For whatever reason I have watched a host of zombie and other horror films, some good and some bad, and I feel compelled to talk about several of them. You may have already seen my review of Fido. Maybe you have even picked up your own copy. Good for you. I hope you enjoy these other recommendations (and avoid these stinkers) too.
Last night I watched a great Swedish Norwegian (oops, thanks Martin) contribution to zombie horror called Dead Snow (Død snø). You think “oh, zombies; that’s bad” and then you think “oh, Nazis; that’s bad” and then you think “Nazi zombies? We are so fucked”. So much evil; so little time. This film pays homage to several films in zombie history. You could make a drinking game of it. (Even a bit of a nod to Pirates of the Caribbean and Pulp Fiction.) Definitely watch this film. Hot Swedish Norwegian girls in the snow.
Buy Dead Snow.
There is a New Zealand contribution to zombie horror our there called Black Sheep. This one skirts that taboo known as genetic engineering. I realize you may not think highly of the idea of zombie sheep, but this film works to please on several levels. And you get to see a vegan-animal-advocate-hippie turned raw meat carnivore. Rent or buy this one as soon as possible. You won’t think of wool the same way again.
Buy Black Sheep.
Remember not to get on any plane carrying a coffin and a fugitive pursued by the CIA. This is the setup for the film Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane and it is just like it sounds: a marvelous blending of Snakes on a Plane and Night of the Living Dead. You may or may not enjoy this one. Decent budget. Easy sets (they are on a fucking plane). Well acted throughout. If you enjoyed its two name-sakes, you’ll likely get a great kick out of this one. Watch it if you can.
Buy Flight of the Living Dead or rent it.
I watch the bad films so that you don’t have to. Unless you are into that sort of thing.
Not a zombie flick but rather an alleged vampire film, Fist of the Vampire (which gave me high hopes with the title) just didn’t live up to, well, anything. Poor acting, meager fight choreography, odd video editing, and bizarre special effects choices inconsistently spread through the film. You could tell when the actors had their teeth in because they developed lisps. This is a film to laugh at—not with. On the plus side there is a lot of gratuitous boob action and some unnecessary lesbian fantasies. Don’t spend your money here. And if you do watch it, remember I tried to warn you.
Just because you have a small budget doesn’t mean you can’t kick some zombie ass. The creators of Special Dead must have been giddy to see the final cut roll. It was a romp so wrong it must be right. A zombie outbreak at a special persons camp. Surprisingly well acted. I guess they took the advice of Kirk Lazarus seriously and didn’t go “full retard”. There is so much to love in this low-budget instant classic I’m at a loss where to begin. The electric chainsaw extension cord problem? The campfire song? You have to see it to believe it. You have to see it. Don’t come crying to me if you tear out your stitches watching this one. But watch it. Give them some money. They deserve it.
Buy Special Dead or rent it.
(You may have trouble finding a copy of Special Dead to buy as it looks to be out of print.)
Megan Fox is hot. There is no other reason to watch Jennifer’s Body. Seriously. I guess it’s some sort of werewolf film sans fur. Terrible. Except she’s so hot. No nudity but plenty of hot body action. And some unnecessary lesbian fantasies.
I heard a reading from Dracula’s Guest on Selected Shorts (NPR) and noticed that same title on a torrent site. I gave it a chance. Don’t bother. The film is not worth your time. I want my 82 minutes back.
More psychological thriller, The Collector was ok. If you are into boo style horror, you might like this. I found it had too many silly plot points to make it any good. You know, something happens and you ask yourself “why the fuck would anyone ever do that?”. And the psycho character would never have been able to arrange these Home Alone traps in the time allotted (or maybe ever). I can’t say terrible, but I can’t say good either. You’re on your own on this one.
In the tradition of undead horrors, we come to The Haunting of Winchester House. I’m not clear if the authors ever visited the Winchester mansion or if they actually knew anything about the history that you wouldn’t read on the back of a post card, but they did an acceptable job of creating a film. I love watching films like this because it encourages me to think I too could make a film and get it distributed. The ghosts are suspiciously zombie-like. Tons of plot holes. Much silliness within their attempts at seriousness. Not that interesting to me, but again if you like boo style horror you might be entertained. The ending would make M. Night Shyamalan proud.
What’s better than vampires? Lesbian vampires, of course. The film Lesbian Vampire Killers follows two friends (think Shaun of the Dead) who decide to vacation in the English countryside for a bit of relaxation and beer. The only problem is that they vacate to a village cursed by a medieval vampire queen where all the girls are transformed into lesbian vampires when they turn 18. Add four hot foreigners who have traveled to this village Mystery Machine style specifically to investigate the legends. How can you possibly go wrong? Buy this film. You will not regret it. Packed from end to end with unnecessary lesbian fantasies.
Buy Vampire Killers.
(The American release is titled simply Vampire Killers. Apparently it was more important to remove that horrible word from the title than to preserve any plot connection. Fucking puritans.)
Hope that helps you along your horror path. Remember: keep your machete sharp and your chainsaw fueled.