Chameleon Zombie Film Festival


Columbus-The-Zombies-zombieland-20358616-1280-1024Colombus trying to survive in Zombieland – Source: http://www.fanpop.com

Some of you may know, I’m a huge fan of zombie films. For the last five years I’ve attended the Leeds Annual Zombie Film Festival. It’s an all day marathon of zombie movies, hosted by Paddy and Marlon from Emmerdale. What’s not to like? Sadly this year I had to miss it, so I thought I’d do my own. That’s what happened yesterday. We transformed our lounge into some kind of huge bean bag with air beds, sofas, sleeping bags and duvets. The place was overwhelmed with snacks and fast food. A real all day movie marathon! So I’m gonna write a short review of around one hundred words for each movie I put on the running list, explaining why I chose it.

Braindead This little gem comes from none other than New Zealand’s own blockbuster Director Peter Jackson. It’s a pleasingly dark comedy (or at least that’s how I see it) telling the story of a young man trying to cover up the fact that his mother has turned zombie. When she infects other locals, he continues the charade of keeping up appearances. It’s an old fashioned, whimsical slapstick adventure of one man trying to hold everything together as it inevitably erupts around him. All of this drama entwined with a love interest. What more could you ask for?

Zombieland I posed the question on the Facebook group asking for suggestions on what to show. This was one of the three choices I got from that. The verdict was almost unanimously in favour of this being shown. It’s a favourite for all zombie lovers. Jesse Eisenburg does a splendid job charming us with his vulnerability as one quarter of an unlikely faction driving across post-apocalyptic America, each in search of something. In Zombieland, you can expect excitement, laughter and some truly likeable characters. You can also find a shit load of zombies, and awesome zombie kills.

28 Days Later Next up was the British classic. One of my favourite zombie movies of all time. I think a lot of people share that sentiment for this action packed thrill ride. Everything from the acting quality to the musical score is sublime. The tension, the fear and the ruthlessness of a world left behind is illustrated explicitly by its cast. Cillian Murphy’s performance is particularly excellent. Waking up in an empty hospital and walking outside to find the whole of London deserted is the tip of the iceberg for his character, on a journey of survival which took zombie movies to a whole new level.

Fido Probably one of my Top 3 all time favourite zombie movies is a little known jewel called Fido. It’s set in an alternate universe that looks a lot like the suburbs of 1950’s America, only it’s not post WW2, it’s post ‘Zombie War’ – When a virus took over the human race turning them into flesh eating cannibals, corporation Zomcon offered a neck brace which completely dulls the killer instinct, and makes the zombie equal to a household pet, or as it turned out, house slave. Fido is an idealistic story exploring the bond between a young boy and his pet zombie. Billy Connolly gives a great performance, albeit for a role with zero words. Think Beethoven, but zombies. [CHECK THIS OUT!]

fidoBilly Connolly as Fido – Source: es.gdefon.com

Virus Undead Okay, so this one probably won’t be one hundred words. This was the unknown selection. I used the Facebook group and Google to identify a movie which none of the twelve people coming had ever seen before. With the 3.5 IMDB rating, we knew this could have gone either way. It didn’t go down well. It was a borefest. We all spent most of the time trying to work out if the movie was over-dubbed or not. I can’t even explain the plot to you. I wouldn’t recommend watching this movie. We switched it off around half an hour before the end, and skipped to something much better.

La Horde The final movie of the marathon, as it turned out. I’ve only ever seen this French masterpiece once, at the Leeds Zombie Fest a few years ago. It’s an adrenaline packed roller-coaster ride. A bunch of cops head into a notoriously rough tower block to take down a gang of criminals, when they are pitted together in the astounding event of a zombie apocalypse. Facing hordes of the undead, the dynamic of the group changes. They unite. They break. All of the tension, paranoia and emotional turmoil is offset by the likelihood of impending doom for these people caught between a rock and a zombie. [CHECK THIS OUT]

We were planning to end the night with Shaun of the Dead, but I decided to allow a vote. We could watch the movie we have all seen a million times and take the edge off of the zombie packed fear session we had been on all day. Or, we could watch VHS and end the night on a thrill. I know it’s not a zombie film but I’ve been wanting to show it to some other people for a while, so we banged it on. It seemed to end the night quite well. I was falling asleep half way through it though. It takes it out of you watching zombie films all day.

All in all it was a great day. I’d be happy to do it again, maybe with some more comfortable seating. The whole day was a load of fun, and I hope some people went away having seen some great movies they hadn’t seen before. That’s all you can ask for I guess. Hopefully we can do another themed movie marathon soon. Also, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and maybe you feel like checking out some of the movies I’ve mentioned. Well you can go ahead and do that over on Google. I’m not your slave.

Thanks for reading.

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