Top 15 Zombie Movies pt. 2

Posted in Top 15 Zombie Movies with tags , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

This is the second part of my list of top 15 zombie movies ever.  : )

10. Re-Animator (1985)

Based on a short story written by H.P. Lovecraft, Re-Animator is surely one of the most recognizable movies ever made. Like many other zombie movies, it also has some comedy elements in it that make it even better. Re-animator also spawned 2 sequels, which I, unfortunately, haven’t seen yet but I heard they are good. I will give them a try soon but I fear they won’t manage to create the atmosphere (and originality) that was in the first part. Oh yeah, I nearly forgot to mention that it has a really interesting soundtrack. All in all, Re-Animator is a classic.

My Rating: 8/10


9. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

A movie like Shaun of the Dead needs no special introduction. Every comedy/horror fan should be familiar with it. It is surely one of the best modern movies from both genres. Because of its perfect combination of intelligent humor, awesome performances made by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and, well,  zombies, Shaun of the Dead soon became a cult movie which can be found in every “Top Zombie Movies” list. Definitely a movie to check out furthermore. Btw “Ever felt like you were surrounded by zombies?”  : )

My Rating: 8/10

8. Dead Snow aka Død snø (2009)

I’ve already wrote a review of this movie, you can read it here. Briefly, Dead Snow is a fantastic Norwegian Horror/Comedy with nazi zombies! It was one of the best movies of its year and, as you can see, has a very high ranking in my list. It is a very enjoyable gory experience that has many references to other cult horror movies like The Evil Dead. A movie that really deserves more attention because it is fun, fun, fun! By the way, many people took this movie way too serious so they found themselves to be disappointed by it. Don’t make the same mistake.

My Rating: 9/10

7. Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland was also one of the best movies of its year, along with Dead Snow. It is an extremly fun roadtrip movie with zombies, which offers very likeable, developed characters and many funny scenes. Despite the fact that Zombieland was slightly predictable from time to time, it still was a perfect movie to watch. I’d even dare to say that it was genre breaking in its own special way. Honestly, I can’t wait to watch the sequel, which should be finished next year.

My Rating: 9/10

6. Cemetery Man aka Dellamorte Dellamore (1994)

What can I say about this masterpiece? It is much more than your average Horror/Comedy. Dellamorte Dellamore even has a wonderful romantic story, beautiful storytelling and characters. It is an astonishing experience that made a huge impact on me. The main actor in it is Rupert Everett, most notable for being an inspiration for Dylan Dog’s character. This movie is perfect in many different ways. If there are still horror/non horror fans that haven’t seen it yet, do it now, you won’t be disappointed.

My Rating: 9/10

That’s all for now. Pt. 3 of my list coming tomorrow and then will you see my top 5 zombie movies ever.

*Edit*: Now that I think about it, I kinda prefer Shaun of the Dead over Re-Animator so I changed their places.

Top 15 Zombie Movies pt. 1

Posted in Horror Review, Top 15 Zombie Movies with tags , , , , , , , on June 24, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

I decided to quite the Debut Week event and start something else. I hope you don’t mind.

For today I’m going to make the first part of my list of Top 15 Zombie Movies ever(as you may know, I’m a big zombie fan ^^).

Some movies have the same grade but I still find some of them to be slightly better than others, the numerical order is important.

Anyways let’s go:

15. The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue (1974)

A very interesting Spanish/Italian zombie movie from the early 70s that approaches zombies in a slightly different way. I’d say it has more drama than horror elements but never the less it deserves to be on this list. The movie also has a very depressive end which is surely one of the best endings I’ve seen in my years of watching zombie movies. So if you haven’t seen this movie already, go for it! Just don’t expect to see your classic masses of zombies.

My Rating: 7/10

14. Zombie aka Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979)

Ahh, good old classic made by Lucio Fulci with loads of gore and memorable scenes (like the one where a zombie wrestles a shark – what more to say?).  This is surely one of the most recognizable zombie movies ever made. Although it has lots of plot holes and stupid parts, this movie offers a very creepy atmosphere and awesome zombie make ups A very fun movie to watch!

My Rating: 7/10



13. La Horde (2009)

French zombies! I must admit when I heard the French were making a zombie movie I didn’t know what to expect of it, I thought it would be average. I was wrong. The atmosphere and action sequences in this movie are simply breathtaking. It is a very fun movie to watch, especially because the characters are in very interesting relationships with each other. The zombie make up and the soundtrack are also awesome.  Great movie.

My Rating: 8/10

12. Dead Set (2008)

I know this isn’t a zombie mini series rather than a zombie movie but it definitely deserves to be on this list due to the fact it’s highly innovative. It perfectly combines the concept of Big Brother with loads of zombies. The sole idea is a very interesting one and the result is more than good. I’ve already written about this series before so you can check my full review here. As I said before, it truly is a breath of fresh air in the zombie genre. Be sure to watch it if you haven’t already.

My Rating: 8/10

11. Pontypool (2008)

Pontypool is simply a very beautiful movie. It has a perfect and special atmosphere which I can’t describe so easily based on very effective script writing and directing. Even the idea behind it is awesome by itself. The movie is set in a radio station where a group of people are stuck in the middle of a zombie outbreak. The actors did an astonishing job. You should definitely check this movie out. Oh yeah, the “zombies” in this one are more similar to the Infected from the 28 days later series than to classic zombies. I know that doesn’t make Pontypool a real zombie movie but it would be waste to not include it in this list.

My Rating: 8/10

That’s all for now. Pt 2 and 3 coming soon. : )





L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo (1970)

Posted in Debut Week, Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Dario Argento

Writers: Dario Argento

Fredric Brown

Tagline: A stunning portrait in psycho-terror!

Plot: A writer is stalked by a serial killer after witnessing a murder attempt on one woman’s life.

Cast: Tony Musante – Sam Dalmas

Suzy Kendall – Julia

Enrico Maria Salerno – Inspector Morosini

Eva Renzi – Monica Ranieri

Umberto Raho – Alberto Ranieri

Review:

L’uccelo dalle piume di cristallo (or The Bird with the Crystal Plummage as it’s translated in English) is the directing debut of one of the most interesting Horror directors, Dario Argento. It is also the first part of his “animal trilogy” (the other 2 movies are Il Gatto a Nove Code (1971) – The Cat o’ Nine Tails and 4 Mosche di Velluto Grigio (1971) – The Four Velvet Flies). Even very early in his carrier Argento showed a natural talent for directing horror movies so The Bird with the Crystal Plumage didn’t disappoint me at all.

The movie’s plot is a simple “Argentian” story. It is about a man who witnesses a murder attempt and now is being stalked by a serial killer. Actually, many elements you see during this movie are also present in Argento’s later masterpiece, Profondo Rosso. In both movies the protagonist is an artist, who is from (or has been to) America, who witnessed a murder/murder attempt and is trying to recall clues from his memory, in both movies there is a serial killer involved in the whole story and most important of all, the twist at the end of both movies is very similar. So if you watched any of those two first, you could find the second one to be a little “predictable”. But don’t let that back you off! Both Profondo Rosso and The Bird with the Crystal Plumage are very amusing experiences you should check out furthermore if you haven’t already.

So besides some elements I have seen before, Argento’s directing debut offers much more. First of all, it has a very decent and slightly depressive atmosphere which was accomplished by nice luminance and amazing camera angles. Some of the best camera angles from the movie were the killer’s point of view (one of Argento’s trademarks) and the point of view of a man falling down the building (which was accomplished by actually throwing the camera down the building :] ).What I particularly liked in The Bird with the Crystal Plumage was some intelligent humor now and then, a nice bonus to the movie’s overall feeling. The kills were also done very well, especially the first murder attempt which was the highlight of the movie. The interesting soundtrack, composed by Ennio Morricone, is worth mentioning too. It excellently fits the 70s Italian horror atmosphere.

Argento put in his first movie many interesting but, unfortunately, undeveloped characters played by amateur actors. Because of this I think the movie could have been even better, if it wasn’t Dario’s directing debut and if he had a bigger budget, due to the fact it had a big potential. So the bad acting and character development might be The Bird with the Crystal Plummage’s biggest flaws. Yeah, I also have to mention some parts of the movie seemed a little unnecessary and pointless (like when our protagonist is being chased by a man with the yellow jacket who is trying to kill him) but that’s not that huge of a deal. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is far from being a classic but it surely is above average. You should give it a watch if you are interested in horror/thriller movies and especially Dario Argento.

My Rating: 7/10… Argento’s directing debut turned out to be a very good experience.

The Last House on the Left (1972)

Posted in Debut Week, Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven

Ulla Isaksson

Tagline: To avoid fainting, keep repeating “It’s only a movie…It’s only a movie…”

Plot: A pair of teenage girls are headed to a rock concert for one’s birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, the girls are kidnapped by a gang of psychotic convicts.

Cast: Sandra Peabody – Mari Collingwood

Lucy Grantham – Phyllis Stone

David Hess – Krug Stillo

Fred J. Lincoln – Fred ‘Weasel’ Podowski

Jeramie Rain – Sadie

Review:

The Debut Week continues and the next movie to be reviewed is Wes Craven’s directing debut, The Last House on the Left. When this movie was released it spawned a lot of controversy because of its brutal and often explicit scenes. Furthermore, Last House on the Left easily gained a cult status over the years due to the fact it literally spawned many more movies with similar thematics. Even today a great number of people consider it to be a genre breaking classic. Despite all the fame that surrounds this movie, I found it to be barely watchable.

The main problem is that Wes Craven made a very simple and naive story with no real character development or whatsoever. The characters are very much one dimensional with stupidly predictable dialogues. Actually, the whole script writing seems a little awkward. Some parts of the movie were really overdone and overreacted like when the bad guys are talking about popular serial killers (I mean, come on…like that is a character development – it was just ridiculous) while the other parts  seemed so naive and childish – for an example;  the scene where those 2 girls meet the bad guys who torture them afterwards. So you may conclude that The Last House on the Left is a very bipolar movie with parts which are either overdone or naive. So this kind of scriptwriting, directing and editing makes the movie very hard (and boring) to watch. Unfortunately, that’s not all of it. In the middle of movie Craven put a “comedy” scene, with 2 cops and a truck full of chickens, which was just awful and painful. I think that could may be the worst scene from any movie I’ve seen lately. Furthermore, the soundtrack is just ridiculous, it’s like it was stolen from a Looney Toons cartoon. I am also disappointed with the acting, I think it could have been at least slightly better because most of it consisted of pure overreacting which was pointless.

The only positive thing about Last House on the Left was the impact it had on horror movie industry. Wes Craven dared to make a step further in filmmaking while adding all those often controversial scenes. Visually, the movie could be considered a several years ahead of its time so I give kudos to Craven for that. I was very surprised to see some scenes in the movie but, unfortunately, they couldn’t change my overall opinion. In conclusion, The Last House on the Left is all about weak scriptwriting, poor directing and editing, awful acting and soundtrack, some nice scenes and a huge “hype” surrounding it. Craven definitely had better days in his carrier.

My Rating: 3/10… Don’t have high hopes for this movie because if you do, you could find yourself to be very disappointed.

Btw, many people say that the remake is much better than the original. That says a lot about Wes Craven’s directing debut.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Posted in Debut Week, Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: George A. Romero

Writers: John A. Russo

George A. Romero

Tagline: Pits the dead against the living in a struggle for survival!

Plot: A group of people hide from bloodthirsty zombies in a farmhouse.

Cast: Duane Jones – Ben

Judith O’Dea – Barbra

Karl Hardman – Harry

Marilyn Eastman – Helen

Keith Wayne – Tom

Review:

Now that I am back, after being away for some time, we can finally start with our Debut Week. We start this event with Night of the Living Dead, the directing debut of THE granddaddy of zombie movies, George Andrew Romero. As you may or not know, this was the first movie that turned zombies into flesh eating, slow moving masses as we know them today. Because of this (and many more things) Night of the Living Dead easily became a cult movie in the horror genre over the years. As for myself, I would dare to say this is my favourite movie made by Romero and one of my favourite black and white movies.

Night of the Living Dead was also released in color although I haven’t seen that version yet but, honestly, I don’t think that I will. The black and white colors simply fit the movie’s atmosphere perfectly and I don’t see why change something like that. Besides the tingling and depressive black and white atmosphere based mainly on emotions like helplessness and frustration, the movie offers a simple but effective script writing. The plot resolves around a group of strangers stuck in a farmhouse which is being attacked by zombies (like we haven’t seen that before) but this time is different, it is actually well written. The characters are developed enough (and what I particularly liked is that neither one character is entirely good or entirely bad; all of them have their flaws and virtues which gives the movie a whole new “realistic” dimension – even our main hero, Ben, is capable of hitting a woman and shooting another man) and the dialogues are strong and believable. The movie is also full with strange social commentary, mainly on the topic of racism but according to imdb (and the filmmakers) that was never intended. The social commentary that I have seen was that the human race is its own worst enemy, as seen in many scenes.

Even over 40 years later, Night of the Living Dead still doesn’t fail to scare, disturb or shock its viewers. It is full of parts that jut won’t leave you disinterested or apathetic. Even the movie’s ending is extremely shocking but I won’t spoil it out in case you haven’t seen it yet. The zombie make up is also very good for it’s time and the movie offers one of the most memorable zombies ever, The Cemetery Zombie. And all of this is followed by a surprisingly good soundtrack. Actually, the only flaw in this movie could be the acting which is far from perfect but still more than watchable. All in all, Night of the Living Dead, Romero’s directing debut, is an extremely good, classic and most of all genre breaking horror movie which I highly recommend to everyone.

My Rating: 10/10… An instant favourite and classic! Romero had a pretty strong start in his carrier with this movie.

Btw, this is my 50th review! Thank you all for reading me out regulary! More reviews are coming soon. : )

Debut Week

Posted in Debut Week with tags , on May 17, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Drugsbunny’s Horror Reviews return with another interesting event! After a succesful Nightmare on Elm Street week, I’m planing to do a Debut Week. That means my several next posts will be reviews of directing debuts made by cult horror directors. I think you are all intersted in how their first movies looked like so check me out daily in the next few day!

Bye..for now!

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Samuel Bayer

Writers: Wesley Strick

Eric Heisserer

Tagline: Never Sleep Again

Plot: A re-imagining of the horror icon Freddy Krueger, a serial-killer who wields a glove with four blades embedded in the fingers and kills people in their dreams, resulting in their real death in reality.

Cast: Jackie Earle Haley – Freddy Krueger

Kyle Gallner – Quentin Smith

Rooney Mara – Nancy Holbrook

Katie Cassidy – Kris Fowles

Thomas Dekker – Jesse Braun

Review:

It’s time to finish our Nightmare on Elm Street week (although it lasted much longer than a week) with a review that spawned this idea. The remake of the original Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) recevied pretty mixed reviews from both critics and viewers. I didn’t like it at all due to its shallowness and unoriginality, which will be explained shortly. I think you are all familiar with the movie’s plot and concept so I don’t have to further introduce it.

It is important to say that remake is very similar to Freddy vs Jason (and that definitely isn’t a good thing) so it seriously lacks the 80s atmosphere, which was one of the best things in the original. Because of this, the movie looks too modern; I can’t seem to find any reason why was this movie even made besides money and “amazing” special effects.  So it’s more than obvious that this remake is clearly unnecessary. In the introduction I said that A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) is shallow and unoriginal. What I meant by that is that offers nothing new, all of this was seen somewhere before. The several good scenes in the movie have been shamelessly copy/pasted from the original, and the rest of it was just awful. I don’t know why would anyone chose to watch the remake over the original, the cult parts of both movies are almost the same but the original also offers much more like better character development, better scriptwriting and better atmosphere. But if you do decide to watch it be ready for an unintentional laugh or two because, as it can be seen in the trailer, the remake is full with extremely cheesy dialogue like: -Oh god!- -No, just me.-; this is also similar to Freddy vs Jason. I think you are all wondering whether Jackie Earle Haley was a good replacement for Robert Englund in his role as Freddy. And the answer is: No, he wasn’t. I don’t have anything against Haley’s acting skills (I liked him in Watchmen) but the whole Freddy concept was destroyed because he was given these stupid /cheesy one liners and new looks, which were also awful and made him look like an alien. In addition to that his background was slightly changed…to worse.  So Haley isn’t good as Englund but I think that’s really not his fault. The rest of the cast are simply awful in their roles, most of them are either too static or too unbelievable, especially Rooney Mara who is a very bad choice for the role of Nancy – she isn’t special in any way, a very very bad choice for the final girl. There isn’t left much to say about this remake. All in all, it is utterly bad, even Freddy vs Jason is a slightly better movie.

It seems to me that A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) had absolutely no potential at all. It was “doomed” from the second someone decided to make it. A lot of fans were spectical with a good reason because it is blasphemous to turn a cult movie into something like this. Almost every aspect of this remake is horrible besides the “stolen” scenes and some kills (unfortunately, the kills are good in every NoES movie, besides maybe Freddy’s revenge, so that doesn’t make this remake anything special). It is just your typical “wannabe mainstream” horror movie.

My Rating: 3/10… Don’t watch it! It is easily one of the worst movies from the Nightmare on Elm Street series.