Tuesday, March 29, 2011

my brief thoughts on.... 'Doghouse'

Zombies, zombies, zombies.... I love zombies. It's so nice to find a new twist on an old theme, especially one involving the undead. I've been lucky enough to have several zombie movies that have found their way to my TiVo or DVD player in the past few weeks that are new and different. It has re-ignited my love affair with the flesh eating corpses. (not that it ever went away really.) I remember seeing the trailer for 'Doghouse' quite a while ago and thinking that I wanted to add it to my Netlfix queue, but it wasn't available at the time. This little gem came out in 2009 and hit Netflix just recently. Most of you will probably recognize the star, Stephen Graham. He was Jason Statham's partner in 'Snatch'.... the one looking for the caravan. He's spot on in this movie and is equal parts funnyman and the hesitant hero. His friends are all likeable characters and you can find at least one that you'll relate too. They're a nice cross section of the male gender. The special effects are well done and each zombie is unique and a character all by themself. It seems in the zombie films of the past, zombies were all kind of interchangeable and a lot of them just blended together. Nowdays, zombies are as much of a main character as the main characters. They're all done as though they'll be the main focus of the movie. You can quickly identify each one. Granted, they may not have a specific name.... but like the 'Baseball Girl' in 'Land of the Dead', you remember who they are.

The plot here involves six guys who all leave their significant others to go to a little town called Moodley for the weekend. They take a little bus and leave one guy behind, who just couldn't get away. When they arrive in the quaint little town, the guys are let down that it looks like a little mountain town from the old days. Afraid that they will die of boredom, they begin to rethink coming. One of the blokes notices a woman walking down the street, when he approaches her.... she turns on him and he discovers she's a zombie. But she's not the only one, every woman in town has been affected by a government made virus that only turns females into the walking dead. There is not a single man in sight. The boys make a run for the bus, but their female bus driver has turned now and they make a 180 turn back towards the town. While seeking shelter, they have to dodge hordes of zombies. Soon they get seperated and it's almost every man for himself. Things get cranked up at this point and build to the finale. See what I mean about a new twist on an old theme? It's not quite re-inventing the wheel, but if it ain't broke.... don't fix it, right? Regardless, it's still nice to see something different. The zombies are, as always, disgusting looking. Each one has an obvious look to them that leads you to draw a conclusion about who they were before they turned. Like the butcher that one guy runs into. Even if she hadn't still been in the butcher shop chopping up a victim, you'd still be able to tell who she was. That's kind of a nice little touch that they've added here. There are a few fun little 'inventions' that they create to fight the undead. Like a remote control car with model plane fuel or the old fuel in a water gun trick. Some of these things are more effective than others, thus lending itself to some funny moments. All in all, a solid story with solid characters and solid zombies.

I couldn't say this was nearly as good as 'Shaun of the Dead', but it has a similar feel to it. Maybe it's because it was made across the pond? It's not nearly as clever or as strong as that movie was the whole way through. I wouldn't be surprise, however, if it was a strong influence on the writers of 'Doghouse' and I wouldn't say that's a bad thing. I narrowed it down to a 3 out of 5 star attempt. One that probably won't make it into my DVD collection, but one that I might watch again in the future. It's available to rent from Netflix, but not OnDemand sadly. It's worth the rental and worth your time to watch it. I don't know how readily available it is from any other source, but I'm sure you can find it if you dig around. So before you head out for a boy's weekend out, think about 'Doghouse' and make sure you're prepared to defend yourself if they female gender takes a turn for the worse.

If you like this, you'll dig: 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Dead Alive aka Braindead' and 'Cemetary Man'

3 comments:

  1. the poster is quite tasteless

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  2. I think I could withstand Danny Dyer enough to watch this movie. It sounds really awesome actually. Zombies are love. <3

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