Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blogger Zombie Walk Feature: Burial Ground (1980)

If a zombie is supposed to be a degraded form of pure motorized instinct to carnivorously feed, why do they still have the ingenuity to use axes, power saws, and battering rams or to throw knives with extreme precision to get what they want? I suppose there is some sort of unholy guidance that accompanies the feeding frenzy of the walking corpses in Andrea Bianchi’s BURIAL GROUND THE NIGHTS OF TERROR. 

Who knows what the filmmakers were thinking while making this, but this is a zombie film of recognizable influences that is still unlike any other zombie film by a long shot. The zombie makeup from Mauro Gavazzi is overdone to the point of being excessive, but the result is still very cool and also quite nauseating to look at. There is a lot of attention to detail for most of the zombies, such as maggots, murky green blood, and wormy eyes, and the smell of death can be sensed right from the viewer’s TV screen every time there is a close-up of one of these flesh eaters. 

BURIAL GROUND feels Influenced by Fulci’s ZOMBI 2 as well as Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD with that familiar scenario of a band of humans locking themselves inside an architecture as the living dead outside desperately try to get in. When I watch it, I often find myself chuckling at the sight of the walking dead but also a bit ‘creeped out’ and a little scared. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Minions of Misery

Keith Woodruff, the creative writer of the horror blog L a u g h i n g Scared, has selected me to join the ranks of the “Minions of Misery” and it is now my duty to share some dark misery in the form of a dark book, a dark movie, and a dark secret, before selecting 3 other dark souls worthy to carry on the tradition.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Jess Franco's The Rites of Frankenstein (1972)

The greatest mystery in life is perhaps life itself. The answer to this mystery has constantly been sought after through the ages, and as we progress ever closer to the truth the question arises as to what to do with it once it has been found. 

Jess Franco’s film plays upon a controversial notion that synthetically creating life is unethical or more appropriately in the case of Dr. Frankenstein, played by Dennis Price, evil and maddening. This is the understanding one gets when witnessing the regretful facial expressions of Frankenstein’s lab assistant Morpho, Franco himself, reluctantly flipping the switch to give life to Dr. Frankenstein’s creation, a silvery almost robotic looking monster, played by Fernando Bilbao (the brutal axe wielding giant from THE VAMPIRES’ NIGHT ORGY). The Doctor’s deeds, as he claims, are for the sake of science and progression, which is an admirable motivation. However, the immediate arrival of 2 thieves in the night, Anne Libert and Luis Barboo, sabotaging the project and stealing the corpse goes to show that not everyone will have such pure intentions. The overall message here is that Dr. Frankenstein’s creation is not inherently evil, but it becomes evil in the wrong hands, and the wrong hands in this case is Cagliostro, Howard Vernon, a mad and evil warlock with bigger plans. 
Even though the Frankenstein monster is the headline of this film, Anne Libert steals the show as a blind cannibalistic harpy named Melisa, much the same way she steals the show as lady death in Franco’s A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD. Libert’s delirious performance here is amusing and way over the top, and I salute her for it. She was entirely enigmatic and silent as the lady in black in AVATLD, but she is very verbal here and even squawks like a bird of prey with grin inducing overdubs of what sounds like a falcon. Given Libert’s ability to just own every scene she’s in, I honestly think that she could be thought of as another Barbara Steele, albeit much more erotic. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Join Us

For those that don’t already know, there will be a BLOGGER ZOMBIE WALK event on September 30th that is being run by the intriguing Autumnforest, author of a really fun blog called GHOST HUNTING THEORIES.  I’m looking forward to including AT THE MANSION OF MADNESS in this zombie-loving event and encourage others to consider checking it out.  There are 50 participants so far, but 'the more the merrier', so click on the link--> HERE to be redirected to GHOST HUNTING THEORIES to learn all of the details.  You know you want to….