Zombie Film Fridays: Night of the Living Dead (1990)

So how can I feature the original and not talk about the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead? I saw this film shortly after it was released and I have to say it doesn’t carry the same punch as Romero’s original black and white version. I think I prefer Judith O’Dea’s portrayal of Barbara over the character’s re-invention in the remake. It’s still a good film, but there was something haunting about the original.

In this remake of the original classic film, a group of people are trapped inside a farmhouse as legions of the walking dead try to get inside and use them for food.

My Rating: A

Interesting Facts: The car driven by Johnny at the beginning of the film was owned by Tom Savini and according to the director it was the first car he bought after meeting with success and it broke his heart to wreck it during filming; director Tom Savini has known Patricia Tallman since they went to college together. He chose to cast her because of her strong-willed demeanor; and it contains numerous references to Dawn of the Dead (1978).

And now it’s time for the trailer!

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How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse: New Shelter!

Okay I’ve seen this house around the internet many, many times and I have to say I want it! It would be way to awesome to not have, even if the dead don’t rise…

The Zombie Proof House

Random Monday Mini: Microscope

Today’s word is…

MICROSCOPE

“Mike, you’ve got to see this.”

“What is it Sarah?”

“Just look at the specimen.”

Mike walked over to Sarah’s microscope and peered into the eyepiece for a second before turning the focus knob toward him. He drew in a sharp breath before whipping his head up to look at her.

“Which one am I looking at?”

“It’s from Test Subject #1054.”

Mike’s eyes turned back to the cells he could see through the lens, his amazement growing with each passing second. He watched as they divided and then consumed the surrounding healthy tissues. He spoke again, unable to tear his eyes away, “am I really witnessing this?”

“Yes Mike, though I have to admit I’m not sure why you’re excited. These are not the results we were hoping for.”

“Yes I can see that Sarah, but do you know what this means?”

“Yeah, we’ve just created a monster. I’ll take all the samples from 1054 to the incinerator today and make sure the animal is destroyed and incinerated as well. It explains why the test subject didn’t react well at all. In fact, it bit me pretty badly while I was trying to get the samples.”

Mike looked up, fear entering his eyes for the first time. “You got bit?”

“Yeah, little bastard took a pretty big chunk too.”

“Did you report it to anyone?”

“Not yet. I wanted to see the samples before I did anything else. I’m probably going to need some strong antibiotics.”

Mike knocked over the stool behind him as he backed away from Sarah, terror plastered all over his face. There seemed to be a level of indecision in his actions, like he wanted to tell her something but couldn’t decide if he should just flee.

“Mike, what’s the matter?”

“I changed the formula last week.”

“You did what?”

“I changed the formula… Look, I know it was wrong, but I had a hunch!”

“A hunch?”

“Yes, I thought if I could make the cancer consume itself, we could die billionaires and Nobel Laureates.”

“But I don’t have cancer Mike… What will this do to me?”

“I have no idea Sarah, but you’re really not looking too well at the moment. I think you need to go into quarantine.”

“Quarantine?”

Mike had finally gotten himself to the door to their lab. Opening it, he slid out and closed the door behind him.

“What are you doing Mike?”

“Hopefully saving the world…” Mike gave her one last look as he palmed the emergency quarantine button on the wall. The room sealed and the ventilation system shut down. As the doorways around him all began to close, and the sounds of the ventilation system shut down over his head, he brought his face up to look at Sarah again, surprise covering it.

“Did you think they’d only quarantine me, Mike?”

All Rights Reserved © 2014 Julianne Snow

5 Questions with R.J. Spears

Today I have the pleasure of an interview with R.J. Spears, author of Zombie fiction! But before we get to my questions, let’s learn a little bit about R.J. first…

AuthorPhotoBW1R.J. lives in Columbus, Ohio and writes mystery/crime and horror fiction.  His stories have appeared across the web at Shotgun Honey, Out of the Gutter, the HorrorZine, and Flashes in the Dark along with several other sites.  His novel, Sanctuary From the Dead, was published by J. Ellington Ashton Press.  The first two books in his Forget the Zombie series, Forget the Alamo and Forget Texas, are available on Amazon.

Welcome R.J.! Now let’s right into the questions… Tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?

My zombies are the Romero slow movers.  They can be avoided in singles or in pairs, but in hordes, they are deadly.

As for being able to survive zombie apocalypse, I’d hold my own if I could stay away from crowds of the undead.  I live in a fairly large city and while I don’t have a defined escape plan, I’d definitely get out of here. I fear that cities would be death traps.

I agree, the cities are going to be hell when the dead rise! What was your first experience with zombie media? Was that experience what drew into writing the genre?

My first exposure to zombies was like being immersed in boiling bloody shark infested waters.  It was George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and I had no idea what I was getting into.  I entered the theater with a few friends and we were simply blown away.  Heads blown off with shotguns.  Heads sliced off with helicopter blades.  Zombies eating entrails.  Nothing had prepared me for that.  While gore is somewhat common place today, back in the day, this made quite an impression.  It stuck with me for years and certainly was a huge hook into the zombie genre.

That’s a good point about the level of gore that was present in ‘olden’ times. Pop Quiz: The item to your left is your only weapon during the Zombie Apocalypse. What is it and what do you think are your chances at survival?

Fortunately, I’m sitting next to my fireplace and there’s a fairly hefty fire poker sitting there.  While it’s not a sword, a baseball bat, or a chainsaw, it would do in a pinch.  As for long term survival, though, I doubt it would take me the distance.

Pokers are pretty hefty and the one I have would likely last me a long time. List your 5 favourite pieces of Zombie media.

  1. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  2. 28 Days Later
  3. Shaun of the Dead
  4. The Walking Dead (TV Show)
  5. We’re Alive – Zombie Podcast, full cast audio drama (If you haven’t checked this one out, you owe it to yourself to do so.  It’s great fun and quality stuff.)

Great choices! I’ve been a fan of We’re Alive for quite some time! We all know that we sometimes have bad luck. Keeping that in mind, what song do you think would get stuck in your head, playing over and over again on an incessant loop?

If it were truly sadistically bad luck, the worst song in the world that could get stuck in my head would be Alison Gold’s Chinese Food.  I beg you, for your own sanity, don’t look this one up on YouTube.  It’s like the Black Death, Pompeii, and total insanity wrapped into one horrible ball.  You’ll wish you were zombified just to get the song out of your head.  I listened to it once and it was like falling into one of H.P. Lovecraft’s hellish mouths of madness.

For those of you who’d like to torture yourselves, here’s the video:

Anyone else not the young girl talking about clubbing?? C’mon!!

And now let’s take a look at R.J.’s Sanctuary From The Dead…

Sanctuary14cEight months ago the world turned upside-down in the most horrifying way. The dead came back to life and started killing the living. Within weeks, zombies ruled the world. In a small southern Ohio town, Joel, a twenty-something underachiever finds himself holed up with a group of survivors as they take refuge in a church. Fighting the undead in a desperate attempt to survive, they try to maintain some semblance of what makes us human. In this grueling post-apocalyptic world, they discovered that while the undead are terrible, the living can be just as merciless and even more deadly.

Sanctuary from the Dead tells the story of a group of survivors who desperately try to maintain their humanity as they try to survive in an undead world.

Clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon.

Thank you R.J. for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to keep track of R.J. you can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, his Amazon Author Page, his website, and his blog.

Spotlight Saturday: Nick Santonastasso Zombie Pranks

Nick Santonastasso has made quite the name for himself with his Zombie prank Vines. In case you weren’t aware of what a Vine is, it’s a 6 second video. So sit back and watch as Nick gets set to scare someone with the help of a pretty amazing team!

Zombie Film Fridays: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Okay so I may have featured Night of the Living Dead during the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but I think it deserves another mention – it is what started my love of the genre after all. So if you’ve yet to see the film, think about sitting down and watching it sometime. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Chaos descends upon the world as the brains of the recently deceased become inexplicably reanimated, causing the dead to rise and feed on human flesh. Speculation rests on a radiation-covered NASA satellite returning from Venus, but it only remains a speculation. Anyone who dies during the crisis of causes unrelated to brain trauma will return as a flesh-eating zombie, including anyone who has been bitten by a zombie. The only way to destroy the zombies is to destroy the brain. As the catastrophe unfolds, a young woman visiting her father’s grave takes refuge in a nearby farmhouse, where she is met by a man who protects her and barricades them inside. They both later discover people hiding in the basement, and they each attempt to cope with the situation. Their only hope rests on getting some gasoline from a nearby pump into a truck that is running on empty, but this requires braving the hordes of ravenous walking corpses outside. When they finally put their plans into action, panic and personal tensions only add to the terror as they try to survive.

My Rating: A++

Interesting Facts: When the zombies are eating the bodies in the burnt-out truck they were actually eating roast ham covered in chocolate sauce. The filmmakers joked that it was so nausea inducing that it was almost a waste of time putting the makeup on the zombies, as they ended up looking pale and sick anyway; Readers Digest tried to warn people away from watching the film in 1968 by claiming if it’s ever watched, it will inspire cannibalism; and 200 extras were cast in the parts of townspeople and zombies.

And now it’s time for the trailer!

How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse: New Vehicle

Ever wondered what would happen if you needed to hide during the Zombie Apocalypse? And I’m not just thinking about hiding from the zombies, but also the looters and scavengers as well. There’s not accounting for how much of the time you’ll need to stay off someone else’s radar, but this next vehicle just might help with that…

Looks like a normal cord of wood doesn’t it? Well it’s not!

Here’s what it looks like on the inside – just the type of place you’ll need to relax when the sh*t hits the fan!

I believe the guitar is optional…

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Random Monday Mini: T-Shirt

This week’s random word is…

T-SHIRT

It came at me. From a direction I completely wasn’t expecting. Fucking zombie!

Sometimes you think you’re in the clear, you know? You look in front of you and all seems normal. That’s the problem with thinking you’re living in a normal world. Nothing is normal now.

I’d been surviving on my own for about a year now. In the beginning there were more people but you know when they say you can’t cure stupid? They’re right. Once, I watched this guy walk right into a grocery store without even checking first!

I mean sure, we hadn’t seen many of them that day, but it wasn’t like they had jobs to go to anymore. They just hung out sometimes waiting for the living to wander by.

I guess that’s their job though isn’t it… Hunting us. Who can blame them for getting a little smarter about it?

Geez man, now I’m giving them some intelligence. But I swear, if you watch them too long, you’ll see what I mean. They have an uncanny ability to sense things. I watched a few people walking down the street yesterday, doing the normal look-out and advance stuff we’ve all learned from watching movies.

The funny thing was that none of them thought to watch their back. Classic rookie mistake, but it wasn’t like any of us are rookies. Jesus, it’s been at least 16 months since everything went down. If you’ve survived this long the dumb luck has to have been tempered with a little skill.

And I was beginning to think my own dumb luck had run out.

Its fingers caught the hem of my shirt, pulling me back as I struggled to get away. In a the briefest of seconds it was on top of me, weighing me down. I knew it was over and had kind of come to a sort of peace a while back.

No one could survive forever, especially not alone.

You want to know the funny thing?

We were both wearing the same concert t-shirt…

All Rights Reserved © 2014 Julianne Snow

5 Questions with Chris Philbrook

Today I’m pleased to feature an interview with Chris Philbrook, author of Adrian’s Undead Diary. Before we get to the questions, let’s get to know Chris a little better…

IMG_0986I am the creator and author of A Dragon Among Us as well as Elmoryn and Adrian’s Undead Diary. Elmoryn is a decade old game setting and system I developed for commercial sale and development that I am now sharing on the internet, and through the publication of The Kinless Trilogy. As the books set in the Elmoryn universe are released, hopefully interest in the game will grow as well, and that side of Elmoryn will come to light.

A Dragon Among Us was inspired by decade old Role Playing sessions with my friend Alan MacRaffen, and has been percolating ever since. It’s currently online, and once completed will be farmed into publishing. Not sure if I’ll submit it to a big house, or keep it my own. Time will tell.

Adrian’s Undead Diary is my mammoth zombie epic that more than likely brought you here. Originally published online AUD grew to almost 10,000 active registered users before I decided to publish it. Adrian Ring’s story of survival and humanity in a world gone mad has been critically acclaimed and been an unbelievable success online, so seeing what it’ll do in print is exciting for me.

I’m also the owner of Tier One Games LLC, my old game development company. If you buy something from AUD, Elmoryn, or A Dragon Among Us, you’ll likely see the sale credited to Tier One Games. Don’t worry, it’s legit.

I’ve gone to a LOT of college. I’ve got a Business degree as well as a Psychology degree, and I’ve done the full program at the school of hard knocks. I’ve been a printing press operator, bouncer, purchasing agent, bodyguard, customer service representative, mental health counselor, and more. I can write about weird shit because I’ve done weird shit. Trust me.

I call the wonderful state of New Hampshire my home, but I love to travel. I love to read, write, play role playing games, miniatures games, video games, and Magic: The Gathering. When I find the time to be active, I like to hike, play basketball, and play football. I’ve got a lovely girlfriend right now, and two Devon Rex cats, Gilbert and Marvin.

And now it’s time for the questions. First up, tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?

Ah, the quality of the dead.  That’s the real question isn’t it?  It establishes all the rules of the game.  How hard would it be to survive, what skills are relevant?  Can I walk, or must I run?  The undead (and they are dead, very dead) in Adrian’s Undead Diary are slow shamblers.  Think very Romero movie, and you’re in the ballpark.  My zombies have a fairly unique trait as well:  They are entirely silent save for the sounds of their shuffling feet, or when they bump into things.  They don’t moan, speak, or breathe in any way.  They’re like sharks, circling, closing in, biting and tearing until you’re dead.

What was your first experience with zombie media (movie, book, comic, etc)? Was that experience what drew you into writing the genre?

Easily the first was an old VHS copy of Night of the Living Dead I talked my mother into buying me at an old Ames department store.  I watched that tape until it disintegrated and took a VCR with it.  I don’t think that single movie experience moved me into writing, but meeting George twenty years later surely was the experience that sealed the deal.

Pop Quiz: The item to your left is your only weapon during the Zombie Apocalypse. What is it and what do you think are your chances at survival?

Hm.  My cellphone is immediately to my left, and to my right is my cat Marvin.  I’m not sure which one would be more useful.  If the cell networks are still operational…  I’d go with Marvin.  He’s an awesome cat.

You’re going to use your cat as a weapon? Not sure how I feel about that… List your 5 (five) favourite pieces of Zombie media.

Five top zombie media things.  In no particular order, I’d say the following:  Romero’s original zombie movie trilogy (Gonna count that as one item, because I tend to watch them right in a row), The Walking Dead books, Return of the Living Dead, World War Z, and probably Patient Zero.

We all know that we sometimes have bad luck. Keeping that in mind, what song do you think would get stuck in your head, playing over and over again on an incessant loop?

Lady Gaga, Paparazzi.  AUD fans will clearly know what I’m talking about.

Well for those of us who haven’t read Adrian’s Undead Diary, we’ll just remain in the dark about it. I suppose we could all check out the book though, right?

AUD1eBookCoverBeheading a zombie isn’t easy in a world where you’re more afraid of the living than the dead.

Adrian Ring’s simple life is thrown into chaos when the world is ripped apart by a plague of undead and legions of desperate survivors. Retreating to Auburn Lake Preparatory Academy, Adrian attempts to rescue friends and family on the way while dancing around his impending insanity over who and what he left behind, and evading maniac survivors. He saves his cat Otis, but shoots his mom. Pretty successful, all things considered.

Dark Recollections is the first part of Adrian’s own story of how he survived after “That Day.” Told through his eyes as he talks to his laptop, affectionately named ‘Mr. Journal,” and through short stories that entwine with his tales that bring forth dark visions of a world being eaten alive by an unimaginable evil. Adrian’s Undead Diary is an eight part epic about a solitary, guilt stricken man that didn’t think he deserved to live, but realizes very soon that he survived, and suffered for a reason.

If you’d like to keep up with Chris, you can find him on Twitter, Facebook, his website and his Amazon Author Page.