2017 – In Memoriam

We’re here, at the end of another year. 2016 was reportedly ‘one of the worst years ever’ – by December’s end, everyone was depressed by all the Trump, by all the Brexit, by all the everything. It was a year where people from many generations felt their childhoods slip away for ever, felt pieces of themselves die as successful heroes passed out of life and into whatever comes next. 2017 has been no joke either, with more Trump, more Brexit, and more everything seemingly tightening the noose. The Grim Reaper’s scythe has once again swung with abandon, claiming many of the lives who have had a wide spreadh impact on various aspects of culture. Make no mistake – War, Disease, Famine have all claimed the usual millions of souls as they are wont to do, and those are battles we should be working together to overcome, but that is not the purpose of this post.

I haven’t been paying much attention to my Shrine posts recently, so I decided to do a yearly wrap up instead of the deaths which affected me in some way, on a personal level. Naturally that means that we’ll mostly be covering famous people here. I don’t mean this to sound as if I’m putting the famous on a pedestal, as if their lives mean more than some random mother or son who may have died this year – I firmly believe that every life is as valuable as the next. Yet here I am. In the end it comes down to who I ‘know’ or recognise.

Don’t be annoyed or disheartened if some celebrity who meant a lot to you and who died this year isn’t on the list – as I said, these are the people who meant something to me. By all means, add those who meant something to you in the comments. In the end, this is merely a place for you to give a few words, thoughts, thanks, or memories for those who have fallen.

William Peter Blatty – 7th January 1928 – 13th January 2017

Thanks for giving me, and countless others, many nights of unsettled sleep with The Exorcist.

Miguel Ferrer – February 7, 1955 – January 19, 2017

Thank you for being a perminent fixture in some of my most watched and loved entertainment of all time. You may be the only actor who has starred in both one of my favourite movies ever (Robocop), one of my favourite mini-series ever (The Stand), and one of my favourite TV shows ever (Twin Peaks). 

John Hurt – 22 January 1940 – 25 January 2017

Thank you for your willingness to ignore and balk at traditional acting conventions by appearing in cult works, low budget films, and Television, along with the more accepted critical fodder – for Alien, for Spaceballs, for The Elephant Man, for Hellboy, and many more.

Richard Hatch – May 21, 1945 – February 7, 2017

Thanks for being the original Apollo in Battlestar Gallactica – I’m not as familiar with your other work, but for that I’ll always remember you.

Bill Paxton – May 17, 1955 – February 25, 2017

Thanks for being a true movie legend and for appearing in many of my personal favourite films – The Terminator, Aliens, Near Dark, Commando, Tombstone, True Lies, Frailty, and bringing a truly unique energy and life to them.

Chuck Berry – October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017

One of the forefathers or modern blues, rock, and by extension, metal, thanks for bringing many decades of wonderful music to the world.

Clifton James – May 29, 1920 – April 15, 2017

Thanks for bringing me many laughs in my younger days, especially in the Bond movies, and also for sterling work in a few of my other favourites.

Jonathan Demme – February 22, 1944 – April 26, 2017

One of the few filmmakers to make a critically respected and award winning horror movie in The Silence Of The Lambs, thanks for breaking those boundaries.

Michael Parks – April 24, 1940 – May 9, 2017

Even though he had been acting regularly since the late 50s, Parks became better known in later decades thanks to his work with Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino – thanks for many terrific performances in many terrific films.

Powers Boothe – June 1, 1948 – May 14, 2017

A character actor with great action pedigree, thanks for appearing in some of my favourites such as Tombstone, Extreme Prejudice, Sin City.

Chris Cornell – July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017

Although Soundgarden were my fourth favourite out of Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, Cornell was nevertheless a driving force in rock and grunge with unmistakable vocals which have been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember.

Nicky Hayden – July 30, 1981 – May 22, 2017

My dad rides motorbikes. My brother rides a motorbike. Many of my uncles and cousins are bikers. I have dabbled. I live on the same street as the family of my countries most famous motorcyclists and our kids are friends. We all watch motorcycling – none of that F1 shite. Any time any biker dies it’s a tragedy, and Nicky was a particularly heavy loss.

Sir Roger George Moore, KBE (14 October 1927 – 23 May 2017)

I was a Bond fan before I really understood what films were, and Moore was my era. It is typically the Moore films I return to most for their lighter approach and tendency towards action and humour. Moore will always be Bond for me, and while he didn’t have the most varied career outside of that role, he still popped up in many other films and shows and was renowned for being a decent human being.

Adam West (September 19, 1928 – June 9, 2017)

The original Batman… well I’ve heard varying reports on what he was like in real life, but I’m mainly here to focus on their work and what it meant to me – I was never a huge fan of the original campy series, but I still watched it every now and then when I was young. Thanks for being a mainstay on TV and for your great voice work on many shows.

John G Avildson – (December 21, 1935 – June 16, 2017)

Thanks for making some of my favourite films in the Rocky and Karate Kid series as well as a few other notable movies.

Martin Landau – (June 20, 1928 – July 15, 2017)

Thanks for appearing in some of my favourite movies and shows ever, from North By Northwest and The Twilight Zone to Ed Wood and The X Files, and of course for bringing your daughter Juliet into the world.

George A Romero – February 4, 1940 – July 16, 2017

There have been fewer bigger influences on my love of horror, and on the wider horror world than George A Romero, the man who essentially invented the modern zombie genre – thanks for that, thanks for your movies, and thanks for never compromising for The Man.

Sean Hughes – 10 November 1965 – 16 October 2017

Sean, aside from Coronation Street I don’t think I ever saw any of your non- Buzzcocks work. I’m not a huge stand-up comedy fan, but you always made me laugh on Buzzcocks. 

Feel free to leave your thoughts and memories of any people we lost in 2017 in the comments below.

Night Of The Living Dead

*Originally written in 2004


The beginning of the modern horror film, and along with Psycho, the most influential horror movie ever. Drawing on many of the early monster movies of the 1930s, with a seemingly unstoppable beast tracking down prey, it enhanced the atmosphere of those films for the new wave audience. Aside from that, NNOTLD is a breed apart from anything else released at the time. Tonnes of gore, shocks the cinema goer had never experienced, unexpected twists and turns, downbeat, scary, with unusual protagonists and new ways of story telling, the world didn’t know what had hit it.

It was the late sixties. The Vietnam War was proving that North America was not all-powerful, and asking questions about who were the good guys, about motivation, about the human race as a whole. Anti-war protesters were being beaten and gassed for what they believed, while America was attempting to destroy another place…for what they believed. Hippies were spreading a message of love, new ideas were flourishing in all areas, from making peace to making war, and technology was becoming more important and influential. The result was that the good guys were often over-looked, good deeds were mostly forgotten, and many lives were thrown away aimlessly and without purpose. Those who survived wondered why, and had no clue why they were still here. It seemed like outside, bigger forces were at play, and that unseen beings were controlling the public. NOTLD was released.

A brother and sister are travelling to their parents’ graves in the countryside, a trip that has become an annoyance rather than a mark of respect. Johnny taunts his sister Barbara like he used to as a kid, scaring her, saying the infamous line ‘they’re coming to get you, Barbara’. A man walks towards them and attacks without warning. Johnny is killed and Barbara flees to a nearby farmhouse,entering a near comatose state. Another man arrives, Ben, and begins to board up the doors and windows, telling Barbara that he too was attacked by a number of people, and witnessed a town coming under siege. The attackers seem to have no regard for their own safety, and feel no pain. Soon people who had been hiding in the basement appear, and together the group try to figure out what to do. The TV says the attackers can be killed by a heavy blow to the head, and seem to be scared of fire. It seems that, inexplicably, the dead are coming back to life and eating the flesh of the living, who in turn become zombies. The group argue over the best solution, tensions arise, and all the while, the number of zombies outside grows, waiting.

The film has great depth and terrific acting from amateurs. No-one is safe from harm here, and it seems that the group’s downfall is because they are human and cannot work as a group – personal interest and opinion always interferes. The zombies do not argue, they will happily wait for their chance and strike with stunning force, as a unit. If you take down one, there are 10 more closing in. The group could have escaped earlier, by running past the few zombies, but it seems the house will become their coffin. If they had not fought among themselves they may have had a chance but even then, where would they have gone?

Ben as the main character is seen as revolutionary because he was an African American, but this was not in the script -he just happened to be best for the part. Romero has since become a champion of the disenfranchised – women, children, other races. Duane Jones’s performance is strong. Judith o’ Dea as Barbara does not have much to do, but is good, and the other stand out is Karl Hardman as Cooper. Cooper has a wife and injured daughter and feels Ben is endangering them with his schemes. Tom and Judy are a local farm couple, innocents who try to think clearly and are punished for it. Indeed it seems that when a good plan comes around, it is stopped in its tracks with devastating results. Though human error is the major mistake in a darkly ironic twist.

Although it was filmed in BW, the gore is there. People are eaten and burned, flesh is chewed on the full screen, bullets are driven through chests. The shocks are genuinely shocking, and the film’s atmosphere is claustrophobic and we sense the dwindling of hope. The overall tone of the film is stark, and it seems the future only holds violence – the news reel footage echoing what American housewives and kids were starting to be exposed to on the news. The film struggled to find distributors, and was shown in matinées to unsuspecting youngsters – we can only imagine their reactions. Truly a horror classic, and one of the most nightmarish films ever made, with a view of the world as a terrible place filled with pain and stupidity. We cannot overcome creatures which cannot think. Death is shown as a creeping inevitability, and the good guys almost always lose.

Hmm, for one of my old half-assed reviews, that was actually pretty good, and reminds me again how prescient the film is in today’s world. Almost fifty years since its release and we still haven’t learned. Let us know in the comments what you think of Night Of The Living Dead!

Best Director – 1968

Official Nominations: Carol Reed. Anthony Harvey. Stanley Kubrick. Gillo Pontecorvo. Franco Zeffirelli.

Some expected nominations this year, alongside a couple of surprises. Gillo Pontecorvo makes a surprise appearance for the wonderful Battle Of Algiers – a film released in 1966 and one which had already been nominated for an Oscar the previous year (and would again be nominated in a later year). Stanley Kubrick also picks up a nomination – a surprise given that the remaining three nominees had their films featured in the Best Picture category. Although it is far from a one man movie, it is clear that 2001 is 99% Kubrick – its many faults and many good points fall to him and it can still be said to be possibly the ultimate Science Fiction movie. Carol Reed unsurprisingly picked up the win this year with his Oliver! – even all these decades later it’s still entertaining, probably the best version of Dickens’ story, but it’s still a fairly straight adaptation of a stage play so I can’t credit Reed as much as Kubrick or Pontecorvo. Rounding out the list – Zeffirelli for Romeo And Juliet and Harvey for The Lion In Winter – both stage adaptations, well directed with Zeffirelli showing his usual flair and Harvey continuing the long tradition of stilted historical dramas.

My Winner: Stanley Kubrick


My Nominations: Stanley Kubrick. George A Romero. Peter Yates. Mel Brooks. Roman Polanski. Sergio Leone. Franklin J Schaffner.

A groundbreaking year in many respects, but the official nominations don’t reflect this. Similar to my Best Picture nominations, it’s almost an entirely different list from me, with my Best Picture nominations making their way over to the Best Director category. I’m tempted to give a tie here, because so many of the directors here offer either career best’s or truly groundbreaking and innovative, timeless works. Kubrick of course crafts possibly the first modern, visual masterpiece, but more than that he takes storytelling in different challenging directions. George Romero and his small group of largely untrained actors and staff, somehow caught magic and created two new genres – the modern Zombie movie, and the elevated B movie – a low budget independent movie that is so good that it transcends its limitations and becomes something special. It’s clear that though Romero is inexperienced and flying by the seat of his pants, his story and technique are flawless and make something unforgettable.

This wasn’t the only groundbreaking horror film of the year though, with Polanski taking an altogether more urbane and suburban approach to his Rosemary’s Baby. Polanski had already chilled with the likes of Repulsion, but this time his film is all horror – again focusing on the life of a young, modern woman trapped in a circumstance beyond her control. Polanski unwraps the horror slowly, the mirror opposite of Romero’s unending onslaught, and although we get subtle hints throughout that something is very, very wrong, it isn’t until the final scene that the truth is horrifically revealed. Again, we can draw comparisons with how Night Of The Living Dead offers a final shocking scene.

On a lighter note, Mel Brooks gets a nod from me for The Producers, a film which did pick up two other nominations this year. Aside from the whip-smart script, Brooks keeps the face fast, and allows a superb cast room for improvisation – throw in songs, sets, and silliness and it’s a winner. Yates and Schaffner create their own hits, Yates showcasing the cool factor of cars, chases, Steve McQueen, and genuine, unadulterated dialogue, and Schaffner bring’s the best out of Rod Serling’s original vision for Planet Of The Apes, while adding his own touches of realism and authenticity. Finally, Sergio Leone outdoes himself by creating a more poignant, artistic Spaghetti Western, but one still filled with the realism and brutality which he previously brought to the genre. Going largely unnoticed at the time, Once Upon A Time In The West is now rightfully ranked among the best movies ever made.

My Winners: Yes, it was a year for ties, so my winners are Kubrick and Romero.


Let us know in the comments section who you think should have been winner of the Best Director of 1968!

Bruiser – Movie Review

SF W Bruiser

Mr. Romero, the man whose zombies movies changed the face of the horror genre forever, has made quite a few lesser known movies over the years, from classics like Martin, to cult treats like Knightriders. Bruiser is a rather unique film for the director, in that it doesn’t feature many supernatural elements, and is low on the red sauce. It is a delightful satire, with bundles of black comedy and some respectable horror elements.

Let’s get it out of the way ASAP – this is not a Romero gore-fest. In fact, it’s barely a horror film. I’d be more inclined to class this as a black comedy, or at most a thriller. Nevertheless Romero fans should find a lot to enjoy here, just don’t expect decapitations or intestine-eating. The film follows an all American loser – good job, rich friends, beautiful wife, but it’s all emptiness and lies. His friends mock him and steal from him, his wife is cheating on him, and he isn’t respected at work. After everything collapses he wakes up to find himself wearing a plain white mask – naturally he decides that this new identity will allow him to seek revenge, and he works his way through the list of people who have wronged him. Be sure to expect plenty of Romero style satire on plastic, two-faced, selfish people, and some surprising cameos.


A large part of why I enjoyed this so much when I first watched it is down to how little I knew about the film before watching, and how little I was expecting from it meaning I was pleasantly surprised. The rest of my enjoyment comes from my appreciation of what Romero does with a low budget, crafting a surreal and beautiful film, and bringing in a cast of ‘I know that guy from somewhere’ types who are all superb. Special praise must go to Flemyng for a brilliant portrayal of loser to anti-hero, expressive even under a featureless mask. As the movie progresses it becomes more over-the-top, the whole thing having a Twin Peaks merged with Twilight Zone vibe. A few people have criticized the writing, but I quite enjoyed the dialogue – some great one-liners, and plenty of wit. If you can get your hands on this through a streaming service (like I did) then give it a try as it may be pricey to pick up the DVD if you’re not sure if you’ll enjoy it. It’s not as god as Romero’s original zombie trilogy, but it’s definitely one of his better movies, and one of the best black comedies of the decade.

Have you caught this little known gem by Romero? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Staunton Hill

Dead Skin Mask

At first glance I thought this was yet another fan boy director doing a cut and paste job on his favourite films –  Cameron Romero sure sounds like a fanboy’s name. As it turns out, Cameron is the son of Monsieur George Romero. Following in his father’s footsteps he sets foot into the horror genre. Unlike his father though, whose debut still ranks as one of the greatest horror movies of all time, Romero Junior’s first effort is a mostly uninspired, tired, an unoriginal film with a story we have seen time and time again. It’s not without its charms though; it is still enjoyable, mostly well acted, has a few interesting and gory scenes, and the lad seems to know what to do with a camera. The main faults of the film are that there simply isn’t anything new, and it doesn’t ever come close to being scary.

Inexplicably set in 1969 (supposedly to give some sort of tone or background of racism, freedom marches, time changing) we follow a group of friends on their cross-country trip to some Rally. Naturally they take the scenic route a la Texas Chainsaw, Hills Have Eyes, et al. A series of mishaps finds them spending the night in a large farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. Cue the entrance of some freakish yokels with murderous intent and a convoluted, ill examined back story, and what follows is a satisfying enough collection of chase, bloody torture, and death scenes.

As I said earlier, the acting from the cast of largely unknowns is fine, and Romero at least spends the time letting us get to know the characters before anything terrible happens to them. The first half of the movie is set up as we meet each character and learn of their relationships within the group. None of them are particularly interesting, though neither are they annoying. Perhaps with better writing we could have come to feel some sympathy and fear towards them after what happens. The trio of weirdos are good fun, yet another dysfunctional horror family to add to the list – but what are their motives – they’re crazy? Money? Are they a religious cult? Are they simply looking after their son? All of these are suggested, none of them seem clear. Then again, Leatherface didn’t have a motive, he just happened to have a chainsaw.

The death scenes are nice enough – decent effects in all, but it seemed like they ran out of budget at some point as we don’t get to see they demise of certain characters, and in other scenes we get sneaky edits rather than the gore of others. It’s unusual to have
one genius in the family when it comes to making films, but with time perhaps the new Romero can make something that us old Romero fans can be proud of.

* Review originally written in 2010

Night Of The Living Dead: Wax On; Brains Out

I remembrance when this was first show- none of the big studios wanted it so Romeo had to travel on his scooter with copies of it to local cinemas. On his first few attempts he told the owners that it was a film about zomboids munching human flysh and flesh- understandably most were horrified by this plot and spat in his face. Romeo, being an intelligent, bearded gentleman knew that he would have to lie in order for his film to be shown. He began to tell people it was about a group of dancers called the Living Dead who were from ‘the streets’ and had to fight prejudice and poverty just so they could dance together. A heartwarming story, it featured the tag line ‘They’re coming to get down, Barbara!’ The main character is a shy girl who learns what it is to live, love, and dance and ends up having the time of her life, like she’s never felt before. The Living Dead recruit her by repeatedly dancing on her lawn and banging on her doors and windows- she tries to keep them out, but you can’t stop the groove, baby!. The beats get more intense, the clothes get more lesser, and soon she succumbs to the ancient art of waving your arms and legs about. The group scrape together enough money to enter the (arm)Pittsburgh dance contest and finally get a stage on which they can showcase their talents. After rough treatment from rich rival dance troupe, Kobra Kyle, they find a wizened old trainer called Mr Umaga. Through him getting them to paint his house, wax his carts, clean his many chimbleys etc they learn valuable life lessons which will ensure they can form important social relationships and gain self confidence when they eventually start employment. Suffice to say, the film has a wonderfully tender ending as the group, just as it looks like they have thrown away the final dance, manage to pull off the mythic 5 metre Qwop twirl dance move and get a 10 from Brucie. Paralleled with the Vietnam war which was entertaining America at the time, Romeo’s impressive social commentary manages to convey the joyous spirit of the time- before there was mistrust, before there was paranoia, and when everyone loved each other regardless of the colour of their skin, or the ugly of their face.

Best Scene: The naked zomboid ass.

Day Of The Dead

Day Of The Dead

Usually seen as the weakest of the trilogy, and by a long way the most gore filled, this is by no means a bad film. The film was plagued from the start with budget problems, and script re-writes. This was originally supposed to be Romero’s epic, though the finished product bears little relation to the original concept. If Romero had had better funding, certain improvements could have been made to the script, but he still provides an excellent and grim film. Like the previous films, we are given a sense of claustrophobia, of being sealed inside by what’s outside as the film is set mainly in one place. While NOTLD was set in a farmhouse, and the characters may have been able to run somewhere else, and Dawn was set in a shopping mall where all your hearts desires could be found for low low prices, this is set in an underground shelter with miles of caverns leading to nowhere: it’s as if the human race has already sealed itself in Hell. The zombies hold the earth.

The few survivors are not plain civilians as before, they work for a government which does not exist anymore, with the soldiers supposedly facilitating the scientists. Both groups are torn amongst themselves, with the soldiers under the command of Rhodes-one of the most psychotic characters ever, yet completely understandable (played with the utmost power and realism by Pilato and surely deserving of some awards), and the scientists all pulling in different directions. This is primarily a film of characterisation as we see how each person reacts to the realisation that the zombies have won. It may be true that none of the characters are likable, but this only adds to the realism as if we were in this situation, it is likely those around us would p*ss us off most of the time. Even at the end, contrary to what others say, the future holds no hope. The only escape is to hide and wait for your own inevitable death.

But the film is very funny, perhaps sometimes unintentionally, as seen in Dr. Frankenstein’s antics (“no! no, you must listen to me!” Rhodes <with machine gun> “listen to this”! ). The effects, again done by Tom Savini are simply amazing, with faces being torn apart, heads flying off, and intestines spilling everywhere-every single death scene is a masterpiece of gore. Although many horror fans do not like this, it portrays a horrifying situation like no other movie. Perhaps not even the most hardened fan can bear the grimness of what is happening, subconscious fears making them hate it???

Finally a decent DVD version of Day Of The Dead is released- the first disc is a crisp cut of the film in all it’s bloody glory. The second disc has good extras- a solid documentary, and a behind the scenes feature, as well as the usual trailers, filmographies. If you don’t have the Trilogy of the Dead box set, this is a must.

Feel free to comment on my review and the movie itself? Is this your favourite of Romero’s zombie films, or do you think this is where it started to go wrong?

Dawn Of The Dead (Remake)

Being a zombie movie fan i have much enjoyed the recent (continuing) resurgence of the genre. As i believe that Romero’s Dawn is not only the best zombie movie ever, but one of the best horror movies, i was both excited and sceptical to hear about a remake. Reasons for excitement- 1. It’s zombies. 2. A big budget. 3. If done right, could be brilliant. Reasons for scepticism- 1. A big budget. 2. Less gore, less shock value. 3. If done wrong could be awful, and possibly tarnish the name of the original in some people’s eyes.

I soon heard that the zombies would be able to run- a source of many arguments among fans and purists. On one side, the zombies were scarier because their slow speed was irrelevant, they would probably get you in the end through sheer numbers or by the fact that they don’t get tired. Slow zombies were scary because they were falling to pieces. However, on the other side, people who have recently turned may still be in good shape so should be able to run until they begin to decay. Fast zombies make the threat more immediate and therefore give rise to more jumpy moments. Fast zombies mean we have an even smaller chance of survival as we may not be able to outrun them. Some have said the zombies in this are ‘super-fast’, but this is nonsense. A zombie should only be as fast as it was before it turned, more likely slower, but will not get out of breath. All this running will however mean quicker decay. What it all boils down too in the end is whether you can make your choice effective, and in both films, both directors succeed.

A Nurse, Ana, during and after a heavy shift fails to notice the news reports that the dead are attacking the living. It is probably rubbish anyway, and she just wants to get home to suburbia. The next morning, her young neighbour enters her bedroom; She seems to be hurt. When her husband investigates, she attacks him, biting off part of his throat. He dies, the phone is engaged, but he quickly rises again and goes for his wife. When she escapes the house she witnesses chaos, people screaming, houses on fire and being attacked, her neighbour with a gun, promptly run over by an ambulance. She escapes in her car only to crash after seeing the scale of the madness. Soon she meets with a cop- Kenneth, Michael, Andre and his pregnant girlfriend Luda. They decide to hide in a local mall only to find that Store guards have claimed it for their own. However, they work out a compromise and soon other survivors join them. As the days pass, they try to work out a solution, how to maintain their safety and sanity. When an attempt to send food to Andy, a survivor on the roof of a gun shop a few hundred yards away goes wrong, the zombies get into the mall, and the remaining survivors flee. Their plan to escape to an island by boat seems good, but it is based on pure hope, and the desire to get out of their present situation, rushed, and the hordes continue to chase.

The film lacks the brains and atmosphere of Romero’s masterpiece. But it makes up for this by giving an excellent view of how contemporary people would likely react to the situation. The film begins quickly, and to the director’s credit, the pace continues throughout. Anytime something good happens, something worse happens to bring the characters to an even lower state. It is frantic, but never out of control, and their is a fair amount of tension. Once we realise the zombies are fast, we are on edge, prepared for one or one hundred to come racing round the nearest shadowy corner. The actors all do well, particularly Polley and the excellent Weber. His character is just a normal guy, a failure at many things, but who will not give up. Rhames is tough, but doesn’t set out on his own, knowing that he is needed. The soundtrack is more conventional,with booming rock songs being played over each attack, but this heightens the chaos. There is little hope left at the end, and little time for discussion over why this has happened. There are a few good set pieces, and the gore is good for a modern mainstream film. There are a few funny moments, and of course, another staple of zombie films, an annoying character-Steve. The best of the recent serious zombie films by a wide margin, lets see if Romero can regain his crown.

The DVD has a few good extras, the commentary is amusing, and the last days of Andy feature is well worth watching.

Dawn Of The Dead
As always, feel free to leave any comments- is this better than the original? How do you feel about fast zombies?

Creepshow 2: Yeah!

Yes! YES!! I wish they would make more creepshow films, more anthologies. I love this kind of film- lots of bite (or Chomp in this case) size stories pieced together by an exterior character, plot, or situation. It’s like getting a 10p mix from your mum, and each sweet story has a scary taste all of its own. Some are soft and chewy, others are hard and crunchy, some are sour and you have to spit them down the sink, and occasionally you get a long lace. The best ones are when you get two stuck together so you get one for free! Even though it was your mum who paid for it. I like horrors and actions, films where lots of things happen. In these films the stories are so short they have to keep the plot small, the action fast, and everything is quick and exciting. If any of these stories were turned into a two hour film they wouldn’t have the same impact and I would probably fall asleep or cry. I think all films in the future should be made like this. No-one can be expected to stay awake for longer than 2 hours at a time- we all watch MTV, and even American Idol has adverts in it so that we can have a quick nap before the next instalment. Films like Lord Of The Rings go on FOREVER, I felt like I’d aged 84 years after watching the first one. If they’d done all the LOTR films as one 90 minute anthology like Creepshow, it could have been the best film ever: Story One. ‘There’s a bad ring, and a bad man wants it’ ‘I’m a good guy but it might make me evil, so I’ll give it to this wee chump, no-one will expect that. The wee chump and his friends can go to the volcano and throw the ring in’. The wee chump sets off with his friends, meets a fairy, tramp, beardo, and a midget along the way, one of them is eaten, another killed, and they all get separated. Part 2: A monster helps the wee chump to escape, but it really wants to steal the ring. Meanwhile the bad guy sends his armies across the land and the rest of the gang have to hide in a castle and save the children. Part 3: The monster leads the chump into a spider web and steals the ring. It turns out the tramp is actually The King and he rallies the rest of the gang to prepare for the worst. The chumps’ friend Brian wakes him up from Spider sleep, they beat up the monster and throw the ring into the volcano. The world is saved, the end. Awesome!

Creepshow 2 features 3 stories written by Stevie King (directed by Romeo) during his drunk period. He claims he doesn’t remember writing these, and to be honest, I don’t remember watching them. The first is about an Indian Zombie getting revenge on the descendants of the cowboys who stole his buffalo. He chases them round with a sword, eventually poking their eyes out. The second story features friends going white water rafting. They get chased by the Blob which eats them and pokes their eyes out with a canoe. The last story is about a demon driver who likes to pick up hitch hikers and gives them a terrifying journey. He also wants to poke their eyes out with his hand brake. Linking these stories is a little boy called Billy who likes reading comics. This is the same as the first film, and some of the same footage is used. Overall, an excellent film about horrors.

Best Scene: The shock ending of Billy falling on the edge of his comic which pokes his eyes out.

Creepy Magee