Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oxymoronic Titles, les Films Francais, Disney and Coulrophobia

I suppose that since I put up the poster for The Master's latest film, Survival of the Dead, I should start with Zombie Films. Funny, from that linked photo, you'd never guess that kindly-looking older gentleman was the father of a Horror sub-genre about cannibalistic reanimated corpses.

Anyway, Romero's latest entry (his 6th, if I'm counting correctly) has started making the rounds and had a sneak peak in NYC last weekend. It concerns a remote island and the inhabitants' efforts to find a cure for zombiefication so they can bring their loved ones back to life. Survival... has been descibed as a "neo-Western." Here's a clip of an interview with Papa George, talking about making his latest, his first direct sequel which follows a character from Diary of the Dead:

And here's another "Behind the Scenes" clip:

I don't know about you, but Uncle P. is chomping at the bit to see this one (every pun you can think of, intended).

In other Zombie Film news, here's the trailer The Horde, a French zombie movie that was supposed to be released in August of last year. Maybe it slipped by my radar (unlikely), but I didn't hear a word about it:

And since The Crazies was released this past weekend (I'm seeing it on Thursday with my favorite Elf, so watch for my review on Caliban's Revenge, then), I thought I'd pass on this piece about non-Zombie Zombie movies.

And in Zombie Nonsense this week, here's a clip from the Midlands MCM Expo of Disney Zombies:

That clip goes out especially to Uncle P's sister, a self-described "Disney Dork."

And finally, this week's Zombie Clip of the Week:

Regular readers of Caliban's Revenge are by now familiar with the friend I refer to as My Dear D (not his actual picture, though he's certainly what you might call 'hirsute'). D is a brilliant young actor and just about the sweetest guy in the world. He's smart, funny and an even bigger movie fanatic (if you can believe that), than I am (even though I may question his taste, at times). The thing you should know about D, is that he is absolutely terrified of clowns. We were at a Pride event promoting a JTMF show a few years ago. I was talking to someone about the show, when I suddenly felt the back of my shirt being pulled on. I looked behind me and found D cowering in fear, clutching my back in abject terror. Another friend then pointed to the aisle, where a perfectly innocent-looking clown was approaching our table. Now imagine seeing Zombieland with Dear D. The poor boy spent this entire scene with his hands in front of his eyes, missing Jesse Eisenberg's beat-down of the Zombie Clown, something I'm sure he would have probably enjoyed seeing. I hope to some day get him past his coulrophobia, but until then, I will continue to protect him from images such as this one. And D, if you're reading this, I hope you didn't click that last link.

More Zombie Clown Stomping soon,

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Zombies in Outer Space, Norway and Great Britain

Tonight in Zombie Films:

This very amusing image of Zombie Stormtroopers comes to us via Skull Swap. I love the idea of George Lucas' cloned warriors as Zombies. In the Star Wars universe, the Stormtroopers represent not only their obviously Nazi* namesakes, but their mindless intent on the destruction of their prey. How better than to represents them as Zombies?

Meanwhile, the maniacs over at have posted this interview with director Breck Eisner on his remake of Romero's "non-Zombie" Zombie film The Crazies. While the lamentable Mathew McConaughey vehicle Sahara may have been a complete mess, the trailers for The Crazies have me hoping Eisner may have made up for it. Eisner is next scheduled to make a new version of Flash Gordon and is in talks to direct a remake of the David Cronenberg classic, The Brood.

Also in Zombie Films is this trailer from the 2007 short Zombie Jesus:

Personally, that movie seems kind of silly to me (not to mention sacrilegious, even if I do consider myself an Agnostic).

*And while we're on the subject of Zombie movies and Nazis, I have yet to see the Norwegian Nazi Zombie movie Dead Snow. I have posted about it before on Caliban's Revenge, but am still waiting for its release on DVD.

Mmmmm... Beethoven...

And now, the Zombie Clip of the Week:

From Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Sean of the Dead) comes this hilarious zombie survival guide from their web series "Danger: 50,000 Volts" (language NSFW):

"What up with Unkie Doug?" indeed. And you have to love Pegg's teeth in that clip. So un-British.

And here's Part 2:

So, did you learn anything about surviving the Zombie Apocalypse from those clips? I may have been highly amused, but didn't learn anything I didn't already know about Zombies. Give me a shopping mall over a cabin in the woods, any day.

More Zombie Apocalypse survival tips, soon.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mmmmm... Zombies...

Uncle Prospero's sister has a side-business as a cake maker, which she hopes to one day turn into a full-time career. She makes custom cakes for all occasions. Some of them are quite good. She's done a Pirate Ship cake and a Cheeseburger & Fries cake that are very good. She also does some rather traditional cakes for birthdays, weddings and other special occasions. She's not quite up the level of Duff at Charm City Cakes (as seen on "Ace of Cakes") or Buddy at Carlos Bakery (as seen on "Cake Boss"), but she is pretty good. She'll be launching her very own blog soon (which I will link to on Caliban's Revenge). But, to my knowledge, she has yet to make a Zombie cake. Though I'm sure if someone asked her to, she would come up with something rather wonderful, especially since she is nearly as big a Zombie fan as I am.

So tonight in Zombie Pastries, I thought I'd share some very amusing Zombie cakes with you. I particularly love the Hello Zombie Kitty cake I put in the banner. There's just something about the whole Hello Kitty thing that lends itself so well to Zombification. Oh, those wacky Japanese! And of course, there's the brilliant Zombie wedding cake pictured above. I'd like to imagine the couple met at a midnight showing of Dawn of the Dead, and fell in love over Bloody Marys, afterward. And while they could have just gone with a Zombie Cake Topper, this couple went with an all-out Zombie massacre, instead. Still, isn't it nice when couples have things in common?

Anyway, on to Zombie Films. Next week brings us the remake of George A. Romero's 1973 'non-Zombie' Zombie flick, The Crazies, starring Timothy Oliphant and Radha Mitchell. When a lethal virus is unleashed on a small town, the citizens begin to turn into murderous maniacs. Your Uncle P has never actually seen the original (I know - shame on me), but I think the trailer makes the movie look interesting, if nothing else.

In this week's Zombie Clip of the Week, gay porn star Francois Sagat stars in the bizarre film L.A. Zombie from gay 'auteur' Bruce La Bruce. The music is terrible and the plot seems totally asinine. But what can one expect from the maker of such 'masterpieces' as Otto, or Up With Dead People and The Raspeberry Reich?

Really? Would you pay to see that movie? If so, you might want to take stock of the life you're living. Seriously. While La Bruce seems to have garnered a cult following, I honestly can't imagine myself sitting through any of his films in its entirety.

Finally (and a bit sadly), in Personal Zombie Film News:

Just before Christmas, I received a call from Roger Corman's New Horizons Pictures, telling me that they were pitching my Zombie screenplay to SyFy. I was excited and upbeat, especially after speaking with the rep from New Horizons, who seemed very enthusiastic about the script. Yesterday, Uncle P learned that Army of the Dead, was passed over by SyFy for a movie called Sharktopus. I kid you not. Of course, any company that would actually make a movie called Sharktopus is probably not a company with which I would want to do business, anyway. Oh well. If one company was interested, another will be. In the meantime, I will continue to work on my newest Zombie screenplay (working title: Redneck Zombie Nightmare) and hope for the best.

More shambling, soon.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

i Is for Zombie

Let's start with a bit of Zombie Nonsense, shall we?

As much as I love that typeface joke (and who doesn't love a good typeface joke?) and as funny as I think it is, it still worries me that someone had the time to sit down, look at that particular font's lower-case "i" and think that it looked like a zombie, and then type it up and commit it to cyberspace, where whack-a-doos like Uncle Prospero will make sure they get spread around to other nerds who also find it funny, for the same several reasons I do.

Fans in general can be odd. Sports fanaticism can be pretty scary. Music fans are often a little left of center and movie fans? Don't ask. Genre film fans can be downright frightening. But sub-genre film fans? Obsessive and weird in a way only our fellows can understand. The two best Zombie fans in my life are my sister (still the best person for me to see a movie with, ever) and my 'adopted' sister and co-worker, Mia, maker of the fabulous Teddy Z. I occasionally share things with them (and a few other folks) before posting it here. And so it was with tonight's clip in Zombie Films:

A.D. is a movie looking for a buyer, and from the clip I found over at io9, I don't imagine it will take long to find one. I'll comment more after you've watched:

Four things strike me most about A.D. (for which I could find no IMDb listing):
One - Can an animated horror movie be truly scary to anyone over the age of 12?
Two - Could this the be the movie that makes animation for adult audiences a success?
Three - I think I really need to see this movie.
Four - Please dear God, don't let it be in effing 3D.

In Personal Zombie Film News, I am very close to finishing the first act of my latest screenplay, though I am far from happy with the working title and need to find something that better describes the movie and doesn't give too much away. The concept is solid and the general plot is in place, though sometimes I find my characters behaving in unexpected ways, changing the planned events drastically. Maybe as I continue to write the thing, I'll come up with something better. And no, I don't want to share the working title - it's too silly and descriptive and sounds like an H.G. Lewis movie title. I'm about to channel another sub-genre into the movie, something I am hoping will add a not only amusing, but much -needed twist to an already well-explored Horror movie topic. In the meantime, think about what other Horror sub-genre you would mix into Romero's mythology to add a twist? As soon as it's done, I promise you a link.

Finally, I'm starting a new Weekly Feature here at the Z-Zone:

Zombie Clip of the Week:

Each week, I'll be posting Zombie scene, trailer or short and either heap praise on it or rip it to shreds. This week's ZCW is in honor of the 70th birthday of the Father of the Modern Zombie, George A. Romero:

The only time Uncle P and his sister attended a fan convention was Fangoria magazine's first convention in NYC. It was a surreal and eye-opening event, the highlights of which were meeting and getting the autograph of Tom Savini and seeing advance footage from Day of the Dead, hosted by Uncle George, himself. Sis and I were excited to see the whole movie and when it was released the following summer, we went opening weekend... only to be a little disappointed. While Day of the Dead is certainly better than Land of the Dead, I do think (and think most of you will agree) that it is certainly the weakest of the original trilogy, leaving Dawn of the Dead in the unusual position of being one of the few sequels that's actually better than the original.

Set in an underground military facility in Florida, Day of the Dead attempts to create a claustrophobic, tomb-like feel which backfires, simply because of the facility's apparent vastness. Romero also tries to drive his message home a little too hard and bogs the movie down with an interminably boring second act filled with dime-store philosophy and bad dialog. On the upside, it introduced us to "Bud," the zombie who remembers. Funny, but oh-so-creepy, Bud was scary because he wasn't quite as mindless as we'd all like to think zombies are. And while Romero would explore zombie "intelligence" again with Big Daddy in Land of the Dead, with less successful results, Bud was the first zombie with whom audience members empathized. While Day of the Dead isn't as exciting or even original as Romero's first two films in the sub-genre he invented, it's still better than most of the Zombie movies to come after. If you're a Zombie lover and you've never seen Day of the Dead, then shame, shame, shame on you.

More ante-apocalyptic rantings, soon.