Sunday, 26 August 2007

20 hour Saturday...

Well, it was a long old Saturday the 25th of August 2007 for me alright. After a pretty naff near-six-hours-of-kip (I'm one of those people who really needs their sleep), I was up at 6:30am to start getting my brain in gear and my camera kit loaded up, before heading off at 8:30 to arrive in Bridgnorth at around 10am, before hoofing it over to the Quayside to film the Arrival of the River Inspectors and their subsequent "walk about" performances across the town for the next 2 or 3 hours.

Then, after a long & hot wait at Severn Park (the main performance area), it finally rolled around to 8pm, at which point the main portion of the day's events kicked off, with a procession of town's folk and the crazed River Inspectors wheeling the Sturgeon on a gurney towards the field, at which point the main show kicked off. It was all a mad dash to get the filming done, very "run & gun", just grab as many shots as possible, run back and forth, avoid the water fountains that gushed out a few times, grab as many audience shots as possible, captures the performances and the fireworks and so-on.

What on earth was all this I hear you mutter at your monitor? A Shropshire Council street-art "Severn Project" called "Sturgeon Moon", relating to a breed of fish which used to live in the rivers in the area.

Finally, the performance came to an end at 10pm, with an hour of pottering about and checking the footage afterwards, I ended up getting back home at 1am, rather weary that's for sure - but not weary enough to go without watching the last 25 minutes of Back to the Future, which I spotted on ITV2+1 on the freeview box I got for my bedroom - so, off to bed at 2am.

A long day yesterday it was indeed, just a shame I didn't get a good night's kip last night either. I kept waking up for some reason, hopefully tonight I'll regain the sleep I've lost the past couple of nights, hehe.

The Zombie Diaries

Well, I just finished watching the film and might I say, jolly good show. :)

It's great to finally get a proper UK zombie film (28 Days/Weeks Later doesn't count - they're rage infected humans :p), it makes it all the more realistic for us Brits (and will hopefully provide international audiences with another viewpoint, rather than the oft-American viewpoint in the zombie genre - not that I'm bitching about that, but you know...). I think it gets to a point whereby with zombie films almost always coming from America, they lose any sense of realism because it's kind of a "default setting", if that makes any sense...but there's so few zombie films set in the UK, and especially presented in this sort of way, that it packs much more punch and terror.

TZD - a fresh location for a zombie film, a different society in which it all takes place, and the way in which you see mumblings of sh*t hitting the fan throughout before things get increasingly worse, make it a great flick.

The gore on offer is rather tasty, and leads to a some rather f*cked up scenes...the sort of scenes that when you think about the surrounding intricacies or reasonings behind the actions, it just makes it all the more messed up.

My only real gripe with the film is the delivery of some of the dialogue, at times it didn't feel as real as it could have, or I felt there were a few moments where there were gaps between different people's lines. So at times I felt the dialogue wasn't always delivered as realistically as it could have been, as in it [I]felt[/I] staged at these moments...but it's really only a minor gripe that isn't carried throughout the entire film, just on occasion.

Over all the film is great, I really enjoyed it and there's some really messed up moments or even downright scary moments, made all the more powerful due to the way it was filmed.


I've been through the deleted scenes, and I can understand why many of them were taken out, they felt a bit stagey. While there's content within those scenes that was good, I guess just the way the scenes came out it wouldn't have worked in the main film.

Next up I'll go and check out the making of, which I rather look forward to and then in due course, the commentaries.

I'd definitely recommend for zombie fans to pimp out the cash for a copy, it's worth it. :cool::)

Saturday, 11 August 2007

First I was blogged on, now I've been IMDb'd!!

Many thanks to Gary Ugarek (star/writer & director of Deadlands: The Rising) for putting IAZM up for getting an IMDb page, so yes indeed, Zombie Man has now extended yet further into the world of t'internet.


In other news, I finally started writing a new script today. I originally had the idea a year ago, and quickly got down to jotting down notes and mapping out ideas as well as charting the entire narrative in a basic form. Then, inevitably, I got distracted by other various things...the first IAZM, then Christmas and IAZM2, then working on "Contempt of Conscience", then working with the Rural Media Company on "Show and Tell" and then brainstorming/scripting IAZM3 ... but now, with a bit of free time in between projects, I decided to head back to those notes from a year ago and today I finally started scripting it. The original working title was "Holiday", but that was a really sucky title, so the new working title is "Generation Procrastination"...bit of a mouthful, but it's a better working title at least. The first scene of the first sequence is pretty much done, not necessarily that much written, but it's always hard to start writing something new, it always used to happen to me when writing essays at Uni...but once you get into the swing of things it's all cool.

The idea behind this new script? Basically to have something that I could conceivably actually film with a group of dedicated people with proper funding and support once I've gathered enough contacts, so I figured it's best to try and have a script done by then, rather than still be sitting with the idea for the script.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Balls deep in movie ponderings...

So what the hell have I been up to for the past 10 days?

Well, apart from generous helpings of Rainbow Six: Vegas on the 360, STALKER on the PC, finishing Chuck Palahniuk's latest book "Rant", starting to read "American Psycho" and gearing up to write a new script, I've been deep in catching up on some movie viewing - and there's still more to watch.

But for starters, here's the shit ones pondered over first:

Night of the Living Dead 3D:

Another pointless remake, another chance for some douchebag to rape the good work and name of George A. Romero...if only he was a better businessman, we would have been spared from having to watch idiotic people pushing things into the camera lens to amp up the 3-D nature of the film, which is utterly pointless as 3-D will only become awesome when James Cameron says so. This isn't even a case of 'so bad it's good', sadly not...Children of the Living Dead, or Zombie Nosh, those are so bad they're...well, not good, but you can watch them and take the utter piss out of them with some mates, or just laugh *AT* them for being such garbage. But Night3D isn't that, it's just bad. The best thing about it is Sid Haig, but even he suffers due to a rubbish script and all the usual trappings of a dull, unimaginative gimmicky band-wagon chasing remake. 'Nuff said. the in-between...

August Underground:

Intensely hard to get a hold of, it certainly defines underground indie filmmaking...and it's understandable why it's so hard to find. I guess the point in the film is to make a horror movie that really shows disgusting horror not to be enjoyed - but that's not exactly new, we've seen it before and since and pulled off *with* a plot involved. The problem with AU is that there is such a small semblance of a plot, that there isn't enough of a *movie* to grasp on to, to get through the gut wrenchingly vile splattery violence on show. But then again, you could just say - but that's the point of the movie - and I guess that is indeed the case, or at least part of the puzzle. The trouble is that this point is made incredibly quickly, to the point that all violence past the 5 minute mark is merely flogging a dead and abused horse. It feels unnecessary, even when trying to make a point.

The film British film "Boy Meets Girl" is an example of a 'disgusting horror' film which actually has a plot, but said plot isn't exactly meaty, however it is positively obese by comparison to AU. Surely, if horror is a sensation, a mental state, a feeling, a horror film should assault the mind, rather than the stomach? As I said before, a good point is made about violence in the first five minutes, beyond that the horse is flogged for a further hour. At least after the horrid first half hour the remaining 40 minutes are far easier to sit through, mainly due to a variety of seemingly almost pointless scenes - but I guess the point is that as the film is essentially a single uncut videotape in a nutter's camera, it is going to be random...I find it to be a problematic film, it's neither one thing nor the other, at least that's how I see it.

I will say that the gore was very convincing, a good chunk of that coming down to the performances by two blokes we've never heard of before pretending to be absolute psychopaths. This is one of those films a horror aficionado digs out through sheer curiosity factor, but for anyone who shudders at the thought of had better just remain curious, or at least be prepared for an uneasy time...a very uneasy time.

Anyway, enough of that, onto the goodness...

I Want Candy:

Well, perhaps not goodness, but a decent enough Brit flick to watch once and leave it at that really. Although I have to say I personally didn't dig the representation of film studies courses in the film, although most likely that is how *some* of such courses are really like across the country, although I personally had a completely different experience and loved every minute of it (even when tugging my hair out over my Dissertation, or trying to justify the inclusion of Full Metal Jacket in an essay mainly about Saving Private Ryan) ... basically, I felt it was the "easy" option of representing a film course, the smug lecturer who thinks he's shit hot and popular when he isn't - well that wasn't my experience at UEA, the lecturers were genuinely nice people, you got on with them well or at least fully respected them, hell, you might even have a beer with them from time to time at the student bar.

Interesting that I've ended up talking more about my personal annoyance at the rather 'copy and paste' representation of film courses rather than the film itself, but as I said, there are no doubt film courses in the country which are like that, perhaps even many and UEA is one of the few exceptions - who knows. Anyway, I'll leave my UEA Patriotism to one side for now and just say that I Want Candy is good enough for a viewing, not that memorable, but not that shit either. Worth a viewing anyway.

The Monster Squad:

Long have I been searching for a film I saw as a child which, to my best and fullest recollection featured a creepy house and the colour green and red, and possibly a model version of said creepy house, possibly within said creepy house, as a bunch of kids try to ward off monsters. Perhaps my mind muddled it all up and it was in fact The Monster Squad, but I certainly don't remember seeing it as a child, but then again why would I if I'd only seen it once? Anyway, cheesy 80's kids fun with Jon "Uncle Rico" Gries playing the human version of the Wolf plays out like a wannabe Goonies, but I can't be arsed to IMDb me up some dates to see which came first...solid enough idea, good for a watch, but not remembering it from my childhood, I don't have an attachment to it - not like I do with Short Circuit 1 & 2, *Batteries Not Included, The Money Pit (Hanks) and Ghostbusters 1 & 2 (amongst many others) anyway.

...okay, now the top two of the bunch...


Simple premise - couple stay in motel from hell where owner videotapes room occupants as he and his pair of violent goons terrorise and murder the innocents to make snuff films for their own satisfaction, and to those willing to pay to sate their own interests.

Finally - a modern horror movie with a pair of fully fleshed out protagonists, in this case a couple on the verge of divorce over the death of their child. It's a good 15 to 20 minutes before we get into the main flow of the movie, so all that time is used to make solid characters you actually give a stuff about. What's more - these characters are actually smart and think about what they're doing when they're finally faced with the horrific realisation that they're next up on the snuff movie channel. These characters think about their situation, how to get out of it, what the killer's might be thinking and so on. It's genuinely tense in the final minutes as you ponder whether the film will sink into genre conventions or not, but it's also a bloody good ride throughout. Top stuff, says I...also, a bloody creepy idea.

28 Weeks Later:

Now, originally when I heard about a sequel to Danny Boyle's excellent plague film (yes, plague film, NOT a zombie film - the monsters in it are INFECTED PEOPLE, infected with the Rabies-alike Rage Virus, nobody dies during the transformation, they're capable of much greater thought from the off and they eventually die of starvation after a few weeks - 28 Days Later is NOT a zombie film, and nor is the sequel, and nor will the second sequel be either).

Anyway, with that rant out of the way (a personal pet peeve of mine), when I first heard about a sequel to 28DL, I was one of the first at Homepage of the Dead to spit my rant juice all over it, bemoaning why it needed to be made - I assumed it'd be the usual shit cash-in sequel...however, I could not have been more wrong - although sadly for the state of film, I'm not this wrong more often, because at least then there'd be many more good flicks out there.

At least the equal of Danny Boyle's original, the film really expands meaningfully on the first film as we now see the next step - what you do after the plague has hit. My only gripe with the film is that from time to time someone makes a really stupid decision, especially the daft bint at the start of the movie who thinks her man is still alive after heading out into the plague-ravished countryside five days ago - aka freaking numpty.

Aside from the odd moronic decision by side characters, it's a bloody good follow up with greater scope for devastation (including the morbidly fascinating sight of bags-upon-bags of bio-hazard waste being removed from suburban homes). It all tails off a bit in the 3rd act where it resorts to one big chase, and it is a little anti-climatic throughout when you realise barely anyone is safe, but as I said before - it's still bloody good.

Now, will 28 Months Later be the shit cash-in sequel I was originally expecting with 28 Weeks Later, or will it be another kick-in-the-balls suprise? I hope the latter...


Okay I've rambled on long enough, so I'll shut the hell up now and go thrash some more R6:Vegas, ha!