For those of you living in the Tennessee and Kentucky area, there is a Comic and Horror Festival this weekend. Fans of horror and wrestling–this is your festival to attend. The following is the official press release that was emailed to me so all I know is what is stated down below. The festival is only $5 which is super cheap and if one is in the area show your support for Independent Horror!
Official Selection Announced for Nashville Comic and Horror Film Festival
This years Nashville Comic and Horror Film Festival is being curated by film maker Cameron McCaslan, and emceed by his long time collaborator Dr. Gangrene Larry Underwood. McCaslands new film The Lashman will be screening along with an assortment of his short film pairings with Dr. Gangrene including a brand new short entitled “Monster Movie Day” making its big screen premiere in Nashville.
The festival is focusing on (more…)
SHU-IZMZ attended WALKER STALKER CON last year, which was held at the McCormick Center and posted photos and its critique of the whole weekend event right HERE and I did enjoy the event, most notably because I was granted press passes for myself and my photographer. There were some very interesting Q&A panels there last year with knowledgeable people asking the questions. My biggest complaint probably had to be the prices of autographs and photo-ops (some of which did not allow any pictures of any kind to be taken) and the fact that the interview panels for the guests to speak were not located in a separate area with better acoustics for sound. It was hard at times and very distracting having the interviews out in the middle of the floor with only curtain dividers to give the area its own boundaries. I have never been to any convention of any kind at Navy Pier, the location of which the upcoming WSC is going to be located at so I am very curious to see (more…)
As a diehard fan of film (horror, cult, and exploitation films specifically), I almost say it with regret and shame that I do watch AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD each week with my girlfriend (who I feel is a much bigger fan of the show than I am) because of the show’s enormous popularity and the fact that so many fans of the show don’t really give two-shits about the horror genre in general. The Norman Reedus Fangirls/Fanboys come to mind when I think of some of the negative connotations and feelings myself, and others who have voiced their opinions and feelings on the subject, associated with the cable television series. Personally, I think the comic book is far better.
Hearing time and time again that because THE WALKING DEAD is (more…)
As well as making the NIGHTSHIFT short for Threadless, I got to moan and groan my way through some surf rock as a zombie lead singer. Check out the brief clip posted over at Youtube.com below. Moaning is about as great as my singing talents got for this video. My buddy (more…)
My friends at Threadless made a promo video for an upcoming sale at the warehouse. The subject of the video was going to be zombies and I was going to get made up like one by some friends who went to Tom Savini’s school of make-up who were lending their skills for the video. Pretty stoked, I told (more…)
If one did not happen to see the news unfold in Florida regarding the guy that was seen eating another man after having taken some bath salts and behaving as if he were a damn zombie, one really did miss out. Google it and look for the footage and photos on-line. I mean, one really can’t make this shit up. After one has done that, then check out this (more…)
Any readers out there probably may have gotten the hint that ever since THE WALKING DEAD exploded onto cable television screens on the AMC Network, everyone has been into zombies: horror fans and non-horror fans alike. It seems like zombies have become so mainstream that even safety billboards urging drivers to buckle-up so they don’t get killed in an automobile accident and turn into a zombie have been created (Seriously, I really did see this!). Since the early days of Fulci’s and Romero’s careers, I felt that zombie stories were nothing more than (more…)
Here is the download link for the interview with the cast of PORTRAIT OF A ZOMBIE, an Irish Indie zombie flick that has a great deal more depth than one’s average zombie flick! Director/Writer BING BAILEY, writer LAURA MORAND BAILEY, actors STEVEN NEESON and PAUL O’BRYAN and actresses DIANE JENNINGS and GERALDINE McALINDEN were on hand to talk about the making of the film and all the juicy details that went into the production. (more…)
Honestly, I can’t say I can remember off-hand the last time I have seen a good zombie film that came out of Ireland. In fact, besides DEAD MEAT (2004) and BOY EATS GIRL (2005), I am having a hard time remembering anything worth mentioning. I haven’t seen DEAD MEAT (which has a Fangoria seal of approval which at the time generally meant it was a pile of shit usually) and BOY EATS GIRL was pretty cool, and probably the only one worth mentioning in the category of Irish zombie films. BOY EATS GIRL was filled with humor, as is PORTRAIT OF A ZOMBIE, another Irish zombie film shot as a documentary of sorts as a film crew follows a family that has a zombie son and decides to keep him locked up in his bedroom. The family refuses to destroy him, as they see their zombie son still as their son, one who wants to tear apart their flesh at any given moment given the chance, but one who still has human feelings…or so they think!
Bing Bailey’s PORTRAIT OF A ZOMBIE is (more…)
As some of you may know, SHU-IZMZ received press passes from C2E2 and allowed for us to spend three days this past weekend immersed in the glory and nerd funk that Comic Cons offer…which is awesome! Myself and the site’s photographer had an excellent time at the convention and here is the entire WALKING DEAD panel that I recorded via my trusty digital tape recorder. Fans of the show will enjoy hearing two of its cast members talk about some of the in’s and out’s of working on the show, one of AMC’s most popular programs on the network. There was a fan Q&A after the moderator let the fans have the floor and it never ceases to amaze me what some people will be so bold as to ask celebrities. Hope everyone enjoys the recording and disregard any snarky comments that may have been uttered during the panel. I swear it was not me!
WALKING DEAD C2E2 Panel in its entirety:
Anyone that knows about SHU-IZMZ knows that as much as the website loves twisted films, metal, and the three B’s (Bush, Boobs, and Blood), the site also has a great fondness and respect for comicbooks and the geek culture of comicbooks. Hell, horror conventions (which I love going to!) has just as many geeks involved with the scene as those involved with comicbooks does. I am not saying that as a bad thing, but more of a title to be revered. A geek of any sorts is so immersed into something that they neither notice nor care that they may have lost all touch with the rest of civilization who is not aware of the awesome comicbook, film, or subject of interest that they are specifically into. Hell, I call geeks the elite of the horror, comicbook, sci-fi, and metalheadz. A geek is a term of endowment and envy. If someone calls me (more…)
Independent horror filmmaker Geno McGahee just posted his 2nd trailer for his upcoming film SCARY TALES. If one recalls, I really enjoyed FAMILY SECRET (another film he directed). Check out the trailer and keep your eyes peeled for a review of the finished film when it comes out!
DVD REVIEW: MORE BRAINS! A RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD (2011)
MORE BRAINS! A RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD is the most exhaustive documentary, to this date, that I have seen on any particular movie to this day. The film is over 240 minutes long, filled with a plethora of extra features and featurettes. The documentary, narrated by Brian Peck (“Scuz” from ROTLD) and directed by Bill Phillput (KILL YOURSELF: THE MOVIE, HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13TH, NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: THE ELM STREET LEGACY), is the only definitive, in-depth look at one of my favorite zombie films of all time. The film is considered a cult classic, taking the legacy of George A. Romero’s zombie films and giving them a large does of comedy injected into them, filled with plenty of gore, scares, and laughs. This documentary digs deep into the bowels of the film and the filmmaking process, which created one of the most memorable zombie films to this day.
The use of very atmospheric set pieces and backgrounds used during the interviews, set pieces and props from the film as well as cartoon animation and comic book-style fonts and artwork complementing the various segments gave the whole feature a very refreshing and fun look to the documentary. Some docs can get so dry and dull, filled with interview after interview and no break in the testimonies (such as PAURA: LUCIO FULCI REMEMBERED Vol. 1) and the viewer loses interest, no matter how interesting the subject matter is. A good documentary needs to have visuals and edits filled with clips or photos to illustrate further what the individual speaking is talking about…or else things get pretty dry pretty fast.
Thankfully, most of those involved on the film chose to be a part of the documentary, including Clu Gulager, Don Calfa, James Karen, Tony Gardner, Thom Matthews, Brian Peck, Dan O’Bannon, Miguel A. Nunez Jr., Linnea Quigley, Beverly Randolph, John A. Russo, and Jewel Shepard. For the most part, I think all the influential characters and crew were represented in the doc.
Since this documentary is on RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, already a very fun and fast-paced horror film it would only be fitting for it if the documentary also had some of the style and pace of its original subject matter. While some docs just have static shots, never deviating too much from the individual speaking but director Philputt has crafted a movie that is better intended for the short-attention span viewer, one that may be suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder. The use of piecing together the various answers to off-screen questions from various individuals and adding them all together to paint a vivid picture through various sources to answer the same question or describe the same event is genius. Just because I love a film does not mean I would like to be bored to death by every little detail and aspect of it in a documentary. Thankfully, Bill Philputt sees it that way, too.
This is not the first documentary Philputt has directed that I have seen. Upon looking up him in IMDB.com I was surprised to find that he directed, wrote, and produced the movie about the New York hardcore thrash band S.O.D. (Stormtroopers of Death), entitled KILL YOURSELF: THE MOVIE. I love the band S.O.D. (as well as M.O.D. fronted by Billy Milano as well as fellow-thrashers Anthrax) and the documentary followed S.O.D. around for a year while they toured, as well as filming all the antics and craziness that happened behind the screen. I can see from watching MORE BRAINS! that Philputt has a way with crafting a solid documentary that keeps things visually and aurally appealing through its use of sharply edited scenes and use of music.
Sadly director Dan O’Bannon died more than two years prior to this doc having been made and it was very memorable to hear the final interview that O’Bannon gave within the film. The movie also plays as sort of a memorial to the great writer, responsible for writing ALIEN, ALIENS, and TOTAL RECALL (to name just a few) and ROTLD is the first feature he directed- one of only two films.
Brian Peck did a wonderful job narrating the film and one can tell that the actor had so much fun and fond memories, filling the screen up with his exuberating personality. The film does an incredible job at going in-depth in regards to the off-screen questions being asked, describing specific situations in great detail. The film does not cut any corners. I enjoyed the manner in which MORE BRAINS! goes into the personal aspects of each player involved with making the movie, adding some spice and panache to the whole back-story of the film. For instance, I never knew that one of the actors was homeless when he earned the role, or that one of the actresses was discovered in a strip club dancing just before getting a role in the film.
Some of my favorite portions of the film were the lengthy discussions on one particular scene where actress Linnea Quigley performs her infamous stripping scene in which all involved discuss the full-frontal nudity in the film and the actors’ responses to that specific scene filmed in the movie. I, personally, have fond memories of that very scene and it seems many cast members did as well.
If over 2 hours of testimonies and insight into ROTLD with all of the actors, actresses, and filmmakers involved (those still living—R.I.P. Dan O’Bannon and Mark Venturini) isnt’ enough, then how about an additional 2 hours of extra features, including a look at the sequels to ROTLD, Parts 2 and 3, as well as the final interview with the late Dan O’Bannon, a return to the filming locations of ROTLD, and a music video by Stacie Q performing the hit song, “Tonight”, which was used in the film.
MORE BRAINS! is a documentary that does a great job at digging deep into the high-points and low-points during the filming process, including doing in-depth into how it came about that the original zombie make-up artist working on the film had to be fired. The documentary also serves as a nice study on what low-budget filmmakers working on a small budget (around a few million dollars) have to go through. Dan O’Bannon has worked in Hollywood writing screenplays but this is his first job directing a movie.
I highly recommend viewing this incredibly in-depth and interesting doc on one of the most influential zombie films ever created incorporating elements of comedy. Presented by Michael Perez Entertainment and Hutson Ranch Media, one can head over to the website www.getmorebrains.com for further info on the film, as well as viewing a trailer for it.
“From the Producer of Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy”
More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead DVD
With a release date 10/18/11 and a retail price of only 19.95, this documentary on one of the most epic zombie films to incorporate humor, gore, and satire with a cult-like appeal to it, I am overjoyed to hear about this documentary. Return of the Living Dead is one of my all-time favorite horror films, and I am generally not a fan of mixing my horror with comedy. That being said, Dan O’Bannon’s timeless classic deservedly gets the all-star treatment in terms of a comprehensive documentary and with O’Bannon’s death not too long ago, what a perfect way to remember the man and one of his finest films he ever made. I am really looking forward to letting readers know how this is. I have VERY high hopes for it.
Run Time: 240 Minutes In English Color
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1 Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Region 0
Production year: 2011
Director: Bill Philputt
Stars: James Karen, Clu Gulager, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews, Beverly Randolph
“It worked in the movie!”
When an army drum is breached and a mysterious chemical gas is released into a nearby cemetery, the dead return to life with only one thing on their minds…brains! The zombie menace quickly descends upon a group of misfits who must fight for survival as they are picked off one at a time by a horde of the undead.
“Do you ever wonder about all the different ways of dying?”
Dan O’Bannon’s outrageous splatter classic “The Return of the Living Dead” has continued to terrify and entertain horror fans for over twenty-five years with its delicious mix of blood, guts, sex and punk. Boasting off-beat humor, plenty of attitude and one of the most famous zombies ever committed to celluloid, it’s easy to see why the film’s legacy continues to grow.
“It makes the pain go away…”
MORE BRAINS! A RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD is the ultimate account of the tongue-in-cheek, stylish and apocalyptic zombie movie. It features — for the first time ever! — contributions from all the main cast as well as clips, photographs, storyboards, conceptual art, publicity materials, archival documents and behind-the-scenes footage.
“They’re back from the grave and ready to party!”
Through this definitive retrospective fans are finally able to explore the film’s journey from the world of “Night of the Living Dead” to the mind of acclaimed writer/director Dan O’Bannon. Narrator Brian Peck (“Scuz”) guides you through the blood, sweat and tears as cast and crew look back on their experience in the graveyard creating the film that’s been called “a beauty of a cult classic!”
Bonus Features: Never-before-seen deleted, behind-the-scenes, blooper and special effects test footage that brought the Dead to life, 2-hours of incredible bonus features including “A Conversation with Dan O’Bannon: The Final Interview, They Won’t Stay Dead: A Look at Return of the Living Dead Part 2, Love Beyond the Grave: A Look at Return of the Living Dead, Stacey Q Live! Exclusive “Tonight” Music Video, Even More Brains: Deleted Documentary Interviews, Return of the Living Dead in 3 Minutes, and more! Limited edition premium collectible O-sleeve packaging featuring artwork created by original “Return of the Living Dead” poster artist Carl Ramsey!
© MMXI Michael Perez Entertainment LLC. All rights reserved. More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead is a non-fiction documentary film. It is not a sequel to or remake of The Return of the Living Dead or any of its sequels, and it is not affiliated with or sponsored by the creators, producers or owners of The Return of the Living Dead or its sequels.
SOURCE: Michael Perez Entertainment
Due to a friend of mine referring to this film as “Brazil’s answer to Peter Jackson’s BRAINDEAD a.k.a. DEAD ALIVE“, I just had to see it. So I decided to do a little research and find out if I could obtain a screener from the Brazilian director, Rodrigo Aragao, via information on the IMDb Pro account I had for a short period before my credit card maxed out and I had no way of paying for their somewhat pricey service. I emailed Aragao, as well as the distributor, and received a wonderful 2-disc retail version of the movie on dvd. I was so happy that they sent the movie to me, all the way from Brazil!
If one has never heard of MUD ZOMBIES a.k.a. MANGUE NEGRO, I am not surprised. I only heard of it through a friend whom really has a knack for finding out about obscure horror films, many of them really gory or violent in nature. MUD ZOMBIES is right along those lines in terms of violence and gore.
The film’s plot revolves around a mangrove located along a river of sorts that is located in a poor community in the remote state of Espirito Santo, Brazil. The extremely poverty-stricken community makes a living by fishing and capturing crustaceans from the local tropical mangroves. Their meager existence is threatened when some sort of pollution enters their waters, thereby making the food supply infected and the inhabitants that rely on it as the source of their livelihood infected as well. As the inhabitants start to become infected, one very unlikely survivor and the woman he is smitten over are two of the unlikely heroes and main characters left in the community. The nerdy and physically inept man really turns out to be a character that I was rooting for throughout the whole film.
When I started watching this film, the whole terrain and topography of the area reminded me of the many Italian cannibal/jungle films that I have seen, such as MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, etc..At one point I was wondering if some naked tribesman were going to come running across the screen with their twig and berries swaying merrily in the breeze, a few bare-breasted women following in suit with their breasts sagging down to their knees, but I was pleasantly surprised that everyone in the film was clothed, even the attractive lead Brazilian actress portraying Raquel, Kika de Oliveira, a newcomer to the world of film. This seems to be the only movie she has ever been in. Raquel plays the obedient and devoted daughter to her family. Her mother is very sick, laid up in bed and looking as though she were a failed wax museum exhibit of Vincent Price’s in HOUSE OF WAX. Upon my first screening, I was not sure if all the elders in the village just start to look like old, melted mutants or if this was a result of the polluted waters. The reason as to where or why the pollution occurs is never really explained. In fact, I am not sure if it is pollution, but the film’s synopsis on IMDb tells me so, therefore, I am going to believe it. Some in the film seem to think that the mangrove is haunted. Upon hearing this word so many times, and not really understanding what exactly a mangrove is, I decided to research it a little bit. Here is what I found out: Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the Tropics and Subtropics– mainly between 25° N and 25° S.
So mangroves are are medium sized trees that grow in certain coastal areas in the tropics and subtropics. This having been explained, I now really could focus on zombies and gore. After all is explained, the whole movie is about Luis (Walderrama Dos Santos) , who is in love with Raquel, try to find out what is killing everyone and turning them into zombies. After a few of the locals turn into flesh-craving monsters with their eyes turned a milky white and black, rotting blood and fluids dripping from their open cavities, the focus turns to finding some of the elders who were usually found to contain remedies for every type of sickness or ailment. In villages such as these, I assumed it would be a local witch that lived alone in a modest cabin and creepily kept to herself. As suspected, the old lady looks like a melted life-size wax figure and is extremely bizarre, talking about 3 words a minute, almost causing me to scan through her tediously delivered dialogue to get to the gore and guts sooner.
As with most horror films, and movies of any sort, there always has to be the human element of the film presented and usually against better judgement, a woman is spearing the drive to go see if her family and loved ones are o.k., even though every character in the film has told her they are probably already dead, eaten, or the living dead eating other people. Leave it to a sentimental woman to ignore the obvious facts and predicament and have faith that, although everyone else is a mud zombie ravenous for human flesh, her parents somehow avoided the whole damn zombie plague in the mangroves. If there were no stupid people in movies, or the world for that matter, how would ridiculous situations and tragic events take place then?
At only 3o minutes into the film, there have been a few murders, several zombies awakening from the mud and the effects within the film were incredibly well done and extremely creative. The film itself looked to be shot on some sort of high-def digital camera, but there was something about the lensing and the way the film was shot that made it look really good and I was really shocked and happily surprised at how awesome some of the gore and zombie effects were done. In one scene, Raquel has just found Luis tending to her brother who happened to fall on a pile of infected crabs and therefore caught the zombie infection. Raquel knocks Luis in the head with a chunk of wood and before she is done beating the crap out of him a rotting zombie with barely any flesh left on its skull comes and takes a bit out of her arm, thereby infecting her. The manner in which the zombie shown walking around looks to be some very solid stop-motion effects. The zombie moved in a manner that reminded me of how “Tarman” moved in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. Similar technology may have been used for this effect in MUD ZOMBIES.
The remainder of the films is comprised of the few remaining villagers fighting for their lives against a mangrove full of ravenous zombies, including the old fisherman from the beginning of the film whose name in IMDb is just Agenor dos Santos portrayed by Markus Konka, a recurring character throughout the film. His acting in the film seemed pretty decent, though it is kind of hard to gauge foreign language performances sometimes. The film was shot with quick edits, great angles, and phenomenal effects. I can’t say that the references to Jackson’s BRAINDEAD a.k.a. DEAD ALIVE are warranted (as that film was a gore masterpiece), but the similarities are their in regards to a nerdy character coming to save the day and protect his loved one (even though she does not know for most of the film in MUD ZOMBIES and in BRAINDEAD the missus is in love with him the moment her tarot card reading comes true).
The only major slow points in the film are the relationship building and chemistry that is being built up between Luis and Raquel. I guess if there is going to be some sort of love connection going on between two individuals, I would rather it be in a zombie horror movie than a stupid chick flick with no gore, blood, or guts. I found it quite humorous that whenever there was some downtime in the horror, blood, and gore–Luis would try to share his feelings with Raquel and just at the moment when she would hear his proclamation, zombies would crash through the scene and the two would be forced to dismember the hell out of every walking undead in sight.
Of particular note is the handy little axe that Luis uses to decapitate, mutilate, and aggravate a majority of the blood-lusting walking dead. The weapon appears to be the next best thing to chop and dice up the monsters. It also looks great on film as it dices off a head and it goes whistling through the air. Many of the gory scenes are over-the-top and include a large amount of blood and splatter. There is one epic scene in which very fat female zombie has a huge tongue, as large as a cow’s but even longer, and it gets ripped off and seems to have a mind of its own. This very scene reminded me of BRAINDEAD, in the scene where a zombie’s intestines spill out and have a mind of their own, fighting for survival. I guess one can see that Rodrigo Aragao, whom also wrote the script for the film, was the primary cinematographer, and also was responsible for all of the special effects. The man has an extremely great amount of talent and I can only imagine what incredible gore films he can create with larger amount of resources and money. The man is one that I am going to be keeping tabs on and watching for in the future.
The 2-disc dvd includes a commentary conducted by director Rodrigo Aragao, as well as a tiny little assortment of various zombies getting their make-up put on by the fx artists on the same disc that the movie is on. I thought it was hilarious that a dude played the part of the old, witch-like grandmother whom helps Luis and Raquel with her unorthodox methods of medical assistance. The director’s commentary would have been so much funner to listen to if I could understand a lick of Portuguese. There were no English subtitles for the commentary, but there were English subs for the film, as well as Spanish subtitles. I was so grateful for this. The version I received, I believe, is the International Version. It came in widescreen, runs 105 minutes, and came with eight full-color collectible lobby cards with actors and actresses in the film portrayed in screenshots, as well as what I believe to be two pictures of the director filming a scene and holding one of his prosthetic masks that the zombies were made of.
The second disc includes a trailer of MUD ZOMBIES, a making of segment with narration by the director (all in Portuguese w/ no subs) but it is very cool to look at, regardless. Also, I believe a few short clips from some of his prior work (none of which has been entered into IMDb and is probably stuff that is not available on dvd anywhere but his own personal collection), but the really cool thing is that most of the special effects scenes are shown in this, from applying make-up to showing how particular scenes were created. I love when dvds have an extensive amount of extra features that go deep into the making of the film. If I could understand a lick of Portuguese, I would be in horror heaven while watching this.
Also included on this disc is three of his short films: CHUPA CABRAS, PEIXE PODRE, and PEIXE PODRE 2! I thought this was pretty sweet. There is an introduction by Aragao to each film, as well. After watching each short, the quality getting lower with each movie (particularly PEIXE PODRE). I do like the fact that some awesome metal was used in the soundtracks’ of both films, including a track by Slayer. I always felt metal and horror went hand-in-hand. The special features on this disc are awesome, and I hope that when this director starts becoming a little bit more well-known, which he will be, he continues to keep pushing the envelope in the gore and guts department.
An alien-spawned, mysterious mist blankets the northern half of Japan, transforming those who inhale it into ravenous, flesh-eating zombies hell-bent on devouring the surviving human population. Plunged into chaos, Japan is torn in two—”the southern half of the country, where the populace remains untouched by the deadly gas, lives behind a heavily-fortified wall, while the northern half is a lawless, zombie-infected wasteland. Political forces are locked in a stalemate over whether the living dead should remain protected as family members or exterminated like a plague. The economy withers away, and all hope seems lost for the people and the nation of Japan.
Hope arrives in the form of Kika (Yumiko Hara), a beautiful high school girl armed with a chainsaw sword powered by an artificial heart. Recruited by the government, Kika leads a ragtag group of desperados on a secret mission into the zombie-infected wilds to exterminate zombie queen Rikka (Eihi Shiina from AUDITION and TOKYO GORE POLICE) and put an end to the plague of the living dead. But the road is fraught with a thriving zombie culture that, with its own designs on the living half of Japan, refuses to lay down and die.
Visionary filmmaker Yoshihiro Nishimura’s first solo directorial effort since TOKYO GORE POLICE is an epic, apocalyptic road movie featuring non-stop action and over-the-top splatter. The long-awaited realization of his dreams, HELLDRIVER is Nishimura’s bid to create the ultimate zombie film.
The showdown for the future of Japan is at hand and no one, living or dead, may survive to see it! SYNOPSIS SOURCE: WELL GO USA
Please share your thoughts on this latest from Well Go USA. The movie looks kind of fun, gory, and freaky. Is it going to be something worth watching? Well, it has Eihi Shiina (AUDITION) in it, so I am definitely going to check out this flick from Japan! It also is directed by the special effects and make-up guy, Nishimura, who worked on Robogeisha, Hard Revenge Milly, Machine Girl, Tokyo Gore Police, and many, many more! I don’t know about you, but I really love these intense gory splatter-fests from Japan that push the edge of creativity. Definitely worth checking out!
For those of you who are semi-avid fans of adult films, or even just peruse youporn.com, youjizz.com, or one of the other many sites on the internet that offers clips of free porn varying in length and quality-you probably have heard of or have unknowingly watched a clip of Alexis Texas and that bubbly, beautiful ass that generally would not be on the rear of a blonde Caucasian girl hailing from-you guessed it-Texas. Alexis Texas, porn star found from the makers of the adult film series Shane’s World while working at a bar in October of 2006, first got her start in Shane’s World’s College Amateur Tour in Texas. From there she went on to work in some Bang Bros. productions, then on to L.A. to work in the adult film industry full-time.
Alexis Texas (real name Thea Alexis Samper) will not be the first porn-star whom has thrown on some clothes (more attire than is usually required) and given a shot at acting in a low-budget, or even big-budget horror film. I don’t mind porn stars taking a stab at acting in horror films, as long as they do what they are known for and good at- removing some clothing at some point during the movie because let’s be honest-Most of them cannot act worth a lick! If the scene in the film does not involve a strip tease of some sort or a steamy sex scene- viewers may be in for a very bumpy ride while dialogue is painstakingly delivered. Luckily, viewers of Bloodlust Zombies will get some Alexis Texas nudity, some sexy removal of clothing, and plenty of sexual innuendo all tossed in the mix with vulgar humor and zombies munching human flesh. Horror flicks paired with porn stars seems to be a trend that Breaking Glass Pictures and its sister horror label Vicious Circle Films has started to fall into. Granted, as far as I know, it is only their 2nd film to star an adult film sensation (Tori Black in Half Moon was their 1st, I believe), but throwing an adult star in the cast of a low-budget horror flick will only enhance its nudity factor, if even that.
Our story’s plot revolves around a military weapons manufacturer that has created a chemical that, when injected into animals such as the facility’s lab cat, the creature is turned into an aggressive, homicidal, carnivorous, zombie-like, killing machine. While the head honcho at the facility is banging what seemed to be just the secretary, accidentally broadcasting the hump-o-thon over the phone’s intercom service, the scientists accidentally knock over the vials of infected blood, breaking some of them all over the floor of the secured bio-hazard workspace.
Thinking the lab is secured, the scientists get infected by the cat and from here on out-it’s your standard low-budget, direct-to-video. lackluster zombie flick. Yeah, another zombie flick. To be honest with everyone, I am totally fu**ing sick of zombies. I think that they have been commercialized beyond belief and have already saturated the horror market. The last zombie film that really moved me and had me thinking I was watching a movie first and a zombie film second was Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, which many will argue is not even a traditional zombie flick. I really don’t see what else one can do to spice up the genre, besides doing what director/writer Dan Lantz did and throw a porn star into the mix. Well, having Alexis Texas in the film may have just generated some buzz with those familiar with the adult film industry or peak the interest of those hoping to glimpse some steamy sex scenes or gratuitous nudity, but for a seasoned veteran of the horror genre Bloodlust Zombies was more of the same done with a halfheartedly.
I was hoping there would be a bit of eye-candy to take away from the run-of-the-mill plot and less than acceptable CGI and low-budget special effects, which there was, but aside from that the only thing going for this movie was a bit of sexually-laced humor from one of the film’s more obnoxious characters, Darren (Adam Danoff), who as one of the employees at the company was thrown in the film as one of the many characters to provide comic-relief. The film definitely had more moments of humor, whether intended or not, than it did horror, scares, or gore.
Bloodlust Zombies was about as good as a film generally gets that has a porn star with top billing, a no-name cast besides Alexis Texas and her impressive porn career (as well as cast in Fred Olen Ray’s Bikini Frankenstein), and a next to nothing budget. The film was far less painful to watch than I had previously thought it to be. Thankfully, the movie moved along at a pretty quick pace, only dragged on a few times and that was mostly because the dialogue delivered was going on a bit too long for anyone to take seriously or find much humor in. The cliche sexual references were ever present and there were scarce moments of genuine acting and only a small amount of scenes of gore that are barely worth mentioning.
One aspect of the movie that I could not get past was the recipe for fake blood that was used. I could not take it seriously. The color was lighter than most films’ scenes with blood and almost had a brightness to it. I really thought the crew was using some kind of paint, as it almost had a pinkish-tinge to it. The film was not only light on the gore, but when victims were bit and flesh was ripped off it looked as though the crew was trying to conserve the latex used for flesh being torn off. The horribly colored blood was also used sparingly during scenes in which the zombies tore flesh off from the victims’ necks.
Two things can somewhat save these type of low-budget, no-name horror flicks-wanton gore and nudity. I have never looked for high-caliber acting or an intriguing plot with these types of films-so work with what ya got. On some levels, director Dan Lantz did. He had a porn star and he gave her some scenes of nudity and portrayed her as sexually charged-up, but then digresses by having a fellow co-worker who showed an evident dislike for her go on a righteous speech on how Andrea (Texas) is a bright, young woman and should not be chasing after a man because he is older, rich and powerful-but instead fall for a man that loves her for her intellect and independence, as well as her beauty. Ok, Oprah Winfrey, enough with the feminism and lets get back to point of the film- to be entertained by some blood and guts. Oh wait, I forgot that there really was not any of those aspects within the film really worth mentioning.
All in all, I really thought the film was going to be a far worse viewing than it was. It had high levels of cheesiness, that at times, were entertaining. The special effects were done with especially low-grade CGI and the organic effects were just a notch better than the digital ones (although I did kind of dig the finale with Texas which looked to be completely digital) and I did not hate this film. On some shameful level, I kind of had a soft spot in my rotting gut for it. I can’t really recommend the film, nor would I ever entertain the thought to purchase the movie (unless, of course, I was a completest for Alexis Texas flicks) but I can say it was a bad, low-budget film that was not agonizingly and painstakingly difficult to watch. Let’s not get this film confused with other films that are so bad they are good. Bloodlust Zombies does not fall into that category. I may have come to the point that I have seen so many bad, low-budget films that watching an Andy Sidaris action/spy film is becoming confused with watching a solid James Bond film. I am now going to go pop in Romero’s Night of the Living Dead so that I can remember what a great zombie film with minimal financial resources truly can turn out like.