Anyone seen this? It is Danny Boyle’s latest - apparently, he’s decided to shift from the saccharine pomposity of Cameron-Diaz-vehicle “A Lifeless Ordinary” to a George Orwell, post-apocalyptic zombie setting. It was really cool, but I don’t want to gush about it unless anyone here has seen it, lest some spoilers be involved. But, seriously - best “zombie infection through the eyeball” scene in a movie ever.
I’ve seen 28 Days with Sandra Bullock, which was pretty horrifying in its own right.
How did you see this, Dr. Crypt? According to IMDB, it’s not scheduled for a US release yet.
Not to be a Wumpus to you Tom, but his user info says he’s in Dublin. :)
Wow, DrCrypt in Dublin, huh? I didn’t know Qt3 had gone international! Next you’ll be telling me Christoph Nahr is in Germany or something.
I don’t want to gush about it unless anyone here has seen it
Is there any continuity with the pre-Life Less Ordinary Boyle? Any elements of Trainspotting or Shallow Grave?
Tom, tons of continuity with pre-Lifeless-Ordinary Boyle. That creepy dead baby on the ceiling in Trainspotting is back, mewling out Voodoo curses as it controls an entire planet full of murderous, flesh-eating zombies - only this time, its personal. Can the human cavemen learn how to fly thousand year old jet planes in enough time to stop him and his psychotic zombie henchman, Begbie?
Actually, I guess it doesn’t have any continuity with his earlier works. Is it good on the same level? Probably not that, either, and there are parts of the film (such as when the protagonists are driving through zombified England, which looks much like they are driving through vivid Impressionist landscapes) that is Boyle at his pretentious worst. And you certainly won’t find the same sort of razor-sharp character writing you found in Shallow Grave or Trainspotting - the characters in the film tend to fall into clearly defined zombie movie protagonist cliches, the beautiful-but-tough-yet-at-the-same-time-vulnerable black heroine, the innocent little girl, the evil army general, etc.
That said, these are all staples of the zombie movie formula, and you have to accept them as sort of the inherent weakness of a good zombie movie.
It is the best zombie movie to come out in a long time, though. The opening scenes, where Jim (the hero) comes out of a coma in the hospital and wanders, screaming, through a completely deserted London to a gradually crescending techno score is really creepy. Despite the not-terribly-interesting-characters, the film focuses a lot on the familial bond that develops between the last survivors in England, and although I complained about some of the tacky cinematography in their drive across zombie England looking for the last bastion of humanity in England, the film treats it almost like a family vacation. So obviously it is trying to be more than a standard zombie film, and a lot of times, despite its flaws, it succeeds. And the movie is pretty exciting and scary and gross to boot.
I really really dug it. If you have any geek-love for zombie flicks, check it out.
Being the kind of guy who detests spoilers (I close my eyes and ears during trailers), I skimmed your post the same way I might skim a review before seeing a movie. It sounds like what Reign of Fire should have been, but with zombies instead of dragons! Now I’m psyched. I love good directors doing bad genres, particularly horror, so I hope 28 Days find a US distributor soon.
One last question: how does it look? It sounds like an expensive movie to make. Were the production values garage-level stuff or does it look like they spent some money?
Although I think that Romero got far too earnest in his later movies (Dawn of the Dead is great for kitsch value, but it’s a terrible movie!), I think Night of the Living Dead is fantastic for being a zombie film that’s only peripherally about zombies (in fact, I’m pretty sure they don’t even use the word). I recently re-watched Return of the Living Dead and really enjoyed it. Which reminds me that I need to see Jackson’s Dead Alive again.
Actually, it is very slick. The scenes in deserted London are especially well-done, with helicopter aerial shots of Jim walking, completely alone, across the London bridge, Charing Cross, Trafalgar Square, underneath Big Ben, etc. It looks as if they actually deserted London to film the beginning, but it is probably that computer animation hoodoo stuff I keep hearing about.
The zombies are also pretty durn spooky, although they seem to have traded in the George-Romero-lumbering method school of zombie acting for some sort of hyperactive, gibbering insanity. But they are always doing impressive zombie things like eating flesh, tearing their skin and profusely vomitting blood (scary, because a drop of blood is apparently enough to turn someone into a zombie within 15 seconds).
When it comes out, go see it - no one in Dublin was expecting a zombie movie from Danny Boyle, of all people, and girls expecting a Ewan-McGregor-less Lifeless Ordinary romance were literally jumping into my lap within the first five minutes. It is getting mainstream release here. I wouldn’t expect the same to happen in America, though - it is going to tank.
By the way, the web site (which has some of the busiest, most obnoxious Flash I’ve ever seen) is here. It is distributed by Fox over here, so I imagine it is only a matter of time before it is released States-side.
I recently re-watched Return of the Living Dead and really enjoyed it. Which reminds me that I need to see Jackson’s Dead Alive again.
Return of the Living Dead is probably the best zombie movie ever made, in my opinion - it is hard for me to think of a smarter, slicker film that knows exactly when to undercut its tongue-in-cheek-irony for genuine horror. Dead Alive is the best zombie film in the last decade, closely rivalled by the Italian classic “Cemetary Man”, starring a pre-Wilde-ian Rupert Everett as a necrophile zombie hunter.
As for Dawn of the Dead being a bad movie - yeah, well, I guess, but I love it and when it first came out, nobody had seen anything like it. The schlockiest part of the film is when the black guy decides not to kill himself, jumps up and starts beating up zombies as what sounds like the A-Team theme-song heroically plays in the background.
Return of the Living Dead is probably the best zombie movie ever made
Hmm. Now that I think of it, I think I agree.
the Italian classic “Cemetary Man”, starring a pre-Wilde-ian Rupert Everett as a necrophile zombie hunter.
Yes! Great call, DrCrypt! It’s sometimes called Dellamorte, Dellamore, but it’s in English, so those of you reluctant to read subtitles shouldn’t be scared off. I loved that movie, which is as much an existential fable as a horror movie. Great, great stuff and one of the few movies I’ve considered tracking down on VHS (Twins of Evil being the other).
An existentialist fable for what, though? I know it is deep because Rupert Everett is in it and it is incoherent, but flexing my pineal gland at the end there only resulted in a nose-bleed and the already obvious idea that “that big breasted Francesa chick sure is hot”.
I couldn’t disagree more. Terrible acting - yes. There’s also an abbreviated version (which I think was the commercial release in NA) that cuts out about 10 minutes at the end, rendering the finale, uh, less coherent. But Dawn of the Dead is one of the all time best horror movies (and the very best movie in that oh-so-special “end of the world” subgenre).
All three of Romero’s Dead movies are only peripherally about zombies, and none of them actually use the word “zombie”.
I saw both of these recently (along with the Rupert Everett flick), thanks to the amazing “Scream” network. They’re both fun, especially if you kick ass for the lord. Other than being interesting because Everett was in it, I don’t really have anything good to say about the other flick). I never saw any of the sequels to the Return of the Living Dead movies, which were probably terrible (RotLD has nothing to do with Romero’s movies, in case anyone thought otherwise).
Dammit, I think otherwise. John A. Russo and Russell Streiner, 2/3rds of the original NOTLD team, helped write and produce it. The script specifically mentions that the gas that is causing all the problems inspired the original film. Also, legally speaking, Russo and Streiner were able to get the rights to use the “Living Dead”, so it definitely has some thing to do with the originals.
I’m positive that Roger in Dawn of the Dead uses the word “zombie” to describe them.
Also, legally speaking, Russo and Streiner were able to get the rights to use the “Living Dead”, so it definitely has some thing to do with the originals.
Yeah, what you said. I’m almost positive Russo has some sort of perpetual claim to the words “Living Dead” and Romero gets just “Dead” by itself.
All three of Romero’s Dead movies are only peripherally about zombies
I know that Dawn of the Dead is a cautionary tale about how buying lots of different things in one convenient location like JC Penney is turning us all into zombies - of consumerism! - and how, ultimately, consuming Starsky cardigans and goucho pants is basically as scary as consuming human flesh. And I think that Night of the Living Dead is about racism or maybe how even bad people can have good ideas, such as hide in the basement. I’m not sure about Day of the Dead. Racism again? I don’t know. I like the Dead series a lot more when I can convince myself it’s all about the zombies.
Pre-emptive socio-political commentary on the post-September 11th Bush military-industrial complex is my bet. No need to wear a beret and have an anarky tattoo on your anus to titter at who Bub is supposed to represent.
And I want to add my vote for “Return of the Living Dead” as best zombie movie ever. Maybe. Dawn of the Dead is way up there too, though, like I said, its strained social message and terrible, awful acting affects its standing. On the other hand, the shootout in the tenement is still effectively shocking and scary. So I don’t know. I guess it’s a tie. Don’t forget Zombie with its really hard to watch eye trauma scene and the zombie vs. shark fight. Actually, there are a lot of great italian zombie movies. There’s a script floating around for Romero’s fourth dead film - Helen Hunt marries a zombie.
Pre-emptive socio-political commentary on the post-September 11th Bush military-industrial complex is my bet.
I’ve only seen Day of the Dead once, when it came out back in whenever that was. I only really remember the scene where the one guy gets ripped in half while he’s still alive. I also have a lingering impression that the heroes were a rainbow coalition of hippies who all lived together in a trailer. So I’ll just assume you’re right. Still, it seems if there were ever a situation where you’d really hope for some armed and well-trained military types to be hanging around, it’d be when the dead rise from their graves to devour the living.
Now, if Desslock wants to come here and argue that “Zombie” isn’t really a Living Dead sequel, be my guest - when Dawn of the Dead was released in Italy as editted by Dario Argento and marketted as “Zombi”, it was a huge success and quickly spawned Lucio Fulci’s really gross cash-in “Zombi 2”. Lucio Fulci is really the master of the Italian zombie film (The Beyond is just pure creepiness), along with Lamberto Bava, who, with Dario Argento (again) was responsible for the one film that besides the Warriors should definitely be a video game: Demons. I want to be the jive-talking black pimp in the plaid suit with the switch blade! Demons 2 isn’t shabby, either.
Another Italian zombie flick I really love is City of the Walking Dead - it starts off with a plane just landing at an airport, and like a hundred insane zombies running off of it and chopping everyone up with axes. Great schlock.
City of the Walking Dead - it starts off with a plane just landing at
an airport, and like a hundred insane zombies running off of it and chopping everyone up with axes.
Yes! That’s all I remember about that movie, though. I think they even repeated the scene at the end. I could be wrong about that. The director, Umberto Lenzi, also made the notoriously ghastly Cannibal Ferox.
Yes! That’s all I remember about that movie, though. I think they even repeated the scene at the end. I could be wrong about that.
I don’t think you’re wrong. As I recall, the hero of the movie (whom is the typical protagonist of an Italian zombie film in that he looks like the smelliest professor you ever had in college and is supposedly played by someone with a name like “Joe America!” in the sub-titled credits) is some kind of television reporter, covering the mysterious airplane landing at the Milan airport. At the end of the movie, he gets eaten by the zombies, only to discover that he’s dozed off at the airport waiting for the plane to unload. Ha ha! It was only a dream. OR WAS IT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
There’s another great scene in that movie when the axe wielding zombie burst onto the set of a 70’s Italian aerobecise television show. That’s all I remember though. Is Cannibal Ferox another name for Cannibal Holocaust, or one of those early 80’s cash-ins?
Is Cannibal Ferox another name for Cannibal Holocaust
Crap. I was thinking of Cannibal Holocaust, which isn’t actually another name for Cannibal Ferox. Ferox is indeed a Holocaust ripoff released in the States as Make Them Die Slowly. So never mind.
Just wanted to jump in and note to people who haven’t seen “Day of the Dead” that this is in no way a reference to me. The resemblance between me and the character “Bub” is purely coincidental.