4 Shots From 4 Films: Dawn of the Dead, The Grapes of Death, Halloween, Martin


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 1978 Horror Films:

Dawn of the Dead (1978, dir by George Romero)

The Grapes of Death (1978, dir by Jean Rollin)

Halloween (1977, dir by John Carpenter)

Martin (1978, dir by George Romero)

6 Good Films That Were Not Nominated For Best Picture: The 1970s


David Niven at the 1974 Oscars

Continuing our look at good films that were not nominated for best picture, here are 6 films from the 1970s.

Dirty Harry (1971, dir by Don Siegel)

“Well, I’m all torn up about his rights….” Detective Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) says after being informed that he’s not allow to torture suspects for information.  Unfortunately, in this case, the Academy agreed with all the critics who called Harry a menace and this classic and influential crime film was not nominated.  Not even Andy Robinson picked up a nomination for his memorably unhinged turn as Scorpio.

Carrie (1976, dir by Brian DePalma)

The Academy liked Carrie enough to nominate both Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.  The film itself, however, went unnominated.  It’s enough to make you want to burn down the prom.

Suspiria (1977, dir by Dario Argento)

In a perfect world, Goblin would have at least taken home an Oscar for the film’s score.  In the real world, unfortunately, Argento’s masterpiece was totally snubbed by the Academy.

Days of Heaven (1978, dir by Terence Malick)

If it were released today, Terence Malick’s dream-like mediation of life during the depression would definitely be nominated.  In 1978, perhaps, the Academy was still not quite sure what to make of Malick’s beautiful but often opaque cinematic poetry.

Halloween (1978, dir by John Carpenter)

“The night he came home!” should have been “The night he went to the Oscars!”  The film received no nominations and it’s a shame.  Just imagine Donald Pleasence winning for his performance as Loomis while John Carpenter racked up almost as many nominations as Alfonso Cuaron did this year for Roma.

Dawn of the Dead (1978, dir by George Romero)

If the Academy wasn’t willing to nominate Night of the Living Dead, there was no way that they would go for the film’s longer and bloodier sequel.  But perhaps they should have.  Few films are cited as an inspiration as regularly as Dawn of the Dead.

Up next, in about an hour, the 1980s!

 

4 Shots From 4 George Romero Films: The Crazies, Dawn of the Dead, Martin, Land of the Dead


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

It’s time.

4 Shots From 4 George Romero Films

The Crazies (1973, dir by George Romero)

Dawn of the Dead (1978, dir by George Romero)

Martin (1978, dir by George Romero)

Land of the Dead (2005, dir by George Romero)

16 Trailers In Honor of George Romero


One year ago today, George Romero passed away.  In honor of his memory, here’s a very special edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film trailers!

In tribute George Romero, here are the trailers for every film Romero directed.  Enjoy!

  1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

2. There’s Always Vanilla (1971)

3. Season of the Witch (1973)

4. The Crazies (1973)

5. Martin (1978)

6. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

7. Knightriders (1981)

8. Creepshow (1982)

9. Day of the Dead (1985)

10. Monkey Shines (1988)

11. Two Evil Eyes (1990)

12. The Dark Half (1993)

13. Bruiser (2000)

14. Land of the Dead (2005)

15. Diary of the Dead (2007)

16. Survival of the Dead (2009)

Rest in peace, George Romero.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special George Romero Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

This October, I am going to be using our 4 Shots From 4 Films feature to pay tribute to some of my favorite horror directors, in alphabetical order!  That’s right, we’re going from Argento to Zombie in one month!

Today’s director is one of the most important names in the history of American horror cinema, George Romero!

4 Shots From 4 Films

Night of the Living Dead (1968, dir by George Romero)

Dawn of the Dead (1978, dir by George Romero)

Day of the Dead (1985, dir by George Romero)

Land of the Dead (2005, dir by George Romeo)

Horror Scenes That I Love: Life and Death in Dawn of the Dead


Today’s horror scene that I love is from George Romero’s 1978 zombie masterpiece, Dawn of the Dead.

The first time I saw this film, I was so upset when Roger died.  Not only was Roger my favorite character but I also knew that if Roger — who was so funny and so charismatic and so competent — couldn’t survive then that meant that no one was going to survive.

4 Shots From Horror History: Suspiria, Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, Zombi 2


This October, I’m going to be doing something a little bit different with my contribution to 4 Shots From 4 Films.  I’m going to be taking a little chronological tour of the history of horror cinema, moving from decade to decade.

Today, we close out the 70s!

4 Shots From 4 Films

Suspiria (1977, dir by Dario Argento)

Suspiria (1977, dir by Dario Argento)

Dawn of the Dead (1978, dir by George Romero)

Dawn of the Dead (1978, dir by George Romero)

Halloween (1978, dir by John Carpenter)

Halloween (1978, dir by John Carpenter)

Zombi 2 (1979, dir by Lucio Fulci)

Zombi 2 (1979, dir by Lucio Fulci)

Horror Scenes I Love: Dawn of the Dead (1978)


outbreak-of-chaos-original

Anyone who have gotten to know me throughout the years (decades even) know one indisputable fact and that’s one of my favorite films of all-time is George A. Romero’s classic horror masterpiece, Dawn of the Dead.

This film is not just a great horror film, but just a great film. Sure, some have said that it hasn’t aged well, but those detractors only see the era it was filmed in. If one looks part that then they can see that Dawn of the Dead works just as well now as it did when it premiered in 1978.

One of my favorite scenes in the film is actually the beginning of the film. It’s rare that a film can fully capture and explain an overriding theme in the film’s narrative right from the beginning, but Romero did it and did it well.

The scene I’m talking about is the film’s intro that’s set in a chaotic Pittsburgh TV station. It’s a scene of chaos because the zombie apocalypse is already in full swing and people have begun to lose their trust in the fourth estate. In times of crisis the people depend on the news to bring to them answers or, at the very least, the correct information to survive said crisis. In Dawn of the Dead, the fourth estate has failed as in that they’ve become just as unreliable as the rest of the mechanisms which make civilization operate.

Even when the right information was being relayed by the the guest scientist in the scene, the audience reaction (the tv station crew themselves) was one of exasperation and disbelief. This scene would influence future zombie apocalypse stories both in film, tv and print in that the people would lose faith and trust in the very institution who were supposed to be trusted to be objective and informative.

This is just one of several scenes from Dawn of the Dead which I consider a favorite, but then the entire film I would consider a favorite scene as a whole in a story that hasn’t ended.

Review: The Walking Dead S4E04 “Indifference”


TheWalkingDeadS4

“You can’t be afraid to kill.” — Carol Peletier

This week the godfather of the zombie genre was interviewed and the question of The Walking Dead was brought up. Well, it would seem that George A. Romero turned down the offer to direct a couple of episodes of The Walking Dead. His answer was that the show was really just a soap opera with the occasional zombie. His answer hasn’t sit well with fans of the show while those who have been major critics and detractors of it feel content at hearing their argument validated. Yet, it’s those very words that probably just gave the best answer as to why The Walking Dead the show continues to get huge ratings and just gain more and more fans with each new season…with each new episode.

Yes, it is a soap opera with zombies and we all know just how ridiculously popular soap operas can be when it hits a particular button with the general public. I think the writers and producers of the show know this to be true.

“Indifference” marks the fourth episode of the new season and it focuses on that very soap opera-ish aspect of the show that Romero spoke about in his interview. Yet, as the show delves more on the character interactions and conflicts with this episode it does so minus the flaws from past attempts which led to nowhere and no growth for the characters involved. Tonight’s episode explores the theme of not just the indifference which has settled on some of the survivors but also the concept of entropy which the zombie apocalypse itself has ultimately brought to the world from it’s very onset.

We see the time spent between Carol and Rick during this episode a battle of wills between two characters who become integral part of the groups survival dynamics since season 1. Yet, we see only true growth with Carol in this season. She has come a long way from the meek, silent abused housewife from season 1 to a battle-hardened leader-type who’s willing to make the difficult decision in behalf of the group. This used to be Rick’s role in the past three season, but the burden of leadership seemed to have weighed too much on this father of two. His decision during the timeskip to stop being the group’s leader and just become a farmer looks more and more like the very indifference and entropy tonight’s episode has been exploring.

Does Carol’s actions in killing both Karen and David make her out to be villain or does it just goes to show that she’s learned not to be afraid to kill if it means saving the rest of the group. She knows that what she did many wouldn’t understand, but she also knows that Karen and David were already dead and a danger to everyone. Her decision to unilaterally kill the two might have been correct when thought through logically, but Rick doesn’t see it that way. His reaction and decision to exile Carol was Rick’s emotional and attempt to hold onto the concept of humanity for the sake of Carl and Judith. Even as he drives away he understand that his decision might be wrong, but his narrow vision on trying to protect his children from calculated and logical decisions was another form of Rick’s indifference at the world as it is now and not as he wants it to be.

There’s change coming on the show’s group dynamics and we just don’t see it between Carol and Rick, but just as important between Tyreese and the rest of the scavenging group, Bob and Daryl and between Daryl and Michonne. We see Tyreese’s continue his change from the compassionate survivor who confessed to not having the stomach to killing the zombies day in and day out. His inconsolable rage from losing Karen (to a certain extent one of his last grasps in keeping his humanity) has made him a liability as he loses focus in his rage. yet, it’s this very indifference to whether he lives or dies that could become Tyreese’s ultimate wake-up call to become a better survivor in the long-run. The same couldn’t be said for Bob who we find out has already seen two groups of survivors not make it through with him being the only survivor. Just like Rick he has retreated back from trying to make things work through the very bottle he himself confessed probably killed Zach in the season’s premiere episode.

The show has improved from season to season. Season 4 looks to be more focused than seasons past. It still has some problems with having too many characters who do nothing but act as cannon fodder and/or plot devices (example Ana and Sam just for tonight’s episode). But even with the show looking like it’s just about talking and more talking it still manages to move the story forward when in the past it led things in circles. Yes, it’s this very dialogue-heavy and interpersonal conflicts that gives the show it’s soap opera label, but this season it’s this very drama that has made it very interesting on top of entertaining.

While Romero’s decision to turn down directing episodes of the show was based on this very soap opera-ish part of the show one has to remember that zombie fiction, even Romero’s very own classic films from Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead to Day of the Dead lived off of the very soap opera-like narrative and conflicts that The Waling Dead just happens to use and mine with each new episode. I don’t think the show will ever shed this part of it’s storytelling style. It’s a major appeal to the legion of fans who love and follow the show. It’s both a pro and con for the series. The question that continues to be explored with each new episode is whether Scott M. Gimple as the series’ new showrunner will be able to sustain this pace and not lose it in the end the way Mazzara did in season 3.

Notes

  • Tonight’s episode, “Indifference”, was directed by Tricia Brock and written by Matt Negrete.
  • A great cold opening with Carol doing her best warrior-mom role to make sure Lizzie doesn’t fear what needs to be done to survive. All the while this is happening we see Rick walking through the crime scene of Karen and David’s death and imagining just exactly how Carol did the deed.
  • Tyreese is really raging in tonight’s episode and doesn’t bode well for his long-term well-being if he continues to put the rest of the group in danger.
  • It looks like tonight’s episode will only use a small part of the cast which should keep irrelevant interactions to a bare minimum.
  • Bob confesses to having to bear witness to two previous groups of survivors he’s been a part of lose their fight against the zombies (and maybe other humans). I know that there’s been no sign of the Governor since the final episode of last season, but could Bob be talking of having been part of the Woodbury group.
  • We get two new redshirts in tonight’s episode with the very happy and wanting to help to a fault Ana and Sam. The story they told Rick and Carol about how they’ve survived in the housing community for so long sounds credible enough, but one could see Rick and Carol (especially Rick) not believing most of what’s being told to them.
  • It will be interesting to see how Rick will explain to the group in the prison (and to Daryl) just exactly what happened to Carol and whether he will tell them the truth of why she’s not with them anymore.
  • Talking Dead Guests: WWE wrestler Chris Jericho and Community‘s own Britta, Gillian Jacobs.

Season 4