Halloween Horror Marathon: Zombiethon

zombiethon header Each week, Halloween Horror Marathon does some themed posts. We sleep in on Sundays, then watch a zombie flick. We call it Resurrection Sundays. This week, we look at the compilation film Zombiethon What are the best parts of any horror film, for any teenager? The violence and the nudity. Here's a Wizard Video collection that functions as a highlight reel of any number of classic zombie flicks from the '70s and '80s. The films themselves, if you've actually seen them, are almost universally terrible. With the exception of Fulci's Zombie, all the movies presented here benefit greatly from being truncated and edited. Oasis of the Zombies actually seems interesting and fun (it is not), for example. I mean, if you reduce the absurdity of The Invisible Dead to a collection of scenes with naked Caroline Munro, it's obviously going to be something more intriguing than it actually is. The best part of the edited / reduced films is the way A Virgin Among the Living Dead is, essentially, just the added footage Jean Rollin shot for the film's re-release in 1981, meaning that this is literally nothing like the original picture in any way, shape, or form. zombiethon It all peters out at the end, with quite a short blasts from the oldest film here, Astro-Zombies. The flick's charmingly awful, but after a solid hour of breasts and blood, the cheesy cheapness of this "classic" feels anticlimactic. The interstitial wrap-around bits are quite fun, pretty funny, and even (in the case of the first one) shot fairly well. You could easily pull these bits and make your own highlight reel -- perhaps with stronger films. I'd love to see 10-minute cuts of Bud the Chud and Return of the Living Dead mixed up with Mutant and Messiah Evil. This is considerably more good-natured than the other Wizard compilation, Filmgore. Even the inclusion of wrap-around segments from Elvira can't keep that from seeming just a little bit nasty. This, though, is basically a perfect thing to throw on in the background of your Halloween party. Throw on some creepy film scores or funky disco -- either way, you can delight in the nakeys and zombies. You can snag this from Full Moon Features as a three-pack that also features Filmgore and Savage Island. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kVyEqHtS1s[/embed]

Halloween Horror Marathon: The Living Dead Girl

living dead girl header Each week, Halloween Horror Marathon does some themed posts. We sleep in on Sundays, then watch a zombie flick. We call it Resurrection Sundays. This week, we look at the French "zombie" film The Living Dead Girl. Rob Zombie associations aside, this French zombie film is worth watching simply to experience how horror can mean different things to different cultures. Jean Rollin's film has certain things with which I'm readily familiar, like the slow pace of Italian films and the hazy hallucinatory aspects of Spanish cinema, but at its heart, this is really a love story. A love story with gouts and gouts of blood, and a living dead girl who's a thirst for it, granted, but a love story nonetheless. It's one of two excellently-acted horror roles by Marina Pierro, coming fast on the heels of her role in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Miss Osbourne the year before. Much like Miss Osbourne in that film, Pierro's role of Helene sees Pierro going to great lengths to accommodate the object of her love. In both cases, killing and sexual desire find themselves intertwined. When Catherine tears a woman apart, her cries of agony and last gasps sound very near to the passionate responses of the realtor and her lover earlier in the film. Given the alternate views of gore and skin -- and, regularly, blood-soaked nude women -- it's difficult to see where Rollin's blurry line of desire changes from lust to hunger. The repeated switching between French and English requires an attentive viewer, unless said viewer is bilingual. It's worth your undivided attention, however, as this is an absolutely gorgeous film, both visually, and in terms of the strength of how love can triumph in spite of death. The Living Dead Girl can be had on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Films, which features an interview with the director. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucXKFAbFM9A[/embed]