The people who know me know of my fear of zombies.
Blame it on a childhood trauma involving the cartoon series Felix the Cat, pirated betamax tapes, and overtaping old material. Suffice to say, I will never think of Felix the Cat again without thinking of Dawn of the Dead.
Because of this, I grew up watching all kinds of horror movies-- but I could never sit still watching zombie movies. The remake of Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, the remake of Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil, and even Shaun of the Dead-- it was an effort for me to watch these movies. Hell, I watched Shaun of the Dead in two parts because it took me sometime to get my nerve up to continue watching it.
Fortunately, the videogame Left for Dead was a lifesaver-- pun intended-- as repeated playing of the game finally desensitized me to the zombie theme. And to prove how much I've improved, one weekend while I was down with a fever, I managed to watch three zombie movies straight:
(Yes, it's a strange way to recover from a fever. But then again, being sick is life's way of saying as you speed past, "Put your brakes on, dude. That's a brick wall you're aiming for." So why not enjoy life with some zombie movies on the PC playlist?)
First of all, Resident Evil: AfterLife is what you can expect from a Hollywood movie: only empty-flash-and-bang with gorgeous monster-killer Mill Jovovich headlining the movie. Don't expect much out of it. That being said, I like the fact that they managed to answer all the questions raised by the ending of the previous Resident Evil movie (an army of Alices? a zombified Japan?) and then extended the series with a cliffhanger ending. Is it worth hanging on for this? A definite yes if only to find out what will happen next. (And isn't that the trademark of any good story?)
Crossing the pond, La Horde is the French's answer to the zombie movies. And like any French thriller movie I've watched, they criss-cross genres by starting off with a noir/crime story (a group of policemen out for revenge against a ganglord hiding in a run-down apartment) and then dropping its characters-- and you, the watcher-- smackdab in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. It's a fun movie to watch, if only for the last stand near the end of the flick. Goddamn, that's one tough sunovabitch there.
Lastly, Rec 2 is a sequel to the hit 2007 movie Rec (which was US-fied into Quarantine). I've always liked Rec for the way it intensified as well as added to the zombie mythology. Yes, the shaky camera has been done before but still. And the exorcist bit? Mindboggling. With Rec 2, the director has expanded the mythology and somehow come up with a pseudo-scientific reason for the zombie concept that could work. Unfortunately, I didn't like the add-on of the three kids and it felt that storyline was left unfinished.
So, after this weekend, the next time I watch zombie movies I would probably be okay now. But I'm still not letting go with my DIY maps and guidebook of what to do in a zombie outbreak. After all, only an unprepared person is an undead one-- so bring it on.