Category: Zombies

“Amityville Uprising” (2022) / Z-View

Amityville Uprising (2022) 

Director: Thomas J. Churchill

Screenplay: Thomas J. Churchill

Stars: Scott C. Roe, Mike Ferguson, Kelly Lynn Reiter, Troy Fromin.

Tagline: To Serve. To Protect. And to Fight the Undead.

The Plot…

An explosion at a military base produces a cloud that releases acid rain over Amityville.  The contaminated downpour turns town folk into zombies.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Amityville Uprising sounded like a low budget drive-in movie that might be a fun way to spend an hour and a half.  I tapped out after 31 minutes.  I was still waiting to see a zombie.

Amityville Uprising (2022) rates 1 of 5 stars.

“Dead Heist” (2007) / Z-View

Dead Heist (2007) 

Director: Bo Webb

Screenplay: Anghus Houvouras, Eric Tomosunas, Bo Webb

Stars: Big Daddy Kane

Tagline: The perfect heist…the wrong night.

The Plot…

When a small town bank robbery goes sideways due to the start of a zombie apocalypse, the thieves and cops find themselves fighting for their lives.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Made on a micro-budget and it shows.

Loved the idea, not so much the execution.

Dead Heist (2007)  rates 2 of 5 stars.

“Godzilla Minus One” (2023) / Z-View

Godzilla Minus One (2023)

Director: Takashi Yamazaki

Screenplay: Takashi Yamazaki

Stars: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe.

Tagline: Postwar Japan. From zero to minus.

The Plot…

1945.  World War II is nearing the end.  Kōichi Shikishima, a Japanese kamikazi pilot lands his plane on Odo island for repairs.  There is nothing wrong with his plane.  The truth is that Kōichi was afraid to finish his mission.  That night a giant prehistoric-looking creature comes ashore.  It attacks the Japanese stronghold.  Try as they might, the creature is impervious to anything the soldiers can do.  Kōichi is too afraid to help.  The next morning he is one of the only two to survive Godzilla’s attack.

The war ends.  Kōichi returns home to Tokyo.  He discovers his parents were both killed in a bombing. Kōichi meets a homeless woman with an orphaned child. He brings them to his home. As time goes by they become more of a family, but Kōichi still feels like a coward.

Reports of Godzilla attacking ships becomes more frequent.  The government fears Godzilla will come on land and wipeout entire cities.  Nothing has been able to stop the giant creature.  Then the worst is reported, Godzilla is heading inland.

Will Kōichi get a chance to redeem himself and save his country?  What do you think?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The title, Godzilla Minus One, refers to Japan being taken “down to zero” after World War II.  Godzilla’s attacks on the country take it even lower.  This minus one.

After seeing the trailer and the great reviews for Godzilla Minus One I was excited to see the film.  The scenes of Godzilla’s attacks and the destruction caused by the monster are the best in any Godzilla film ever.  This is where Godzilla Minus One shines.  I wanted more of that.  It almost felt like I was watching a more adult film during Godzilla’s attacks and a movie aimed at kids with the Kōichi subplot.

Godzilla Minus One (2023) rates 3 of 5 stars.

“Plan 9 From Outer Space” (1957) written & directed by Ed Wood Jr., featuring Bela Lugosi / Z-View

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1957)

Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.

Screenplay:  Edward D. Wood Jr.

Stars: Gregory Walcott, Tom Keene, Tor Johnson, Lyle Talbot, Conrad Brooks, Maila Nurmi, Bela Lugosi, Edward D. Wood Jr. and Criswell.

Tagline: Unspeakable Horrors From Outer Space Paralyze The Living And Resurrect The Dead!

The Plot…

Aliens are worried that humans will produce a doomsday bomb that could destroy the universe.  To stop them, the aliens put into motion Plan 9.  They resurrect the recent dead.  Humans will be so horrified that they will follow the aliens’ directives.  If not, the aliens will use the zombies to destroy them!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Plan 9 From Outer Space is Bela Lugosi’s last film.  Ed Wood and Lugosi were friends.  They had filmed snippets of scenes for an Ed Wood movie in development.  Bela Lugosi died and Ed Wood decided to incorporate these clips into Plan 9.  Wood also used the fact that Plan 9 would be Lugosi’s last film to induce some of the actors to join the project.

It’s funny to note that scenes featuring Lugosi’s character not played by Lugosi were completed by Wood’s wife’s chiropractor.  He was much taller and looked nothing like Bela Lugosi.  So Ed Wood told him to hunch over and always keep the cape in front of his face.  Problem solved.

The film was made on a miniscule budget.  Tor Johnson’s home was used as a location.  Johnson’s son was a San Fernando Police officer.  They got use of the police car and uniforms through him.  The alien’s flying saucer was adapted from a popular UFO model kit.  Bela Lugosi supplied his own cape (from playing Dracula on stage). The gravestones were made of cardboard or styrofoam and can be seen wiggling when actors brushed against them.

Harry Thomas did the make-up for Plan 9.  He become upset and asked his name be removed from the credits.  Thomas wanted the aliens to have elongated chins using appliances he would make, cat’s eye lenses (special contacts) and green hair (wigs). Ed Wood said that those ideas would be too expensive.  Ironically, the year before Henry Thomas worked on Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments which was the most expensive movie ever made to that time.

Plan 9 From Outer Space gained popularity after being named The Worst Film Ever Made.  It is a bad film, but far from the worst ever made.  The low budget, bad script, Lugosi stand-in, wooden performances, outlandish idea for a movie and more make for a humorous viewing, especially with friends.

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1957) rates 2 of 5 stars.

“Gangnam Zombie” (2023) / Z-View

Gangnam Zombie (2023)

Director: Lee Soo-seong

Screenplay: Choe Seung

Stars: Ji Il-joo, Park Ji-yeon.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Young podcasters and shoppers in an upscale mall in Gangnam fight for their lives during a zombie uprising!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

If I make it through the entire movie, I usually am able to justify a two star rating.  Not this one.

Gangnam Zombie (2023) rates 1 of 5 stars.

“Festival of the Living Dead” (2024) / Z-View

Festival of the Living Dead (2024)

Director: Jen and Sylvia Soska

Screenplay: Miriam Lyapin, Helen Marsh

Stars: Camren Bicondova, Ashley Moore.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

A group of teenage friends attend the Festival of the Living Dead which commemorates the 55th anniversary of the original zombie attack.  While at the festivals zombies, you guessed it, attack.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

I enjoy a good zombie movie.  I tapped out of this one after 31 minutes.

Festival of the Living Dead (2024) rates 1 of 5 stars.

“Valley of the Dead” (2020) / Z-View

Valley of the Dead (2020)

Director:  Javier Ruiz Caldera, Alberto de Toro

Screenplay: Jaime Marques Olarreaga, Alberto Fernández Arregui, Cristian Conti

Stars: Miki Esparbé, Aura Garrido, Luis Callejo

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

During  the Spanish Civil War, rival soldiers must join forces when they encounter zombies created by Nazis.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

I’m a sucker for zombie movies.  Valley of the Dead isn’t terrible.  In fact it’s better than a lot zombie flicks these days.  If you’re looking for some mindless entertainment with a touch of humor, Valley of the Dead should fit the bill.

Valley of the Dead (2020) rates 2 of 5 stars.

“George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead” Limited Edition Print by Paul Mann!

In honor of its 45th anniversary, artist Paul Mann teamed with Bottleneck Gallery and ISH to create a new poster for George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.  The 14 color screen print pictured above is 24×26 inches and will be released in a hand-numbered edition of just 300 for $75.00.

There will be an Emerald Variant in a hand-numbered edition of 175 that will cost $85.00.

The final variant will be the Purple Variant in a hand-numbered variant of just 100 that will retail for $95.00.

The Paul Mann George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead limited edition prints will go on sale tomorrow.  For full details click here.

“Day Zero” (2022) starring Brandon Vera / Z-View

Day Zero (2022)

Director: Joey De Guzman

Screenplay by: Ays De Guzman

Starring: Brandon Vera, Pepe Herrera, Mary Jean Lastimosa.

Tagline: When the dead rise, humanity falls.

The Story:

As a zombie virus spreads like wildfire, Emon (Vera) fights to get home to his wife and child.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

Brandon Vera is a former MMA fighter.  He has the potential to become a better known action star.

Day Zero is low budget zombie film.  It also had potential.  Pepe Herrera was Vera’s comic relief sidekick.  Thankfully, the comedy wasn’t over the top.  As Vera and Herrera fought their way to save Vera’s family the action became to repetitive.  I taped out after 43 minutes.

“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” starring Danai Gurira & Andrew Lincoln – The Teaser Trailer is Here!

I hate that Rick was gone for years from The Walking Dead, but I am looking forward to The Ones Who Live.

Danai Gurira (Michonne Hawthorne) and Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) reveal what’s in store for the return of these two iconic characters. Don’t miss the series premiere of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live February 25th on AMC and AMC+.

“The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon” – Season 1 (2023) starring Norman Reedus / Z-View

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon – Season 1 (2023)

Created by: David Zabel

Director:  Daniel Percival (Eps.1 – 2, 5 – 6); Tim Southam (Eps. 3 – 4)

Teleplay by:  David Zabel (Ep. 1); Jason Richman & David Zabel (Ep. 2, 5); Coline Abert (Ep. 3); Shannon Goss (Ep. 4); Dani Parker (Ep. 5); Jason Richman & Laura Snow (Ep. 6)

Starring:  Norman Reedus, Clémence Poésy, Louis Puech Scigliuzzi, Blanc-Francard, Anne Charrier, Romain Levi, Adam Nagaitis, Eriq Ebouaney, Dominique Pinon and Melissa McBride.

Tagline: Hope is not lost.

The Plot: 

Daryl Dixon finds himself in France when he wakes up on a deserted beach.  How he got there will become clear as the season progresses.  His goal is to get back home.  Unable to speak the language and with no one he can contact for help, Daryl begins his journey.

Daryl is injured after encounters with a walker with corrosive blood and killers who are part of a paramilitary group.  When Daryl comes across a fortress held by nuns, he is given aide.  There Daryl meets Sister Isabelle (Poésy) and a young boy named Laurent (Scigliuzzi).  The nuns and others throughout France have heard of Laurent.  Many, for reasons that will become clear, believe that Laurent will be the savior of humanity.  He will lead France to a new golden age.  Sister Isabelle tells Daryl that it was prophesied that a warrior would come who would safely take Laurent to Paris where followers await.

Daryl ain’t buying it.

But when Sister Isabelle promises that she has people in Paris who could help Daryl get back to America, he agrees. Cue the walkers.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

It’s neat seeing Daryl as a stranger in a strange land.  It is cool how quickly people/groups came to realize how dangerous/resourceful Daryl is.

I like the idea of the nun with a past and how she is working to receive redemption.  I also got a kick out of what became of the man she left behind.

Seeing zombies we are familiar with as well as new “strains” of zombies is something that needs to continue in small doses.  I like the “explanation” for the new fast and strong walkers.

Except for Norman Reedus, (and a cameo by Melissa McBride) all of the actors/actresses were new to me except for one.  I couldn’t figure out where I’d seen him before.  So I looked up Dominique Pinon.  He was Vriess in Alien: Resurrection!

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon – Season 1 features some of the best Walking Dead episodes in recent memory.  Bring on Season 2.

“The Walking Dead: Dead City” – Season 1 (2023) starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Lauren Cohan / Z-View

The Walking Dead: Dead City – Season 1 (2023)

Written by: Eli Jorné (eps. 1-2, 4, 6); Keith Staskiewicz (ep.3); Brenna Kouf (ep. 5)

Directed by: Loren Yaconelli (eps. 1-2); Kevin Dowling (eps. 3-4); Gandja Monteiro (eps. 5-6)

Stars: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Gaius Charles, Mahina Napoleon, Zeljko Ivanek, Logan Kim, Jonathan Higginbotham, Karina Ortiz, Michael Anthony, David Chen and Lisa Emery

Tagline: Keep Your Enemies Close

The Plot…

Maggie’s son, Hershel, has been taken hostage by a sadist known as “The Croat”.  The Croat was an enforcer for Negan, when Negan led The Saviors. So Maggie recruits Negan to go with her to Manhattan to rescue Hershel.  Negan agrees on the condition that Maggie’s group give Ginny, a young orphaned girl, refuge.

Maggie and Negan head to Manhattan unaware that three Marshalls are tracking Negan who is wanted for murder.  Because of their past history, Maggie and Negan’s partnership is uneasy at best.  Add in the complications of the Marshalls, New York City full of zombies, dangerous survivalist groups, plus the sadistic Croat with plans of his own… let the fun begin!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The Walking Dead: Dead City – Season 1 clocks in with just six episodes, which is a smart move.  I think all of the Walking Dead spin-offs should come up with a story to tell and get to it,

I wasn’t too sure about the pairing of Negan and Maggie.  Maggie’s hate for Negan should override every reason for her to be around, much less work with him for a common goal.  Then the writer’s came up with a plausible reason… to save her son.  I liked how Negan put his murdering her husband back on Maggie when he asked her “How many husbands have you killed?”  Maggie also got to see how Negan using over-the-top “theatrics” when murdering a person kept a group from attacking them.  Well played, writers.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Laura Cohen are two of the most popular Walking Dead characters.  They have the star power to carry the series.  Zeljko Ivanek plays The Croat with zeal.  Gaius Charles as the Marshall is an interesting character that I believe will be come more important in season two.  Lisa (Ozark) Emery is a welcome addition to the cast. She was mean in Ozark and now she’s mean and creepy.

Bring on Season 2.

The Walking Dead: Dead City – Season 1 (2023) earns 4 of 5 stars.

“Night of the Living Dead” (1968) directed by George Romero / Z-View

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Director: George A. Romero

Screenplay: John Russo, George A. Romero

Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Keith Wayne, Judith Ridley, Kyra Schon, S. William Hinzman, Bill Cardille, John A. Russo, Russell Streiner and George A. Romero.

Tagline:  They won’t stay dead!

The Plot…

When the dead suddenly begin reanimating with a craving for human flesh, a group of strangers find themselves together in a deserted farmhouse.  As the group argues about their best moves for survival, the dead continue to gather outside!  Soon the farmhouse will be overrun.  The clock is ticking.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

Night of the Living Dead, shot on a shoestring budget with most of the cast taking their first acting roles, reinvented and revitalized zombie movies.  Investors in the film, many of the people who worked on the film behind the scenes and some of locals ended up taking on-screen roles as well.

Although NotLD is one of the most profitable independent films of all-time.  Sadly, George Romero didn’t see much of the profits due to his little understanding of distribution deals.  To make matters worse, the film was released with no copyright notice which at the time placed it in the public domain.  Anyone or any company could make a sell copies of the movie with no proceeds going to George Romero or his investors.  That’s why there are so many crappy versions available.

NotLD takes place on the first day of a zombie apocalypse.  No one knows what is going on or the best course of action.  One of the interesting aspects of NotLD is that Harry Cooper argues that everyone is safer in the basement.  Cooper is the least likeable of the group and a different course of action is taken.  Turns out Cooper’s idea was the best.

Night of the Living Dead (1968) rates 5 of 5 stars.

SGT. ROCK VS the ARMY OF THE DEAD by Bruce Campbell and Eduardo Risso!

Bruce Campbell teamed with Eduardo Risso to create SGT. ROCK VS the ARMY OF THE DEAD.  Here’s the lowdown…

Berlin, 1944. The Nazis are besieged on all fronts by the Allied forces. Defeat is inevitable. But Hitler and his team of evil scientists attempt a last-ditch effort that may turn the tide of the war and rewrite history itself: a serum that resurrects their dead soldiers, stronger than they were in life, and sends them back into the battlefield.

Now Sgt. Frank Rock and Easy Company have been dispatched into enemy territory to face off against the strangest, most horrific enemies they’ve ever encountered: Nazi zombies!

Sgt. Rock and Easy Company are behind enemy lines, armed to the teeth, and ready to go up against the strangest-and deadliest-enemies they’ve ever encountered: zombies, and a whole lot of ’em! Strap in, soldiers, it’s you against the world…of the dead!

Horror icon Bruce Campbell and comics legend Eduardo Risso bring you a terror-soaked Sgt. Rock tale like no other!

Collects DC Horror Presents: Sgt. Rock vs. The Army of the Dead #1-6.