BEBE 2014

Marian Call, Songs of the Month and SinglesWhen we reviewed “Zombie Cheerleading Camp” for Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters 2014 we… were not kind. It sucked. Sorry. However I’ve recently learned that the theme song for the movie, “We’re Out for Blood“, was commissioned from one of my very favorite people, Marian Call!

I wondered how I missed this as we watched the movie, but my family reminded me that I spent the first few minutes of the actual movie ranting about the terrible PowerPoint comic-book thing that preceded the actual movie. Admittedly, my loss, but I still blame the movie.

You can, and should, buy the song – and all her others, which sound nothing like this one, but are all amazing and worth twice the pennies at any price – at her Bandcamp page!

IMDB, Detention of the Dead“Detention of the Dead” on IMDB

Comedy/Horror – 2012 – 90 Minutes

This was our fourth selection for Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters 2014. Literally 95% of the mentions made of this movie compare it to “The Breakfast Club“. Maybe more. It doesn’t really deserve the comparison. Oh, it’s like exactly like it, it just doesn’t really deserve to be compared to it.

There’s some “kids” (I say “kids” because the average age of the actors has got to be in the mid-thirties) who are stuck in detention. There are six of them cut directly from the cheapest, simplest cardboard that could be found. There’s a goth, a nerd, a stoner, a cheerleader, a jock and… another jock. Not really clear on the thinking there.

Anyway they’re all fine, but the rest of the school has caught, as my grandmother might say, “the zombie”. There’s really no explanation. They run around trying  not to be eaten while half-assedly exploring their differences in some of the most clichéd ways possible. Hey, there’s even a love triangle! A really, terribly depressing love triangle.

On the plus side, the effects were actually pretty good. Well, except for that one horrifyingly bad muppet-zombie-rat-thing. That wasn’t good. The acting isn’t half-bad; most of the problems there come from the casting.  The jokes are easy, at least, if not particularly funny. You like fart jokes? This has got them! Personally, I’m not a huge fan.

It wasn’t that great, but hell: it wasn’t that bad either. It was also, oddly, the third movie of BEBE 2014 that featured a stoner getting a zombie high. Does that say more than it should about the kind of people making zombie movies these days?

IMDB, Rise of the Zombies“Rise of the Zombies” on IMDB

Horror – 2012 – 89 Minutes

This was our third selection for Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters 2014. It wasn’t good. It was, in fact, so not good that I needed to watch it again. I literally could not remember enough about it to start this review.

The only thing they did right was plastering Danny Trejo [IMDB] on the box. That’s honestly the only reason we, and I assume others, watched the movie. Seeing Levar Burton’s [IMDB] name was just icing on the cake. Of course neither one of them really stars (although Burton’s comes much closer than Trejo) and most of the time is spent in other locations with other people.

That’s one of the biggest problems with the movie: it sets up the trite, but still potentially interesting, idea of people riding out the zombie apocalypse on Alcatraz island. It’s a perfect place, really, if you could stock it. An empty super-max prison on an island; what’s not to like?  Apparently, something, because we spend almost no time there. Instead the story splits into several confusing threads and ping-pongs between them in a frantic attempt to keep it all straight.

There are a few moments where interesting things actually happen, but they’re scattered and completely overwhelmed by the schlock. Burton’s thread revolves around the science of zombies and is probably the most successful overall, but is hamstrung by the terrible script. It forces him to do ridiculously silly things that completely undermine everything else. A few other moments come close to working only to fall apart.

I won’t begrudge anybody an easy paycheck, but the cast deserves better. It’s as formulaic as they come and poorly executed to boot. Watch something good again before you waste your time on this.

IMDB, Zombie Cheerleading Camp“Zombie Cheerleading Camp” on IMDB

Comedy/Horror – 2007 – 85 Minutes

This was our second selection for Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters 2014. It was a tough one.

The movie starts with a horrible little comic-strip, slide-show thing. Set to cliched public-domain “monster music” it wordlessly gives the audience the hackneyed back-story.  Nazi’s made zombies, U.S. soldiers took the formula home and buried it and, finally, a curious squirrel dove into it. It was coarse, ugly, poorly-done and, as bad as it was, so very much more interesting than the actual movie. Imagine, to illustrate, if the entire story of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was condensed into a terrible five-minute PowerPoint presentation and the actual movie was all about janitors in in the warehouse where they stored the Ark.

The idea, of course, was to do an 80’s-style teenage romp. The ingredients are pretty simple: a bunch of hot teens, a despicable authority figure with a comically inept toadie and a place. The absolute worst version of all of these are collected and then zombies, which have become a kind of universal condiment for bad movies, are tossed in. The villainous authority figure, the camp’s trainer, is totally forgettable. Her toadie/son is the most insulting and humorless version of the traditional gay stereotype. The camp is… a camp. I guess some things you really can’t screw up.

The 20- and 30-something “hot teens” are each assigned a single personality trait; each more annoying than the last. The movie really wants to be a low-budget teenage romp but it doesn’t have the budget for it. Instead it seems to have blackmailed one poor actress, out of eight or nine, to carry all of the nudity in the film. While she’s admittedly hot enough, her scenes feel forced, out-of-place and terribly, terribly sad.

When the highlight of your movie is a ridiculous two-minute fist-fight between a man and a non-animated, stuffed squirrel you may want to rethink your plans. Completionist genre fans with absolutely no other choices  might want to give this a try. Everybody else should steer clear.

IMDB, Deadheads“Deadheads” on IMDB

Comedy/Horror – 2011 – 96 Minutes

This was our first selection for Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters 2014 and, it turns out, our pick of the day. When I was a teenager seeing “The Return of the Living Dead” for the first time it would have never occurred to me that at some point there would be too many zombie movies, much less zombie comedies, to keep up with. Zombies were niche, at best, and would be forever also-ran to slashers and vampires. Now, nearly 30 years later, zombies are king and everybody that can scrape together enough cash, gumption or weed (or any combination of the three) thinks that they can produce the next great zom-com.

Most of them suck. This one doesn’t; at least not much.

The gimmick here is that some zombies, just a tiny few, don’t actually lose their minds during the reanimation. We follow Mike, a regular Joe who finds himself dead-but-moving and decides to track down his fiancé. He meets Brent, a stoner free-spirit who is altogether more comfortable in his zombie-hood. They’re being hunted down by a nefarious company that wants to take them apart and see what makes them still tick.

Most of the humor revolves around our slackers failing up as Mike and Brent shamble their way across the country, constantly on the verge of disaster. Mike’s uptight and Brent’s an ass. They’re losers, but they’re likable losers. There’s plenty of harmless (and some armless) slapstick and a horde of fun genre references. Some hits and some misses, but there are multiple laugh-out-loud moments.

There are problems, but nothing you wouldn’t  expect at this budget level. Many of the characters push past cliché into caricature territory and there are definite teeth-marks on the scenery, but there’s a “when in Rome” kind of vibe that lessens the impact. The effects suffers for the budget, but are kept simple and effective to compensate. The script tries to work just a few too many angles and ends up bogged down in places.

As these things go this is one of the better family zombie flicks. There’s some gore, blood, sexual references and pot-use, but nothing too serious for your average tween. It’s a fun movie that was clearly spawned from a love of the genre. It’s the kind of movie that you like because it’s the kind of movie that you’d make if you didn’t spend all your time with your fat ass planted on the couch watching movies. Or maybe that’s just me.

BEBE Logo_TransToBlackAlas, BEBE 2014, our fifth year, is over!  Five movies, some games and way, way too much food spells “success” to us!

As a handy review let’s see how we did according to the four rules of Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters:

Watch Some Zombie Movies

Check!  Here’s the final tally:

Eat Lots of Good Food

We ate way too much Platter’s Chocolate, many ugly boiled eggszombie cookies. Only a few of the zombie eyeballs lasted until today, but they were a huge success.  To offset the sweets we did a nice ham, mashed sweet potatoes and homemade mac’n’cheese. We should be mobile again sometime tomorrow.

Play Some Games

Check! Our new game, Zombies!!!, was a bit too intimidating to try today, but we’re going to set aside some time soon. We did spend time with our favorite pick-up-and-play zombie game, Zombie Dice by Steve Jackson Games. We also tried some ZombiU on the WiiU. We didn’t play long, but it looks promising.

We can also highly recommend playing TellTell Games masterpiece, The Walking Dead, as a family. The game is slow enough to support collaborative play, but exciting and well-written enough to keep the attention of those not holding the controller.

Spend Some Time with Those You Love

Check! This was a great year for us. We enjoyed a truly gorgeous day here in Scranton and were able to sit with open windows and doors while we watched the rampaging dead. A nice breeze makes everything better, doesn’t it? Everybody had a great time and there were no fights or bickering (something of a minor miracle with two teenagers).

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 here in 2015 which will mark the sixth anniversary of Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters!

Shaun of the DeadMore BEBE 2014!  Our fourth movie, “Detention of the Dead“, was hit or miss, but mostly (weak) hit. There were a few truly terrible effects, but also some decent ideas. A solid movie overall and a nice lead-in to dinner and our last movie.

Dinner is Easter ham, mashed sweet potatoes, homemade mac’n’cheese and some vegetables. We ate it sitting in front of the TV like every terrible family you’ve ever seen on TV being terrible by eating in front of the TV. We’re all stuffed close to hibernating bear-level now. We can move, but we choose not to.

As always we end our night with “Shaun of the Dead“. It remains the undisputed king of zombie movies and is one of the few perfect movies ever made.

BEBE 2014 PlatterMore BEBE 2014!  We’ve started our fourth movie, “Detention of the Dead“, and so far, so good. Decent production values and a decent set-up. There’s already been a few decent call-outs as well (the sign let’s us know that they’re in the “Savini Library”).

ZombiU on the WiiU ended up being deeper and more thoughtful than we initially gave it credit. There’s an interesting mechanic where, once you become infected and die, you begin nearby as another survivor. You can then go to your last location and put down your previous incarnation and reclaim your equipment. We’re still not sure if the game has staying power, but so far its definitely bringing some new ideas to the table.

We also decided to put our favorite creations together and create the stickiest, sweetest zombie horde that you’ll ever see! It includes the best of our ugly boiled eggs, the most gruesome zombie cookies and even some of those terrible marshmallow zombies that we made. We posed them all and took a few artsy shots.

That one plate is enough to terrify a dozen dentists!

Zombie DiceMore BEBE 2014!  Our third movie, “Rise of the Zombies“, was much better than our second, but still dumb as hell in that trademarked Asylum Films kind of way. Since it’s time to start working on getting dinner going we’re taking a game break before our next selection, “Detention of the Dead“, kicks off.

My son is trying out ZombiU on the WiiU. So far it looks like a decent survival-horror FPS with some forced integration with the WiiU game pad. It’s hard to tell from only a few minutes: this one could still go in either direction.

We played a ridiculously long round of Zombie Dice by Steve Jackson Games. This is one of our favorite games and an absolute must for any zombie fan. The rules are insanely simple: roll three dice. Keep any brains and shotgun blasts, put any runners back in the can. You can stop at any point and bank your brains, but three shotgun blasts means that your turn is over and you lose any unbanked brains. First person to 13 wins.

It’s fun, quick and easy enough for anybody to play in minutes. Most games take about ten to twenty minutes, but the round we played during the movie lasted over forty. I ended the game with zero points having rolled triple shotgun blasts at least nine times. My lovely bride won: parents rule, children drool!

Boiled Eggs!More BEBE 2014!  Our second movie, “Zombie Cheerleading Camp“, wasn’t… good. In fact it was very not good. There was an hour long (or at least it felt like an hour) fight with a stuffed squirrel.

Our third selection, “Rise of the Zombies“, is a made for TV Asylum production. This usually means “terrible, but after the last one it’s looking positively Oscar-worthy. It also features the hardest working man in show business, Danny Trejo!

The first “BE” in BEBE is “Boiled Eggs” so we got to work on them!  We first tried some traditional food-coloring and dye but the result were disappointing. We did the old trick where you draw on the egg with crayon, but they still came out just a little too festive. It didn’t help that our lead shorty kept making them look so gosh-darned happy.

So we pulled out the the old Dudley’s Spin an Egg from last year. We didn’t have any of the dye that came with it but undiluted food-coloring seems to work pretty well.  The damn thing is still too hard to spin up and it’s still really hard to get the lid on, but it did the trick. It did stop spinning after a few eggs – the spinner lost its whatzitmajigger – but it actually worked just as well, or better, when spun manually.  In any case we got a nice set of gross-looking eggs.

These have a really long dry-time and look like they’ll remain messy for at least a few hours. We probably should have figured them out earlier.