Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie Movies

It’s enjoyable to watch a zombie movie produced by logical minds. Some zombie movies are just plain silly. Their stories are all over the place, their characters lack motive, and their whole premise boggles the mind. It’s not the intention of this post to dwell on those. But it is fun to watch the good ones. In keeping with Monday Mayhem, below is a list of zombie movies sure to create some excitement on a dark, lonely night.

Will Smith in I Am Legend
Will Smith in I Am Legend

I Am LegendWill Smith’s character Robert Neville lives alone in a deserted city to fend for a cure to the dratted virus zombie virus. The thing about the virus is that scientists engineered it to cure cancer. They believed that if they could unleash a biological weapon to destroy cancer cells, they could allow the body to repair itself, thus eliminating the uncertainty happening with today’s methods, and the costs. Unfortunately, it pretty much wipes out all humanity and leaves those who survived, famished zombies.

Dawn of the Dead—In this remake, a group of zombie apocalypse survivors, trapped in a Milwaukee mall, fight an undead infestation. The charm of this film is watching survivors cope with limited movement, and their increasing boredom of their situation. In one instance, the survivors play Hollywood Squares on the mall’s rooftop. The squares are the zombie collective below and the chalk is a sniper perched on the other side of the street.

Timothy Olyphant in The Crazies
Timothy Olyphant in The Crazies

The Crazies—Not your typical brain-bashing, gut-chomping zombie movie, The Crazies is an interesting study. The first thing the audience realizes is the contagion does not come from a virus. The classic zombie infection is the usual virus that gets spread by a bite. Then, humans become their own worst enemies and tear at each other in a cannibalistic frenzy. Not in this story. Remember that saying, when traveling don’t drink the water? If any time that applied, it applies here.

28 Days Later—A lab conducting secret testing on chimpanzees becomes the target of animal rights activists. Twenty-eight days later, not a single human survived the carnage of the rage virus. When Jim wakes up from his coma, he find himself alone in London seeking the answers as to what happened to society.

Zombieland—Four years later, this movie still manages to hit almost every Top 10 undead list out there. Led by a Twinkie hunting zombie killer (Woody Harrelson), a group of teens attempt to cope with reality after getting caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Making this film entertaining are the floating rules over the action (ie. Cardio, The Double Tap, Beware of Bathrooms, Wear Seat Belts, etc.), and the creative zombie kills (ie. a woman drops a piano on an unsuspecting flesh eater).

Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland
Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland

Shaun of the Dead—This movie gets funnier with every viewing. Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost) battle zombies that don’t quite know when to give up. These former humans border on stupidity, but stupidity in a good kind of way. Most of the time, they stand around while their food—human—disappears. In one scene, Shaun acts as a tour guide/director giving the horde directions to follow him, since he is good to eat, all the while helping his friends escape.

What other films are there that I may have missed?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

The Crazies

The Crazies is one of those movies that stick with you. Having written a short summary in a previous post, I decided to expand on that summary and give you the real deal. And, since it is Monday Mayhem, what better way to continue the series than with this great movie?

I’ll leave the reviewers to review the movie. I’d rather spend time talking about the film’s fascinating nuances.

The Crazies Movie Poster
The Crazies Movie Poster

Not your typical brain-bashing, gut-chomping zombie movie, The Crazies is an interesting study for a number of reasons. The first thing the audience realizes is the contagion does not come from a virus. The classic zombie infection is the usual virus that gets spread by a bite. Then, humans become their own worst enemies and tear at each other in a cannibalistic frenzy. Not in this story. Remember that saying, when traveling don’t drink the water? If any time that applied, it applies here. The water made the people all crazy. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t get into it.

This is a mind-blowing concept. If anything is true about humanity, it’s that we need food and water for sustenance. If anyone or anything messes with our fuel, we become different people. Anyone can prove this by giving kids sugar. What do they do? They bounce off the walls. Add those same sugars to the foods they eat and what happens? Yeah, they bounce off the walls. The film highlights the fine balance humanity possesses with their life source. Any tinkering with it will jumpstart a catastrophic chain of events that will render society at the mercy of the toxin.

Welcome to Ogden Marsh
Welcome to Ogden Marsh

Another point the movie makes, which some may construe as a sensitive topic, is the government’s involvement with mind control. I say a sensitive topic because in some respect, some may feel we’re already under that control (the foods we eat, the entertainment we consume—but that’s another post for another day). In the movie, as the townsfolk ingest the water supply, an all-seeing eye high above the clouds appraises the situation. The audience gets the government’s perspective on the matter, as it escalates to worse and worse levels by the hour.

You see, what the government wanted to know is just how far and how fast would the contagion spread if released in a controlled environment—a town. I won’t reveal anymore of the movie’s plot because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone wanting to watch it. But I will say this: How far along are we in replicating the movie’s plot when last year, the papers reported of those zombie attacks in Miami and the authorities blamed them on bath salts? Sounds far-fetched, right? The film made it clear: control’s an illusion that soon would destroy those who think they can tame it.

The Road Sign
The Road Sign

The final point the movie made in a less than overt way, is appearances can be deceiving. The zombies in this movie are different. Make no mistake, they are zombies. And therein lies the rub. What the audience expects as the traditional zombie appearance, the movie turns on its head. They do not have rotting flesh. They are not dead. They talk.

However, they have no control over their actions. They have a dead stare. And they have evil in their hearts, which spills into the horror they administer to those who have not changed.

Have you seen The Crazies? If so, what did you think of it? Have you heard of the Miami zombies? Do you know of any other movies that portray townsfolk as zombies? Go ahead and throw in your comment—I don’t bite.