Entries by Sean McLaughlin

Sympathy for the Undead: The Top Underrated Zombie Movies

by: Sean McLaughlin

As the second season of AMC’s brilliant series “The Walking Dead” prods slowly, but menacingly, to a close, we’re reminded again that the zombie genre is experiencing a golden age like American pop culture has never seen.Television, movies, toys, billboards…..everywhere you look the real undead are approaching mainstream territory currently ruled by the “other” undead, the tweener-tastic vampires.I’m hoping that my favorite horror subgenre does not become romanticized in the same way, and in that vein I’m offering up some of my favorite zombie movies, beyond the ones that everyone is already familiar with.These eight films are not exactly Romero 101, but they’re also not too obscure or unfamiliar to leave a bad taste in your mouth.While horror fans everywhere await the 2013 release of Max Brooks’ stunningly-detailed World War Z, the following zombie flicks should hold over the masses yearning for some cinematic brains to devour.But again…..these are some of my own personal choices of films that are underappreciated, and are meant solely to provide entertainment.After all, there’ll never be a REAL zombie apocalypse……right? read more read more

Awake in the Woods review

They say the imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Whoever “they” are obviously did not watch “Awake in the Woods”, the new “lost footage” thriller from director Nicholas Boise, and MM Mayhem Films. This film has its moments, but is such a hodge-podge of the docu-reality formula that has proven successful for other horror films in the last decade that it never even tries to forge its own identity. Boise seems content to simply borrow the identity of others. read more read more

Cormans World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel review

Roger Corman received a lot of recognition for his work behind the camera, but his legacy is much more far-reaching than anyone truly knows. That is the sentiment that I took away from viewing the documentary “Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel”, directed by Alex Stapleton. Some people are under-appreciated for what they contributed to the movie business, and are doomed to be pigeon-holed by what their name alone invokes. “Schlock”, “Campy”…..these are the terms that anybody thinks of when Corman’s name is brought up, over the course of his 7-plus decades of making films. But what he means to Hollywood is so much more, and this film does well to present the side of this man’s career that very few know about. read more read more

ZAAT review

Look…..I like “cult movies” as much as the next horror junkie. Some movies, like “Dolemite”, are so bad that they’re good. Others, like “The Warriors”, are just plain cool. Still others are underappreciated during their original theatrical release but find its audience on DVD, which is the category that “Donnie Darko” would fall into. The 1972 self-proclaimed “cult classic”, ZAAT, doesn’t fit into any of these categories. Rather, it leads the pack as “so bad it’s……BAD.” I understand it was the ‘70s and times were different, but there’s only so much artificial-camp that can be absorbed by a viewer before your head explodes. read more read more

The Gruesome Death of Tommy Pistol review

Equal parts gore, surrealism and comedy make up Breaking Glass Pictures’ “The Gruesome Death of Tommy Pistol”, which when combined with the movie’s tragic “WTF???” ending form a loosely-wound web of ridiculousness. But in a good way, of course.

The movie presents the life of Tommy Pistol, a bumbling everyman that couldn’t catch a break with a baseball glove. Things start unraveling for him personally, and as he unwinds with some good ol’ fashion porn his lucid state allows his brain to project a series of three ludicrous scenarios, all with him as the lead. Each of the three dream-like stories show a different (and increasingly disturbing) side of the movie business….and how Tommy can survive in this world. Whether portraying a fresh-off-the-bus naïve rube new to the underground LA scene, an overzealous extra, or a sleazy porn director, Pistol seems to be at peace with his role in this dark universe. Of course, a wrench in the cog of these daydreams rears its head, in the form of an allusive, puss-filled (and zombie-creating) spider that spins the movie full-circle. The repetitive mind-fucking image of a hot dog in a microwave then begins to make sense, and makes the title inevitable. read more read more