So I was watching an old episode of The Office with Suzanne the last week. I’m relatively new to the series because I purposefully never watched it when it first came out because of my extreme bias towards the Americanization of series adaptations the States tend to do. However after constantly hearing about how funny the show was (and knowing pretty much all the cast members from other works) we buckled down and started watching it vigilantly. Still not quite caught up yet fully but we’re getting there.
Anyway… this one episode in particular revolved around the employees hanging out in the parking lot during a fire drill (I believe). Jim decided to play a game called which was aptly titled “If You Were Stranded on a Desert Island What 5 Movies Would You Have”. Yeah I know, the semantics of it baffle even the greatest minds but it got me to thinking about the subject days later. What movies could you tolerate for potentially the rest of your adult life? I gave the topic an undeservedly long amount of thought and finally came up with the following list:
Aliens (1986) – I absolutely love this movie. Even as it celebrates its 25th anniversary this year (wow…25th… holy crap I’m feeling pretty ancient now) I still rank this flick high in my all-time movie list. Hell I’ve dissected this movie so much that I can probably turn off the volume and give a voice-by-voice and sound-by-sound performance of epic geek proportions. Ask Suzanne. I’ve pissed her off more than once by reciting entire scenes under my breath. I don’t know what it is about Aliens though. Alien was (and still is) an awesome space horror movie but the sequel took the franchise in a whole new direction. The super macho attitude shown at the beginning of the movie quickly turns into stir fried panic by the end. Sigourney polarized everything with her iconic portrayal of Ellen Ripley. She became the poster child for girl power in the 80’s but her character was so much more than just that. It showed millions of movie fans that it’s just not wise to piss a lady off.
Se7en (1995) – Ahh… how can someone not like this movie? Whenever it comes on TV I find myself mindlessly watching it without realizing it. It’s by far one of the best horror movies to date. I can say that without hesitation. It’s one of those rare movies that understood what it takes to make a good suspense ridden thriller. Se7en showed just enough disturbing content to get its point across and nothing more. They left the brunt of it up to the audience to imagine and that’s what set it apart from the rest. An intelligent movie for an intelligent audience. Plus it had the magical black man Morgan Freeman, the super brooding Brad Pitt and the King of Creepy Kevin Spacey. What more could you ask for?
Airplane! (1980) – If I had to be stuck with one comedy for the rest of my life, it’d have to be Airplane. I don’t know what it is about this movie but it’s got a direct line to my funny bone. Sure many of the jokes are outdated but it still slays me after all these years. I remember seeing this movie when I was as young as 7 or 8 and I got it then. While there are tons of comedies out there I can and have watched a dozen times over, this is one that I don’t think twice about watching. If it’s on I watch it. Surely I can’t be serious when I say I watch it every time, right? Of course I am… and don’t call me Shirley.
Scrooged (1988) – This is a surprise to me as well. It’s a Christmas movie. I generally can’t stand Christmas movies with their toothache sweet repetitive storylines told over and over again. However this is a Christmas movie with Bill Fucking Murray (Sorry for the profanity. I had a Tallahassee moment there). Bill has cracked me up for ages and while Ghostbusters could have easily fit in this spot I figured my beloved wife would have that on her list at #1 so if we’re stranded together I’m good to go. Anyways, this movie boggles me as much as the others with my mindless attraction to it. I start avoiding everything Christmas related the moment I walk into a store and start hearing the annoying jingles scratching at my ear drums. Somehow though I always manage to watch this movie. It’s never on purpose. It’s just on and I end up being sucked into it. I can honestly say I’ve watched this flick faithfully for the past 20 years straight every Christmas. I know… sad, right? But it’s BILL FUCKING MURRAY!
The Terminator (1984) – Why is it actors have their best roles when they play a bad guy? Sure the “terminator” character got miraculously transformed into a “good guy” in later movies but there was no denying that the Governator was an absolute bad ass in The Terminator. In fact he set the standard for bad ass in the first 20 minutes when he walked up butt-naked and put his fist through someone’s chest. Like all the others on this list I’ve seen this movie more times than I even care to admit and yet I never get tired of it. While there are times I’ll turn it off when it’s on TV in favor of something else there are still bizarre instances where I find myself watching the movie from beginning to end without realizing it.
You end up finding a lot about a person by the choices they make in this exercise. Me… I’m about as transparent as a Windexed window when it comes to mine. It’s no secret that 4 of my 5 choices are pre-1990. I’m a child of the 80’s and that’s where my heart lies. Even though I spent my tumultuous teens in the 90’s the Decade of Decadence left a lasting impression on my young mind.
I’m actually profoundly intrigued to find out the picks of the warped minds who actually come by and regularly visit my funky little blog so please, by all means, share your choices and be judged by your peers.
I had heard buzz about this movie some months ago. It was touted as a “really cool zombie flick” but didn’t pay it too much attention because (a) we were in the process of moving up north and (b) I tend to not follow anything that critics like. Such is the case with anything I’m interested in, once it becomes mainstream I lose all faith in it being good anymore – at least until it becomes unpopular once again. It happened with vampires. Heck I was all about vampires back in the late 90’s but then along came the Queen of Teen Prattling, Stephenie Meyer, and that brought an abrupt end to my vamp love. The unthinkable happened. Vampires became mainstream and soon everyone and their mother had a story, book, tv series or movie about vampires. Even though I’m a die-hard fan of True Blood, the love for the genre isn’t there right now.
My last place of horror refuge lay in everybody’s favorite brain munching meanies – zombies. The undead have been iconic throughout modern movie history and have seen a rollercoaster of popularity over the past 40 or so years. They’re always a safe genre to fall back on. When I first heard about the 2009 French film aptly titled The Horde it immediately piqued my interest. It’s always fun to see foreign zombie flicks because they have a totally different feel than North American ones. Unfortunately when critics started chiming in on how good it was I feared for the worst.
Last night I got to finally sit down and watch it.
Let me start off by saying it’s not a movie for everyone. Horror fans seem to be split down the middle with some praising it as being brilliant while others tear it down with a bloody hatchet. It all seems to trace back to the age-old debate of Fast Zombies vs. Slow Zombies. It’s always amazed me how venenate both sides are over the subject. If you’re locked into the slow dopey zombie preference this is definitely not a movie for you. However if you enjoy track star, parkouring and insatiable undead (or just don’t care either way and just wanna see some bloody goodness) then welcome to the Horde.
The story centers around a group of vigilante cops who stage a raid on a gangster’s headquarters based in an old condemned building in the ghetto. They’re out for revenge against the band of thugs who killed one of their fellow police officers but soon realize they’re outgunned and are eventually taken hostage. The first 20 – 30 minutes screams of a Guy Ritchie-like gritty gangland crime drama with tense dialogue and graphic violence between the Nigerian drug lords and the captive cops. The story suddenly veers in a whole new disturbing direction when the building is besieged by throngs of fast-moving zombies. Makeshift alliances are formed between bitter enemies as both the criminals and the renegade cops try to escape the death trap.
Sounds like the makings for a rambunctious time, eh?
It’s a bona-fide gorefest with plenty of fast paced bloody violence to satisfy even the biggest action junkies out there. I can’t justifiably label it as one of the best zombie flicks I’ve ever seen but it definitely deserves its merits. Being a fan of the hyper zombies I tend to give it more bonus points than if it were a classic zombie film. The characters, although a little undefined are decent enough to carry the film. It’s always cool watching a horror movie in which you’re not familiar with the leads because you never know who’s making it to the end.
The special effects and makeup were on point as was the cinematography. It reminded me very much of 28 Days Later with the overwhelming grittiness and purposefully washed out and desaturated film quality. The confined spaces and tight hallways within the decrepid apartment building adds to the anxiety levels especially when you have ravenous zombies collapsing in at all angles. Story wise, it had potential but at times leaves your mind wandering only to be brought back when a psychotic zombie beatdown breaks out. Some people have panned the fact that the explanation for the zombie outbreak isn’t explained but I actually appreciated they didn’t. The living dead scenario has been used so many times that you can insert any number of “reasons” for the cause so why go into yet again. Cheers to them for letting the audience use their imagination.
Overall, if you’re a zombie fanatic it’s a must see if only to add to your mental database of zombie knowledge. Take from it what you will. Me, I’ve decided to list some of the things I’ve learned from this oddly entertaining film:
- You can quite literally beat the holy hell out of a zombie like he owes you money. Great way to relieve stress.
- Despite our incredible advances in science the past 50 years, flashlight technology seems to have fallen by the wayside. When will we ever see some common household flashlights that can actually light up more than a 4ft circular area?
- Being black during a zombie epidemic is still not a good career choice.
- Crazy guys have good hooch.
- A Browning Heavy Machine Gun in the hands of a Vietnam vet is a very effective zombie deterrent.
- Going to the roof never turns out well.
- Going to the basement never turns out well.
- Zombies don’t play rugby well.
- If someone says “run”, you run.
- It’s always good to hold onto personal grudges amidst a catastrophic series of events.
- Setting off a grenade in a hallway is bad.