Thursday, February 23, 2012

Zombies? Misunderstood?

Like most horror fans, I have been watching The Walking Dead on AMC. The show, based on a long running comic series written by Robert Kirkman, follows a group of survivors during the zombie apocalypse.

So far, I have been very impressed with the show. It skews from the comic series at times but not enough to be insulted by it. I always try to keep an open mind when watching television or film adaptations of comics. Not everyone reads comic books, so networks need to cater to everyone.

I was recently talking to a woman I work with about the show. She kept complaining about a particular episode had very few zombies in it.

“It is a show about zombies. I want to see zombies”

I love zombie movies. Yes, zombies are important and necessary in a zombie movie. But any good zombie movie or show would be completely boring without human interactions. Zombie stories are about survival. In a way, I do not think zombie movies are about zombies at all. Zombies have no thoughts or emotions. They run on pure instinct. That is all.

When watching these type of films, you are forced to put yourself in the place of the people on the screen. The undead are walking the earth and attacking live humans. What if your best friend, lover or own mother is attacked? You need to make a decision. You either need to run like hell or shoot them in the head. The possibility of killing someone you love in order to survive is a terrifying decision to make. It is decisions such as this that can drive you to insanity. That is why zombie movies are scary.

Unfortunately, zombies have become laughable to many people. I think a lot of it has to do with the popularity of horror comedies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. Not that I have a problem with these films. I think they are fantastic and play a great tribute to the zombie genre. But the humor makes the audience less afraid. But I suppose that is the point.

The reason The Walking Dead is so good, television and comic series, is because of the human interactions. As a viewer you really care about these characters. You are really rooting for them. This doesn't mean you are opposed to seeing some of the more unsavory characters ambushed by zombies. The second part of Season 2 has just begun and I look forward to watching more.

Try This!

Good People Brewing Company is a new brewery out of Birmingham, Alabama. Most of my experiences with Good People have been drinking it on draft at local restaurants. The brewery recently began canning a few of their beers. I am normally not a huge fan of canned beer. I feel like the aluminum gives the beer a sort of metallic flavor.

This is not the case with Good People's IPA. The bold flavor of hops eliminates any flavor of the can. The beer is a hazy amber color. The flowery bitterness is perfectly balanced. I enjoy drinking the Good People IPA with corned beef hash, pizza or any other dish that is high in carbohydrates. It is a great comfort beer that pairs perfectly with comfort food. Cheers!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sounds like a case of the Mondays!

Zombie (1979)

Masters of Horror: Sounds Like (2006)

REC (2007)

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Basket Case (1982)

Try This

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA: I recently tried this IPA on a trip to Atlanta and enjoyed it with a delicious bleu cheese hamburger. It has a fantastic flowery, hop aroma. The flavor has a deep hop flavor and is very well balanced. It should properly enjoyed and not consumed too quickly. The flavor improves and becomes deeper as it reaches room temperature. This is a very intense beer but you definitely do not want to stop at one. Enjoy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Review: The Crazies

I was very excited over this film. As soon as I heard about it, I tried to track down George Romero's 1973 original. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be and I went into the movie theater blind. I knew the basic premise from the trailers but I made sure not to look to much into the film.

The Crazies takes place in a small Iowa town called Ogden Marsh. It revolves around Sheriff David Dutton and his wife, Judy. The farming town is shaken up after a few random acts of violence. A local man walks onto a high school baseball field with a loaded shotgun and another man burns down his own home with his wife and son trapped inside. Pretty soon it becomes apparent that the newly acquired homicidal tendencies of the people Ogden Marsh are not a coincidence.

I enjoyed 95% of this film. The 5% I hated was the end. I’ll get to that later. The characters in the film were very likable. I became really concerned for them. My favorite character was Deputy Russell Clank, played by Joe Anderson. He was very endearing and always tried to make Sheriff Dutton proud. He also offered a little comedy but not enough to dumb down the movie. I love it when character development in horror films is done well. Not that I think its always necessary in horror films but I do like it on the rare occasion it happens. The infected residents were very well done. They rarely spoke but when they did it was very eerie.

The film was very well done up until the ending. I won’t give it away but it was completely stupid. One of the things I liked best about the film was that it reminded me of the classics. It felt like an older horror film that didn’t depend special effects. Well, the last ten minutes completely shot that out of the water. Not only was the use of special effects stupid and completely messed up the story, they were also badly done.

I plan on purchasing this when it comes out on DVD. BUT every time I watch it I will press stop 10 minutes before the actual ending.

Try This

Bison Organic Chocolate Stout: This chocolate stout has a heavy, dark chocolate aroma. The taste is not very chocolate forward though. I almost think about coffee or espresso when I first tried it. It is very smooth and has a creamy mouth feel. I suggest drinking it with a good steak dinner. The bitter taste complements medium rare meat. (Unless you don’t like the taste of food and prefer your steak to taste like shoe leather.) This is the only type of organic beer I’ve had and I certainly want to try more after this. Cheers!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Evolution of my love affair with Horror

There are two things I would consider obsessions of mine, and one of them is horror films. I have always loved the horror genre but it has grown considerably in the last three years. I used to only appreciate the classic black and white films such as The Haunting, Psycho, The House on Haunted Hill and House of Wax. The work of Alfred Hitchcock and Vincent Price was really all I needed. I stuck my nose up to gratuitous gore and nudity. Why was it necessary? Alfred Hitchcock could direct any scene and make it creepy and suspenseful with just a little chocolate syrup for blood. I honestly think I was just afraid of the violent images at the time. The dead body Jessica Tandy's character discovers in Hitchcock's film, The Birds, really got to me when I was young. I had a difficult time sleeping. At the time I felt that that type of reaction was bad. Nowadays, I become slightly disappointed if I get a good nights sleep after a horror film.

As I got older, suspense-filled serial killers films started to fascinate me. And I don't mean John Carpenter's Michael Myers. I'm talking about serial killers that could have been out neighbors. Most people would not lump crime films with horror films. I personally don't understand that. What's more horrifying than something that could actually happen? I did not see the 1995 film, Se7en, until 2002. I was in the 8th grade at the time and it instantly became my favorite film. And that has not changed. Even though I can quote this film from start to finish and play it scene for scene in my mind, it never gets old. I always feels like the first time.
I always make it a point to see serial killer films, whether they are based on real monsters or just created for the big screen.

My tastes in the horror genre started to expand and I became really excited when James Wan's film, Saw, was released. I think that Saw is one of the best horror films to come out in the last 10 years. Up until that point, all we were seeing were remakes of classics and films with unoriginal story lines.
Saw, in my opinion, was breath of fresh air. It was original, painful and it was a mind-fuck. Personally, I'm getting sick of the franchise though. I thought the first film was pe
rfect in every way and they should have stopped. But I know that is not realistic. The studios saw an opportunity to make more money and they ran with it. I guess I can't blame them.
Anyway, Saw made me realize that gore isn't such a bad thing after all.

A few years back, I started dating a guy that convinced me to love horror even further. But not just well-done films. He convinced me that a horror film doesn't have to be good or even scary. It can just be a lot of fun. He introduced me to Eli Roth's Cabin Fever. I never realized that skin disease and stupid coeds could be so much fun to watch. I was also introduced to Sam Raimi's Evil Dead films. I'm excluding the first Evil Dead from the current discussion because that movie scared the shit out of me. But Army of Darkness is completely ridiculous but a blast nonetheless. I'm not even going to get into the New Zealand film, Black Sheep.

I also developed a love for zombie films. Watching George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead was a great experience for me. I know that sounds odd but thats just how it was. I guess it took me back to my love of the black and white classics. I have seen all of Romero's zombie films and Night is still my favorite out of them all. But my favorite zombie film I've seen in is the Spanish horror film, REC. This movie continues to scare despite the fact that I have seen it numerous times. I have yet to see REC 2 though. I'll get back to you on that one.

Ultimately, I consider horror films an obsession because of the many genres within the genre. You can't pull that off with every movie genre type. I'm willing to give any horror film a fair chance. And I look forward to discussions on the horror genre and exploring my obsession further.

Try This
Another love I have is beer. I feel that knowledge of good beer is rare, so I will be suggesting a different beer at the end of every blog.

Stone Ruination IPA: This IPA out of California has very strong citrus scent. And the citrus comes through as an after taste as well. It is a little thick and almost creamy. It also has very strong hop flavor. It is pleasantly bitter. I would not suggest drinking it with food. This beer might make your food seem tasteless because the hops are so prominent. I suggest slowly sipping it while relaxing. The change in flavors as the temperature changes are very nice. Cheers!