Saturday, March 27, 2010

O Zombie, My Zombie...

Let's start with a brand new label, tonight. Welcome to the Zombie Zone's first post on Zombie Art:

You may be wondering what Walt Whitman has to do with Zombies, and I'm certainly willing to admit that the answer is: Probably very little. But the image above, done by one of the many folks who specialize in modified toys as art (and in particular, My Little Pony) for some reason made the phrase pop unbidden, like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, into my head and would not go away. In addition to My Little Zombie there, I am also very enamored of My Little Edward Scissorhands, My Little Xenomorph, My Little Joker and My Little Cthulhu.

I imagine these artists are living well off of their work. Or at least I hope they are. They are very good at what they do. I don't have the patience to work with my hands. My fingers are so clunky, it's a miracle I can type (if you can call what I do typing - I'm fast, but it is entirely my own, inadequate system). Anyway, I wish I was as capable an artist as these folks. I'd be modding all sorts of toys into Zombie versions of themselves. I'd make some Zombie Toys children should never even be allowed to see, let alone play with. And yes, while I do own an RC Zombie, complete with a brain-shaped remote (a Christmas Gift from two years ago, he watches over me as I write, sitting next to Hannibal, the Bad Taste Bear which was part of a cast gift, picked out by D), I don't have any Zombie dolls. And honestly, I don't know which is more pathetic, my lack of one or my desire for one. I just know that a well-done one would make me very happy.

And since Zombie Fashion has a direct link to Zombie Art, here's a fun little Zombie Eyeball ring from the fine lunatics at BoingBoing.

And speaking of segues, also from BoingBoing comes this week's entry in Zombie Music:

This may be a stretch, but I know that if I were making a zombie movie that required a nightclub scene, I'd hire these guys, immediately. Quirky and oh-so-creepy, The Tiger Lillies are are a rather unique and interesting trio who manage to evoke early Oingo Boingo; Leon Redbone and Creole Funeral Music as sung by Alison Moyet. Chompers and Slayers, I give you "Living Hell" (May be NFSC - Not Safe for Coulrophobes):

The Tiger Lillies- Living Hell from Mark Holthusen on Vimeo.

Creepy, eh? And quite brilliant. I think I love them and must hear more.

And finally, the Zombie Clip of the Week.

Pet Sematary was Stephen King's first foray into the Zombie genre, and he infused it with omens, ghosts and Native American folklore, while maintaining his flair for the horrors of the mundane. Reportedly, while researching children's funerals for the project, King became so distraught at imagining his own son's death, he put Pet Sematary aside until his kids were older and he could handle the material. I'd say it's pretty impressive when a writer upsets himself with his own story.

Personally, I think Pet Sematary is one King's better novels and it deserved a better film version than Mary Lambert's 1989 attempt, starring TV C-Lister Dale Midkiff; future Tasha Yar, Denise Crosby and Herman Munster himself, the late Fred Gwynne. I will admit that while the movie doesn't come close to conveying the sense of dread that King builds so well in the novel, it does have its fair share of memorable moments: Rachel's twisted sister Zelda screaming in horrific pain, the picture of a Zombie if not actually one; the fight at the funeral; the scalpel attack on poor old Jud's Achilles tendon; the look on Midkiff's face as he waits for Rachel to come home. Goosebumps, every time.

There is a remake at hand (of course) though I think that may actually be a good thing, for once. Even though Lambert didn't completely crap on her source material (unlike many other directors of King's works), I think that in the hands of a better director and better cast (no offense to Mr. Midkiff, Mr. Gwynne or Ms. Crosby -- who are all fine in Lambert's film), a new version of Pet Sematary could be one kick-ass scary movie.

Lambert is currently listed as 'In Production' on the Vampire Western High Midnight, which could be interesting, but while she has continued to work since her most successful film, she's never come close to making a movie even half as good as Pet Sematary.

King visited the genre again a few years ago with the techno-phobic novel, Cell. The Zombies in Cell are all somehow controlled by an electronic signal, initially transmitted through the prolific use of cell phones, and forced to act as part a single hive-like entity (think insanely violent Borg without the tubes, wires and telephoto eyes). Director Eli Roth (the hilarious and zombie-inspired plague movie Cabin Fever) was attached to direct a film version at one time, though Roth has since moved on (as he always seems to be doing lately) and I can find no reference to it on IMDb. That's a shame, because I totally imagined it as a movie when I read it.

This has been a very long and surreal day. You can catch up on why at Caliban's Revenge, tomorrow (well, tonight, technically). I'll also have my review of Comedy Central's "Ugly Americans" there, tomorrow.

More brain nomming, soon.

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