What zombie movies have I seen lately? Here’s two (both were streaming on Netflix):
* DEAD SEASON: A very straightforward “Walking Dead” style story (they even call the zombies “walkers”) filmed, like most zero-budget zombie films, in a series of crummy warehouses and abandoned buildings (in this case, supposedly on an island, to which the heroes go for refuge… really, if the island is such a great place to stay, where do all these new zombies keep coming from to continually harass our heroes? Can’t they move to a smaller island?). To its credit, the actors and director try to play the situation seriously, and I appreciate that the zombies don’t have notably bad makeup and don’t shriek and snarl like deranged Howler Monkeys as they slowly approach their prey, which always ends up just being ridiculous. (Give me a good silent zombie or moaning zombie any day! Or failing that, the compulsively laughing zombies from the should-have-been-better novel “The Panama Laugh”….)
There’s one or two zombie twists in “Dead Season” I haven’t seen before, and the movie seems to go with the Romero-style “everyone who dies from whatever cause becomes a zombie” thing rather than the trendy Brooks-style “the zombies are the result of a virus” thing. (So going to an island doesn’t really help much…) Unfortunately, it’s still painfully low-budget, with a predictable the-people-are-the-real-enemies plot development and few scares. Nice try with their limited funds, but ultimately it’s totally forgettable.
* DOGHOUSE: A British horror comedy about a virus (confined to a small town) which turns women into flesh-eating, deranged monsters. And of course the heroes are a bunch of lewd dudes going away for the weekend to get drunk and complain about “emasculation” and about their exes. “Doghouse” attempts to be a self-aware parody of sexism rather than an actually sexist movie (though maybe it’s both): it’s an *intentionally* dumb, crass sausagefest. Still, there are some clever lines and funny moments (like the scene when the heroes crossdress to try to blend in among the women, in a clever nod to the “pretend to be a zombie” scenes in movies like Shaun of the Dead). From the moment the first pseudo-zombie-woman shows up with a wedding dress, an axe and white pancake makeup, followed by others in varying levels of makeup with varying weapons and lurching zombie gaits, it’s clear this movie can’t taken seriously in the slightest. That being said, silly as it is, I enjoyed it; it gets points for originality, and it’s nice to see Noel Clarke (Mickey from “Doctor Who”) in a starring role. One of the more original zombie-esque comedies of the last few years, I’d definitely leave it on in the background of a party.
NEXT UPDATE: Monday