Posts Tagged ‘zombie’


I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres.  Today we talk about the handy vigilante in “The Equalizer 3,” the high school comedy “Bottoms,” the coming-of-age story “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” and the YA horror movie “Zombie Town.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to have a look at the handy vigilante in “The Equalizer 3,” the high school comedy “Bottoms,” the coming-of-age story “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” and the YA horror movie “Zombie Town.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the handy vigilante in “The Equalizer 3,” the high school comedy “Bottoms,” the coming-of-age story “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” and the YA horror movie “Zombie Town.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

ZOMBIE TOWN: 2 ½ STARS. “pitched toward the YA scares of ‘Goosebumps.’”

Sometimes called the “Stephen King of children’s literature,” R.L. Stine has inspired bad dreams for decades. The author of hundreds of horror fiction novels for youngsters, including the classic “Goosebumps” series, returns to the big screen this week with “Zombie Town,” a teen horror comedy based on his 2012 novel of the same name.

The action takes place on one eventful night in Carverville, a small town named after legendary b-movie horror director Len Carver (Dan Aykroyd). “This whole town is just a bunch of zombie following idiots,” grumbles Mike (Marlon Kazadi), the only guy in town who doesn’t like zombie movies.

It’s the eve of the premier of Carver’s latest “flesh drenched extravaganza,” his first film in decades. “You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! You’ll kiss your five bucks goodbye!” screams the film’s trailer. Everyone in town is excited except for Mike, who works at the theatre, and will have to watch the film whether he likes it or not.

When Carver takes ill before the show, the screening is cancelled, but Mike’s friend Amy (Madi Monroe) convinces him to give her a private screening. As white light bounces off the blank screen, strange things begin happening. Mike and Amy protect themselves from the weird glow with film cannister lids embossed with an ancient symbol.

The symbol’s mystical power protects them from the film’s magical spell, but outside the theatre, all over town, the good folks of Carverville have been transformed into the living dead. “You have to get over your fear of zombies,” Amy says. “It is just us and them now.”

Mike and Amy realize that if they are to save themselves and their town, they must track down Carver and put an end to his film’s zombie curse.

The zombies in “Zombie Town” may amble around with George A. Romero style menace, but this is no “Night of the Living Dead.” Thrills and chills are few and far between, pitched toward the younger end of the YA scares of “Goosebumps.”

Director Peter Lepeniotis aims for an Amblin PG-13 feel, that mix of plucky young people and the supernatural, but falls just short because the film has no real menace. Sure, the town has been zombified, but the peril and the frights are kept to a minimum. Raising the stakes and ramping up the horror may have given the movie more edge, without risking the alienation of the core audience.

It’s a bit of fun to see Aykroyd ham it up as the tormented filmmaker in “Zombie Town,” and cameos from Chevy Chase, Henry Czerny and “Kids in the Hall” alums Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch add some texture, but overall it doesn’t bring quite enough life to the undead.

LAST CALL PODCAST EPISODE 4: “The Greatest Place in the History of the World.”

Imagine a bar with an indoor lagoon. Now imagine that it rains, indoors every half hour. It’s not just a flight of fancy, it’s the Tonga Room, a classic restaurant and tiki bar in the Fairmont San Francisco hotel. Named after the South Pacific nation of Tonga, it is an eye-popping example of high-style Tiki that has been igniting the imaginations of customers for more than seventy five years.

Designed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s leading set director, it is the tropical paradise Anthony Bourdain called, “the greatest place in the history of the world.”

Learn about the invention of Tiki, the California Gold Rush and the Tonga Room HERE!

Metro Canada: Aubrey Plaza is all about the brains in zom-com Life After Beth

zombieBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Aubrey Plaza, star of the new zombie rom com Life After Beth, is a liar.

When asked if it is possible to overthink her approach to a character she says, “I’m not very smart to begin with so I can’t overthink anything. If I’m thinking about something, that’s a big deal for me.”

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Actually, the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate, best known as April Ludgate on Parks and Recreation, is a secret smarty-pants with a well thought out career path.

“Most scripts I read feel wrong to me just because they’re not good,” she says. “I tend to try and do things that are scary to me because otherwise I’ll just get offered the same thing over and over again, and who wants to see that… except for everyone.”

Life After Beth offered up something different and a little scary. Plaza says the story of Zack (Dane DeHaan) and his recently deceased girlfriend Beth (Plaza) who refuses to stay dead is a metaphor “for a break up and how when you break up with someone it’s like they die. Then you try to get back together with them and you only remember the good things. Or you turn that person into a monster. There’s all kinds of ways you can look at the movie.”

The thirty-year-old actress says, “I like make-believe which is why I like movies and like making them and making people believe that I am good at that,” adding that she always had “grand delusions” of a career in film.

“I had really weird taste when I was little,” she says. “I was really into Judy Garland and Bette Midler. I had a sophisticated gay man’s taste at an early age.”

Plaza was also obsessed with Saturday Night Live, particularly with the female cast members like Molly Shannon, Tina Fey and her current Parks and Rec co-star Amy Poehler, a person she now calls a “close friend” and the nicest and funniest person in the room. “She is like a glowing orb of light.”

Her take on Poehler is believable, but when asked about her movie’s message, she lies again.

“I want people to see zombies in a whole new light and think before they shoot them in the brains,” she says. “If the zombie apocalypse happens I want the world to remember, ‘These were humans at one point…’ No, I think they should just shoot them. Immediately.”

George A. Romero: A Sucker for the Classics Thursday, August 19, 2010 By Richard Crouse

gerogeYou might imagine that horror maestro George A. Romero’s favorite film is The Exorcist. Or maybe Cannibal Holocaust. Or even The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s easy to picture the twisted mind behind Night of the Living Dead curled up in his Toronto home with the Saw marathon unspooling on his blood splattered DVD player. Easy to imagine, but far from the reality. Most nights you’ll find him rewatching a classic. Maybe The Brothers Karamazov, Casablanca or Dr. Strangelove. Nary a decapitated head or disembowelment in the bunch! He also loves The Quiet Man, High Noon and King Solomon’s Mines but his all time favorite is an obscure 1951 Michael Powell film called The Tales of Hoffman.

“It’s the movie that made me want to make movies,” he says.

“I was dragged kicking and screaming by an aunt and uncle. I wanted to go see the new Tarzan; the new Lex Barker movie to see how he stacked up against Weissmuller and they said, ‘No! We’re going to see this,’ and I fell in love with it. It’s just beautiful. Completley captivating. It’s all sung. It’s all opera. It’s not like The Red Shoes where there is a story running through it and then Léonide Massine does a ballet at the end. I just fell in love with it from the pop.

“He did it on a low budget. You could see the techniques he was using; he was reversing action, doing overprints, double exposures and it seemed accessible. I think at that age if I had seen Jurassic Park I would have said ‘Forget about it, I don’t know how to do this dinosaur thing’ but I could see how Powell made the film and it was accessible to me. It made me think that maybe someday I could do something like this.”

All these years later Hoffman and other films of that vintage still move him—“I’m a sucker for the old movies I loved as a kid,” he says. “I put them on and I get a tear in my eye when the overture starts.”—but don’t think he’s getting soft. The man known to fans as the “Grandfather of the Zombie” has a new gut wrenching (literally) movie called Survival of the Dead in theatres this weekend.

Like his previous movies it works on a couple of levels. “Goremets” will appreciate his signature style with the blood and guts but wipe away some of the red stuff and the social commentary of his work becomes clear. “I bring the zombies out of the closet when I have something I want to talk about,” he says.

His classic Night of the Living Dead touches on Cold War politics and domestic racism, while others in the Living Dead series shine a light on consumerism, the conflict between science and the military and class conflict. The new one, the sixth in the series, is a lesson in the futility of war. Inserting these ideas into the films is very important to Romero whether audiences get it or not. He says he knows most people are “there either to just take the ride or watch the gore, chuckle at the gore, and don’t care about the other stuff,” but his work has had a profound effect on a couple of generations of filmmakers.

Quentin Tarantino, who says the “A” in George A. Romero stands for “A f**king genius,” cites the director’s fierce independent style as an influence and Romero’s blend of speculative fiction and social comment is particularly apparent in the work of Guillermo del Toro.

When I mention this to Romero he says, “Guillermo is my man! He runs a close second to Michael Powell in my mind.”