Bullshit & Ignorance

November 26, 2010

You know what I hate?

Fog lights. Fuck you, fog lights.

November 7, 2010

On the subject of books

I just finished reading Zero History by William Gibson – which is I suppose a sequel to his earlier novel Spook Country. I got into Gibson by reading his cyberpunk classic, Neuromancer many, many moons ago. His more recent books have stepped away from the science-fiction he used to write – he’s still dealing with the same subjects of corporate corruption and industrial espionage, staples of the cyberpunk sub-genre of course, but he believes we’ve now reached a point where his fictions are being realised as facts. His recent books therefore, are set in our present day, with the technology he writes about being things we often use ourselves, or are at least aware of.

I enjoyed Zero History, though at times I felt like I was watching one of the new James Bond movies. I don’t mean because there was all kinds of spy stuff going on – but because throughout the book Gibson is dry-humping Steve Jobs and his ever expanding catalogue of over-priced, over-hyped Apple toys, to the extent it really started to feel like product placement. Maybe it was, who knows.

On the subject of movies

I watched The Crazies last night – that’s the 2010 remake of the 1973 film of the same name by Zombie-movie-godfather, George A. Romero. Remakes often fall short of original movies and while I must confess that I have never seen the original in this instance, the 2010 version is definitely worth a watch if you like horror movies. In many respects it’s something of a twist on a zombie movie in its own way, inhabitants of a small town in the US are infected by some form of toxin that makes them all start trying to kill each other and our band of plucky heroes makes a valiant attempt to fight their way out past hordes of zombies crazed infected people to safety, and just for an additional size 12 to the groin, the army has shown up in gas masks and isn’t letting anyone out.

There are plenty of suspenseful moments and aside from one or two “What the fuck are you doing?!” moments, generally the characters manage to avoid a lot of the typical horror-movie-survival mistakes that make me root for the monsters in a large number of the films I watch.

November 1, 2010

Zombie Sunday

My wife and I are both fans of zombie movies. As any fan of the genre knows, the vast majority of zombie films out there are very bad – and perhaps to some extent that’s part of the appeal. More often than we’re horrified by the brain-eating, lurching undead, we’re able to laugh at shockingly bad special effects, acting that would make even Terry Stone look good (Hard to believe I know) and plots that make so little sense you’re left wondering if the screen writer had been smoking crack, the editing was brutally left key story elements on the cutting room floor to squeeze a previously four hour epic into ninety minutes, or some combination of the above.

Every Sunday, we have vowed to set aside enough time for at least one Zombie movie – we’ve been doing this for a while now and, in fairness sometimes the definition of zombie gets stretched a little, so much so that perhaps Supernatural Sunday would be a more accurate moniker, but the original is here to stay at least for the time being.

Yesterday we managed to watch two zombie movies. The first, a movie directed by Lucio Fulci – a director who may have come to the attention of many fans of B-movie horror. Fulci teetered on the brink of brilliance I think, he had vision but sadly lacked the talent to see it through. A lot of what he tried just didn’t work, tethered presumably by small budgets and, well, a lack of actual ability. Still the 1979 movie, Zombie had some good ideas, which were then butchered by atrocious acting and continuity mistakes almost to numerous to believe they were accidental. Still, it was fun to watch in its own way and was entirely rescued by a scene in which a zombie fights a shark. Something that epic can’t be all bad.

The second undead offering of the night was Dance of the Dead. I enjoyed this one. It was intentionally funny this time, and while the acting wasn’t anything special and there were big holes in the story, it managed to find the right balance between zombie-tastic action and comedy. Certainly one to watch if you like zombie flicks and you fancy a chuckle.