Book: Autumn by David Moody

I actually got an advance copy of David Moody‘s Autumn. But, I guess I can’t really brag about that when it took me a few months to post something about it. I’m lazy. We all know it. Let’s move on. I was pretty excited to start this new David Moody adventure because I really enjoyed Dog Blood.

Like Dog Blood, Autumn was a really quick read. You could easily finish it in a day and you will probably want to. However, also like Dog Blood it feels more like a TV show pilot than something meant to stand on its own. It’s definitely a unique take on the classic zombie apocalypse (for example, I don’t believe the word “zombie” ever makes an appearance in the book), but when you finish the book you feel like you just got through setting up all of the characters and the story. Autumn is definitely going to be the start of a series, and I’m sure I’ll give the next book in the series a read. But, I’m hoping that the second installment brings more.

Autumn was sort of like Back to the Future 2. You finish it and then you are sort of unfulfilled because the story never really resolved. You know there is going to be a “part 3”. Hopefully the “Back to the Future 3” equivalent of Autumn won’t have anything to do with the Wild West though. I’m crossing my fingers.

Un-review: Diary of the Dead

So, I guess it’s officially happened.  When I started this page (back in 1996) I would watch any post-apocalyptic movie, at any time, for any reason.  That’s an easy mission to complete when your life otherwise consists of PBR, insanely loud rock music and ditching class.  Apparently, I’ve hit the freaking wall.  And that wall is called… OLDNESS.

I say that because anymore it might be several weeks before I watch ANY movie, let alone something post-apocalyptic.  A foxy wife, two kids, two businesses, a rock band, etc, etc, really takes it’s toll on a guy.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but it does cut into my cinema time.  Well anyway, it turned out that tonight had potential to be a movie night.  The kids were already asleep and it was only 8pm.  Hell’s yeah, right?!

So, I started a few movies and stopped them right away for various reasons.

  1. This movie has subtitles, my wife is working on her computer and watching movies (somehow) so subtitles aren’t going to work… moving on
  2. Another movie looked to be some sort of kung-fu action, also seemed like a hard sell to said foxy wife.
  3. More subtitles?!  Seriously, do I have any non-foreign movies?

Then I stumbled on Diary of the Dead.  Instantly I was stoked because it’s very rarely that we can watch a post-apocalyptic movie that I haven’t seen already that is also a major production (that is to say, filmed after 1990 somewhere besides Italy).  I started the movie and was encouraged by the opening scene.  Then there was this 20-something person doing a voiceover about uploading video and true stories and other nonsense.

That’s when I realized that, in some sort of evil Reese’s Peanut Butter cup moment, someone got shitty reality TV in my horror movie.  Yup, the ole movie inside the movie gag.  Ugh.  I let it roll until they got the point where they were literally filming a horror movie inside of the movie inside of the horror movie I was supposed to be watching (about 6 minutes in, I think?) and then I turned it off.

That’s right.  I turned it off.

Why?  Frankly, my freaking life is too damn busy to watch shitty movies.  I have hit the wall.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still all over B-movies.  In fact, I just watched Infestation (I’ll write something about it soon) and I enjoyed it.  So, it doesn’t take top notch production or story to keep me going.  But, if you have fucking millions of dollars and your name is already famous, then I don’t have time to watch your movie if it sucks.

Hmm… maybe I’m just grumpy today?  I invite any of you to write your own review of Diary of the Dead, if you want.  I’m not saying you are an idiot if you liked it.  I’m just saying that it was 90 minutes that I didn’t have time for.

Zombieland Review

Well, I finally got off my ass and decided to write another new review. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my old review style (I started this site in 1996 or so), what I used to do was get fairly drunk, watch the movie, get a little more drunk and then write a nearly incomprehensible review. I’ve been adding the old reviews back to the site but I’m trying to trickle some new reviews in as well. Hopefully, this will paint me in a better light. At least, I’d like to think I’m not the same goofball that I was 13 years ago. Heh.

Anyway… Zombieland!  I think we have such classics as Shaun of the Dead and Dead Alive (aka Braindead) to thank for the creation of this little gem.  I mean, I’m trying to think of other movies besides those two in which zombies (and especially such over-the-top gore) has been so hilarious.  I mean, I’ve watched plenty of terrible zombie movies that I considered to be funny, but they certainly weren’t intentionally funny.

So, it’s nice to be able to satisfy all of your movie-going needs at once, right?  Also, if you’ve ever read any of my reviews before, then you know that my favorite cause of the apocalypse is Plague!  It’s just not used enough.  Although, I guess that’s been shifting more and more these days.  Back in the 80s and early 90s it seemed like post-apocalyptic and nuclear war went hand in hand.  I guess, I just like a little variety.

Ok.  On to specifics.  Zombieland stars Jesse Eisenberg as our anti-hero.  If you are drunk, then you might have thought he was Michael Cera, because he does a pretty good Michael Cera impersonation throughout the whole movie.  But, that’s fine with me.  It’s still pretty damn hilarious.  Woody Harrelson stars alongside as a more typical example of what we’ve come to expect in our post-apocalyptic heroes.  He’s like a redneck, wise-cracking Mad Max…. umm… only he kills zombies.

There are quite a few things about Zombieland that really stood out to me.  Here’s a quick summary.

  1. Slow-Mo Title Sequence – Make sure and pay attention during the opening credits because all of the slow-mo zombie kill gags are awesome!
  2. Zombie Kill of the Week – Kind of a running gag and possible commentary on the use of gore in zombie movies.
  3. The List – Columbus apparently suffers from some fairly severe OCD.  As a result he’s compiled a list of things that keep you alive in Zombieland.  The list should be standard reading for anyone facing a Zombie Apocalypse… or anyone who’s found themselves in a horror movie, for that matter.  I expect that such rules as the “Double Tap” and “Always Check the Backseat” will be shouted at witless horror movie characters for many years to come.
  4. Bill Murray – I’m not sure how, but I wasn’t even aware that Bill Murray was in this movie.  How freaking great is that!  Bill Murray, everybody…. Bill Murray.  I’d like to go on record and say that we could all use with more Bill in our post-apocalyptic/zombie/horror movies.  More horror… less Garfield!
  5. Van Halen – I’m sure I’m missing other uses of “Everybody Wants Some” in Cinema.  But, honestly, the last time I remembered enjoying this song during a movie was Better Off Dead.  Ahh.. Van  Halen.. back when they were still arguably cool.

Well, I don’t want to give away too much of the movie.  But, to be honest, you know exactly what’s going to happen.  A handful of people loot and blast their way through the Zombie Apocalypse and it’s a wicked good time.  Just enjoy it for what it is…. pretty damned fun.


Oh yeah!  Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the trailer for Zombieland:

Old Review: Zombie

I know Zombie can mean many different movies, but the one I’m talking about was directed by the Italian guy, Fulci. He’s a real master. I heard it was also released as Zombie 2 and it was known as a sequel to Dawn of the Dead in Italy. I dunno if any of that is true. Anyway, I saw this a while back when I was watching Zombie movies like I eat goldfish crackers. I was just reminded by a friend yesterday that it was post-apocalyptic… So here goes.
Very Dawn of the Dead-ish. Zombies eating humans. Brain shots the only way to kill them. It basically has our heroes (a group of whiners) stuck on an island with a bunch of dying natives and more zombies. I never will understand the Zombie/Jungle combination… but i’ve seen it in lots of movies. The best part of this movie has a Zombie underwater, fighting a shark. Can you believe that. It’s a real shark too I think. The shark would try and bite the zombie and the zombie would return in kind. Fantastic!
I can’t remember who the special effects guy was on this movie, but he made it. There’s a real famous scene that all the kids in the horror circles talk about. Mia Farrow’s sister is looking for her husband, and happens upon a zombie. She runs from him and closes the door on him. He smashes his hand through the door and there is a big splinter of wood. Then the zombie grabs her head and slowly pulls it toward the splinter. You watch the splinter actually puncture the eye. I don’t know how they did it. It was gross.
Anyway, what does this all have to do with the apocalypse? Well, of course noone can stop the zombies, so they make it on a boat and get to America. The last scene has them all shambling over the Brooklyn Bridge. The End.

Zombie (1980)
Zombie (1980)

Editor’s Note: Hmm.. I was corrected on this one. Apparently the eyegouge chick wasn’t Tisa Farrow, it was Olga Karlatos. I know, I know, you don’t give a rat’s ass. Well, believe me, there are some people out there who get pissed.

Additional Editor’s Note: This original review was written sometime during 1996-1997, when I was a drunken, twenty-something nincompoop.  I am no longer that person.  Or, that is to say, I am in my thirties now. 😉

Dawn of the Dead (1979)

I been saving this one till the end. Dawn of the Dead has everything! Not only is it post-apocalypse (and not even by Nuclear War), it is also one of the goriest movies ever. O.K., O.K. Maybe you never seen it… I’ll fill you in.

It’s part two of Night of the Living Dead. Zombies have taken over the world. Some hapless adventurers flee in a helicopter and manage to take over a mall. Bikers come in and try to fight them. Most of them die. They escape in the end. The End.
But man, it’s so much more than that. They manage to secure the mall and rid it of zombies. Then it is like a scavengers dream come true. They make whatever food they want. They loot the gun and knife store for all of its wares. I mean, they have everything they could ever want. Of course they get bored of it all, which isn’t surprising, but I think I could’ve handled it. Just let some zombies in every now and then and hunt for them. Sheesh. Maybe take up a hobby, like naked turtle racing.

Dawn of the Dead (Ultimate Edition) (1979) Starring: David Emge, Ken Foree Director: George A. Romero
Dawn of the Dead (Ultimate Edition) (1979) Starring: David Emge, Ken Foree Director: George A. Romero

Note: This original review was written sometime during 1996-1997, when I was a drunken, twenty-something nincompoop.  I am no longer that person.  Or, that is to say, I am in my thirties now. 😉