Since day one of my Collegian career I’ve wanted to write a column about zombies, as they’ve found a very special place close to my heart over the many years of my movie-saturated life.
Never have I felt as much exhilaration in a hour and a half as I have watching absurdly awkward characters kicking undead ass, especially during such masterpieces as the punk-rock cemetery thrill “Return of the Living Dead,” Peter Jackson’s genius “Dead Alive,” (the primary example) and even the more recent Australian alien/zombie epic “Undead.”
It takes loads of ingenuity, creativity and a heroic ability to turn bad acting into good acting with the most subtle touch.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of borderline un-watchable zombie movies out there full of terrible camera work, devastatingly horrible acting and over-the-top cheesy makeup/gore. Most of this is due to lack of a budget or a bunch of film students with a decent budget but a serious lack of movie-making skills.
Sam Raimi, director of both “Spiderman” flicks, began his career with the all-time classic “Evil Dead” trilogy, the third of which is “Army of Darkness,” which had Jane and Peter Fonda’s daughter Bridget in it. The ultimate badass, Ving Rhames, lent his menacing muscles to the 2004 re-imagining of “Dawn of the Dead.” Even the frickin’ director of “Trainspotting,” Danny Boyle, directed a newer spin on the zombie genre in “28 Days Later,” and killed it.
As hard as it is to even attempt to ruin the face of the genre, it sadly appears that the number one worst actor in California may be taking a stab at it. That’s right, the one and only Corky Romano himself, Chris Kattan, is slated to star side-by-side with James Denton of “Desperate Housewives” in the upcoming cowboy/comedy/zombie flick “Wanted: Undead or Alive.” There was a time when I thought, as with Ben Stiller, you have to watch Kattan’s movies three or four times before assuming the my-stomach-hurts-from-laughing-too-hard position, but no. He totally sucks.
It’s been said time and time again by the outrageous gore and totally unnecessary nudity followers that horror is the most underrated genre in the movie world, which always felt kind of cool in that “I’m part of the underground” sort of a way.