Night of The Living Deb: Movie Review ūüßü

Night of The Living Deb!

Synopsis:

After a girls’ night out, endearingly awkward Deb wakes up in the apartment of the most attractive guy in Portland, Maine. Pretty boy Ryan only knows it was a mistake and ushers her out the door into a full-scale zombie apocalypse.

A horror | zombie | apocalypse | comedy | romance. Que Shaun of the Dead female counterpart.

Released | 2015

Run time | 1 hour 25 mins (movie is 1hr,20)

Starring | Maria Thayer & Michael Cassidy

IMDB | 5.5/10 & Rotten Tomatoes | 88%

I took a chance as I saw this movie available on Prime Video. I wanted to watch it before but never had the chance. Overall, a good funny movie with some classic zombie tropes and unexpected yet hilarious twists. This is a short review!

So not your typical movie, it has the girl going after the boy, the better looking and rich boy who has a model looking ex-fiancé. After a one night stand it is the man who disregards the woman, which is somewhat expected, but she is looking for more. They are forced together after discovering what they believe are zombies.

The pair survive and the movie has good acting and dialogue. I thought it was a cheap made movie until it started. Then I realised it was actually worth it. Whoever wrote it well done, perfect chemistry between main characters. Gets somehow funnier when they arrive at his fathers house. Typical zombie fighting. She is a reporter and wants to be a news anchor.

What sets this movie apart is the realistic relationship between the couple, which develops as the movie progresses. I found it quite heartwarming, despite the humour which I found consistent. I was going to give 4 stars but am giving more because of a twist. It turns out his father was responsible for unleashing a parasite on the water supply, which cannot be transmitted through bites. The fact the movie addressed this was excellent, finally a film which acknowledges how poor a bite is at passing parasites! Anyway it is only those who drink the water who are infected.

Highlight is the easy viewing and comedy, not being over the top, dialogue being top notch and acting great. One scene involving a woman in lingerie bouncing on the bed which was mistaken for sex noises did have me red in the face. Maybe I’ve grown out of that sort of humour, although I found the reaction of the bloke downstairs hilarious (tearing a sandwich apart as he wanted to ‘bang her’ again). It’s smart and witty and not too complicated. We get the happy ever after. Touched my heart on more than one occasion because I am a big softie. Do I recommend this? Yes, I do, if you like zombie, comedy, romance or horror, then consider it. I think of this like a more feminine version of zombie movies simply because of the focus on the woman.

Rating: 4.8/5

#Alive : Movie Review

(SPOILERS)

A Netflix original Korean zombie horror movie! A super frightening claustrophobic horror movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. One of the best modern zombie movies of the 21st century. Another example of horror zombie excellence from our Korean friends!

Directed by Il Cho ¬∑ David Marantz and with a running time of 1 hour and 38 minutes (slightly less due to credits). Rated 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. This foreign movie was nominated for best actor for Yoo Ah-in!

Where to begin? Well, the movie starts off pretty quickly and soon we learn that the country has been plunged into an unexpected and sudden state of emergency with ferocious acts of cannibalism and attacks being recorded in multiple provinces. Our main character, Oh Joon-woo, a man who lives alone, is glued to his tv as the news reports come in thick and fast detailing the attacks and telling people… do not leave your homes. Naturally, those who leave are killed and turned into these dangerous and disturbing creatures. Zombies!

It must be said, those who stay inside and obey the rules and follow the tv advice, manage to survive. I can see parallels between the current world crisis and this movie, perhaps sending a dangerous message to people. I understand this is a work of fiction, but let’s be honest, there are clear connections between the movie and the pandemic.*

The first encounter with any potential infected comes from his neighbour who is banging on Oh Joo-woo’s door to let him in as the building is invaded with infected zombies and the tenants are making a mad dash to escape. We see that the neighbour is seemingly okay but our main character is defensive and on edge, exactly how we want him and this is not only some good movie making, but great scripting and acting. I always find it annoying when people let anyone into their ‘safe zone’ and then they have to defeat someone who hid their wounds and bites away and later turned. The neighbour uses the rest room and this is when the main character learns from the tv that the afflicted are turning cannibalistic. When the neighbour leaves the rest room Oh Joo-woo uses a golf club (I think, struggling to recall what he uses) to push the neighbour back and toward the door. Of course, he begins to turn, this is frightening and the sense of claustrophobia is overwhelming as we can see there is nowhere to escape too. The zombie is killed and now the real fight for survival begins.

Low on food and water our survivor is young and desperate. He uses his phone and social media to keep in contact with the outside world, to only a limited time and not for very long. This is a great integration of modern tech and social media into a movie and realistically fits well into the overall story. A message from his mum reads ‘You must survive’ and this becomes a movie motto throughout, a kind of mantra that our hero uses as he battles day to day. Quickly realising he is low on food and that the water has been turned off… but not the internet… which again is used to good affect. We get to realise that there is a slither of hope as the contact with the outside world is maintained in the background of the movie. An online clip of a young man leaning from a skyrise balcony to get a signal and then falling… proves extremely hilarious yet hides a dark humour that lingers throughout the film. Dark humour, perhaps deadpan to an extent, but this is no comedy, this is a serious and depressing look at a frightening reality.

The zombies are scary, haunting and can leave you with nightmares. Given that the building harbours narrow corridors and dozens of the dead, both inside and outside the apartments, we know that our hero will struggle to get anywhere. His first depressing and stealthy journey out of the apartment are vivid, the hallways painted in blood and the dead shambling around in packs. He has to travel to another apartment to look for food. Inside he begins to start to ‘steal’ other items and has a bit of a good time doing so, again that dark humour, but then he is attacked. #

The Koreans deserve more praise on the international horror stage, in particular with regards to zombie movies. The makeup, acting and horror and tension in these movies are extremely terrifying. Train to Busan was a great example of what our Korean friends can do. Although the movie is in Korean it has been overdubbed with English actors and actresses, so no need to worry about subtitles!

Oh Joo-woo soon discovers a young, pretty woman in the apartment block across the square, as he is attempting to hang himself. It is hard to imagine anyone being #alive given the viciousness and amount of undead in and out of the apartment blocks. Kim Yoo-Bin, another lone survivor and a competent, able to handle herself female, depicted extremely well and not in the sort of way women are usually portrayed in zombie movies. She is very much a main character worthy of the respect and praise that Oh Joo-woo is. They are equal. A relationship of some sorts forms. Our hero, using his drone (which he has used before) and his mobile, is able to communicate with the girl. They soon start to plan to meet and get together and you can’t help but feel happy for both of them, even if that seems impossible. Food is exchanged using a line that extended between the blocks and soon Kim Yoo-Bin is fighting her way across the square to the other apartment block.

The pair have a bit of time to survive and explore, and there is a tense, frightening zombie pursuit scene within the complex which was brilliantly done. Opening the elevator to a load of zombies? Scary! This does point to some plot holes. The water has been long turned off, yet the electric in the building still runs. Why is this? The only assumption I can make is that the authorities turned the water off because they don’t know whether it is spread through the water or not. Realistic or what! Given that the electric is still on, we know that the whole country isn’t overrun and their is hope.

Moving on, I will leave you to watch the end part of the movie. The ending was oddly satisfying. ‘I must survive’. A number of days has passed, weeks to months in fact and it seemed impossible that anyone might make it out #alive.

Terrifying, brilliant acting, lighting, make-up, storyline and integration of real world issues to the movie.

I am happy to present #Alive with the RATING : MUST WATCH NETFLIX ORIGINAL ZOMBIE FOREIGN MOVIE

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Puppet Master (1989): Movie Review

IMDB rated this movie: 5.6/10

Wikipedia states:

“Puppet Master¬†is an American¬†horror film¬†series¬†which focuses on a group of¬†anthropomorphic¬†puppets¬†animated by an¬†Egyptian¬†spell, each equipped with its own unique and dangerous device (although not in all installments of the series are the puppets portrayed as threatening) and are represented as heroes, antiheroes and antagonists.

Produced by¬†Full Moon Features, the series was established in 1989 with the¬†eponymous first installment, which has since been followed by ten¬†sequels, a¬†crossover¬†with the characters of¬†Demonic Toys, a 2018 reboot entitled¬†The Littlest Reich, a¬†spin-off¬†film about the puppet Blade, an upcoming spin-off about Retro Puppet Master’s Doktor Death, two¬†comic book¬†mini-series, an ongoing comic book series, a Multiplayer video game released in 2014 endorsed by Full Moon themselves and numerous other collector’s items.”

The trailer for Puppet Master

Puppet Master has become somewhat of a cult classic movie. I first had the pleasure of watching a few of the films as a child, back then the whole concept was exciting, frightening and lovable. Sadly, it didn’t receive critical praise. However, it has spawned many sequels, some arguably better than others.

So where to begin. Andre Toulon, the puppet master, uses an ancient Egyptian spell to animate the puppets, he also uses a green liquid (the formula) to animate them and sustain their lives! The film opens with two men in black, nazis, who are entering the Bodego Bay Inn, Toulon’s residence. The camera follows the little pattering footsteps as Blade – the lead puppet – is running his way through the hotel to warn Toulon of the nazis, of which he is already aware. Toulon commits suicide before the nazis can get into his room and kill him. Not before he can store Blade, and the other puppets into his now infamous puppet case.

A dramatic and overwhelming scene, a movie moment, but this movie moment doesn’t come with no surprises. Of course, to learn the background of Toulon one must watch the other puppet master films. Toulon has been on the run from the nazis for a while and they want the magical formula and secrets that Toulon uses to animate the puppets. The location, a hotel right on the edge of a cliff to the sea, is perfect. A seemingly claustrophobic nightmare, with the addition of the intriguing nazi back story which is further explored in the other movies.

50 years later in 1989, the secret is discovered by Neil Gallagher. Soon he sends messages to his psychic friends Alex Whitaker, Dana Hadley, Frank Forrester and Carissa Stamford – who posses both supernatural and psychic abilities – who arrive to find his wife Megan.

Each uses their power whilst simultaneously being unaware or glimpsing the animated puppets and the chaos they bring. Somewhat vengeful of Toulon’s suicide 50 years prior (I’d guess) they unleash themselves and one by one, they begin to hunt down and kill the new guests. *Note: the hotel is closed to normal guests.*

The Puppets: Blade, Pinhead, Tunneler, Leech woman and Jester. Although small, are well animated in terms of production value which is low for a first movie. (expected). Overall at this point just prior to the puppets killing people, it has been a slow build up, with good acting, good lighting and audio, the scene and sets are good and consistent and the story does somewhat hold itself together.

The puppets do though pose a threat, they are small and sometimes the shots of them waiting to do something do drag out and it makes you wonder why not just kick them away. I guess this is part of the make-believe aspect and the movie magic. We have some great characters but the action is a let down.

Mike and Megan seemingly being the only survivors are confronted by Neil, who has used the ‘magic formula’ to reanimate himself. Much more to the dismay of the puppets than anything else. They seem to be instructed to kill him, and to protect the secret.

Megan is seen at the end of the movie reanimating the stuffed dog, and we know at this point that she has learned the method too.

At the end of the day, this has some good suspense, acting, plot and overall movie magic that you would expect from a lower budget movie. It does still hold up well in terms of animation and cgi, but the puppets are exactly that, they are controlled by puppeteers, and no amount of filming method can change that.

I have managed to watch 5 of them, so something must be working. Personal highlights for me are the rare characters Torch and the common Blade. They have become screen legends much the same as Freddy (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Jason (Friday the 13th). Film 3 and 5 are quite good in developing a proven method beyond what you might anticpate.

Will I continue to watch these films until I have seen all 12 movies? (Possibly more to come) The answer is yes. Despite our Toulon puppets wanting to kill people, they are also in certain movies, the heroes. They are a form of anti-hero and a much needed variation in todays over loaded cinema world full of remakes and cgi buffs.

Overall score: 4 stars – potentially an overlooked but hidden gem.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

One cut of the dead: Movie Review

Well, here’s another zombie movie review for you all. I watched the trailer by chance sometime early this year…can’t really remember. BUT, I can clearly remember this hilarious zombie gem after viewing it tonight. This is foreign language comedy at its best!

Director: Shinichiro Ueda

Release date: 23 Jun 2018 (Japan)

Scoring a WHOPPING (RARE) 100% ON ROTTEN TOMATOES!

Scoring A HUGE 7.7/10 ON IMDB

“Things go badly for a hack director and film crew shooting a low budget zombie movie in an abandoned WWII Japanese facility, when they are attacked by real zombies.”

Wow, so that happened. I viewed a foreign language zombie movie. The last I saw was possibly Train to Busan, but who’s really counting how many I’ve seen. This movie, a sure-fire zombie comedy (hilarious I found it) is well and truly groundbreaking. I say it again, groundbreaking. The cast and crew are good actors and the script and plot work well too. What makes this a masterpiece, and rightly so, is the use of different camera angles, the in-built humour, and the second half of the movie.

I don’t want to spoil anything so I will keep this positive and brief. I began to watch this film on edge, patiently waiting for the zombies to show up, and surely they did around 20 minutes into the film. Up to that point, the actors had been stiff, and the whole scenario of filming a zombie low-budget film in an abandoned building had quickly lost its hype. There was comedy though, and in the form of outrageously tainted lines and cringy behaviour. Our survivors are trying to stay alive and fight the zombies.

You will be drawn in, potentially wanting more, when the film abruptly and smartly ends around 36 mins in. You have to persevere and continue to watch the movie to the end, otherwise you will miss this ingenious film-in-film comedy gold. As for it being a foreign film, that does not detract from the modern day techniques employed during the second part. The beginning when the zombie film is being shot, does appear to reminisce about the old Asian horror films of the 90’s. What’s funnier than watching innocent men and women throw someone’s hacked arm around and crying out like children when being chased slowly by 1 corpse? Not much.

Reviews for this movie have rightly stated it’s a gem, and I concur. Other’s have mentioned that it is the funniest zombie comedy since Shaun of the Dead…I also concur. The weirdly dark yet familiar atmosphere, great camera work, acting (some cracking lines too) and special effects all come to a climatic and funny half-movie finale that will leave you jaw dropped and thinking…”did that just happen, that was hilarious?”

I think this fantastic, memorable movie deserves the rating I give:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

(Available on dvd/blu-ray and from Shudder)

The Battery: Movie Review

A zombie apocalpyse movie. A drama, thriller, adventure, part-comedy… whatever it is, it leaves a big impression in your mind. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how to do an apocalypse movie, with zombies.

Release date: 04 Jun 2013 (US)

Director Jeremy Gardner

Starring: Jeremy Gardner, Adam Cronheim

Rotten Tomatoes says 80% for this movie.

The Battery. A low budget zombie horror that focuses on two former baseball players thrown together in order to survive. Right off the bat (excuse me) I will say this, if the director and cast and crew had more money, say a couple of million like most modern cinema, then this could have been perhaps ten times more intense, thrilling and built-on.

So, we have 2 former baseball players surviving the back alleys and woods of New England. Most of the film is spent in the wilderness fishing and just trying to get by. The main characters Ben and Mickey are the forefront, highlight characters who this apocalypse character study focuses on. Their relationship goes from this intense, not-really-that-happy to a hard boiled, emotional rollercoaster. I couldn’t believe some of the actions of the pair.

There is hope. There are few zombies. As we learn what each character likes and dislikes and their general behaviour, we begin to notice how much of the world has gone, and what little remains. Staying in buildings is unsafe, Ben and Mickey sleep and travel in a small car. I was impressed by the realism of the survival of the pair, both carrying rucksacks of essentials and sleeping in a very comfortable looking boot. When zombie films try to depict large, scathing bases or near-death attempts to find a safe haven, they overlook the everyday, and the basics. For this reason, the movie is already above most others. Eating tuna from metal tins, fishing and drinking bottled water.

The film doesn’t shy away from the profane, our survivors don’t mind raiding those houses and stealing gear, but it’s survival isn’t it? I watched the movie with patience, enjoying the journey of Ben and Mickey, even the disturbing tactics that Ben employs to try and get Mickey to kill a zombie. It is a slow burn movie, and you need to be patient and appreciate what this has to offer.

The second half of the movie is where the horror builds, and where our characters relationship has been leading. I won’t spoil it too much, but throughout there has been minimal walkie talkie contact with a mysterious enclave, which give clear instructions to ignore any messages received from Ben or Mickey. Until Mickey goes convincing himself that this enclave is friendly. It takes them stopping on the road, to retrieve fuel from an abandoned vehicle, for them to really realise how much of a mistake they have made by attempting to contact this ‘group’. We don’t see them, and that is another shining star in this movie. There is a lot of suggestion and tension, which works extremely well. Camera angles and shots allow us to see 1 point of view at a time, beautifully shot I may add, with some great landscapes of New England.

Overall, this movie would in my opinion appeal to real-true zombie apocalypse fans. Appealing to those with patience and an appreciation of good artistic style. Bonus: The script and chemistry between the lead characters is almost flawless, minor a couple of lines. I will award this groundbreaking, genre-shifting movie a huge:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Prometheus: Movie Review

Potential Spoilers

In the distant future, two superpowers control Earth and fight each other for all the solar system’s natural resources. When one side dispatches a team to a distant planet to terraform it for human colonization, the team discovers an indigenous race of bio-mechanoid killers.

Released in 2012 and directed by Ridley Scott, a reboot of the alien franchise. A rating of 7/10 from IMBD and 73% by Rotten Tomatoes. This was an unusual form and overall, it did scare and provide mystery. However, all the alien elements were there, except the Alien, and that was the films biggest let down. That is like having a Friday The 13th movie without Jason!

It starts well, and then the acting keeps the films going. The plot was slow, tense and did not fully deliver. But it was a good and action filled film. I feel the lack of alien in this was underwhelming. There was the sequel Alien: Covenant, but that was worse and also waited until the end of the movie to ‘reveal’ the alien.

The whole film seems like a dedication to the first alien movie, and the similarities between the characters echo Ripley and the first space ship. As usual, Hollywood has favoured nostalgia over originality and I dislike that, a lot. Good acting, nice sets and camera angles, and lighting, sound and everything else couldn’t pull this out of the hole it went down.

I am being harsh, because it took me 2 watches of this movie to realise there are better reboots out there. Again, an alien film, without the alien, makes no sense, no matter how many references are there or similar characters. The first watch I was like, ‘whoa what a scary film, excellent, and it’s an alien film!’ Then again I didn’t realise it was a reboot.

My rating is: 3.5 out of 5

Zombieland 2: Double Tap – Movie Review

Potential Spoilers

Another fun zombie filled movie from director Ruben Fleischer. Released 18th October 2019 at a run time of 1 hour 39 minutes. 6.8 on IMBD and 68% on Rotten Tomatoes. This was overall another fun, action packed zombie comedy, brilliantly acted and worth watching on a Friday or Saturday night in with some friends. I watched the movie in cinema in October with my mum.

Straight away the film takes the first and continues the carnage and mayhem. There are new rules, new zombies, new characters, new locations but a terrible political theme at the end which kind of detracts from the movies finale. I enjoyed the first and did not want a second movie, but after watching it I think I liked it enough to say, ‘okay give it a try.’ It is acted well, with cameos from Luke Wilson who rolls up in a monster truck but is soon out of the picture. What does the movie lead to? It starts well in the white house, but soon we know that the group needs to get on the road again when little rock disappears having gone off with her hippy boyfriend to live in Babylon, a supposed safe zone. It gets funnier as Tallahassee, Wichita and Columbus try to track her down along with new addition Madison (acted by Zoey Deutch – class indeed). The journey to Babylon is the highlight and main plot point of the film.

The ending I was disappointed with. We have the whole gun laws argument thrown into a zombie comedy which was really, really not needed at all. It ends with a large battle to defend Babylon, a hippy gun free tower from zombies. This was too large a battle to win, yet our heroes win and then engage in a relaxed, hippy and laid back event. I do not think our characters would do this. After all, they are surviving a zombie apocalypse, not travelling to a friends. There are plenty of bloody scenes and a particularly funny moment when Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) encounters another ‘rule maker,’ and the two argue it out over which rules are better.

I would have liked to see more of what made the original work, some humour was forced and a lot of the comedy came from things that were simple. Tallahassee wearing Elvis’s shoes comes to mind.

Overall this could have been more, but it is still a funny, fun zombie comedy and adds to the cinema greatly: My rating: 3.5/5

 

Doctor Sleep – Stephen King: Movie Review

This review contains spoilers.

The Long awaited adaption of the Stephen King novel released 31st October 2019. I saw the movie in November with a friend, and I was actually frightened! This was a good adaption although certain areas were not filmed which I believe would have contributed to the audiences experience. (One being the extent of Danny’s alcohol problems).

Rated 7.4 on IMBD and 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, standing at a run time of 2 hours 32 minutes and directed by Mike Flanagan.

It was a dark, unsettling ride from beginning to end, and discovering the characters of the True Knot on screen was genuinely terrifying. Abra, the little girl and one main character is helped by Danny, who can sense the shining in her strongly and decides to help save her when he discovers the True Knot are after her. What are the True Knot? A bunch of very ancient people who survive by eating children’s ‘shining.’ I was blown away by the book and the film did not disappoint. I also cannot stress how unsettling this was, with its eery camera angles, the dark settings and the constant focus on death.

It leads Danny and Abra down a dangerous path where they communicate using the shining and since Abra is so powerful, she is capable of more than that. She has the power of telekinesis and teleportation which she uses brilliantly. Finely acted by Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran and Cliff Curtis. I will not forget Ewan Mcgregor’s perfomance in the final act which surpasses many of his previous films. It comes down to an epic cat and mouse tale in which Danny endevours to rescue Abra from this cult the True Knot, whilst battling his alcoholism and inner demons (literally).

I understand horror films need scary scenes, but a child sacrifice scene was way way too much, and I believe should have been cut or not shot at all, we get how horrid and evil the True Knot are, we don’t need children slaying on screen! It is rated 15, but personally I feel a rating of 18 was more appropriate for the themes and horror in this movie. The director has done a glorious job and many King fans will be proud of this creation.

My rating for Doctor sleep (2019) = 4/5