If you hate zombie movies, and think there’s nothing left in the sub-genre, you’ll be surprised with Yeon Sang-ho’s “Train to Busan” and what it does with big budget zombie movies. Director Yeon Sang-ho practices the tradition of George Romero’s horror movies with thick social commentary, while also tapping in to the blockbuster crowds and proves you can have one without losing the value of the other. “Train to Busan” came completely out of left field for me back in 2016, and was not only the best horror movie of the summer, but one of the best movies of the year, easily. Yeon Sang-ho explores how a massive society is destroyed by flesh eating, rabid zombies, all of whom are relentless and charge rapid fire at their victims from around corners.
Most horror fans agree by now that most creative minds have pretty much tapped the zombie well dry, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of filmmakers still trying to reinvent the wheel. “Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies” does not re-invent the wheel and probably won’t change anyone’s mind on zombie movies, but for devotees of the sub-genre, there’s a lot of fun to be had. There’s some good music, a brisk pace, and a different setting beyond the typical country farm house or city back drop. Two snowboarders head out to the Swiss Alps with their manager Branka to film a publicity video for their corporate sponsor. When snowboarder and slacker Steve botch’s the filming altogether, the trio are left on the mountain, stranded.
Director Joseph Bennett and Charles Huettner’s short “Scavengers” originally premiered on cable television and is admittedly at home in the Adult Swim studio library. The studio that thrives on creating different entertainment, “Scavengers” is an ambitious and thought provoking animated film with no dialogue, but incredible sound design. The experience of “Scavengers” hinges on every sound we hear in this new environment, and we’re thrust in to a new world without having characters over explain and hold our hands through what we’re watching.
A potentially apocalyptic even wiped out all adults from the country, leaving kids to take care of younger kids. In this situation, some became leaders, some teachers, while others thrived in chaos. As things are looking bleaker and bleaker, Josh decides to do something and heads North with a friend. Soon, some of those in charge go after them. Through this, all will discover more about the world and themselves. Directed by Matt Ogens who co-wrote with Kyle Lierman, the film takes the post-apocalyptic approach that is being seen more and more again and removes all adults from the picture, leaving it to a Lord of the Flies situation with kids being left to their own devices and some knowing better how to keep going while others look for escape.
Lluís Quílez’s short science fiction drama reminded me of the famous opening line from Frederic Brown’s “Knock”: “The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…” Director Quílez centers his science fiction tale on a man named Edgar who spends his days biding his time for inevitable rescue, and looking for some semblance of companion ship in his every day life. Edgar walks around the ruins of his city after an undisclosed “incident” has caused many to flee or die off.
For those unaware, “Comet TV” is a new science fiction station on the internet that hearkens back to classic cable’s niche TV networks. “Comet TV” is still young and has a limited, but fun line up of horror, fantasy, and hardcore science fiction, from shows like “Outer Limits,” and “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” and even have their own weekly events on the channel, including a line up of diverse and very interesting movies within the scope of the channel’s science fiction roots.
For fans anxious to bathe in some great science fiction, Comet TV can be found online and is reminiscent of the good old days of the Sci-Fi Channel here in America. This month, Comet TV have an entire list of genre films they’re airing for their audience, and these are five especially good ones we suggest you check out!
I really like what Full Moon had in mind with the “Filmonsters!” movie series. Take public domain characters, turn them in to hour long movies for the PG-13 crowd, add unique twists, and call it a series! It’s too bad there were only two of these “Reborn!” movies. I’m not saying “Frankenstein Reborn!” is a masterpiece, but it has its head in the right place, and could have taken many more monsters and re-imagined them down the line. The series has a neat opening credits scene with Full Moon’s banner monsters Toulon’s puppets, and craftily edited re-cuts of them in a graveyard among the tombstones of various monsters, and them reviving their master, which would also count as them reviving whatever monster of the week Full Moon was spotlighting.
With movie critics getting more and more stigmatized by bitter movie studios and petty film directors, it’s a good thing to know in the end that they’re all just opinions. This year I watched so many movies, and as always, my opinion is never gospel or the final word on any film. In 2016 I managed to like a few movies that were critically destroyed and I don’t apologize for finding value in these flops. I probably won’t go out to buy them, but I won’t flip the channel if they’re ever on cable, either.
What were some movies you liked that everyone else didn’t? Let me know in the comments.