Animal rights activists free rage virus infected monkeys who quickly infect the people of London.
28 days later. London is a ghost town and Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up in an abandoned hospital after being in a coma from an accident before the pandemic occured. Jim wanders the streets of London trying to figure out what has happened.
People infected with the rage virus become blood dripping fast running rage filled zombies.
Jim runs into some infected hut is saved by Selena (Naomie Harris). The two of them find two other survivors Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and his daughter Hannah (Megan Burns). They heard that there is a safe haven outside the city. They all travel there fighting their way through the infected.
Director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland created a new spin on the zombie genre and the gritty cinematography works well creating an intense and horrifying movie.
I know that technically The Thing isn’t a virus, but it is an organism that infects people. Granted it eats and overtakes its host but it is very infectious and extremely contagious as far as alien absorbing creatures go.
John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing is a brilliant and terrifying masterpiece.
Kurt Russell is stationed in Antarctica along with Wilford Brimley, T. K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, Joel Polis, and Thomas G. Waites. A Norwegian helicopter is chasing a dog trying to kill it and the dog runs into the American camp. The Norwegians accidentally kill themselves and the dog ends up staying in the camp.
Russel and Dysart fly to the Norwegian camp and find everyone dead there. They also find a very strange body that the Norwegians tried to burn. They bring the body back to camp to autopsy.
They find the dog trying to assimilate all the other dogs and realize after autopsying both the dog and the strange body that an alien creature is taking over the bodies on a molecular level.
Eveyone is paranoid and everyone doesn’t trust each other.
I love this movie. It’s intense and suspenseful and edge of your seat terrifying. Rob Bottin’s effects are amazing and Carpenter has crafted an excellent masterpiece of horror.
General Pherides (Boris Karloff) and reporter Oliver Davis (Marc Cramer) visit the Isle of the Dead to pay their respects to the General’s long-dead wife. The island is supposed to be deserted but the general and Davis find people there after following the voice of a singung woman.
Swiss archeologist Dr. Aubrecht (Jason Robards, Sr.), his housekeeper Madame Kyra (Helen Thimig), British diplomat Mr. St. Aubyn (Alan Napier) and his pale and sickly wife (Katherine Emery), her youthful Greek companion Thea (Ellen Drew), and English tinsmith Andrew Robbins (Skelton Knaggs) are all on the island.
The houskeeper Krya believes that Thea is a vorvolaka, a kind of vampire creature that brings plagues and tells the general who laughs it off as superstition. Davis starts to fall for Thea.
The next morning Robbins is found dead and Dr. Drossos (Ernst Deutsch) diagnosis the cause of death as septicemic plague and quarantines the island until a hot dry wind comes to the island.
Mr. St. Aubyn dies and they bury him quickly much to his wife’s chagrin who fears premature burial. Soon the general starts to believe that Thea is a vorvolaka.
Producer Val Lewton made several low budget horror movies for RKO Studios and all of them were excellent thrillers that dealt with more psychological horrors rather than actual monsters. Isle of the Dead works as paranoia and superstition grab hold of the quarantined people. Karloff’s performance is fantastic.
The zombie plague has been around for a while now and the remaining humans have created new smaller settlements. In Pittsburgh using 2 rivers as a barrier and an electric fence as a third barrier people have a enclosed life, safe from the zombies.
Most of the people live in squalor but the rich live in a fancy high rise.
The leader of the settlement Paul Kaufman (Dennis Hopper) has a group of people go out into the zombie infected zones looking for food and supplies in a large all terrain vehicle.
Riley (Simon Baker) and Charlie (Robert Joy) have been leading the supply runs but are quitting. Cholo (John Leguizamo) is also part of the group but has been saving up to buy his way into the sky rise.
When Kaufman refuses to let Cholo in, Cholo steals the all terrain vehicle and threatens to blow up the settlement. Kaufman forces Riley to go stop Cholo.
Meanwhile the zombies have slowly started gaining intelligence and amass a large group to attack the settlement.
George A. Romero created the modern zombie movie and after a long break after Day of the Dead returned to the genre with this film.
Vampired have overrun the world and the remaining humans live in fear and in small towns away from the big cities.
Martin (Connor Paolo) has had his family killed and teams up with a vampire hunter named Mister (Nick Damici). They are heading for a northern community that is supposed to be a safe haven.
Along the way they kill as many vampires as they can find. They also pick up random strangers that are looking for a safe place.
They also run afoul of group called The Brotherhood. Lead by Jebedia Loven (Michael Cerveris), The Brotherhood thinks that the vampires are sent by God are forcing people to join them or get sacrificed to the vampires.
This low budget horror movie is really good and spooky. The post apocalyptic look of the world kind of reminds me of The Road but with vampires.
Filmmaker Clark Johnson epitomizes the notion of the journeyman actor-director. He has sat behind the camera in countless TV shows, going from superhero fare (Luke Cage) to prestige productions (The West Wing) and everything in between. Not only that, he directed four episodes of The Wire, the cult HBO hit he also appeared on, and got an Emmy nomination for handling the The Shield pilot, the one in which a character in the opening credits gets offed and set the tone for the rest of the series.
Percy is far from Johnson’s first foray as a film director. Most notably, he was at the helm of S.W.A.T., the Samuel L. Jackson-Colin Farrell big screen adaptation of the 70’s TV staple. The story of the Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser who battled biotech giant Monsanto features a different kind of fireworks. The legal kind.
FarmAid and the United Nations have gotten behind Percy, increasing the film’s chances to get eyeballs around the globe. Sadly, just as the movie was unrolling in theatres across Canada, Schmeiser passed at age 89, presumably from Parkinson’s disease. There’s no word whether he got to see the movie before his death.
Clark Johnson phoned from Chelsea, New York. Really pleasant dude, we didn’t start talking about Percy until exchanging immigrant stories. Turns out the pairing of filmmaker and subject was meant to be.
I learned a lot about farming watching Percy. I presume this mirrors your own learning curve.
As kids, we weren’t allowed to have grapes, grape jelly or lettuce because of César Chavez and the action for micro-farm workers. My parents’ activism was my first connection to farmers. Jump forward 45 or so years and I get to tell the story of Percy Schmeiser. Being a city guy, I went to Whole Foods and learned the difference between corn oil and canola oil, and moved from there.
I know the answer to this, but I want to hear your take: Why was Percy shot in Manitoba and not Saskatchewan?
That’s a fair question. Tax deals. A good portion of our crew travelled to Manitoba to shoot because there’s no work in Saskatchewan. It was not lost on us we couldn’t shoot a SK movie in SK.
Was it useful to have the real-life referents at hand?
Oh, yeah. This is an homage to the Schmeisers. We relied heavily on their interactions with our writers in early stages. When you are in the farming community in the Prairies, you find a similar discourse. We shot at a farm north of Winnipeg. Everybody had the same intimate connection with the land. We felt totally engaged with the story.
How did you manage to have all four seasons on screen?
I have a lot of pull in the film industry, Jorge (laughs). We were in Toronto and our locations people called us in early June (2019) and asked us if we were planning to travel anytime soon. The canola was blooming and that would last a week or so. Our director of photography, Luc Montpellier, jumped on a plane, grabbed a camera and a drone, and shot that beautiful yellow-blooming late-spring canola. Then it snowed in September, a whole foot of snow, so we got a crew and shot, instead of coming back in January.
Don’t Ask Christopher Walken to Dance
It’s been a while since Christopher Walken has had a role as meaty as Percy Schmeiser. You would have to go back to 2015 to find the actor headlining a movie (the little seen One More Time).
Walken and Clark Johnson go way back. The filmmaker’s first film as a special effects technician was the David Cronenberg classic The Dead Zone (1983), starring Walken. Their paths crossed two more times before Percy.
How hard is to direct Christopher Walken?
He’s very conscious of how people perceive him. Like any good actor, you don’t want to be judged by what’s expected of you. He said “I’m not going to dance or anything”. I kind of wished he would. It was his suggestion that his wife would be played by Roberta Maxwell, because they started together in Stratford. The cast kind of came together in support of Chris.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many executive producers in a movie as in Percy.
I’m glad you said that. You can always tell it’s an indie by the number of EP credits. Nobody can get paid, but if this movie ever makes any money, you get EP points. I stopped counting after 18 or 19 EPs.
Mumbai Via Winnipeg
There was a lot of ingenuity at play in the making of Percy. As a good independent film, financing came down to the wire and Johnson wasn’t sure if they would be able to go to India to shoot a pivotal scene. Clark Johnson managed to make Winnipeg play the part of Mumbai, at least the interiors: “It was a wonderful surprise to find such a diverse community there.”
Eventually Johnson, Walken and crew made it to Mumbai to shoot exteriors, some time after they finished principal photography. “That was a bonus. We learned from the Indians they revere Schmeiser too. The farmers knew who he was, they all had stories about dealing with the agroindustry. That was enlightening to us and I believe added to the story.”
Monsanto is known for being litigious. Was this a concern during the creative process?
For sure. Garfield (Miller) and Hilary (Pryor, the scriptwriters) sticked fairly religiously to the trial transcripts, so we wouldn’t get any backlash from people not interested in us telling the story.
Having done so much television, is there any aspect of that process that has made your work in features more efficient?
Absolutely. You learn expediency when you’re on a TV schedule. You become highly disciplined. I use those principles to make my days. I can be spontaneous because I’m getting my meat and potatoes done as I go. Also, from being an actor, I know what that entails. It all adds up.
Percy is now playing at the Scotiabank Theatre in Saskatoon.
George Romero’s third zombie film was originally planned to be much more epic than what was eventually filmed.
What was made is still good but nowhere near as good as his previous two films.
The zombie outbreak has ravaged the world and the human race is barely surviving. A small group of scientists are trying to find out what caused the zombie virus and are searching for a remedy. The army soldiers that have been assigned to protect them are tired and burned out.
Dr. Logan (Richard Liberty) has been experimenting with the zombies. Instead of finding a cure he decides that zombies can be domesticated. He has managed to tame one zombie named Bub (Sherman Howard).
Naturally things fall apart. This was one of Romero’s weakest entry in his zombie movies. But after watching it a couple of times over the years it holds up pretty good.
Mya (Anessa Ramsey) is having an affair with Ben (Justin Welborn). Ben gives Mya a mix cd that she listens to on her way home from Ben’s.
Unbeknownst to Mya, a signal is being transmitted over TV, radio and cellphones. The signal has infected everyone who hears it driving them crazy. Acting crazy, paranoid and extrremely violent. Mya’s husband Lewis (AJ Bowen) has heard the signal and has gone crazy. He threatens Mya and murders one of his friends as Mya flees and hides in another apartment.
This excellent low budget horror movie is told in three parts and each part is directed by one of three directors David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry.
Freddy (Thom Mathews) is working his new job at a medical supply warehouse. His co-worker Frank (James Karen) shows him some cannisters in the basement that have bodies in them.
The bodies have been infected by a gas that turned them into zombies back in the 1960s. The government had stopped and covered up the incident but the containers got lost and ended up at the warehouse.
Frank accidentally cracks one of the containers and both Freddy and Frank are gassed. A cavader comes back to life and destroying the brain doesn’t kill them.
Frank calls his boss Burt (Clu Gulager) and Burt helps clean up and takes the cadaver over to his friend Ernie’s (Don Calfa) crematorium.
Frank and Freddy are sick and getting worse. They burn the reanimated cadaver and the burning releases the gas into the atmosphere causing it to rain and the rain soaks the local cemetery and reanimates all the dead.
Meanwhile Freddy’s girlfriend and their friends have been hanging out in the cemetery and the zombies chase them into the warehouse.
Writer/producer John Russo helped co-write and produce George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead. Russo and Romero parted ways soon after and each retained partial rights to future sequels. Romero went and made Dawn of the Dead. Russo wrote his own sequel in 1977 called The Return of the Living Dead which was published as a book. Russo went to make it into a movie and had hired Tobe Hooper to direct. Hooper left the film and screenwriter Dan O’Bannon was given the directing job. O’Bannon rewrote the entire script not want to rip off Romero and made the film less serious and more of a black comedy.
The movie introduced the running zombies as well as the concept that zombies eat brains.