★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ Just as zombie films really aren’t about zombies, nor are heist films about heists. Sure there’s the undead roaming across the screen and the heist film brings you the extra-elaborate scheme to get the goods, but neither is really about what they claim. If you’re a follower of horror (and we know you are) you know that many things in horror are simply devices to get to the heart of the matter. Human emotions.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ In the increasingly fast-paced world of horror sometimes it’s really nice to bathe in a simple and pastoral story. The intensity of fast zombies, flying chainsaws, and hyper-speed ghouls has a time and place, but it’s also a nice bit of calm when the characters and the story unfold in a relaxed and less apocalyptic way.
★★ out of ★★★★★ Some will say the epicenter of the Fulci universe lie in the greatness of the gory triptych: The New York Ripper, The House by the Cemetery, and The Beyond. Others will point to the earlier, less gory but equally frightening confines of The Psychic, Don't Torture a Duckling, and A Lizard in a Woman's Skin. No matter where you fall on the Lucio Fulci spectrum it’s awfully hard to argue about his immense and ever-lasting output. Stanley Kubrik only directed 13 films. But Fulci? He directed 61.
★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ One medium with possibly more sub-genres than horror is futbol, AKA, football, AKA soccer. There’s so many villains, tales, rivalries, and subtext to the beautiful game. Much like horror its a bottomless barrel of impossible possibilities. The other medium with more sub-genres than futbol and horror? Zombies.
Wow! The French sure know how to do it right. Not only does this film poster look nothing like the...
★ out of ★★★★★ Laughably bad CGI. Overcooked and undercooked use of green screen. A shrill, bothersome, and awkward performance by Alicia Silverstone. And the sharks don’t even appear until the 50+ minute mark. These are just a few of problems with The Requin that could honestly fill an ocean.
★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ The 1930s and 40s brought us ghoulish voodoo zombies. The 1960s and 70s graciously brought us trundling brain-fixated zombies. The early 2000s somewhat quixotically brought us hyper-speed zombies. And now in the 2020s we’re being treated (emphasis on the sarcasm) to sadistic, cruel, and mean-spirited zombies. Good, bad, or indifferent this is the brutish zombie world we now live in.
★★ out of ★★★★★ Gone are the days of Bub from Day of the Dead. Gone are the days of the zombie nurse, the fat guy, and the Hare Krishna from Dawn of the Dead. Gone are the half-dogs and headless zombies from Return of the Living Dead. Most importantly, gone is a fun but serious dissection of societal woes and man’s modern day pitfalls. IInstead we’re now being fed a pile of ghastly super-hero zombies, that shriek like space aliens, set inside a hyper-realized video game construct. It’s a sad state of affairs to be sure. One might even say that the zombie genre has jumped the shark, or in this case the albino zombie tiger.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Much of the history of native peoples in horror film, or in this case Canada’s First Nation people, has been beset by misunderstandings, skepticism about tribal rituals, and outright racism. These troubling portrayals throughout horror’s uneven relationship with non-Euro traditions has manifested itself in a series of clumsy attempts to capture the native condition. This, in turn, has played out with mysterious and prescient shamans, strange and incomplete tribal rites, and silly depictions of day-to-day tribal life. That was the case until 2020, with the release of the superb Blood Quantum.
At Portland Wizard World we were fortunate enough to do a panel in front of a live audience, where we got to be your discount Rick Steve's travel guides for a trip around the globe and looking at other countries through their horror films!