Saturday, September 26, 2009

See Me on Starz Talking Zombies!

Back in March, I went to Hallifax to be interviewed about zombies by documentary filmmaker Donna Davies; I worked with her previously on Pretty Scary, her doc abut women in horror.

Th result, Zombiemania, now has an airdate: October 13th.

Here's the office press release:

Zombies the new Vampire? Starz Premieres "Starz Inside: Zombiemania" on Oct. 13th

Move over, Twilight, “True Blood” and “Vampire Dairies,” there is a new breed of monster in town. With the premiere of Zombieland with Woody Harrelson in theaters today and two other projects in the works for DreamWorks, Xombie and Rainbow Ridge, zombies are set to pose some stiff competition to their monster genre counterparts. Starz will explore the world wide craze, from its history to its current role in pop culture with the premiere of Starz Inside: Zombiemania on Tuesday, Oct. 13th at 10pm et/pt. Zombie ‘experts’ including Max Brooks, author of “The Zombie Survival Guide” and “World War Z” and the “Grandfather of Zombie films” George Romero will weigh in on the impact of high-profile films like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Shaun of the Dead and the proliferation of independent zombie films across the country.

...and I talk about pretty much everything else, from Italian zombies to the evolution of the walking dead from Haitian folklore to all purpose metaphor (AIDS, spiritual suicide, the disenfranchised underclass... and much, much more, as the carnie spielers used to say) to Nazi zombies to the great slombie/zombie schism.

I'm sure Starz will be airing it throughout October so please tune in!


Ana Maria said...

...I apologize, because my comment/question has nothing to do with this post, but I looked for an email adress for questions for you and didn't find it...last night I watched the movie 1408, and liked it very much; I was on the edge of my seat the whole movie and surprised myself with a newfound respect for John Cusack. As always happens when I catch a movie on cable that I did not have the chance to watch at a movie theatre, I always look up your reviews and Roger Ebert's, and did not expect you giving 1408 only 2 stars, back at TVGuide. My questions are: 1) have you had the chance to watch it again, and has your opinion of the movie changed or is it the same?, and, 2) has your opinion of a movie ever changed upon second viewing?
Ana Maria

CheckMait said...

Can't wait to see this!

miss flickchick said...

Ana Maria -- First, thanks for being a loyal reader. As to 1408, I agree with you that John Cusack gave a really strong performance as a man whose overwhelming feelings of guilt and self-loathing compel him to seek out the most self-destructive situations possible.

I think the movie starts out really well: Everything that leads Cusack's character to the haunted hotel room is subtle and creepy, as are the first supernatural manifestations.

But once the heavy duty haunting started, I got more and more bored. A big part of that is that I hate CGI: It looks fake to me and it hauls me right out of the story faster than a screaming baby two rows ahead of me. And since the effects are the main event for 3/4 of the movie, for me they eventually outweighed the promising beginning.

Now on to the second part of you question. The short answer is yes, I have changed my mind about certain movies, and the best example I can think of is Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.

I first saw it when I was in my early 20s and it had been out of circulation for several years (along with Rear Window, The Trouble With Harry and two other movies I can't remember off the top of my head).

I was totally psyched to see Vertigo, which pretty much everyone agrees if one of Hitchcock's masterworks, and I walked out feeling kind of "eh."

I saw it again ten years later and was blown away, and the reason is simply that Vertigo is totally driven by the spectre of poisonous regret, the kind of self-flagellating remorse with which the average 22 year old i blissfully unaquainted. If you don't understand that underlying psychological compulsion, then everything Scottie (James Stewart) does seems overwrought and ridiculous.

But by the time you're in your 30s, you probably have done (or not done) something you'd give just about anything to change. Between my first and second viewings of Vertigo, I changed enough to see it in an entirely different light: Scottie's desperate desire to grab what he thinks is a second chance and make things right now strikes me as poignant rather than weird or silly.

And that final shot of Scottie in the mission bell tower, palms upraised in a gesture of complete resignation after he's lost the woman of his dreams a second time, breaks my heart.

And that's one of the reasons I make it a point not to be flippant or smart alecky, even about movies I really hate.

The other is that no one ever sets out to make a bad movie. Lots of people do make bad movies, but trust me, movie making costs too much money and eats up too much physical and emotional energy for anyone to get up every day and go to the set thinking, "I am making the crappiest movie in the history of crap movies and I'm happy about that."

So it's always struck me as disrespectful when some smarty-pants reviewer dismisses a movie with a "clever" quip about how a blindfolded dog directing from a script written by 1000 senile chimpanzees could have made a better movie.

And so concludes my lecture for today...

Ana Maria said...

...I get so emotionally caught up in a movie or tv show that I'm afraid I don't notice bad CGI or bad special effects at all...a few days ago I had the chance to watch again a "Lost" episode, 5th season, where a submarine goes into the water, and at the timea some tv reviewers said it was the worst CGI ever, which I did not notice at the time; however, this 2nd viewing of the episode I paid extra attention to it and it is kind of bad, but had I not read someone else's opinion on it as bad, I never would have noticed...I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question...