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One of the best zombie flicks of the decade, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead [Our Review], loud, crazy and plain old fun. It’s one of our all-time favorites. Happily, the movie’s story will continue in a new Australian television series, Wyrmwood: Chronicles of the Dead. They’ve released the first six insane minutes for us to drool over!

We’re so happy to see that original stars Bianca Bradey and Jay Gallagher will both return for the series! We can’t wait to see more!

Here Alone

“Here Alone” on IMDB

Horror/Drama – 2016 – 98 Minutes

An infection has ravaged the world. Victims are turned into mindless eating machines that will tirelessly hunt and kill anything – or anybody – that they come into contact with. Only the strong and clever can survive and even they live on borrowed time. It’s the plot that’s launched a thousand stories (and a thousand arguments about what constitutes a “real” zombie story, but we’ll let that dead horse lie).

A cliché is most often a crutch; an excuse for lazy filmmakers to stand on the shoulders of others and produce poor, paint-by-numbers facsimiles of their better work. More rarely, they can be liberating; allowing creators to build interesting stories within a familiar framework. They leverage the cliche rather than rely on it to direct them. Happily, this is an example of the latter.

Ann (Lucy Waters [IMDB]) is alone in the Northern woods. She’s developed techniques for dealing with the infected. She still walks the ragged edge of survival, but has come to accept her lot. When Chris (Adam David Thompson [IMDB]) and his step-daughter Olivia (Gina Piersanti [IMDB]) stumble into her life, she needs to reevaluate whether bare survival is enough.

While many of the themes will be familiar, the handling of the characters is deft and mature. Solid, perfectly subdued performances capture the quiet, persistent desperation of the situation. Exposition is provided organically through restrained, well-heeled flashbacks. The script deftly provides enough information to avoid frustration while leaving enough out to maintain interest.

The story doesn’t concern itself with the problems of the world at large. It’s small and deeply human. These three people aren’t working on a cure and they’re not going to kick-start civilization; they’re simply going to survive – or not – quietly, in the woods. The ending is telegraphed and likely to turn off some viewers, yet seems natural for the characters. It also earns points for lacking an inane twist.

The production is a an excellent example of performance-driven, minimalist film making. While those looking for action will be disappointed, others will find a solid, engaging drama.

IMDB, Train to Busan“Train to Busan” on IMDB

Horror/Action – 2016 – 118 Minutes

South Korea has been quietly, persistently producing amazing filmmakers for many years. Heavily influenced by American cinema, these creators have injected a much-needed dose of creativity and originality into many tired genres with action and horror benefiting especially. While the country’s horror is most inspired by regional legends and myths, it should come as no surprise that zombies would eventually be tapped.

Seok-woo (Yoo Gong [IMDB]) is a workaholic who’s neglected his daughter, Soo-an (Su-an Kim [IMDB]), once too often. In a poor attempt to make things up to her, he begrudgingly agrees to escort her, via train, from Seoul to Busan so that she can spend her birthday with her mother. Other passengers tick off various tropes on the roster: a selfish businessman, a pregnant woman and her hen-pecked husband, a high-school baseball team, a pair of elderly sisters and others.

When the stage is properly set, all hell breaks loose. Mechanically, the movie is similar to “28 Days Later” [IMDB]: an unknown sickness turns people into ravenous, rage-filled monsters shortly after they’re bit. The zombies are fast, relentless and beautifully choreographed. Their movement, especially when in groups, is brutally effective and terrifying. The audience is kept further disoriented by a refreshing “verticality”: stairs, upper-story windows and various other methods are used to draw attention in multiple, dizzying directions at once.

Nothing is said about the source of the infection. “Less is more” is the rule and nothing distracts from the breathless, non-stop race for survival. While this means that the characters aren’t particularly deep, they are pleasantly consistent and true-to-life. Focus is given to the relationships that evolve as events force new responsibilities and dependencies on them. Father and daughter. Husband and wife. Sibling. Friend. It’s surprising how quickly and strongly the audience empathizes with them.

This takes traditional “fast zombie” zombie tropes and, in a word, perfects them. It’s impossible to heap enough praise upon it. It succeeds in all the ways “World War Z” [Our Review] failed and sets a new high watermark for outbreak films.

george-romero-610x914George Romero, father of the modern zombie film, has died at the age of 77. BBC, Variety, LA Times, New York Times, Hollywood Reporter.

“My stories are about humans and how they react, or fail to react, or react stupidly. I’m pointing the finger at us, not at the zombies. I try to respect and sympathize with the zombies as much as possible.”

He reportedly died in his sleep with his family close after a short, but fierce, struggle with lung cancer. He, of course, created the modern zombie film with 1966’s Night of the Living Dead. Made for just over $100,000, the film went on to earn $30 million at the box office despite heated criticism of its graphic nature.

“I always thought of the zombies as being about revolution, one generation consuming the next.”

The word “Zombie” never appeared in the film. He would go on to direct a total of six “Dead” films and inspire countless others.

“My zombies will never take over the world because I need the humans. The humans are the ones I dislike the most, and they’re where the trouble really lies.”

Thank you, George. You will be missed.

BEBE Logo_TransToBlackAlas, BEBE 2017, our eighth year, is over!  Movies, games and way too much food! Success!

Let’s see how we did according to the rules of Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters:

Watch Some Zombie Movies

Check!  Only three this year, but everybody watched all three, even the teenagers! We’ll be doing full reviews of all of these in the coming weeks:

Of course this weekend was kind of a perfect storm of nerd for us with the new seasons of both Doctor Who and Mystery Science Theater 3000 being released. We admit to cutting BEBE short to enjoy the first episode of MST3k (which we backed on KickStarter), “Reptilicus“. We were worried about the new cast, but the franchise is in very good hands!

Eat Lots of Good Food

Check! Too much Platter’s Chocolate and, as we’ve done since 2015, Crafty Zombie Cupcakes (although these didn’t come out very well since we tried to use last year’s decorative chocolate). Dinner was an obscene amount of ham, smooshed taters and fried corn.

Play Some Games

Check! It just so happens that Sony put the excellent Deadlight: Director’s Cut on sale for PS4 this weekend, so we gave it a go. It’s an excellent cinematic side-scrolling survival horror game set in, you guessed it, a zombie apocalypse. We ended up completing almost half the game. It’s an excellent game for $15, but at $5 it’s an absolute steal.

Spend Some Time with Those You Love

Check! This was a another nice, easy year for us. The kids actually spent with us, everything we did was worth spending time on and the weather was gorgeous; despite a few short rain showers. There’s something incredibly comforting about watching a great movie with your family while enjoying a cool breeze.

We hope that you had a great day with those you love and were able to fit in a little fun and games.  We also hope to see you back here in 2018 for the the ninth anniversary of Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters!

BEBE Logo_TransToBlackBoiled Eggs and Brain Eaters, our eighth year, is underway! Following up on the success of last year’s smaller, easier affair, BEBE 2017 will focus on the basics: good fun, bad movies and good company.

We’re going doing our traditional zombie cupcakes and eyeball eggs. As always, we ordered a ton of Platter’s Chocolate, because sometimes only the best will do. Since my teenage daughter is going through a whole regression phase at the moment, she also insisted that we hide eggs.

We hope you’re having a great day too!