Zombie Film Fridays: Undead or Alive: A Zombedy

If you have not seen Undead or Alive: A Zombedy go out and see it! It’s hugely entertaining and you’ll love Chris Kattan!

In a world devastated by an outbreak, Brian, his girlfriend Bobby, his brother Danny and their friend, Kate, are heading to a beach where the brothers spent their childhood vacations expecting it to be a sanctuary. When their car breaks down on the road in the desert, they negotiate with a man called Frank, who is also stranded but without gas. He is trying to get his daughter Jodie to the hospital (she is infected with a disease of some kind), they all decide to travel together. During the journey, massive moral dilemmas arise, as events head into a downward spiral.

My Rating: A

Interesting Facts: When Ben is cut down from the noose of the hanging post you can clearly see his tongue when the priest is over him. Yet earlier in the movie it is explained that Ben had eaten his own tongue and when Elmer and Luke take turns shooting at a tin can, the can is a modern version. Tin cans from that era would not have “beading” – the ridges that ring a modern can to give the shape strength and stability.

And now it’s time for the trailer!


Chewing Braaiiinns with… Ray Wallace

Today I’m featuring another segment of my series ‘Chewing Braaiiinns with…’ and interviewing author Ray Wallace. Haven’t heard of Ray yet? Well, let’s get you all acquainted…

ray-wallace-photoRay Wallace hails from the Tampa, FL area and is the author of THE NAMELESS, THE HELL SEASON, the short story collection LETTING THE DEMONS OUT, and the One Way Out novels ESCAPE FROM ZOMBIE CITY and ESCAPE FROM ZOMBIE ISLAND. He also writes reviews for chizine.com.

Welcome Ray. So why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

Zombie fiction has it all. Monsters. Pandemic. The collapse of civilization. Questions of morality. Fight for survival. Pretty much every horror trope imaginable can be found within the confines of a zombie story. And that’s why it’s such an enduring scenario for dark fiction writers everywhere. For the sheer fun of it, I don’t know if anything beats writing a zombie story. And, judging by the volume of zombie tales out there, it would seem I’m far from alone in feeling this way.

Tell us about your latest project; published or otherwise.

Escape from Zombie Island just came out. It’s a follow-up to Escape from Zombie City which did well enough with Apex Publications that another One Way Out book seemed in order. It’s not a sequel though. Both books can be read independently of one another.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

Back when I was in grade school, we had a book club through which I purchased a number of Choose Your Own Adventure books. (I managed to hold onto them all these years later.) Fairly recently I had this idea: How much fun would it be to create a CYOA style book in which the reader finds him/herself in the middle of a zombie outbreak? And what if only one of all the possible endings resulted in the reader’s survival? Thus the One Way Out concept was born. I decided to put both the standard, slow-moving zombies along with the fast, 28 Days Later style infected maniacs in the books. So I think it’s more of the experience of the books I’ve written rather than the zombies themselves that helps set them apart from the hordes of other undead novels out there.

That’s a very interesting premise! What are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

I am Legend by Richard Matheson. (Yeah, I know the creatures are more vampiric in nature but this is the prototypical zombie apocalypse book.) Both of the John Skipp and Craig Spector Books of the Dead. World War Z, of course. And a book that came out a while back which I believe does not get the attention it deserves in light of the recent explosion in zombie popularity: Philip Nutman’s Wet Work. Any zombie fans out there who haven’t read it really should.

I haven’t read Wet Work yet, but I did snag a copy of it a few months ago in a second-hand book store. Now I want to read! What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

I don’t want to just make a list of Romero films so I’ll pick one: Night of the Living Dead. I also love the semi-humorous Return of the Living Dead. And then I’ll have to go with Re-Animator. It’s got reanimated corpses in it so I think it counts as a zombie film. And it’s one of my all time favorite horror movies period.

Great choices! Do you think the popularity of The Walking Dead and its appearance in mainstream media has helped to increase the popularity of the genre, or has there always been such an interest?

The interest in zombies has been there for quite some time now but there’s no doubt The Walking Dead has taken it to another level. I know people who’ve never read a zombie book in their lives—or cared all that much about watching zombie movies—who love the show. Somehow, TWD has managed to touch a nerve with the viewing public which is great. The more zombie fans, the better, I say.

Pop Quiz: If the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, 5 things found in the room you are currently sitting will be your weapons – what are they?

A chair. A lamp. A computer tower. A book. (Actually, all kinds of books.) And an electric guitar. I think the electric guitar would work best as a weapon. Hold it by the neck and give it a good swing and you could really do some damage with it.

I’m sorry to have to say this Ray, but I think you may be doomed…

On a brighter note, let’s take a sneak peek into Escape from Zombie Island…

zombieisland_300x200While vacationing at an island resort, you watch as a small airplane crashes on the beach then bursts into flames. Trapped inside, the pilot tosses a metal canister leaking a black gas free of the plane. Those who breathe in the gas undergo a strange and terrifying transformation. A short while later, they die. Unfortunately, they don’t stay dead.

As night falls and a storm rolls in off the ocean, the living dead spread across the island like a plague. Before long nowhere is safe, including the hotel where you’ve been staying. All that matters now is finding a way off the island before you fall prey to the hungry dead. Or become one of them yourself.

Whether or not you live through the night depends solely on the choices you make. One bad decision could get you killed.

With any luck, you just might find the One Way Out and…

Escape from Zombie Island.

Now it’s time for you to choose your own adventure – you can choose to click on the cover and be taken away to purchase this book from Amazon, or you can decide to not add what sounds like a highly entertaining read to your life. The choice is yours…

I’d like to thank Ray for taking the time to answer my probing questions. If you’d like to keep tabs on Ray (and who wouldn’t want to), you can find him on Facebook or his website!

Zombie Film Fridays: A Little Bit Zombie

This Friday, we’re featuring another Canadian zombie flick – A Little Bit Zombie. Last week, a good friend of mine mentioned that I should watch this film, not knowing of course that I have seen it a few times. It’s funny and quirky and worth a watch!

Infected by a virus, a mild mannered HR manager attempts to fulfill his overwhelming desire for brains, all while trying to keep it together so as not to incur the wrath of his bridezilla-to-be.

My Rating: B+

Interesting Fact: This movie was crowd-source funded and it was completely filmed in Sudbury, Ontario!

And now it’s time for the trailer!

Chewing Braaiiinns with… Marc Quaranta

Today we have a fantastic interview with Marc Quaranta who has just released a new book Dead Last this past week. Let’s take a moment and get ourselves acquainted with Marc…

481800_529577983719370_1871293114_nMarc Quaranta, 25 years of age, was born in St. Charles, Illinois before moving to Carmel, Indiana where he grew up. As a Video Production major at Ball State University, Marc planned to spend his life writing screenplays and moved to Hollywood, but after giving fiction writing a try, Marc found his new passion. After only a year of writing, Marc’s first book, Abilities was published in October of 2012 by Ring of Fire Publishing. With three solo books and two collaborations due out by the end of 2013, Marc is quickly getting his name out there.

Contact Marc on Facebook or on Twitter. You can also see what Marc is up to on his daily blog: http://marcqbeherenow.wordpress.com/.

Why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

Zombies are an interesting villain. They are slow, dumb, and easy to kill—a simple stabbing to the brain will do it, but they travel in packs and that is when it really becomes a problem. The greatest thing about zombies, though, is that they really bring out people’s real character. There are so little that people, in the stories, know about the living dead so there is that mystery behind them and usually when they finally understand, it is too little too late.

Tell us about your latest project.

Dead Last Volume 1 is the story of a bunch of strangers that take shelter inside a local TV station after an airborne virus wipes out over half of the world’s population. They don’t realize that there are zombies walking around until the final pages of the book. Most of the time they are dealing with what is going on around them; lack of food, scared to step outside, people that are trying to steal what they have. The biggest threat to themselves is actually themselves.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

What makes my zombies different? Nothing. What makes my story about zombies different? So much. This isn’t your typical “people running from zombies so they stay alive” kind of story. This is a character driven piece. You can actually see characters developing within the pages. But the best thing about Dead Last? The story is told from five different characters perspectives. You get to live inside the world of the doctor, the jackass, the leader, the bitch, and the insane.

What are your favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

World War Z was the latest that I read and I loved the way it was written. It was a fresh take on the zombie genre. The Walking Dead comics are great, too. Much different from the actual show.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

The original Night Of The Living Dead was terrifying. The black and white. The originality of the genre. It was a great movie. I also enjoyed Dawn of the Dead. It didn’t have the best storyline, but it was another great story of people trying to survive each other while they survived the zombies. Finally, Shaun of the Dead. To be able to take such scary material like zombies and make it a hilarious movie was brilliant. It doesn’t get much better than Shaun.

Do you think the popularity of The Walking Dead and its appearance in mainstream media has helped to increase the popularity of the genre, or has there always been such an interest?

The Walking Dead helped the zombie genre by leaps and bounds. It added something that most of these stories didn’t have and that is simply character development. It was a story about real people trying to survive. It wasn’t about “when will the zombies attack” it was just about “what will these people do next to survive?” The Walking Dead is the reason that zombies are once again so popular.

Pop Quiz: If the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, 5 things found in the room you are currently sitting will be your weapons – what are they?

I would use the leg off of my coffee table. 2 of the rods off of both my standing lamps. A picture frame… I feel like the corner of it would be able to do some damage. Finally, I’d use a blanket. It would be perfect to throw over a zombie’s head so it couldn’t bite me.

You may well survive Marc… Maybe! Let’s take a sneak peek into Last Dead Volume 1

Dead Last Cover FinalAfter an airborne virus wipes out over half of the world’s population, a group of strangers take shelter inside WTIX, a TV station just outside of Indianapolis. Two alpha males, Kurt and Jack, quickly take charge of the group, but problems arise when the two can’t get along. As food and water run low, several people get sick, but the group worries it is because of the virus looming outside. The group begins to break from within and is torn between siding with Jack or Kurt. When they finally decide to break isolation and head to the hospital, they learn that the contaminated air may be the least of their problems. The biggest threat they have to deal with is themselves and they realize that it is never good to finish Dead Last.

Don’t forget to click on the cover and you’ll be whisked away to Amazon!

Thank you Marc for taking the time to answer my questions!

Zombie Film Fridays: Dead and Breakfast

Zombie Film Fridays is alive with a great ZomCom called Dead & Breakfast. If you haven’t seen this one, you’re going to want to – it’s got crazy comedy in all the right places and just the right amount of cheese to satisfy your desire for it!

Six friends take a road trip to Galveston in an RV for the wedding of their friend, Kelly. The driver, Johnny, gets lost and they arrive in the small town of Lovelock and his friends Sara, Kate, Melody, Christian, and David, decide to spend the night in the Bed and Breakfast owned by the creepy Mr. Robert Wise. David has an argument with the chef of the inn, Henri, and when the chef is found dead and Mr. Wise has a heart attack in the middle of the night, the local Sheriff suspects the group of travelers and tells his Deputy, Enus to seize the keys to their RV and stay in Lovelock for the duration of the investigation. Then the Sheriff arrests “The Mysterious Drifter” who soon becomes his prime suspect. When the clumsy Johnny accidentally breaks an ancient exotic wooden box belonging to Mr. Wise, he releases the terrible, monstrous “Kuman Thong” and the evil spirit held inside escapes and possesses all the local town folk, transforming them into zombies. Ultimately, “The Mysterious Drifter”, becomes our Hero. He is a long time student of powers from “the other side”, and a relentless hunter of the dreaded, evil “Kuman Thong”. He is the only one who knows how to fight and kill the evil spirit, which he does with the help of Sara and Melody, saving only the two remaining girls and himself, before leaving the destroyed horrible and destroyed Bed & Breakfast, and the pitiful ravaged town of Lovelock behind for good.

My Rating: A-

Interesting Facts: The Bed and Breakfast house is located at the Concannon Winery in Livermore, CA. While it is unusable and has been for many years, there is talk of it being renovated into a real bed and breakfast in the future, 34 gallons of “blood” were used over the course of the shoot. 4.5 gallons of “blood” were used just to cut off Erik Palladino’s head, and Erik Palladino’s driver’s license is still blood stained from his battle with a chainsaw.

And now its time for the trailer!

Zombie Film Fridays: 28 Weeks Later

Last Friday, I presented 28 Days Later… and as I think its sequel is the better film in the series (the third of which is apparently in the works as well), this Friday we’re going to explore 28 Weeks Later; who can go wrong with Robert Carlyle?

28 Weeks Later picks up six months after the Rage Virus has decimated the city of London. The US Army has restored order and is repopulating the quarantined city, when a carrier of the Rage Virus enters London and unknowingly re-ignites the spread of the deadly infection and the nightmare begins… again.

My Rating: A+

Interesting Facts: Robert Carlyle had turned down the Christopher Eccleston part in 28 Days Later…, when Danny Boyle, Alex Garland and Andrew Macdonald first began to consider a sequel to 28 Days Later…, their initial idea was to do 29 Days Later, possibly using the characters of Jim, Selena, and Hannah from the first film. This idea was dropped in favor of doing a film set within the time-frame of 28 Days Later…, focusing on an SAS team sent into London to retrieve either the Prime Minister or the Queen. Finally, it was suggested to set the film some time after the events of the initial film, and to deal with the impact Rage has had on society in general, and the farm that Don and Alice hide out in the start of the film is the same farm that appears in Children of Men.

And now its time for the trailer!

Chewing Braaiiinns with… RD Teun

After a short hiatus, we’re back with Chewing Braaiiinns… Today I welcome RD Teun and I’ve asked him a few questions. RD is the author of the recent release Legacy of the Dead: Deliverance. Let’s take a quick moment for a few words on who RD is…

Author of some very dark stories while in search of the metaphor that eludes us all. Author of Legacy of the Dead and Suicide Solution. With more works to come.

Welcome RD, tell us: why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

I hate to disappoint folks, but it is not so much the zombie as a genre that drew me to write. I just felt that they are more a sympathetic creature and not so much a monster. They are a force of nature without a will of their own, they are essentially victims of a cruel and wicked destiny which is what intrigued me; also, they provided the perfect vehicle for my story. I did not write Legacy of the Dead purely because I love zombies (and I do). However, I am firm believer in that there is as much horror in humanity and the living as there is in the walking masses of the dead, which after this short series, you will be asking yourself – who are the true monsters? After the Legacy of the Dead series is complete, I will not be ever writing another zombie book. After that, I have my own monsters to create.

Tell us about your latest project; published or otherwise.

I will leave you with the book blurb that should whet your appetite…

A group of survivors on a roof seek salvation from the hungry mouths of the dead. Supplies running low and tempers running high, it is only a matter of time before the first domino falls and sets into motion an extraordinary series of events that lead to a fabled place called Deliverance. It promises redemption from crumbling world – but at what price is freedom? Is it really the palace of dreams that it claims to be? Or… is it a dark place from where nothing returns? Deliverance is the first in the Legacy of the Dead series that will change the rotted face of apocalyptic fiction as you know it… dare you take the first step onto the path of Deliverance?

Click on the cover to be whisked away to Amazon!

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

Now, that is something that I cannot tell you. All I can say is that it is not so much what makes my zombies so different, but how they came to be that makes them so different. I explored everything, and I mean everything, that has been done before to bring them to what they have become and went in a different direction as far as I could. I wanted to change the parameters of what we have to come to expect or have seen so far. Now, you do not really see this in the first book, but it is with the second (and concluding book) in which we discover just how different they truly are. Just a quick side note – I had to do this (split it into two books) because of the sheer size of the tale, I always wanted to pen an epic tale. The second book will pick up directly from where the first finished (if it ever did, after all no tale truly ever has a beginning or an end, we just pick up the thread and see where it leads us).

What are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

None. I have only really read one zombie book. I tend to read outside of the genre I write in or have written in.

None? Wow… Surely you’ve seen some Zombie films though right? What are your top 3 favourites?

Night of the Living Dead (the 90’s remake)

Braindead (directed by Peter Jackson)

There is yet to be a third, I still have so many I wish to watch and none yet really hit my list of top three’s. I am a hard person to impress, which may sound arrogant, but I just have high standards of what I expect as a moviegoer. 

Do you think the popularity of The Walking Dead and its appearance in mainstream media has helped to increase the popularity of the genre, or has there always been such an interest?

Could not really tell you. I don’t watch television. Here’s the thing, if I was pushed to an answer, the zombie (much like the vampire, etc…) have ebbs and flows of popularity within the mainstream (say, every ten or twenty years of real popularity). Yet, as with anything of this nature, there will always be a crowd who will always love it unconditionally and they (the true fans) keep the heart beating within the dead.

Pop Quiz: If the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, 5 things found in the room you are currently sitting will be your weapons – what are they?

All I have is sticky tape and cuddly toys – (you can thank my missus for that one), I could tape the cuddly toys to cover as much of my body as I can, until I reach a better arsenal of weaponry. Also, I have a fold down table that is easy to carry in one hand, I could use that to keep the dead at bay – a bit like a lion tamer.  

I think you may be screwed RD… You’d better hope the ‘missus’ sees this interview and buys you something a little more lethal!

If you’d like to connect with RD, the best place to find him is on Facebook.


Zombie Film Fridays: 28 Days Later…

On the first official Zombie Film Friday, I’ve decided to feature a film that I couldn’t during the April A to Z Blogging Challenge – 28 Days Later

Animal activists invade a laboratory with the intention of releasing chimpanzees that are undergoing experimentation, infected by a virus -a virus that causes rage. The naive activists ignore the pleas of a scientist to keep the cages locked, with disastrous results. Twenty-eight days later, our protagonist, Jim, wakes up from a coma, alone, in an abandoned hospital. He begins to seek out anyone else to find London is deserted, apparently without a living soul. After finding a church, which had become inhabited by zombie like humans intent on his demise, he runs for his life. Selena and Mark rescue him from the horde and bring him up to date on the mass carnage and horror as all of London tore itself apart. This is a tale of survival and ultimately, heroics, with nice subtext about mankind’s savage nature.

My Rating: A

Interesting Fact: The ‘design’ for the symptoms of Rage was based on Ebola, which is communicable in all primates (including humans), and is transmitted through the blood. Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever which leads to a rash, red eyes and both internal and external bleeding. Indeed, in 28 Days Later: The Aftermath (a graphic novel set between 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later, it is explained that the Ebola virus was being used by the scientists as a carrier for the inhibitor which mutated into Rage.

And now it’s time for the trailer!

I Survived the A to Z April Blogging Challenge!

I Survived! And I got the t-shirt…

30 days – 30 blogs posts!

Each of them about Zombie movies.

I enjoyed the month so much, I have decided to schedule a new feature – Zombie Film Fridays!

Every Friday I’ll be featuring another Zombie flick, my rating and all 🙂