Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Just Playing...


I'm just throwing this up here because I've been playing with the Big Huge Labs Motivator Poster generator. And for the record... I would totally spank it...

Time To Clean Up...

Wow! I’ve got a crapload of links that have been piling up. Let’s see if I can get through these…

I am of the opinion that one should always be prepared for the impending Zombie Apocalypse. Now in some areas, I’m not as prepared as I should be. I’ve got a Bug Out Bag, but I’ve not been as diligent as I should be in keeping it updated. I have a shitload of pistols and shotguns, but I don’t really have a good semi-automatic SHTF rifle. But, all of that stuff aside, I have always been confident (some may argue that I’m overconfident) in my own sense of self reliance. I’m an experienced outdoorsman with extensive wilderness survival training. I’m a fan of the MacGyver School of kludging. So… to that end, I’ve always felt I can handle any situation so long as I have a good pair of boots and my Leatherman Wave multitool. If, for instance, the shambling masses of ravenous undead were to attack my work, I’d be confident enough to grab my survival Murse (or man purse) from my Jeep and make my way – on foot – home. And I am never, ever, without my Leatherman. In fact, my daily ritual involves stopping before I walk out the door and doing an inventory. Watch? Check. Wallet? Check. Car keys? Check. Leatherman Wave. Check! And I think the Wave is the best out there. It has damn near everything I need to survive for several days in the woods. But all of that love and adoration I have for the shiny simplicity of my Leatherman Wave went out the window when I saw the new Leatherman Skeletool. Oooh! It’s so sexy! Truthfully, it doesn’t have anything I NEED, or don’t already have on my Wave. But damn if I’m not thinking I want it anyway. I say again…sexy!

Speaking of weapons for surviving the rise of the undead… Must. Have. One. Of. These. This makes the lizard part of my male brain sit up and writhe in orgiastic fits. My god, 300 rounds in one minute. This is at once both one of the most ferocious weapons I’ve ever seen and also one of the most beautifully designed killing machines I’ve ever seen. When do they start civilian production, because I’m going to get in line for one now…

I’m a huge geek. I’m so geekish in fact, that I’ve considered getting Bruce Campbell holding his boomstick tattooed somewhere on my body. That or Darth Vader, the Elvin script from the One Ring, Gillian Anderson, The USS Enterprise, Godzilla, or Kira Shoen from NOTLD. I’ve considered them all at one point or another, but then discarded them because a) the old adage of “How’s that going to look when you’re 80” and b) my sense of how others not as geeky as I might perceive it. Take that as you will. But, that being said, you’ve got to agree that these fucking rock…

Speaking of Gillian Anderson… my brother Richie sent me this fan art of her the other day. I had almost forgotten how much I loved her and this made my pants, inexplicably, fit tighter. Especially in the zipper area. Dear dark Pagan god…this is so hot…


Some cool movie updates

I’m such a literary geek that I almost squealed like a college coed in one of the oubliettes I keep in my laboratory when I saw this update. (“It rubs the lotion on its skin!”) Stephen King’s greatest work (besides the post apocalyptic wonder that was The Stand) may be coming to film! There are discussions for the filming of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. I actually had my hands on a first edition of The Gunslinger a few years back, and I seriously thought about killing the owner for it. As it was, he wouldn’t take any amount of money for it. I even offered to give him my Jeep. He wouldn’t hear of it. I truly expect future generations to look back upon King’s Gunslinger series as a perfect, classic example of late 20th century epic fiction. Now the question is… who do you think should play Roland in a film version and not TOTALLY suck?!?

This hit the news a couple weeks ago. I really, really dig Morgan Spurlock’s work. I just thought this was a cool story. If he really found Bin Laden, and managed to get film of him… could you imagine what a coup that would be? King George W. would shit himself in apoplectic rage that a liberal documentary filmmaker did what he’s been unable to do for the last six years. Of course, I am cynical enough to think that this may, very likely, be a publicity ploy to drum up interest in Spurlock’s new movie, but I also don’t get the sense that Spurlock’s that kind of guy. Michael Moore, yes. Morgan Spurlock, no. What I’m saying is that Moore’s enough of an asshole to go in for that sort of sensationalist bullshit and feel that Spurlock’s much more altruistic in his goals. I don’t know. We’ll have to see how this one pans out…

Peter Jackson’s been given the green light for The Hobbit!!!! Let’s see what we’ve got here… two movies, one ring, Gollum, the most evil dragon ever, and The Battle of Five Armies. I’m fucking speechless!!!!!

Ooohhhh! More Dark Knight goodness. First I’ve got another update on some of the cool viral campaign Warner Brothers is doing. And then we – finally – have a release of a real trailer for the film. I’m still pleased with the Joker (although I don’t know if it’s the editing or what, but Ledger can lose the Jack Nicholson impression or I’m going to be seriously pissed.) I’m feeling really good about this flick. This is definitely an opening night film…

And - finally - we've got some news on The Watchman movie adaptation!!! There's some information on the actors (although I have to say I'm not too pleased with the actor chosen to play Rorschach), set design, and other various things. All in all though, the sets look awesome - like they were taken right from the pages of the comic. And David Gibbons visited the set and heartily approves of the production. He even says that he's "overwhelmed by the commitment, the passion, the palpable desire to do this right ". This has the potential to be so fucking awesome. Even more awesome then the adaptations of V For Vigilante and Frank Miller's Sin City and 300. We'll just have to wait and see, but I can tell you that Doctor Zombie is really, really excited about this. Now if we can just get someone to option Grendel or Mage....

That’s all for now, dear readers, I think I just heard some Xmas carolers at the front door. Talk about good timing; I just got my oscillating 50 watt plasma rifle working and I need to do a beta test.

Silent night? Holy night? Not if I can help it…

Friday, December 14, 2007

Movie Review - Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006)


So I finally got the chance to catch this. Mrs. Zombie was out of town on a business trip, I’d put Zombie Boy and Wolfgirl down for the night, and I’d sat down to watch some TV. I fired up the barbecue, threw on some long pork, and settled in with the intention of fixing my recent jones for some flesh chomping zombie carnage. I’d actually planned on re-watching Army of Darkness, but imagine my surprise when I saw that the most recent NOTLD remake had hit my cable’s On Demand menu. (I should note I didn’t see it in 3D. It was a regular 2D version, but I wasn’t too disappointed. I expect that I didn’t really miss much when it comes to the hokey 3D gimmick. I don’t think 3D technology hasn’t really changed THAT much since the days of William Castle – or even the 80’s wonders of Jaws 3D. All it does is give you a headache and the stupid 3D glasses give me paper cuts on my ears and nose.)

So, anyway… a couple clicks of the remote and $3.99 later, I’ve queued up NOTLD3D.

“WOO-HOO!” says I. “I get to watch some zombie goodness!”

Truthfully, I went into this fully expecting to be disappointed. I can say though, that I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t really that bad.

The movie opened familiarly, with the now iconic black and white footage of a winding road with the Breakneck Creek in the background. “Wha?” I thought, “did they actually film this in Evans City Pennsylvania?!? Will this movie take place in the same iconic cemetery where the great George Romero filmed his masterpiece back in 1966?!?”

Unfortunately, the geekish thrill I felt was short lived as the scene pulled back to reveal a television showing the original movie in a road side - and obviously Californian - gas station. The camera pans to a window where a Mini Cooper drives by outside, swinging past the creepy image of an abandoned SUV. PArked askew next to a discarded gas pump, the SUV's door is open and its occupants are nowhere to be found.

We learn that the Mini is driven by Johnny (Ken Ward) as he and his sister Barbara (Brianna Brown) make their way to a funeral for an aunt they don’t know. They get to the cemetery to find it abandoned and, as the tension builds, they find themselves in the midst of the zombie apocalypse.

Story-wise, the remake quickly veers from the original after this point, but it does so in a way that actually works. Johnny is attacked, runs to the car, and drives off – leaving Barb to fend off the zombies (including her now undead mother). Barb runs to the funeral home where she meets Junior Tovar, as played by the incomparable Sid Haig. She is chased away by Junior and meets up with a young handsome guy named Ben (Joshua DesRoches) who rescues her and takes her to his friends’ farm. The farm, of course, is run by the Coopers.

General undead shenanigans happen, the house is surrounded by shambling zombies, there’s some arguing, and everything degenerates – much like Romero’s classic and the lesser 1990 remake.

The story has been updated and it asks for some suspension of disbelief. But, since I’m watching a movie where the main idea is that hell is full and the dead walk the earth, I’m pretty well committed to a trip down the path of “this can’t really happen”. Henry Copper is now – instead of a caustic, belligerent, know-it-all jerk – an aging, peace-loving, pot farmer. Ben is white (!!!), and Tommy and Judy fuck in a barn, run around naked, and die within the first 20 minutes or so. Barb is reminiscent of the character Patricia Tallman portrayed in the 1990 remake.

Although some of the character changes feel like a stretch, other plot points work well. One of my current peeves is the change that cell phones have had on the whole horror genre. Michael Meyers wouldn’t have been such a problem if Laurie Strode had a cell phone and 911, so I like to see how newer horror films deal with the evolving technology. In this remake, Barb loses her phone while fighting off zombies, and Henry Cooper – in line with his “Dude! Chill, we’re growing some bud here!” attitude, - refuses to have cells because that’s “how the government tracks you, man”.

The story, while not the best, worked. There were some plot twists and the overall revamping of the story wasn't oo onerous. I was disappointed that they felt the need to explain the reason for the zompocalypse though. I don’t need to know why, I just need to know that headshots work and that I have enough bullets to survive.

The acting, on the other hand, suffered from the low budget production value. All of the primary actors had the skill and talent of second year college drama majors. Brianna Brown was better than the others, but not by much. Sid Haig though, being the icon that he is, was the one shining star – and his skills dwarfed those of the amateurs he was working with. Now don’t get me wrong… Sid collected a paycheck and you can tell he only did this because he was probably late on a couple of Cadillac payments; but even his phoned in performance was on an entirely different level than his co-stars.

As I said, this was obviously a low budget film. But that actually didn’t hurt the movie too much. The director of photography and the lighting guys deserve the lion’s share of the salaries for the work they did. They managed to make a film that looked great, and the high point could be seen in the exterior shots of the farm house as the shambling, stumbling masses of undead banged and wandered aimlessly about the beautifully framed and lighted porch and yard. It also helped that there were no apparent sound stage shots. The use of all location shooting (again - no doubt an offshoot of the meager budget) added a sense of realism to the film.

All of the cheap production value, though, and all of the great shots did little to allay my disappointment with the makeup effects. There was little true makeup work. Most of the zombies were people in masks and coverall suits that looked like – quite honestly – masks and coverall suits. It’s obvious when someone is wearing an all body costume. They look like kids look when they have to wear a Halloween costume over a winter coat. And the few actual makeup shots were terrible. When Karen Cooper turns into a zombie and stalks the other actors, it’s great that they paint her face a grayish-green, but the thing is – she’s wearing A MINISKIRT. Here’s a hint…you need to paint HER LEGS TOO!

Sheesh!!

But – all in all, it wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed it and, in the beginning especially, the film conveyed an edge of the seat expectancy of horror. Romero’s legacy wasn’t damaged and, in most instances, his mythos is secure and unfucked with. My recommendation is to catch it, but go into it with the understanding that it is not the best zombie movie ever, but it is in no way imaginable the worst ever made (That’s right, Uwe Boll. I’m looking at YOU!). Enjoy it for zombies, enjoy it for Sid Haig, and enjoy it because it’s not that bad.


Doctor Zombie’s rating: 4 out of 5 Chomped Brains!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Did You Get the Flowers I Sent?!?

Dear SciFi Channel,

I know I said some pretty bad things about you the last time I wrote.

Truth be told – after the whole Flash Gordon thing – I was mad at you and I said some very spiteful things. The thing is, I just watched Tinman, and I now realize may have been a little upset and speaking from a place of anger. What I’m saying is I’m sorry and I was thinking, maybe, we could get back together for some coffee, or a drink?

All those things I said about you not being innovative, or sacrificing quality for the bottom dollar – well, I’m not afraid to say I was wrong. And that I’m really, really sorry. I sometimes wish that we could go back to the way things used to be, back when it was just you and I curled up together on a Friday night reveling in the glow of Farscape. You remember when, right? Back before Ben Browder was at Stargate Command and back when Claudia Black was all surly and sexy (and not ditzy and...at Stargate Command).

I mean, we both may be a little bit to blame here. I may have been spending too much time with G4 and her reruns of both classic and next generation Star Trek. And I may have gone out a couple times with the BBC and her deliciously accented Doctor Who and Torchwood. I’ll admit I may have gone a little astray... but who could blame me? Although I hold some of the blame, I daresay we shared some of it as well.

I could only stand so much of watching you cavort like a filthy whore with that slimy, untalented, evil hack - Uwe Boll. A man can only take so much House of the Dead, Alone In The Dark, or endless reruns of BloodRayne before he wants to either tear the very eyes from his head or find solace in the arms of another channel. At least those other channels weren't unfaithful tramps who lack the moral decency to even recognize Boll's films are best dealt with as one would an unwanted pregnancy. What I'm saying is, there's nothing wrong with House of the Dead that an abortion clinic or a coat hanger and a couple good flushes of a toilet can't fix...

And the dark gods know I tried to forget the night I turned you on to find you showing Dragonfly, with Kevin Costner. I don’t know what hurt more; watching you spread your legs for an actor whose skills are so bad he can’t even bother to put on an English accent when he plays Robin Hood, or the fact that you thought that the abysmally bad, boring, and romantic treacle that was Dragonfly would even remotely appeal to Science Fiction fans. And don’t even get me started on the horror and pseudo-scientific codswallop that is Ghosthunters

But that's all in the past, baby. What I’m trying to say is that my infidelities - too -are a thing of the past. I promise.

I knew that I may have wrongly spurned you after I watched Battlestar Galactica: Razor. And I especially knew I was wrong after having watched the wondrously twisted and beautifully rendered Tinman. I even said to myself, “Hey! Doctor Z! You've really gone and fucked up!”

And, again, I can only apologize.

And I promise that, if you find it within your heart to take me back, I’ll never stray again. I mean it this time. As long as you continue to cast actresses like the deliriously breathtaking Kathleen Robertson in roles like Azkadellia - in Tinman - I swear I’ll be faithful… forever. I’ve turned a new leaf! You’ve wooed me with Kathleen’s incredible cleavage and those magical tribal monkey tattoos perched upon the alabaster slopes of her swelling and corseted bosom.

And the inventive re-imagining of L. Frank Baum’s tales of Oz pushed me over the edge; made me realize the error of my philandering ways. If you’ll forget what I wrote before, and find some small ounce of forgiveness for my indiscretions, I’ll never write badly about you again.

Please consider it? Please honey, take me back?

Hoping against hope for forgiveness,
Doctor Z.

p.s. – Oh yeah, if you renew Flash Gordon, or start showing movies that don’t have Bruce Campbell in them in some way, all bets are off you psycho bitch! Love and kisses - Dr. Z...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Meatpie, anyone?!?

I have a deep, dark confession to make.

I am a straight, married, horror movie loving, old school Goth and...I love musicals.

I always have. It's something my mother introduced to me as a child and - to this day - I still love musicals.

Of course, being Doctor Zombie, I would be remiss if I didn't also explain that I tend to see the darker side of the entire genre. There is nothing so tragic as what the studio system did to the beautiful and phenomenally talented Judy Garland. Drugs and alcohol made a shambles of her later life, but her voice remained angelic until the end. And how fucking creepy is the end of My Fair Lady when the wispy, fairy-like, gorgeous Audrey Hepburn is embraced and kissed by the old and wrinkled Rex Harrison? I can't watch it without feeling like I'm watching a pedephile move in on the teenage babysitter.

"I'm Chris Hanson with MSNBC. Why don't you have a seat over there. Are you 'enry'iggins@aol.com?"

I think part of what appeals most to me is the sense that musicals were a glimpse into a simpler time. I love musicals in the way that I love Big Band music. They are a slice of American pop culture that date themselves as surely as if one had run a test with carbon-14. And there have been damn few modern musicals that have been done since the golden age that hold a candle to the originals.

But that brings me to why I wrote this post. I love Oklahoma. I love My Fair Lady. I love West Side Story. I love Rogers and Hammerstein. I love all of them... but the composer I love above all others is Stephen Sondheim. And his greatest masterpiece - and my favorite musical - is without a doubt Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Imagine my joy when, on our honeymoon, Mrs. Zombie and I found ourselves staying in a hotel in the West End of London on... motherfucking Fleet Street. And imagine the dread Mrs. Zombie must have felt when I explained that my favorite musical was a grisly story of revenge, murder, and cannibalism. And that I was delighted in my dark geekish way at having actually scored a one week stay where my favorite homicidal barber is reputed to have lived.

And - best of all - Sweeney Todd is coming to the big screen. Let's just do a quick geek chic review...

Tim Burton - CHECK!
Johnny Depp - CHECK!
Still a musical - DOUBLE CHECK!

Dear dark Pagan gods - this movie is going to so rock!

Check here for the official site and a deliciously morbid trailer showing Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in all of their malevolent glory.

I occasionally have moments of deep introspection where I look within myself, shake my own head, and say, "What the fuck is wrong with you?!?"

But then the moment passes, and I head down to my lab in the basement of the Midnight Theater of Terror. A little bit of world domination, evil science, and random torture of zombie minions always sets my shit straight.

Unpleasant dreams, dear reader!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Some Geeky Linky...

I'll be out of town for the next few days. My Da and I bought some property in Eastern Central Ohio (Woot! I've got a Bug Out Location for when the Zombie Apocalypse happens and you don't! Thhhbbbbtt!!) so I'll be bowhunting and scouting all weekend.

Since I'll be gone for a few days, I've decided to throw up a quick post with an assload of links that have been piling up...

First up, we have info on the new Batman movie: The Dark Knight. All I can say is, "New Batman?!? Oh, God! My pants suddenly fit tighter…" It looks great! Heath Ledger’s take on The Joker looks fan-fucking-tastic. Early reports say that he’s ditched the smarmy, “tee-hee-hee” excess of Nicholson’s performance and is going with a darker, more realistic interpretation. It’s about damn time! Eschewing the cartoonish cavorting of prior Joker incarnations and making The Joker the absolutely batshit sociopath he is is going to be refreshing and so worth it. I’ve goosebumps thinking about it. I tracked down some other links. The first is information on the studio's viral campaign (where the first pics of Ledger’s Joker appeared.) For the record – it’s got to be the coolest viral campaign. Ever. Also I managed to find a craptastic teaser trailer, but it’s a trailer – so quit yer bitchin’!

Of all the superheroes out there, Batman appeals most to my own dark tendencies. I’m not a fan of DC comics, with the exception of The Bats. His tortured psyche, his burning anger, his need to exact vengeance; they all combine to make Batman one of the most complex “heroes” out there. In that vein, I’m a huge fan of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again. Miller is the first writer to fully capture the tortured, anger driven, damaged psyche that The Bat had, and Tte newest Christian Bale vehicles finally captures what Batman is all about. Vengeance and Brutal Justice, fuck yeah!

At my heart, I’m a geek who looks at a world through the eyes of a life filled with horror and science fiction. I’m also a writer, so I’m always going to be cursed with a fertile and creative imagination. It’s who I am. And so, when I see articles like this, I immediately begin to compare it with what I’ve read or watched, and think of it in terms of, “How can I write about this?”. Often, I get a story idea and just as quickly discard it, much as I did here. However, I still saw this and had a geeky shiver run up my spine. Is it wrong – while trying not to get ALL H.G. Wells – to secretly wish for some good old fashioned Island of Dr. Moreau type experiments?!? Think about the implications of human/animal chimeras… we’re talking about some seriously cool science fiction stuff here.

Mark this one up as one of those, ‘there-but-for-the-dark-Pagan-gods-go-I!” stories. A horror novelist writes a book on cannibalism, and then proceeds to kill and cook his wife. I don't know why, but stories like this make me smile. Oh wait! I do know...I'm an a moral sociopath with a disturbing sense of humor!

Whoop!Whoop! Red Alert! Red Alert! Forgive me while I wax all Star Trek, but Simon Pegg has been cast in the new Star Trek prequel! Shaun of the Dead is Scotty! I swore, after seeing Star Trek: Nemesis that I wouldn’t be sucked in again. I swore to the very depths of my undead soul that I wouldn’t see another bad Star Trek movie. And then they announced that they were doing a prequel to the original series. My initial thought was that it was going to be Dawson’s Creek with a warp core and phasers set on stun. But, curses, I know I’ll end up going to see it. I can’t fight the inner nerd who gets all excited by the prospect of another Star Trek movie. Damn you, inner geek. And damn you, Gene Roddenberry for making me like this!

Speaking of must see movies, found two trailers for the new I Am Legend with Will Smith. Again, I felt really, “Meh.” about yet another remake of Richard Matheson’s post apocalyptic classic, but I’m starting to come around. This is one of my favorite novels – ever – and I really hope the story doesn’t get lost by the studios and the suits who are putting it together. The trailer does look good though, although I will be unable to resist taking bets with my brothers as to how long it is into the movie before Will Smith looks at a vampire and say, “Aw, He-ells no!”

And, because I’m going hunting, I found a great article about the manliest guns ever. Whereas I don’t necessarily agree with some of the choices, I laughed out loud at the writing. Truth be told, it’s actually a pretty good list of ‘must owns’. Man, I need to go shooting…

Political link! Political link! Beware of Doctor Zombie’s Liberal rage! If you’re a bible thumping conservative who demonizes Liberals and Americans who disagree with the current administration alike, skip to the next paragraph. In fact, if you’re a Bush apologist who thinks Ann Coulter’s a nice girl, stop reading my blog. Bush is a criminal and Ann Coulter’s a filthy whore. And this article scares the hell out of me. What’s absolutely terrifying is that I could see this happening. Interestingly, Musharref just did this in Pakistan and, oddly, the Bush Administration has only issued some half assed, mumbled statements about it being not necessarily a good thing. Does that big-eared, grotesque, buffoon in the White House see himself as King George I of America? And what designs does Darth Cheney have? Chilling.

Now – to end on a high note! Some Doctor Who goodies!!! Look! You can now own your very own remote controlled K9. I want one of these! I want it soooo bad! And, if you’re feeling especially crafty, here’s a recipe from the BBC for a very special cake. I’m going to print this out and hand it to Mrs. Zombie. My birfday’s in a month and, although I had my heart set on either a Scooby-Doo or a Harley Davidson cake, I’ve completely changed my mind. I want a cake that buzzes, “Exterminate!” and “We are the superior beings!”

Unpleasant dreams, dear readers!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Curse of the Widow's Peak!

So – I’ve been shaving my head for 4 or 5 years now. I started to shave it at first because I wanted to mitigate the huge amount of gray hair I had, as well as the inevitable baldness that seemed to grow every time I looked in a mirror. As for the gray, I actually started graying at the age of 16. As I understand it, this is squarely the fault of my Irish genes. Premature graying was something I’d always been aware of and accepted as part of aging.

The baldness, though, that was just goddamned unacceptable. In my twenties, I had shoulder length hair that I could pull back into a Brandon Lee from the The Crow topknot or pony tail. I loved my long hair and I regret cutting it. But the thinning made it necessary and, as I went from that to a shorter style, even the shorter style started to look like shit. So, I took to clippering it closer and closer to my skull until I finally said, “Fuck it,” and started shaving it.

So why am I telling you this? Well, because Mrs. Zombie has decided that she wants me to grow my hair again. She’s challenged me to grow my hair out until my birthday – which is like 5 weeks from now. I’ve made half-hearted attempts to grow it probably two or three times since I started shaving, but then I decide I like it shaved and go smooth again.

Funny thing is, I think the balding has slowed or stopped. Now though, I am almost completely gray. I haven’t shaved since last Friday and my head is covered with sparkly, white hairs that make me look significantly older than my 36 years. As I said, I don’t mind the gray, never have, but Mrs. Zombie hates it with a passion. I’ve actually been dying my goatee for her and, before I shaved my head, she made me dye it frequently. And it’s funny really. Most people, when they meet me, think that I’m in my late twenties or maybe thirty at the most. I still – honest to god – get carded at bars. When I don’t dye my goatee though, the gray makes a huge difference in how I’m perceived. It’s odd really.

So I’ve decided I’m going to take Mrs. Zombie up on the challenge – despite the fact that both of us are most likely going to hate it. She’ll hate it because of the gray and how old it will make me look; and I’ll hate it because the ravages of the balding have left me with an unbelievably large forehead and pronounced widow’s peak.

So – and in that vein – let’s take a look at how my hair could turn out. Here a small retrospective of men with widow’s peaks and how they sported them.




The first on the list is Craig T. Nelson. His is a worst case scenario. Notice the clean, unbroken forehead that sweeps back like a manicured snow slope to roughly the middle of the BACK of his head. Mrs. Zombie and I recently watched Blades of Gory and Craig T. was rocking a Michael Bolton-esque ‘bald-in-the-front, long-in-the-back’ party mullet. I suspect this is partially responsible for her challenge because – quite honestly – Mrs. Zombie has strange taste in men… as evidenced by her marrying me. But putting that aside, she also generally only mentions two actors she’d leave me for: George Eades from CSI, and Craig T. Nelson. That’s right; my wife has an unhealthy lust for Craig T. Nelson. I think it’s the whole Coach thing. She’s an ex-jock and something about him stirs up strange passions. I don’t get it.



Next we’re going old school! That’s right, Bela Lugosi. I could only hope to look as good as old Bela. He made women swoon, he made vampires cool, and he did it with a swept back widow’s peak. He didn’t care if he didn’t have Cary Grant’s looks, or Boris Karloff’s acting chops. He swept in with a cape and that cool-as-all-hell Eastern European accent and became a cinematic icon. Of course the heroin probably helped some too…



My mother always tells people that I look like John Travolta. I honestly don’t see it, although I do see some similarities. We’ve both struggled with our weight and he’s got dark hair and dark eye like I do. I could do worse with my own grooming. If Craig T. Nelson is the worst case scenario, John Travolta’s the best. Now that I think of it, it would be pretty fucking hilarious to sport a Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction cut. If this works out, I’ve got my costume for Halloween next year!



Next we have…um… yeah. Right. Maybe I should get plugs, like Ben Affleck did.



Next we have Stan Lee's interpretation of the uber-widow's peak. I've read Spiderman comics since I was old enough to read and I've always been fascinated by the anatomically mysterious wonders that are Norman and Harry Osbornes' hair. WTF?!? This is just weird! And what are those strange hair ridges? Speed bumps? The really sad and scary thing is that, when I looked in the mirror this morning, the Osborne family hairline was the first thing to pop into my head. Excuse me while I shudder uncontrollably.




Finally, we’ve got the most likely of the outcomes. Although he was an idol of mine growing up, Butch Patrick’s widow’s peak is a bit too much to hope for. You have widow’s peaks, and then you have Eddie Munster’s widow’s peak. This is like Prince Valiant’s cut, or R. Lee Ermey’s flat top. Certain haircuts are iconic. And Butch rocked the widow’s peak like Eddie Van Halen rocked the guitar. Fuck yeah.

Maybe I’ll post some before and after pics… before I promptly cut it all off on Dec 13th.

Friday, November 02, 2007

SciFi Suckfest

Forgive me while I wax all geeky...

So I've been unusually annoyed with the SciFi Channel.

The SciFi Channel, and more specifically, their new series - Flash Gordon.

I'd been psyched about Flash Gordon ever since they'd started promoting it earlier in the year. They'd even managed to score the original Queen song for the promo's. And then I looked upon it and, lo, did it suck...

And I've seen it every week.

"Why have you watched it every week if its so damned crap-tastic?!?" you may be asking.

Well, there's various reasons , and the fact that I've been too lazy to delete it off of my DVR may be the most compelling. But there are other reasons for my pigheaded refusal to stop watching this insipid, vapid excuse for science fiction. Mainly - I keep hoping it will get better. And, like my sex life before I managed to meet a woman who wasn't repulsed by the sight of me naked, I continue to be disappointed.

And much of it can be placed squarely at the doorstep of the SciFi Channel. I have a love/hate relationship with the SciFi Channel. While they sometimes have some great shows, they also happen to have some of the worst fucking movies imaginable. If any movie is touted as a SciFi Channel original movie, run. Run for your very life. Run as though your very soul depended upon it.

In the last year or so, I can think of only one or two of the poorly CGI'd bags of cinematic shit they pass of as "original science fiction" that I actually enjoyed. Surprisingly, neither of these two had an overgrown, monstrous, poorly rendered snake or lizard in them. This is what SciFi Channel has been reduced to. Nameless teen actors in clunky, poorly cobbled together bad remakes of Anaconda - less the visage of a hot Jennifer Lopez in a wet t-shirt or Jon Voight with a bad Spanish accent.

And - for the record - the two films I did like were both Bruce Campbell vehicles - The Man With The Screaming Brain and Alien Apocalypse. They weren't particularly good, but they had Bruce. As Gundown, over at Zombie Squad once wrote:

"BRUCE CAMPBELL IS A GOD.... HE IS THE ONE TRUE LORD OF FILM. HIS HOLY TRINITY RULES ABOVE US ALL! AS RAMI STANDS TO HIS RIGHT AND ROMERO TO HIS LEFT, HIS WILL IS ENFORCED BY THE ANGEL OF VENGENCE - - KEVIN MOTHERFUCKING SMITH!"


Amen, brother Gundown. Amen.

So - anyway, why am I so frustrated by the SciFi channel, and Flash Gordon specifically?

Because it sucks. Duh.

Let me enumerate the suckage that it has:

- - While supposedly taking place in Maryland or Virginia - it looks like it was filmed in that old standby - Vancouver, Canada. Yeah, we get that its cheaper to film there. And I don't begrudge the producers saving some money. But for Chrissake's at least say it takes place in Seattle or some other nondescript Pacific Northwestern city. Hint: Maryland does not have Cascade or Rockies-like mountains on the horizon, dumb asses.

- - Flash is no longer a football star. Get this - - he's a marathon runner. And not even a famous one. He's the "3 time winner of the City Marathon". They actually try to use this as a pick up line in the first episode. "Hey baby, wanna make it with a tool who paid a $15 entry fee and got a free t-shirt for the local benefit run? You can help me pin on my race number (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge)."

- - Mongo just sucks. A soft filter on a camera does not an alien world make. And Ming is a smarmy guy who rules with an iron fist. Wait, oops! How silly of me, it's not an iron fist... it's by water rationing. That's right, he's an evil dictator who has a garden hose hooked up to a water purifier. Oooh! Scary! Idi Amin, Hitler, and Pol Pot got nothing on Ming the Merciless. Who needs genocide when you can give your subjugated masses cavities because they've got to drink well water instead of flouridated tap water?!? The horror!

- - The hawk men are normal, non-winged, muscular dorks with leather capes that can fly. Totally ignoring the physics and indescribably gay image of muscular men in leather capes flapping away into the night... you never actually see them fly on camera. You'd think SciFi would've sprung for a green screen and some of the same technology my local weather guy's been using for the last 40 years or so, huh? Not so, dear reader. Not so.

- - And there've been no significantly weird monsters on Mongo either. You've got some people in weird costumes (if silk on chicks, and leather on guys, and generic military uniforms and helmets on the Mongo Guard count as "weird"). And the occassional strange face painting. Even the latter Star Trek shows subscribed to the "give them some latex ridges or bumps or spots on their face to make them alien" philosophy. Flash Gordon's not even going that far.

- - What worked so well with the original Flash Gordon (and I'm counting the 1923's serials, the 1940's and 50's radio shows, the 1950's TV series, and even the Queen scored bag of win that was the 1980 movie) was that Flash, Dale and Hans Zarkoff were trapped on Mongo. Lost and adrift in a culture of wierd aliens and cutthroat palace intrigue, they fought with stereotypically plucky human resolve. Now we have "rift technology" where a wormhole opens up between Earth and Mongo and they have to make little day trips to save the universe. Again I blame the cheapness of the production, because it's obviously cheaper to keep the characters in faux-Maryland than to splurge on expensive sets. Whoever's in charge of the money at SciFi needs to stop hanging onto it likes it's his own. At the least, the accountants need to get punched in their junk because 90% of the whole goddamned show takes place on Earth. Dear dark Pagan gods - save us from the bean counters. Please.

- - And don't even get me started on Rankol - one of the bad guys who is supposed to be a creepy alien. Slapping a fake metal plate to the side of his head and hiding a Segway under his robes is absoultely fucking ridiculous. That's right - a Segway. The same thing my office mail guy uses because my company's campus covers over a mile of hallways.

I guess what makes me so mad about this show is that SciFi has such a great track record with their original series. This is the same channel that brought us some of the best and most innovative sicence fiction TV in years. From The Invisible Man series, to Farscape, and the Stargates: I've become accustomed to better quality from them. And the time is ripe for introducing a new, edgy science fiction show to their Friday night lineup. I mean look how successful other reimaginings of classic SciFi have been. Battlestar Gallactica, anyone? The Bionic Women? Doctor Who?

And I think I just figured out the problem. In the last paragraph I wrote "new, edgy..." and "innovative". Flash Gordon is everything but that. It's safe and would be more at home on a network channel and not cable.

But that's the problem with the Sci-Fi channel. They've never gotten the idea that they're CABLE. They've always watered down their movies and, now, apparently, they're watering down their programming. They should take the lead from FX and push the envelope. Sadly, they won't. They refuse to stop being safe because - and I've got this on good authority - the SciFi Channel hates me. That's right. The SciFi channel hates me and small children. Seriously.

But what what else would you expect from a channel that calls itself the SciFi channel and yet DOESN'T RUN STAR TREK in any of its past incarnations. When Spike, or G4 scoops you on the Star Trek, do you really have the street cred to call yourself the "SciFi" Channel?

I'm just saying...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Serial Killer's Genesis...

Not even done with my current novel and I'm thinking of my next. Not sure if this is the beginning of a new novel or a short stroy. Either way, I like the protaganist and there's a whole lot of Doctor Zombie in this character.

Interesting aside: I was at a luncheon at Cleveland State honoring myself and several other student writers who'd had essays published in a compilation when I struck up a conversation with another honoree named Allen. After he'd looked at my bio info in the book, he asked me how much of myself I put into the main character of my novel, North Coast Gothic. I always hate this question because, truthfully, every character I write has some of my DNA in them when I breath them into existance on the page. Like Pygmalion, I'm often startled by the life my characters take on after I create them. To me, they become real and I can hear their voices and see them in my mind. Their quirks, their idiosyncracies, their peculiarities of speech and dialect all become real. It reminds me of a vignette at the beginning of the classic Hammer films The House That Dripped Blood. In it, Denholm Elliot plays a horror writer who feels he's going mad because he begins to see and become stalked by the snaggle-toothed and wild-eyed killer he's created. I live with my characters when I'm writing and I honestly have conversations with them.

Is that crazy?

Anyway - I threw this together and I need to decide what to do with it after I finish the work on my current novel. And - yes! - this character seems much closer to me in personality and disposition than Tom, from NCG, did.

***
The sun wasn’t bright that day. It hid behind an endless expanse of curdled milk clouds, not even bothering to raise its head from beneath the covers of its black and grey bed. Alex was sitting there, thinking black thoughts and gazing at the Breakneck Creek far below him. It winded and twisted itself into the distance, fat and lazy like a molting barn snake. The dark sky gave the world a murky cast, and it was this murkiness that fueled the black thoughts Alex was thinking.

He reached into the bag beside him on the hard, unyielding stone bench he was seated upon and grabbed another piece of beef jerky. He put a jagged corner of the dried meat between his teeth and worried a bite free. Then he was struck with an idea.

He would become a serial killer.

Nothing had really prompted the thought, but once it had time to settle into his mind and make itself a home in there, he found that it was a very comfortable fit. He looked about himself at the manicured lawns that stretched and rolled downward, its green broken only by the varied shapes of tombstones that stuck up like black and gray mushrooms. The Evans City Cemetery in Evans City, Pennsylvania, was a little known place. But, to Alex, it was a wondrous place that would forever be famous for what had happened there many years earlier. It was this very same cemetery where, in 1966, George Romero filmed his immortal Night Of The Living Dead.

And Romero happened to be one of Alex’s favorite directors.

Alex knew many things about himself, but he knew one thing above else; he loved horror movies. He loved zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghouls, goblins, and all things dark, creepy, and horrific. He had grown up on a steady diet of Saturday afternoon Hammer Studios classics and Late Night Creature Features hosted by men in mad doctor costumes on creepy sets in the basement of the local network affiliate. He was not a nostalgic man, but he mourned the loss of this curious form of entertainment. Much of the 1970’s could be buried away in a mass grave of popular culture, but there was something sad and tragic about no longer being able to stay up late on a Friday or Saturday night and watch The Ghoul, or Dr. Shock’s Chiller X-Ray Theater.
His love for horror movies was only the beginning of Alex’s eclectic tastes. His introduction at an early age to this genre helped shape his tastes now that he had reached manhood.
Simply said, he loved all things dark.

He was an odd man. On the surface, he was attractive. He had dark hair, angular features and cheekbones that could have stepped out onto a runway at any fashion show. Any attractiveness, though, was marred by his constant frown and choice in clothing. Today, he wore a pair of black Dr. Marten boots, black fatigue pants, a long sleeve Rob Zombie t-shirt, and a long black trench coat.

It went without saying that black was his favorite color.

Black clothes and a scowl weren’t the main reason for his off-putting qualities. It was mainly his incessantly dark and brooding personality that turned people off to him. He wore a perpetual air of gloominess like a velvet- brocaded cloak. It was this that repelled most of the normal people he met. In fact, this alone - when combined with his clothing - assured that the majority of society would never see him as ‘normal’.

And he was all right with that.

All of this explained why he was here in this particular cemetery. He made the pilgrimage to this, his own particular Mecca, every few weekends. It was only a few hours ride from his home in Ohio, and he came here in an attempt to absorb or touch some of the creative brilliance that
Mr. Romero surely must have left here all those years ago.

Perhaps that could explain why he had decided to become a serial killer. The particular combination of his own strange predilections and the mystical aura of the cemetery may have caused it; like the confluence of two dark rivers. Or perhaps he’d made some sort of psychic connection with the residual energy and genius of Romero that still, somehow, lingered in this country necropolis. Either way, Alex knew that one never questioned such things. It was of paramount importance to pursue such bursts of creative energy when they presented themselves, and Alex had no intention of ignoring it.

Just then, like the harsh scream of an injured cat, the sound of a child’s laughter intruded upon his reverie. He swung his head around and saw two children playing with a water pump a few feet away from where he sat. The pump had, undoubtedly, been put in the cemetery for watering plants and cleaning gardening tools. Now though, it served as a source of irresistible curiosity to the children. They were two boys, about 8 or 9 years old, and they were splashing each other with as expected childlike innocence, as it were. Some hundred or so feet away, a women and man that Alex assumed must be their parents, were tending a grave topped by a large, square, black headstone.

The pump fascinated the children. It was one of those old fashioned ones that you only saw in Westerns; the kind with the big handle that pumped the water up from some deep well or water table far underground where white, blind, and grotesquely plump creatures lived in perpetual darkness. When the boys began drinking from its gushing mouth, Alex actually opened his mouth to warn them, but them snapped it shut with an audible clack.

If he was going to be a serial killer, he mentally chastised himself; he’d have to stop thinking like a normal person.

If he weren’t a serial killer, he would have warned the kids that they might not have wanted to drink from a well beneath a cemetery. Instead, he affected what he thought was an almost reptilian coldness and made himself enjoy the idea that the boys were drinking water that undoubtedly had been tainted with the leeching of what lay above it. It was a deliciously morbid thought and Alex relished the imagery it conjured. Cannibalism was a very serial killer fascination. It’d worked for Dahmer in Wisconsin.

He adjusted his ass on the hard, unforgiving bench and turned back to thoughts of murder. All the famous serial killers had signatures or fetishes of some sort; some specifically murderous taste in victims that they preyed upon. Ted Bundy had liked pretty college girls, The Green River Killer liked prostitutes (and so had Jack the Ripper, for that matter. HE was one hell of a twisted bastard, Alex thought.), Dahmer liked Asian boys.

He’d need something. It’d take some more thought, Alex decided, although he was pretty sure it would be pretty girls like old Smiling Ted Bundy. He also found that he liked the idea of the infamy that might have come from becoming a serial killer. He saw himself as Death, cloaked in black with obsidian armor and a flaming sword like some almost inhumanly beautiful Manga character.

The overcast sky rumbled with coming thunder and there was a flash of lightning. The trees overhead swayed with a sudden wind like the rasp of beetles in a corpse. Far below, the creek churned brown and muddy in the growing dusk. With a sigh, Alex stood and brushed dust from the back of his trench coat.

At that moment, the parents of the children called to them, and the two boys scurried away, yelling and punching at one another like all young boys do. Alex watched them go, gnawing on his last piece of jerky and glaring balefully at the family.

Maybe he could kill them, he thought.

There was nobody else in the graveyard, and it would be appropriate to do it here. He almost smiled at the thought of the headlines in the paper. Grisly Murders Committed at Infamous Graveyard, they would read. It would be a fitting tribute to George. It would be worthy of this great place.

These thoughts, though, quickly turned to logistics. He had nothing to do the deed with. There was a rusty, bent tire iron in his trunk, but he wasn’t sure how to undo it from under the tire. Also, the children’s father looked like a pretty big guy. Alex knew that he himself was a pretty strong and wiry guy, but the father was morbidly obese. So was the mother, for that matter. And he wasn’t sure he could kill the kids. The thought of killing a child made him feel a little queasy. He hesitated, and saw that his calculations were pointless anyway. The family had begun piling into a newer Ford pickup as the first, fat drops of rain began to fall.

It was better off anyway, he thought as he stood there watching them drive off.

He wasn’t regretful that he’d let them go. In fact, he was glad he hadn’t been rash in killing the family. The murder and subsequent clean up would have taken longer than he’d wanted and he wanted to be back in Cleveland before midnight.

“I’m going to only kill someone who I’ve stalked,” he said aloud to himself. It seemed a better idea than random, unplanned violence. It was more appealing to hunt his prey. Besides, there was the forensics to think of. He thought himself smarter than the average person and knew he wouldn’t get caught - - but only if he planned and took the time to do things right. Yes, forensics would be a problem. It was something he’d need to seriously consider.

As he jogged to his dented Toyota Land Cruiser, dodging bigger and faster falling raindrops, he smiled in what he thought was a chilling manner.

He would be an exceptional serial killer.

***

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween is Here!





I saw a preview for this when I went with Mrs. Zombie to see Saw IV on Friday. (My quick and dirty review: Same old Saw, just a different number after it... although the gore effects were fucking awesome! Especially the autopsy in the beginning. Realistic and beautifully gory!)


Anyway, I digress... So, this Fathom Events is doing a special 7:30 showing of Halloween 4 & 5 at my local theater. For $10, you get the two movies plus a special behind the scenes documentary. I think I may need to attend this.


If any regular, local readers see this before tomorrow, feel free to join the Doctor at the Willoughby Commons Regal cinema tomorrow night for some Michael meyers goodness!
Gods I love Halloween!!!


Friday, October 05, 2007

Plague

So - like I said earlier this week, I finished my new novel and have begun the arduous task of editing, rewriting, and fleshing it out. Then comes the hell of trying to get it published. My first novel was published based on pure luck... let's hope lightning strikes twice...

So, anyway, I've decided to go ahead and post up the short story I wrote a few years back that inspired the novel. It was originally included as a prologue to my novel, but I cut it because of various reasons, including the fact that; it didn't match the tone or narrative style of the novel, I wasn't pleased with the way it was written, and finally, that it was - truthfully - just too long for a prologue.

So - - as I'll probably never send it out to try and publish it, I figured I'd post it up on my site.

So, if you're feeling especially literary, and want to read a so-so short story, here it is.

I make no promises about spelling or grammatical errors... like I said, it became the basis for my new novel, and I pretty much left it as is once I started writing the new book...

Enjoy.



And so began the end of the world…

The town of Wisteria was a small bucolic place. It had a Main Street, a town square, and storefronts that hearkened back to the beginning of the nineteenth century. The Ladies Social Club maintained the obligatory wisteria trees that graced the small park in the town square, their grape-like flowers hanging heavily over manicured lawns and bright red, orange, and pink roses. A memorial statue dedicated to the young men who had given their lives in the last half dozen U.S. involved wars looked sorrowfully towards the south of the square. There, the Presbyterian Church cast a long, all day shadow on the small gazebo where the Shriner band played every Friday evening during the summer.

The side streets off of the square where all quaintly named after trees. Streets with names like Oak, Elm, Beech, and Birch ran quietly away from town, terminating in dead ends, cul-de-sacs and, in some cases, empty fields. On the east side of town, they ran for endless miles through corn fields and soy farms until they merged and emptied onto State Route 25. The side streets near town were populated by many gamble-roofed, Victorian style homes that slumbered beneath the thick, gnarled limbs of ancient trees. Flagstone walks led to immense porches with heavy, stained glass doors and foyers with high ceilings and real oak crown moldings. In the winter, radiator heat hissed in the large rooms and, year round, the floors creaked with age.

It was no different than any small town - save one thing.

Where Main Street crossed the Little ProsperityRiver, amidst the hulking and empty remains of several warehouses that perched over the brown, sluggish river waters - there was a newer building. It was a modern building. Its green, glass face glinting blindingly in the afternoon sun. It seemed out of place between the abandoned warehouses that once thrived in Industrial Revolution corpulence.

It was a research extension for the Centers for Disease Control. Rumors about its purpose ran the gamut from bio-weapons development to medical research. In truth, it was somewhere in between.

As night fell, and the evening stretched into night, something very bad was happening at the silent, green building near the river.

*************************************************************************************

Dr. Byron Walker was a brilliant, but eccentric, biologist. His specialty was contagious diseases and, in a lab in the basement of the research facility, he was working on pure evil. Working on grants provided by legitimate, if somewhat shadowy, government agencies, his objective had been simple - design and develop a virus that was genetically engineered to demoralize and destroy enemies of the United States

Dr. Walker had no qualms about his highly illegal work. In fact, he loved it. The idea that someday the world may very well go to hell in a hand basket appealed to him. He was an expert in contagious viruses and knew that it was only a matter of time before some terrorist in a turban walked into Times Square with an aerosol container of Anthrax, or Ebola, or Hanta, or any of a dozen other microscopic assassins. He was certain of it happening, and he was also certain that it would prove so destructive that the government would quickly not care about any silly little rules regarding ‘ethical’ warfare.

There would be retaliation, and it was very likely that Dr. Walker’s little bug would do the dirty work. And, it was his sole ambition and goal to ensure that he was responsible for designing the most monstrous, most effective, and most lethal virus to do so.

Walker Virus X would be the worst virus ever seen, thus earning him a place beside Nobel and Oppenheimer. Whereas immortality is something many scientists hunger for - Dr. Walker was starved for it. He worked twenty hour days and burned through lab assistants the way a chain smoker works his way through a pack of cigarettes. His quest was all consuming and there was no other facet of a normal adult life that appealed to or interested him.

Thus it was that he was alone in the lab on a Friday night, working late, when tragedy struck.

The most current incarnate of Walker Virus was part of batch number 117. Per CDC regulations, all contagious and lethal microorganisms were never directly touched by human hands. The Walker Virus was bred in a closed incubator, accessible by remote operated robot only. The glass incubator had several safeguards; including a powerful exhaust hood that would instantly turn the container into vacuum, radioactive lights to irradiate and kill any microbe, and a caustic chemical bath to kill anything else left. The scientists manipulated the Petri dishes, microscopes, and instruments through the use of a 'Waldo'; or a set of industrial strength, impermeable rubber gloves that prevented any human contact with the dangerous pathogens within the glass box.

Dr. Walker had moved a slide of the virus to the microscope and was examining it when he first felt the itch on his left ring finger. He thought nothing of it as he turned from the containment unit to take some notes. As he did so, the itch grew maddeningly worse, spreading to the palm of his hand. With a frown, Dr. Walker glanced at his palm as he got up.

He had to sit down again, a feeling of terror striking him like a bucket of ice water thrown in his face.

“God, no...” he whispered, studying the very visible spread of the virus across his hand. That was one of its attributes. It was a very visually distinct infection, as was requested by the government when they had contracted him.

Ever the scientist, his first thought was, ‘How...?’

He rushed to the containment unit and pulled the left glove inside out, studying the rubber on the left ring finger. With a sense of rage and indignation, he quickly deduced what had happened.

“That bitch!” he cursed, examining a worn part of the glove. He was referring to his newest lab assistant, a snobby graduate student who had only received the job because she had a father in Congress. She had recently acquired a too big engagement ring and worn it to work, reluctant to remove it for even an instant. She had known it was a direct violation of CDC protocol, but she was too wrapped up in the glory of snagging some Ivy League fiancĂ©e.

Her vanity was now going to kill Dr. Walker.

He sat on the floor abruptly, the realization of his situation striking him in its enormity. He looked at the tell-tale bluish-grey spread of the virus as it reproduced itself with frightening speed. That was the first sign of infection - the discoloration of skin and resultant itch. Already there was a painful numbness in his fingers and hand, like pins and needles as a limb slowly wakes up from being slept on. Accompanying that was an itch like ants were trying to crawl their way out of the skin of his arm. His left arm, to the elbow, was now infected.

He knew what would come next. He had, after all, designed it. The discoloration would eventually cover his entire body and his epidermis would die, falling off of his musculature like a snake shedding its own skin. But before all of that, the madness would come. The blind, angry, inhuman madness as the virus destroyed his mind and turned him into a subhuman killing machine.

He started sobbing as the horror fully gripped him, although the part of his brain that was logical, analytical, and always a scientist gave a small cry of surprise that it worked so quickly in human physiology.

Of course, that’s what he had designed it to do.

*************************************************************************************
An hour later, Dr. Walker was no longer really human. The thing that had been the doctor crept out of the lab and made its way through the dark, silent halls of the research building. It was drawn by a dark desire and fragments of its life of earlier that day. It came upon the security guard at the front door soundlessly. With a primeval and inarticulate cry, it fell upon the hapless guard as he dozed at his post. It fed for a time, but then grew restless again.

The creature stalked to the door and let itself out, setting off silent alarms. It stood on the marble steps, savoring the cool, rich scent of the night. The darkness called to it and it flinched at the brightness of the moon. Quickly, it turned from the lunar orb’s baleful gaze and searched the shadows about it. The brightness of lights to the south, and the smell of humanity drew him to Wisteria like a magnet. He grinned, a disturbing expression that was all blood and gore stained teeth.

Another side effect of the virus was a forced atavism; a reversion to a more primitive, primate state. Besides the obvious visual deformities his body was undergoing, besides the cannibalistic and homicidal impulses it felt, it also felt the desire to assert itself as an Alpha Male. It felt a need to sow its genetic material, to propogate, to breed. He needed a woman to slake this growing lust that filled him with rage and unrealized aggression.

What he sought lay in the direction of Wisteria.

Pushed by the perversions of the virus, he loped off into the darkness.

*************************************************************************************

The creature was almost mad with lust when it reached the town. The desire to find a woman was almost overwhelming and consumed what small part of its brain that was left. It was late, almost midnight. Wisteria was quiet and slumbered in that early way in which all small towns do. The monster padded past the small post office at the corner of Main and Oak Streets. In its run from the river it had shed its shoes and just as quickly forgotten it had done so. The creatures bare feet slapped on the concrete sidewalk, leaving a trail of bloody footprints from the already decomposing skin on the soles of its feet.

It ran on and stopped at the first house it came to, sniffing the air expectantly. It had caught the scent of a female and it snorted hungrily.

The monstrosity ran across a manicured lawn and around the side of the house, pausing again, searching in the moonlight. It finally found where the scent was coming from. An open window on the second floor, above the porch, beckoned to him. The odor of a fertile, ripe woman poured from the window like water over a dam. He was dizzy with desire, his heightened senses threatening overload at the overwhelmingly close, but still unattainable woman. With a harsh, sobbing moan, it ran to the rear of the house.

Wisteria, as in all small towns, did not believe in locking doors, and the creature that had once been Doctor Walker quietly crept through the house’s open screen door into a darkened kitchen.

Its prey was now within its grasp.

It padded soundlessly across the linoleum kitchen floor and down a hallway courteously lit with night lights. Taking the steps two at a time, it leapt on soundless bare feet to the second floor. The creature paused at the top of the steps, its nostrils flaring. It looked down the hall at a partially opened door, the flicker of candlelight barely visible at the crack. Lust rising in its blood like a drug, the creature reached down, tearing its already shredded clothes from its loins as it stalked towards the bedroom soundlessly. As it reached the door, though, it paused. There was another smell; a smell that had been drowned out by that of the woman.

There was another man in the house!

It knelt, pushing the door open with a hand that was covered in its own dripping blood and it saw them then.

They were on the bed, making love.

Their names were Dan and Kathy Barstow and they were still newlyweds. Dan was on top of her and she was below, and they were both near the peak.

The creature saw this all in an instant and was filled with an unimaginable black rage. Kathy moaned an encouragement to Dan; a low, husky sound of impending pleasure that goaded the monster that watched from the open doorway. The sound pushed the creature over the edge.

“’INE! ‘INE” It roared, its ruined lips now longer able to say the ‘m’ in ‘mine’.

It launched itself onto the bed, catching Dan by surprise. The two rolled off the far side of the bed as Kathy screaming in terror at the creature that could only have come from the darkest, most evil depths of hell.

Screaming inarticulately, the creature landed on top of Dan and began tearing at him and biting him. Dan, still in shock, was unable to mount any kind of defense and screamed in horror at the monster that straddled and assaulted him.
In an instant, the creature bit down on Dan’s throat. Sharp teeth dug in, piercing Dan’s windpipe and carotid artery. There was a gasp of escaping air and the spurting, rhythmic spray of bright pink arterial blood. An arc of blood sprayed the end table and struck one of the candles there, extinguishing it with a hiss. Dan was dead within seconds.

The monster looked up from its victim and looked at Kathy with a lipless and gaping jack-o-lantern grin; Dan’s blood still shiny on its cadaverous face.

With a scream, Kathy turned and ran from the room, skidding on the throw rug in the hall way. The sight of her nakedness was like a cattle prod on the consciousness of the monster and it was after her as if it had been shot from a cannon.

The beast caught her in the hallway, leaping on her back and pounding her to the hardwood floor painfully. It savaged and raped her there, in the darkened hall.

*************************************************************************************

It was sometime later that Kathy awoke to find the creature snoring in exhaustion on top of her. Surprisingly, Kathy Barstow was not dead, even after an eternity of hell, even after the monster had so savagely abused and raped her

Kathy slid out from under its filthy bulk. The only sound in the hallway was the creature’s guttural snoring and the snuffle of Kathy’s breathing as she tried to take in air through her broken, bloody nose. She was dizzy and disoriented from the blows she had received and she felt a burning wetness between her legs. She also felt her insides roll unnaturally. She could tell she was not right internally, and knew she was seriously injured from the beast’s attack. With all of her strength, she pulled herself slowly across the hall floor. She almost screamed with the pain of it and her vision grew fuzzy.

There was something broken inside of her, something seriously wrong. She sobbed and winced, panted and cried at the agony and the hurt she felt, forcing herself to keep crawling. She knew she should have stayed still, and she was certain that her struggle was further ripping the internal injuries that assailed her with wave after wave of pain, but she also knew she had to get away from the thing that had killed Dan and had so badly mauled her.

She had made her way to the top step of the stairs, her broken and leaking body trailing an unbelievably wide path of blood behind her, when the monster awoke. It stopped snoring and abruptly sat up, looking at her with red eyes and an oozing, pus covered face.

Its skin was falling off in wet, dripping sheets. It was like the skin of wax on a recently extinguished candle and, as the creature turned towards her, a piece of its face fell to the floor with a soft, moist plop.

It grinned at her and rolled onto all fours, coming for her again.

It took Kathy Barstow a very long time to die...

*************************************************************************************

To the government’s credit, it only took them a few hours to respond to the alarms Dr. Walker had tripped when he had left the building earlier that night. In conjunction with the CDC, the government agency responsible for Dr. Walker’s research had been prepared for this sort of tragedy and there was a contingency plan already in place.

A coded, encrypted call was made by the CDC director in the field to the commanding officer of a special army unit at Fort Bragg. This military unit was composed of specialists in anti-terrorism - specifically biological terrorism. The members of this team also held the highest possible security clearance that military personnel could hold and were the ultimate ‘problem solvers’. They did work the other elite military areas, like the Navy SEALS or Army Recon, couldn’t legally do.

They were efficient and deadly.

Within an hour of Dr. Walker’s escape, the response team was aboard a specially designed Concorde that was utilized by their unit for just such an emergency. They were briefed about what they were faced with and shown security video of what was left of Doctor Walker as he scurried from his lab, killed and ate the guard, and then boldly walked out of the research facility.

Even as hardened as the soldiers were, the nature of Dr. Walker’s pathogen was difficult to reconcile and even harder to contemplate having to face; but that’s what they were trained to do. They were on the ground with a half an hour of activation and at the CDC facility within another.

The team leader, Captain Christopher Woods, immediately ordered his men to secure the perimeter of the town.

They began hunting.

Quarantine restrictions were established and road blocks were thrown up, sealing the town up. The CDC and Army commandeered the gymnasium at the Rutherford B. Hayes Elementary School and began setting it up as a temporary hospital, and Captain Woods’ men continued the hunt.

They quickly found the course the monster had taken and established with certainty that he was within a one block area. A secondary perimeter was set up and plans were implemented to begin a house to house search. They quickly found the home of Dan and Kathy Barstow. Lieutenant Joe Garcia the team leader, radioed his superior officer.

*************************************************************************************

Woods’ radio squawked in his ear. He was standing at a table in the post office examining a map of the town. He had commandeered the building as his de facto command center.

“Go ahead, Garcia,” he replied.

“I’ve got the trail. Subject has been located, sir.”

Woods sighed, switching his radio so that all of his men could hear him, “Garcia, you and Alpha Team have the ball. Bravo Team, assist Alpha Team if they call for backup. They’ve got a definite ID and will lead the pursuit. Alpha Team, relay your position if it changes.”

“Yes, sir!” his men all responded in unison. They were professionals and, despite the horror they were inevitably going to face tonight, they remained professionals. Woods was proud of them. Garcia and his team moved in for the kill. Woods, meanwhile, jumped into the nearest HMMV and raced to the search perimeter.

*************************************************************************************

The creature returned from the bedroom, where it had been snacking on Dan’s corpse. It wiped a bloody hand across its bloody maw. The monster’s face had mostly sloughed off, leaving glistening muscle and white eyes peering about madly. The effect of this unnatural molting gave the impression that the bottom portion of the creatures face was mostly gore stained teeth. Some unforeseen mutation of the virus was twisting its bones, elongating them. It was a nightmare made real.

It shuffled down the hall towards the woman, but wrinkled its nose at her. She was quite dead and cold, her limbs twisted in the beginning throes of rigor mortis. It pushed her belly with a sharp finger, piercing the skin there. The lust was coming upon it again and it needed to find another woman. The creature knelt and licked some coagulating blood from Cathy’s navel, snorting and grimacing at the coldness of it. It was time to hunt again.

Suddenly it heard a sound downstairs.

*************************************************************************************

Slowly, Garcia and Rogers entered the house, their breathing sounding harsh and strident in the enclosed space of their helmets. Close behind, covering the insertion, were Katz and the team medic, Kosminski.

“Backup teams, close the perimeter up. I don’t want this thing slipping out!” Woods ordered. There were four additional four man teams and they all took up positions at the four corners of the house, watching for any sign of an escape attempt. They were also fastidiously mindful of their crossfire. It wouldn’t do to shoot one another. Woods was getting ready to radio Garcia and ask for a report when the shooting started.

There was the sustained fire of silenced machine guns. Unlike those portrayed in the movies, a silenced gun is only slightly less quiet than a regular gun. The dampening got worse as additional rounds are fired through the silencers until it is as if they are nonexistent. The same went for flash suppressers and, as the shooting went on and on and became louder and louder, the windows were lit by the muzzle flashes of the MP5’s.

*************************************************************************************

Within an hour, the CDC had secured the neighborhood and begun the elaborate cover up of the night’s events. After decontamination and an in-field debriefing with the CDC and Woods’ superiors, Woods and his men were ordered to stand down. Woods turned control over to the CDC and he and his men were ordered back to Fort Bragg.

As they boarded the black plane that was to take them home, Woods addressed the men.

“It’s been a hard night, men,” he said over the whine of the plane’s engines as they warmed up, “Although it doesn’t feel like it, we won a battle for the good guys tonight. I’ve got the first round when we get back to base, boys.”

“Hoo-rah!” the men called back, laughing and slapping each other in congratulations. Woods smiled back, recognizing that they were still keyed up from the mission and needed to blow off some steam. In fact, he was pretty sure he himself would need a few drinks to dull the memory of the video tapes and the aftermath of the Doctor’s spree.

Before he sat down, he glanced at Garcia. He saw that his right hand man was not joining in the post-battle celebrations. Lieutenant Garcia was staring out the window, shivering slightly. Woods let it go; believing that Garcia was dealing with what he had had to do that night. He decided to give his lieutenant some room.
That was the biggest mistake he could have made.

*************************************************************************************

Garcia looked out the window, and then looked down at his shaking hands. His skin itched something terrible and his veins seemed to be darker and bluer than normal. He thought it must have been the lighting in the plane. Either way, he didn’t feel well.

Unknown to all of them, Garcia’s bio- suit from earlier in the night had had a bad seam and was not completely airtight. Given the transmission nature of the Walker X virus, that shouldn’t have been a problem. However, Doctor Walker’s true genius lay in the mutability of his work. As the virus had percolated in the late Doctor’s gory, misshapen body; it had changed and gone beyond even its creator’s darkest desires.

It had become airborne.

And Garcia’s faulty hazmat suit had allowed the virus entry.

*************************************************************************************

It took the plane over an hour to reach Fort Bragg in North Carolina. In the hours between Garcia’s initial infection, his subsequent exposure to the team, and the long flight; the entire team had been infected, and began tearing each other to shreds. The pilot and co-pilot themselves were dragged screaming from their seats, torn to pieces and fed upon by what was once the tactical team. The plane, on autopilot, returned to Fort Bragg, but then simply flew in programmed circles.

For several tense hours, the control tower tried to contact the plane, but it would only occasionally get crackling static or the more disturbing sound of snarls and growls and screams. They could do nothing, only watch as the plane circled about the base, waiting for the inevitable. When the unavoidable happened and the plane ran out of gas, it plummeted to the ground carrying its howling, gibbering, deadly cargo.

The crash, unfortunately, did not kill all of the occupants. Two of the former Special Ops team; Garcia, and a corporal named Braddick; crawled from the wreckage just as the Search and Rescue teams arrived. Braddick tried to attack the emergency teams and was just as quickly shot and killed.

Garcia, however, slunk away through tall grass and kudzu covered undergrowth, wincing at the bright searchlights that were even now being poured over the crash sight. Being farther gone, and more driven by the urge to mate, Garcia went seeking a different prey.

His skin had long since fallen off and his bones had warped and twisted so much that he was unrecognizable as anything human. His teeth, had elongated and sharpened and his exposed muscles oozed a constant blood and pus. The virus had so twisted his mind that his thoughts were no longer even thoughts. He was an evil, instinct driven monster that might have crawled from the nearest hell of one’s preferred religion. The blood that oozed off of him, like his entire body, teamed with the Walker X virus. His very breath was an invisible, steamy cloud of pathogens and infection.

None of this mattered to the creature that was once Garcia. All it cared about was the smell of women that arose from the town before it.

He loped into the town, infection following behind him like some dark, evil cape.

*************************************************************************************

As the dawn of September 18th rose over the town of some 15,000 people, the infection caught and spread. Those who weren’t killed or eaten were themselves infected. The horrifying work of Doctor Byron Walker spread across the countryside like a cancer, growing and metastasizing.

A police officer, who had killed a disease victim on his front lawn, passed the infection to several people he later stopped at a CDC roadblock.

Those people drove on, infecting several others at a rest area.

Those people took the infection with them on the road.

Soon, two towns were infected, then three, and then counties, and then entire states.

A businessman, having drank infected water, boarded a plane to Germany. The plane, like the military transport that had killed Captain Woods’ team, crash-landed outside of Berlin.

The infection then began its march across Europe.

It all happened so quickly that no medical, law enforcement, or government agency could move quick enough to stop it. There efforts to do so were as ineffectual as shouting into the swirling, black winds of chaos.


And so began the end of the world...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Movie Review - 28 Weeks Later (2007)



This by the numbers sequel to Danny Boyle’s genre reinvigorating outing, 28 Days Later, is a mix of good and bad. I found myself delighted with some scenes, and completely disappointed with others. Whereas conflicting emotions or impressions are something to be strived for in the case of some films; cinematic schizophrenia – as is the case here - is not.

And that’s how I felt watching this. It felt like I was watching two movies, neither of which the director could decide on – so he just did both.

The plot revolves around the – obvious – 28 weeks after the Rage Virus has been unleashed on an unsuspecting England. Within a few weeks of the initial outbreak all of the infected have died of starvation, and the US military has moved in at the behest of the UN to restore order and begin the resettlement of England.

The actual film starts during the initial Rage infection with the characters of Alice and Donald Harris(played by Catherine McCormack and the always kick ass Robert Carlyle).They are holed up in a farmhouse in the English countryside with other survivors, trying to survive in a world gone mad. Their refuge is compromised, however, by the appearance of a small boy who brings with him scores of raving, psychotic, Rage-infected cannibals. In a heart-wrenching scene, Donald runs in terror, leaving his wife to die at the hands of the infected.

The film fast-forwards to the return to England of Donald’s children, Tammy and Andy (played by Imogen Poots and Mackintosh Muggleton. And yes. I’m serious. Those are their names. Seriously.). During the initial outbreak, they had been on a class trip to the continent and now are returning to find their father in charge of maintenance at the secure base where the US Army has started to settle the survivors. Donald lies to them, telling them that their mother is dead and that he could do nothing to save her.

In a strange turn of events, their mother is not dead. She is found and, due to a strange genetic anomaly shared by her son, she has been infected - but not afflicted - by the virus. She is a carrier and it is only a matter of time before the virus is re-released and the terror starts all over again.

When I’d said I had conflicting feelings about this film, it’s important to realize how much I enjoyed 28 Days Later. Danny Boyle’s original movie was an instant zombie classic and it was largely responsible for the resurgence in popularity of zombie films in the early part of the decade. It showed studios that zombies were a viable moneymaker and, as a result, Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead (2004) was green lighted. In fact, if not for 28 Days Later, the great George Romero would not have been given the go ahead for Land of the Dead. So, with that being said, it’s important to look at 28 Days Later in the context of what it was responsible for.

In addition to that, it was just a great concept.

I am not a zombie purist. I don’t believe that all zombies should be shambling, mindless shells. 28 Days Later showed how absolutely scary running zombies could be. (And yes – I know that the infected in these movies weren’t zombies. And yes I know they were alive, so you can shut the fuck up. They were zombies, just not like we were used to seeing. Look at it in the context of what they did FOR zombie flicks.) The Night of the Living Dead 1990 version illustrated how slow, shambling zombies weren’t as much of a challenge to evade.

Running, unstoppable zombies – now that’s some scary shit!

Additionally, the best part about the Rage Virus was that it lent some actual reality to the genre. The dead coming back from the deadbecause of voodoo, contamination by particles from space, or a cracked container of Trioxin are completely fictional. A virus that drives people insane, cannibalistic, and fills them with unimaginable rage is different. That’s something that could be sitting in some government lab right now! Chilling and creepy!

And it is all of these things, when combined with the precedent set by 28 Days Later, that makes 28 Weeks Later a lesser film. 28 Days Later gave a glimpse into how unadulterated rage impacts a country that is, culturally, very reserved. And not that I’m trying to paint Brits with a large, stereotypical brush; but the loss of control the Rage virus represented was anathema to English emotional reserve. And Boyle showed that with the despair his characters felt.

Not so in this film.

28 Weeks Later is, at its heart, an action film that just happens to take place in London. When you take a country that has little – if any – personal gun ownership, and drop in US Special Forces with AR15’s, 1911’s, and Chey-tac .50 caliber sniper rifles; you lose some of the impact.

Also, the original had an intellectual quality to it that touched on things like animal rights, the social implications of a catastrophe on a national psyche, and the existential meaning of being human; this movie was all about waiting for the next trite action sequence, or thinly veiled swipe at the US military and the current state of US foreign policy (which I’m okay with to some extent. Quite honestly, we’ve gotten ourselves into our current political and military shitstorm, so it's our own fault. Just don’t beat me over the head with it.)

Oddly enough, I felt that I’d seen this film before. And that is because it had many of the same anti-government, anti-military themes we’ve seen a hundred times before. The closest amalgam to this I can think of would be George Romero’s little known film, The Crazies. In fact, 28 Weeks Later was close enough to Romero’s film in plot, story, and social commentary regarding the military/industrial complex that I would be willing to lay money that director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo had to have watched it prior to filming this.

So, what were the bright spots in this film? The brightest was Robert Carlyle, who has yet to disappoint me in any role he’s taken. The terrifying opening scene where he is forced to leave his wife, and then runs in utter horror and panic from the overwhelming onslaughts of Ragers was absolutely brilliant. This opening scene was so well done in fact, that the rest of the movie could only try – and fail miserably– to live up to it. What I enjoy about any Robert Carlyle performance is the expressiveness of his eyes. No other actor out there can convey so much horror, anger, pain, or despair with only their eyes. And his character Donald is a study in guilt and sorrow.

Additionally, the scenes where the Army gasses the streets of London where beautifully rendered, but they too were not as effective as the original films scenes of a deserted London, or horses running in a field.

So, in the final analysis, it’s unfair to say that I didn’t enjoy the movie. But, much like I said the other day when looking at the Resident Evil series, the horror of this film took a back seat to the action. In that respect, and looking at it as an action film, I enjoyed the movie. But the sequel pales in comparison to its predecessor and doesn’t really add to the story, which is what I was looking for it to do. As is so unfortunately common, it had the feel of a big studio sequel that ignored what made the independent original so great. It lacked a compelling story and what little story there was dwarfed by the need to get to the action and let the infection spread again. It became less about the human qualities of the characters and more about the really cool CGI effects.

Sadly, I will probably not own this. There is little, if any, reason to motivate me to purchase a inferior sequel that even a director’s cut can’t fix. Perhaps if Boyle had taken the reigns instead of simply producing, it would have been a better movie… but sadly that didn’t happen.

And that kind of sucks…

So, skip it at the theater (if its still there…) and wait for a DVD rental. You’ll watch it once, say, “Meh. It was okay,” and then just as quickly forget about it.

Doctor Zombie’s Rating: 2 out of 5 Chomped Brains!!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Some great movie news!

Some quick news that I had to get up and on the site for all of my fellow horror fiends!

Doctor Creepy over at Dread Central just broke the news that Guillermo Del Toro is moving ahead with his version of HP Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness!!! I absolutely love all of Del Toro's work and - if there's any director out there today I could pick to do a Lovecraft adaptation - Guillermo's the hombre!

There have been so many attempts to capture Lovecraft's genius on celluloid over the years - and where only a few have actually succeeded (Yuzna's Reanimator, From Beyond, and the incomparable Dagon) - most have been downright abortive in their efforts. Del Toro though is the first director to actually make me feel as though it could be done. I've referred to it before, but I think that scene at the end of Hellboy - when the ultimate evil descends upon earth from the cold wastes of space - encapsulates all that is Lovecraftian. When I saw Hellboy for the first time, I squealed in geekish joy at the horror that Del Toro created and I knew that - someday - he'd get the opportunity to do a full Lovecraft adaptation. And that day has come. Del Toro gets it and if I didn't know better, I'd say he spent some part of his young adult life as I did - sitting in a dark and candlelit room, eating chips, role playing Call of Cthulhu, and battling the insane minions of the Elder Gods and the Great Old Ones.

Combine his ability to capture the sheer, sanity-shattering horror of the Cthulhu mythos with his breathtaking ability to film the surreal and beautiful (as he did in Pan's Labrynth) - and you've got a sure thing, my fellow gorehounds. I'm all twittery and giggly thinking about it!

And - if you have no idea what I'm talking about here, I command you to go the book store and pick up a copy of HP Lovecraft's short stories (preferably something with the longer novella, At The Mountains of Madness). If you've never experienced the joy and wonder that is Lovecraft, you are in for a treat! I can't make any promises that you won't lose your mind or feel the oppressive horror of a cold night sky - because somewhere out there, in the depths of space and time, are things that are cold and alien. Things that care not one whit for the insignificant race that is man. Things that are the stuff of eldritch evil and that are always, always hungry.

You have been warned...

Also speaking of the master, Lovecraft... a few months back, I won a copy of a DVD from the spooky guys over at Goblinhaus. It was a low budget Biff Juggernaut production called Lovecracked. It was basically a compilation of Lovecraft inspired low budget, indepndent, amateur films. Some were comedy, others were more serious.

They were all bad.

I'd been planning on writing a review of it, but completely forgot to as the low quality and extremely bad scripting/humor of the connecting scenes was cringe-worthy. There are ways to do Lovecraft, and there are ways not to do Lovecraft. And - big hint - if your budget is less than a $1000; stay the fuck away from Lovecraft. Seriously.

Let me sum it up more succintly. To give you an idea of the caliber of this compilation, I've got two words for you

Zombie. Porn.

That's right, there was a porn version of The Reanimator on it called.... wait for it... The Repenetrator. And that was the highlight of the DVD.

Yikes.

So, what else...

Oh yeah - I forgot to mention that, when I saw Zombie's Halloween a few weeks back, there was a trailer for a film adaptation of Stephen King's Mist. This is a story I've been dying to see made into a movie for more than 10 or 15 years. It is one of my favorite Stephen King works and it also has Lovecraftian overtones. King's track record for movie adaptations has been equally as abysmal as that of Lovecraft, with only a few standouts (Kubrick's The Shining, The original Salem's Lot miniseries, The Stand miniseries, and Pet Semtary come to mind). Of course, his non-horror stories have faired much better (The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption), but few have captured the feel of King's work. And don't even get me started on his own, made for television scripts... yeccch!

Please don't let this suck...


Some great movies on the horizon, also...

October 19th is the release of 30 Days of Night. I actually picked up the novel adaptation of this last spring. I grabbed it because it had some really great cover art and I liked the ide a of vampires taking advantage of the extreme northern winter. It reminded me of a great comic I'd read as a child about just that sort of thing. It was in a Tales From the Crypt, or some other similar horror comic that I seemed to live on as a child (which may explain quite a bit about who I am today, but I digress...) It's a brilliant idea - combining the loneliness of Carpenter's The Thing with the blood sucking goodness of nosferatu overcoming their biggest weakness. I've heard some great things about this flick and, hopefully, I'll be catching it soon...

And I'm also slightly embarassed to say I haven't actually caught the new Resident Evil yet. Time has been something of an issue lately and, truth be told, the series has kind of been a let down. Now I'm not saying that I feel the RE movies are bad - quite the opposite, actually. I enjoy them immensely. The reason I enjoy them though is based in the reality that they are primarily action films. The zombies and horror take a backseat to the heavy metal music and Milla Jovovich kicking ass in all of her brain melting sexiness. And I love Milla with all of my undead soul... its just I'd like to see more brain chomping and less tactical weaponry. The RE games rocked because of the horror and the ambience of the locations. RE1 did a good job of capturing some of this - before it devolved into a rock video - and RE2 threw away any pretense of being anything BUT an action film... but I'd still like to see more horror, ya know? So I may try to catch it this weekend.

So much to do...so few places to hide the mutilated bodies. Sigh.