Thursday, August 13, 2009

How I got over my fear or I how I learned to stop worrying and embrace the freakin undead

The horror genre has never been one I have really enjoyed. Some of it I can respect but one in general just has never done a thing for me. And I really wouldn't call it a fear of them either. I just never really found any interest in them at all.

I speak of course of the Zombie.

Two films recently have allowed me to actually enjoy a Zombie flick and possibly see what other see and love in the Mortuus Vivens * genre.

Film #1:

Fido (2006)

Check out the opening "educational film" from the movie that sets up the world. After seeing this I knew I was in for a treat.

From there the movie is your standard "boy and his dog" story about a boy and his pet Zombie (who he of course names Fido.) But when Fido eats the next-door neighbor the boy has to go to the ends of the earth to keep Fido a part of the family.
This black comedy allowed me to experience Zombies on an acceptable level and have a good laugh.

Film #2:
Shaun of the Dead (2004)

After being a huge fan of this groups other outings (Spaced and Hot Fuzz) I still had not ventured into their Zombie parody/homage. Luckily Fido had opened my eyes and I decided it was finally time to see it.


Their homage/parody style was well defined for me by Hot Fuzz so I was ready for that. So many details are layered in this film you can just see they put forth maximum effort. For example, early on in the film while the main character is riding the bus a kid sits in front of him listening to techno on his walkman. The song? Zombie Nation by kernkraft 400. Cute.

For those who haven't seen it, here's the basic plot:

A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.

While I had been enjoying the film all along the way, there was one point later on that fully sold me on it's awesomeness. I will let you enjoy the scene in it's entirety. Spoiler I guess for those who haven't seen it, the main cast does have to fight against zombies. There, I ruined it for you ;)

(Unfortunately, Youtube and Dailymotion both seem to not want to show my nice HQ verison of this scene so all I can offer you is this low res/bad audio version. It will still suffice.)

After that moment I was sold.

Unfortunately, shortly after this scene the beyond believable gore started. It was then I discovered what I don't like about zombies (and most horror) is. I wouldn't really call myself squeamish, but there is just something about horror gore that turns me away from it. However, I was able to look past it and enjoy the rest of the film quite well.

Spoiler for end of the film: Now, for those who have seen Shaun of the Dead you may be looking at the opening intro to Fido and thinking that looks very familiar. Yes, SotD does end very similarly. It would be silly to think Fido wasn't influenced by that but I would like to think they took the general concept in a great direction on their own. Coupling it with a 1950s idyllic life and the "red/zombie" scare was genius.

*Yes Mom, the latin for Zombies is technically wrong.

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