With a Jolt, My Mind Awakens…Chapter Ninety-Two: Three on a Meathook and 26 on the Range…

YES! Back again from the abyss of unidentifiable nomenclature! The champion of indistinguishable weirdness and slightly charred fundamental freakiness, your friend and no one else’s, OL’ KENTUCKY JAY! Release the buzzards and let loose the rabid kindergarteners! Let’s pause for…APPLAUSE!

Uh…why dat boy got a soiled poodle on his head?

I was blown away excrementitiously by “Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead” on Thursday. I engorged myself on “Dumplings” last night. Sang along in key of chaos this morning with “The Weird World of Blowfly”. The afternoon? A knock on the cellar door from a pasty-faced amigo…and an invitation to gore-gore-gore-and-den-s’more…Ladies and Gentleworms, Modern Borefare is proud to present the cinematic review of

THE ABCs of DEATH 2!!!!!!!!!

So brutal…so chilling…so feathery…!

Similar to my review of “The ABCs of Death”, I will not reveal titles of chapters, but I will make-em-up my own to coincide with the theme, followed by analysis. “Ambient Icelandic Stargazing”, courtesy of Songza, is good for my earholes. You’re at the top of the snowy hill, you’re bound to a toboggan, you’ve salty icicles from your peepers, now I’ll give ya…just..a…little…PUSH!

“A is for Airduct” – An assassin chases a target but may not survive the passage to the pay-off. What starts as slickly familiar becomes self-effacing and goofy, and I can imagine many would not be pleased with the putrescent punchline, but I giggled, so that’s-a good enuff fer me. Grade: A

“B is for Bad Woodland Creature! Very Bad!” – Man’s indecency to the creatures with whom he shares this planet is highlighted in this vignette. You’ll grasp the course of this feature rather quickly, but you’ll enjoy the brief and bloody bite. Grade: A-

“C is for Could We Have Caught the Wrong Guy?” – The lynch mob ensnares a hapless dope accused of a child’s murder. His innocence is irrelevant against the irate need for a restoration of the balance. Crumple the philosophy into a wad and toss it to the bin – This one needed to be longer and ends abruptly and discourteously. Grade: B-

“D is for Destroy Your Input Machines (At Least ’til the Next Story)” – Here we have an animated sequence involving cleanliness and the ugliness that chemicals cannot obliterate. Your world will turn to Eyebrow Exercise as you awe and EWWWW at the events. The animated features of the “The ABCs of Death” were Joy to the Sick and Sadistic, and this feature belongs in such rank. Grade: A

“E is for Every Man Has His Limit” – And in this episode, the limit was arrived at sooner than the producers anticipated. Two guys on an island gain a new friend who blahblahblah…it’s been done so often it’s tanning on the rotating rods at the 7-11 by the Parkway entrance. Obtuse Nickelback Eggheads will like the ending. All Others Must Pass Onto Letter F. Grade: D

“F is for Failure to Fuse” – The benefit of movies like “The ABCs of Death” is the admittance of new storytellers. A subtle and poised trust is placed on the director’s frame by the Golden Light. If I give you the opportunity, astound me. Rattle me. Cobra Clutch my hairy Hebrew neck until the face forms a rictus of delight. The director of the Letter F feature decided to focus on current world hostility, and this attention to a Incessantly Beeping Car Alarm of Modern Living was misguided. I think the director stayed on the path taken by other directors embracing a similar subject who couldn’t be poignant on the matter in a 2 hour treatment. This one didn’t impress me and includes a groan of a tired sexist joke that also felt hideously out-of-place with the proceedings. Grade: D

“G is for Grandad” – Pops and grandson differ in opinion and lifestyle but share long, flat tresses. The environment painted by the players of this drama needed just a smidge more focus, but that focus should not have been on the elderly man’s genitalia. OOPS! Spoiler! No, it’s not a spoiler, fellas. It’s destiny. Oh, farts, yeah, it IS a spoiler… Grade: C

“H is for Hurting the One You Love” – Another animated sequence that promotes the psychological, pre- and post-coital warfare of men and women. Watch with a lover and interpret accordingly. If your head explodes, turn away from the Buffalo Flavored Wheat Thins, hmmm? Dang, I love cartoons. Grade: A

“I is for Inheritance” – The objective of the players in this sleazefest is the equitable arrangement of Mama’s Goodies before she croaks. The kids gently help Mom along this path of legal non-existence-ship. She’s not willing. The territory’s been traversed by stalwarts and upstarts, but the griminess and a wicked undercurrent of Wouldn’t This Be Fun? sustain the story above the bog of boredom. Fun and a half. Grade: A-

“J is for Just Change Your Mind and We Will Stop Electrocuting Your Testicles” – The music for the post shifts to doom metal for a story about a man who WOULD be doomed if not for the idiomatic (and well-timed) intervention of true love. A pair of zealots try to shock a homosexual male out of his lifestyle. Proof Positive that the everyday stuff’ll kill you faster than the Conjured Vomitorium Outpourings of the Sickest Minds in Filmdom, this episode was violent fury epitomized by calm resolve and the notion of Doin’ the Right Thing. I’d like to see more from this director, as long as El Capitan stays in the outskirts. Grade: A

“K is for Killforce: Operative” – Oh, I know what’s happening here…!! Yet I watched it all go down. Is this the end of the world or just the end of the female protagonist’s world? Is she the antagonist? Did she watch just one episode too many of “Catfish” and Piss On the Wrong Cthulhu? Quiet, hellish, and happy. Grade: A

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THURSDAY Night Flix: Doc of the Dead

dod4Welcome to Friday Thursday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.

Happy Fourth of July, America! And what’s more American than the zombie movie? Well, in truth, tons of stuff. Zombies are African by way of Haiti. You may have known that already but you’ll likely still find some interesting tidbits in Doc of the Dead (Netflix).

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After an awkward scripted segment (there are many of these, some funnier than others) this charming little doc breezes through White Zombie, casually racist representations of the undead from the 40s, and the sci-fi sensibilities of the 50s. After that it’s on to the main course: Romero.

Perhaps I’m showing my ignorance but I never noticed that the shambling ghouls in Night of the Living Dead weren’t called zombies. According to his interview in this movie, Romero himself didn’t even know he was building on zombie myths from previous films and folklore. And yet he was. Almost entirely by accident, he gave us the basis of the zombie mythos for decades to come: death and transformation by infection through bites, plague-like spread and, of course, the hunger for human flesh.

It’s especially nice to see credit given to Night of the Living Dead for its famous gaffe and, perhaps, most important contribution to horror: the failure of its producer to renew its copyright. That’s why you see it playing on every TV in low-budget horror movies. It also explains why we’re enjoying such a huge variety of zombie entertainment now, because it was so readily accessible to a generation of kids who grew up and are now making movies, comics and games.

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But the whole doc isn’t jsut about zombies in entertainment, though most major entries are covered from the original Romero material through World War Z and Warm Bodies. The next step is talking about the impact of zombie movies on pop culture. Through interviews with Stuart Gordon, Robert Kirkman, Romero, Simon Pegg, Bruce Campbell and a bunch of zombie academics that make me question my lifep ath, we see the broader impact of zombies on the real world. Maybe you know all about zombie runs and zombie theme weddings, but you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a doomsday prepper announce that liberals will be the first to turn into zombies.

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Added Bonus: A Walking Dead porn parody apparently is a thing that exists, complete with hardcore sex scenes between humans and zombies in full prosthesis and makeup. “It’s been some day. We got lost and then reunited. I had a threesome with your mom and my best friend. Carl, i gotta know, do you have it in you to go over there and fuck that girl….and kill her with your cum?” Sweet Jesus I can’t believe I just typed that. Happy holidays!

Friday Night Flix: Deadheads

 

deadheads-screen-shotWelcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.

Oh Jesus this is gonna be some lazy shit right here. I mean lazier than usual.

I got a last-minute assignment yesterday that, while optional, I really couldn’t pass up. I was delighted to get it, in fact. The downside is it meant my evening (and, to be honest, a good chunk of the wee hours of this morning) had to be devoted to watching and reviewing Afflicted, which is out in theaters and on VOD today. (It’s not bad!)

So I couldn’t devote the roughly 42 heroic minutes I usually reserve for this column. Instead, you get the first 500 words I can vomit out before I have to go to work. YOU’RE WELCOME.

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Deadheads (Netflix) is a rom-zom-com that falls somewhere between Shaun of the Dead and The Revenant. That’s obviously a pretty wide gap. One of those is among the finest horror comedies of all time, the other is a piece of shit unworthy of being watched by anyone ever. Fortunately, Deadheads is much closer to Shaun (though, forgivably, nowhere near the same level of professionalism or quality).

The main thing Deadheads has going for it is a really sweet sense of morbid humor. The two main characters – a pair of buddy zombies – are pretty darn endearing, even if one of them is over-the-top with weird affectations and the other (who wrote the movie) is pretty bland. You root for these guys to work it out, and it only gets better when they start to pick up stray companions on their cross-country road trip. That in itself is unique, since most times those sorts of extra characters and introduced only to be brutally murdered for laughs. In Deadheads, however, these guys (the awesomest of whom is a hulking, mindless zombie they call Cheese) are given time to develop. They have their own stories and they get emotional moments at their conclusions. That is nice.

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One thing Deadheads could do without is the weird romance angle, the resolution of which will leave you scratching your head. But all in all, it’s fun, gross, and weird. And really, who could ask for more?

Added bonus: I slept 3 hours last night. Gimme a break, you bastards.

Friday Night Flix: Cockneys vs. Zombies

cvz6Welcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.

Something about the title Cockneys vs. Zombies (Netflix, $3.99 Amazon) is uninviting. Maybe the word cockney just doesn’t have a lot of resonance with American audiences. I for one didn’t know it refers not only to a particular type of British accent, but also to an entire demographic of blue collar Londoners, which makes the title a whole lot more meaningful. It’s the difference between Working Class Tough Guys vs. Zombies and People Who Talk Funny vs. Zombies. Then again, maybe the problem is just the presence of “vs.” in the title, which instantly brings up thoughts of Syfy Channel shit like Megatarantula vs. Dinosquito.

Fortunately I gave this movie a chance and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s both a serviceable zombie flick and pretty funny to boot. And yes, I would watch the shit out of a Dinosquito movie.

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Obviously and unapologeticaly aping every Guy Ritchie movie ever, C v. Z goes so far as to feature Snatch‘s Brick Top, a/k/a Alan Ford, as a tough-as-nails pensioner living in a retirement home in London’s East End. A flashback scene also includes Dexter Fletcher, who starred as Soap in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. Against that borrowed seedy backdrop, Cockneys vs. Zombies begins as a bumbling heist movie and quickly turns into guns blazing Shaun of the Dead with a little Bubba Ho-tep mixed in. It’s nowhere near as good as any of the movies it steals from, but it’s nevertheless entertaining more or less professionally done. It even does one or two smart things most zombie movies don’t think of, like having the heroes assume from the start that only head shots kill zombies. “Everybody knows that!” they say. I’m inclined to agree.

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C v. Z makes a few mistakes, not the least of which is failing to explain how slow-moving zombies who can’t catch an old man with a walker managed to reduce London to a cinder in a matter of minutes. Of course, you realize early on you’re not meant to give these types of things much thought. (Maybe around the time the movie tries and fails to make a joke out of punting an undead infant over a wall.) Still, a little more attention to the nuts and bolts of the genre might have been nice.

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Some pretty poor CG splatter and simulated gunfire detract from the core horror appeal as well, but there are plenty of practical effects sprinkled in here and there. My favorite involved a clenched zombie jaw that remains attached to one of the characters even after he blows the rest of its owner’s head off with a shotgun. The budget in general seems to have been well spent on things like a massive cast of zombified extras and a wide variety of urban filming locations. Hopefully Alan Ford got a good chunk of that money as well becuase he really sells the movie, delivering many of its best jokes and the only really exciting (though still tongue-in-cheek) action beat. 

Added bonus: How has no zombie movie ever thought to introduce a character with a metal plate in his head before this? Think of the possibilities…

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Friday Night Flix: American Zombie

AmZom1Welcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Every week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but each selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.

American Zombie (Netflix, Hulu, Youtube), is not found footage. THANK CHRIST. It is, however, roughly 75% mockumentary, by which I mean it’s a fictional movie meant to look like a documentary, except it frequently deviates from what a documentary would actually capture. Those deviations (the editing process somehow fails to excise footage of the crew committing a crime, for example) can be a little infuriating to purists like me, but maybe I just need to lighten up. Hey, maybe so do you. Seriously man, look at yourself. Smoke a cigarette or something.

AmZom2Semi-somebody documentarian Grace Lee is the mind behind this serio-comedy undead expose. No that is not her in the picture above and you are racist for thinking so. Lee is a pro filmmaker, but her horror bona fides leave a little something to be desired. In American Zombie, she tackles a traditionally gore-laden sub genre without so much as a dedicated special makeup effects designer. Not that severed limbs and arterial spray are necessary to make a good horror movie, but the zombification process here appears to consist of fake warts and crinkly patches of latex paint. Instead of boldly defying genre conventions, Lee comes off as being willfully ignorant of them. It’s almost as if she finds the task beneath her, relying on her profoundly original take on the zombie mythos to convince horror fans – known for their obsessive savviness – to look past genre failings that are at best lazy and at worst flat out insulting.

AmZom4The main thing American Zombie has going for it is the general premise, which to its credit is fairly interesting. In most respects its zombies are the necrotic revenants we’ve all come to know and love. The twist is that many of them remain highly intelligent. They return with no memory of their former lives, but otherwise they’re basically regular folks. Despite a few…quirks…they’re able to do things like hold down jobs, establish advocacy groups and organize Burning Man style music festivals. It’s a great idea that allows for some really neat possibilities, though truth be told the whole gag could be fully delivered in about 20 minutes.

Another selling point is the cast, including some of the individual zombies followed around by Lee and her sardonic, morally ambiguous film school pal, John. John and two of the zombies, Ivan and Lisa, are legitimately funny and magnetic. Every time they’re on screen the movie heats up a few degrees. Lee needs to keep her ass behind the camera a little more though. She improvs just fine but her scripted scenes could have used a few more hours in the oven.

AmZom3You know, on second thought, you probably shouldn’t watch this movie. It’s slow as shit and you know exactly what the punchline will be way before you ever get to the much hyped LIVE DEAD festival. You should go watch Fido instead. It’s not available for free ($1.99 on both Amazon and YouTube), but it has the benefit of being actually funny, which will make you significantly less likely to be mad at me after you watch it.

Added bonus: Zombie drugs! Comically oversized vials of glowing blue zombie drugs that are prominently featured but never fully explained. Because, well… aw fuck it. I’m sorry.

Archie of the Dead. For reals.

afterlife with archieTwo surprising things here: the undead are invading Riverdale and Archie comics are still a thing people buy. Bloody-Disgusting has the full press release but the choice quote tells us the comic will be “spearheaded by one of Hollywood’s hottest writers, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who will be fresh off the high profile crossover, ARCHIE MEETS GLEE.

Let’s drive past the whole who the fuck is Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa issue – he wrote the upcoming Carrie remake – and focus on calling Archie Meets Glee high profile. “Age of Ultron my ass, I’m in line for the new crossover between a comic no one reads and a TV show no one watches!”

The Walking Dead Season 3 – New Trailer, New Photos

We here at Modern Borefare, like many of you,  love The Walking Dead & are super stoked that the new season is starting in a little under a month! To ratchet up the excitement even more,AMC has just released a new trailer for the series with nary a farm to be seen. Just crazypants zombie murder.

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