Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Memorable Moments in Zombie Zinema III

Conquistador zombie resurrects from the dead in Lucio Fulci's Zombie (1979)

Well, Halloween 2012 is finally here and what better way to celebrate it then with a fresh new bash of Memorable Moments in Zombie Zinema? In celebration of Halloween (everyones favorite holiday!) the folks here at The Film Connoisseur (that would be me) have cooked up a whole new batch of these grizzly, gruesome zombie moments! Also, don’t forget to come back regularly to the blog, it’s zombie month on The Film Connoisseur and I will be doing all sorts of articles, lists and reviews entirely composed of zombie films. Hope you enjoy zombie month! And remember, if you enjoy this article, don’t forget to check out parts I and II…if you dare!   

Film: Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)


Zynopsis: Alice is still looking for that “promised land” free of infection, but is it real? On her journey, she meets up with a group of people who are surviving the zombie apocalypse by living in an abandoned penitentiary. Will they even find the ever elusive “Arcadia”, a land supposedly free of infection? This zombie moment is so epic and could probably be my favorite moment in the whole Resident Evil series of films. At one point in the film, a hoard of zombies’ breaks into the building where Alice is hiding out. Suddenly, she finds her self trapped in the roof with nowhere to go! What to do? Zombies are coming up the stairs and the only way out is to jump! So, as thousands of zombies are chasing Alice, she jumps of the roof while strapped to a rope and manages to escape all the zombies! Problem is that all the zombies follow her and jump with her! Ever wondered what an avalanche of zombies would look like? Look no further! 

Quote: “Day 6. 1800 Hours, Los Angeles. No signs of life. Not even the undead. They must have burned with the city. But what about the rest?”

Film: Flight of the Dead: Outbreak On A Plane (2007)


Zynopsis: So basically, these scientists have smuggled an infected body onto a 747  commercial flight. Stupid I know, but as we can expect on a film called ‘Flight of the Living Dead’ well, the infected body is somehow set loose upon the unsuspecting passengers of the flight, the result? Complete zombie mayhem! One of the best scenes has one of the good guys throw a zombie into the engines of the plane! Memorable Zombie Zequence in deed!  

Quote: “You thought it was me gnawing on the passengers? Nah, I’m a vegetarian.”

Film: Return of the Living Dead Part II (1985)


Zynopsis: A drum containing an experimental toxic chemical known as ‘245 Trioxin’ falls into the sewer system of a small town, three kids find it and by mistake release the deadly toxic into the air, a deadly toxic that ends up bringing the dead back to life. Through out the film we follow a group of kids who try to eradicate the zombie plague and save their own town. Some people don’t like this sequel to Dan O Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead (1985), but I freaking love it for many reasons. It’s fast paced, it has tons of zombie gags and it has a fun vibe to it all the way through. One of the funniest gags has a zombie-hand attack a bunch of people while they are riding a car. After the hand terrorizes everyone in the car, the people end up throwing the zombie hand out the car window! When the hand falls on the road, it gives everyone the finger, even us!  

Quote: “Hardly anything to get excited about, it’s only a severed hand”

Film: Zombie Holocaust (1980)


Zynopsis: So basically this movie tries to mix Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1979) with Rugero Deodatto’s Cannibal Holocaust (1980). The results are a film with zombies in a tropical island…and Cannibals thrown in for good measure. If you can believe it this film mixes a crazy mad scientist that experiments with the resurrection of the dead with a cannibal tribe that worships a God known as ‘Kito’. Scholars decide to do an expedition to study this tribe and well, they end up getting eaten up. Gotta admit, the idea of mixing cannibals with zombies is pretty nifty, unfortunately the film is lackluster in my book because it borrows too much from Fulci’s Zombie. Actually this film is so freaking sleazy that it actually re-uses footage from Fulci’s Zombie! But there’s this one memorable moment in which one of the good guys fights a zombie and smashes the zombies head against the moving propellers of a boat engine…gruesome stuff! 

Quote: “I could easily kill you now, but I’m determined to have your brain!”

Film: Heavy Metal (1981) – Segment ‘B-17’

Memorable Zombie Moment: FIRST ANIMATED ZOMBIES

Zynopsis: This film is an animated anthology film, the stories range from funny, to weird, to just plain bonkers. But one of the stories has zombies in it and it is called ‘B-17’.  It’s all about these soldiers flying a B-17 bomber plane during WWII. At one point in the film, right smack in the middle of a battle with enemy planes, a mysterious green orb crashes into the plane, then leaves again! Then, the B-17 crashes into the jungle! The mysterious green orb might have flown away and dissaperead, but its passage did something to the crew members of the bomber plane. It isn’t long before the powers of the green orb bring the dead soldiers back to life as zombies! In my opinion, this is one of the first instances where we get to see an animated zombies! I really can’t think of any other film.   

Quote: “Very few escape my grasp…even in death, my powers continue”

Film: Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983)


Zynopsis: Michael Jackson decides to watch a werewolf film with his girlfriend at the local movie theater.  Unfortunately, the girl gets too frightened and decides to walk out of the movie; Michael follows her even though he is obviously enjoying the fright flick. Outside, the streets are lonely and dark. To make things worse, they end up having to pass through a cemetery as the dead start to rise from their graves! Suddenly they find themselves running for their lives! This music video is a glorified short film; something that Michael Jackson loved to do with all his music videos, turn them into little movies, which of course was awesome because we got short films like ‘Thriller’ directed by none other than John Landis. Jackson was so impressed by Landis’s An American Werewolf in London (1981) that he got Landis to direct this video for him. Turns out it’s one of the best zombie films ever made, at least in my book. The images that take place in the cemetery ooze darkness and atmosphere and the zombies actually look like rotting corpses, which is something that some filmmakers seem to forget while making their zombie movies. Were talking about walking corpses here people! Thankfully, Michael Jackson and John Landis made sure these zombies looked cool. Finally, we get Michael Jackson as a zombie, ,memorable in deed.   

Quote: “And grizzly ghouls from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom…”

Film: Return of the Living Dead (1984)

Memorable Zombie Moment: ‘TARMAN’ MUNCHES ON ‘SUICIDES’ HEAD

Zynopsis: Zombies are coming out of their graves after a deadly toxic spreads through the cemetery. A group of punk kids take refuge inside of a morgue to try and survive; will they make it out of their town before the military decides to nuke it? This film is filled with many memorable moments but one of my favorites has these kids suddenly stumble upon a zombie that’s been hiding in a basement, everyone manages to run away except this kid known as ‘Suicide’! The zombie leans back and then lunges for Suicides skull, effectively taking a bite right out of it! It’s a shocker of a moment! Every time I see this film with some friends, this moment makes them scream in shock.  

Quote: In reference to his punk wardrobe Suicide tells his friends: “You think this is a fucking costume? This is a way of life!”

Film: Dead Alive (1992)


Zynopsis: Lionel’s mom has gotten infected with a bite that has killed her and brought her back from the dead, now she’s turning everyone around her into a zombie! Best part is that Lionel’s uncle has planned a Halloween party in his home, without telling him. It isn’t long before everyone in the party gets turned into a zombie! One of the most memorable scenes has Lionel killing a hoard of zombies with the blade of his trusty lawnmower! It’s a bloodbath of gargantuan proportions! 

Quote: “They’re not dead exactly, they are just sort of…rotting”

Film: Juan of the Dead (2011)


Zynopsis: Juan and his friend Lazaro are contempt with simply spending their lazy days away hustling to survive, ah yes, life in Cuba. That is until a zombie outbreak erupts and everyone in Cuba starts turning into zombies! But before that, Juan and Lazaro start the film out simply fishing on this little makeshift boat of theirs and just when Juan thinks he is out of luck with the fishes, he catches something! Only problem is that it isn’t a fish Juan catches! It’s a zombie! The zombie outbreak doesn’t stop Juan from capitalizing on the whole thing, soon he starts up a service where you call them up and they’ll come and get rid of zombies for you, kind of like The Ghostbusters, but for zombies.

Quote: “Juan of the Dead, we kill your loved ones.”

Film: The Horde (2009)


Zynopsis: This films premise is fairly simply: a group of strangers find themselves hiding from the zombie apocalypse in an apartment building. In this sense, I’d say the film is similar to say George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), where characters are held up in a confined environment and have to wait out the zombie apocalypse, or try to find a way to escape to a safer location. Well, at one point the characters have to make their way out so they decide to go through the buildings basement…big mistake! It’s this sequence that offers us the most memorable zombie sequence I have seen in a long while, one for the books that’s for sure! It’s a scene where a solitary survivor ends up completely surrounded by thousands of zombies and starts shooting zombies left and right! Then when he runs out of bullets he uses his trusty machete and starts hacking zombies to pieces! It’s an awesome sequence! The movie is worth watching for that scene alone, but in all honesty, this is a solid zombie flick from France, highly recommend it. 

Film: Bride of Re-animator (1990)

Memorable Zombie Moment: FLYING ZOMBIE HEAD

Zynopsis: Dr. Herbert West is still up to his old re-animating the dead experiments. He won’t give up until he’s figured out the secret of life itself, problem is he has to go through so many mistakes in order to learn it! On this one, Dr. West tries to bring back Dr. Dean Cain’s dead girlfriend, who died in the first film. In order to achieve this West uses bits and pieces from other bodies he finds and strings them together, trying to reconstruct her. But of course, as it usually happens in these Re-Animator movies things go horribly wrong, and we end up dealing with a bunch of Dr. West’s rejected experiments. Dr. Hill the villain from the first film is still alive and kicking, well at least his head is. Weirdest part is that he ends up getting someone to surgically add bat wings to his head! Now, Dr. Hill, the dead re-animated head, can fly! Fulci pulled this gag off first in Zombie 3 (1988), but it’s better developed here, on Bride of Re-Animator.    

Quote: “West, you stupid biped!”

Film: Pet Sematary (1989)


Zynopsis: This film is all about this kid who can’t take the fact that his little kitten was ran over by a truck, so the kids dad, instead of telling his kid that death is a part of life decides to take the cat to a local Indian burial ground to try and bring the cat back to life, and what do you know? It works! But things that come back from the dead don’t always come back as themselves and so, when the man looses his wife, he goes for the same old trick, he takes her to the Indian Burial ground to try and bring her back! Which he does, only thing when she comes back, she’s not herself anymore, she’s a freaking zombie! He doesn’t realize this immediately, so when he sees his wife the first thing he does is kiss her, as the camera slowly turns we see that half of her face is missing! His kissing a zombie! Aaaaarrgh!

Quote: “The barrier was not meant to be crossed, the ground is sour”

Film: Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1973)

Memorable Zombie Moment: FIRST ZOMBIE WEDDING EVER

Zynopsis: This is a really nutty, low budget movie that comes to us from Bob Clark, the director of the horror classic Black Christmas (1974). But, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things was one of his very first films, as a result, it’s a very cheap looking movie, but, that doesn’t mean that this film is not without it’s memorable zombie moments! For example, the characters in the film go to an isolated island to practice a play they are working on and while they are at it, perform some sort of satanic ritual said to bring back the dead. You know, just for kicks. In order to perform this ritual, they dig up a corpse! Problems arise when the ritual actually works and the dead do come back! But before all this happens, they play around with a corpse and perform a fake wedding, with the corpse they unearth as the groom!  

Quote: “Get out of the grave Alan and let an artist show you how to call a curse down on Satan!”

Film: Creepshow (1982)


Zynopsis: Creepshow was Stephen King’s and George Romero’s way of paying homage to the Tales from the Crypt comics they loved to read when they were little kids. It’s an anthology film with five different stories, most of them are related to the undead; this is a Romero film after all! But the first story is one called ‘Father’s Day’ and it’s about this family that gets together once a year on Father’s Day to remember their dead father/grandfather and discuss what they’ll get from his will. But on this fathers day, their father is coming back! To avenge his death, eat his father’s day cake and kill his greedy offspring as well!

Quote: “It’s Father’s Day and I got my cake! Happy Father’s Day!”

Film: Two Evil Eyes (1990)

Memorable Zombie Moment: HYPNOTIZED ZOMBIE

Zynopsis: This film is an anthology film consisting of just two stories, one directed by Italian maestro Dario Argento called ‘The Black Cat’ and the other directed by zombie master George Romero. Romero’s half is called ‘The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar’ and it’s about this rich old guy who’s on his dying bed. His sleazy younger wife wants him to sign over 3 million dollars to her and the only way she gets him to do it is by hypnotizing him and getting him to sign! Problem is that when Valdemar suddenly dies, he doesn’t die completely because he died in this hypnotic state! Now he sends eerie messages from the afterlife letting his wife know that his soul is trapped in a dark void, between the world of living and the world of the dead!   

Quote: “I married a rich old man. I let him use me for pleasure and for show. Now, I’m going to make him pay for my services”

Film: Day of the Dead (1985)


Zynopsis: Day of the Dead is one of the bleakest of all of Romero’s Dead films. The world is completely dominated by zombies, and most of them are really starting to rot away; unfortunately they are also growing in numbers! This plays havoc with the minds of some of the human survivors, some of which are more weak minded then others. Case in point: Miguel, the latino of the group. He just can’t deal with the fact that the world is being overrun by zombies so he starts having these nightmares, one of them involves a zombie waking up from an operating table, with an incision in his stomach! Suddenly, as the zombie gets up, its guts starts spilling out all over the floor! Gruesome in deed!

Quote: “Collapsing from stress? We’re all collapsing! This whole fucking unit is collapsing!”

Film: Zombie Lake (1981)


Zynopsis: This movie has got to be one of the most boring zombie movies ever made, it is quite literally one of the worst times I’ve had watching a zombie movie. I’ve seen some of the most important ones and I’ve still got a ways to go before I’ve seen every single zombie movie ever made. I’m also sure I’ll see zombie movies worse then this one; I’ve yet to see Oasis of the Zombies (1982) and I hear that one is worse! But Zombie Lake will always be at the bottom of my list, I mean, not much happens in this bore fest. The zombie make up consists of green paint on the actors faces and they don’t even get that right! But one idea in the film did stick out for me: a Nazi zombie coming back from the dead to protect his long lost daughter. I’d never seen that before on any zombie flick; that stood out. The rest of the movie? A total waste of time.

Quote: “So, you think that ghosts killed them?”

Film: Zombie (1979)


Zynopsis: So Lucio Fulci’s Zombie has many memorable zombie moments, one of them I mentioned on one my previous articles (Zombie vs. Shark!) but this time I want to focus on the image with which the film ends with. You see, this film is about a zombie outbreak that begins in an a little island in the Caribbean, but by the time the film ends, the zombie outbreak has spread across the seas and has spilled into New York City! Now the undead walk the streets of New York, and that last memorable image is one of the most memorable in all of zombiedom: the image of zombies crossing over the Brooklyn Bridge


Jack Thursby said...

Great list. I love that shot in Afterlife of all the zombies falling off the side of building too. Makes me wish I'd seen it in 3D.

Shamefully, I still haven't gotten around to watching Zombi 2 yet. Will be rectifying that soon.

Franco Macabro said...

That shot on 3-D was one of the reasons why I enjoyed Afterlife so much. I was expecting something as cool or more so for the 5th installment, but instead got more of the same and less cooler.

I've been focusing on obscure zombie flicks but will be focusing in on the classics as Halloween closes in, Fulcis Zombie will be one of those.

Thanks for commenting Jack!

Kevin J. Olson said...

I can't believe I'm just now seeing this. Holy shit this is great. Isn't ZOMBIE LAKE the the absolute worst zombie movie ever? I remember trying to sit through that years ago. I'm still haunted by how boring it was. And nothing is as iconic as Fulci's zombie conquistadors rising from the dirt. I also love that you added DAY OF THE DEAD. That's a great bit that you highlighted.

This was great stuff, TFC. I look forward to the rest of your series. If you don't mind, whenever you do get around to posting about ZOMBI 2, I'd love to post a link to it for this year's Italian Horror Blogathon.

Franco Macabro said...

Glad you enjoyed the article Kevin!

Yeah, Zombie Lake is just such a chore to watch, I fear that Oasis of the Zombies (which I will be reviewing in the next couple of days) will be equally boring. But Im gonna give it a chance.

I will send you a link to my review for Fulci's Zombie, no problem dude!

Thanks for commenting!

Kevin J. Olson said...

Oof. OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES isn't any better. But at least it's so-bad-it's-good watchable in a way that only Jess Franco can do. The opening is awesome. ZOMBIE LAKE is just boring whereas Franco's films are at least watchable trash. Uh...enjoy!

Franco Macabro said...

I will Kevin, as you can see from my recent slate of reviewed zombie films, I like "so bad their good films", they make me laugh and thats a good thing in my book.


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