So last week I talked about Brightburn being disappointing and how it made me long for--and I quote--"a mockumentary from 2000 about a fake boy band." Very specific, right? Well let's take a trip back two decades and talk about a forgotten... "gem" isn't the right word because this isn't an objectively good MTV made-for-TV movie, but it knew exactly what it was and leaned into it appropriately.
Okay, you guys. You guys! I have a million dollar idea. No, a billion dollar idea! Are you ready? You're not ready, but here we go: what if--take a moment and think about this--what if... Superman... was evil? I know, right?! Groundbreaking. Revolutionary. Just think about how much--wait, what? WHAT DO YOU MEAN THIS HAS BEEN DONE A THOUSAND TIMES BEFORE?! Fuck... FUCK!! Fine! Whatever! I'll stick with just talking about movies, then, I fucking guess.
Anticipation makes the heart grow fonder, or something like that. Back in 2020 when the plan was to go to a movie theater each week--you know, before the world ended--Antlers was a movie I was pumped to see. It's a mainstream wendigo movie! That's a cryptid I am inordinately fond of! And thankfully, the anticipation paid off better than The Lodge, because this movie is certainly passable.
Saying you're not a fan of Mr. M Night Shyamalan's later work is a pretty basic opinion these days. No one enjoyed The Last Airbender; and while The Happening is generally pointed to as his worst film, I will go to my grave saying Lady in the Water is objectively worse. So I did not have high hopes for Old when I first heard about it. And now that I've seen it, I can say that it's another disappointment from a man who had so much potential. What a twist.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Finally, some good fucking content. After slogging through Night of the Living Dead and The Return of the Living Dead sequels, I set some time aside to watch an actually good movie near the end of October of the Dead (and also a really bad one, but we'll get to that on Halloween proper). Shaun of the Dead is a parody of all the other zombie movies and stands out as a really fun watch. You know what? I keep going back and forth on it, but I think this is officially my favorite zombie movie! Honestly not sure why it took me so long to fully realize that.
The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Most people don't have perfect memories. Details get blurred, forgotten, or flat out exchanged. For example, the iconic line "We're gonna need a bigger boat," in Jaws was actually, "You're gonna need a bigger boat," and so on. I bring this up today because while most of the Return of the Living Dead series is completely forgettable, one element of it seems to have been associated with Mr. George A Romero's movies and has flavored how the public thinks of zombies. Just little things I've noticed during October of the Living Dead.
Survival of the Dead (2009)
Survival of the Dead was Mr. George A Romero's last film he directed before passing in 2017. The man is an absolute legend in the horror genre, effectively creating the zombie subgenre as we know it today. Night of the Living Dead will most likely forever be looked at as a classic. As for all his other movies? Wildly varying quality with Survival being one of his worst. Whoops.
Diary of the Dead (2007)
This movie is a bit nostalgic to me. Back near the beginning of Movie Night, we had a friend who supplied us with a plethora of cheap horror DVDs. Shout out to Tim, who I'm not even sure knows this blog exists... Anyway, Diary of the Dead was one of those movies we watched something like over a decade ago, so I only remembered a few details. Forgotten was that this was directly created by Mr. George A Romero, which makes the fact that it's bad found footage all the more sad. Welcome back to October of the Living Dead.
Land of the Dead (2005)
I have a specific type of brain rot where I associate some actors with specific roles and just see them as that character no matter what they're in. Mr. Joel McHale will always be lovable loser Jeff Winger, no matter how serious his role in Becky tries to be. In this particular case, Land of the Dead features Luigi Mario and King Koopa. They even have a climactic fight amidst a zombie revolution! And the whole movie was just okay.
Day of the Dead (1985)
I think it's fairly safe to assume most people haven't seen the majority of the Night of the Living Dead sequels, Dawn of the Dead being the exception. That's just kind of how it goes, right? Tell people the upcoming Hellraiser film is the 11th in the franchise and their eyes go wide. Even I haven't seen most of these zombie films before watching them for October of the Living Dead. But I found myself surprised at how much I liked Day of the Dead! The zombie costumes looked better, the pacing was better, and Bub was a precious cinnamon roll that I would die for. Who's that? Well...