Sunday, November 05, 2006

Day of the Dead 2: Contagium - 2005

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OK. After years of waiting (I know, pathetic) to catch this beast, my copy finally arrived. I didn't expect anything masterful from it. I seldom do. But, I am a fan of the zombie genre and I can almost always say I've seen worse. In this case, I have once again seen worse.I'm not sure where to start. I suppose I should apologize in advance because this is one of my shortest reviews. On the other hand, I really see no reason to place an exceptional amount of effort into describing this film. Those who love the genre will seek it out regardless of what I write and those who would stay away from it probably would have skipped it anyway.

The beginning had some pretty cool head shots in it, but otherwise I had no clue what the fuck was supposed to be going on. Although one of the headshots did look more like shit flying out of the back of the guys head than blood. After a huge zombie shootout in a plague that seemed to have erupted in seconds, we flash to a mental institution. Well, of course the plague starts again and a group of mental patients begin to turn. Blah. Blah.

Anyway, the movie contradicts itself left and right and manages to leave room for a sequel. Please, God. Don't let it happen. The zombies are about as consistent as my bowels after a weekend of heavy drinking. Some are slow and stagger. Others move pretty fast. Some are stupid. Others are uber intelligent and even talk. Well, it isn't due to any particular reason, although at one point a guy explains the zombie types. Within ten minutes, he's dead and proven wrong.

Well, like I said, I didn't expect a lot and there are worse zombie flicks out there. Hell, I'll probably even force myself to watch it again. But, how many other people do you know that have watched House of the Dead three times?

For those interested, here is more information on the film:

Tagline: Every day has a beginning.

Directed by Ann Clavell and James Glenn Dudelson
Written by Ann Clavell

Cast:
Laurie Maria Baranyay- Emma
Steve Colosi- Boris
John Freedom Henry- Jackie
Justin Ipock- Isaac
Justin Thomas- Sam
Stephan Wolfert- Donwynn
Samantha Clarke- Ava Flores
Jackeline Olivier: Vicky
Andreas van Ray- Dr. Heller
April Wade- Patty
Kevin Wetmore Jr.- Jerry
Simon Burzynski- Rubinsky
Mike Dalager- Derber
Christopher Estes- Charlie

Freak Out - 2004

So, I found myself pretty far out of touch with this site. A number of personal issues were taking away much of my free time. I supposed being a lazy person in general also didn't help me with being motivated. Well, ZAGG brought back that motivation in full force by sending me a copy of Freak Out to review. So, without further ado here's my latest review:

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Story: Horror film buff Merv Doody leads a fairly mundane life until an amazing opportunity presents itself. After numerous crank calls, Merv captures what appears to be a masked psycho killer in his own home. He sets up video equipment and prepares himself for the find of a lifetime. Unfortunately for Merv, the masked killer turns out to be much less than hoped for. The killer, who Merv dubs Looney turns out to be no killer at all. Instead he is a feminine, soft-spoken, Larry Hagman loving vegetarian with no thirst for murder at all.

Merv begins to attempt to turn Looney into a maniac killer with no success until his friend Onkey happens to stop by. Looney reacts to Onkey’s visit in a most violent way, sending Onkey to the hospital and impressing Merv.

With Onkey’s assistance, Merv sets out to turn Looney into a killing machine with new resolve and the hopes of cornering the market on Looney memorabilia. Armed with a spatula, Looney eventually becomes the killer that Merv hoped he would be. Unfortunately for Merv and Onkey, they end up creating more of a monster than they hoped for when Looney becomes an insatiable killer.

I don’t want to give the rest of the film away so I’ll stop here.

Zombies: Yeah that’s right! This film has zombies in it. Unfortunately, they have a very small part and those looking for hardcore gut-munching zombie action will not find it in Freak Out. In fact, those looking for more than a few minutes of zombies will not find it here.

The zombies in the film talk in the type of voice fans of the Last Man on Earth might be familiar with. They are not really nasty-looking rotting corpses. Initially, a group attacks a helpless woman in a cemetery. Later, the same woman returns as a zombie and the love interest of the film’s protagonist.

Gore: No blood was spared in the making of this film. Although the gore is over the top and unbelievable for the most part, the viewer is rewarded with tons of blood, guts, and dismemberment.

Score: The score of the film is simply amazing. It fits in so smoothly that I hardly noticed the lyrical genius of the background music. Along with the hilarious dialogue and action of the film itself, those listening will find more laughs in the songs as well.

Favorite Quotes:
“There are no innocent Larry Hagman fans!”

“This can’t be happening! It’s like a bad movie within a movie!”

“Freddy Mercury and Jason Priestly? I love those guys!”
“Because of you, Larry Hagman’s on the run!”

DVD Extras (Anchor Bay's Unrated 2 DVD Set):
-Audio Commentary with Director Christian James, Actor/ Writer Dan Palmer, and Actor/ Producer Yazz Fetto.

-Audio Commentary with Director Christian James, Actor/ Writer Dan Palmer and Actors James Heathcote, Nicola Connell, and Chili Gold. Moderated by BBC Radio 1 movie critic James King.

-“Making Out” Behind the scenes of the four year shoot of the fim, from the initial filming to the highly successful screening at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal.

-“Geek Out” featurette featuring various internet movie critics expressing their views of the film over images from the movie.

-“Zaniac” music video

-“Bum Feeling 101” sketch featuring the characters of Freak Out

-“5 Minute Film Scool” giving tips to wannabe film-makers while spoofing the 10 Minute Film School of Robert Rodriguez.

-“Honey, I Blew Up The Looney” featurette

-“The Video Store” spoof films.

-17 deleted scenes

Tagline: Trained to kill… By idiots!

Closing Thoughts: Buy it. Rent it. Steal it. Just watch it. Unless you have no interest in comedy whatsoever, you definitely want to get your grubby paws on a copy of Freak Out. Is it the best horror/comedy ever made? No. Is it a good film? Hell yeah!

Additional Film Notes:
Country: UK
Year: 2004
Directed by Christian James
Written by Christian James and Dan Palmer
Cast:
James Heathcote:Merv Doody
Dan Palmer: Onkey
Nicola Connell: Abby
Yazz Fetto: The Sheriff
Desmond Cullum-Jones: Old Man Wilson
James King: Merv’s Boss
Tony Rogers: Chip McCready
John Fallon: voice of the Looney doll
Chili Gold: Cherry
James Hicks: Jeremiah Gibble