Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters

IMDB, Wyrmwood“Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead” on IMDB

Horror – 2014 – 98 Minutes

This film was a selection for BEBE 2016.

Zombie movies can be traditional. Slow shamblers mindlessly hunting terrified survivors clutching improvised weapons and cowering in boarded up homes. Others try to take things up a notch. Fast zombies in hordes of hundreds or thousands flooding through cities and being repelled by military units. Some pull at the heartstrings with infected children or spouses descending inevitably into savage hunger.

Then there’s this one. This one takes a long pull from a warm beer and says, “what the hell?”

The stage is set normally enough: a passing meteor shower has had devastating effects on humanity. It’s turned (nearly) everybody into mindless, ravenous monsters with bad skin, scary eyes and a need to feed. Additionally, because reasons, it has also fouled all flammable liquids. Gasoline, diesel, kerosene and everything else are all useless. None of this is explained: this isn’t that kind of movie.

That would be enough for most, but there’s a whole bag of additional crazy splattered against the wall. Surprisingly, most of it sticks. Sadistic military forces driving around (without gas)? Sure! A mad scientist with a flare for disco? Sure! A random ability to telepathically control zombies? Sure! Most of this isn’t explained, either. Again, not that kind of movie.

The story follows two paths. Our hero, Barry (Jay Gallagher [IMDB]) represents the men with gearing up montages, Motorsports and shooting things with nail guns. There’s beer and swearing and bonding. His segments are more traditional, head-on affairs. His sister, our heroine, Brooke (Bianca Bradey [IMDB]) begins as a cliched damsel, but quickly evolves into a very different kind of badass. Her moments are more subtle, with more of a focus on subterfuge and body horror. The balance between the two, intentional or not, works very well.

In many ways this is a throwback to the good old days of zombie flicks. No social commentary, little pathos and a whole lot of loud, brash badassery. It takes big chances and, probably more through luck than design, succeeds more than it fails. Most importantly, it’s huge fun.

IMDB, Rammbock“Rammbock” on IMDB

Horror/Thriller – 2010 – 63 Minutes

This film was a selection for BEBE 2016.

This was something of a compromise. We know that some great horror comes from abroad,  yet we still have trouble getting the children to suffer through subtitles. How could they possibly pull themselves away from their phones long enough to read a movie? It was also very highly recommended, but subtitled. It was also very short: just over an hour.

Michael has made the bad decision to head into Berlin to return a key to Gabi, the girlfriend that dumped him. He’s convinced that he can win her back, but when he gets there, she’s not home. He lets himself in to find a kid, Harper, working on her plumbing. Before he can decide how to proceed, all hell breaks loose: an infection is sweeping the city. People turn feral and attack each other. Michael and Harper are able to barricade themselves in the apartment as the rest of the building is overrun.

The story revolves around the few survivors of the building.  They communicate quietly across the common courtyard (noise attracts the infected) and try to work out a plan. How do you get to another apartment? How can you trade resources? Who can you trust? Michael, of course, remains focused on finding Gabi; often to the frustration of his allies. Motivations are clear but, more importantly, the characters act realistically. They earn our sympathy.

The filmmakers use the limited budget very well. The action sequences are well done and, thankfully, not over-done. They’ll remind genre fans of those from “28 Days Later”. The movie could, in fact, easily be considered part of that franchise. The story and character development suffers slightly from the short length, but leaving the audience wanting more is always preferable to boring them.

Even the kids enjoyed this, sub-titles and all. It’s a solid, if not wholly original, story with an interesting slant. Fans of more modern “fast zombie” stories should feel right at home.

IMDB, Bigfoot vs Zombies“Bigfoot vs. Zombies” on IMDB

Horror/Comedy – 2016 – 75 Minutes

This film was a selection for BEBE 2016.

We always try to start our Easter marathon with something less, um… let’s say “intellectual”. We’ve just woken up and are still bleary-eyed, the kids are grumpy and we’re cobbling together a breakfast leftovers, dyed-eggs, pop-tarts and chocolate. Something that we don’t have to pay the strictest attention too is generally best.

This definitely fits that bill.

Ed and Andy are delivering cadavers to a “body farm”, where fresh corpses are left in natural, but controlled, conditions to benefit forensic science. The facility itself has a skeleton crew: there’s a single (mad) scientist, a cute peer/assistant/receptionist/something, the dumbass handyman and the slimy security guard. Oh yeah, there’s Bigfoot too. Bigfoot’s in this. He’s short, weird and looks like he’s covered in partially skinned dogs, but he’s Big “B” Bigfoot, dammit!

The (mad) scientist has been soaking the bodies with something designed to make them… something, and now they’re zombies. Really crappy ones. There’s just no effort made. The zombies are people with loose-fitting masks and what appear to be wigs stolen from old women. At one point the script calls for our heroes to bribe the slimy security guard with pornography. They stacked a bunch of copy paper together and – quite literally – printed out the words “Jugs and Thugz” in black and white. Mormon children could make a more convincing prop.

There’s a fine line between “fun no budget” and “sad no budget” and this shambles around it, but lands definitively on the “sad” side of the line. It’s slow and sloppy and Bigfoot is a complete non-starter. There’s no joy here at all.

 

BEBE Logo_TransToBlackAlas, BEBE 2016, our seventh year, is over!  Five movies (three good ones!) and, as usual, way too much food! Success!

We’ve had more than our share of life lately, so we decided to take it very easy this year. Anything that felt like work, we decided to ignore. It worked out very well. We had a minor setback as the zombie-themed gifts we ordered from Amazon won’t be here until tomorrow. Better late than never, we suppose.

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

Watch Some Zombie Movies

Check!  Here’s the tally. We’ll be doing full reviews of all of these in the coming weeks:

  • Bigfoot vs. Zombies: Come for the stupid, laugh at the stupid. This was stupid.
  • Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead: Good, high-quality flick with some neat ideas. A hell of a good time!
  • Rammbock: This chased the kids away (they’re allergic to sub-titles), but they missed out. This was good.
  • April Apocalypse: Some good acting covers the many, many (many) plotholes. And the narration, oh sweet Jesus so much narration!
  • Shaun of the Dead: Perfection. Absolute perfection.

Of course, as a nice bonus, we also enjoyed a great new episode of “The Walking Dead” to top off the evening.

Eat Lots of Good Food

Check! We ate way too much Platter’s Chocolate and, as we did last year, made Crafty Zombie Cupcakes. Dinner was ham, smooshed taters, fried corn and hot rolls. It crushed us completely… for about an hour, then we had chocolate pie.

Play Some Games

Check! We did some of our favorite, Zombie Dice by Steve Jackson Games, but also spent time with the simple, but addictive Roll For It by Calliope Games. Both of these are simple, portable and easy to play.

Spend Some Time with Those You Love

Check! This was a nice, easy year for us. The kids spent more time than not with us, but they are teenagers, so did ignore us enough to maintain appearances at least.

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 2017 for the the eighth anniversary of Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters!

BEBE Logo_TransToBlackAlas, BEBE 2015, our sixth year, is over!  Four movies, a great short, some games and way, way too much food! Success!

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

Check! We ate way too much Platter’s Chocolate, many ugly Zombie Eyeballs, Brain Jello and Zombie Cookies. We also did Crafty Zombie Cupcakes for the first time and we’ll definitely be trying them again.

Play Some Games

Check! Not as many games this year, but we did some Zombie Dice by Steve Jackson Games, but were disappointed with the “School Bus” expansion pack. We got expansions three and four for Munchkin Zombies, but will have to try them out some other time.

Spend Some Time with Those You Love

Check! This was a good year for us. The weather sucked. It was chilly and rainy, but that just meant that it was nicer staying inside. The kids were grumpy and surly, but that’s teenagers, may they grow up before we kill them.

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 2016 for the the seventh anniversary of Boiled Eggs and Brain Eaters!

BEBE2015, Zombie DiceOur last new movie, “Zombie Hunter” wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it wasn’t really what you’d call “good”. More style over substance with a lot of cliche for flavor. As you probably expected, Danny Trejo was the highlight. Here’s something to blow your mind: Danny Trejo is 70 years old. I’m 43 and can’t sleep for more than four hours without having to get up and pee; this guy pumps out at least a dozen action movies a year. I’m in awe of him.

We’ll be eating dinner soon. Simple, but good: ham, potatoes, carrots and hot rolls. Then, as per tradition, we’ll be finishing up with “Shaun of the Dead” soon. It remains the perfect family zombie movie.

We also played some Zombie Dice with the “School Bus” expansion. Zombie Dice is one of our favorite “pick up and play” games, but gotta say: this expansion didn’t do it for us. It was too complicated and slowed things down. It’s also a pricey choice at $9 ($11 MSRP). Nutshell review: skip it.

BEBE2015, Cupcake ZombiesSo, the idea here is: zombies crawling from their graves. It didn’t completely work out that way… but the results have a lot of potential and are still delicious so we’re considering this a success!

Materials include:

  • Cupcakes. Just buy a box and follow the recipe.
  • Chocolate Frosting.
  • Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies.
  • Some green melting chocolate.
  • Some decorations or icing pens or whatever you like.

First bake your cupcakes and frost them. These are the “Graves” that your zombies will be bursting forth from. If you have the option, larger cupcakes are likely better; we found ours a bit small to work with. Then melt your chocolate in a microwave or double boiler, whichever you prefer. Now you’re going to coat your cookies. We screwed this up royally, then hit upon a much better solution.

At first our plan was to dip the cookies into the chocolate halfway, decorate then stuff the un-dipped end into the cupcake. Of course, as you might imagine, all this did was spilt the cupcake down the middle. Instead we evolved to just dunking the whole cookie into the chocolate. Use a fork to lift it out and let it dry on a rack. This will prevent the chocolate from puddling. After the chocolate dries, just cut the cookie in half to get two short zombies, or just cut a third off to get tall zombies and a lot of tasty cookie butts that can be eaten immediately.

Decorate the zombies however you like. We inserted candy eyes and mouths while the chocolate was still warm and used cake decorating pens for the details. Once the chocolate is cool and solid, you can stick your new zombies on their graves: the icing enough to hold them in place.

Using a sheet-cake instead of cupcakes is also an option. Note that if you use white chocolate (perhaps made a little grey) the same technique can be used to make excellent looking grave stones.