Monday, September 28, 2009

Do You Have the Crazy?

The remake onslaught continues with THE CRAZIES, a movie "loosely based" on George A. Romero's little-seen original.

Aside from Justin Welborn, star of THE SIGNAL*, I have no idea what to expect from this movie. Romero is listed as Executive Producer, but I don't know if he had any real input.

Here's the teaser poster. Click to make it all nice and big.

*Probably the best movie ever made about a town going nuts, as well as my choice for best horror film of the past twenty years.

A Fanboy Nightmare

In 1984, my mom took me to see A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. I was nine years old. Whether or not she was acting responsibly is open for debate, but one thing is certain: I became obsessed with Wes Craven's scarred dream stalker.

A make-up effects aficionado, I spent the first year or so of my unhealthy obsession wanting to get a good look at Freddy--he was always in shadows, and I hadn't discovered the joys of FANGORIA! The obsession died somewhere around '89, at roughly the same time as the interesting yet disappointingly awful DREAM CHILD, and by that point my favorite burned child-killer had been over-exposed to the point of being little more than a cartoonish joke.

Twenty five years after the fact, I've grown up a little. Yeah, so, I did buy a Freddy sweater from Hot Topic just last week, but I haven't watched any of the movies in years. I still hold the original film in high esteem, and consider the third film, DREAM WARRIORS, to be the quintessential '80s horror films, but overall, well... despite the R rating, these are movies best enjoyed by kids aged 12 & up.

My point? This trailer gave me chills, of course.

I've gone on record multiple times: remakes don't bother me. By their very nature, stories are meant to be retold and reinterpreted. Bad remakes are the problem. Good remakes give us things like THE THING, THE FLY, THE MALTESE FALCON, and THE WIZARD OF OZ.

It's easy enough for thirty-something film geeks to turn up their noses in condemnation. The original is perfectly fine the way it is, right? I agree, sure, to a point--but these are stories for young people, and young people need to be spoken to in the language of their day. They may still dig on Depp, but they're probably not all that interested in Heather Langencamp's voluminous mane.

Warm and fuzzy nostalgia be damned, the original NIGHTMARE films can be improved upon. The freshness of DREAM WARRIORS in 1987 will never be duplicated, and the sight of Freddy on the big screen --a face-peelin, arm-stretchin', belly-slicin', finger-choppin' revelation of sorts in 1984-- is merely an echo. But, technically, this new iteration of the franchise has every right to be the most well-made film of the lot.

But Englund is the only man for the job, you say? Yes, well, have you heard: a UK-based company called Hammer is producing a Dracula movie without Bela Lugosi! Some lanky loser named Christopher Lee is stepping into the cape. I hope he has a day job.

Shut up. You're being silly.

Haley is an excellent choice to fill the most iconic sweater in movie history, and the film certainly looks nice (even if it does have Bay's wretched fingerprints all over each and every digitally-manipulated music-video-lookin' frame). The script--the draft I've read, anyhow--is mostly good, until it cheats and then causes the whole damned thing to collapse. My fingers are crossed that they've ironed out these problems.

Despite the fact that the NIGHTMARE remake is not being made for me, and despite the fact that I have grown up somewhat since 1984, I will be there on opening day.

I just have to decide whether or not to wear my sweater...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Simon Pegg & Nick Frost Fight Zombies

I have no idea what this comes from or how old it is. All told it's about a half hour, slow, and not exactly brilliant, but still thirty minutes better spent this way than watching TWO AND A HALF MEN or something. Cute.

Pics from SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD has a gallery of fresh pics from the set of George A. Romero's newest project Survival of the Dead.

Bon appetit!

28 Days Later One Minute, in One Take:

I guess I post enough stuff that's creepy and/or depressing. Here's something full of British charm and cheer!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Comic Shop by Tripod

Man, this hit a lot of notes for us.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shudders abound: Video special

Want to see a mainstream music video about nightmares and child abuse that actually contains a nightmare-inducing level of actual child abuse?

I give you "Kids" by MGMT.

For those with weaker stomachs or more delicate sensibilities, here's a montage of bloody movie violence.

Clearly, I'm just interested in monsters and nature.

Welcome to The Dead Don't Die, a blog about natural monsters. Obviously.

Gollum-Like Creature Emerges from Lake in Panama (Includes EXCELLENT photos!)

United Appeal for the Dead

A classic clip from a movie I don't really consider classic, Kentucky Fried Movie. Maybe I need to see it again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A step forward for snakes

I'm probably getting fairly off-course from the declared purpose of this blog, but how can I not report this? I'm fuckin' scared!

Not only can a snake grow a goddamn leg, it can also use it to scale the walls of your motherfucking bedroom while you sleep.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More SURVIVAL footage, reviews OF THE DEAD

Here's some more SURVIVAL footage. And here. I'm not sure if these are merely promo pieces or actual clips from the film (maybe the opening, pre-credits?), but I dig them. They're vintage Romero in many ways. I love the cutaways to the puddle of blood.

The first reviews of the film have gone live. Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have lots to say about Romero's latest-- the former is pretty scathing, the latter quite positive. Neither are very insightful nor are they of much use to me either way, as my ass is already in the seat.

Monday, September 7, 2009

28 Days Later comic

We picked up the new 28 Days Later comic last week, and it's... pretty much fail by our standards. Those looking for something bearing any tonal similarity to the 2002 film will be sorely disappointed. Rather than being bleak, smart, breathless, realist and emotional like the movie, the comic is dumbed-down and features a very shopworn setup.

In this imagining, the UK mainland is still teeming with infected but has been successfully quarantined. The story begins elsewhere on the continent at a safe encampment.

Serena, the street-smart, tough-as-nails, machete-wielding survivor from the film is here depicted as a stony loner who was separated from the other two survivors, her de facto family, under yet-unexplained circumstances.

For some reason--it was silly enough that it's already forgotten to me--a crew of Americans (combat journalists, I think?) wants to get back into the quarantine zone, and they ask Serena to be their guide, since she has firsthand experience with the infected. She refuses flat, then has a flashback and agrees at the last second. Like ya do. (I don't recall the content; maybe she flashed back to watching Aliens?)

These intelligent and battle-hardened journalists have never crossed paths with the infected before. Nor have they, apparently, ever seen a photo of one or read up on any accounts of identifying symptoms and behaviors before going on an armed trek by foot into infected territory. Within a couple of pages of landing on some island, a supposedly secured connection zone, one of these morons mistakes two infected for healthy people and, in trying to initiate conversation, gets close enough to be assaulted by them. Serena saves the day, natch, and determines that the infection has spread to where it's not supposed to be. (Duh-duh-DUUH!)


The art is a mixed bag, as photo-based sequential art tends to be. Some artists are great at action and layouts but not faces--Hitch comes to mind, of course, except he's not really great at anything except getting shit out quickly, which is apparently enough of a qualification for most comics publishers. The trouble for me is that faces and expressions and unique, consistent features are probably the criterion that matters most to me in sequential art, so it's hard for me to applaud this work for that reason alone. I guess... the color is nice? I don't know, overall it's just not a style I dig, though I suppose it works for this kind of story better than fully stylized anatomy and scene-setting.

As we mentioned before, you can check out the first few pages of the comic at newsarama.

We're going to stick with this for two or three issues just to see if Kirkman has any competition. I've described my problems with his work ad nauseum but, writing-wise, the 28 Days Later comic makes The Walking Dead look like Steinbeck.

Friday, September 4, 2009

First scene from SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD

At last, here's our first real look at George Romero's SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, which will premiere this month at the Toronto International Film Fest. The Red camera footage looks much better than the previous (unfinished) leaked clip indicated, and it's interesting to see George shooting in what appears to be 2.35:1 again-- until now, he'd gone wide for only LAND OF THE DEAD.

George seems to be dipping his his toe into the Zombie Comedy (Zomedy? Zomby Comedie?) pool this time around, though I suspect this light moment is akin to the pie-fight in DAWN OF THE DEAD -- it's no doubt surrounded by all manner of drama, horror, and action. Speaking of DAWN: the second zombie in this clip looks as if he crawled right out of that classic flick.

Between this, [REC]2 and ZOMBIELAND, TIFF is the place to be. In fact, if you call yourself a zombie fan and you don't attend, you suck.*

*I suck.