The other day I went to Scarecrow Video and grabbed some more possibly-zombie or pseudo-zombie movies: “Zeder” and “The Dead Outside.” I considered also getting “Evil (To Kako)”, the first (?) Greek zombie/madmen/horror film, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it because the cover art was so frickin’ bad I was not only embarrassed to take it up to the register but annoyed at the filmmakers. In my experience there are basically three types of imagery used on the covers of zombie books and movies:
(1) medical-style, cold, clinical, scientific. Lots of blues & grays & whites, with a splash of blood. Almost always photorealistic. Observe the cover of Jonathan Maberry’s Patient Zero for an example. Another example, from a better book: the first edition of Walter Greatshell’s Xombies. Scary!
(2) ‘vintage’ style old-fashioned medical illustration, sometimes steampunk-y. I suppose Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection counts. More of a clinical ‘anatomy of the zombie’ look.
(3) just totally crappy, cheeseball shock-gore images of zombies sticking their big badly-made-up heads in the camera, snarling. Or otherwise looking stupid. Lame covers like this is the reason I never rented Return of the Living Dead until people swore to me it was a good movie… and that’s not even a particularly bad example. I guess you could divide this further into two more meaningful categories, the intentionally campy “punk rock zombie” (like “Return”) and the wanna-be-scary-but-actually-just-awful “photo-cover gory zombie face” image (like too many movies to mention). I’m really just lumping two things I hate into one category. But I mean, everything I hate about the horror genre and the way it’s marketed can be summed up with the fact that the film Mulberry Street, which was originally released with this poster, was later released on DVD with this poster. AAARRRRGGGGHHH
OK, rant over! Anyway, Scarecrow Video is a wonderful store. They have all those good movies that are increasingly getting lost in the void between “new so they’re available commercially on Google Play and Netflix” and “so old that they’re available on YouTube because the copyright holders don’t care enough or don’t have the resources to take them down.” I hope they stay in business. I need to rent more movies from them.
NEXT UPDATE: Friday!