Trite of the Living Doty
Originally intended for this to be a small post because of an incredibly hectic week and this is probably the wordiest one I’ve done so far. Should’ve known better. As a devotee of the undead, I’ve never been able to keep things short, simple, and/or sweet (especially sweet) when talking about anything related to zombies. Live and learn I guess (insert cliche ghoul reference here). It bears reminding that all of this is 100% subjective (it is a blog after all) & I’m likely to forget more than a few things worthy of note.
Fun Fact #1: Six years ago, my boyfriend (current husband) arranged for me to meet Mr. George A. Romero. I was more than a little nervous about the meeting. It’s always a gamble when coming face to face with one of your idols. You run the risk of being severely disappointed. What if it turns out he’s a jerk (Looking at you, other horror icon that I won’t name)? Lucky for me, he was a perfect gentleman. We talked about zombies (duh), filmmaking, and sandwiches (I was starving at the time). He even signed a Dawn of the Dead script for a buddy of mine. If you ever get a chance to meet Romero, be cooler than I was.
Fun Fact #2: The theme of my wedding? Yep, you guessed it. My fiancée (still current husband) and I had just finished doing sound design for Zombie Manor. The guys that run this fantastic haunted house knew how frustrated we were with finding a venue and offered to throw the wedding reception. Zombies of all ages provided entertainment, drinks, & food while friends and family celebrated with us. To top it all off, Eat My Cake. made this beyond amazing wedding cake (which was the brainchild of the baker and my husband). Even the zombies got a slice of red velvet, though they stayed in character and only ate behind the scenes.
Fun Fact #3: In 2006, I attended a Zombie Survival Seminar held by Max Brooks, the author of The Zombie Survival Guide & World War Z (both of which he signed for me). The seminar itself was actually full of practical survival information (zombies optional). He also laid out a variety of scenarios and had volunteers play out commonsense solutions to the uncommon zombie threat. Met up with him after his talk, he was super cool and geeked out over my Night of the Living Dead hoodie.
Top 5 Flicks (in no particular order):
Read Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess and liked it enough that I was excited for the film. The way they play up the audio is a big reason I enjoy Pontypool so much. It actually reminds me a lot of the old radio plays. Many of the scares and chills are left to your imagination. Minimal cast and sets, but the actors (both on and off screen) do a lot with the little they’re given.
Zombie (or Zombi 2 if you prefer) is one of those films that you have to be in the mood to sit through. It is not for everyone. If you’re used to things moving at a fast pace, you might want to steer clear of this and anything else Lucio Fulci had a hand in. This was my first Fulci flick and I’ve been a fan ever since. I will say (as someone in the dubbing industry), the dub can be a bit distracting at times. Still love it. I mean, come on… Who doesn’t love a zombie fighting a shark? I’m also a sucker for real special effects over computer generated ones.
Shaun of the Dead is the film that made me love Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, and Nick Frost. I should also be thankful to them because this also made me aware of Spaced (which is equally awesome). The tagline “A Romantic Comedy With Zombies” is right on the money, though I would never attempt to make friends that hate horror films sit through it. Its funny, cute, sad, and, at times, kind of scary. The zombies themselves (extras and all) are a big reason I love this film. They just did such a great job (makeup, walk, effects, groans, all of it).
Another Fulci film? How can this be? The Beyond will always have a special place in my heart. I’m fully aware that saying that about a horror flick might be a bit odd, but its the truth. I’d never seen this movie until I went on my first date with this kind of cool guy… My husband. Ew, emotions! Gross! Bleh… His choice in flicks definitely paid off. I freaking LOVE this film (even with the dubbing). We do our best to watch it at least once a year, preferably on our dating anniversary.
Pretty sure I saw Dawn of the Dead (1978) before I saw Night of the Living Dead (which will bug me to know end. Thanks OCD!). Though I liked Night and didn’t despise Day (can’t say the same for the remake), Dawn is what made me love the “Of The Dead” franchise (before Land, Diary, & Survival came along and shat the bed). Blatant commentary on consumerism AND zombies? Yes please!
Top 5 Guilty Pleasure Flicks:
“Friend, after what I’ve seen tonight you could tell me an evil spirit rose up from the dead and decided to posses the entire town and I would believe you.” Dead and Breakfast is probably the campiest zombie flick that I like. A friend of mine lent it to me and warned me of the cheese factor. It didn’t really seem like something I’d like at first. After the DVD sat on my shelf for several weeks, I finally watched it… And loved it. Did I mention there’s a dance number?
“Zombies, exploding heads, creepy-crawlies… and a date for the formal. This is classic, Spanky.” I’d forgotten how much I loved Night of the Creeps until I saw Slither a few years ago (watched it for Nathan Fillion, don’t judge me). It reminded me so much of it that I went out and bought it (Night of the Creeps, NOT Slither). I think I originally saw it because I’d recognized Jason Lively (Rusty Griswold from European Vacation) while flipping through channels and just kind of kept watching it. And Tom Atkins is in it. You can never go wrong with Tom Atkins (don’t quote me on that). So bad. So very, very bad… But that’s what makes it so much fun to watch.
“Well, it’s a puzzle because, technically, you’re not alive. Except you’re conscious, so we don’t know what it means.” Return of the Living Dead is one of those films you watch at a party or a sleepover. I usually hate when a flick has zombies saying “Brains!” (or speaking at all), but it works for Return of the Living Dead. The cheese is probably a major factor there. It knows how bad it is and just keeps going. It won’t stay dead.
“She’s history! I know what to do, I’ve read the comics! Total… bodily… dismemberment!“ Darn those cursed Sumatran rat monkeys! Dead Alive (also known as Brain Dead) is another one of those party movies. Great to add a commentary track to and the more the merrier. For those that haven’t seen it, extreme gore fest… So much chunky blood. If you’ve got a sensitive stomach, this is not the zombie movie for you. May want to have a vomit bag handy. I saw this when I was about ten years old and, even then, I thought it was more of a comedy than a horror movie (Mom did not agree).
“In the brain and not the chest. Head shots are the very best.” My only real complaint about Fido is that I don’t get to hear Billy Connolly’s lovely voice. Then again, he is playing a zombie. Fido is the newest edition to the Robinson family. In this world, you’re not out of the workforce just because your heart stopped beating (depressing, isn’t it?). Young Timmy Robinson grows to think of Fido as more of a friend than a servant and mishaps ensue. I consider this more family comedy than horror. That might be a stretch for those that hate blood and guts, but its a cute little movie.
Keep in mind that the original lists were much longer than 5. In the end, I felt less was more. If you’d like a recommendation, the comment section is your friend.
There are still so many flicks I need to see (no, I haven’t seen World War Z & I’m VERY on the fence about it), shows I need to watch (In The Flesh is top priority), books I need to read, and collectibles I need to… well, collect.
I wish I could say I’m up to date on video games, but I’m not. I play arcade games whenever I get the chance (Resident Evil, House of the Dead, etc), but that’s about it. As much as I would love to ramble on about zombie games, I can’t. Someone will have to school me on what’s worth buying for PS3.
“Why do you love zombies so much, Terri?”
I just do.