Wednesday, August 26, 2009

28 Days Later to be expanded into comic series

Hitting stands today, BOOM! Studios comics is producing the continuing story of Selena, hardcase heroine from Danny Boyle's impressive 2002 foray into zombies. (That's right; I said zombies. You pedants can argue as I once did that we're talking about "infected", and that remains a notable distinction within the movie, but it's foolish to argue from some biological technicality that 28 Days Later is not, for all intents and purposes, A Zombie Movie, or that it should be removed from the company of zombie movies. We're talking about fantasy creatures: biological details are irrelevant, but the critical elements--particularly the psychological effects on the humans--are identical. It's like saying your book about unicorns is not about unicorns because their horns grow back when hacked off. For fuck's sake, even the seminal modern zombie film, Romero's Night of the Living Dead, does not feature "zombies" in the strict and original Voodoo sense--nor does any of its descendants--but I don't see many people having kittens over that misattribution. The umbrella of the definition and category expands as we see fit, and I see this inclusion as extremely fucking fit.)

Newsarama has a full preview.

Personally, I'm not wildly impressed with the art, but I'll probably pick it up just to see for sure if The Walking Dead has any competition.

The Next Batman Film

Christopher Nolan, apparently already convinced that there's no way the next Batman film could conceivably top The Dark Knight, has given into failure and decided to just make it spectacularly bad, presumably so Batman 4 has some ashes from which to ascend phoenix-like. Contrarily enough, though, his first destructive stroke already hints at a blockbuster for the mouthbreathing masses:

Hollywood plastic-surgery-wreck-in-progress and soulless Real Doll Megan Fox has been cast as Catwoman.


EDIT: Aw, damn. It was just a rumor. And I was so looking forward to the glorious crash and burn outshining even Cameron's Avatar. (OH SNAP I WENT THERE)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Zombie Ants

Not solanum, not radiation, not voodoo, not even some microbe picked up by the Venus probe. By what means shall the dead be made to rise? By the same means that your pizza tastes awesome and your grandma's toes look like movie-theater popcorn: FUNGUS!

Some crybaby fungus in Thailand (I'm looking at you, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis) got sick of the shitty political climate and castaway coconut bits and decided to entertain itself by seizing the nerve centers of carpenter ants, destroying their organs and sending them on a well directed death march to the fungus's dinner table.

Read the article at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Danny Lloyd today

It's common knowledge in horror circles that Danny Lloyd, the boy who played young Danny Torrance in Kubrick's The Shining (1980), disappeared from the film scene, went on to become a schoolteacher, and has no interest in playing a public role for fans, in fact having a distaste for The Shining itself and the hubbub surrounding it. He came out of reclusion (if you can call it that; compared to the life of most die-hard internet-trolling genre geeks, I'm sure the life of a well-adjusted 37-year-old science teacher in the great Midwest is quite socially enriched) for a single appearance this past weekend at the Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville, Kentucky. What finally got this private fella to step into the limelight? He signed autographs for cash to benefit the Make-a-Wish foundation.

Classy guy. Round of applause for Mr. Lloyd.

Okay, now stop and go back to leaving him alone, as he deserves. His naive, childhood contribution to horror filmmaking is all we ever needed of him.

Zombie Girl

In the vein of An American Movie, but hopefully less depressing (and necessarily less entertaining), Zombie Girl is a 90-minute documentary following twelve-year-old aspiring filmmaker Emily as she sets out to make a zombie film.

The full documentary streams at Check it out if you like. You can watch it until August 20th.

I was actually bored after the first few minutes and had to stop--my time is a little too precious these days and I've already spent hundreds of hours behind the scenes of various low-budget endeavors, and that's boring enough first-person when you have an actual stake in it--but I thought some of you out there might be interested. Do let me know if you think it's worth your time. Personally, I'm more apt to give an hour and a half to the actual feature. (Something I can't say for Coven.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

District 9

I won't be the first one to tell you to go see District 9. I also won't be the first one to tell you that it's not all it's hyped to be. As with Cloverfield, the promotion and critical ovations foment expectations that are nearly impossible to meet. District 9 is not a Messianic work.

It is, however, a really nifty genre-straddling piece of action-adventure. By stripping some of the best gears and cogs from horror, disaster films, alien SF, and even contemporary sociopolitical features like The Constant Gardener, all mashed together and presented roughly documentary-style, District 9 strikes a very fresh balance and manages to surprise at nearly every turn. The first act, strictly journalistic in tone, is intense and constantly delights. Context for the story--twenty years of allegorical history--is provided in natural, low key shorthand. The second act drops the handheld camera shtick, and it's a bit jarring to shift to what is in essence an utterly conventional 80s Unlikely Buddies action flick. This proves a bit of a disappointment; I'd have preferred the distanced, cinéma vérité model to have carried throughout the film, and for the plot to have continued building on challenging social observations and human drama rather than falling back on more shopworn narrative tropes, but I understand that this is a little more trying than most mainstream viewers want their blockbusters to be. Still, the ending is admirably inconclusive, and I'm curious whether the intent is to spur a sequel.

The most remarkable thing is the effects work. The scores of physically complex insectile humanoids are magnificent and certainly adequately repulsive, and interact with their environments almost flawlessly. The animators imbued the lead Prawn, Christopher, with gestures and tics that are remarkably expressive and humanlike considering that he has a freaking exoskeleton.

As a friend of mine pointed out, digital film is the great leveller. I'll add that $30 million is the new low budget blockbuster. Indie and semi-indie studios, particularly thanks to patronship by a fellow like producer Peter Jackson, are built on economy, inventiveness, dedication, and vision. The Day The Earth Stood Still must have blown through its preposterous $80 million on, I don't know, throngs of highly trained and well-armed security forces to keep long-loving geeks from throwing themselves on Jennifer Connelly. It certainly wasn't spent on special effects, since those amounted to Occasional Big Smooth Metal Man and A Couple Minutes of Hungry Clouds. There's no excuse for a budget that bloated to create a movie that unimpressive, and District 9 demonstrates that principle commendably.

While imperfect, District 9 is a great flick and well worth seeing for the visual effects accomplishments alone, though there's much more to love than that. (Go Weta!) It's a marvelous sign that movies like this are being thought up, and that there are studios uninterested in intellectually neutering them and gussying them up throughout production with tits and 'splosions to better appeal to the mouthbreathing masses. (Hell, that's what Michael Bay is here to do.)

Using Math Against the Undead Mathematical Model for Surviving a Zombie Attack

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We Are Going to Tweet You

It's official: George Romero tweets.

Below is a really cool featurette on Romero's latest, SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, a movie I'd very much like to see next month in Austin.

BTS George Romero Sneak Peek

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Darabont + Walking Dead + AMC

Linky link: Frank Darabont to Direct The Walking Dead for cable?

So what do y'all think: is this a better move than the silver screen? I think it could be delish.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

MORE zombified nazis something called Worst Case Scenario. Seems like the sort of thing that only exists as trailers but might lift off the ground if the trailers get enough attention. I don't know. I don't feel like looking it up, but if you're interested enough, I'm sure you can dig up something. I'm just here to link you to YouTube.

Worst Case Scenario trailer 1: in your face

Worst Case Scenario trailer 2: atmospheric

Buon appetito.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Love Sarah Jane

Check out I Love Sarah Jane, a short Australian coming-of-age zombie film. Very much worth fourteen minutes' viewing.