Posts Tagged ‘Zombies’

 

Exploitative and cheesy, now over 30 years old, this often overlooked gem by respected Italian director Umberto Lenzi (Cannibal Ferox, Black Demons) is a forerunner of the running infected “zombie” film. Born from a producers desire to ride the Italian zombie splatter cycle, and marketed as such on later DVD releases, Lenzi wanted to differentiate the film and base it roughly on the Seveso disaster of 1976, an industrial accident which saw the local population exposed to a chemical outbreak, although any references or thoughts on this are submerged by the sheer zombie-esque action and preposterous scenes. In fact, even director Lenzi doesn’t see this as a zombie movie. Neither do we, considering this poor excuse for make-up, which you too will going to see soon.

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When politically principled and fashion-unconscious TV reporter Dean Miller (played by Hugo Stiglitz) turns up for work one morning, he’s sent to the airport to cover the arrival of a certain Professor Hagenbeck in order to interview him about a recent nuclear spillage that iz hitting the headlines. He is told to take one of the station’s best cameramen with him. As the pair arrive at the airport, a military transport plane that refuses to respond to calls from the control tower comes in to land with no obvious sign that there’s anyone on board. As military personnel gather round and tactfully ignore the presence of Miller and his hesitant cameraman, Professor Hagenbeck emerges and promptly stabs the officer who has stepped forward to meet him. He’s immediately followed by a band of wild-eyed men with radiation-burn faces, who launch an all-out assault on the assembled soldiers. Despite being armed with machine guns, the military men are slaughtered by this manic and seemingly bullet resistant group of blade-wielding ghouls, who hungrily drink blood from the wounds they inflict. Luckily they completely ignore Dean and his cameraman, who after watching on for long enough for the horror to soak in, beat a hasty but hardly panic-stricken retreat.

 

Meanwhile, on the local TV Channel 5, Miller interrupts some aerobic show with news flash related to slaughter which had occured earlier that day. After it was over aerobic show continued like nothing had happened at all. Soon after that zombies, who obviously don’t like publicity, emerged into station armed to the teeth and slaughter each and everyone of employees. Well only Miller somehow managed to escape again, leaving his coworkers on their own.

 

Faced with this sort of crysis millitary decides to develop a strategy. The authopsy results of one of the zombies excluded them from being extraterrestrial. Well at least they know something now. Colonel from Atomic Institute explained to them that, after being exposed to extremely high value of atomic radiation, people in the plane developed superhuman strength and ability to regenerate themselves, as long as they are getting fresh blood. So his solution is to shoot them to the brain in order to kill them (wow you really need to be a rocket scientist to come up with such an idea). So thats what you get when you expose people to radiation – bloodsucking superintelligent zombies. I am not sure now how Japan lost the war. Anyway, turned out that their plan wasn’t so bulletproof as it seemed Later that night mutant zombies invaded millitary base, sabotaged it and achieved one of the greatest victories in the history of warfare.

We have been invaded

We have been invaded!

After winning the battle now it is time to finish the wounded. Local hospital is their next target! Ha! No survivors! It seems that they can infect other people too now. Mutants attack doctors and personel who turn to sucking blood of their patients. Miller was again on the scene and escaped yet again after the first signs of danger. For one news reporter he is often too eager to leave the place of happening. At least now he remembered to take his wife Dr. Anna Miller (played by Laura Trotter) with him. While driving away they heard on the radio that millitiray declared state of martial law. Having nowhere to go
they decided to come by to nearby gas station and help themselves with a cup of instant coffiee. They don’t mind bodies laying around. Meanwhile, Sheila Holmes (played by Maria Rosaria Omaggio) and her maid Liz (played by Sara Franchetti) are baricaded in house. One mutant managed to smeal through cellar and stab Liz into her boob then pop her eye out. What an overkill!!!

You got something in your eye. Let me take it out for you

You got something in your eye. Let me take it out for you

Sheila’s husband Mayor Warren Holmes (played by Francisco Rabal) came home to check on her, after failed millitary plan to release a nerve gas. He arrived just in time to find her infected by cellar mutant. He had no other option that to blow her head off (literally). Yet in the next scene Sheila is laying on the floor with the head on her shoulders. I guess she gor increased power of regeneration.

 

Attracted by smell of coffiee mutants invaded gas station so Dean and Anna were forced to look for sanctuary in a church. There they find infected priest who tries to beat them to death with a huge candle. Dean answers the challenge with a candlestick. This looks like paper, rock, scissors fight.

 

Dean and Anna are now in amusement part though now there isn’t anything that can be found amusing there. They fight their way to the top of a huge rollercoaster where Mayor Warren is waiting fot them in his helicopter. Dean and Anna grabbed onto the rope hanging from the helicopter. Anna should have paid more attention to the rope climbing lessons in elementary school gym class since she couldn’t get into the chopper. Doll representing her body falls down, breaking it’s spine, arms and legs while falling between rollecoaster bars. You can’t blame Mayor for that. Decision to pick them up from a rollercoster was completely in place since this movie is a real rollecoaster of awesomeness!!!

 

Dean could only watch his beloved wife dying without any trace of dignity. Let’s face it, it is not heroic death. He starts screaming repeatedly and he screams himself awake in the bed, next to his wife who is sleeping soundly. That’s right, everything was just a beatyfull dream! Or was it actually? When he received a phone call to interview famous Professor Hagenbeck he dressed up quickly and ran there immedieatly. It seems that he hasn’t learned anything from his dream because…

Nightmare

Conclusion: Nightmare City is the perfect movie for horror fans who need a fix of gory horror that just doesn’t care about making sense, it just wants to be an all-out zombiefest. In many ways Nightmare City conforms to the Italian exploitation horror archetype. The acting is uneven, the cast multinational, the plot liberally peppered with logic holes, the subtext gossamer thin, the violence bloody, and women seem to suffer more horribly than men. Surprisingly, given the film’s country of origin, the Italian dub is often an even bigger mismatch to the actor’s mouths than its English equivalent, on which the English-speaking Mel Ferrer comes off the best. As for the poor zombies, aside poor makeup, they are not quite zombies at all. They are not acctually dead they are organised, intelligent, oftenly well armed and they are RUNNING AND DRINKING BLOOD of their victims. Nightmare City is let down by a dreadful cop out ending, which ruins the, well, not-so-awful work the rest of the movie had done.

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Now, The Immortalizer is one of those rare B-movies that actually has a great basic set– up with  tons  of potential (even thou it did exist before, at least since the The Atomic Brain) but movie makers (veteran Joel Bender, editor on Power Ranger: The Movie) never got to actually follow it trough. What we got instead was a mess of a movie that follows a crazed doctor and his endless brain- swithings procedures,  often  with a hilarious results– a film like that would feel more at home among the SF movies of the 50’s. It would have been interesting to see what would have someone like Carpenter, author with a clear vision  done on the same budget with the same basic idea, but that’s not to say we didn’t have tons of fun with what we got, ’cause we sure did.

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Who wouldn’t trust a man with a face like this?

The movie starts with a Dr. Divine (Ron Ray) with a crazed look in his eyes injecting the screaming blonde woman with green, florescent liquid (where have I seen this before). Remember this, ’cause it will be (semi) important later.

We now jump to a couple of high- school students (brothers Gregg and Darrell) having fun with their dates (movie and pizza).  They can’t really come to an agreement which one get to sleep with which of the ladies but unfortunately for them they don’t make it that far anyway- not by a long shot!  They should have known that going straight into a dark alley is never a good idea, especially if you’re in a horror movie!

Now you would expect some kind of criminal or a junkie to attack them but no- it’s actually a monster? Some sort of zombies jacked up on steroids!? Man, I would shit my pants too If I ever saw something like that. Even the regular living death can be enough trouble as it is ,not to mention these obviously performance enhanced ones! Now good for them, police actually hears them and shows up (well, just one  cop but still)- but to no avail! All four of them end up kidnapped- cop didn’t even get to be that lucky, zombies throw him onto a brick wall and henchmen then proceed to decapitate him with the wheels of their van (man, that’s a nasty way to go).

Darell wakes up in the private hospital with the rest of the gang still sedated. He hides in the corner hoping no one will notice him. That doesn’t really work out.  Then when he finally runs for it he manages to alert half of the patients. He finally manages to escape by  jumping out a window and for some reason he tries hiding in the car of one of the doctors. He ends up up in a scrap with that doctors and the security too but he makes it out and jogs straight for the Sheriff ‘s Office. He may be dumb as f*@k but Gregg is in great shape.

Unfortunately for him the Sheriff’s Office is completely empty (I’m sure there are regulations against just that) so he calls the Sheriff the only way he knows how- by throwing stones and activating the alarm!? Man, he’s dumb- for sure there’s an easier way to do this. Sheriff then arrives with a record timing. He concludes the only logical thing– that the boy is on drugs and forces Gregg to spend a night in a jails cell. Man, this is really not his night.

Finally the Sheriff arrives to the sheriff’s station? Did he have a more important place to be?

In the morning the Sheriff finally listens to him and he  takes him to Dr. Divine’s place where they deny everything. Desperate Gregg manages to dupe the Sheriff and he runs away again. He then proceeds to recruit the old lady from the Dr. Devine‘s neighborhood (I guess she always suspected something). And you shouldn’t underestimate that lady- the  amount on weaponry she has in her place is unbelievable! 

Now, we see Dr’s goons playing with the zombies and they are christening the newest one Quinnie. Not only is this hulk of a woman the same lady from the beginning she is actually played by a minor celebrity- Bodybuilder and American Gladitator: ZapRaye Hollitt She is also interestingly a former wife of our WM alumni Ted Prior (Deadly Prey, The Final Sanction, Aerobicide).

Head Nurse is jealous and she desperately wants the body of the redhead that was promised to the rich,  irritating grandma. She even went as far as to “damage” her just so she can keep her. Bodies seem to be nothing but kid’s toys to these king of people.

In the end the rich old lady is beyond herself with joy (even though she got a blonde replacement and not original  redhead she wanted). Also we have to note that she kept her old woman’s voice even in this new body. How is that possible- I have no idea!

Now grandma infiltrates the compound but then the goons fuck things up by electrocuting zombies and the whole hell breaks loose.  Nurse uses opportunity to cheat on her husband with another Dr. this one. In the meantime the head nurse is cheating on her husband Dr.Divine with another doctor  who looks a bit like current president of USA Donald Trump.

Hilariously when Gregg finally catches Dr. Divine he is no longer he– you see he switch brains with the young Dr. and in this moment we really have no idea who’s who– and who has his original brain in the original body.

Fighting his way out of the house Gregg manages to save the redhead but Dr. meets his destiny via zombie and meatgrinder- nasty as it gets. But what happened to our  benevolent Dr. Divine you might ask? Well, three months later we see him (in his young man’s body and his old man’s voice) welcoming another client so I guess for his- it’s business as usual.

Verdict: Interesting thing to note, highly acclaimed Horror by Jordan Peelee Get Out uses the same “transfer of the brain” The Immortalizer set up, abelt with more of a social commentary and with a lot more attention to detail (it actually manages to sell its fantastical medical procedure to the viewers) and that showed just how great the idea really is- if you can make it work. But like they say- the devil is in the detail.

 

And despite all the parallels with the Gordon/ Yuzna franchise (glowing, green liquid we’re looking at you) the good Doctor aka Jeffrey Combs himself would have actually been perfect casting for this movie. His dead pen yet quirkie delivery would have elevated this kind of material into something a lot more meaningful. Unfortunately we are left with Ron Ray as a Doctor and he is fun but nothing more than that. But you never know what they’re going to remake next- so there might still be a chance.

 

 

tbh00Michael, is that you?

After a many years spent drinking beer in front of the local stores and doing absolutely nothing Michael Dudikoff has finally decided to leave his dumpster in ninja style and stand in line for a work. Since no one in Hollywood thought of him since 2002 (Quicksand, Stranded) he is no position to choose work. So he accepted the first role that wasn’t nailed down,  like role of Lieutenant Sheer in the independent garbage like this:

Once again Navy Seals prove their superiority in supernatural wars

Next we can expect “The Koff” as a Senator in Left Turn and then finally his full fledged return to Martial Art flicks (it has been too long) with Four Towers opposite Steven Seagal and Rutger Hauer.

I am not quite sure whether this movie is another Asylum’s cheap attempt of cash in on the major blockbuster ( Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter ) or it’s director Richard Schenkman was trying to show us his point of view about how Abraham Lincoln REALLY died. Script is based (mostly) on historical facts, tho subjectively used during filmmaking. But judge by yourself.

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The movie starts showing us Lincoln’s childhood, while he was 9 years old. He is chopping wood outside, like many US presidents did while they were young. Suddenly, he hears a gunshot from his house. He runs in and there finds his father commits suicide, but still barely alive ( tho, the wounds are bit confusing).  With his last breath, Abe’s father asked his son to do something he couldn’t do by himself. So young Abe takes his scythe, and kills his zombified mother. So, it is wrong to kill your zombified wife, but it is ok to ask your 9 years old son to kill his zombified mother.

UntitledCome to mommy, son. She wants to nibble your ear.

Now, fast forward takes us to 1862. year, right in the middle of Civil War battle. Now adult Abe (played by Bill Oberst Jr), is occupied with war strategy. Their attempt to take strategically very important  fort has failed miserably. And things gets worse for Union. Rumors about undead soldiers attacking the living are spreading among Abe’s men. To put an end to it, he decides to assemble Secret Service consisted of his best 12 agents (every single of them is alcoholic). So, they set foot behind enemy lines, to Fort Pulaski (another strategically important fort).  There, they get trapped and that’s when shits hit the fan. A lot of zombies are attacking them. But, in that moment, Abe shows his remarkably skill with scythe, decapitating one by one zombie. And not with an ordinary scythe. Lincoln, specially for this situation, has made his own folding scythe! Now, that’s a deadly weapon. Anyway, after cleaning the trash, Abe and remaining of his agents, meet with terrified General Stonewall Jackson with fake beard (played by none other than Don McGraw) and handful of his men. Until that moment enemies are becoming allies. Also, African American racistly named Mr Brown ( played by Jason Hughley) seems to be the only one, besides Abe, to know what are zombies exactly. And he is Lincoln’s huge fan.

That’s how Lincoln does that!!!

It seems that in those times every well-equipped fort  had a brothel nearby. So, Lincoln and his men  bust in (probably to relax a bit after fight vs zombies). But, instead of Abe firing his “bullet” into prostitutes, he gets shot from basement. There they find 3 prostitutes holded up with 12 years old boy named Theodore Roosevelt (played by Canon Kuipers). We learn that one of those prostitutes is Mary Owens (played by Baby Norman) and that she and Abe had a thing while they were younger. Other prostitute is Mary’s daughter Sophia, (played by Hannah Bryan). They all go back and somewhere along the way they encounter more Confederate zombies. Everyone went into wild, killing spree. Even young Teddy Roosevelt, showing his skills with shovel. One of the prostitutes (the third one) gets bitten and Mr Brown shoots her without hesitation from the fort wall. I must not forget Sophia’s contribution to their fight. She is talented for undead killing, just like her father. They manage to come back to the fort and reunite there with Robert Chamberlin (played by Ronald Ogden) and Pat Garrett (played by Christopher Marrone).

1075205_10201732200566020_281960136_nDon’t mess up with this girl if you are zombie! Unless you got a money.

Knowing that infest will not be stopped by itself, Abe holds touching speech and announces that they are going to every single zombie they can find. Everyone supported this, except John Wilkinson (played by Jason Vail) who doesn’t approve slaughtering of “innocent” people. In light of that fact, he has been left in the fort to guard captured zombie general and take care of Mary Owens, who is feeling sick. Before his departure, Abe took an opportunity to express his love to sick prostitute on her deathbed.

Their goal: Cleaning the town. It shouldn’t be so hard, keeping in mind that zombies are quite lethargic and that they are sleeping on their watch. Abe and his group passed by, without being noticed by any of undead. There is not really much left over to say about this movie. Lincoln teaches young Teddy how to kill, more of his men got slaughtered, including Garrett and Chamberlin, Sophia stays alive and takes Teddy under her skirt, General Stonewall Jackson blowing himself in the air with a bunch of zombies by shooting in keg of powder… The final battle, where they are defending fort against army of zombies looks more like Steven Seagal’s “Under the siege”  movie, but not that much bad.

Hi Ho Silver Away!

But, that is not the end. 3 years after the battle against the unliving was over, we notice Abe is hiding something. He comes to isolated barn more often. What is he keeping inside? Oh you already guessed well. He keeps there Marry Owens, still infected by zombification disease, feeding her with his own blood. At least until Dr. Malinoff (played by director Richard Schenkman ) finds the cure. Eventually, she attacks and wounds Abe and he is forced to blow her brain. Now, the grand finale! Lincolns gives a letter to Dr. Malinoff with order to deliver it as soon as possible. Receiver of this letter is none other than John Wilkes Booth. In that letter, Abe Lincoln orders his own assassination from Booth. So that is what really happened!!! History books are gonna be rewritten after this movie.

1085355_10201732199926004_1832706784_nWherever are zombies, sick prostitutes and bastards, I will be there! For I am Lincoln! 

Conclusion: Clearly, someone (and we know who)  has took a few looks into Abraham Lincoln’s biography, watched few episodes of Walking Dead and then decided to make this movie. It is full of historically inaccurate facts (one of them is that Stonewall Jackson had died before set up of this movie but he still gets his role here). Effects are mostly CGI and that’s the shame, since it would be so nicer if they had actually use fake blood. Zombies are static, passive and lethargic. There is a big number of zombies here, but their only purpose is to keep Abe and the rest of the company in constant danger. But, besides fun and laugh, the reason why I recommend watching this movie is absolutely outstanding performance by Bill Oberst Jr, who brilliantly has managed to deliver us Lincoln’s patience, noble, soft speech. He is doing fantastic job and no wonder we will see him in a lot of movies in 2014.

This movie makes no sense even in 60s when there was so many fresh and crazy ideas floating around. Ok, we know digital technology and other fancy stuff didn’t exist back then but that’s not excuse for putting 0 effort in filming. Follow me now in my step-by-step manual of how to avoid watching this abomination. You’ll thank me later.

It’s about some rich old lady who doesn’t want to give her fortune to anyone so she funded a mad scientist in his research to develop a machine that will be able to transfer her brain into a body of young and hot girl. Scientist had some experiments before that with freshly buried bodies which he has personally stolen. First of those was putting a wolf’s brain into his apprentice so he ended up making some kind of brain damaged werewolf. Oh yes, and he named it Monstrosity. How original. Anyway, being encouraged by that his following experiments are cadavers of 2 young girls. No one explained how so many young women died at all but i guess directors didn’t find it relevant. First girl became a zombie (not an evil zombie unfortunately), and second one became a crippled cat- lady ( her body has been merged with the brain of scientist’s favorite cat). Those two last experiments made scientist to come up with conclusion that cyclotron ( yes, that’s the machine name) is ready for it’s evil use so selection of victim can finally start. To make long story short, one perfect girl had been selected to host a brain of some old geezer.
Now, here is a twist! Are you ready? The chosen girl seduced old lady’s servant named Viktor (as in Viktor von Frankenstein) who is even older than his master and was occasionally used to sexually satisfy the old rich bitch. Oh, did I mention that every single person in this movie had to do same thing (even the Monstrosity; especially the Monstrosity) ? I didn’t ? Oh well, call me a spoiler guy. Viktor got afraid that in case of successful transfer his master won’t require his sexual services no more and that he’s gonna lose his job. So he made a plot with young girl to screw up old lady and share her fortune between themselves. Details of that plot  remained unknown and no one had spoken about it again.
The savior of the day was no one else than scientist himself who decided in very last moment to spare a girl and put a brain of old lady in his already used cat (no point in wasting a perfectly good material). Reasons for this decision also remains the mystery to us so we only can take a guess. Did he fall in love with young girl or he just wanted to do a right thing eventually? It turned out that that wasn’t a smart idea since cat managed to kill him while he was cleaning a cyclotron (?!). The girl ran away followed by a cat with plans of revenge on her mind. How scientist managed to put human brain into cat’s small head is another mystery of this movie. Ah so many mysteries.


Sinister looking cat. DO NOT PAT!!!

Another thing that adds an extra smell onto this garbage is lack of dialog.  Over 80% of movie is a pure narration! As if actors were too dumb to learn a script. Or too ashamed to speak. If  a reason is number 2 then I  can’t blame them at all.