A sequel to the 2011 video release Skeleton Key 3, this new film is in no way shape or form related to the Kate Hudson starring film from 2005. This film follows a man dealing with the (blue) zombie apocalypse while saddled with a demon sidekick/bully and a ragtag team of helpers. John Johnson, the man credited as the brain behind this film and the star of the film looks to be specialized in the anything goes/what the fuck type of horror films by the looks of his IMDB page. As this particular film is not listed and this reviewer will not be watching it again to pull the credits, the little bits of credits available on Midnight Releasing’s website are all that will be used to identify the players here.
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.
In the small town of Ooty, India, a toxic spill transforms people into blood-thirsty, fast running, wire-stunt performing zombies. Director Shakti Soundar Rajan takes a fairly typical zombie story, mixes in an unrequited love story, a dash of political observation, a Bollywood musical number, wire-stunts, and a good sense of humor about the whole thing to create a zombie film that doesn’t feel like it’s just hitting the tropes and its marks mechanically, it’s fast paced and fun while adding a special touch to its subject. The idea of mixing Bollywood style film with zombies might not seem like an obvious choice but here it works of course, the humor being quite on point adds to this and to the enjoyment overall.
In a private burlesque parlor in Hollywood, performers and VIP clients face off with a zombie attack. Directed by Staci Layne Wilson from her own screenplay based on a story by Lony Ruhmann, Fetish Factory mixes burlesque dances and performers with end of the world and zombie tropes for a fun result. Staci Layne Wilson takes the zombies sub-genre that is all over the place lately and focuses it by bringing her personal touch to it and adding a varied group of beauties to fight them off. Granted, this in and of itself is nothing new (we’ve seen hotties and strippers fight zombies before) but her usage of actual burlesque performers and actresses adds to this in a way that changes from the usual boobs and blood route these films take.
In the “Fetish Factory” every male client comes attached with his own fetish and arrives to the special mansion to watch some of the best and sexiest burlesque performers realize some of their weirdest fantasies. Director and writer Staci Layne Wilson delivers a horror comedy that’s admittedly rough around the edges but has enough charm and laughs to entertain audiences that enjoy a bit of kink with their zombie carnage. Carrie Keagan plays burlesque performer Bettie, a dancer at the Fetish Factory who takes on the persona of Bettie Page for her clientele and dances almost every night. After a mysterious wild storm takes hold of Hollywood, the walking dead begin swarming the Fetish Factory mansion, prompting the surviving dancers to fight off the hordes of flesh eating zombies.
L’Ours Noir (The Black Bear) (France) (2015)
Written and directed by Méryl Fortunat-Rossi and Xavier Seron, L’Ours Noir is a film based on a safety pamphlet about black bears in the north of Quebec. A group of hikers go in a forest to explore the land, when they meet a black bear for which they were supposed to learn the rules before going. The film they build is absolutely hilarious and gory, sporting a talented cast with a great sense of timing. The cast is composed mainly of Francois Neycken, Jean-Jacques Rausin, Terence Rion, Catherine Salée, and Jean-Benoit Ugeux who all give great performances in the crazy circumstances they are thrown in. The film also boasts fantastic special effects that fit just right with it. The bear used might be cuddly looking but his attacks are vicious, funny, and bloody. This short is possibly the funniest horror-comedy this reviewer has seen this year and in a long while. It’s absolutely fantastic and must be watched if you get the chance.
It’s a damn shame that the Crackle team couldn’t follow up the entertaining first “Dead Rising” movie with an even better one. “Endgame” is a very disappointing follow up that spends most of its ninety minute run time involving government cover ups, potential military strikes, and reporters trying to get the word out about corruption. Every now and then the movie decides to dole up some zombie carnage. And even then it’s disappointing, since the story slowly drifts away from zombies and begins focusing on more rabid mutants that the government has been testing on. The narrative for a movie like this shouldn’t be so hard to follow but lo and behold when I wasn’t drifting off from boredom, I was anxiously trying to figure out how any of this worked.