Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Sorry Spore fans, but we are on vacation for two weeks. So no review this week. Instead, have a peek at my latest addiction: The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion.

Ooooooh. Pretty.

Sticking with my recent theme, have a zombie.

Next week we'll have a few short reviews on the movies featured at our annual Halloween party. It should be a "unique" experience.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Zombie Honeymoon

"Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage,that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam..." (The Impressive Clergyman from "The Princess Bride"). And yes, mawage er, I mean marriage is the focal point of today's review, because today we're reviewing "Zombie Honeymoon".

To be honest, I was as surprised by the quality of this film as I was with the outcome of "Hood of the Living Dead". But where Hood was a total disappointment, Zombie Honeymoon was unexpectedly good. This was even more surprising given that Honeymoon was a Showtime production. After looking over the back cover of the DVD and seeing the "Showtime" label, I expected 83 minutes bad plot focusing on putting as much nudity and gore on screen as possible. Not that there's anything wrong with nudity and gore, but a good plot helps keep a movie together. And while there is some nudity and lots of gore, it doesn't detract from the fact that this movie is in fact, a tale of love.

With zombies.

The newlyweds, Danny and Denise. Don't they look like nice people?

This movie brought up several questions with the Spored to Death viewing audience. I do have a "staff" of sorts. Mostly these are the people I subject these bad movies to on a regular basis. You, the proud and tortured few, have the right to be part of the Spored to Death publishing experience. Also, consider yourselves permanent interns, as I have no way to pay any of you. Although, on second thought, the word "intern" has such ugly implications. I much prefer a different, though less politically correct term.

Think of yourselves as "minions".

The most prominent question of the night posed by my minions was this: If you were just married and your husband was attacked by a zombie and developed an insatiable craving for human flesh, would you stand by your man? According to this movie, yes, you would. Also of note are the following questions:

If you are attacked by a zombie and are turning, would you be able to avoid eating your wife because of the strong bonds of love that you feel for her?

Do vegan's make good zombies?

Can a zombie vegan still get sick from eating a steak?

For the record, vegan zombies who eat a cooked steak do still get sick. And it ain't pretty.

Can you do the horizontal mambo with a zombie husband?

Can a zombie who's turning cover up their newly acquired eating habits?

Caught red handed.

Can you ever really hide anything from your wife? Like that flesh eating addiction you're trying to deal with.

"Honey, I think I may have a problem."

So as you may have guessed, our young couple Danny and Denise who are played by Graham Sibley and Tracy Coogan, run into a bit of zombie trouble on their honeymoon. Once Danny has unwillingly ingested the goopy blood of the undead, he dies and suddenly comes back to life. That'll teach a young couple not to lie on a beach in New Jersey while minding their own business!

Never sleep on the beach in New Jersey. You'd know that if you weren't too busy sunning yourself on "The O.C."

The movie goes on as Danny slowly learns that he may have an eating addiction. It seems he can't stop his insatiable hunger for human flesh. Danny and Denise try to plan on having a normal life, or at least getting through the honeymoon before Danny goes to pieces, but things always seem to go awry when the walking dead are involved.

Danny experiences withdrawal symptoms.

Denise contemplates counseling, while Danny contemplates what a marriage councilor tastes like.

In the end, Zombie Honeymoon is a surprisingly good take on the zombie genre. It presents a few interesting twists on an old concept. As Danny changes, he manages to keep most of his humanity throughout the movie, but in the end is overcome by the zombie in him. The movie also presents Danny's flesh eating in a way that alludes to someone with a drug problem. The movie does have a few touching moments as Danny battles his addiction, but these moments are usually covered in gore and slime, so they're hard to spot amidst all the other scenes full of gore and slime.

Even though you know before the movie starts that things are going to end badly, you almost feel bad for Danny and Denise as they inevitably fall from being happy newlyweds to a single gore soaked survivor weeping next to a pile of gooey body parts. Which brings us to the last and probably most pertinent question this movie has to offer.

Who the hell goes on their honeymoon in New Jersey?"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hood of the Living Dead

Zombies are, without a doubt, one of the most frequently used antagonists in horror movie history. Because of the versatility of the zombie horde, there are almost an infinite number of possibilities when it comes to creating the setup for a zombie movie. Zombies in England. Zombies in a logging camp. Zombies in space (hmmm… looks like a good candidate for a future review). And now, zombies in the hood.

Sort of.

You see, while “Hood of the Living Dead” is set in Oakland, California; it was most definitely not shot in Oakland, California. The most likely reason would be that shooting in Oakland would result in a shooting in Oakland. Unfortunately, the makers of “Hood” didn’t really try to mask their location change, which results in about half of the flaws that this movie has. The other half of the flaws can be blamed on the actors in this sad little satire, who appear to have had one acting class between the lot of them.

Lets take a look at a few of the revealing mistakes in "Hood of the Zombies".

What a nice, well manicured lawn you have there neighbor. The rose bushes in the front are a nice touch.

Grieving over the death of his brother, Ricky pours himself a drink, but what's this?!?!

Is that a bottle of Belvedere Vodka I see? A 750ml bottle averages about $29.95 according to the Virgina Department of Alcoholic beverage control. That's more expensive than the crap I usually drink!

OK, on a side note, I've never actually been to Oakland. But seriously, this can't be it. Its just too, well... nice.

As you might expect from a movie with heavy gansta overtones, Hood of the Living Dead uses the F-word. A lot. In fact, I think that ¼ pf the entire script might be comprised of that one word. There was some debate as to whether or not we should have counted the number of times that it was used in the film, but we would have never been able to tally the number by the time this review was due to be published. But to put it in perspective, it easily rivals Blue Velvet for frequent use of that specific word.

Behold the wonders of the lab. Can you believe this is where science finally learned how to cheat death?

What do you mean "No"?

But unlike Blue Velvet, this movie is neither an artistic vision nor full of nudity. In fact, there is only one female character in Hood and she lives for approximately 20 seconds. So, yeah, it’s a total sausage fest.

If you’re looking for a tour-de-force, look somewhere else. Want something that looks like a Romero movie? Well, this movie has a guy named Romero, and there are zombies in it. That’s about where the similarity ends. The zombies don’t destroy the world. Actually they don’t even take over the hood. The zombies are more of a pesky problem than a world wide threat. They die when shot in the heart instead of the head, which actually makes them easier to kill. Come on, center mass is always an easier target than a head shot. Plus, as the hood is full of gansta types, there are guns everywhere. Given these two conditions, getting rid of the zombie threat should be about as challenging as farting after eating a bowl of Wendy‘s chili. But somehow the zombies keep not getting shot in the heart. Is it really that hard to shoot a guy in the center of his chest from 10 feet away?

At least the zombie effects are good. Gore and guts all present.

This movie was a real let down. It could have been so much more. It could have either tried to be better and have taken the high road, or it could have tried to be campier and take the low road. Actually, I think the low road was probably the only option this movie realistically had. But it looks like someone had a good idea, but only made a half hearted attempt in the execution. I could even forgive the amateur acting if the script had something going for it, but its as flat and tepid as a bottle of Colt 45 taped to a guy’s hands who passed out half way through a game of Edward Forty Hands. Sadly missing is any sort of drive by shooting on a group of zombies. There is a drive by, but the target is sadly living prior to being shot. Sadly, this movie is like the sleeping participant in a drinking game. Disappointing.

But at least the movie doesn’t smell like pee.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Satan's Little Helper

Video games are a much debated topic these days. Do violent video games cause children to kill? Are children more violent these days due to exposure to violent videogames? Is the Playstation a tool of the devil? We here at Spored to Death publishing feel the answer is a resounding “no”.

A small part is because of research done from statistics gathered from several reputable sources, most notably the US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Statistics, note that as of the latest findings in 2003 (which are the latest findings available) crime rates of violent crimes among children are the lowest they’ve been in years. In fact, the most likely problem caused by children’s fixation on video games of any type are those butt shaped grooves that show up when you sit on a couch too long and the cushions form a permanent dent where your butt has been.

But mostly we figure that kids who emulate video games in real life are just plain stupid.

Which leads us to our next movie, “Satan’s Little Helper”. This movie is the story of Douglass Whooly, also known as Dougie, who is a third grader with an infatuation with his favorite game where you play as “Satan’s helper” and help the lord of darkness spread death and mayhem throughout the world. During Halloween, little Dougie dresses up in his little devil costume and sets out in search of Satan so that he might serve the fallen one. And because this is a horror movie, Dougie does in fact find a guy in an evil looking mask who runs amok in his small town murdering innocent citizens in traditionally amusing horror movie fashion.

For the most part, Satan’s Little Helper is a really good movie. Joshua Annex, who plays the masked villain is brilliant as the silent antagonist. The movie also has a great cast with Katheryn Winnick as Dougie’s older sister Jenna, and Stephen Graham as Alex: the guy Jenna brought home for Halloween. A surprising addition to the cast is Amanda Plummer as a surprisingly sane person, as well as Dougie and Jenna’s mother.

Undoubtedly, the movie’s success rests squarely on the shoulders of Joshua Annex’s performance. The mute masked man beckons, pantomimes and stabs his way silently through this 96 minute flick while providing most of the amusing scenes in the movie. At times the psychopathic killer can seem kind and almost silently empathetic before gutting a guy like a fish and throwing his entrails over the good china on the family table.

Satan prepares to dispense some "treats".

Counterpoint to our charismatically masked villain is Alexander Brickel’s character Dougie, who’s inability to realize that the people being killed horribly in front of him is not a Halloween prank. No, Dougie tags along like crabs on a Congressman, completely oblivious to the violent acts that make up his world. Even when other children his age run screaming as an old woman is hung from her second story window, Dougie gives an emphatic huzzah and thrusts his drool and mucus encrusted thumb skyward in a salute to Satan’s “playful Halloween antics”. Unfortunately, Dougie is a necessary evil, as without his vapid stupidity, Satan would not have his “little helper”. Either that, or it would be a completely “different” type of movie.

Actual quotes from the movie:

"Honey you can wear my old costume from last Halloween."

"But Mom, I can't dress up like a Renaissance slut in front of my new boyfriend!"


Luckily, the two counterbalance each other on screen enough that Dougie’s presence doesn’t become annoying. In fact, its not until the final third of the movie, after Dougie finally realizes that his masked lord is actually killing people when his father is gutted on the dining room table, that Dougie reaches the height of irritability. Alone, in his room, he kneels down and prays for God’s forgiveness, and pledges to help the lord and Jesus if they would save him and his family from Satan.

Satan and Dougie spend some quality time together talking about drugs, going to college, and the best technique to use if you want to skin a guy feet first.

Less than two minutes later a man in a Jesus costume, which was featured in a shop earlier in the movie, silently beckons for Dougie to leave his house and accompany him into the night. And like a dumbass, Dougie tags along like…well, like crabs on a Senator.

As to not ruin this film for you Spore fans, I’m going to leave you with some traditional cliffhangers. I recommend this movie to all of you, as a surprisingly entertaining horror with some nice comic overtones. But you’ll just have to watch to find out: Will Jenna and Alex have sex before one of them dies? Will Jenna and Alex have sex after one of them dies? Will Amanda Plummer’s character go crazy? Will you see what lies under Satan’s mask? And will Dougie survive the movie to go on to a lucrative career of sorting glass? Watch Satan’s Little Helper to find out the answer to these and many more exciting questions!

Either that or you could spend a few hours playing some violent video games and working on that ass groove in your couch.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Raging Boll

Aparrantly Uwe Boll had a chance to return some of the blows he's taken from critics in the most literal sense possible. Recently, CNN reported that Boll took on 4 of his critics in a boxing match in Canada.

Furthermore, he beat the crap out of all of them.

While all 4 fights each had a hook, the first bout looks to be the zaniest. According to CNN, Richard Kyanka of reportedly took to the ring and announced to the crowd that Boll was a terrorist and that Canada should be held responsible for harboring him. Less than 3 minutes later, Kyanka was unconscious.

The other bouts were slightly less dramatic, as a 17 year old, a man who thought it was a publicity stunt and a guy who brought some fake blood squared off against Boll.

I'm not sure where I fall on this issue. On one hand, Boll represents the bad movie industry that I've come to love, albeit a bit on the high end (ie, he has an actual budget). On the other, I am a critic. So I don't know if I should be rooting for Boll or eating raw eggs and jogging at 4am.

Its a moot point now, as the fight is already past. The stadium is empty and many Canadians now feel as I feel after paying to watch a WWE pay per view with JBL and the Big Show as the main eveny. Besides, in my opinion, there are other fish that need badly need frying.