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Movies of the Week

So I went all retro and signed up to a DVD rental store (dislike monthly fees, and would have to get a higher internet data package. Whinge whinge first world problems and all that jazz.). This week I got Contagion, Deadheads and Pet Sematary.

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Contagion

This is not a zombie movie. If you are looking for action, you’re gonna have a bad time. However what I loved about this movie was how many scientists, the CDC and New Scientist said how accurate it was about the start of a virus and how the cure was developed. They used REAL science language!

My criticism of the film lays in how many really well known actors they used. Most movies require a suspension of belief, but for a movie that was so real, it made it unreal to have people like Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lawrence Fishburne play normal people with normal lives. We know these people, we know they make a lot of money and have mansions and all that jazz, and I felt they couldn’t perform the roles truly. Not that they are bad actors – who doesn’t like Lawrence Fishburne! Although many critics take aim at Jude Law’s ‘Australian’ accent. I’m Aussie and I had no idea what it was supposed to be – but for this type of movie they just didn’t fit.

So no zombies, but I did enjoy seeing the whole length of the virus and knowing that it wasn’t just writers talking out of their…scripts… with made-up language and scenarios. Not sure if it’s a buy or not.

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Deadheads

A bloke wakes up in the middle of a zombie outbreak, we’ve all seen this before, but he doesn’t realise he IS a zombie! This movie was hilarious, a lot of references in it too, like when the car breaks down, Brent admits he has no idea how cars work and asks if maybe it’s the flux capacitor <3!

Some people will be against this movie because it’s about zombie Mike going to find his true love, whom he was about to propose to before he was killed. Zombie romance! It’s a lot more tongue in cheek than my usual zombie romances, but I really enjoyed it. It was what it was – a silly movie with zombies and the immortality of love.

This is one I will buy and watch again, there are many LOL moments (not the writing of LOL when really you aren’t laughing, the literal laughing out loud/lots of laughs/whatever). Not everyone would like it, but it got to me.

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Pet Sematary

Not my favourite of Stephen King’s works, it revolves around a small family moving to a small town with a dark secret, an ancient Indian burial ground that can bring things back to life. The two lessons I take from this are: never lie to kids and don’t repeat the same fkd up thing over and over and expect different results.  As well as the cat and undead stuff, there was also a ghost who followed them around and tried to help, but a weird side story about the mother’s sister being severely disabled and ill, I didn’t quite get how that fit into the story. Perhaps as being why they were so scared to tell their kids about the truth of death or something?

You could argue it’s not a zombie movie, but it’s close enough. There is nothing more creepy than kids though – tiny hands and high pitched devil laughs. Don’t even need to be undead for them to be a bit creepy! (*waves to little nephew*) Although the demonic cat was a bit over the top – anyone who has owned a couple of cats before has seen a possessed hungry demon kitty.

I did read on the internet (as trustworthy as it is *cough*) that Stephen King didn’t feel that the story was good enough, but the publisher jumped and took it anyway. We all know King has done some damned awesome things, and this was not one of them (don’t know how close it was to the original book – feel free to let me know I’ve got it wrong!). Not a buy for me, but I might nab the book off a mate.

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And I’ve already gotten out more – the Resident Evil set, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, and Zombies of Mass Destruction.

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Human cruelty

One of the clearest themes in horror, and other genres besides, is pointing out human cruelty. The desire to stay alive in a zombie apocalypse leads some people to sacrifice others so they can live (usually rich and rude jerks we don’t care about living anyway). One of my favourite Twilight Zone episodes is The Shelter, where people do ask ‘Why should your family live while mine dies?’

In Zombies, Vampires and Philosophy, Leah Murray refers to Thomas Hobbes claim that life in a “state of nature”, without government or authority, is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” . Murray extends this to the zombie apocalypse, looking at Romero’s Dead series. In thinking about recent battlegrounds, you could go further and apply this to jerks on the inernet – with anonymity and seeming no authority or law, people are free to call you whatever negative terms they can think of (although I do think ‘baddie’ is a stupid term).

Hiding away food, weapons, information is fairly common – especially outside of horror. But there are other examples of human cruelty that is not against each other. Cruelty against weak/helpless zombies is common, usually red necks picking them off, blowing them up, stringing them up and using them as target practise. Admittedly, this could just be a reflection of what could be our cruelty to each other if we had anarchy.

There’s nothing in the world I love like a person who likes and is kind to animals, especially my cat. There are quite a few heroes in the zombpocalypse who still look after animals and share meager stores with them (non-zombiepocalypses too!). Human cruelty is seen in so many ways and with varying levels of severity. Some see horse jumping as cruelty. Dog fights are definitely cruel. I forget where it’s from, whether academic or fiction, but I remember a saying that our civilisations worth is based upon how we treat our smallest, our weakest.