Thursday, March 26, 2009

Zombies and other camp...

Rob Zombie... The only Zombie I'm really a fan of...

My Netflix buddy Jonathan from Chicago left these questions and comments on my post dealing with my aversion to Zombie movies. I was thinking about answering the questions on the original post, but thought it would be better to just do another post. When it comes to so many of the zombie movies of the past and present, they are trying to be pure horror and are not intended to be funny. The problem I have with zombie movies and other horror movies is the unintentional humor. Don't get me wrong, there is a place for well acted and well placed comic relief in most horror movies (can you imagine The Shining without the Jack Nicholson scene looking through the bathroom door and saying, "Here's Johnny!). What I hate is horror movies that try to be funny and scary at the same time. There is a genre in horror called "Dark" comedy that is presented as a comedy with sometimes outrageous gore. I had for many years avoided these type of movies because I felt they were an insult to true horror films and fans. However, after watching several, Otis, The Cottage, and Severance, I think they have their place. Would I take them over a well done horror film... no, but they are "fun" once in a while.

Now to Jonathan's questions... Shaun of the Dead was pretty good. I haven't seen Fido, but I have thought about watching it. I have seen the Fido trailer and thought "zombie" pets was an interesting twist. Shaun of the Dead had appeal in the Dark Comedy Genre because it was well written and the lead actor is really a funny British actor. Simon Pegg also starred in Hot Fuzz which looks like a very funny British comedy. I also saw that Pegg will be playing Scotty in the remake of Star Trek. I sometimes think British humor is an acquired taste and if you can stomach it, it is worth watching in my book. So all in all, I really don't have a problem with "dark" comedy...

As far as 28 Weeks Later goes, I liked it, but not as much as 28 Days Later. Not a lot to say about this one because it just didn't stand out to me. I think it didn't help putting the follow-up out because the first one was so much better.

I have stated MANY times that I hate MOST "B" horror and campy style horror movies. The simple answer is that I want to be scared when I watch horror. That's what drives me is the fear factor of a movie. As long as there is a ton of tension and fear in a movie, I don't have to have a lot of gore. To me, gore is like gravy to mashed potatoes... it's not the main part, but the satisfying topping. Land of the Dead was an interesting movie to me because it brought us "intelligent" zombies. Not the slow moving stupid zombies, but zombies that could think and take directions from their "leader". It was cheesy, but I appreciated Romero for taking the genre to a different level. It was not a bad movie in my mind. One thing I do is TRY to judge a movie by itself and on its entertainment value. This one I liked. 1985 - Reanimator, and Army of Darkness (and all that followed it) are examples of old school campy, cheesy horror that has no appeal to me. I've only seen the first Resident Evil... although I didn't have a problem with it... I didn't feel the need to see the others. I thought it was a pretty good, entertaining movie. Movies like Zombie Strippers are stupid and their only purpose is to bring more T&A to zombie movies. "Zombie" style movies that are well made and very entertaining were Outpost, Pet Sematary, and Quarantine (not REALLY a zombie movie, but has the feel of one). I hope I have answered your questions Jonathan... I did my best!

Questions and comments from Jonathan...
Frank could you give recent and older examples of zombies that you find to be campy and silly? I maybe a bit of a "snob" that only watches the better ones out there, but I'll try to chip in a thought or two. The only zombie that I find campy and silly recently was Romero's "Land of the Dead". It was too unnecessarily cheesy. Legiuzamo and Hopper doing their shticks made it even worse. Due to that, I still have to see his "Diary of the Dead" (eventually!).

Along with the two you mentioned, I'd add 28 Weeks Later. I might be one of the 20 people who saw it on the big screen that liked that one.

It might just be your taste in horror. I don't like B horror for the most part, but I thought that the B zombie comedies like "Fido" and "Shaun of the Dead" were very respectful to the genre. This might lead you take me off your NF buddy list, but I'll state it anyway, even the much vilified "Resident Evil" trilogy show a good balance of mass entertainment and respecting both the videogame and zombie sub genre.

What'd you think of "Fido" or "Shaun of the Dead"?

It makes me sad that among the ones I mentioned, it is from the original innovator that I found too campy. I'm burning in zombie hell for that. ;);)

How could I not like this movie??? It has Doug Bradley (Pinhead) in it!

Banner generated at

Subscribe in a reader


Please visit and comment often!