Colin Minihan’s “It Stains the Sand Red” is a movie that only has about an hour’s worth of story for its premise. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a neat and interesting idea for a zombie movie, but one that runs out of steam by the time the second act is introduced. You can literally see the wheels falling off mid-way, and what should have been the end, feels a lot like a ton of filler that belongs to another movie altogether. As with all zombie movies from indie filmmakers, there are a ton of George Romero nods and winks, and they’re a mixed bag. Some of them are neat, like the opening of the film, which is an homage to the opening of “Night,” while some induce eye rolls a la the newspaper with the headline “The Dead Walk” dangling from a police vehicle.
Yeon Sang-ho and the studios were wise to capitalize on the running juggernaut that was the success of “Train to Busan” in 2016. Often times studios or directors wait two to five years for a prequel or a sequel, but “Train to Busan” gets an almost immediate prequel that helps expand the story and mythology of the live action film. One of the best zombie films of the last fifteen years, and perhaps of all time, “Train to Busan” was an action packed blockbuster disaster film set to the tune of the zombie apocalypse. The animated prequel is a bit more downbeat but still maintains the same social relevance and commentary that “Train to Busan” did so well.
Despite a rocky start, “The Walking Dead” season seven was absolutely stellar, as we finally got to meet the man known as Negan. Since Season one most of the threats from outside haven’t shaken Rick and his group’s confidence. Hell, not even a town filled with cannibals could really shake Rick’s determination. It isn’t until Maggie was near death and the massive numbers of the Savior for Rick to be shaken at the core. Negan is a vicious monster who is just as organized and orderly as Rick and his group are. He commands big numbers, strikes fear in to the hearts of many, and is never afraid to demonstrate his wrath over others. Season seven saw Rick be knocked down, and find the courage to get back up again and fight for Alexandria. It was a compelling season and these are ten of the best moments that shocked, amazed, and gripped me.
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.