Thursday, 30 April 2009

Vampires VS Zombies -WTF?

This is one bad film, it is terrible! It made no sense, nothing happened at all, really confusing!

The 'plot' is as far as I can tell that theres been some deadly flu epidemic which has swept the globe. The vicitims either turn into brain dead zombies, or into Vampires. Unlike most post apocalyptic films the world is pretty much carrying on as normal. People still work, money still has value, zombies are not seen as much of a problem. A man and his daughter are on a car journey somewhere, they pick up a girl called Carmilla, and thats about it for the story.

My problem with this is that first of all Vampires are not VS zombies at all, if anything they are on the same side. There seems to be 3 differing realities going on, none of which makes any sense, the acting is terrible. Despite all this, the film is so bad it's good nearly. If you see it cheap get it, otherwise... avoid like the plague!

Monday, 27 April 2009

The World Ends With You (2008) - Horror RPG (Nintendo DS)

At first glance this game may seem unworthy of being on a horror blog, as it progresses it becomes apparent there is more here in common with the genre then at first glance.

This RPG is set in modern day Japan. It starts with you as a teenage boy called Neku who wakes on a road in his home city with no memory of how he got there. Though the streets are packed full of people he seems invisible to them, unable to get anyones attention. A weird sigil appears, out of this sigil crawl weird monsters which look like graffiti. Before his eyes a whole bunch of people are seemingly deleted from existence by these monsters. As he is being attacked a teenage girl turns up, she makes a 'pact' with Neku and they both become able to fight the monsters by teleporting to the monsters realm.

Not going to spoil the story, but it turns out that Neku and the girl are in some sort of contest. The contest takes place over 7 days, with each day a different cryptic mission is given to them. Complete the mission and they get to see the next day. Fail the mission and they will be 'deleted'. The only people who they can talk with they find are other players of the game, as well as Reapers who are in on the game, and try to impede the players progress as much as possible.

The main progress of the game is to go to different areas in the City and 'scan' for Noise, Noise being the games monsters who are attracted to negative vibes from the City folk. The different areas are usually shut off by Walls - invisible barriers. To get through these you must complete individual challenges the lesser Reapers set you.
The game is very hip. Fashion plays a big part in the game, different fashions granting different status boosts, Pin's are the main form of attack. On the DS's bottom screen you control Neku, via the stylus. Pins grant you different attacks, and you can choose any combination. The top screen has the 2nd character (who ever they might be at the time) they can be controlled via the D-pad. Luckily the A.I takes control of the top screen if your not putting in any commands, so it's not too confusing having 2 fights going on at once. The music is real cool, lots of J-pop style songs, and hip hop flavoured ditty's.

The plot is quite deep, and brings up questions on life, death, friendship and morality, there is a lot of text, and the story twists and turns nicely, and goes quite dark in places.


Sunday, 26 April 2009

Dead and Deader (2006) - Zombie Film Review

This film is real fun. It never takes itself completely serious while being full of brain dead action.

A group of soldiers in Cambodia end up dead while on a recon mission. Only problem is they don't stay dead. A day or so after their bodies have been shipped back to America Lt Bobby Quinn wakes up. He discovers he is dead, he has enhanced senses, and he has super strength and amazing healing abilities. His fellow soldiers who died also have come back to life, the only problem is, they are the more traditional zombie type; eating people who in turn become zombies. The bodies of the returned soldiers have seemingly been sent all over America, so Quinn decides his mission is to track down all the bodies and destroy them before zombie apocalypse occurs. Along the way he teams up with the usual wise cracking wimpy sidekick who is always found in these films, and also joined by a geek girl, of course his love interest.

The writer of this film was obviously a huge film fan. There are so many references to other films, that at times it seems forced. Discussions on who the best James Bond is, which of the Dawn of the Dead films was the best, videogame talk, comic book talks. So a lot of screen time dedicated to pointless student style talks. In one scene the characters are at a morgue. The wise cracking sidekick looks at a table which has a big metallic sphere on it; a reference to Phantasm (which is set in a mortuary), excellent.

The film goes along at quite a fast pace, the plot is riddled with holes, but it is good old fashioned dumb fun, and the zombies are plenty. A zombie gets pinned to a door by a pair of deer antlers - a first for zombie films I think! A fun film, just don't expect Shakespeare.


Sunday, 19 April 2009

Zombie Hooker Nightmare - A Zombie Flash Game

Another day, another Zombie Flash game. This one is made by the Adult Swim people. The game stars you as a hooker who has to fight your way through mostly female zombie hordes to collect clients, then return them to your trailer and um... lay with them.

The levels are maze like, with each new level requiring you get more clients than the one before. The clients are vunerable to the zombies until you collect them (by whistling and smaking your behind) then they follow you sheep like and are invincible. There is a wild assortment of limited use weapons you can collect. Flaming bones, frying pans, chainsaws, and machine guns plus loads more weird weapons are scattered around the levels.

For a flash game it is quite good, and is fun to play, plus the music is cool. It can be found:

Friday, 17 April 2009

Golden Axe: Beast Rider - Action Videogame Review (X-box 360)

Golden Axe: Beast Rider is the new version of the classic Golden Axe games. The original trilogy were classic side scrolling brawlers, very fun in 2 player, they had fantastic music and sound effects (the original actually used sound bytes from Rambo and Conan the Barbarian!). I knew this was not going to be anywhere near as good as the originals, having received mediocre reviews. I really enjoyed the 'making of' videos for this game, and seeing it cheap I picked it up.

The game is a 3d brawler, kinda like Devil May Cry-Lite. It sees you as Tyris Flare (the Amazon from the originals) berserking over the land on a quest to rescue your Dragon God (who has been kidnapped) and avenge your clans death by defeating the evil Death Adder. Unfortunately the game is single player only, a real missed opportunity, the Dwarf Gilius Thunderhead, and the Ax Battler only turn up in cut-scenes.

The bad things first then - as I said no multi player mode. The music is really generic and rubbish, it's also really quiet for some weird reason. The locations are quite bland, and there is far too many open areas, and no levels set in castles like the originals. The boss battles are really fun, but there just isn't enough of them, which is a shame as for the originals the bosses were mostly fantastic. Death Adder in particular was real fun to fight, though nothing beats his amazing appearance as the end of game boss in Golden Axe 2.

There is a good variety of enemies. Right up to the end new enemy types are being introduced which keep the game feeling fresh. The game is quite violent with Tyris ripping enemies in half left right and centre. She has her fire magic from the originals which is fun to use. As you go through the game you collect gold from treasure chests and defeated enemies which opens up access to better magic, and also access to more revealing costumes for Tyris (by the end of the game shes wearing virtually nothing which isn't really sensible of her).

The Beasts of the title are quite fun to use. As well as the fire breathing and whip tail beasts from the original come cool Gorilla type beasts, and Rhino Beasts. They are very violent in thier attacks, and a welcome reprieve from the button bashing nature of the game normally.

The game features the thieves from the original who you are able to attack to collect chicken legs, gold and potions from by hitting them, they even have their trademark jaunty theme play when they appear.

I did enjoy this game, though it is certainly not a great game, and not a patch on the originals.


Planet Terror!

Planet Terror was real fun. This was part of the 'Grindhouse' double bill. The more famous 'Deathproof' was directed by Quintin Tarantino while this one was directed by Robert Rodriguez. The double bill was a homage to the 70's grindhouse movies, and was not released in Europe as the double bill it should have been.

Planet Terror is a zombie film. Zombie films are great! The zombies vary quite a bit, and seem conscious of their actions rather than mindless, being able to talk, and use weapons. The film is really authentic in it's style, similar to the videogame 'House of the Dead:Overkill'. The whole film has a grainy look to it, right from the retro title credits, all the way to the end, and even includes a broken reel scene, where the film cuts out and comes back much later on in the film which is used to comic effect (for example the Sheriff who had detested the main hero has apparently had some big revelation during the missing scene and now thinks the main hero is amazing). The film is very funny, and knowing in it's nods to the grindhouse films.

The film features several guest appearances, among them are Bruce Willis, Tom Savani, and Quentin Tarantino. Worth seeing just for the girl who has a machine gun for a leg!


Thursday, 16 April 2009

Diary of the Dead - Zombie Film Review (DVD)

I long put off seeing this; George Romero's 5th entry in his '...of the dead' series. The first 3 where fantastic, and still are. The 4th one 'Land of the Dead' however was utterly terrible and over produced.

'Diary of the Dead' is shot in a 'Blair Witch Project' style (or I guess 'The Last Broadcast' as that came first). I mean that it's shot entirely from hand held cameras and security cameras. This came out around the same time as 'The Zombie Diaries'. The zombie diaries also is shot via hand held cameras, unfortunately it had no budget, and suffered with some very boring sections. I managed to buy 2 copies of The Zombie Diaries as got confused with the title of that and this one!

I found this quite cheap in Tesco's, so I picked it up (along with 'Planet Terror'). This film is really good! Having a budget really helps, the film has a storyline, the cameras don't suffer from the usual shaky movements these films have, and the zombies look like zombies.

A group of film students find themselves in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. At first they are disbelieving, and think all the news reports are hoax's, but it soon becomes apparent that it is really happening. One of the students records their adventure as he wants to preserve their journey, and is mostly shot from his perspective. He comes across as a real douche, filming his friends being attacked rather than help them. His escape from the terrors is by hiding behind the camera is how I see it.

Anyway I am blabbering. The film is entertaining and is intercut with news reports from around the globe which give greater depth to the apocalypse. A return to the series roots, a re-imagining of 'Night of the Living Dead' set in modern day, recommended!


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Days of Darkness (2007) - Zombie Film Review

With films like Days of Darkness you really know where you are. Terrible acting, cheap music, and lots of blood, beautiful!

The film starts with a couple out on a camping trip. Returning from the mountains they discover that while they've been away everyone seems to have died..and come back to life as genitalia-less zombies. Rescued by a sword wielding man they are escorted to a small mountaintop military base where a ragtag group of survivors are holed out.

Hilariously despite it being less then 24 hours since the zombie apocalypse the survivors are already using ridiculous names like 'Slasher' and 'DJ', I personally would have left it at least a week before reinventing myself. The group is a mixed bunch, included in the group are a porn star, a gay guy, a mad preacher all at each others throats seemingly. The characters are quite interesting, my favourites was the farmer Chad who acts like a complete arse bossing everyone around with his shotgun, and the mad preacher who keeps on quoting excerpts from Revelations (of Bible fame).

The film starts off as pure zombie fest, but turns into more of a sci-fi as the main character reaches bizarre conclusions as to the virus origins (which while true in terms of plot, in the circumstances are totally far fetched leaps). At one point in the film for instance the main character gets out a zombie penis he's been carrying around in his pocket, wrapped in a hankie and shows it to everyone while discussing a theory, and they all react as if it's the most normal thing in the world to do!

The film was entertaining and had a satisfying message about the goodness of alcohol. Lots of zombies, blood, and quite a few tentacles make for a terrible yet fun film.