Sunday, 20 July 2008

The Omega Man - Zombie Horror Film Review

The Omega Man like 'The Last Man on Earth' before it, and 'I am Legend' afterwards is based on the novel 'I am Legend' about a man trying to survive in a world where he is the last human.
In 'The Omega Man' a man made bio-weapon has swept the globe infecting everyone. Most the worlds population died instantly, but some survived, but only as 'others' - psychotic albinos allergic to light.

Charlton Heston plays Robert Neville a scientist who survived the epidemic by using a experimental antidote. His days are spent cruising the deserted city gathering supplies, and hunting for the 'others' nest so he can eliminate them. His nights are spent barricaded in his fortress home playing chess with himself, and getting drunk while foiling the 'others' attempts to break in and kill him.

He meets up with a small band of humans who are only in the early stages of infection, and so not yet deranged. They give Robert a purpose in life, and after successfully creating an antidote he plans to leave the hellish city and head for the hills with them. But things might not go according to plan...

The music in this film is amazing, it is so beautiful 70's style western music. Specially during the action sequences where rather than have balls out fast paced music there is really meloconic haunting themes which really make you care for the character of Robert and want him to win.

An ace film, recommended. Better than 'The Last Man on Earth', and that itself was a classic film.


Saturday, 12 July 2008

Figure Review - Resident Evil Anniversary Collection 'Licker'

The Licker figure is of course a figure of the iconic Licker creature from Resident Evil 2. The first sudden glimpse of this creature passing a window leads to a headless corpse, and a FMV scene of the Licker dropping down from the ceiling.

The figure is more a statuette than a figure. It is in a fixed squatting position, with its razor sharp tongue extended to the side.

The figure is quite detailed, showing all the muscles, on the back of the figure the Lickers spine is exposed, and coated in blood.
The claws of the Licker are deadly looking, and suitably large. Another good figure from the Resident Evil range.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Resident Evil - Zombie Videogame Review (Playstation)

When this game first got announced I didn’t own a console capable of playing it. I remember scrutinising the previews in CVG (Computer and Video Games magazine) thinking it sounded like the best game ever. It is true to say this is the game which I brought a Playstation for.

The games plot concerns a special Police Group called S.T.A.R.S Alpha Team who have headed into the Arkley Mountains near Raccoon City to search for the missing S.T.A.R.S Bravo Team who in turn had headed to the mountains to investigate a serious of strange murders in the area.
There they discover a big mansion - a big mansion full of secrets…and zombies (and other assorted freaks of nature).
After lots of blood, mayhem, and a few back stabbings a few of the gang escape, and that is the game : ).
The intro to this game is fantastic. It is a live action sequence (with possible real actors!) and involves the Alpha team arriving in the woods of the Arkley Mountains and being pursued to the Spencer Mansion by a pack of zombie dogs.

The game is classic survival horror, and one of the first of its kind (well the first good one of its kind). It contains all the classic staples of the survival horror genre – clunky controls, mixture of puzzles and action, fantastic atmospheric music, and plenty of scares.

You ask someone to name a scene in a game where they got scared, and most people will mention the unforgettable ‘Zombie Dogs leaping through the window’ scene, which still makes me jump to this very day.
There are many many zombies in this game. Zombie crows, Dogs, and Humans. All with the one desire – to eat your flesh. You have a variety of weapons to defeat these – everything from knives all the way up to the mighty Rocket Launcher. A personal favourite is the Magnum – one hit is all it takes to blast a zombies head clean off!

The locations are great. A big Mansion, Gardens, Caves and a Laboratory, suit the zombies well, and give some classic Fulci locations. The moans and groans of the undead are cool, and they look good, even now, the game has aged quite well for an early Playstation game.


Thursday, 10 July 2008

Castlevania: The New Generation/Bloodlines (1994) - Zombie Appearances in Videogames (Megadrive/Genesis)

Some games don’t actually feature Zombies! Can you believe that? But some games do have Zombies, even if they only have a token appearance. The game in question for zombie cameos this time is Castlevania: The Next Generation (or Bloodlines if you’re American) on the Megadrive/Genesis. The game sees you pursuing Countess Bartley across Europe as she gathers up the pieces of Count Dracula in order to resurrect him once again.

The enemies in this game mostly consist of skeletons, and various other types of creature such as bats, beast men, and knights. Zombies show up on level 1 as the first enemy you face. Level 1 is the ruins of Castle Dracula (or I guess the ruins of Castlevania unless Dracula lived somewhere else before Castlevania). Anyway as either John Morris or Eric Lecarde you enter the castle grounds. After a brief courtyard walk you enter the entrance hall of the castle itself. Zombies constantly run up to you from both directions, they don’t actually have an attack, I assume they try and bite you or something. Some of the zombies have flies buzzing round their heads which is a cool touch. Being the first enemies of the game they are very weak. They fall apart with just one strike of the whip or pole arm.

And that is it for the Zombies appearance in the game as far as I recall! The rest of the level has mostly skeletons, some fish men, some bats, and a sub boss of a demon hound, and the main boss of a possessed suit of armour.

Level 4 (The German Steel Works) has a Frankenstein sub-boss, but I don’t count him as a zombie (anyway he’s like 15 feet tall) and there are a few mummies on Level 3 (The Leaning Tower of Pisa), but they don’t count either.

The game is good, a bit zombie light, but then zombies are not the point of the game, I see them as an added bonus.