• Tag Archives B-movies
  • Canister X Movie Review #127: Flight of the Living Dead (2007)

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    Flight of the Living Dead (2007)
    Written by Sidney Iwanter, Mark Onspaugh and Scott Thomas
    Directed by Scott Thomas
    Runtime 94 min.
    4 out of 5

    A team of scientists creates a virus that kills the victim then regenerates the body. The idea: sell it as a biological weapon. The plan: one of the scientists is infected so is transported via plane in a special container under armed guard. Not that they think the scientist within is a threat, just that they don’t want anyone stealing the container.

    The plane encounters a severe thunderstorm and is rocked all over the place. Sure enough, the container is no longer secure and the person within is brought back to life. First goes the guard . . . then goes everyone else.

    Also on board—in coach—is a cop named Truman Burrows (David Chisum) and a criminal, Frank (Kevin J. O’Connor), being transported for trial. Soon these two must set aside their differences if they are to survive this doomed flight.

    Outbreak on a plane? You bet.

    Big trouble? You better believe it.

    The premise for this movie is just plain cool: zombies on a plane (sounds familiar, don’t it?). Good stuff. My question going into this was: okay, you got a plane full of zombies, but only so much room. How can you fill a whole movie without people getting slaughtered inside of fifteen minutes? Sure enough, the writers thought of that and managed to at first slowly let the zombies rise then, due to the large plane and various compartments therein, give our main band of heroes some room to run around and not get eaten.

    The zombies were scary, especially their eyes. Really good makeup. There was plenty of action and enough blood and guts to make any horror fan happy.

    The only thing I thought was kind of weak was the pilot’s insistence on not setting the plane down once the undead outbreak occurred. Can’t you land on more than just a long stretch of road? How about a field? Even a water landing? Better to take a chance with those than watch your passengers get eaten.

    This is one of those B-movies that make you happy you love B-movies, you know? There’s a sense of B-horror pride with this one. Hard to place it, but it’s there. More than once I was going, “Oh man, this is so good!” Maybe it’s the acting. Maybe it’s the grade of the film. Maybe the effects. I don’t know . . . but it’s good.

    Fun flick. Check it out.

    I’m glad I added Flight of the Living Dead to my collection.

    And on a personal note, I had the privilege of publishing one of the co-writers of this movie, Mark Onspaugh, in my science-gone-wrong zombie anthology, Dead Science. His story is called “The Decay of Unknown Particles.” Cool.

  • Canister X Movie Review #113: Undead (2003)

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    Undead (2003)
    Written by The Spierig Brothers
    Directed by The Spierig Brothers
    Runtime 97 min.
    4 out of 5

    After having lost everything, Rene (played by Felicity Mason) tries to leave her hometown of Berkeley but is unable to get out when the town is struck with a meteor shower. Instead of leaving giant craters and demolished buildings in their wake, these meteors leave something else: an infection that transforms humans into zombies.

    The town now overrun with the undead, Rene barely survives and meets up with Marion (played by Mungo McKay), the town nut who claimed he was abducted by aliens a long time before. Soon joined by others, the group of survivors find temporary solace in Marion’s cabin before the dead come a’knockin’ and force their way in.

    Blood and guts ensue as this band of not-so-merry-men try and fight their way through throngs of the undead and leave town.

    They almost make it, too, if not for that giant, spike-laden wall bordering the town, keeping everyone inside.

    This flick starts off as your run-of-the-mill zombie movie. Nothing wrong with that. Not at all. The blood, the guts, the guns—ah, yes, everything that makes up a good zombie flick. Even Marion’s Matrix-like fighting style works well in the context of the story (though when that style was first introduced, I had a hard time buying it but quickly got used to it).

    What separates this zombie flick from all others I’ve seen is the twist it takes when we find out these aren’t your standard zombies, but instead the product of “something beyond,” namely intergalactic stuff. Toss in a few aliens and you got yourself a unique zombie film that pays more homage to the zombie clichés than actually follows them like a rulebook.

    This is an independent film and I only point that out because it being indie really added to the gritty feel of the whole thing, enhancing the movie. This didn’t carry that too-smooth-yet-too-cheap look that B-movies have. Even the directors’ love for the genre really shone through in this and the cast did a fantastic job.

    I can understand now why this movie got the cult following it did.

    If you dig good solid zombie flicks, check this one out.