The Crazies… ehh, okay…

When they first announced a remake of George Romero’s The Crazies I figured they would pretty much turn it into 28 Days Later or something along those lines. But as time went on and the posters and trailers started popping up, I became interested, excited even. So last night I was pretty pumped going into the theater. I had purposely not read any of the reviews, as to not let my opinion be swayed and I was ready to see what they did with it.

The story is the same. An airplane crashes into Ogden Marsh in rural Iowa contaminating the water supply of the town with Trixie, a chemical agent developed by the government as a biological weapon. Slowly but surely the townsfolk become infected and turn into “crazies.” It’s up to the local sheriff (Timothy Olyphant), his doctor wife, Judy (played by Radha Mitchell) and the sheriff’s deputy (Joe Anderson) to try to sort the whole mess out. Before that’s even possible, government goons in hazmat suits swoop in and quarantine the whole town, herding up the sick and bringing them to the local high school that they’re using as a make-shift testing center.

Now the difference between Romero’s 1973 film and Breck Eisner’s 2010 vision? Well, for starters, the crazies themselves. In this new incarnation they physically change. Their skin and eye colors get somewhat tainted, their veins start to protrude out, and they have a general vacant look to them… sort of  a (dare I say it?) zombie lite look. In the original, it was harder to tell who was who, and who was actually infected compared to who was just pissed off with being quarantined without any answers by the man.

In the original you might not know your neighbor is a crazy until it’s too late, and they were crazy in a variety of fucked up ways. In 2010, the crazies are just brutal as hell and do things like  plunge pitchforks into people’s strapped down defenseless bodies. Neat. The crazies do look pretty damn cool though, which was my main concern going in. There are a few things about The Crazies that bothers me, one of which being the absolute over use of jump scares and really clichéd ones at that. There are a couple genuinely creepy scenes throughout, but they tend to be followed by a jump scare involving the deputy saving the sheriff’s life – again. There’s also a lot of cliché dialogue and little things that are there to pander to a mainstream movie going crowd. Things like the cookie-cutter characters and their cookie-cutter roles in the town (sheriff, deputy, doctor, town drunk, etc). Overall The Crazies 2010 is pretty good, when you look past that stuff. Would I see it if I were you? Sure, as long as you’re not looking for anything new, it’s fine. It’s better than most of the crap that’s been passing through theaters the past few months, that’s for sure. I’d probably make someone else pay too, movies are too damn expensive!

Tony; or Roman: Portrait Of A Serial Killer

The British made Tony is a creepy little psychological thriller about a socially inept man trying to get by in the big city of London. Tony is an average bloke. He watches action films religiously, reads porno mags on the toilet and makes small talk with whoever he can. “Which do you think is better, karate or kung fu?” he asks the Asian bootleg DVD seller on the street. He also hasn’t had a job ever, tries to pay prostitutes to snuggle with him and enjoys a Coca-Cola at the local gay club where he takes boys home with him and beats their fucking heads in with a hammer!

The film’s settings are the council estates in London where Tony lives in a bleak little apartment with very little of anything in it aside from a television to watch his action videos and a couple couches. The character and his habitat are both reminiscent of Lucky McGee’s titular character in Roman. Both are socially awkward men who live alone in crappy apartments and get picked on and fucked with by pretty much everyone they come in contact with. Both also have the one female neighbor that take a liking to them. In Tony’s case it’s his neighbor Dawn who comes to Tony for a bandage for her cut finger. After he fixes her up and gives her a glass of squash she invites him over the next Sunday for roast. Sweet lady. Over the course of the film Tony also encounters a large angry drunk man at the pub, a couple of junkies trying to score dope, someone from the TV License Authority, and the same large angry drunk man on the street, who has taken a liking to fucking with Tony every chance he gets.

Another film Tony recalls is Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer with its grit and pace. Like Henry, the film moves along at a leisurely pace slowly leading up to maniacal little outbursts. The whole thing works really well, because you’re so intrigued by this creepy, awkward mess of a man who you almost don’t remember is a lunatic until he’s putting a plastic bag over someone’s head or beating someone with the aforementioned hammer. You almost feel sorry for him, much like with Henry and Roman. They’re all just a little too awkward and weird for anyone to really be comfortable with.

Writer/director Gerard Johnson does a great job on this, his first feature-length film. Credit also goes to the cinematographer David Higgs, whose previous work includes RockN’Rolla and the Shaun Of The Dead-with- vampires flop Lesbian Vampire Killers. The camerawork is what really gives Tony the uneasy feeling it carries throughout. There’s some absolutely beautiful (and creepy as fuck) shots in and around his apartment and of the neighborhood he haunts in general. One very brief scene in an elevator, just before the door closes, is breathtaking. Couple the camerawork with the original score, which was done by none other than Matt Johnson of The The (Seriously, if you aren’t familiar with The The you should be ashamed of yourself. Go out and get a copy of “Mind Bomb”… now!), and you have a near perfect atmosphere.

Johnson knows how to balance the uncomfortable awkwardness of everyday Tony with the horrific insanity of Tony when he snaps, and he adds an underlying sense of humor and heart to the film as well. It’s nice to see a film that can be brutal when it needs to be, without crossing the line into torture porn or Rob Zombie territory. It’s equally nice that a film can be subtle and moody without being boring.  Tony hits US DVD shelves on April 6th, I highly recommend you check it out.

The Survival Of The Dead Poster Is Here!

Just got this in today, the brand new poster art for George Romero’s latest Survival Of The Dead! SOTD premieres on VOD, Amazon, Xbox Live and Playstation on April 30th, a month before it opens in theatres on May 28th.

“Like its predecessors, GEORGE A. ROMERO’S SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD takes place in a desperate, nightmarish world where the dead walk the earth, relentlessly attacking the living. It is the story of Plum Island – a beautiful refuge whose isolation allows two powerful families to maintain a semblance of order in the wake of the zombie holocaust. But as the inhabitants slowly die off, the two clans become sharply divided: the O’Flynns believe that the undead must be destroyed without exception, while the Muldoons insist that afflicted loved ones be kept “alive” until a cure is found. The result is an escalating showdown with echoes of a classic Western stand-off that erupts in brutality and violence.”

Let’s just hope it isn’t the atrocity that Diary Of The Dead was!

Black Devil Doll: A Muthaf#@?ing Review

“five beautiful young women… one evil, murderous puppet”

I’m not sure why I put off Black Devil Doll for so long. I had been looking forward to it since I first heard about the film through Rotten Cotton a couple years ago. Well, last weekend my buddy Clint and I drank a bunch of Newcastle and got down with the doll… that didn’t come out right… Anyway, for those that haven’t seen Black Devil Doll yet, you are missing out on one of the most important pieces of cinema in recent history…

Well, no… you’re not. But you are missing out on one bad ass, white chick raping, shit-talking, black muthafuckin’ puppet flick!

The story starts with black power revolutionary and convicted murderer rapist Mubia Abu Jamal being put to death by the electric chair. After he’s strapped in, says his poetic last words (“I like to eat white butt”), and the switch is pulled, our story really begins. As with every horror flick where the killer gets chaired, Mubia comes back to life… sort of. His soul takes over a doll belonging to young, big breasted Heather (who would fit in well in any Russ Meyer film.) Turns out Heather never saw Witchboard, ’cause she got bored and played with her ouija by herself at the same time as Mubia’s execution, and the Black Devil Doll is born! Word.

Heather soon sets up a get together with four of her stereotypical slut friends so that Black Devil Doll can implement his ultimate plan of getting “some stank on the side!” What ensues is a barrage of profanity, murder, necro-rape, ass eating, white thugging, and the longest shower ever taken. In short, absolute greatness!

Black Devil Doll is a blend of slasher flick, blaxploitation and skinemax soft-core sleaze. It’s offensive, ridiculous and extreme at times, and it’s one of the funniest movies I’ve seen recently. It does get a little sluggish in parts, but with only a 72 minute running time it’s nothing to make you reach for the remote. I should also mention the original score by The Giallos Flame which gives any ’70’s blaxploitation soundtrack a run for its money. All in all, if you like blood, boobs and black killer puppets, this is the one for you. If you don’t, well there’s obviously something wrong with you. Check out the trailer below, bitches!

Who Doesn’t Love A Good Mystery?

So yesterday as I was getting caught up on some of the blogs I usually read on a regular basis, I came across a post on Dollar Bin Horror that I thought I’d share with you here. Before I get to that though, if you’re not familiar with Dollar Bin Horror , check it out ASAP. Rhonny Reaper is one of the most entertaining horror bloggers around. So on her blog she posted that has horror grab bags for sale for the next week for $10. You get a brand new horror DVD or Blu-Ray and some miscellaneous horror goodness as well. You also are entered into a contest with prizes ranging from a PS3, Xbox 360, or Wii to gift cards from Amazon, Best Buy and HorrorMovieEmpire as well. So of course I headed straight over and purchased one right away. …and now the wait begins…  What will it be? The suspense will be killing me until it arrives. Quite honestly, I’m horrible with surprises. I was the kid shaking the presents hidden in my parent’s closet before Christmas. Last night as I worked my horribly repetitive and mundane night shift job, I found myself obsessing over the possibilities. Then the paranoia kicked in, what if it’s Satanic Rites Of Dracula?? (Just to clear the air, I’m not dissing Satanic Rites, but I own it already and I only paid a dollar for it at Walgreens a few Halloweens ago.) But that’s how I am, I obsess over silly shit like what my mystery movie will be. I just hope it’s not something I already own (or something that sucks ass!) So, if you’re a chance taking horror fan, head on over there before next Monday, the 22nd, ’cause that’s when the sale ends and there’s only 500 of them to begin with. GO NOW

Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated on Friday Night Fright Night

Friday Night Fright Night is a horror web show hosted by a colorful cast of characters that screen the usual horror show schlock. This week however, from the 5th to the 12th of February they will be screening Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated. For the occasion the hosts of the show will even be hosting in animated form. NOTLDR is an animated interpretation of the Romero zombie classic that layers animation and various forms of still art over the original film. There were dozens of artists involved in the making of this, and the many different styles incorporated make it a fun watch. Romero purists may be put off by the concept, but those willing to check out a new take on the classic will definitely enjoy it. Check out the promo for the Friday Night Fright Night presentation and the trailer for the film below, then head over and WATCH THE FILM.

Suicide Girls Must Die! Poster Art

Poster art for the upcoming Suicide Girls Must Die was released today. To be released on March 12th the film puts everyone’s favorite punk rock pin-ups in some ridiculous situation in a remote cabin (really???) while shooting a “girlie video” (shocking!!!) Some might ask “what’s the point?”… to which we answer, because they’ll be naked, dumbass. Here’s the poster…