Friday, August 31, 2007

Giddy Like a Schoolgirl!

I'm sneaking out of work in a half hour to go see Rob Zombie's Halloween. Woot!

I watched John Carpenter's original last night, and that helped reassure me that I always have the classic in case Rob totally fucks up.

Please, dear dark, pagan gods! Don't let this suck!

Watch for a review later tonight!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dr. Z's Conveyance of Doom III

I wanted to post a couple of new pictures of my Harley. I just finally swapped out the drag bars for some 12 inch ape hangers (that, plus a 6 inch riser puts the apes at about 18 inches. They sit nice at about shoulder height.)
I also fixed the shifter that I broke about two and a half weeks ago. There were some problems with the new shifter rod fitting the old forward controls, but my friend Chris took the forward control into work and lathed it out to fit the new shifter rod. That, by the way, was a perfect example of my tax dollars at work. He works for NASA, and only charged me $750,000 to fix it. Compared to most government spending, I think I got off pretty cheap!
So I finally rode it and I'm really, really happy with the feel and look of it. The apes fit perfectly and I'm already noticing the difference. You see, besides the fact that apehangers just look bad ass, I was starting to get some wrist pain from the old drag bars. The apes have completely eliminated that and, oddly enough, the apes make the bike just feel bigger.
So - now I'm rolling in style. The only other upgrade I really need/want is a solo seat. Besides giving the Harley an old school bobber look, it'll keep me out of trouble with Mrs. Zombie. If I have a solo seat, the likelihood and possibility of some scooter tramp trying to get a ride is significantly reduced. No sense tempting the gods, or running the risk of pissing off Mrs. Zombie because some skanky barfly hops on for a ride. It also eliminates my having to be a dick and telling the skanks that they're not welcome on Dr. Zombie's Conveyance of Doom.
Enough for now, dear readers. I'm off to go for a ride to my favorite cemetary for a little grave robbing.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dr. Z's Library of Terror!

Often – this blog focuses so much on the visual sort of horror. Movies, and such. One thing to bear in mind is that I am also a writer and, in order to be a good wirter, a writer needs to read. And I read a lot. I often have four or five books going at any time. In fact, Mrs. Zombie honestly considered not marrying me because she was concerned about the inordinate amount of money I spent on books. Fortunately, I wooed her enough to get her to see past any misgivings, and I also got much more sneaky about my book buying behavior (Halfprice books is Doctor Zombie’s friend and book addiction enabler!).

I love movie horror, but – just as much – I love horror writing also.

So, I decided to put together a couple lists of things that I’m currently reading, and current authors I’ve been especially fond of and that I consider great additions to any horror fans personal library. I need to qualify that... my literary tastes change and fluctuate so frequently that this list, unfortunately, has a shelf life of about two or three months. I've tried, however, to include some additions that have staying power, but no promises.

Also, these lists are in no way complete, but they’re a good start…

Essential Authors
HP Lovecraft – The father of modern horror. Lovecraft’s 1920’s and 1930’s pulp horror is absolutely breathtaking in its scope and language. Any horror writer alive today would most likely list Providence RI’s dark son of horror as an influence. Lovecraft encapsulated the paranoia of a world on the cusp of scientific exploration, and melded it with old world horror. He was the first writer to scare the hell out his readers with the idea that there may be Others out there – Others who don’t care about us or our meaningless lives - as well as older, more ancient evils; evils that predate humanity and have haunted our nightmares since our first hairy and barely bipedal forebearers crouched in terror in their caves, trembling at the darkness outside.

Stephen King – I love old Stephen King, before he became a parody of himself. And there are snobs out there who don’t consider what King does literature. (I know. I’ve argued with college English professors about this.) The fact of the matter is, regardless of how many copies he sold, no matter how mainstream is works are, no matter how many movies are made of his work, King is prolific. History will view him as a literary master. He crafts an excellent story and his exposition and dialogue are always tight. His earlier works (Carrie, Cujo, The Shining, The Stand, etc.) are classics of 20th century literature. My first King novel was Salem’s Lot. I was nine or ten when I read it and it scared the ever living crap out of me. Some 25+ years later, I still can’t walk past a window, late at night, without getting a twinge of fear at seeing a small boy floating there with pale skin, sharp canines, and long dirty nails tapping on the panes. “Let me in! Please…let me in.”

Richard Laymon – If you’ve never experienced Laymon, you don’t know what you’re missing. Laymon wrote about thirty books before his death in 2001 from a massive heart attack. What I so love about Laymon is his willingness to show the dark side of humanity. Also, he starts the action of his novels within a page or two of it starting. Unlike King, he just jumps right in and begins the horror show. His mix of wit and terror and raw human sexuality is unique and his death was a loss to the world of horror fiction.

Poppy Z. Brite – Poppy Z. Brite is one of those authors that bends the definition of literary genre. Her early horror works are luscious tales of young gay goth men in the south. Almost like a twisted, pro-gay southern gothic style reminiscent of Tenessee Williams, Poppy populates her stories with vampires, ghosts, and deep southern voodoo. She has a singular vision and is a writer firmly of my own generation that encapsulates the transitional horror of the that liminal period at the end of 20th century. Her horror is visceral, bloody, and always deliciously, decadently sensual.

Chuck Palahniuk – the author of Fight Club has other works out there that are seriously all about the mindfuck. The book that sold me on his genius, though, was Haunted. I bought this because I’d heard – anecdotally – that one of the stories in it had actually caused several people to faint at his readings and signings because it was so ghastly. My first, highly cynical thought was that it was just a ploy by his publisher to sell books. And then I read the story. Called “Guts”, this story was terrifying, creepy, and altogether emotionally disturbing. As I was reading it, I got light-headed and started to get a little dizzy. The rest of the novel is a rollercoaster of chilling vignettes. Palahniuk is a genius of going to the edge of sanity and blithely dancing across the line to the deeper, darker recesses of the human mind.

Honorable mentions…
Dean Koontz – I read Koontz and think two things. 1) Sheer genius! and, 2) I so could have written this! (But probably not as well. Dammit.)
Brian Keene – Keene is re-imagining the zombie genre. A bit dark and pessimistic, it’s always a joy to read about some flesh-eating zombie goodness.
Edward Lee – A new writer who’s work focuses on the Mephistopholis – the city that spreads like a throbbing, pulsing, malignant cancerous growth over Hell. Very imaginative and great characters.
Neil Gaiman – Not necessarily horror, but awesome fantasy. Gaiman has a flare for imagining new worlds that live at the very periphery of ours, sort of a tamer version of…
Clive Barker – Man, back in the day Clive was a fucking genius! He hasn’t really done much lately that is truly horrific, but when he does he goes full balls out. Reading Clive is like taking a roadtrip into madness.
Max Brooks – Of course, the author of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Again – a reinvigorating shot in the arm of the zombie genre…

Doctor Zombie’s Current Reading List
Richard Laymon – Among the Missing
- Fantastic. Classic Laymon. I’m slowly working my way through all of Laymon’s books (I just discovered him last year) and have yet to be disappointed.

Dean Koontz – Forever Odd
The second in Dean Koontz’ newest series features a young man named Odd Thomas who speaks to the dead. I should finish this in the next day or so and then begin begging Mrs. Zombie for the money to buy the newest in the series – Brother Odd.

Slavomir Rawicz – The Long Walk
A re-read. I go back to this book every 6 months or so. It’s an incredible story. The book was written because a journalist went to England to interview to an old man who had supposedly seen a yeti in the Himalayas in 1940. It was basically a puff piece. When the journalist asked why the man was in the Himalayas, the funny piece about the Abominable Snowman was dwarfed by Rawicz’ story. Rawicz was a Polish officer captured by the Russians in 1939, he escaped a Siberian gulag and WALKED 4,000 miles to India. He walked OVER the Himalayas. He walked THROUGH the Gobi desert. He transversed the ENTIRE Asian continent. A story of incredible human endurance and perseverence – this book is just inspirational.

Donald Tyson - Necronomicon: The Wanderings of Alhazrad.
A beautifully twisted fictionalized translation of the necronomicon. Tyson fully captures the evil, degenerate evilness of the mad arab, Abdul Alhazrad.

Matthew Reilly – Scarecrow
A guilty pleasure, this is the third in a military action thriller series about a special forces soldier with the code name of Scarecrow. Simplistic, unrealistic, tactically ridiculous, and action-oriented, it’s still a good read and I like the characters.

Now - away with you! I just got a line on a copy of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, bound in human flesh. Some guy named Ash has a copy he's willing to sell for a six pack of beer, some chainsaw bar oil, and a a box of shotgun shells...

Friday, August 17, 2007

My First Crazy Stalker!

So - two days ago I got a crazy comment from an anonymous poster on my Caffeine, Star trek, and Mullets post.

I was intrigued by the poster's apparent paranoid schizophrenia, so I decided not to delete the comment. I figured I'd just relish this rare view into the inner workings of a deranged mind.

The thing is, I'm still intrigued a day later - so I did a little Googling of some of Anon's crazy chatter and it looks like he's been dumping his evil goo all over Blogger, Wordpress, and other assorted blogging sites for months. It's all the same basic rant, just added on to. Apparently I have the latest, most recently updated incarnation. He's apparently been busy writing more of his racist, anti-religious, paranoid, incomprehensible gibberish - at least when he's NOT fighting off the hungry, human-sized lizards that have been hunting him with a marlin spike.

He did leave an email address:

I am so tempted to write him and ask if he's really as batty as he sounds or if all of this spamming is just some sort of social internet experiment or performance art. Maybe if I get a disposable email I'll do it. I may even pretend to be an adherent to the wisdom he's spreading. Tell him I grok it, I dig it. But not with my regular email. Nuh-uh. No way.

Oooo... but I'm so fascinated with this craziness!



All right, so I've broken down and sent him an email. I actually just recently changed my email provider and my old account is still open - but it will be closed in a few weeks (or whenever this months payment runs out...), so I figured, "what the hell, what can it hurt?".

So what if he inundates my inbox with more psychobabble? I'm getting rid of the account anyway. I've put on my tin foil hat and set myself to baiting the loony, stalker.

The thing is, I feel sorry for the pychopaths. There is a poingnant sadness to the incessant ravings, heeding of voices, and visions of crawling bugs and snakes all over one's body. Whereas I am simply an amoral, murderous, sociopath - I at least have full control over my faculties and can live a normal appearing life. I bet this guy lives in mom's basement, makes "meeping" noises in public, unconsciously pulls his ratty, unwashed hair, and has written gibberish equations explaining God's existence all over the walls of his "secure hideout".

Poor, unfortunate nutjob... now he's got the attention of Doctor Zombie. I expect things won't go well for him...


Even Later Still...

So I held off on actually posting this because I didn't want to scare off Mr. WhackoPants.

Unfortunately, my email was bounced back as "no such email". I guess the mystery ends here, in a dead end...

Too bad that. This guy seemed genuinely and completely monkey shit crazy . Oh well. I'll periodically be checking back on him through Google to see if I can get more information on him as his "manifesto" evolves...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Autumn Of The Living Dead!

So - some great flicks coming out soon. The first is, of course Rob Zombie's Halloween on August 31st. I'm leery about a remake of what, in my opinion, is one of the greatest horror movies of all time. The dark gods know that they did a down right shitty job with the sequels - much less a remake. But - it's directed by Rob Zombie, and I think he's got a great artistic vision. I'm biased because he's probably one of my favorite artists in general, but I have high expectations for this. Hope I'm not disappointed.

Also up, and with more of the actual lip-smacking, flesh eating, beating-on-the-doors-because-they-want-your-brains! zombie goodness, we have the latest Resident Evil incarnation coming out on September 21st. Resident Evil: Extinction looks good and, although the zombies take the back seat to the character of Alice, they're still there and I think this series has done a good job of keeping zombies at the forefront of the horror consciousness. The prior two were (in my not so humble opinion) one of the rare instances where a movie surpassed the game it was based on and - unlike any of the bloody abortions that Uwe Boll directs - actually succeeded in the crossover to the silver screen as a successful stand alone story. Let's hope I'm not disappointed. (Although I expect that there will be additional luscious nakedness by Milla Jovovich. I am powerless when faced with the hotness of Milla... dear sweet Milla. Naked Milla is a win all around and will guarantee at least three stars when I review it...) Too bad they never got around to making George Romero's version of Resident Evil...

Speaking of the god that is George Romero - production has wrapped on his fifth living dead film and we're starting to see some leaked photos on the internet. Diary of the Dead is set to make its premiere at the Toronto Film Fest on September 8th and is a throwback to the renegade, independent films that so endeared fans to Romero's original works. No big budget, studio produced, fucked with and watered down zombie flick this. It goes back to what made George the household (or at least MY household) name that he is today. This one's got my cold, undead nether bits twitching in anticipation, dear readers!

Speaking of the Romero's seminal work - the remake of his classic Night of the Living Dead will be available on DVD from Lionsgate films on October 9th. This reworked 3D version (That's right! I said 3D, mother fuckers! Woot!!!) stars Sid "Captain Spaulding" Haig and, truthfully has me really, really intrigued. I'll of course be purchasing a copy on October 10th...

So - I'll be spending a great deal of time this upcoming fall indulging in that which makes me so happy - zombie films! I will of course be watching the flicks and running home to write reviews for the site, so make sure you check back. And, if anybody in Ohio wants to go see some zombie carnage with the good Doctor, drop me an email at doctorzombie-AT-oh-dot-rr-dot-com. (hit the clicky up top and to the right!) I'll be happy to see it with you because that just means I don't need to sneak snacks into the movie. I'll have your brains to munch on!!!

Caffeine, Star Trek, and Mullets!

I’ve got some tasty links for you! I just pulled them off of the barbeque where I was also grilling up a nice piece of college coed. Mmmm… meat….

I’ve admitted before how much of a geek I am. To the eternal dismay of Mrs. Zombie, I’m always going on about Star Trek, Star Wars, vampires, zombies, The Simpsons, roleplaying, or some other thing that would have made her serious doubt the wisdom of marrying me had she known about it beforehand. Well... that and how much I fart. I hid that so well that she is still amazed that I didn’t internally combust at anytime while we were dating. But I digress…

Besides being a geek, I’m unrepentant about it and KNOW that I’m a geek. I have no problem laughing at myself. That’s why I found this link listing Ten Things I Hate About Star Trek so damned funny…

In that same vein, I found this article about a mathemetician and philosopher who’s proved – mathematically – that we may actually be SIM–like denizens of some future human's computers. While it’s not so cool as being Neo and waking up in a vat of pink goo to a world darkened by a human/machine war – it’s still kind of chilling. I actually got goosebumps reading this and have been unable to stop thinking about it all morning.

This dumb chick OD’d on caffeine. This struck me as really, really fucking funny. We often joke that my brother Phil can drive drunk better than he can drive sober – but never, EVER let him have coffee. He doesn’t normally drink caffeine in any form, but the two or three times he has, he’s had accidents. It’s like the caffeine messes with his reflexes and hand eye coordination. Along the same lines, my other brother Aron actually had to go to the hospital when he was in Med School. He was popping No-Doz and had been up for like four days straight. He started to get irregular heart rhythm. That caffeine’s some hardcore shit – and I can’t personally live without it. Addiction’s a terrible thing, man…

Diamond Dave is back! Woot! I think I might go see this show. One of my dirty little secrets is that I love Van Halen. (Excuse me while I wax all Joe Dirt, “None of that Van Hagar shit! They weren’t no Van Halen with that Hagar dude!”). I actually saw David Lee Roth a couple years back. My sister had won tickets and Mrs. Zombie and I went with her and my brother-in-law. It was a small venue (of course!) and it was just pure fried cheese. Dave’s still running around in his spandex jump suit, still doing karate kicks and spinning the mike stand like he’s fighting off the forces of bad rock, and is still convinced that every girl there wants his old, wrinkled, bald ass. He still thinks it’s 1985 and he’s still the greatest rocker alive! What’s really funny is that our seats were off to the side a little bit and we could actually see behind the stage. What Dave’d do is he’d sing a song and then have his guitarist launch into a really, really long guitar solo. Dave, who’d been dancing and swirling like a Geriatric Ninja Turtle, would run back stage where an assistant would be waiting. Dave then would bend over, gasping for air as he downed a beer and smoked a cigarette until his pacemaker got his heart back into a regular rhythm. God – getting old sucks! I’ll still see this show though, and I may try to track down a mullet wig for it. Van Halen Rocks!

Check it out! I found a website for a local guy who’s into making movies and also checking out our local paranormal scene. It's called Creepy Cleveland. I was actually looking into some local haunted areas in preparation for some Halloween shenanigans. (And – it goes without saying – Halloween is Doctor Zombie’s favorite holiday!) when I ran into his site. I’ve added him to my blogroll. Check out his blog and also the site for his movie work. Maybe I can convince him to have a Doctor Zombie cameo in an upcoming project? Probably not, but even undead evil scientists can dream, can’t they?!? Interesting side note, his latest update is about the Franklin Castle. It’s a local haunted castle that’s actually owned by a friend of mine named Michelle. I went to college with her and my brother Richie dated her best friend, Becky, for a little bit. We actually had a great Halloween party there a few years back - before it was set afire by a crazy homeless guy. Very cool, very creepy!

And – finally – another celebrity blog. This time it’s Bear Grylls. I love his show Man vs. Wild, although, as an experienced outdoorsman with some survival training, I would never do half the stuff he does. In a survival situation, one shouldn’t take the chances he does. But, it’s good entertainment and he’s an extreme adventurer. And all this bullshit about his having faked some of the stuff on his shows? I’m really sort of “meh” about it. The guy is hard core and has proven that he’s hard core. He’s summitted Everest, he’s sailed across the Arctic Ocean, he broke his back doing a parachute jump while serving in the British SAS. The guy’s got the credibility. So he may have fudged a little bit in the best interest of entertainment. Who cares. He’s still a bad ass.

Now – back to my grilling of human flesh. Where’d I put that barbeque sauce?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lissen Up, Ya Primitive Screwheads...

what OTHER B-movie Badass would Doctor Zombie be?!?!

Which B-Movie Badass Are You?

Gimme some sugar baby.
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sometimes, you're Curly...

...and all happy and "nyuk, nyuk, nyuk".

Other days you're like Moe and want to give the world an eye poke.

Today's a Moe day.

So I go to pull out my Harley last night to head over to my buddy Snake's chopper shop. I go to kick my shifter into first gear and - "snap!* - my whole shifter pops off. Turns out the shaft sheared inside the shifter lever. $39.99 to get a new gods-damned one and no riding the Harley until I get a new one. Which I can't frelling afford right now because I just spent about $400 switching the handlebars on the Harley over to frelling ape hangers.

Then, I go to leave for work this morning, and forget my lunch. I'm busy as hell as it is, so it's a colossal pain in my nuts to leave work, drive home, get my lunch, and come back within an hour. But I do it anyway and, don't you know, the Dogs of the Living Dead got into the kitchen, ravaged the wife's tupperware, and feasted upon MY lunch of Chicken Parmesan and salad. Stupid, fat ass dogs. Useless flea bags! Mangy mongrels!

On the way BACK into work, I run out of gas. While I'm there, at the side of the road, cursing my Jeep in the most uncivil and foul language I can use; a Willoughby Hills police officer stops by.

"Problem?" he asks.

"Ran out of gas." I mutter darkly.

"There's a gas station a half mile up Route 6. Make sure you push it to the side of the road." he says, as he pulls away.

"Thanks, fucker," I yell as he disappears into the distance.

So I manage to get the Jeep started up and chug it the half mile up Route 6, coasting into the gas station. As I'm filling it, the cop cames back by, giving me a thumbs up. I glare at him and give him my own thumbs up, but with a different finger.

To protect and serve my undead ass.

I wonder what else the dark, Pagan gods have in store for me today...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Movie Review - The Descent (2005)

I’d heard good things about this movie from various sources, and had been meaning to see it for a while. So – a month or so ago, I finally got around to renting it.

All I can say is…wow!

This is a movie about a group of extremely athletic female friends who, once a year, get together to do an adventure vacation. The movie starts with them just finishing a rafting trip in Europe. As they leave, the protagonist Sarah (played by Shauna McDonald) gets into a car with her husband and daughter and, as they are driving up a winding mountain road have an accident with a truck. Sarah’s husband and young daughter are killed.

Fast forward to one year later and the girls have gotten together again. This time, one of the other characters, a woman named Juno (played by Natalie Mendoza), has arranged for the girls to go caving in North Carolina. Sarah is regretting coming, as she is still grieving, but has come because Juno has insisted. There is some underlying tension between Sarah and Juno (the reason why being revealed later), but it is largely because they were once so close. Compounding this, Sarah doesn’t so much care for these trips anymore, in her grief having realized that there are more important things. Juno senses this ambivalence and doesn’t quite understand it as she is still very much about adventuring.

So Sarah, Juno, and a group of 6 other girls head into a cave in the backwoods of North Carolina. Tension mounts as a cave-in seals the exit and the girls are forced to go deeper and deeper into the caverns in an attempt to find a way out. After the cave-in, it’s also revealed that Juno, in her continual strive to push things to the extreme, has taken them into an unexplored, unmapped cave. Essentially, they don’t know if there’s an exit – they only know that they are trapped. As if being trapped isn’t enough, they learn that they are definitely not alone in the cave.

They quickly discover that the caverns are inhabited by murderous, blind, mutated, human-like creatures with a taste for X-Games-type hotties.

This was a damn good movie. One of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a while that is pure horror. What works so well is the sense of claustrophobia that Director Neil Marshall maintains throughout the movie. Other movies have tried, but failed miserably, to give the sense of being trapped underground. The Cave, with Cole Hauser, comes to mind. Where The Cave failed, and The Descent excels – is in the tight, coffin-like feel of the passages coupled with the effective use of darkness. Where The Cave relies on beautiful, preternaturally lit grottoes and cavernous underground lakes… The Descent revels in constricting, breathtaking, what-the-fuck-is-that-outside-of-the-flashlight’s-range terror.

For instance, right before the cave-in, one of the characters get stuck in a crevasse and the terror she feels at being trapped under miles of rock is palpable. As a viewer, it is actually squirm inducing. I love when a movie can actually make me empathetically feel the horror of one of the characters. It was reminiscent, but somehow worse, then the buried alive scene from Kill Bill Vol. II.

And Neil Marshall is a great director. He’s responsible for one of my all time favorite werewolf movies, Dog Soldiers. There, as well as here, he manages to get under the viewers skin and dig out chunks of viscera with his unique vision.

The creatures themselves are scary and are good for some well placed and (gratefully) not cheap and gratuitous jump startles. The true hallmark of a good horror movie, and one of the things that Doctor Zombie loves to the depths of his cold, undead heart, is when a movie surprises me and gets my ticker going. A good jump startle should not be telegraphed. As a lover of all things horror, I’ve become inured to many horror movies. If you’ve seen enough of them, you can mentally say to yourself, “Fuck. Here comes the part where the cat jumps out of the closet. Sigh.”

God how I hate that.

This movie, however, doesn’t telegraph the terror and it’s this sort of true sinister filmmaking that so wooed me. There’s a scene where one of the women is looking through a night vision camcorder and we get our first introduction to the CHUDS. This scene, besides being filmed beautifully, actually made the Doctor startle and squeak. That was, of course, quickly followed by a giggle as I was so tickled by being scared. I’ve become numb to many horror flicks and being startled happens so seldom nowadays that it makes me giddy like a schoolgirl when it does happen.

What’s more, the ending is – quite possibly – one of the most beautifully haunting and horrifically memorable endings of a horror movie I’ve seen in quite some time.

At its heart, this movie is about a group of women trying to survive. I’d heard beforehand that it was a cool statement on “Girl Power” and this quite honestly sort of steered me away from it. I thought that it was going to be another unrealistic action flick where the characters rig up air tanks to make flamethrowers and use piton guns to fight off the evil monsters in some heroic, and cringe-worthy Uwe Boll showdown. This movie is – fortunately – so much more than that. In fact, it isn’t like that at all. It is a claustrophobic, deliciously chilling horror movie about a group of girls in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with no fucking way out. On top of that, each character is developed and Neil Marshall gives you a reason to care about their being eaten alive by pasty, inhuman, grotesque, cannibalistic monsters.

Final word? This movie is on the Doctor’s must own list and is highly recommended if you’re looking for a well crafted, emotional, smart horror film. Turn off the lights, cuddle up on the couch, and enjoy! It’s well worth the rental!

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

Movie Review - Slither (2006)

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely loved this movie.

I wanted to get that out of the way beforehand as I want to make it clear how biased this movie review is going to be. Slither is,without a doubt, one of the best horror movies of 2006.

This movie has it all, friends. It’s got alien invasions. It’s got zombies. It’s got blood, gore, and a partially nude chick in a bath tub. During a crucial love scene, it’s got Air Supply. Air-fucking-Supply! How do you beat that?

The movie tells the story of a small town invaded by an alien one quiet, summer night. The main characters are Bill Pardy (played by Nathan Fillion), Elizabeth Grant (played by the very hot Elizabeth Banks), Grant Grant (played by the incomparable Michael Rooker), Kylie (by the equally hot Tania Saulnier),and an outstanding cast of supporting characters. Bill Pardy’s the sheriff of the small town who’s never quite got over losing the love of his life, Elizabeth, to local rich guy, Grant Grant. Grant, on the other hand, doesn’t realize how good he’s got it. He’s out in the woods, trying to get some extra-marital nookie with local girl Brenda (Brenda James) when he runs into a meteor and its deadly occupant.

Grant is infected by an alien who hops from planet to planet, conquering and eating every living thing on it before moving on to another planet. Cue the madness as Michael Rooker spends the majority of the film chewing up the scenery (and a big chunk of the small town) as he changes into a slimy, octopoid creature. He infects Brenda with his evil, alien seed and she balloons up as big as a house with the wriggling, wormlike progeny of the alien. These little slugs then attack the town, forcefully squishing their way into people's mouths - where they turn their hapless victims into shambling, murderous zombies.

Dear dark gods… can this movie rock anymore?!?

This film excels in so many ways it’s actually hard to pinpoint what makes it so great. The special effects were super. In a world where every gods damned movie you see is nothing but CGI, there was some refreshing mechanical and makeup creature effects. The CGI that there was, was well done and melded seamlessly with the action. The gore effects were a slice of fried gold, friends.

The true winner here, though, was the script. Writer and Director James Gunn showed true genius in crafting a script that, while faithful to the conventions of a horror movie, also maintained a razor-like balance of humor throughout. Gunn hails from a respectable horror heritage that includes work with the Troma company, as well as having written the Dawn of the Dead (2004) script, and you can tell that he loves horror like we all do. He’s a fan, and he’s living the dream. And Slither is, without a doubt, his greatest accomplishment to date.

The best scripts in the world are as only as good as the actors who bring it to life, though. Imagine, for instance, that George Lucas has passed on Sir Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars trilogy. Say, instead, that he chose Jerry Lewis. Think about that for a minute and send me hate mail later for putting that image in your head. (“Glaa-Aa! I just felt a great disturbance in the Fo-Orce! Lay-ay-dy!”)

That said, I think Gunn made the perfect casting choice with Nathan Fillion. I have to admit that I’m a big fan of Nathan Fillion. He’s the reason I love Firefly and Serenity so much. (Well, him and the character Jane. You gotta love gorram Jane!). I’ve actually been a fan of all of the work I’ve seen him do. From Two Guys, A Girl, And A Pizza Place to his turn as the evil preacher in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And the thing that makes me like him so much is that he has a way of delivering a line that imbues levels of humor, believability, and Everyman-ness that appeals to me. And he’s found the perfect vehicle for this in the character of Bill Pardy.

(Over on Phronk’s site – I saw a news posting that Joss Whedon may consider a Serenity II if the special DVD of Serenity I does well at Christmas. Whether this is true - or a ploy to increase DVD sales via Browncoats{Firefly/Serenity fans} - I admit I’m a little giddy at the thought! I love Serenity!)

This movie, besides being a great gore fest, is a laugh riot and has some of the funniest lines ever committed to paper. And Nathan Fillion and Micheal Rooker both breathe so much life and humor into their characters. I’d be remiss in not mentioning another great character who comes close to stealing every scene he’s in. Greg Henry, who’s made a career out of playing slimy, weasel-y, dirt bags outdoes himself with his portrayal of Mayor Jack MacReady. He’s an unapologetic and selfish prick who could care less that his ambition and own self interest outweighs any altruism or sense of public service.

This movie, besides being fun to watch, also gives one the sense that it was a blast to make it. Every actor enjoys their parts and Gunn gave them license to let go and just enjoy the hell out of it.

So, in the final analysis, I’d say that – with no doubt – this is essential horror viewing dear readers. Zombies, aliens, various oozing and exploding body parts, humor, horror all commingled to make this – as I said before – one of the best horror films to come out in years. Go. Go now! Go rent the DVD and revel in the unabashed splatter fest that this movie is.

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