the help of an American zombie squad to get the job done.

Turns out, though, that the zombie squad is actually just a few nerdy kids led by J960udd Apatow muse Martin Starr. But at least they believe him.

Plot is not the strong point here, as the story is a fairly by-the-book horror list where every item’s been checked off. Unabashed bad taste abounds, and the special effects team does their best (worst?) to offer up escalating gore. Seriously, the organ budget alone must have outstripped the first movie’s entire budget, with an all-you–can-eat-wings wrap party for the crew and theirtumblr_nfq6pt0ARC1tsy6uyo1_500 plus-ones thrown in.  These guys do things with intestines that you can’t unsee. There’s scalpings and head stompings and no mercy whatsoever even for babies, or the disabled. If you wanted a feast of blood and guts, you got it.

 

Confidential to Matt: projectile vomit warning, 38 minute mark.