Sunday, February 26, 2012

I watch em so you don't have to! Zombies from around the world

Went on a bit of a foreign zombie kick. La Horde from France, REC from Spain, and Rammbock:Berlin Undead from Germany.
   It probably goes without saying that REC is the best of the bunch. I must confess that I saw the American re-make "Quarantine" first and actually liked it. But REC managed to be creepier and better. The sense of claustrophobia is almost overwhelming. Shot in a real apartment building with actors who had limited foreknowledge of their fate, REC piles terror upon terror. Even the moments where the reporter and her cameraman find a place to rest are almost perfect examples of sustained tension. As with all these films, I did have a bit of trouble reading subtitles during the more intense scenes. But with REC, I often found myself forgetting to read for much longer stretches as I was just too wrapped up with the fear! 4 brains out of a possible 5
    La Horde is set in a small city in France. Criminals and cops get stuck trying to escape an overrun building together. My favorite thing about La Horde has to be all the brutal hand to hand combat with zombies. Most films show a bit of mele and then it all becomes guns and quick blows to the head. But there are some frightfully violent scenes where zombies are getting the shit kicked out of them by crazed gangsters or cops pushed to their breaking points. The movie does tend to leap from this gritty reality into almost cartoon levels of chaos that can suddenly take you out of the moment. But I still enjoyed it. 3 brains out of a possible 5
   Rammbock is a bit more low key than La Horde. But instead of heavily armed cops and gangsters, we have an apartment block full of regular citizens scrambling through attics and fighting their very family and neighbors for survival. In some ways , this is the most lighthearted of the three with odd moments of silliness, but well balanced with heavy scenes of watching people slowly break down from the pressures of being trapped with zombie loved ones. 3 brains out of a possible 5.
    I recommend all three of the flicks which is a new thing for me. I'm loading up the Netflix queue with a whole new round of zombie movies, most of which I'm hoping will be terrible, and I'll watch them so you don't have to.

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