Zombie Movie Review: Zombie Hunter Rika

AKA Rika: The Zombie Killer \ High School Girl Rika: Zombie Hunter

Poster for film Rika the Zombie Killer

Poster for movie Zombie Hunter Rika

Back to Asia and a follow-up of sorts to the zombie / soft-porn flick ‘Girls Rebel Force‘, Rika is an altogether classier movie – although still has some cheesy nudity to keep the fans happy.

What must be admired about Japanese zombie movies is the sheer bonkers nature of their plot, and Rika is no exception. While visiting her long-lost Grandfather in a backwoods village in Japan with a friend and some other visiting relatives, young Rika discovers that the village has been inexplicably taken over by the walking dead. One particularly close encounter causes young Rika to lose her arm, but fate is on the lass’ side here – not only because one of her companions happens to have stumbled on a disembodied Samurai arm (complete with sword in hand) but also because her demented Grandfather is a master surgeon. So we have Rika and her enormously muscular (if incredibly rubbery) super arm and her troupe of random friends as they go off zombie hunting, tracking down the master zombie and his henchmen to dish out some payback.

What sets this apart from Girls Rebel Force is that this film goes for fun over titillation. Sure, there are some great sleazy moments (3 maids arguing over who has the biggest norks but whipping them out and comparing them) but the overriding essence of this movie is just crazy gory nonsense. Oh yes there is some nice gore going on here – loads of rubbery flesh ripping and head decapitation, blood a plenty and some great makeup too (particularly the suspiciously friendly zombie with the disgusting googly eye!)

It’s trash, it’s stupid and it adds nothing to either the Zombie movie canon, or movies as a whole but by-gum was it a good fun waste of time.

Gore Score B-
Norks Score B-
Originality Score B-
Overall Score B-

Zombie Movie Review: Mutants

This film is showing on Netflix Instant US. Visit Blog of the Living Dead for details

Mutants Zombie Movie Poster

Mutants Zombie Movie Poster

It has often been said that 28 Days Later has a lot to answer for, a complaint that is usually uttered by bloggers out of anger at all the running zombie-type creatures that have spawned since that great 2002 movie (although surely running zombies have been around since at least Return of the Living Dead back in the mid 80’s, but hey). While that may or may not be a valid complaint, something that can’t be argued is that 28 Days Later has been responsible for some truly great movies, possibly the finest offspring being MUTANTS; a little French number from 2009.

Some bird and her fella are trying to escape the current epidemic of human-mutants in a little ambulance (that probably belongs to the lass as she seems to be a nurse of some kind) a great choice of vehicle during a zombie apocalypse for sure – although probably a bit slow on the acceleration to be perfect – when this glorified ice-cream van unsurprisingly runs out of fuel (well it can’t be that efficient a vehicle really, driving around with a portable surgery in the back!) The pair have to hold up in a random building out in the snowy mountainous woodland they seem to have found themselves in. Unfortunately for the chap he’s recently been infected with the zombie contaminant so it is up to the chick to either try to cure him, kill him or contain him until a cure can be found.

What starts out as a pretty standard humans-escaping-zombies movie turns into a study of a mans descent into madness as the chap slowly turns from human boyfriend into crazy violent zombie nut-job. Sure, all she needs to do is whack this dude over the head or inject him with a huge dose of killer nurse drug to prevent him from turning, but can she do it? He is her other-half and the only link back to humanity she knows. Plus she believes she has found a cure herself, so she can’t really kill him off without at least trying to get the cure working, can she?

This was a great movie. The pacing was spot on, there’s loads of gross bloody moments and the performances by the two main leads – particularly the main dude – were a horrible joy to watch. There are the standard Zombie clichés present here – People trapped in a building with zombies trying to break in, arguments between the survivors about what to do, suspenseful ‘is there a zombie behind that door or not’ moments and some ass-kicking zombie death too. Sure, it was bloody while not being particularly gory, and it was sadly lacking in the nork department, but then I guess that would have turned it into a different sort of film and to be honest it works perfectly well as it is.

Gore Score B-
Norks Score F
Originality Score C
Overall Score A-

Zombie Movie Review: Biohazardous

fake movie poster for zombie movie Biohazardous

fake movie poster for zombie movie Biohazardous

As it’s a New Year it’s about time we made some changes on this here zombie movie review blog, so it is a good opportunity to refresh things. You may have noticed the image above; yes, here at Devouring the Zombie Films of the Living we’ve jumped on the Fan-Made-Movie-Poster bandwagon, and will be producing a new poster picture for each movie that we review from now on – Or until we get bored. If you like the idea then feel free to let us know in the comments.

However, while we may be making changes on the blog to keep things fresh and exciting sadly the same can’t be said for the makers of this guff movie: Biohazardous. Unoriginal, boring and almost totally lacking in plot. We’re starting to think it might be useful to have a set of cut-and-paste zombie review texts to use in situations like this. One paragraph that would probably get used again and again would fit this film for sure:

A group of scientists are trying to create a breed of super-soldiers, but things go wrong and they end up creating a troupe of zombies that escape and go on a murderous rampage.

Yes, it’s one of those films. As if that wasn’t enough of a sign that this will be a poor movie one of the opening lines is of a TV news presenter introducing himself by saying “Hi, I’m George Romero“. Urgh, an unoriginal plot and subtle-as-a-brick nods to classic zombie movies; that’s really a recipe for disaster. (If you want to see a good zombie-movie reference in an undead movie try The Stink Of Flesh with lead hero Matool.)

So anyway; all this is happening in a big lab building in a backwoods town somewhere in the US. The local kids, police and Vicar led God-Squad all take an interest in what’s going on and each group go to investigate, get attacked and then try to escape. That’s about it here. The majority of the film takes place in various corridors of the laboratory, people run away from zombies or towards other rooms for the duration of the film while the film’s Director tries to spice this up by filming in Dutch Angles every other shot. OK there is a load of blood and the occasional gore scene, but nothing you haven’t seen before in every other scientist/serum/super-soldier zombie movie, and it is probably the worst sub-genre in the zombie canon. Please budding zombie film makers, please think of a new angle to take with your low-budget movies.

Gore Score C-
Norks Score F
Originality Score D-
Overall Score D-

Zombie Movie Review: The Serpent And The Rainbow

This film is showing on Netflix Instant US. Visit Blog of the Living Dead for details.

Vector image for zombie movie Serpent and the Rainbow

Vector image for zombie movie Serpent and the Rainbow

Wow, a zombie movie more-or-less based on a true story?  Made by a famous director?  Featuring a famous and ubiqutious lead star?  Oh yes, there are no toxic-waste spewing, brain-chomping undead rotters in this 1980’s flick.  Hot on the heels of the awesome ‘Spaceballs’, Bill Pulman kicks off his 3-random-films-every-single-year-from-then-until-eternity career with this Haiti set real life voodoo exploration.

Having been attacked, drugged by a creepy voodoo Bokor and then stalked by jaguars in Haiti just after the opening credits, Bill Pulman returns to the US only to be told that he has to head back to the country to root out some mystic death-faking (ie zombie) drug that could be used by the American government for some reason.  (Probably for misguided and unexplained military purposes, as is the way in zombie movies.)

Anyway, old Bill turns up over in Haiti and starts hanging out with some doctor lass who he surprisingly takes a liking too, even going so far as boning her under a waterfall. However, being the only white dude in the country he attracts suspicion from the local government and they take it upon themselves to attack, drug and then provide him a (slightly unwanted) scrotal body piercing service.  Still, at least it was free, eh?

Thankfully he manages to get up and about the place following this incident, and goes about his task of trying to find this magic zombie anaesthetic while still getting his end away with the doctor chick and hallucinating quite a bit on a daily basis.  He still gets chased around by the evil baddies though, it’d be boring if the just let him go and forgot about him.

The Serpent And The Rainbow was a really enjoyable affair. While a decent thriller in its own right, it’s also good to see a film that truly goes back to the roots of zombie culture, which this film does better than any film I’ve ever seen that’s not in black & white.  Educational, bloody, and a great ‘zombie rising from the grave to grab Bill Pullmans crotch’ scene.  What else could you wish for?  (Well ok yes, there are even Norks in this too).

Gore Score C
Norks Score D
Originality Score B
Overall Score B

Zombie Movie Review: Enter…Zombie King

Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/)

Vector image for movie Enter Zombie King

Vector image for movie Enter Zombie King

I recently saw the multi-award winning ‘The Wrestler’ on the big screen, and loved all the OTT wrestling action, but I felt that there was just something missing from all the serious self-destructive character story-lines.  True, it had plenty of strippers but where were all the dudes in stupid wrestling masks taking on a trained army of the undead?  I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that this is the reason it missed out at Oscars.

Thankfully I discovered a movie that fills in all the blanks from The Wrestler, and removes all the boring plot.  “Enter…Zombie King.”

Featuring a cast of Mexican-wrestling-mask wearing heroes, (who wear their masks constantly, even when chilling out drinking beers on the veranda) who travel the country for some reason on another.  Ulysses is the main hero here, who rocks on up at an old mates house – who is also a wrestler – to stay for a few days.  He hears that there is a rival wrestler in town who is planning on wrestling a bunch of ‘live’ zombies in the ring.  Obviously thinking these zombies can’t be trusted he pops along with his crew to witness this event.

Unfortunately for all concerned, while inside watching the match a couple of chicks are attacked outside and one gets killed by some feral Zombies, and it’s the zombie wrestler Tiki who gets the blame.  However, Tiki’s zombies have been neutered so it must be another sort of undead that killed off the young lady, so the whole team of masked heroes set off to discover what’s been happening with these killer zombies.

Featuring copious amounts of nudity, loads of fantastic wrestling-action and a bad guy with possibly the greatest villain name in history ‘Murderliser’, “Enter… Zombie King” is outstanding from start to finish.  OK, the acting is pretty sub-par and the gore effects are mostly of the Plastic-Jokeshop-Limb variety but it all works so superbly together none of that matters, and in-fact it just adds to the enjoyment.  Why do they never take off their masks?  Who cares.  How come nobody seems bothered that zombies have roamed the forest for years?  So what.  Why would anyone sunbathe in the snow wearing a wrestling mask?  Pah!  Just go with the flow and enjoy the action.  Heck, if actual Wrestling was this exciting I’d start watching that instead of the UFC!

Gore Score C
Norks Score B
Originality Score A
Overall Score B+

Zombie Movie Review: Vengeance of the Zombies

Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/)

vector image for movie Vengence of the Zombies

vector image for movie Vengence of the Zombies

What are the prime ingredients for my favourite Zombie movies?  Made in the 1970’s – Check.  Terrible overdubbing – Check.  Rubbish effects – Check.  Unnecessary nudity – Check.  Yes, everything in Vengeance of the Zombies is present and correct.  Infact there are even more ludicrous elements to this movie, of particular note the daft jazzy score which plays over many of the tenser moments, totally ruining any sense of suspense or horror.

Aside from these novelty moments, Vengeance of the Zombies actually has a reasonably decent story of a particularly old-school living dead nature.  A mysterious voodoo master dressed incredibly similarly to ‘V’ from ‘V for Vendetta’ – mask and all – is murdering a bunch of people using a few zombie ladies he’s resurrected and some wax voodoo dolls for good measure.

Elvira falls victim to these voodoo shenanigans but luckily manages to escape while her father gets killed off instead.  To come to terms with this bereavement she decides to get out of the city and head to a little English village to shack up with her Buddhist teacher, who she also has the hots for.  However it appears that the voodoo trickster has followed her there and the bizarre killings continue.  It probably doesn’t help matters that the house Krishna the Buddhist is living in has an infamous history for debauched Satanic worshiping and murder.  Oh well.

OK, so the story is reasonable enough and the acting is of an acceptable standard, but overall it’s not really that gripping.  Unless some back story was edited out of my really terrible ripped from VHS DVD version there is not a hope that you’ll ever guess who the voodoo master is or what his motivation is until the big reveal at the end.  Not that it matters really, these Eurohorrors are best viewed for the cheesy nonsense, of which this has plenty.  It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone.

Gore Score D
Norks Score C
Originality Score C
Overall Score C

Zombie Movie Review: Hide and Creep

vector image from zombie movie hide and creep
I want to find out who invented the idea of a Zombie Comedy (and more importantly who coined the term “Zomedy”) and punch them in their stupid face.  It’s probably the same person who thought that ‘Vampires’ and ‘Romantic Movie’ would be a great combination.  Oh. My. God.  Zombies are rotting corpses that eat people.  Vampires wear stupid cloaks and chew on peoples necks.  Where’s the comedy or romance in that?

Still I can’t complain too hard because, like everyone, I love Shaun of the Dead.

Anyway, let us depart from the irrelevant, dubious and obviously drunken grammar\punctuation and get back to the film in hand.

Hide and Creep is a comedy zombie movie, but despite all that it is one of the most enjoyable zombie flicks I’ve watched in a good long time, and possibly the most dead-pan zombie comedy I have ever seen.

Sure, there is not one iota of originality in the whole film. Rednecks, government agents, strippers…  They are all present and correct, but it’s all done so well and should be a lesson to all wannabe zombie movie makers out there.

Hey, if a film can open with a chubby ugly naked dude with his wanger on show and yet still keep me interested in the movie then there’s something going for it.  It’s a pity the director had to combine it with his own ego project and cast himself as a wannabe-Tarantino-dialogue-spouting hero, but hey, if it’s your film then do what you want.  At least he made a decent film, even though he was boring and predictable in it.

Oh yeah, the film itself…  Well, the plot from Plan 9 From Outer Space comes true, and a bunch of dead rednecks come back to life as zombies, and the living hicks have to defend themselves and the town from undead invasion.  That’s pretty much it, except that the script, characters, acting and even direction are amazingly good for such a low budget film.  Plus it has lesbian zombies in it, which cannot be a bad thing.

Gore Score C+
Norks Score B-
Originality Store C-
Overall Score B+