Romy Shiller

Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

Mutant Vampire Zombies From the Hood!

In Film, review on October 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Story: In the wake of a solar flare of unusual properties, a mismatched group of inner-city survivors must put aside their animosity to escape a Los Angeles now free of gang-bangers, but infested instead with blood-sucking zombies.

Director: Thunder [Can you believe it’s his real name?] Levin

Writers: George Saunders, Thunder Levin

Stars: C. Thomas Howell, Tyshawn Bryant, Rachel Montez Collins


I came across this 2008 title and had to rent it immediately. I mean how fabulous and hysterical! Variety says, Titles like “Mutant Vampire Zombies From the Hood!” dangle a small hope that the movie itself won’t be duller than its eye-catching moniker. Here, that hope is rewarded: Thunder Levin’s feature is a fleet if forgettable low-budget romp through familiar genre terrain.

I posted the title on Facebook and my friend Iain said, “Zombies who are also vampires? That’s just greedy. What do they do, suck the blood out of your brain?” Yeah really – I had to know.

In the film everything is explained and it is a drama, any comedy to be found is from a viewer who is familiar with the horror genre. One of the characters notes that unlike usual, the vampire zombies can walk in the daylight. Another character replies that these “are not movie vampires.” (They obviously weren’t familiar with the Twilight vamps) So you have a film commenting on film. Fabulous.

Basically, these two cops are on a stakeout for a drug deal going down. All are in a leaded warehouse and so they are protected from the solar flare. The solar flare makes most people mutant vampire zombies. The gangs who are opposing factions and the cops must form an alliance against the vampire zombies. The story is how/if they survive. In the tradition of many horror films there is blood, violence, action, mystery, sex (“Apparently being undead does wonders for your libido.”) and hot, scantily clad women.

The site Bloody Good Horror says, It’s pretty hard to pass on a movie called “Mutant Vampire Zombies from the Hood” when the DVD features an undead, grill-wearing gang member and a tagline (“It’s the end of the world, yo!”) that’s as moronic as it is stupidly funny…

You can’t deny the allure of C. Thomas Howell wielding no less than two handguns while staring wildly at something we cannot see. How writer/director Thunder Levin managed to lasso Howell for this admittedly wonky production is a mystery, though I’m sure it has everything to do with the former heartthrob’s involvement in a little movie known as “Soul Man.”

C. Thomas Howell “as a gnarled, justice-dispensing detective with mad martial arts skills” is a strong draw for this film. He starred in the films The Outsiders as Ponyboy Curtis and in The Hitcher as Jim Halsey. He was in The Da Vinci Treasure, Red Dawn, Secret Admirer, Gettysburg, H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stopped and Gods and Generals. He appeared in 2012′s The Amazing Spider-Man.

There is a gore-factor here but is not excessive for the horror genre. The makeup is good, and associated effects like dangling entrails are also good. The solar-flare effect is a bit cheesy.

On Rotten Tomatoes Eric Belanger says, “A gripping plot doubled with excellent effects and a unique storyline makes for the best film in mutant-vampire-ghetto-zombie film history.” Ha!!!

This is B-Movie excellent trash. Rent it with your friends, have beer and junk food, know what you’re getting into and enjoy.

Team Live for Films Monthly Roundup – September and October

In Team Live For Films on October 2, 2012 at 10:52 am

As the month of September comes to a close here are some of Team Live for Films talking about their favourite movie moments of the past month and what they are looking forward to in October.

Everyone in the team was so sad about the passing of Tony Scott. A legend who gave us some amazing films.

First up is me.

Phil Edwards

Highs:Quite a few good films during September. Dredd 3Dwas brilliant. Karl Urban nailed it and it was all so faithful to 2000AD. You need to go and see it.Lawless was great. Good to see Tom Hardy in a different type of role again after Bane. Guy Pearce was also creepy as hell and Jessica Chastain was just gorgeous.

Killing Them Softly was surprisingly good. Surprising in that the trailer kind of gives the wrong impression of it. It is not the action thriller that it shows. Instead it is composed of a series of conversations between low lifes as they go through a series of events. Basically the bits that would happen, but you never see in other mob based films. The few moments of violence are incredibly graphic and just highlight the dangers of living that kind of life.

ParaNorman was most fun and good to watch it with my five year old daughter. She was a bit spooked at first, but soon got into the swing of things and loved the zombies.


I can’t think of any major disappointments in my movie watching over the last month. I just wish Dredd would make a bit more money so we can get a sequel or two.

Next month:

I am looking forward Taken 2. It may well just be a rehash of the first one, but I do like watching Liam Neeson beating up the bad guys. Some Guy Who Kills People mainly because it has a great title, but also as it has the mighty Kevin Corrigan in the lead role.

Although I am not expecting it to be brilliant I want to see On The Road just to find out how it translates to the big screen.

Radioman looks like an intriguing documentary about a Hollywood legend we have never heard of.

Taking my daughter to see Frankenweenie should be good. Room 237 should be most interesting as it focuses on the many theories people have around Kubrick’s The Shining. I also want to see Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Then we have Bond’s return in Skyfall.

Adam Truscott

Highs:Judge “saviour of 3D” Dredd. Looper. Lawless. Killing Them Softly(film of the year?).Also, a great month for Blueys. Titanic 3D is gorgeous. Avengers 3D, likewise. Cabin in the Woods and The Raid have both already been watched more than once.


I’m still pissed about my three hour walk off the coast of Africa.

I still haven’t recieved my new Cineworld Unlimited card.

Mark Wassmer

Highs:• Have to be Dredd 3D – agree with Adam, showing how 3D can make difference. • Lawless more Hardy • Looper more JGL, with a new star to watch out for Pierce Gagnon. • And of course Avengers assembling on Blu.Lows:

House at the end of the Street = Pointless. • Poor US Box Office for Dredd meaning the potential for a sequel is not promising. • Still haven’t seen Killing Them Softly, but at least I can change that one.

Looking forward to: • Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, because it’s old school Burton. • Savages • Skyfall • Sinister because I need some Horror in my life for Halloween.

Holly Blain

I have a lot of love from Fantastic Fest for the films I saw there.Standouts include I DECLARE WAR, ROOM 237 (which is facinating) COLD STEEL (China) and TOWER BLOCK.Also, the excellent Documentary, THE FINAL MEMBER (about the Icelandic Phalliological Museum was entertaining, humorous and strangely enough, everyone I saw it with was invested in the outcome of it and talked about it over and over. “Legal length” will become important to you after seeing this film.

Romy Shiller

Lows:The Cold Light of Day. I was drawn to the film because of the stars: Sigourney Weaver and Bruce Willis. The future Superman [Henry Cavill] also made me curious. I like Weaver in the television show, Political Animal, but since the Alien films, her cinematic choices have been questionable – I keep forgetting this! I would have liked to have seen more of Bruce Willis. Henry Cavill – well the person I went with called him a B list actor… The film itself was LAME.Highs:

Not really a HIGH this month. I re-watched Mansfield Park directed by Patricia Rozema, whom I once met in Toronto, so that was fun. I am a huge Jane Austen fan and this film is based on one of her popular books – very well done!

October: I am salivating to see Cloud Atlas. I wrote a whole book on Reincarnation called AGAIN [] so this is right up my alley. Skyfall, of course is on my list.

Mike Williams

Highs:I’ve barely been to the cinema, but managed to see Lawless which was a good addition to Hillcoat’s filmography. Other highlights include the London Film Festival, which I am in London for now, and will continue to into October with film such as Rust and Bone, Room 237 and Beasts of the Southern Wild.Lows:

I have no negatives to speak of to be honest!

Paul Jonze

September was a mixed bag at the cinema. But, for me at least, it was a better month than August.I’m going to have to go against the grain and happily place myself in the minority and say that I actually enjoyed Total Recall. I thought the effects were great, and there aren’t many things I like to see more than Kate Beckinsale kicking ass. I thought she was great. Obviously Farrell’s accent was a little muddled, and a there were a lot of differences from the Arnie version, but I don’t think it deserved the rap that it got. In fact, I watched the Arnie version last week, and although I hate to say it as a fan of Verhoeven’s films, but it hasn’t dated well.Another great film was Dredd. I went in with low expectations having not been a huge fan of 2000 AD, but I found myself really enjoying it. Like Recall, it’s just a film you need to casually enjoy and not have to think to hard about it. If rumour is right and Judge Death is going to be making an appearance in the next one (or the one after), then I’m excited! The only downside to Dredd was that, at my local cinema at least, there was no option for 2D, which I would almost always chose over 3D.

I also thought Lawless was a great film, although Hardy, Chastain and especially Oldman were criminally underused. It’s the first time Shia Labeouf hasn’t grated on me in a long time, and Hardy had some great and funny scenes, but the show stealer for me was Guy Pierce. It’s not often an actor plays a villain so evil and cruel you actually hate them and want to see them dead, but he pulled it off. Great acting by him.

A low for me was Hope Springs. I’m a fan of Meryl Streep’s films, but I found myself bored with this one. Tommy Lee Jones is great at playing the grumpy old man, as always, but unusually for Meryl in this case, she didn’t really add anything to the film which is unusual for her.

Another low was House At The End Of The Street. Jennifer Lawrence seemed out of place in it, like she should be doing better films at this point of her career. I’m really hungry for a decent horror film!

Two films left me with mixed feelings. I felt like The Imposter should have been more enjoyable than what it was. A really interesting story, but it just wasn’t the film I was hoping it would be. If it had been on Channel 4 one evening and I knew what to expect, I would have enjoyed it, but I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind for what was on the cinema. The acting was good, and the real life footage blended really well with re-enactments, but it just didn’t quite do it for me.

The other film was Killing Them Softly. If you like films with tonnes of dialogue (probably about 80% of this film was face to face dialogue interaction) and small but violent bursts of action, then this is going to be the film for you. I just don’t think it quite managed to pull off what it wanted to. The dialogue scenes seemed like they were trying to come straight out of a Tarantino film, and the action scenes bizarrely reminded me of certain shots from Dredd. I found myself fidgeting about an hour into it.

The next month is looking to be another packed month for film. Looper is one particular film I’m looking forward to seeing, hopefully this weekend. For the horror fan in me there is Resident Evil 5, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, and Silent Hill 2 and Sinister. But of course the big one for October is Skyfall. For me, the trailer alone is better than the whole of Quantum of Solace, so I’m really hoping the film delivers!

Stephen Bowron

Highs:I am still buzzing from how great Dredd 3Dturned out to be. Also, my evenings are busy once more as US television shows have started again!Lows:

How badly Dredd 3D performed in the US is likely to be a big blotch on the possibility of Dredd sequels. Also, I barely went to the cinema or saw any films this month. Not much appealed to me, unlike next month.

Looking forward to: I am one of the few people on Earth who hasn’t seen Looper yet. Also, the Shakespeare’s Globe is screening a number of plays in selected cinemas, so I’m very eager to see some of their performances.

Piers McCarthy

Highs:Looper with a terrific cast and some incredible set-pieces, directing and writing. Untouchables – one of the most enjoyable and heart-warming films I’ve seen in a long time. Lawless – not Hillcoat’s best but certainly a stand-out film in its own right. Raiders of the Lost Arkat IMAX – epic!Lows:

That’s My Boy – didn’t see it but from the trailer alone I could tell that it was another batch of cinema-poison from Sandler Hope Springs – Not awful but not it only has a small demographic that I certainly didn’t fit in to. Also, some pretty terrible editing and a lackluster soundtrack (bar two popular tracks). To Rome With Love – After Midnight in Paris I was looking forward to Allen back on form but this sadly disproved that.

Looking forward to: Will probably see Liberal Arts again as I loved it. Frankenweenie to see Burton back on form…hopefully. Crossfire Hurricane – new Rolling Stones documentary. Skyfall looks and sounds to be back to Bond’s basics and with Mendes at the helm I cannot wait. Room 237 looks interesting and will certainly garner some discussion.

Jackson Ball

Highs:Dredd 3D: slightly lacking on narrative for me, but visually blew me away.Avengers on Blu-Ray: was literally looking forward to this from the moment I left the cinema in May. Extra features could of been better but I’m happy with the ones that they supplied.


House at the End of the Street: just seemed plain daft to me. No real groundbreaking elements and overall a waste of time and money.

Looking forward to: Skyfall (promising), Frankenweenie (exciting/loveable), Argo (intriguing)