|By Charlie Goodrich||Saturday, 31 Jul 2010|
Don’t you love Chinese leftovers? Just when you’ve given up hope on finding an easy to make, yet delicious, meal you spot the Chinese box in the back of the fridge. Your eyes light up, and you can already taste the wonderful contents. In a matter of seconds you will be enjoying the remnants of a fine feast. Unfortunately, my feast of movies I found while in China overall left a bad taste in my mouth. While living in China, I amassed a nice collection of horror movies, and I love watching horror movies, even if I know they will be putrid. Here are some of the movies I watched during my stay in the Far East. Try not to get food poisoning while reading.
Awaken the Dead (2007)
Awaken the Dead is a zombie movie that does everything poorly. This is a very low budget, independent film. The acting is borderline painful. It reminded me of making movies for Spanish class in high school. Aside from the bad acting, the story is pathetic as well. It’s a very basic zombie story about a group of survivors held up in a house. They soon discover that the government is responsible for the zombies and they try to stop the people involved. This story has been done so many times. I was expecting a little bit of originality because this is an independent release, however, Awaken the Dead offers nothing new to the viewer. The main antagonist even resembles Albert Wesker from the Resident Evil series. This movie wasted my time and that made me mad. It could make for a funny time if I was drunk with a group of friends. Other than that scenario I will never attempt to watch this again. There are two classic lines delivered by the two main characters when they are about to sleep together.
Christopher: Your father would kill me if saw us in bed together. Mary: That may be the sexiest thing I’ve ever heard.
The Quick and the Undead (2006)
Another zombie movie. The Quick and the Undead has a much higher budget and better production than Awaken the Dead, although that isn’t saying much. The world was plunged into the past when the zombie outbreak occurred. There is an old west mentality among the survivors and people can get money for killing zombies. Other than the bounty hunter aspect, there is little to do with the old west in Quick and the Undead. It is as if the writer had a vision for a old west zombie universe but wasn’t creative enough to incorporate the wild west into the movie. Overall this is an interesting idea that doesn’t deliver and leaves the viewer unsatisfied.
War of the Dead (2006)
The theme of zombie movies continues. War of the Dead is another stab at an unconventional zombie movie. It manages to have a more creative story than Quick and the Undead and has no problems making fun of itself which is always a nice touch when the movie isn’t that good to begin with. War of the Dead is about a group of German World War II soldiers that hunt down the Americans who killed them. They go about killing them in some pretty ridiculous ways. Thankfully the FBI and a rookie cop are on the case to stop them before they kill more geriatrics. I watched this movie twice because it has a wonderful cheese factor to it. It is very low budget with no-name actors, but War of the Dead never takes itself seriously. It’s just a fun little movie.
Dance of the Dead (2005)
I will break up the zombie movies a little with Dance of the Dead. There are two reasons I bought this: one, it stars Robert Englund, and two, it was directed by Tobe Hooper. Based on the title I thought I was getting another zombie movie, but I was wrong. This is a post apocalyptic film that begins with a girl, Peggy, who works in a restaurant falling in love with a rebel (who has a heart of gold) and exploring the world. Peggy works for her mom in the restaurant every day so she has no idea what life is like outside the small town they live in. Peggy discovers a world of depravity and decadence outside her quiet little town and she soon becomes part of it. The movie is very slow and there isn’t enough Robert Englund. This made me sad, however, the movie ties up well at the end and there is a nice twist.
Platoon of the Dead (2009)
Back to the zombie movies. Platoon of the Dead rivals Awaken the Dead for lowest budget, worst acting, and poorest production values for this batch of leftovers. This movie is a must see on a drunk movie night. It is on a level of bad that didn’t exist until it was created. The story revolves around a group of soldiers hunting the undead when they get ambushed and how to take refuge in a house with some survivors. I lost interest about halfway through except when one of the soldiers tries to rape a girl and passes it off as nothing but a light hearted jest. It was a very uncomfortable exchange to have to watch and it leaves you dumbfounded when it is over. Besides this scene there is little else to mention. There was something about demons or some kind of evil being responsible for the zombies, but I don’t remember all the details. Good drunk movie night film just because everything is so bad.
Dying God (2009)
Dying God is an interesting horror movie. It is about a rather corrupt cop in South America who must solve the mystery of dying prostitutes. It is revealed that a monster is killing them with his huge penis as he tries to impregnate them. Unfortunately for the monster his penis is too big and he ends up ripping apart their insides. Interested in seeing this movie now? Probably not but it does have the legendary Lance Henriksen as a wheelchair bounded pimp. Other than his performance (which I am completely biased towards because it’s Lance Henriksen) the movie is bad. The effects, acting, and script are all laughable. It takes itself way too seriously to even make for a good addition as a drunk movie night film.
Murder Party (2007)
This movie took me completely by surprise. I had no idea what was going to happen or what kind of quality Murder Party would be. The other movies on this list don’t put Murder Party in the more favorable of lights, but this was a hidden gem. This is more of a suspense/comedy movie rather than a horror movie but I was fooled by the box so I will throw it in here. The plot is very simple: a normal guy finds an invitation to a Halloween party and decides to go. He goes to the address and is immediately tied up. A group of art students have decided that they want to kill someone for the sake of art. The way the movie portrays the students is hilarious. Every stereotype you’ve ever heard about college art students is in this movie. What makes this movie stand out is how well it is acted. The main character plays the part of lovable loser perfectly and the art students go beyond what this movie would have normally called for. They could have all given ho-hum performances because this is an independent film that most people will never watch, but they chose to take these characters and make them vibrant. Their attempts to kill this poor man are funny and engaging, while the whole movie moves along at a great pace. The writing is well done and there are even some nice special effects. Screw drunk movie night, Murder Party is a worthy contender for sober movie night!