Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Apple Has Fallen Very Far: Children of the Living Dead

Romero is a genius.

He took the Haitian concept of the Zombie--originally a man or woman whose soul was on layaway due to voodoo--and added a very human sense of mortality to create the shuffling face-biters we all know and love.

Night of the Living Dead was a seminal piece of filmmaking, and set the standard for zombie horror.

Everything that has come since then has tried...and failed.

The only exception to this has been Shaun of the Dead which was just another example of the Brits beating America at good movies.

So now we come to this, the ultimate statement of how NOT to make a zombie movie.

"Children of the Living Dead"

The movie begins with a posse of the uninfected taking on waves of slow moving, poorly made-up zombies. A helicopter flies overhead, providing solid air support.

This was a huge mistake by the filmmakers for two reasons.

One: When taking on the slow variant of zombie, firing from a helicopter leads to wasted shots and fewer killed zombies.

Two: When you waste your budget on a helicopter, you're left with a shitty movie that has no blood, brains, squibs, actors, scripts or point of existence.

Basically, it's awful.

Let's start off with the basic premise.

There are zombies. This has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, but if you don't assume it from the beginning you'll be lost by the second scene.

You see, the rest of the film doesn't really involve zombies so much as a demonically possessed abbot named Abbot Hayes.

Hayes was dressed like a girl by his mother and developed a case of the crazies. He killed a few women and went to jail. In jail, he died.

Somehow he then became possessed by demonic spirits, but the how or why was not important enough to be explained by the writer.

Zombie Hayes captured a group of kids who were in turn rescued by a fat and bumbling policeman. Another man, who's name and purpose mean nothing, dies in the rescue.

Skip ahead many years.

A construction group is building a car dealership where the old Hayes place used to be. In order to do this, they dig up graves.


Are you seriously asking questions at this point?

So, for no apparent reason, Hayes decides to attack the town. He scares a van full of teenagers into falling off a cliff, bites their corpses to reanimate them, and then procedes to attack a diner.

Yup, only the diner.

And then, just to be safe, he makes sure they don't wander anywhere except that diner. Because when zombies wander, they hurt people. And we aren't here to hurt people.

Inside the diner is a fashionable young lad who is the son of the evil man building the car park and the last surviving girl from the original kid rescue.

A little bad acting later, with some of the worst action sequences ever recorded on film, the movie ends.

Hayes is still alive, the fat cop is dead, and the boy and girl look poised to get it on.

And you've died a little inside.

Honestly, there is no way to describe how bad this film is.

The director must have only heard of films through loosely translated exerpts from radio broadcasts received from an old soup can that were beamed from towers deep underground and run by mole people.

The writer was obviously illiterate.

The actors were dead themselves and hooked to strings.

After the movie was shot, rather than take it to an editor, the filmmakers chose to bury it in a pile of rotting roadkill for seventeen years.

I can't make sense of the choices made in this movie, specifically the choice to be made.

Don't see it. For the love of all that is holy, do NOT see this movie.

That's all for now.

Watch carefully.

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