Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

THE PITFALLS OF PIGEONHOLING ANYONE OR ANYTHING (OR HOW TO/NOT TO MAKE A ZOMBIE MOVIE)




State Of Emergency (2013) & Infected (2013)

I'd like to talk about music for just a moment. Why? Because hey, it's my blog and I wanna, okay? For years my favorite band probably had a median fan age of about 16. But they quit. And I was devastated. Okay they were a 'young persons' type of band, but I was hooked harder than with any band ever. Now I'm not alone, there have been much better (and tons more talented) bands whose breakups devastated a ton of people. 


The Beatles. Led Zepplin. Pink Floyd. Eagles. Boston. Many who thought they'd be around always now listen to them with a kind of sadness. I know I do with the band whose name I will no longer say (Now that's childish, right?). Now there is a band that is from my home town - their name is Sunderland and their music is very clean pop music, no autotuning crap, no one phrase repeated endlessly. In fact they've even done some covers that I consider (with a little bit of prejudice) to be better than the originals.


Hood River's own Sunderland
They're just babies (to me) but already they've been able to open for bands like Panic! At The Disco and Weezer. Not bad when they're barely legal to step inside a bar. Since then they've moved to California (rats), released several albums, and done several covers which, to me, are better than the original. Two of my favorites is Demons by Imagine Dragons and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift (BTW, somebody stop dumping that chick so she doesn't write anymore songs about it, 'kay?).

Now I mention them because no, I am not obsessed with them (I AM proud of them though) but because I was insulted by a newspaper article in our home town that said if you're under 25 you've probably never heard of Sunderland. Excuse me? But it wasn't the first time my (ahem) advanced age has caused me to be dismissed as liking something or someone.


The aforementioned band I WAS addicted to had concerts where I was crushed by tons of young people, but hey, there were a few close to my age too - music has no age, sex or race. Why am I babbling? Let's segue (very sloppily) to the Twilight series... I myself have been guilty of scoffing and saying it's a lot of crap only fit for teenage girls under 16. 

That's not really fair (even if the opinion is VERY popular) because everyone has their own interests and style and shouldn't be judged because of them. I learned that lesson very well with my fave band. Words like 'emo' 'punk wannabes' and other not-so-nice labels were given those listening to them yet here I am - a middle aged woman who liked them a little too much.

Okay finally we get to my point - zombie movies. The same applies to what kind of zombie movie appeals to what kind of person. Some people really loved the new movie Warm Bodies (a kind of Twilight with zombies) while others scoffed (yes I admit it I did too) that it was weak sauce. Now The Walking Dead, THAT'S a real adult type zombie series that (insert personal reasons to love it and please no Norman Reedus comments).

Okay I have a mind blowing statement that you will or will not agree with - our likes and dislikes are based on what kind of emotions we have kicking around our subconscious. And those in the entertainment field know that very well. Hate me if you want, but zombie movies are, well, soap operas with dead people in them. BLASPHEMY!!!! I know, sounds pretty sucky doesn't it? 

Think about it though - people liked Warm Bodies because despite the insurmountable problems it was a soap opera with dead people. People are addicted to The Walking Dead - every episode is watched, discussed, picked apart. In the end though, it's a soap opera - with dead people interfering here and there.

Before you chuck flaming things at my house, think about it - each week our TWD family face peril, try to find some normalcy and a decent life in the midst of a horrible world, fall in love, oh and slaughter, stomp and shoot arrows through the head of some zombies. If the human drama element wasn't there, it would be an hour each week just watching zombies blow apart. Not... really a big draw for most people.

So - finally to the two newish zombie movies I just watched and why I took so long to get around to them. Well, there really isn't much to either one of them - except one was a soap opera with maybe five zombies in the whole damn movie. The other was a ton of zombies with a bit of soap opera mixed in. Ick on the first, not bad on the second.


State Of Emergency (2013): This movie was slower than watching an ant try to walk his way through honey. Plus there was so much CGI that even when there was any zombie violence it was... meh. We've got a man who's immediately lost his love but continues to survive through this localized emergency as his town goes nuts after a chemical plant blows and people (but only most) getting a dose of it start turning on each other and the whole town becomes a buffet. 

That's what we're told, mostly through narrative - not something we see. So this guy finds some other survivors and basically most of the movie is four people in a warehouse. Zombies? Oh there's out there somewhere. Standing. Very. Still. Two original points: One, the zombies have eyes that are redder than red. Two, one actually talked - complete sentences and everything. 

This movie I think tried very hard to present the toll on our humanity if faced with this kind of horror but instead all it did was make you wait and wait and wait for something to happen and... damn, the credits run. Movie over..

Infected (2013): I chose this one for Michael Madsen, a fave character of mine - I wanted to see how he's holding up agewise and I'm pleased to say he looks very, very good. In this zombie flick it's the different flu bugs responsible - they start mutating, the sickness makes its way up through the food chain until the humans are busy chomping each other with gusto. 

These are your fast, sprinting zombies. They're mean, they're hungry and they don't care if you're family or not. This movie also starred Christy Romano and I stared at that name and her face and KNEW that I had heard of her before but... the brain is mush. 

AHA! I didn't recognize her face or voice because she was all grown up - and I had only heard her voice on a cartoon I followed (I'm just a big kid) called Kim Possible. I LOVED that cartoon - she was Kim and it was crushing to watch in this movie first her eyeball then most of her face get demolished by her own grandmother. 



The movie does not have a happy ending for anyone - Michael Madsen gives the narrative for the ending (we don't see him so did he survive or... ?). This was a main problem with the movie - it's like they just ran out of ideas so Michael Madsen sums up. 


His son mainly is the survivor here and we see humanity living in an army-like barracks and try to make a life among the roaming dead. So we had good zombie action and some soap opera - a better mix. Not a very good movie, but definitely better than SOE.


But that's according to my tastes, yours may vary and you have every right to them.