WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
When myself and Tropical Mary get together for a movie night you know we’re gonna go hard hard h-h-h-hard. Throw in a Stygian Mole and the party’s never gonna stop! Since we were in such a hardcore partying mood Rave to the Grave was just a logical choice for the evening’s first movie 😉 Admittedly I haven’t seen the other Return of the Living Dead movies for about 10 years so, if there was any link to the earlier movies floating around in here, I didn’t know about it. I doubt that this is important since this movie has enough of its own daft silliness to distract you. Prepare yourself for brain-hungry zombies, zombie juice, zombie drugs and Krispy Kreme obsessed Interpol agents!
It’s good to see that the black market is still alive and thriving, and now’s as good a time as any to invest in barrels of Trioxin 5. The particularly powerful toxic agent turns people into zombies hungry for brains and there are a number of (presumably) Russians who want to get their hands on it to make sure that no one else is accidentally turned into a member of the walking dead. Thankfully an Eric Roberts look-alike just happens to have a few in his possession and is happy to sell them off if the price is right. The Russians, of course, are a practical people and have acquired the use of a morgue to do a little test run to see if the Trioxin is the genuine product. Four corpses later it turns out that the Trioxin really does work and one of the Russians, the Eric Roberts look-alike and a doctor of questionable morals lands up being broken open for brain snacks.
But too many Russians can make a movie a bit too serious, so we need to take this in a different direction. Off at college Jenny, Julian, Cody and Becky are planning a little rave for Halloween. Julian’s the nephew of the Eric Roberts look-alike and suffers from 3 and a half minutes of intense grief when he finds out about his dear uncle’s untimely death. While raiding the attic at the uncle’s house he discovers a very poorly concealed room behind a very poorly constructed false wall. In the room he comes across the barrels of Trioxin and takes it to Cody to be tested. When our DJ of the Asian persuasion samples a little of the strange contents and goes on a little trip Cody decides to drain the barrel and turn it into a drug to make a little extra cash. This, despite the fact that they have no idea what’s in the barrel, the barrel is military issue, it has a biohazard sign on it and a digital lock. These can’t possibly be warning signs after all…
Admittedly the Trioxin tablets, known as ‘Z’ to the hip druggie kids on the street, do send people on quite a trip when taken in small doses. Unfortunately, in the long run, it has the unpleasant side effect of turning the user into a walking corpse with a taste for brains. The transformation happens faster when the dosage is increased. Since raves are not the drug-free and safe-sex haven that some of us believe them to be a rather sizeable portion of the assembled party goers begins to turn and start looking for their next batch of brain noms. Human skulls seem to be reasonably simple to open so the zombies just go nuts and, since its Halloween, everyone else just thinks it’s awesome makeup until it’s too late. It’ll take everything Julian, Jenny and two Interpol agents dressed as lady vikings have in them to bring this terrible outbreak to an end.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Women are prone to driving their cars into their swimming pools.
- Drunk college kids are not overly different to lemmings running off a cliff.
- Fivety-five is now considered a legitimate number.
- If you can’t trust you’re drug dealer you can’t trust anyone.
- Dragons are getting tighter.
- Brains are now located in the penis.
- Pieces of skull and a clump of hair counts as zombie roughage.
- The brain and the ear have major arteries running through them.
- The human skull has a little trapdoor at the back for easy brain access.
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD: RAVE TO THE GRAVE TRAILER
BUY RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD: RAVE TO THE GRAVE AT AMAZON.COM
Year of Release: 1987
Genre: Horror / Comedy
IMDB Rating: 4.9 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium – High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I’m rarely at a loss when it comes to deciding how bad a movie is, but this one had me stumped. Judging by its IMDB rating I was under the impression that this one was going to be good (because I have low standards and most things over 4 are quite watchable in my opinion). It wasn’t. I’m not sure if ‘good idea’ is quite what I’m looking for, but it certainly was an interesting idea. Where did it go wrong? Sometimes you get movies where the actors have all the acting capability of a plank of wood but in The Video Dead the planks of wood were outperforming the actors and sadly it wasn’t the kind of bad acting that you can make fun of. At the end of the day it’s not a good b-movie, but it’s not bad enough to make you squirm with discomfort.
When the dead come back to haunt the living there’s always an Institute for Studies in the Occult involved somehow. This time all these people have done is place their trust in a delivery company that haven’t the foggiest idea how to deliver a parcel, but when you’re dealing with zombies and demons and ghosts (oh my!) you really need to have your ducks properly in a row. The delivery company is currently in possession of a haunted TV that appears to be a portal to the dark side but, instead of delivering it to the Institute for Studies in the Occult they obviously read the address incorrectly and delivered the TV to an alcoholic writer in a leafy suburb instead. Now bear in mind we have travelled back to 1987, a time before coffee cups had to come with warnings that stated ‘contents of coffee cup are hot’, so the haunted TV certainly doesn’t carry any kind of warning sign or advisory label saying that it contains 6 or 7 cannibalistic zombies. Our dear writer is not amused with the TV because all it seems to play is this random black and white zombie movie that never wants to end so he turns it off and walks away. The TV’s persistent though and wants to play its movie, even if you pull the power cable out of the wall. Being the rather devilish TV that it is as soon as you turn your back it starts getting up to mischief, spewing out zombies left, right and centre who killing our poor writer.
3 months later and with all that murderous unpleasantness behind us we get to meet Jeff and Zoe, two young siblings who move into the old writer’s house to get ready for when their parents come back from overseas. Now, as a warning to all my readers, neither of these kids is particularly good-looking and this movie makes excessive use of close-ups so you might want to start looking away after the first 30 times. Jeff, being the younger and more inquisitive brother, discovers the TV in the attic when it whispers through the dark that it wants to do some terribly PG-13 things to him and moves it into his room. This time, instead of channeling zombies, it channels a demonic naked blonde woman who tantalises the young boy before disappearing right back inside. You see it can’t channel the zombies because the zombies never went back inside after they killed the writer, which means that they’re still out frolicking somewhere in the woods surrounding the house. When these undead hooligans start to make a nuisance of themselves a strange man named Joshua Daniels rocks up at Zoe and Jeff’s house to help them out before they land up becoming a light snack.
Now this is the point when you really have to put your concentration cap on and pay attention because you’re about to be schooled in zombie psychology. For a mobile decomposing corpse these zombies are remarkably complex creatures that experience a surprising array of complicated emotions. Jeff isn’t the brightest spark out there and Zoe, being a woman, shouldn’t be out chasing after zombies so to defeat this horde of the undead you need to know exactly what you’re dealing with. Firstly, put mirrors up everywhere. Zombies are very self-conscious and don’t like looking at their own reflection to the point that they’ll run away from it. Secondly, zombies don’t like it when you express any fear since they themselves cannot express emotions so keep a constant grin on your face. Thirdly, zombies like to think that they’re still alive so treat them in the same way you would treat any living member of the human race and they might be a little less inclined to eat you. Lastly, a zombie is very good with a stick so avoid dangling from a tree with a chainsaw that they can get hold of and use against you. Follow these simple rules and you might just survive an attack of the video dead!
Speaking of The Video Dead, as a technical point, at no point is there a video, be it Beta or VHS, anywhere in sight but, at the end of the day, that really is the least of your worries walking into this one.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Younger brothers often walk like the dead.
- Women take their degrees in aerobics and music videos very seriously.
- Skunks don’t like to mate with poodles.
- Poodles are kinky and like being sprayed on by skunks.
- Zombies have a very simple but strange sense of humour.
- Zombies can only die when they think they’re alive. In this way when you attack them they will think they are injured and convince themselves that they are actually dead when they really aren’t because they can’t experience pain. They will remain ‘dead’ because they’re fooling themselves into thinking that they are until someone points out to them that they’re not in which case they’ll get back up and try again.
THE VIDEO DEAD TRAILER
Year of Release: 2008
IMDB Rating: 3.1 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Zombie movie fans of the world unite and bring me the head of director David Prior! I love post-apocalyptic movies, and when the end of the world comes at the hands of a horde of the undead I’m in my element. And what hurts me the most with this movie is that the premise was good! It could’ve been the Daybreakers of the zombie sub-genre! But no, this good concept was left in the hands of a fool with no budget and we’re left with this hot mess of a survivalist zombie movie.
It’s 50 years from now in a world ravaged by a zombie apocalypse. The ghostly voice of the narrator tells us that nobody knows how it happened, most likely because the budget didn’t allow for an extensive back story. Across the land small pockets of survivors have set up camp and go about the daily struggle of foraging for food, supplies and ammunition while dreaming about these ‘cities’ they heard their parents talking about when they were young. On the last expedition to find other survivors and supplies our beefy, studly hero David manages to rescue a band of virginal, supple females from a horde of zombies. You see these are smarter-than-your-average zombies that have learned that they can cultivate humans as a renewable food source. The rescued girls have lived their entire lives with the zombies and have no way of communicating with the other people in the camp but one of the girls, the blonde and delicate Star (named by David) has all she needs to communicate with her hero.
To ensure a bountiful harvest of human flesh the zombies have built themselves a farm in the middle of the woods where they’ve learned how to grow and breed humans in a sustainable fashion, securing themselves a food source while keeping their carbon footprint low. In a move of expert organisation the zombies decide to attack all of the human settlements in the area one night to try and increase their stocks and David and Star are taken captive and David quickly learns that the key to survival at zombie camp is to keep your mouth shut (apparently human speech offends them). The zombies divide their captives into groups and decide what person is best suited to what job and David is put out to stud. Now let’s face it, if you were captured by zombies and forced to work, constantly sexing would probably be the best job to get. Tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Now while we’re all praising the zombies for evolving a thought process and hierarchical system of governance, there’s a little more to this human farm than initially meets the eye. David can believe they’ve learned how to grow food for their captives, build cages and take photographs of the new arrivals but he’s not entirely willing to believe that they can manufacture soap and preserve and can fresh fruits and vegetables. Someone, somewhere, for some strange reason, has to be helping the zombies out and providing them with the goods to keep their humans alive. It’s now up to David, his friend from zombie camp Sliver (which the director confused with the word ‘slither’) and the newly educated and sexed up Star to find a way out while his friends and brother back at the base camp try to figure a way to break in to help him escape.
Up until this point I was willing to give the movie a ‘Medium’ Level of Awful, but then the ending happens. And after you’ve sat for nearly 80 minutes watching the poorly designed zombies achieve very little in the way of killing this ending will be enough to make you stand up in fury, rip your TV off the wall and throw it off the balcony. If you don’t have a balcony walk the streets until you find one; it’s the only way you’re gonna feel better when the Zombie Wars ending roles round.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Zombie skin and clown makeup are remarkably similar to one another.
- Zombies only rot in their face.
- You don’t need to worry about aiming; no matter where you shoot the bullet will find its way to the zombie’s head.
- Bitch slapping is an excellent interrogation method.
- Human quality control is both an involved process and an exact science.
- Zombies are good at managing resources.
- Zombies control and manage bustling trade routes.
- Zombies are excellent businessmen.
- You should always use your dumbest soldiers as sniper guards at border controls.
ZOMBIE WARS TRAILER
Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Horror / Action
IMDB Rating: 2.5 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
In my humble opinion I think there’s something terribly tragic about a movie when a director gets so caught up in the filming and the actors that he forgets to have things happen. In fact so very little happens in this movie that if you watched the last 25 minutes of it you’d catch the entire story of the movie. It’s meant to be a zombie movie of sorts, but to describe the creatures in Mutants as zombies would be stretching the meaning of the term to its very limits. As a matter of fact to call them ‘mutants’ at all is a bit of a stretch. Taking a shot in the dark I’m gonna say that it’s probably meant to be a message about the poor eating habits of America and any other country where a McDonald’s can be found on every street corner, but it falls more than a little flat in the general mess that this movie is. I wouldn’t even give it half a brain for effort in zombie madness – it’s just a long, drawn out, boring mess. And for that reason it has earned its place here – after all, there couldn’t be a B-Horror Blog without pieces of cheese to review!
As many of us have suspected over the years, sugar truly is addictive, but the Just Rite Sugar Company wants to take the deliciousness and necessity of sugar to a completely different level – they’re genetically modifying it so that it becomes as addictive as heroine and crack. As is the case when you’re trying to rule the world in such an obscure way getting the formula for the crack sugar has taken some time to get right and sometimes you have to get things wrong before you land up getting them right. A number of problems have arisen during the testing stages of this new brand of must-have sugar: the test subjects have had this irritating tendency to develop warts and boils and then either descend into madness or begin to melt. To avoid raising any questions resulting from mass disappearances Just Rite Sugar has a dedicated team of vagrant catchers, the thinking being that if they only abduct homeless people and runaways then no one will miss them (this point is drilled into your head at the beginning – I think it’s a social commentary, but again this was definitely not the best vehicle for it).
From here on out it all starts to get a little murky and unnecessarily drawn-out. During one of the most recent raids the wrong people were abducted, proving that even trained vagrant catchers get it wrong sometimes. The team accidentally abducted Ryan and Hannah, two people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ryan’s abduction complicates Just Rite Sugar’s plans because he is the brother of their head secretary Erin and she is on a mission to find out what happened to him. Thrown into the mixture is their alcoholic and depressed father (who doesn’t look any older than Erin does). At work Erin begins to receive cryptic self-deleting e-mails (from someone who has taken the codename Cinderella) that give her clues about the more morally questionable actions of her company. With dad in tow the two manage to make their way to the abandoned sugar mill where the test subjects are being held.
Thinking that they’ve finally perfected the formula for their crack sugar Just Rite Sugar has begun shipping the product to various outlets across the country. Unfortunately their head (and only) scientist Sergei (who has the worst fake Russian accent I have ever heard) discovers that the test subjects they thought were infection-free had, in fact, developed a new strain of the same virus that had simply been lying dormant for 3 months. This news couldn’t come at a more inconvenient time since Just Rite’s other managers are touring the facilities and admiring the general misery that the company’s managed to inflict on its test subjects. While checking in on one of the subjects that was thought to be clean they are attacked and the mutants stage a break out. They’re not really a major threat since, although violent, they aren’t interested in eating brains like other zombies: all these guys want is a sugar fix. Also, they don’t need to be shot in the head to bring them down, so they’re easy targets. With Erin & Co. running around the complex breaking Ryan out, various security guards (which are fighting in factions) trying to kill one another and the mutants and Just Rite CEOs trying to escape the scene is set for an incredibly unremarkable zombie showdown.
All in all this movie is more painful than the comedown from a sugar high or a caffeine withdrawal headache. 50-odd minutes of it is told in flashbacks (often with a flashback within a flashback), the mutants only come in after about an hour and only one person is actually bitten by any of the creatures. Zombie movie? Social commentary? Fails on both counts. Hot zombie mess? Perfect 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Cocaine + caffeine = the ultimate addiction.
- Druggies, bums, illegals, ex-cons and the like are ideal mutant sugar test subjects.
- There’s nothing like being held captive by a sugar company to help form a budding romance.
- Companies see no need to cover their paper trail when converting abandoned sugar mills into labs for genetic experimentation.
- There’s nowhere you can’t get into with a hairpin.
- An over-sized pizza oven works just as well as an incinerator.
- An over-sized outhouse is just as effective as any hi-tech science laboratory.
Year of Release: 2009
Genre: Horror / Comedy
IMDB Rating: 6.5 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise! – Low
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
This movie deserves its place in my vault of terror for nothing else other than the way that I found out about it. Apparently many people were well aware of this movie because of its original story, its funny little quirks and its high Nazi content. Not me. I found out about this movie through Linni Meister, Norway’s answer to Paris Hilton (or, where I come from, Patricia Lewis). You see, for some unknown reason, Dead Snow is promoted throughout her song ‘My Ass’. Now what the Nazi Zombies and this chick’s ass have to do with one another the gods alone know, but this is how I came across the movie. And the movie really eats at me because for most of it I really was enjoying it, but there were still points where I tilted my head and gazed at the screen blankly. I think it might have had something to do with the dodgy subtitles my version had, but it’s not my job to make up people’s minds – I’m just here to poke fun at movies when they start getting silly 🙂
Seven medical students (Vegard, Erlend, Chris, Martin, Roy, Hanna and Liv) have decided to get away from it all for the Easter holidays and take a little vacation somewhere in the back and beyond of Norway where Vegard’s girlfriend Sara owns a little cabin. Sara left before the rest of the group to get to the cabin and has subsequently gone missing since she was chased down and attacked in the movie’s opening sequence. Unaware of Sara’s fate, the rest of the group enjoys a fun night of jokes and drinks until a hiker appears at their door. After drinking and insulting their organic coffee he decides that the students need to be enlightened about the history of the area. During WWII Standartenführer Herzog and some of his cronies were stationed in this area where, for 3 years, they were the cruel and sadistic overlords that one would expect a Nazi to be. When Germany began to fall the soldiers began looting the town and planned on going into hiding in the surrounding hills and forests. The townsfolk decided they weren’t having any of it and ambushed and killed most of the Nazis. Herzog and the few remaining survivors escaped into the hills and were presumed dead. But as we all know, bad shit refuses to stay dead for long…
After that delightful little tale the hiker goes on his way and, the following morning, Vegard decides that he needs to go and look for his girlfriend. While he’s out on his little journey he manages to fall into a snow-covered cave where he lies unconscious for several hours. While he’s doing that the rest of the gang back at the cabin find a mysterious box under some of the floor boards. The box is filled with gold coins, one of which Chris pockets for herself. While on her way to the outhouse to have some steamy sex with Erlend she drops the coin and awakens the zombie Nazi horde who begin to lay siege to the cabin. As groans are exchanged, brains craved and blood splattered the students manage to barricade themselves in the cabin and survive until the morning in hopes of devising a method of escape.
Vegard, meanwhile, awakens in the cave and, upon some investigation, discovers where Herzog and his cronies were hiding out in their last days. In amongst the remains and Sara’s severed head he does manage to find a variety of firearms. While he investigates his choice of weapons and his girlfriend’s head he is attacked by a zombie and badly bitten but, fortunately for him, these zombies don’t transform you when they bite and he manages to kill it before making a stylish getaway on his snowmobile that he has now equipped with a machine gun. Back at the cabin those that made it through the night decide that their best chance of survival is to split up (when will people learn?). What follows are some of the most awesome zombie chase and kill scenes as this ragged little group tries to make it off the mountain before being eaten – all because of a single gold coin. I would strongly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good gory, silly and occasionally cheesy zombie movie.
I have decided not to post a trailer for Dead Snow. Instead, I would like those that haven’t seen yet it to discover it the same way that I did. Scroll down to watch Linni Meister’s music video for her hit song ‘My Ass’ (I promise that you will never be the same after watching it…)
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Molotov Cocktails should be thrown out the window, not against the wall.
- Strangling people is an excellent way to show appreciation for their hospitality.
- Telling people that the place they are holidaying at used to be a Nazi outpost dedicated to torturing local people really brings the mood of a party down.
- Your girlfriend may not think being smothered with a pillow is a kind of foreplay.
- Never trust a women with outhouse-sex on her mind with a cursed gold coin.
- Being murdered in an outhouse’s cesspit is a shitty way to go.
- A joke isn’t funny unless it has poop, pee, or semen in it.
- There is nothing hotter than getting it on in an outhouse.
- You will never be as hardcore as the guy with a machine gun on his snowmobile.
LINNI MEISTER: ‘MY ASS’