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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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...
Welcome to October of the Living Dead! In keeping with my tradition of devoting the spookiest month of the year to a film franchise--in 2020 it was October of the Corn and last year it was The Hellbound Halloween--this year I'm focusing on... Night of the Living Dead and Return of the Living Dead? Okay, sure. Those are closer to a top tier horror franchise than, say, any of the Children of the Corn films. And who knows, maybe by the end of this I'll like zombies more! Probably not, but it could happen!
Some movies become so ingrained in the cultural collective that we almost forget they're a movie. Like, my friend had never seen Highlander and knew next to nothing about it, but even he had heard, "There can only be one." But Highlander is indeed a movie, and one I hadn't seen in something like two decades, so I figured it was time to rewatch it. And it was totally worth it, if no other reason than I got to see goth biker Mr. Clancy Brown. You can see it, but I'm swooning.
Even with Movie Night taking a hiatus and then back with a relaxed schedule for a while, I still watch a lot of movies in a year. I don't mean that so much as a brag, but as a defense in this case. Devour is a psychological horror film starring Mr. Jensen "Dean Winchester" Ackles, and its poster caught my eye enough that I put it on for Movie Night. Simple enough, right? Well, turns out we had watched it back in 2018 and none of us remembered a single detail about it. Not the best look!
I feel like I usually have a fairly good idea on what a movie is about just from the premise. Not specifically every twist and turn, but for the most part I can watch a trailer and figure out if the movie's going to be a trainwreck or not. And I absolutely expected Becky to be a disaster. All you have to do is look at Mr. Kevin James and the swastika tattoo on the back of his head! Paul Blart as a neo-Nazi, trying a serious role? Bound to be a disaster. So imagine my surprise when this movie was not only not bad, but actually kind of good...