Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Film Reviews

I've taken this lull in my productivity to review and compare three films that I watched last year within a day or two.
As qualifiers to these reviews, let me state that I'm not a fan of horror films at all and I find zombie films to be mostly in the "B" category and I score these in my reviews allowing for this view.
Neither am I a fan of comedy films, I find most to be trite or the comedy is contrived or forced.
So I present here my view on three films, a standard "horror", a zombie comedy and an apocalyptic tale, categorised as a horror film.
The film "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974), caused a great stir in the UK when it was first released after, I believe, much difficulty.
Having now seen the original, I can't see what all the fuss was about, probably due to there being much worse gore-fest  available nowadays.
I won't go into the actual plot, such as there is as it's all on the poster, suffice to say it's weak and although it may have once been shocking it isn't now - far worse can be found on You Tube.
I was recommended this film over a year ago and originally only managed to take in the 2003 remake, which is probably a slightly better film.
 I'm sorry to say that neither of these "classic" horror films has warmed me to the genre.
The second film "Dance of the Dead" (2008) is described as a "Comic high school terror", which in my book is never a good start.
The film is a zombie comedy so what could possibly be wrong with that ? To re-iterate, I don't like comedies particularly; there are zombies rising, nay springing from graves; the zombies once risen are a mix of shufflers and of the abhorrent (in my view) fast variety; the main characters are teens (the middle class, US boy/girl next door types) and there's an archetypical old survivalist/apoaclypse prepper.
The main characters are a drop-out, a bully, nerds, the prom queen and a cheerleader as well as the aforementioned survivour.
Well for all the wrong reasons I actually enjoyed this film and even managed more than a wry smile at times.
There are scenes in a funeral home (of course), the high school prom dance hall  (dancing zombies !) and a storyline that I could probably have written. But for all that I would still recommend this as a film to watch, if you can. It's not one that I would go out of my way to find, but it's good enough to pass away an hour or so.
The acters are all unknown to me but put in good performances and I've given this film a 4/5 on my zombie film review scale.
 "Carriers" (2009) is not actually a zombie film, but is actually a post apocalytic tale of four survivors fleeing the spread of a lethal viral pandemic.
The storyline is simple enough, four friends are trying to get from wherever it is they started from to a remote shoreline destination of a happier time in their childhood.
The virus seems to be spread similarly to flu and hence facemasks are appropriate when dealing with others that may or may not be infected.
Those that are infected show bodily bubos and eventually will turn into livng corpses of their formal selves who look uncannily what would easily pass as zombies. These zombie-like forms seem to possess little if any motor skills ( I can't recollect any of them moving) but pose a great threat of infection.
In my opinion this is a great apocalyptic film, dark and  full of pathos and tragedy along the lines of "The Road", but without the budget of the latter.
Once more the central characters are unknowns and give believable performances and again this is well worthlooking out for. I have included this is my zombie film list and I've given it a 4/5 ("The Road" would get a 5/5).

And that it for another week save to welcome my latest follower "Barks" and as always to welcome your comments.

18 comments:

  1. Oh Sir you are such a difficult man to please. I have to admit though that those films are particularly rotting turkeys. Get back to modelling, better still, get back to gaming and more batreps. (I know 'physician heal they self') :-)

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    1. I actually did like the last two, but I get your hint (and yes I am a hard man to please)

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  2. I have to say that I'm intrigued by the last two, for different reasons and will certainly now look out for them.

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    1. I hope you're as pleasantly surprised as I was

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  3. Film reviews are so subjective. Just as book or music reviews are. That said the second film sounds so bad as to be good! If you know what I mean.

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    1. I absolutely agree and perhaps it's why I liked it.

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  4. Pretty much agree with all three verdics

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    1. Maybe we're on the same wavelengths then/

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  5. Its funny I watched the texas chainsaw massacre last year. Its one of those films I've been keep meaning to watch an older cousin mentioned (probably exaggerated somewhat) that it made him barf in a bucket this was 20 years ago or something similar back when it was still banned. I'd have to agree its not as bad gore wise as current films and I think there lies its out of its era now. When you compare to the other horrors that where out at the same time quite mild in comparison really.

    I shall have to check out both the other films as I've not seen either. They shall be added to the extensive catch up list!

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    1. I think you have to be a horror afficianado to appreciate this film this days, but it was said to be ground-breaking in its day.

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  6. Man, its been forever since I saw Texas Chainsaw, it was one of the first splatterfests, but I agree it hasn't aged well. I would be interested in the Carriers, I will look for that at the video store (yes there is one around here) or netfix. Thanks for the reviews!

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    1. Carriers is the best of the bunch imo.

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  7. I'd never heard of the 2nd and 3rd of these films, but now I'm intrigued. Mind you, I'm not a fan of gore-fests and the Chainsaw Massacre has never been something which I wish to see.

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    1. I'm with you on the gore-fest line of thought, but I doubt "Dance " is to everyone's taste either, but I do think "Carriers" is worth a look.

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  8. I will definitely check out carriers, sounds good

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  9. I haven't seen "Dance of the Dead" or "Carriers" so I won't comment on them but I'm in no rush to see them. TCM was one of the very first horror films I saw. I was expecting it to be far more gory than it is. In truth, there is very little blood spilled in it. But what it does have in abundance is atmosphere and most of the horror is suggested rather than shown. To some people this can be extremely frightening. I remember watching it at my student union's film club and about a third of the audience walked out before it ended. One was a close friend of mine and he later admitted it was just too extreme for his tastes. At the time I was not a fan of horror films. This was only the second horror film I'd ever seen and I forced myself to sit through it. In the end I decided if I could sit through that then I could watch any horror film... and thus my love affair with horror films began.
    One other point I'd like to make, watching a film (any film) on the big screen is not the same as watching it at home on your TV. When I later watched TCM on my TV I wondered why it had such a bad reputation? As you rightly say, Joe, there are far gorier films out there. The remake of TCM is considerably more explicit. Even so, this is a film that has a special place in my heart and it always will. the bottom line is - I liked it. Nuff said!

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    1. I do undersstand the attempt was made in TCM to get rising tension rather than just present the audience with gore, but it wasn't exaactl Hitchcock, for all its hype. I do think though that it hasn't aged well and as you say not many films translate to the TV well either.

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