Day of the Dead (1985)

Written and directed by George A. Romero.  Starring Joseph Pilato, Greg Nicotero, Lori Cardille, and Sherman Howard.

Plot: a small group of military officers and scientists live and work underground in a world full of zombies

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This is another great chapter in the “dead” series. We are introduced to the first “intelligent” zombie in the guise of “Bub”. A zombie that a crazy doc is doing experiments on. This one might be my favorite of the series overall. it is among my favorite zombie movies of all time.

This one has some memorable dialogue and a couple great kills.  We consider the army guys to the main antagonists. The civilians are super likable though. And Tara probably wouldn’t watch it in the dark alone.

This followed rules and was highly realistic (army can be bad with absolute power).  Good script, some quotable dialogue and great scenes. Good acting, Great effects and great direction, of course with Mr Romero. Very re-watchable with a great story featuring a great ending.

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Drinking game: Every time Rhodes is an asshole, every time Bub is awesome and every time the Doc acts crazy.

My score: 93/100.  Tara’s score: 85.

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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Written and directed by George A. Romero.  Starring Ken Foree, Tom Savini, David Emge, Gaylen Ross, Scott Reiniger and George Romero for a hot second.

Plot: a group of people seek refuge in a shopping center after the zombie apocalypse breaks out

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This movie was a great follow up to the classic that is Night of the Living Dead. You’ve got a group of pretty likable people stuck in a mall with the dead. You’ve got Romero’s usual social and political commentary which i always enjoy.

Though the make up isn’t good by today’s standards and the blood looks like red paint, it is actually a tense movie.

There is a motorcycle gang in it that is just the worse, there are usually some really cruel people in zombie movies that ruin it for us a little (just like real life). Peter is the only one who keeps his shit through the whole movie. The characters speak to each other how real people do, especially the couple.

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Overall good motive, followed rules, good cast, great dialogue, re-watchable , good story, good ending and with a strange soundtrack.

We both highly recommend it and gave it a high score of 85/100.

Drinking Game : every time you see a zombie in costume or someone smokes a cigarette.

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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Directed by George A. Romero.  Written by Romero and John Russo.  Starring Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman and Kyra Schon.

Plot: a group of people board themselves up inside a farmhouse when they “zombie” apocalypse breaks out

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In 1968, a legend was born and the zombie as we know him today came to fruition.  In this iconic black and white masterpiece (please don’t watch the colored version – it takes something dear away from the viewing), the dead begin to rise and their appetite is for the flesh of the living.  The movie opens with a chilling scene where brother and sister are attacked and divided.  From there, it only gets better,,,or worse…depending on how you look at it.

This film is flooded with greatness.  From the acting to the specials, everything is topnotch.  Some people are likable and some are not, but that’s realistic enough.  It is how people behave after all.  Especially in times of crisis.  There’s just nothing really bad we have to say about this movie.  It’s a classic for a reason.

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Now, I probably don’t have to use the alert, but I will.  If you haven’t seen the movie yet though, you really need to get on it.  It’s an important thing for any true horror fan to see Barbara taken away by her own dead brother.  Life is just cruel.

And although George Romero said that his intention was not to make a political film, it’s what he did.  The lead character is a black man for one.  It’s 1968, George, black men don’t really lead films like this.  Then you have the irony of the black man surviving the whole film only to be killed at the very end by a trigger happy white guy put into a position of power.  Wait.  What year is it?  1968 or 2018?

This movie and it’s “ghouls” does something to a person that can’t be undone.  It really is a must see.  I think even casual fans of the genre should check it out.  You will be pleasantly surprised.

My score: 96.  DJ’s score: 91.

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Body Bags (1993)

Directed by John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper.  Written by Billy Brown and Dan Angel.  Starring John Carpenter, David Naughton, Debbie Harry, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Sam Raimi, Sheena Easton, Stacy Keach, Tobe Hooper, Tom Arnold, Wes Craven and Twiggy.

Plot: a coroner tells us 3 unrelated stories of horror involving his recent cadavers

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  1. Gas Station

A college girl works at an isolated gas station while there’s a serial killer on the loose.  There’s a lot of cool cameos in this story.  I love David Naughton!  It’s a great story.  Very memorable.  There’s good Freddy Claws and it’s totally rewatchable.  The only thing bad about it is that the girl is so stupid.  And while there’s not a particular moral per se, the fact that she puts a job and making money ahead of her own safety is just terrible.  Still, this was our favorite of the 3 stories.

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2. Hair

A man obsessed with his thinning hair tries a special new solution.  He’s horribly stupid though.  He’s got a woman that loves him just as he is and he still goes above and beyond to change his looks.  This story actually does have a moral.  It’s about vanity and the lengths people go to change their outward appearances.  It’s an incredibly effective story and it really freaks me out.

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3. Eye

A baseball player loses an eye in a car accident and gets a transplant from a serial killer.  It has a good cast, but this was our least favorite of the 3 stories.  It’s entertaining and all,  but DJ didn’t like how one eye could take over a whole man and make him do crazy things.

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The wraparound story with John Carpenter in the morgue bumped the movie up some points.  It’s a good anthology though.  We really enjoyed it.

Our score: 68.

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Episode 50 (2011)

Directed by Joe and Tess Smalley.  Written by the Smalleys and Ian Holt.  Starring Josh Folan, Chris Perry, Natalie Wetta and Kieron Elliott.

Plot: 2 TV crews team up for a special episode of a paranormal TV show

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Me and DJ generally love the “inspecting haunted asylum” movies.  Not sure why, but we do.  We have to watch them all and with this one, we were absolutely blown away.  We don’t know why people orgasm at things like Blair Witch, but scoff at this.  I think the people who found Blair Witch scary should shit their pants over this movie.  Me and DJ jumped out of our skin more than once.  I made an inhuman noise or two and DJ got so scared once, he choked on his burger.

The acting is decent most of the time.  It’s also funny and realistic.  After the first horrific and irrational experience, one guy is just like “that’s it, I’m leaving.”  Of course, he can’t.  It’s too late for that.  But he wants to and that’s so true to life.

It was nice to see something using such good special effects to not be gory or rapey or tortury.  The end was excellent.  The story was intriguing.  It established some cool rules and followed through with them.  We would not watch this alone, but we definitely recommend that you guys see it.

Our score: 82.

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6 Movies We Hate

Occasionally, a movie is so terrible that even we can’t watch it – at least not for a second time.  We also don’t feel like going through the same rating rigmarole when we know the movie doesn’t stand a chance of getting anything higher than a 10.  So, every now and again I’ll tell you about some movies we just hated and warn you to stay far, far away.

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  1. Parents (1989)

Not horror, just horrid.  It’s about a little boy who’s afraid of his own parents because they are cannibals.  I don’t recall ever seeing such a dumb piece of crap as this.  The little boy’s a whack job, too, in his own right.  We just don’t understand the point and don’t recommend it.

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2. Pig Hunt (2008)

This is another supposedly dark humor, horror film that doesn’t float our boat.  John and his friends go on a hunting trip and they’re kinda racist.  So, you’re rooting for the boar really and unfortunately, it doesn’t win and the movie sucks.  What’s it trying to tell us?  And why end the movie with a quote from Animal Farm?  Are they really trying to align themselves with Orwell?

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3. The Remains (2016)

The trailer looked good.  The picture above doesn’t look so bad either, but looks can be deceiving.  A family (led by Todd Lowe, who was on Gilmore Girls and really, very good) moves into an old house and discover a chest in the attic that’s haunted.  But it’s terrible.  There’s no rules, no originality, no motive and a very ridiculous script.  It’s so unintentionally funny that it would have gotten a few points, but nothing above a 10 to be sure.

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4. The Slaughter (2006)

Another one we hate was this naked, booby ritual movie where 6 college students cleaning up an abandoned house wake an ancient demon.  The first hour is boring as hell and then the last bit turns into a really sorry version of Evil Dead with zombies and bad jokes.  What the hell were they going for?  We have no idea.

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5. Frankenhooker (1990)

We didn’t except a world class gem here, but we were hoping for a bit of campy fun.  Instead we got this festering turd of a movie that I’m sorry we watched at all.  After his girlfriend is killed in a freak lawnmower accident, a man sets out to “recreate” her using the body parts of hookers.  And you get what you ask for I suppose.

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6. Chillerama (2011)

Honestly, I have to admit that we didn’t even finish watching this movie.  It is gross, disrespectful and quite challenging to enjoy unless you like bathroom humor and jokes about giant sperm.  There is one story called the Diary of Anne Frankenstein.  That’s not okay.  It was as if a 13-year-old boy with neglectful parents made this.  DJ was not pleased.  He’s actually the one who turned it off.

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47 Meters Down (2016)

Directed by Johannes Roberts.  Written by Roberts and Ernest Riera.  Starring Mandy Moore, Claire Holt and Matthew Modine.

Plot: 2 sisters vacationing in Mexico become trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean

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It’s a shark movie.  If you want a big explanation you should look elsewhere.  Because it’s a shark movie.  It’s about people who are hunted by a shark, just like every other shark movie.  Although, I will say that this one has a lot better acting than most shark movies (aside from Jaws, of course).  The specials were also pretty magnificent.  It never looked superimposed although I’m sure parts were.

For some reason, there’s a large portion of people that either didn’t understand or didn’t like the ending.  To that I say, phooey.  It was a realistic ending.  Really realistic.  And if you don’t understand it, you may need help tying your shoes, too.

We both recommend this one.  It was an entertaining movie.

Our score: 64/100.

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Absentia (2011)

Written and directed by Mike Flanagan.  Starring Catherine Parker, Courtney Bell, Doug Jones, Dave Levine and Justin Gordon.

Plot: 2 sisters discover that a tunnel is the link to several disappearances

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This movie is very hard to describe.  It’s sort of part crime drama, part horror film which is why DJ didn’t really like it.  However, we will say that it is one of the creepiest films we’ve ever sat through.  There is one scare that is particular intense.  And once again, Doug Jones does a hell of a job being creeptastic.

Aside from that, I liked that the main women were realistic.  They weighed like more than 2 ounces and that was cool.  It was also very original, the specials were awesome and the direction was beautifully done.  Still, it did leave a lot to be desired come the end of the movie.

Why them?  Why then?  Why 7 years?  What did it have to do with Billy Goat’s Gruff?  Why didn’t the cops see it?  Why didn’t the trade work?  How could he “get out” only to “go back”?  I know you don’t understand any of this unless you’ve seen the movie, but trust me, once you do, come back and read this and you’ll be asking yourself the same exact questions.

I do recommend it.  DJ doesn’t really.

My score: 52.  DJ’s score: 40.

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Bait (2012)

Directed by Kimble Rendall.  Written by John Kim and Russell Mulcahy.  Starring Xavier Samuel, Julian McMahon, Sharni Vinson, Dan Wyllie, Phoebe Tonkin and Lincoln Lewis.

Plot: a freak tsunami strands shoppers in an Australian supermarket with a hungry Great White shark

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In a supermarket, clerks, shoppers, thieves, cops and a couple who just wants to make out get caught in a shit storm of trouble even before the tsunami shows up.  But once it does, a shark comes with it and then all bets are off.

Surprisingly, this movie was really good.  Really smart.  I’m not used to shark movies (except Jaws of course) being realistic or well done, but this one is.  It’s depressing, but in a good way.  The story is pretty awesome.  The acting is really good, too.  The shark looks killer (pun intended), although the guts and blood look kind of horrific in a bad way.  It’s horrible CGI.

The people were likable.  The story followed rules.  Everyone died that should have died and the dog got to live.  We give it 2 thumbs up and recommend strongly.

My score: 75.  DJ’s score: 69.

“You’re a dog murderer, which is worse than a people murderer!”

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Dracula Untold (2014)

Directed by Gary Shore.  Written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless.  Starring Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance and Noah Huntley.

Plot: a young Vlad must become a monster in order to save his people

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In order to save his village and 1,000 boys from being taken and turned into soldiers, Vlad (Evans) willingly drinks the blood of a vampire to give him super strength.  It is in no way historically accurate, but who the hell said it was?

Luke is very nice to look at.  The movie is entertaining and creepy.  All those dead people on spikes are creepy.  The specials were done well.  I thought the story was really good as well.  We both actually recommend this one and DJ doesn’t usually like vampire movies, serious, campy or otherwise.

My score: 65.  DJ’s score: 60.

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