BEBE 2017

IMDB, The Girl with all the Gifts“The Girl with All the Gifts” on IMDB

Drama/Horror – 2016 – 111 Minutes

This film was a selection for BEBE 2017.

It’s often difficult to defend our selected genre on the merits of its craft. The majority of films are dime-store efforts by well-meaning, but technically inept, fans or money-grubbers looking to cash in with as little effort as possible. The few that rise above tend to be hamstrung in one or more ways. They may lack any combination of money, talent or time. This is one of the few examples that have something interesting to say, are given the budget to say it, and can attract the talent to say it well.

The film is based on M.R. Carey’s novel of the same name. Comic fans may know Carey as a writer for DC Vertigo favorites “Hellblazer”, “Lucifer” and “The Unwritten” as well as significant runs of “X-men” and “Fantastic Four” for Marvel. Carey wrote the screenplay for the film in tandem with the novel. Although there are substantial differences between the two, the film remains protectively true to the spirit and message of its source material.

20 years ago, humanity was infected with a brain-altering fungus. It caused the infected to revert to a bestial, violent state and mercilessly attack any source of meat, including uninfected humans. These “hungries” soon forced the shredded remains of society into fortified military bases and quarantine zones.

The story is told almost exclusively from the point of view of Melanie, an intelligent, obedient, trusting child who hides a dark secret. There are only minor detours to other characters, usually to set specific context for the audience. It all hinges on the performance of 13-year old Sennia Nanua as Melanie and she rises to the challenge beautifully.

The rest of the small cast, including Glenn Close in a wonderful, subdued role as scientist researching the plague, is strong and confident. This is, more than anything, a character study

Many scenes demonstrate brilliant, deft transitions from quiet tension to fevered, raucous action. These punctuate the story beats precisely, yet never feel forced or artificial. The staging and cinematography are beautiful and deeply sell the post-apocalyptic setting.

The team leveraged high-quality micro-drones for overhead shots and kept the effects to an effective minimum. That the entire film was made for roughly five million dollars (compared to, say, the nearly 200 million budget of the anemic “World War Z”) is nothing short of amazing.

This is the rare offering that will appeal to film fans in general and not “just genre fans”.  A tight, original story told beautifully by a talented crew and cast. Not one to miss.

IMDB, Zombeavers“Zombeavers” on IMDB

Comedy/Horror – 2014 – 77 Minutes

This film was a selection for BEBE 2017.

Did you know that the second syllable of “zombie”  is like the letter “B”? So, you could, like, put “zom” in front of things that start with “B” and create whole new zom things! Zombadgers! Zombeagles! Zombeetles! (Or, if you’re musically inclined, Zombeatles.)

Pick something, staple it onto “zom” then grab a wikipedia article for some interesting facts and you’ve got yourself a premise! Toss in a remote cabin, a trio of bikini-clad college students and their dumbass boyfriends and you’ve got yourself a script! Cap it off with some barely passable puppets, gallons of dyed corn-syrup and a helping of gratuitous nudity and you, you my friend, have got yourself a movie.

Risking cliché, two incompetent delivery men lose a barrel of toxic waste which contaminates the local beaver dam. Three sorority sisters are visiting a cabin on the same lake to commiserate about the infidelity of one of their boyfriends. They do this in bikinis, with the designated “bad girl” going topless. In the evening, the boyfriends show up and things go soap opera.

The next day, the horror side of the story begins in earnest. The now undead beavers attack the group and the few other incidental characters introduced earlier. The effects are… terrible. The beavers – sorry, zombeavers – are sloppy, floppy puppets slathered in goo and thrown at the squirming actors. They’re often in bright sunlight which does nothing to hide the many flaws.

Later, when night falls, both the horror and the effects improve markedly. The human makeup effects, while goofy, are significantly better than the creature work. The script, free of exposition and relationship development, is leaner and, with most of the chaff killed off, the better actors are able to step up their game.

Kidding aside, this is as good as you’d expect from the title; maybe even a bit better than it deserves to be. An uneven script and effects are offset by a solid third act and mostly likable actors. Zombie aficionados may turn their noses, but as teenage zombie romps go, this is definitely one of the better ones.

 

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!