Saturday, August 31, 2013

3 Day Zombie Movie Fest Weekend! - my thoughts on.... 'Rise of the Zombies'

A zombie movie fest? It was bound to happen. I've had several zombie movies in my queue, waiting to be seen. However, I just wasn't in the right state of mind to watch them and I didn't have the time. But, with the 3 day weekend upon me.... I figured there was no time like the present! So I fired up Netflix and away we go!

Possible *Spoilers!* in this review. You probably won't care anyway, the movie isn't that good to begin with.

SyFy doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to making movies. They're notorious for making sub-par z-grade horror and science fiction movies. If you go into them not expecting much, you probably will get your money's worth. If you go into them expecting Oscar winning masterpieces? You will be sadly let down. The thing is, when they do tongue in cheek flicks that are meant to be stupid, they're successful! When they make attempts at serious horror or sci-fi, they fall flat on their faces. This was a serious attempt. Granted, they had a decent cast of b and c-level actors, but everybody seemed to be phoning in their performances. LeVar Burton was particularly bad. I kept wanting to sing the 'Reading Rainbow' song and change it too 'Bleeding Rainbow'. Danny Trejo was about the only worthwhile performance, but his time was shorter than most of the other actors. Oh well, he was probably getting paid more than they were. That being said, this movie started out okay. When the cast was still in the prison, you had a good start and a good premise. But the characters are so incredibly stupid with their decision making that they quickly loose their foot hold at the prison and are soon on the run. Why would you take a prison and NOT lock it down? I mean, they seem to know that zombies are washing up on shore pretty regularly, yet they're out there playing in the surf. What the heck people? Is it any surprise that you'll suddenly be attacked? And then to not have a plan to lock things down?!?! Pure garbage. From there on out, it's one bad decision after another. Nothing makes sense and everything they do just gets them in more trouble, that they shouldn't have gotten into in the first place! Dumb.

The "plot" goes like this: During a zombie apocalypse ,a group of survivors hide on Alcatraz Island to escape from rising zombie hordes. When their refuge is overrun, and upon hearing that a scientist may have discovered a cure, they leave the island to seek him out. That's the basic outline. Once they're back on the mainland, they split up.... due to a disagreement on what to do next and all hell breaks loose.

The writers of this piece of crap, tried to pay homage to zombie movies that have come before.... but they do is so poorly. Nothing fits in this storyline and everything seems forced and cliched. I really wanted to like the characters and to root for them to win. I really did. Ultimately, I ended up hating all of them and wanted the credits to just start rolling. I'm assuming that the director felt the same way. The reason I say this? It's because he eventually started throwing in more and more outlandish nonsense into the scenes, so as to spice it up. It was more for shock and awe than for any sort of plot development. It made me feel dirty. Really, really dirty.

In the end, I don't recommend that you do what I did and sit through this movie. There are SO many other low budget zombie movies out there that are so much better. This one just falls flat on it's face and has little to nothing going for it. There's no new ground covered here. There's no memorable characters or scenes. There's just no meat on the bone. This movie is what's leftover after someone else has made their own b-grade zombie movie. It's nothing but half rotted scraps and throw away's. Sorry to everyone involved.... it's just the way it is. Yuck.

I don't recommend this, instead watch: 'Shatter Dead', 'Meat Market' or 'Meat Market 2' (for low budget zombie movies with something to offer)

2 out of 5 stars

3 Day Zombie Movie Fest Weekend! - my thoughts on.... 'Deadheads'

A zombie movie fest? It was bound to happen. I've had several zombie movies in my queue, waiting to be seen. However, I just wasn't in the right state of mind to watch them and I didn't have the time. But, with the 3 day weekend upon me.... I figured there was no time like the present! So I fired up Netflix and away we go!

(technically, I have four days of movie watching in a three day weekend.) I started things off with a movie that has sat, staring me in the face, for far too long: 'Deadheads'. This little romantic/comedy/zombie movie has been recommended to me so many times, that I lost count. It's on the top of a lot of people's lists for best zombie movie of the last year. It's the little horror/indie film that could! The reason it's so successful, when all the other indie/zombie movies fail? It has heart. With the minimal shortcomings it has, it more than makes up for them in heart. Not too mention that the leads have SUPER charisma and charm. You want to love them, right from the start. The other thing this movie has going for it is an original and fun script. It's well written and well executed by everyone involved. The acting may be a little spotty at times, but in the end.... it doesn't even matter. This reminds me of 'Shaun of the Dead' in many ways. It pays tribute to all of the famous zombie films that came before it, while still keeping it's own originality and awesomeness. Just like 'Shaun of the Dead' did. Therefore, if you liked that film.... I would bet money you'll like this one. But just because they're similar doesn't mean that they're the same. Not at all. This movie felt so fresh the entire time I was watching it, that I didn't want it to end. I would recommend this more to die hard zombie fans, then the casual viewer. You're more likely to get more out of this, thanks to all of the classic zombie references. Either way, damn it's fun!

The plot goes a little something like this: Two inexplicably coherent zombies, Brent and Mike, awake amidst a zombie attack. They decide to take a road trip to find the Mike's lost love, unaware they are being chased by the agents of a ruthless company with its own agenda. Along the way, they also pick up Cheese. A hulking, mass of zombie power.... but more like a lost puppy than a weapon of mass destruction. They also have several misadventures along the way, as they slowly become friends to the "end".

This movie starts out in the onset of a zombie outbreak.... meaning that it's only just begun. Not everyone is aware of what's happening and the government is only in the first stages of containing it. The two 'heroes' are also a bit different than your average zombies, as they've been injected with a serum that allows them to think and talk and retain their previous memories. This is not your father's zombies. At first, Mike doesn't even realize he's the undead. He's running from them like anyone else would in his situation. However, once he finds out, he takes a slightly different path then his friend Brent had started out on. What's great about this movie is that, at it's core.... it's a romantic comedy road trip. The zombie element only adds a whole different level of problems and funny situations into the mix. It's a perfect set up for a story that's as old as time. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy searches for girl. Stuff happens.

I can't say enough good things about 'Deadheads'. I loved this movie from the start to the end. My only regret with this is, I wish I would have watched it sooner! I have little, to no complaints about this movie. The little bit of acting issues would maybe be my only gripe. But that's so minor compared to all of the wonderful writing, music and direction here. This is the way a "little" indie movie should be done. Don't think that just because you have a cute idea that it would make a great movie. Make sure you have all of the ingredients first. You wouldn't make a cake, just because you have great frosting. You need a great cake recipe too. 'Deadheads' has the frosting, cake and beer to go along with it. Pure awesomeness.

Hands down: 4 out of 5 stars!

If you like 'Deadheads', check out: 'Shaun of the Dead', 'The Revenant' and 'AHHH! Zombies!'

Friday, August 30, 2013

ep 71 of 'The Kpants'! a nice way to cool off, after getting sweaty....

The 71st episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio and streaming LIVE right here!

This turned into a pretty good show this week! After last weeks MEGA show, I made this one a bit more "normal". Topics include: the brief history of energy drinks, uplifting news stories and sex. It's one I'm actually pretty proud of.... ENJOY!

Songs played this week all feature female leads:

1) I Won't Tell Your Wife by Jungle Fever

2) Such Great Heights by Tetrastar

3) Time On Our Hands by dZ

4) Quandries At A Hardcore Show by Sarah Donner

5) Winter Paradise by Fools Chaos featuring Kelsey Mira

6) The Execution Of All Things by Rilo Kiley

Friday, August 23, 2013

Matt and Matt and me.... ep 70 of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is ready to go.... whoopie!

The 70th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio and streaming LIVE right here!

My two best friends, Matt and Matt, join me for a SUPER sized episode! Non-podsafe songs and a LOT of good times. Topics include: The evolution of our gaming hobbies, our favorite stuff, growing up and a zombie topic! It's a not to be missed show.... download and ENJOY! (and stick around after the last song, for an extra bit.)

Songs played this week:

1) Devil's Roof by Throwing Muses

2) I Seen What I Saw by 16 Horsepower

3) Don't Take Me For Granted by Social Distortion

4) The Poet And The Muse by Poets Of The Fall

5) She's An Angel by They Might Be Giants

6) Hurdy Gurdy Man by Donovan

7) (it's a secret)

Friday, August 16, 2013

ep 69, it's not what you'd expect.... 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' in stereo.

The 69th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio and streaming LIVE right here!

Sound issues are basically gone and all is well with the world. Episode 69 brings us less sex and more death. This weeks topics include: suicide, experiences with death and planning funerals. It's a solid show with amazing music.... ENJOY!

Songs played this week are all by our featured artist, Nada Surf:

1) Weightless

2) See These Bones

3) Beautiful Beat

4) From Now On

5) Whose Authority

6) I Like What You Say

Sunday, August 11, 2013

my thoughts on.... 'Aftershock'

I've said that Eli Roth was the next generation of horror film makers. That started back in 2002 with his debut horror film, 'Cabin Fever'. Since then, he's made a mark in the horror genre with several nasty little gems of movie making. Over the years, he's become a bit of a questionable commodity in Hollywood. It seems as though people have lost faith in him. I'm not sure why this is? Granted, I haven't seen his Netflix original series 'Hemlock Grove' yet.... but I've never been a fan of werewolves. I'll get around to it eventually though and I'm sure I'll love it. Also, along the way, Eli has been continuing to push his limits from being a director and into an actor. He has the charisma and enthusiasm, but I really would prefer him being the camera. Maybe that's just me?

'Aftershock' puts him partially at the helm of this vessel as the writer and co-producer, but it puts him out front as a lead actor. I wasn't sure what I'd make of this movie, as I intentionally kept myself in the dark about the plot. All I really knew was that there was an earthquake or something and everything and everybody went to heck. Meaning, the true nature of people came forward in a crisis, but not the good side. I'm actually kind of hesitant to give out the details, as I want you to be taken along for the same ride I was. Here's what I will say: The story centers around a man who travels to Chile to spend time with some friends. While he's there, a disaster happens and it's a fight for survival during the 'Aftershock'! (I should write those things for a living!) Seriously though, that's the most basic version of the plot. The secret of this movie is in the not knowing. The less you know, the better. Granted, this movie won't re-write any film making textbooks and won't shock jaded movie watchers. What it will do, is take you on a white knuckle ride through every travelers worst nightmare. Yeah, it's that kind of movie!

I'm guessing that the biggest complaints that people will have about this movie are two-fold. 1) They'll say that the ending was cliched and dumb. 2) That it took to long to get to any action. Let me handle those comments in reverse order. 2) The reason it took so long to get to the "good stuff" was because they were trying to get you attached to your main characters. I mean, how can you care if someone dies, if they have no back story or time to develop? The movie took a slow boil to the story line and there was a little over 30 minutes before anything even got started. This gave us, the viewer, a chance to get to know each and everyone involved and to build up some motion. Kind of like when you're going up the slow hill on a roller coaster. It creates tension and terror, so that when you get to the top and start going down the hill.... you're terrified and scream at the top of your lungs! This method was used here, as well. There was no rush and none was needed. It actually felt a great deal like how Eli handled the beginnings of 'Hostel' and 'Hostel 2'. Very similar. 1) Yes, the ending was a bit forced. I 100% agree with that statement. I even guessed what was going to happen, before it ever happened. Did that lessen the overall impact of the movie? I don't think so. It was still a great movie that was superior to other recent releases in a lot of ways.

'Aftershock' is a great little late night survival horror flick with no monsters, no masked killers and no demons. The only real bad guy here, is ourselves. This shows the darker side of humanity. It has a few twists and turns and some surprises here and there, but if you've been around the block before.... there's not much that's gonna get passed you. At the end of the day, I really enjoyed 'Aftershock', flaws and all. I would recommend this one to anyone looking for something a little different than what's out there right now. It's well done in every since of the word and has some beautiful locations to boot. If it was me, I would maybe re-write the ending, but I'm not quite sure what else Eli and company could have done to make it hit harder. It is what it is and I like what it is. Heck, it even had a strange guest appearance by Selena Gomez. Too bad her ex-boyfriend wasn't killed in some strange way in the movie. Oh well, we can't have it all.

Check this one out, for sure.

If you like 'Aftershock', check out some other Eli Roth classics: 'Hostel', 'Hostel 2' and 'Cabin Fever'

4 out of 5 stars, despite the ending.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Short List Of Movies Or Films Without Full Reviews: part 17

As a lover of cinema, I watch a lot of stuff. Sadly, I don't have the time, energy or even desire to write reviews for everything I see. Rather than to just continue to let these movies sit on a list, I've decided to post them here with a rating and maybe a little word or two. If you trust my judgement or agree with me on my decisions, then maybe this will be helpful to you in finding some keen new stuff to watch. I think it will also free up my mind a bit to see a much shorter list of things to review in the future. That being said, here we go!


Safe House

It's no secret that I have a mancrush on Ryan Reynolds. I also love Denzel Washington. Put the two of them together and what do you get? A decent little action/thriller and not much more. I enjoyed it, but probably don't need to ever see it again.

3 out of 5 stars


Below Zero

Edward Furlong has been around quite a while now, but never got the career that everyone was expecting him to have. Instead, he's just doing little movies here and there and looking kind of beat up. I still like him and watch the stuff he makes. This one was decent. Fairly original and a little weird, just like I like it. I'd give it a whirl.... if you like any of the things I've mentioned. P.S. Michael Berryman.

3 out of 5 stars.


The Jeffrey Dahmer Files

The trailer for this looked pretty interesting. However, Mr. Dahmer isn't all the exciting. His crimes were horrific and a fascinating character study. But for whatever reason, he is terribly dull. This documentary continues to carry on that realization.

2 out of 5 stars.


Horrible Bosses

An above average comedy. I enjoyed this quite a bit more than I expected I would. It might not be a "classic" like 'Dumb and Dumber' or 'Anchorman', but it's certainly not forgettable. Watch it and laugh.

3 out of 5 stars.



The people who've seen 'Compliance' talk about how difficult it is to watch. Not because it's bad, but because of the horrible things that happen during the course of the movie. I could see where some people might feel that way. While I was watching it, all I felt was anger at all of the real people involved.... for being so stupid. Not to discount the things that happened, but use some common sense folks! End of story. Not a bad movie though.

3 out of 5 stars.


The Last Exorcism part II

I didn't love the first one, right out of the gate. Ashley Bell, the star, is what sold the movie. After a second viewing, I came to enjoy it quite a bit more. The sequel.... not so much. This one was watchable once, but the end was pretty bad and the whole thing needed a lot of work. It's a slapdash sequel, nothing more. Jeffery Combs, why have you forsaken me?

2 out of 5 stars.


Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-animated

Good lord, this was awful. Please, please, please stop pissing all over whatever good is left in the original 'Night of the Living Dead'. There was nothing good about this travesty of film making. Nothing.

1 out of 5 stars.


The Switch

I love Jason Bateman, who doesn't? This movie was okay. Nothing great, nothing bad.... just kind of bland. The concept was original, but it just wasn't enough to carry the whole story. Watch once and forget it. The end.

3 out of 5 stars.


The Man With The Iron Fists

Quentin Tarantino was in talks with the RZA to include his blacksmith character from this movie in his magnum opus, 'Django Unchained'. That never happened. This movie did, however. It had tons of potential and was tons better than most of the stuff that comes out these days. I enjoyed the ride and would consider adding it to my movie collection. The only thing is, this movie didn't stick with me. Everyone in it was great. The story was interesting. The action was spot on. There is very little to gripe about with this movie. With all of that being said, it was missing that little bit of spark that could have brought it to life. Perhaps it was the RZA's choice to take on the lead role? I'm not sure. No matter what, I'd still recommend this to fans of old school kung-fu flicks and those with a taste for bloody action flicks. This one is a whole lot of fun and Russell Crowe steals the show. Sit back, make some popcorn and enjoy!

4 out of 5 stars.


Silent House

I remember watching the original version of this movie called 'La Casa Muda'. It kept me on the edge of my seat and did so all the way up until the end. The ending was a bit of a let down, but the rest of the movie more than made up for it. When I heard that were making an American remake, I was apprehensive. However.... I've always said that I have no problems with remakes. I just didn't understand the need for one only a couple of years later. Either way, this American version had a lot of the same flavor and flair as the original, but didn't provide the scares. The ending left me feeling hollow and incomplete and I just didn't think it did as much as it could have. Overall, it was a decent little pot boiler. Forgettable though.

3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, August 9, 2013

well, the AC is off.... but so is the sound (still).... ep 68 of 'The Kpants'!

The 68th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio and streaming LIVE right here!

Okay, so the AC is off. Somehow, things still sound "off". Perhaps it's the fact that I'm recording in an open basement? Who knows? This weeks topics include: 5 regrets of people near death and a huge list of messed up movies to see! It's not my best, but the music is still awesome! ENJOY!

Songs played this week:

1) Butterfly Kisses by The Depreciation Guild

2) Wasted by Damon Hill

3) Losing Game by Minor Delilah

4) Something's Out There by Jealous Creatures

5) Mary Me by Green Express

6) It's A Brand New Day by Straight Outta Junior High

Thursday, August 1, 2013

dZ rocks! sadly, i don't.... mainly because of my air conditioning.... check out ep 67 of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....!

The 67th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio and streaming LIVE right here!

Well, between the air conditioning and my lack of time keeping, you get a slightly noisy show that's over an hour! This week is all about being young and the love of music! All the music is from the amazing dZ and the topics include: dZ, what I was doing at age 14, your music vs. what your parents liked and music.... nature vs. nurture. It's a fun little show with a whole lotta goodness. Download and ENJOY!

Songs played this week are all by dZ:

1) Really High Hopes

2) Chills

3) Make It Good

4) Get Out

5) Good Thing

6) Head On

Find dZ at: