Monday, May 31, 2010

Can Zombies be Romanticized?

When one mentions vampires now a day it frequently brings about disgust.  Vampires once a concept of horror now are are seen as girlish icons.  Television and books today are overwhelmed with vampire stories.  Romance stories of girls and vampires.  They have lost pretty much all the horror concept that belonged with them in the age of Bram' Strokers Dracula or Nosferatu.  Can this happen to other staples of horror?  Even werewolves on on that path as well, as they have also romanticized in Twilight.

I figure the last bastion of hope for horror icons lies in Zombies.  They are grotesque, rotting corpses that try and eat other people.  They have conquered the comedy realm with Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. 
From the movie Fido (2006)

Is there a way these creatures can become the icons of women's dreams, like vampires and werewolves?  Will there be the zombie romance flick next?  Is is possible.  Can we have endless show after endless show of  teenage zombie drama.  I think this is a pretty safe category of horror, but stranger things have happened.  

Sunday, May 30, 2010

On the roadside

Have you ever seen a fellow jogging who physically looks so much like a non-jogger, usually because of wardrobe and / or disposition, that your first thought is "wonder what that chap is running from?" I have.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Zombie movies, what gory fun

So I went through a "scary movie" period of my Netflix queue a while back.  Some of my favorites involved zombie movies.  They can provide such great fun.  Below is a list of the ones I have seen and a few thoughts on each.

Night of the Living Dead - Really the one that started it all.  I mean its not the greatest in the way of action or special affects, but you have to remember when it was made and how it was a breakthrough.
Dawn of the Dead - Probably my favorite in this series so far, though Romero is still making them.
Day of the Dead - It's interesting to see the Zombie "evolution" in Romero's movies.
Land of the Dead - This was alright, mindless fun.  I guess that is what zombie movies are.  So good on you.
Night of the Living Dead 3D remake - I didn't see it in 3D, but you could tell where the crappy 3D effects were supposed to be.  This was just an awful movie and a real downer on the original.  The best part of the movie was when they showed the original on television at the beginning of this one.
Dead Alive - One of Peter Jackson's first flicks.  How he arrived on the set of Lord of the Rings from this start is astounding.  Probably one of the goriest movies I have ever seen.  Using a push lawn mower as a weapon... I think so.
Quarantine - This was a good one.  Slow start, and shot will handheld cameras, but extremely well done.
Zombieland - A great zombie movie with excellent comedic value, excellent rules to live by in the event of the zombie apocalypse.
Resident Evil Trilogy - I almost forgot this was a zombie series.  Again falls into the mindless fun category.  I watched them all back to back.  The first two were okay.  The third was getting weird.  I guess Milla Jovovich is an added benefit to this series.
Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 - Evil Dead surprised me by how whiny Ash was.  Army of Darkness was the first movie I saw in this trilogy and he was a bad ass.  Not the case in Evil Dead.  Evil Dead 2 was basically a reinvention of the first movie and a reinvention of Ash's character.  Both great movies for how they were made.  I would say Evil Dead 2 was the funner movie.  I wouldn't call Army of Darkness a Zombie movie, but also great fun.
Fido - I really liked this movie.  A boy and his pet zombie.  Enjoyed the 1950's vibe of the movie, particularly after spent a great deal of time playing Fallout 3.
Shaun of the Dead - I need to go back and watch this movie again.  I went into it expecting a straight comedy along the lines of Zombieland, what I got was a very dark comedy.  Expectations are everything, and this hurt my opinion of the movie.  Having then watched Hot Fuzz with the right mindset I found that movie highly enjoyable.  So Shaun of the Dead is a definite revisit.
Stripper Zombies - So I am not sure should admit to having actually seen this movie.  Gratuitous in the extreme, as I guess should be expected.  I was expecting it to be campy funny.  Instead it took itself way to seriously.  Oh well.
I am Legend - A remake of a remake of a movie of a book.  This movie wasn't that great.  The computer animation was too much.  It was a decent for zombie plan ideas though.
The Omega Man - The original remake of The last man alive.  I honestly don't remember this too well except that I saw it after I am Legend and that it has identical product placement of red Ford Mustangs.  
28 Days Later - OK so I could have done without the opening scene.  But aside from that good movie.  Really pioneered the sprinting zombie mythos.
28 Weeks Later - Much more of an action oriented then the previous.  Fun in that regard.
Planet Terror - Over the top ridiculous.  Made in the fine tradition of the seediest grind-house films.  This movie was a lot better than I had originally thought it would be.  I guess stupid movies have really grown on me.

I do have several more out there that I have been meaning to see.  Some of the new Romero films, and a couple of the remakes of his movies, which I heard were better than the other remake that I did watch.  Also the Crazies.

So if you aren't too squeamish go and watch some of these flicks.  They should give you some good ideas in helping to develop your zombie plan, while providing hours of flesh eating, corpse ridden fun.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

So What's Your Real Zombie Plan?

When I say that I am not necessarily referring to the cannibalistic un-dead roaming the streets waiting eat you and possibly turn you into one of them.  I am talking about the "what do you do when the world goes to hell in a hand basket" plan.

The world we live in is not a stable place.  Between threats of terrorism, climate change, crazy totalitarian states (yes, I mean you North Korea),  growing political divisions within out own country, a super virus, or the zombie apocalypse, there is always the chance that things just fall apart.  So are you ready?  Do you have a zombie plan?

I do have a plan, but not necessarily the means of putting it into place at this moment.  So really its pretty useless.  I have a fall back location planned in a rural area in the mountains.  The place is pretty pretty self sufficient.  It provides shelter, should have clean drinking water as it has its own well, even a few rifles for hunting and defensive purposes if need be.  The surrounding area has farms which could be useful as well.  The problem would be getting there.  Particularly since this plan was originally put together when I lived much closer to the planed escape area.  Now it will be a quite a trek, through  what is expected to be hostile terrain or some form or another.  That is the part that I really need to work out.  The getting out of town and supplies for leaving the area.

In the event of real zombies, I'll have to modify my plan to have enough folks with me to sacrifice to the zombies on my way out of town.  Yes, that will just add to there numbers, but it will slow them as they have to stop and eat.

So...who wants to join my evac party?

They bring up some good points.  So what's your zombie plan?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What my phone has taught me of the upcoming zombie apocalypse

So I bought my first app for my Droid.  Not that I haven't downloaded any apps before, they were just all free.  But this one felt important.  For 99 cents my phone now runs as its live desktop a zombie outbreak simulation.  I can now watch zombie outbreaks take place over and over again.

Through intense observation I have learned three important lessons.  The first is unless there are zombie hunters right on top of the initial outbreak the world is pretty much screwed.  They just spread to fast otherwise.  As a side note, if the Zombie hunters proximity to the zombie outbreak results in them being the first to die, the world is also screwed

The second lesson is that team work is crucial when killing zombies.  No matter how good you are at killing zombies, you always need someone to watch your back.  Zombie hunters working alone always get overwhelmed in the end.

The last lesson I learned is that I enjoy nuking zombies.  Sorry to all those folks who weren't quite zombie's yet, but all the hunter's were dead and I had no choice.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NHL Rankings based on my opinion of the team

So my wife recently made the comment that I hate pretty much any team in the NHL that is not the Detroit Red Wings.  I decided this isn't the case, its just the Wings tend to play a lot of the teams I hate fairly frequently.  Below is a list of how I feel about the various teams around the league.  This list was started at the beginning of the second round.  Somethings have changed in that time I point a few out.  

  1. Detroit Red Wings - Greatest Franchise in sports history.  End of story.
  2. Buffalo Sabres - I mean they have Ryan Miller playing for them, how can you not like them.  
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning - Oh how things can change in the course of a few hours.  When I first started putting this list together I had the Tampa Bay Lightning at 20 with the one comment being "Just a poorly poorly run franchise."  In some regards this is still true with an ownership debacle currently taking place.  However, it is being reported today that Steve Yzerman is taking over as General Manager for the team.  So I can no longer call them a poorly run team, and I can't root against a team managed by one of the greatest if not the greatest Red Wings of all time.  After 27 years with the Organization, good luck with Tampa Bay.  
  4. Ottawa Senators - I have liked the Senators for a while, I liked the speed of their team back when Hossa was still with them.  They have changed a lot since then, but I have nothing against them.  I mean Heatley is with San Jose now, so just one more thing to hold against San Jose.  
  5. Montreal Canadiens - For a team that turned over half its players this past year, wow is all you can say for the level they played.  Sad to see them lose out to Philly, a team I hate, 
  6. Washington Capitals - Having lived in their hockey region, I gotta like the Caps, but they bought into their own hype before ever actually accomplishing anything, so I had to drop them down a little.  
  7. Boston Bruins - Another delta from when this list was started a couple of weeks ago. I had them at #3 and listed as "A well coached, hard working team.  Better stop choking immediately though."  Well they didn't stop choking.  They are the third team in history to allow a comeback from a 3-0 deficit.  This is the second year in a row they have choked in the second round.  Maybe not as much heart as I once thought.  
  8. New York Islanders - While a fairly pathetic franchise in general, my cousin works for this team so they gain some favoritism through family ties.  
  9. New York Rangers - A previous favorite of my youth until I was no longer allowed to play as them on a NHL '95, this team comes out of the gates flying every year only to fall apart midway through the season.  What is wrong there.  Aside from that I like King Lundqvist.  
  10. LA Kings - A team that has come a long way in the last few years.  I might not like them as much in the next few if they keep developing as they have but for now, good on you.  
  11. Atlanta Thrashers - I just have a feeling of apathy towards this team.  
  12. Florida Panthers - Apathy again.  Have no strong feelings one way or another, but l like the Thrashers more.  Maybe a home state thing?
  13. Carolina Hurricanes - Possibly the most inconsistent team in the sport?  I think so.  
  14. Vancouver Canucks - I really don't have anything against this team except that they are in the same conference as the Wings.  
  15. New Jersey Devils - Swept the Wings in '95, have never really forgiven them.  
  16. Columbus Blue Jackets - A team in the Central division that has made the playoffs once and was subsequently swept by the Wings in the first round.  Then fell apart again the following season.  They have never really been a risk to the Wings and therefore I don't hold much ill will towards them.  But like most Wings fans, Rick Nash scares the hell out of me.  
  17. Nashville Predators - A well coached team that plays hard.  Man do they play the Wings hard.  I gotta admire them but we play them far to often for me to like them.  
  18. Phoenix Coyotes - Admire their hardworking season despite the uncertainty surrounding the franchise, but really hockey in the Desert.  Shane Doan lost most admiration I had for the guy in his three playoff games against the Wings this year.  
  19. Dallas Stars - The closest I can get to NHL hockey where I live.  A series of management blunders the last couple of years has this teams stock dropping rapidly.
  20. Edmonton Oilers - 2006 Playoffs, Pronger was on the team, and now they just suck horribly.  Not only did they finish in last place in the league, their farm team finished in last place in the league.  Bright future ahead of them.  
  21. Minnesota Wild - They keep claiming they should be Hockeytown, USA.  Try winning something first then come talk to me.  
  22. Toronto Maple Leafs - A team that's general manager is Brian Burke?  Gag me now (yes I know he was team USA's GM for the Olympics).  This team has been a perenial suckfest for a while now, but every year they beat the Wings in their original six showdown.  I just don't like this team.  
  23. St. Louis Blues - The team where Chris Pronger spent a majority of his career.  Big rival of the Wings in their own division until the wheel fell off around the lockout timeframe.  Starting to work there way back into contention with a young team.  Might earn some respect soon, but as they are in the Wings division, I'll never like them.  
  24. Calgary Flames - Another bunch of dirty players. 
  25. Philadelphia Flyers - The origin of dirty teams like modern day Anaheim.  Current employer former Anaheim, Edmonton, and St. Loius POS, Chris Pronger
  26. San Jose Sharks - Until this year I thought they were just a team with no heart, now they found a way around that by becoming a cheap shotting, diving bunch of players with no heart.  
  27. Colorado Avalanche - The years of animosity with this team were just brutal, although they mainly exorcised all those demons back in the 2002 WCF, and Colorado hasn't been the same team since, you can't forget all that bad blood.  
  28. Chicago Blackhawks - Biggest historic rival of the Wings.  Cabby beater Kane is on the team, Another team that followed the suck long enough and we'll be able to draft well theory the Pens had been working on for so long.  
  29. Pittsburgh Penguins - June 12, 2009 is one of the bigger reasons, but the NHL appointment of their whiny captain as the hockey god has not helped at all.  Stay classy Sidney.  
  30. Anaheim Ducks - Bunch of cheap-shotting, scumbag players, run by a coach and put together by a GM who praise both qualities.  I have no respect for this team.  2007 WCF did not help at all.  Their sweep of the Wings in 2003 also doesn't help, but it was a different team then as well.  Overall nothing good has come out of this team except Mike Babcock coaching the Wings.  

So while I don't hate every team except the Red Wings in the NHL, the Stanley Cup final is now between two teams I do hate.  I don't even know if I can be bothered to watch the finals this year.