Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sprak! The Sound Of Zombies making love

It’s been a frenzy of reminiscing in the funhouse the last couple of days… and I do mean frenzy. You see, The Mercury Cinema was showing Lucio Fulci’s 1979 classic gut wrencher ZOMBIE (aka Zombie Flesheaters) as part of some Italian film fest and I just had to see the ol’ rotten flesh tottering around on the big screen. I still remember back in the 80’s hunting down Fulci films, third and fourth generation copies trying to get them uncut and full-gore. Now they’re all being reissued on DVD uncut and cheap! It sort of takes the shine off the hunt and the kids have got it too easy but what the hell, I can’t begrudge them that can I? So, anyway I went along and saw Zombie in all its ‘gory’ on a big screen and it was fun, damn it, good old fashioned fun. From the badly dubbed nonsense (you gotta wonder sometimes if what they say is what the Eyeties really meant or whether it just don’t translate so well) to the cardboard characters to the old school zombie blood, guts and rotten meat, no computer graphics here. (Now, I didn’t stay around for the film student blather after where I’m sure over the free red and pizza I could have heard many a discourse on what Fulci was actually trying to say about urban decay, religious tolerance and the role of the noble savage in today’s world – nah, I fucked off home to get some more beer in and to watch Friday Night Fights on ESPN)
It was a blast from my past and it got me remembering just how much I was into the old splatter pix and zombie flix back in the day. Hell, I used to do a zine called "Splatter Videos & Cult Classicks" – of course I was into this shit. So, last night I went to my local video shop and dug around for some of that good old splat and gore. Found a few too and I’m gonna spend the next week being young again – beer, babe and zombies – I’ll just turn the light off and pretend the couch is the front seat of my old HD Holden.
First off the rank was that classic 1985 flick The RE-ANIMATOR by Stuart Gordon. I remember at the time that he was the next big thing – he was gonna bring the glory back to the monster flick – dunno what happened but he petered out pretty quick for mine. Still, Re-animator stands up remarkably well – The story of Herbert West’s maniacal drive to discover the very essence of life is brought to the screen beautifully by Jeffrey Combs, a more manic young doctor you’d be hard pressed to find. Ably supported by Barbara Crampton (was she hot then or what?) and the rest of the cast this movie was filmed brilliantly, utilising their shortcomings and low budget to make a gritty, dark and at times scary movie while still giving the gore-hounds a solid sprak! o’ grue. Twenty years on and I still got a chuckle from the infamous ‘head’ scene and still love that ending. The effects still hold up, the premise holds up, the cast – it’s all still good. Next week I might just have to watch the Bride…
Unfortunately for me, like all drive in doubles you run the risk of the second flick sucking badly (which I guess is still better than your date sucking badly).
BURIAL GROUND aka Nights of Terror aka Zombie 3 (cash in? never?) was apparently previously banned in this country. Pity they got the ban lifted. Now, look I like zombie flix, especially Italian zombie flix – despite the bad acting, bad dubbing and atrocious make-up. But the good ones at least try and give you some sort of plot, no matter how banal it may be. Zombie for instance has the girl looking for her father, so you have an interest in her welfare, you know who the hero and heroine is, you can understand their motives for being in some godforsaken hole surrounded by weirdos and living dead corpses. Burial Ground forgot that, we don’t give a rat’s arse about the three couples who show up at the house – there is no attempt to give us any background – just a couple of cheap tit shots (b-grade but ok) and some piss poor grue. The only ‘highlight’? is the weird kid and his strange relationship with his mum. That was what got it banned in the first place I’m guessing. Mind you Burial Ground did give us one thing I can’t recall seeing before in the old zombie flix – these zombies used tools! Yep, a sickle, axes, even a battering ram – that was something new (at least in the Italian version). Also, how come all the folk that got chewed on then turned up as zombies at the end. If you get ripped apart by the living dead earlier in the flick how can you show up whole and zombied later? Even monster flix need some sort of ‘reality’. So, there it was, a night at the funhouse drive-in – one good flick, one bad flick, some beer and corn chips, a babe, some topshelf (both on the screen and on the seat) and away home with blue balls and a gut full of suds and salsa – who says you can’t be young again?
Stay tuned for the next trip down mammary lane.
One final tip though – if you are ever going to be accosted by zombies or the flesh eating dead make sure they are Italian not American. You see the Eyetie zombies move much slower – you can get away from them. In fact I can never work out why the victims don’t – hell, some shambling corpse teetering after you and you can’t out run them! They’ve been dead for fucking years people, how hard can it be?


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Liked the zombie rave, but. :)

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