FRIDAY MADNESS #3
Welcome to another edition of FRIDAY MADNESS! With the BAMBOO AWARDS, the Academy Awards and more work than expected at college I was forced to delay the return of FRIDAY MADNESS but now that everything is more peaceful I’m proud to welcome you to this week’s topic: ZOMBIEMANIA! Victor Halperin’s “White Zombie” cited to be the first zombie film was released in 1932 in from that moment on, more than 80 years have passed and from George A. Romero to the remakes of the 2000’s and without forgetting the huge impact of “The Walking Dead”, Zombie’s stories are appreciated by moviegoers worldwide. If you are a fan or you’re just looking for new horror movies to watch I think that you will enjoy this article! Welcome to ZOMBIEMANIA!
Zombie films are usually popular and have a relatively high budget. These movies are also commonly associated with the horror genre but lately we’ve seen some cross over with other genres like comedy, sci-fi and even romance. Zombies, also referred as living dead are portrayed in the plots as living corpses or human beings infected with a powerful virus. Classics like “Night of the Living Dead” and “Dawn of the Dead” are nowadays part of several lists of movies you must watch and even the remakes of the 2000’s are getting some interesting receptions.
The most influent director of zombie films is probably the well-known George A. Romero, the author of a series of movies and books about zombie apocalypses. Romero’s directing career began in 1968 with “Night of the Living Dead” and years later he directed “The Crazies”, a sci-fi horror action movie about an accidental release of a military biological weapon in a small American town (a remake of “The Crazies” was released in 2010 and it currently holds a 71% score in the Tomatometer, which is practically 20% more when compared with the original). I only saw the remake of “The Crazies” but I can assure you that if you enjoy horror movies this story is intense and really interesting when compared with most of the horror movies released nowadays. Romero also directed “Dawn of the Dead” (a remake of “Dawn of the Dead” was released in 2004 and it’s directed by the visionary Zack Snyder). Snyder’s remake is a must-see in the horror-genre and it currently holds a 75% score in the Tomatometer and it’s certified FRESH. Lately, George A. Romero is known for “Land of the Dead”, “Diary of the Dead” and “Survival of the Dead”.
Besides George A. Romero, Sam Raimi is also known in the zombie feature films scene by directing one of the most gruesome movies ever made, “The Evil Dead” which is already on my watchlist, since I’m a fan of his directing style. But instead of making one gruesome movie, Raimi is the author of the three movies of this horror trilogy that it’s known for the gore scenes. In the past year, a remake was released with less comedy and more intense and dark scenes (a bit like most of the horror movies of this century).
But the funny thing about this type of horror movies is that some of these stories are really enjoyable with lots of action sequences and some comedy in the middle. In 2004 Edgar Wright directed one of the most successful British comedies of nowadays, the first chapter of the Wright and Pegg’s Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy: “Shaun of the Dead”, a really funny movie about a group of people who is trying to survive a zombie apocalypse with a crazy plan that ended with a night of drinking beers at the pub.
The successful “Shaun of the Dead” was just one example of how innovative can zombie apocalypse movies be. In 2007 and 2008, after Wright’s zombie comedy and the well-known “28 Days Later” by Danny Boyle, the sequel for Boyle’s movie named “28 Weeks Later” was released and Robert Rodriguez presented one of his most irreverent movies, “Planet Terror”, part of the “Grindhouse” project which Quentin Tarantino was also leading. “Planet Terror” is usually known for the comedy moments and for the girl with a gun replacing one of her legs.
“Quarantine” and “REC” are also part of the recent zombie films universe but in terms of creativity and style, they are a bit far from the 2009 zombie comedy with Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone named “Zombieland”. This comedy had a terrific reception with a 90% score in Rotten Tomatoes (certified fresh) and was also the top-grossing zombie film in the United States (currently this position is occupied by the 2013’s movie “World War Z”). “Zombieland” is the perfect mix of comedy, action and zombies in which a group of survivors of a zombie apocalypse is trying to find a sanctuary free from zombies. It also features the journey of Harrelson to find a Twinkie.
In 2010 AMC presented “The Walking Dead”, the most-watched drama series in basic cable history and probably the trigger for nowadays remakes of some of the horror classics involving zombies.
After “Zombieland”, Production companies like The Asylum tried to take some advantage from this zombie scene and produced some class B horror movies like “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies”. In 2012 Sam Fell and Chris Butler directed a 3D stop-motion animated comedy horror family film, “ParaNorman”, about a boy named Norman who is able to speak with the dead. “ParaNorman” won several awards and was also nominated for some of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the world of cinema.
In 2013, moviegoers had the chance to watch not only the remake of Raimi’s “The Evil Dead” but also a love story with some comedy moments about a zombie who fells in love with a human, “Warm Bodies”. If you haven’t gave yet a chance to “Warm Bodies” I strongly advise you to do so because after the crappy “Twillight Saga” you’re probably thinking that this zombie romance will be really silly and dumb but I can assure you that you are wrong.
At last but not the least, it’s impossible to not talk about the 2013’s zombie apocalypse movie with amazing action/adventure sequences named “World War Z”. This high-grossing motion picture with Brad Pitt as the leading actor it’s funny, intense and a great adventure that deserves to be watched. Despite the lack of horror, “World War Z” is probably one of the most amazing adventures featuring zombies ever made. The CGI is great and I can assure you that if you enjoy action movies this one will also please you.
So whether you prefer a more comic adventure or a horror movie, you have a series of interesting movies to watch and discover about zombie apocalypses. Protect yourself from a “possible” zombie apocalypse by watching these movies. Welcome to ZOMBIEMANIA!