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Thread: Fright Fest 2 - Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Thread

  1. #121
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    Re: Fright Fest 2 - Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Thread

    Wow Jim... there is so much I want to touch up on with all these reviews but I've gone through so many in the past hour/half hour or so, it's hard to remember my thoughts without looking back to them.

    I was really hoping you would review Shaun Of The Dead but thought it was too much comedy than Horror, to my suprise and joy, you did review it! And an A no less! I believe it's totally worthy of the grade. I honestly never noticed the refference to Ash of The Evil Dead series in the movie itself. I still need to watch that series... Next weekend I will try to get around to it! Have you reviewed the rest of the Evil Dead series before, I'm guessing so?

    I heard about Altitude only a few short months ago when it was being released, it looked good but I knew it wouldn't be 'great'. The ending sounds just messed up, and stupid. I don't like that at all.

    I have put Trick 'r Treat on my "to watch" list after all the praise you gave it in this thread.

    C.H.U.D. and Monster Squad are deffinitely on there as well, no matter what the grade both look very fun! Like I assume they were made to be, and I for some reason just loved movies from that time. I wouldn't be able to go back and watch a movie from 1957 like though tbh.

    I also need to search up the King scene from Creepshow 2, I never knew he could act! It should be interesting to watch.

    Great thread you have here, it's a shame I didn't visit it sooner.

  2. #122

    Re: Fright Fest 2 - Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kakarot View Post
    Have you reviewed the rest of the Evil Dead series before, I'm guessing so?
    I haven't reviewed the other two Evil Dead flicks. However, Evil Dead 1 (More serious horror) and Army of Darkness (Lolz horror) are both very fun flicks.

  3. #123

    Re: Fright Fest 2 - Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Thread

    Day #31a
    Title: Night of the Living Dead
    Country: United States
    Year: 1968

    A long scenic trip to visit her father's grave turns into a night of horror for Barbra. After witnessing her brother killed in the midst of a struggle with a zombie, she flees to a nearby secluded house. Not long after getting there, African American, Ben arrives as well. As Barbra ends up in a catatonic like state, it's up to Ben to try and board up the house so they can keep the zombies out. While Ben's doing all of the work and trying to find out radio reports of what's going on, a family of three and a young couple makes their presence known by coming up from their safe cellar hideout.

    These extra people fails to give Ben the help he truly needs. Harry, the husband, is an angry middle aged man who's convinced that the cellar is the only place to be. With his stubborn attitude, it's either his way or no way. Meanwhile, his wife mostly stays in the cellar looking after their daughter, who was bitten by one of the zombies. Even though the young couple, Tom and Judy, are completely alright with following Ben's instructions, they mostly just cause inadvertent problems. Can Ben survive the night and will Barbara ever stop staring off into space?

    Night of the Living Dead is a classic. Not only is it George Romero's first zombie film, it's really the one that all future zombie flicks looks to for inspiration and what rules to follow. However, just because it's a classic doesn't mean the film is great. The single biggest issue is the acting. Minus Ben and Harry, everyone is HORRIBLE. We're not just talking about some actors who fail to really drive home the points, but rather people who are so wooden in the delivery that they somehow take poorly written dialog and make it sound even worse. Tom's the biggest perpetrator of this. You'll honestly see better acting from a Junior High play than from Keith Wayne (Tom). Thanks to how bizarrely over the top Barbra acts (If you can even call staring off into space 90% of the time acting), it acts more of a comedy than a horror.

    To go further with the comedy, these folks has to be the luckiest SOB's around to end up at this house. It's as if it was designed to ward off zombie outbreaks. There's old doors just laying around, piles of wood in the kitchen and even more in a closet. In fact, the only time when someone doesn't find wood is when Ben asks Barbra to do the one thing he ever asks her to do, find wood. She comes back with a few one foot thin blocks of wood. Yeah, like that would really help. Talk about unrealistic. The only thing really missing is a flamethrower and a copy of "Zombies for Dummies".

    Through all of this crap, there's a couple of a really good social commentaries that Romero threw in to this film for carpentry fanatics. The first main one is that we're our own worst enemies. You look at the main group of six (Not counting the daughter) and every one of them was killed because of human error or emotion. As we saw at the end of the movie, help was coming and all they really had to do was survive until morning and everything would be perfect. In a matter of several hours, they get themselves killed because of each other. Forget about the deadly zombies outside, they're not the killers in this flick. A quick rundown of the deaths:

    Harry - Gunshot by Ben
    Harry's wife - Killed by zombie daughter, she could have easily got away, but her emotion made her act stupid and wait for her "little girl" to come to her.
    Tom - Somehow botched getting gas by pouring it all over the place, including on a torch
    Judy - Let her stupid love convince her to leave the house and be in the truck when it blew up
    Barbra - Seeing the zombie of her dead brother caused her to freeze into place and let the zombies get her
    Ben - Killed by the cops and other shooters cleaning up the mess when they mistake him for a zombie.

    What does that say about society when we need to worry more about each other than the undead coming back? The other social commentary is probably one of the most depressing scenes in horror history. At the very end of the movie, Ben has survived. He hears the help coming. He did it. Yet, he's mistaken for a zombie and killed when it should have been his happiest moment of his life. When you look back at 1968, race was a huge issue (It may still be an issue these days, but not as much then). You had Martin Luther King Jr assassinated the same year as this movie came out. However, in this film, the black man (Ben) is not only treated as an equal amongst the rest of the people, but ends up being the hero. But *BAM* killed at the highest moment of triumph by the white man. Maybe I'm looking too much into it, but it's as if it's a depiction of the black man will never be given his moment in the spotlight if certain white man have their way. The people involved in going around and killing all of the zombies also had an obvious redneck feel about them. Basically, they seemed like the type of people that would have been against the rise of the black man. It also brings up the question, "Did the shooter really believe Ben was a zombie?"

    For a more lighthearted look at racism, here are some of the crimes that Ben committed:

    1. Grand theft auto
    2. Hit and run
    3. Breaking and entering
    4. Destruction of property
    5. Murder (Possibly considered manslaughter)
    6. Arson
    7. Assault

    Finally, there's the lighting. The element that really stands out for me about this movie is how it looks. Even compared to other black and white films, it looks very different. There's two types of looks to the film. There's the very bright spots and then the darkness. Most of the time, you'll see both types all over the place in the scene. There's a ton of shadows. Everything is producing a large thick shadow. Then there's the quick cutaways and closeups of the faces. Everything is up close and very in your face. For an example:

    Overall, Night of the Living Dead is a pretty terrible film that has some amazing social commentaries and has become a classic because it's what started up the zombie craze. George Romero would go on to create much better zombie flicks, but despite the poor aspects, this is still a must see film for any horror fan. If nothing else, have a few beers and enjoy the unintentional laughs.

    Grade: C

    On Halloween, even the break of dawn won't stop the dead from walking.
    Last edited by Jim; 09-03-2015 at 10:58 AM.

  4. #124

    Re: Fright Fest 2 - Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Thread

    Day #31b
    Title: Dawn of the Dead
    Country: United States
    Year: 1978

    As the world is coming to an end due to the mass zombie outbreak, four people band together in a stolen helicopter to look for somewhere safe to flee to. Among the four are Stephen (AKA Fly boy) the sole person who knows how to fly the copter, his girlfriend, the pregnant Fran and a couple of police SWAT members, Roger and Peter. As they're way up in the air, they spot an indoor mall and they decide to make their new home in the mall.

    Mall life turns out to not be so bad. You have you run of all of the various stores and all you have to deal with is a few zombies. The four regains some semblance of their old life as they begin to become familiar with their new routine. However, just as you can never go back again, they soon realize they're just living in a false reality as a band of bikers threaten to take over their mall and ruin all of the work they put in. Can the four survive and eventually find a way to go back to living a normal life?

    If Night of the Living Dead gave future filmmakers the blueprints of how to make future zombie films, Dawn of the Dead showed people how to create an entertaining zombie movie. The single biggest difference between the two is just quality. The writing, acting, plot, action, gore and lighting is all better with Dawn. If you're a horror fan, you have to watch Night of the Living Dead at least once just for the sheer importance. Dawn on the other hand, you should want to watch it multiple times.

    This time around, Romero knows how to write his characters so that even if they have flaws that the viewer may not like, they're still mostly likable. Not surprisingly, Ken Foree portrayal of Peter ends up becoming my favorite character. As I said with the Leatherface review, it doesn't matter what movie Foree is in, he's a bad ass and one you just have to love. Up until he starts to lose his mind and health, Roger is also extremely likable. While Peter is a bad ass, Roger is a joker who's having a lot of fun in the mall. He represents the viewers who would love to be able to be in the malls after everyone is gone. Despite being the closest thing to an asshole the movie has for it's main characters, Fly boy is still a mostly likable person who's always walking the line between being accepted and an outcast.

    Just as Night of the Living Dead was a social commentary with zombies, so is Dawn. This time around, it's all about consumerism. Just heading to the mall could be construed as this, but the characters become so lost in their fun that they forget what's really going on. It's seemingly the end of the world, yet you're going crazy about getting a watch or stealing from the mall bank? What good will cash be in a society that's lost all basic order? The bikers at the end are even bigger causalities to this greed. They're willing to kill off the main characters in order to have their pick of the litter in the mall. This ends up being Fly boy's downfall as he feels such a sense of disrespect and entitlement that he essentially kills himself by trying to fight for what's "His". The same basic meaning can be found for both of Romero's films so far. Society's biggest enemy is society.

    Overall, Dawn of the Dead remains the definitive zombie flick around. The gore is better than any previous one, the story is interesting despite not a lot actually happening, the characters are likable and it holds up just as good as it was when it first came out. If you're willing to spend a few bucks, I highly recommend buying the Ultimate Edition DVD set of the movie. You get four discs with three different versions of the movie and plenty of extras. Of the different versions, one is the Dario Argento cut, which comes off as a lot darker and is a very different feel to Dawn of the Dead. I'm not sure if it's out for Blu-Ray, but the standard DVD version is fairly cheap. Check it out, it's easily one of the best DVD releases for a horror movie.

    Grade: A

    Halloween's not over, the day shall bring one last batch of zombies.
    Last edited by Jim; 09-03-2015 at 10:59 AM.

  5. #125

    Re: Fright Fest 2 - Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Thread

    Day #31c
    Title: Day of the Dead
    Country: United States
    Year: 1985

    With the world taken over by zombies, a small group of the military and a handful of scientists band together in an World War II bunker. Everyone is overly stressed and at their limits. After the last leader was killed by a zombie, Capt. Rhodes takes over with his evil dictatorship. This change of power especially puts the scientists under more stressed. Dr. Logan mostly stays off in his own world, experimenting on the zombies to try and figure out what causes the need to kill and how to domesticate them.

    Tensions rise after more of the soldiers are killed, leaving the film's star, Sarah, to worry not just about the zombies, but the soldiers that are supposed to be on her side. As time goes on, it becomes apparent that the breaking point is coming and the soldiers are able to snap.

    Somehow, Day of the Dead has become the forgotten Romero original Dead trilogy film. It's not as well known as Night of the Living Dead and it wasn't as critically acclaimed as Dawn of the Dead. However, personally, I find it to be the best zombie film Romero has made. It's not as fun and joyful as Dawn, but it's gritty, dark and very hopeless.

    One of the reasons why I decided to watch all three of these films for the final day is that there's a lot of connections. The biggest and most noticeable connection is the evolution. First, the evolution of the state of the world and the people. Night was about people fighting to survive, but there was always hope that this could be taken care of and they'd be back home for supper. Once Dawn came, it was the height of the denial. They wanted to try and get back to their normal lives. As Peter and Fran found out, the world was no longer what it once was. Just as they left the mall without any of the objects they loved so much, so did they accept that there were new things to care about. Finally, Day is about complete hopelessly feeling. The zombies can't be killed off to get back to the normal life and you can't pretend as if they're not there. Your life as you knew it is over. It's bleak and a depressing fact, but it's time to figure out what's really important.

    There's one scene in Day that I every time I watch, I get something else from it. As John is talking to Sarah at his made up paradise retreat, he tries to explain why he and William care so little about helping the others is because it's not important. What does it matter to keep records, graphs and random little facts from the past? Who's going to be around to read them? It's about accepting what your life has become and just trying to find your own new happiness from it. After all, what sounds better if death is inevitable? Working hard in some dark cold bunker with people you hate or enjoying some sun on the beach? This nihilistic view also applies to a deeper meaning. They believe that you can't figure out why such things happen, they just simply do. We are not God, so maybe we should stop trying to become as wise as God.

    Another evolution over these films is the rise of the woman. You can't even call Barbra from Night useless. By useless, you're saying the person doesn't add anything, but with how she acted, she added more trouble than she was worth. Barbra is what every woman should strive to not be. Who wants to be so weak that she needs a man to save them? Once Dawn rolled around, Fran was the next step in the evolution. She was still fairly weak and needed help. However, not once did she scream. She wasn't going to be as obviously pitiful as Barbra. What makes Fran strong is her desire to improve and become an asset to the group. Due to her pregnancy state, she wasn't able to help out as much as she could, but she was strong enough to be a survivor and her demand to learn how to pilot the helicopter saved her and Peter's lives. Day's Sarah is the toughest woman of all. Not only is she able to take care of herself, but she's able to keep herself composed better than most of the guys. While everyone's going crazy, she's very calm until near the end when she finally allows a release. She's the type of character that any girl could wish to be like. She doesn't need a man to save her, she'll save herself.

    One last evolution is the evolution of the zombies. In Night, they just had a very primitive need to feed. It's instinct and that's about it. In Dawn, they showed that their previous lives memories could remain by their unknown need to go to the mall. It was an important part of their previous life, so it's a part of their new life. Finally, in Day, the zombie evolves even more. The main example of this is Bub, the greatest zombie of all time. Bub shows that he's able to remember some of her previous lives actions, such as shaving, answering the phone, listening to music and reading. However, the biggest change is that Bub's able to care. For the first time, a zombie in a Romero film is shown to have an emotional bond with a human. Bub's care for Dr. Logan is more than just not biting him when Logan's hand is near. When Bub finds Logan dead, he becomes enraged and goes out for revenge. If there's one reason to check out this film, it's to see Bub. I even rock out a Day of the Dead t-shirt (With Bub's face on it) from time to time.

    Despite not being as well known as other Romero zombie films, it hasn't stopped filmmakers from adding nods in their own movies. Shaun of the Dead has a few moments straight out of Day. When Shaun's walking early in the movie with his shadow in front of him, that's identical to the first time we see a zombie in Day. The end with Ed being chained up and remaining Shaun's buddy is reminiscent to Dr. Logan and Bub's relationship. 28 Days Later has a moment when the main character is yelling if there's anyone there in an empty city, which is a line/moment right out of Day. Sticking with 28 Days Later, there's also a chained up zombie for experiments and a rowdy military group that's even more dangerous than the zombies. There's plenty more examples of filmmakers showing their appreciation of the film.

    Overall, Day of the Dead is Romero's bleakest film, yet it's also my favorite. I find it's the Romero film that takes a view additional viewings to really enjoy it as much as you're capable of. Most of the main characters are cold heart bastards that you can't wait to be seen killed. The gore is the best out of the first three films. Finally, no other film has Bub.

    Grade: A

    And thus ends Fright Fest 2
    Last edited by Jim; 09-03-2015 at 10:59 AM.

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