Tag Archives: zombies

Top 5 Post-Apocalyptic Movies

Post-Apocalyptic TokyoSo, as I mentioned before, I kind of like the “Top 5” post idea, and I figured I’d run with it for a little while, or at least until I run out of things to make lists of.

This week I decided to run with Post-Apocalyptic movies. I’ve written about this before, and as some of you may know, Post-Apocalyptic movies are some of my favorites. And not just in movies, but comics, video games, and books as well. So without further ado, my Top 5 Post-Apocalyptic movie recommendations…

5. 12 Monkeys – A science fiction, post-apocalyptic/time travel film by Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python fame) based off of the French art-film La Jetée. This movie is just fun. Watch Bruce Willis go/be crazy. Watch Brad Pitt at his wackiest since Fight Club. It’s just a good, entertaining movie. With some rather peculiar social commentary slid in, but who cares about that, right? I recommend this movie almost solely based on the fact that it’s fun. I mean, the acting is phenomenal, the cinematography is phenomenal, and the story is damn good, but over-all I think the best reason to watch this one is for entertainment.

4. The Stand – The T.V. mini-series based on the novel by Stephen King, The Stand is really, really damn good. The acting isn’t… always there, but the story is just good. Take a world ravished by a horrible disease, then add a surprisingly non-stereotypical battle between good and evil, and you get this odd mix of “wow this is really good” and “okay, I actually didn’t expect that.” The Stand also slides in ahead of 12 Monkeys almost purely based on the fact that it’s long. Now, in many cases “long” is a negative way to describe a movie or show, but in this case it works out to be positive. The Stand has a very delicate, well balanced story to tell… and without the length of a mini-series I don’t think it could have been pulled off. If this was a two hour movie? Forget it, you’d end the movie going “meh.” But in this case you end it going “Cool.”

3. The Last Man On Earth – Ahhh… a Vincent Price classic. Almost a heavily remade movie. Many of you probably know it better as The Omega Man or I Am Legend. Not only is this the story of… literally the last man on earth (which is epic as far as post-apocalyptic stories go) but also a story about zombies, or vampires, or whatever you want to call them in this case. Based on the novel (actually, it’s almost a short story) by Richard Matheson – I Am Legend, this movie is not only classic as far as age, but classic as far as quality. There is something about horror movies made in the ’50s and ’60s that really makes Mad Maxme giggle. The best ones are usually a little cheesy, but so original and intelligent that it is impossible to find fault in them. Half the time the acting is atrocious… but I still love them. This get’s the solid number three spot because it’s just… amazing. Simply put.

2. Mad Max – Remember when Mel Gibson was cool? Or at least a good actor? I do… This movie is the pinnacle of post-apocalyptic movies for me. dystopic future, insane gangs of bikers and rabble… and one man trying to hold his life together in the midst of all this insanity… and how he reacts as it falls apart. I think the power behind this entire movie is how well it captures humanity. How we break when everything goes to hell, and how the mindless masses are driven to insanity by the freedom/prison of a world-wide incident. It’s beautiful, really, if you look at it from that point of view. I have to say, that no matter what, this will continue to sit as one of my favorite movies, not just post-apocalyptic ones, for a long time.

1. [Insert time of day/random word here] …Of The Dead – I love zombies. Most of you already know that, so I don’t go too deeply into it, but I felt I had to preface with that. I think more importantly here is that I love post-apocalyptic zombie tales. Put a group of people in a worst-case scenario game, and eventually someone will mention a zombie apocalypse. And George A. Romero is the master of that genre. No one else has ever been able to capture the essence of his films in the same way. Not only are they rife with the fear and dread of trying to survive in a zombie apocalypse, but the social commentary… and commentary on humanity in general, is utter amazing, and spot on. Not to mention how far ahead of their times these films are. And if you truly want my recommendation on these, watch them in order… but my favorite by far is Day of the Dead.

Diary of the Dead

Ah... filming zombies...

And there you have it, my top 5 post-apocalyptic movies. If you want more information on these films, or other post-apocalyptic films that I like… comment.

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Disaster Survival

Hurricane DevastationSo, this morning I woke up to the news that Hurricane Irene is heading directly towards Delaware. Now, for many this is a frightening experience. Especially for the woman who works with my father who moved here because she lived in New Orleans and lost everything during Katrina… I am sure for her this is a nightmare. But for me it’s actually rather exciting. For a variety of reasons.

  • I am a survivalist nutjob. – Yes that’s right. I get excited during disasters. I love researching survival plans and techniques. And I am always prepared. I have an emergency kit put together. I have everything I could possibly need in case of a zombie apocalypse within arms length from my desk/bed. I like to be prepared, and I like to be ready for a worst-case-scenario.
  • I like storms. – I have always loved thunderstorms since I was a little kid. They fascinate and delight me. I’m the kid that would get screamed at because I’d run outside in the middle of a thunderstorm to play in the torrential downpour… lightning doesn’t scare me. And this is potentially the worst storm I will have ever experienced. It get’s the blood pumping!
  • I like fixing things. – As odd as this sounds, I really like repairing things and the like, so if our house gets damaged, or something goes crazy wrong… I’ll have a blast repairing it afterwards. Unless our house is demolished… I wont be so happy then… no. Bad juju. BAD!

So yeah… I’m excited. Many of my friends know that I have planned extensively for a zombie apocalypse. I had a survival plan in Boston. I have a survival plan here. Not quite as good of one… but that’s because our house is a zombie death trap… one story, weak interior doors, huge windows… ugh. Just not zombie proof. It makes me sad. My apartment in Boston was a different matter though… second story, great doors, a reinforced back entrance with a steel security door on the basement, roof access… it was great. Very secure, very safe.

In Case of Zombies Break Glass

In case of Zombies, break glass!

So how does one plan for a zombie apocalypse? Well… “going to the tavern, having a nice cold pint, and waiting for this all to blow over” isn’t the best idea – no offense Shaun. Having supplies is. Non-perishable food, renewable water source, weapons, home repair supplies (plywood, nails), and survival/first aid equipment is a must. Having a protected garden (ie – tall fence, preferably not chainlink) is even better. For long term survival the farther south you are the better. Once you lose electricity or heat in the north you are screwed. Unless you have electric heat and a manual-powered generator… which isn’t hard to build. Just time consuming. And you don’t want it IN your house/apartment, so it’s also a potential safety hazard.

What about fighting? Well… fighting off the zombie hordes sounds heroic, and fun… but think about it from a more realistic standpoint. Do you have the weapons? Do you know how much force it takes to shatter a human skull? Are you really capable of killing another human being, regardless of how “dead” they look? Be honest with yourself on that last one… I’m not even sure I am. And what about weapons knowledge? Are guns your best option (no)? Do you know how to sharpen a machete? Clean a gun? Properly maintain and care for that cheap, decorative katana that will probably break after one swing? Probably not. Do you even know how to properly swing it without throwing yourself off balance? Do you know how to properly defend yourself with a knife? Defend yourself unarmed without exposing yourself to being bitten? It’s tougher than it sounds, or looks. Think about it carefully… maybe enroll yourself in some Aikido or Jujitsu classes…

And what about your family, your pets? Do you know how to care for them when you lose power permanently? Do you have a newborn? Dogs? Even cats? Can you continue to feed them? Dispose of their waste safely? Will their uncontrollable noises attract the advancing horde? Are you prepared to abandon them if they become a liability? If you’ve never been a parent… don’t even think you’re prepared to answer that question in relation to newborns/children. I’m not. And it might be harder to part with Scruffy than you think, unless you’re a cruel, heartless bastard – in which case I hope the zombies get you.

Zombie Bunny

Aw, so cute and cudd... wait a minute... OH NO!

So… are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse? Are you even prepared for a hurricane, flood, tornado… earthquake? Think about it long and hard.

Because the next one might be in your backyard.


World War Z – No Longer an Oral History…

World War ZIn 2007, Plan B Entertainment (the production company owned by Brad Pitt) acquired the rights make a movie of (the sequel to) the book that one could argue ably say returned zombie to popularity in 2003. World War Z. Long time fans were excited. New zombie minions groaned with anticipation. And then we heard very little. For a while. Then we heard about early leaks of the script, which all looked promising. Faithful to the book. Starring Brad Pitt, which is never usually a bad thing. Excitement abounds! Then Paramount brought another writer in to rework the script. And that’s when things started going downhill.

Paramount, in a press release earlier this month laid down the plot outline for the World War Z movie, slated to be released in December, 2012. And it’s not the book. It’s barely related to the book. Infact, I’m not even sure I recognize any of the character names from the announced characters. Any many, many fans are unhappy about this. I have yet to hear rumors of boycotts, but I’m sure it will happen. You see, fanatics are a fickle group of people. They like things to be exactly the way they want them to be. It’s a slippery slope movie companies have to climb when making an adaptation. On one hand they want to remain faithful (hopefully) to the source material. This makes the fans of the original work happy, as well as the creator of the original work. On the other hand, they want to make money. This is kind of the point of backing a movie (sadly). And when you a cater a movie to the people who were fans of the idea in the first place, you tend to alienate everyone else. So they have to change things to try and make a movie with broader appeal. Sadly – this is difficult to balance, and most production companies lean more towards money making than remaining faithful. So we get movies like World War Z, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (which I still like), and… anything by Uwe Boll based off a video game

Bloodrayne Movie

Really? Ben Kingsley, you should be ashamed. Actually... you all should...

But, returning to World War Z… You take a book that is originally a “Oral History” of the zombie wars… with a interviewer meeting with various people discussing the actions they took and things they witnessed during this zombie war… and you collect these stories into a narrative. Excellent premise, great result. Now take World War Z the movie – A UN representative racing against the clock to stop the zombie pandemic from destroying the world. Stereotypical zombie movie. Guaranteed to fill the box office (if people aren’t sick of zombie movies by now). And also a stereotypical action/thriller. Nothing new, nothing innovative. Boring premise, great result (if the only result you’re looking for in ticket sales). So the original fans get screwed.

RedNow… obviously this doesn’t mean the movie will be bad. Many great movies are based off of other media and make drastic changes to the source material. Just look at Red, a movie based off Warren Ellis’ short comic. They had to make changes and add material because the comic was a oneshot… there wasn’t enough material to base an entire movie off of. But they did a fantastic job and made a good, enjoyable movie, that remained faithful to the feel of the comic. And of course there are others. But with a book like World War Z, which is a best-selling novel and has garnered thousands, if not millions, of fans – why deviate? The book is already an amazing tale with a strong fan base, why change things? Well – movies are of course a drastically different animal than books. It’s easy to be entertained by a book about someone interviewing people. In a movie though… that’s about an hour and a half of two guys sitting in a chair talking. I wouldn’t really mind that… but a lot of people would.

So on one hand there’s an action/suspense movie of a man racing around the world trying to stop a zombie apocalypse from happening. And on the other hand… a bunch of phenomenal actors sitting around being interviewed about a zombie apocalypse that was diverted… Personally… I’d like to see both made. But I wouldn’t call the first one World War Z.


Projects: A Current Look

The Cult of Done ManifestoA fancy title for a simple post. Now that I’m not working I actually have a lot more going on than before in my life. Quite a few projects have fallen at my feet since then, plus I’ve reinstated a few that had been tossed aside when I started the overnight hell of Walmart employment. One of those tossed aside ones that I have rebooted is of course the Blogenning. However there are others. So, this is just a list of projects that I’m currently working on/involved in.. kind of to give an update of what is going on in my life.

Lazarus – Lazarus is a movie idea that a friend, and the manager of the local gaming store, approached me with about a year ago. October 2010 he mentioned this movie idea he wanted to work on, and I told him casually “Hey, I’d love to help if you get it off the ground soon.” Well apparently that sparked his motivation, because now I’m directing, and co-wrote the movie with him. We’ve cast it, and are working on getting our location set up and getting some finances in order. It’s a short film, we’re aiming for about 45 minutes, about zombies. We’re attempting to do a different approach to the zombie phenomenon, while keeping it similar enough to the main genre to keep the zombie fanatics (like myself) happy. For more information go check out the Facebook page here.

Critical Table – Critical Table is a gaming/geek culture website that announced it was looking for writers a few weeks ago, and I hopped on board. The site is just getting off the ground, but hopefully once there is a steady stream on content rolling it will be a paying gig for me. I got my first article up the other week, and am wrapping up a second on now. The site centers around game reviews, editorials, and honest reporting. Too many game reviewers get paid to give games good reviews… and it’s ruining the landscape for a lot of gamers. That is what Critical Table hopes to fix. So go check it out!

Writing – I’ve been writing a great deal, and not just on here. I’m working on a short story that I aim to get published. I also have dusted off an old horror movie script I was working on to finish. Also, the comic I was almost done with, but stalled out on while looking for an artist to work with, and I’m pulling together ideas for this years NaNoWriMo, which I hope to actually complete this year. In addition I’m always working on shorts that I hope to do something with one day. I have about 10 completed short stories that are currently sitting on my computer, waiting for a direction. Perhaps I’ll decide what to do with them soon… working on it. And of course there is here… and the Blogenning.

Music – This is kind of a small one, but the band Far From There asked me to write and record a short, spoken word intro to the song they are currently working on. I completed this and sent it to them, and once the rest of the song is mixed and finished I’ll have a link to it on here.

Remodeling – I’ve been remodeling my parents’ house since I quit Walmart. It’s been how I’ve been making a living, so to speak. After completely gutting the bathroom I redid the shower, knocked a wall out and fixed that, painted, redid the floor, replaced some of the various hardware around the room, and over-all made it look entirely different. And they love it, so I’m happy. Since then I also painted their half-bath, and am currently working on the living room. In the living room I sanded the floors and re-coated them, and now I’m going to paint and put up french doors. An easier job. I also installed some ceiling fans and re did the garage and did a massive cleanup in the basement. Oh and cleaned the gutters… there’s more but it’s eluding me currently. So yeah, big project. Here are some photos…

I think that about wraps up the project list. I just woke up so if I forgot anything, sorry. Look forward to a more legitimate post tomorrow!

~Ian


So you want to make a movie…

Some friends and I are finally getting underway with our movie – Lazarus. We were actually supposed to start filming back in February, but money problems, schedules… and having most of our equipment stolen set that back. Finally we’re about to get underway again, with casting in a week (July 17th), and it’s pretty damn exciting. Lazarus is a short horror film featuring, you guessed it, zombies. We’ve gone through a few changes with the overall plot, but now we’ve finally got something solid we can back, and between the three of us we’re psyched. So what is Lazarus you might ask? Here’s our “official” synopsis.

A group of gaming geeks go out to a cabin in the woods to play their horror campaign in a more fitting setting, only to discover something far more real, but just as horrible, waiting for them.

But of course the plot is a bit more intricate than that. Basically, there are a group of gamers playing their horror D&D (or Call of Cthulhu – we’re not sure what game yet) at their local game store, when the clerk tells them about a cabin they can rent for a better setting for their game. Taking him up on the offer, they head out to the woods, only to be attacked. The rest of the film takes place primarily in said cabin. Of course that doesn’t sound all that interesting in and of itself, but there are twists, trust me. I just don’t want to give them away yet :D.

So why should you care? Well, if you’re reading this, you probably know me… and should care based solely on that fact ;-). But in all seriousness, it should be fun. We’re using all local talent, and locations in Delaware. We’re using as small of a budget as possible, although yes, we are still trying to raise money (more on that later). More or less, it’s going to be ridiculous fun, and hopefully a foot in the door of the film industry for everyone involved (not just the three of us who created the project).

So you want more information? Certainly. I hope you do, it means I’ve peaked your interest! The “official” page of the movie is currently it’s facebook page, which you can view here – Lazarus – Facebook. We also have a twitter account you can follow – LazarusFilm. You can also e-mail us with any question at LazarusFilm2011@gmail.com

So you want to support us? Awesome! We need all the help we can get, trust me… haha. If you’d like to spread the word about Lazarus either share this post, or the facebook page with your friends. If you’d like to back us, check out our Kickstarter page. Kickstarter is a project site where anyone can go on and pledge money to help out a project. The site is great because we offer rewards for different investment amounts, AND if we don’t raise enough pledges to meet our goal in the allotted time? We don’t get any money, and you don’t get charged. It’s an all-or-nothing system. So if you’re interested, go check that out, you can donate as little as a dollar.

Well, that’s all the information I have to share for now. Once we’ve gotten our cast together, and more underway I’ll have more to post, but for now check out the links, and enjoy.

~Ian