Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Zombies 101 Lesson ! Sylabus!

Tomorrow Night (Jan. 25th) on the Creepercast... get your thinking cap on folks because its time to get schooled! Zombies 101: Lesson 1 – Origins, VooDoo and Re-animation! With philosophical discussions about White Zombie (1932), Serpent in the Rainbow (1988) & Frankenstein (2004). See the syllabus below or it is posted in the notes area of our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=341020252589019)! Join us Wednesday night @ 9pm MT/8 PT/11ET immediately following the Walking Dead Week in Review Fancast @ www.creepercast.com/live!

Zombies 101
A study of the zombie phenomena in culture and as a film genre:
Lesson 1 Syllabus
Origination – Voodoo and Re-Animation

On the Creepercast we will be discussing primarily the films in bold and their impact/influence on culture and the genre as a whole. This syllabus is reference material. Eventually I hope to it will grow into a well put together college course for any film studies program!

Definition of 'zombie':
Miriam Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com):
zom-bie noun \'zäm-bē\
  1. usually zombi
  2. a person held to resemble the so-called walking dead; especially : automaton
  3. a mixed drink made of several kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice

Examples of ZOMBIE
  1. If I don't go to bed early I'll be a zombie tomorrow.
  2. His students usually sat there in the classroom like zombies.
Origin of ZOMBIE
Louisiana Creole or Haitian Creole zonbi, of Bantu origin; akin to Kimbundu nzúmbe ghost
First Known Use: circa 1871

  1. a mechanism that is relatively self-operating; especially : robot
  2. a machine or control mechanism designed to follow automatically a predetermined sequence of operations or respond to encoded instructions
  3. an individual who acts in a mechanical fashion

Latin, from Greek, neuter of automatos
First Known Use: 1645

  1. a machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (as walking or talking) of a human being; also : a similar but fictional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized
  2. an efficient insensitive person who functions automatically
  3. a device that automatically performs complicated often repetitive tasks
  4. a mechanism guided by automatic controls

Czech, from robota compulsory labor; akin to Old High German arabeit trouble, Latin orbus orphaned — more at orphan
First Known Use: 1922

Encyclopedia Britannica:
  1. zombi, also spelled zombie, in Vodou, a dead person who is revived after burial and compelled to do the bidding of the reviver, including criminal acts and heavy manual labor. Scholars believe that actual zombis are living persons under the influence of powerful drugs, including burundanga (reportedly used by Colombian criminals) and drugs derived from poisonous toads and puffer fish. (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/657810/zombi)
  2. Bad Voodoo: The distinctions between good and bad supernatural power are relative and depend on how moral legitimacy is judged. This becomes clear when the spiritual power invoked is studied more closely. In a number of revealing African cases, the word that denotes the essence of witchcraft (e.g., tsau among the West African Tiv and itonga among the East African Safwa), the epitome of illegitimate antisocial activity, also describes the righteous wrath of established authority, employed to curse wrongdoers. This essential ambivalence is particularly evident in Haitian voodoo, where there is a sharp distinction between man-made evil magic powers, connected with zombies (beings identified as familiars of witches in the beliefs of some African cultures), and benevolent invisible spirits identified with Catholic saints. This antithesis between witchcraft and religion, however, is always problematic: after his death, the malevolent spirits or powers that an ancestor has used for his personal benefit become accrued by his descendants’ protective spirits (loas). Magic has thus turned into religion (the converse of the more familiar process in which outmoded religions are stigmatized by their successors as magic). (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/646051/witchcraft/214882/Witchcraft-in-Africa-and-the-world?anchor=ref703868)


  1. Films
    1. Voodoo related
      1. White Zombie (1932)
        1. Director: Victor Halperin, 1932. This movie is on video and has a running time of 73 min. " Now we understand each other a little better", says Bela Lugosi, as he turns his rival into one of his eerie slaves. This, by no means, is one of his more well-known lines from a movie; but after seeing this film, I am convinced that it has to be one of his most sinister quotes. Lugosi plays the evil overseer of a sugarmill, who turns his workers into zombies to do his dirty work. White Zombie is a wonderful low-budget flick, with wonderful background settings that add to the eeriness of the film. For the most part, the zombies are mindless creatures that would not have hurt anybody, if it had not been for Lugosi. So, they really do not add to any of the misconceptions that Americans have about Voodoo. The few Haitians we do see in the film are burying one of their dead. None of them are depicted as being evil. The real big "misconception" in the film is a carved Voodoo doll. Iam under the impression that they do not exist. As one last note on the film; the way that Lugosi turned his victims into zombies, was to give them a special powder that would feign death. He would then go and get the body, giving it another concoction. Perhaps Victor Halperin was Wade Davis' "secret society." (Willey)
      2. Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
        1. Director: Wes Craven, 1988. This project is on video, with a running time of 98 min. "In the legends of Voodoo, the serpent is a symbol of Earth, the rainbow is a symbol of heaven. Between the two, all creatures live and die. But because he has a goal, man can be trapped in a terrible place, where death is only the beginning."
      3. Voodoo Dawn (1990)
      4. Plague of the Zombies (1966)
    1. Re-Animation part 1
      1. The Frankenstein's
        1. Frankenstein (1931)
        2. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
        3. Frankenstein (1991)
        4. Frankenstein (2004)
          1. Director: Marcus Nispel, 2004. This movie is on video and has a running time of 88 min. Two hundred years after Mary Shelley's novel the brilliant but mad Doctor has sustained his creature and himself over two centuries through genetic experimentation. In present-day America Detective O'Connor is investigating a series of horrific murders which leads her to the doctor and his creature. What she uncovers reveals the strange evolution the doctor and his creation undergo over the course of two centuries and the divergent paths creator and monster take in pursuing good or evil.
  2. Literature
    1. Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade Davis
    2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    3. Frankenstein: Prodigal Son by Dean R. Koontz
    4. Voodoo in Haiti by Alfred Metraux
  3. Discussion questions
    1. Define “zombie” as it pertains to its use in the films of today.
    2. Define “the walking dead.” Are voodoo zombis or the reanimated “the walking dead?” explain.
    3. Frankenstein's monster is reanimated dead flesh, but is he a zombie? Explain.
    4. Who or what is the real thing to be feared in these films? Explain.
    5. Is a supernatural element required to make/have a zombie? Explain.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Creepercast Episode 58: News with comments week of 1/18/2012

News with comments week of 1/18/2012
Click Banner to Hear Full Episode

by Jeff

In the News

He won't stop!
One of the noteworthy sci-fi flicks due to hit theaters eventually is M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth: an original project that actually sounds pretty promising, despite the fact that its director’s name has become synonymous with “hack,” as far as many moviegoers are concerned.
After Earth follows a father and son (played by real-life father-son duo Will and Jaden Smith) on an adventure that unfolds after the two are stranded on a futuristic version of planet Earth, abandoned by humanity some thousand years ago. The supporting cast already includes Oscar-nominee Sophie Okonedo (X-men: First Class) and Zoë Kravitz (Doctor Who). from ScreenRant

By now everyone knows my hatred for Shyamalama-ding-dong-dammit. Yet, I still subject myself to his ridiculous tweeesty creations. The main problem with this one is it “sounds pretty promising.” Isn't that the reason we have fallen for everything the man has done? Does he ever deliver? Will this movie benefit from the Smith's involvement? I have gone on record saying the best M. Night movies had Bruce Willis in them. Could Will be the new Bruce? As always I will hope that “promising” means something and end up seeing this movie despite the realization that that it 'promises' to let me down. Or maybe that's why I do it. Check out my review of 'Devil' or listen to just about any episode of the Creepercast to get an idea of how I really feel about Mr. Shyamalama!~

The Devil Inside... Again
‘The Devil Inside’ director and writer pair, William Brent Bell and Matthew Peterman, are readying yet another installment in the ‘found footage’ genre. Is the untitled film something new or a ‘Devil Inside’ sequel? Nobody knows for sure but it will again found footage style and filmed in Romania. Sounds like sequel to me.
It’s no surprise to hear that the pair is moving fast, especially considering that most box office experts are expecting a major drop-off for The Devil Inside in the coming week – due to negative word of mouth and the unenthusiastic response of the critical community. However, regardless of the film’s reception, it managed to do big bucks on a $1 million budget – making the pair an attractive prospect for Hollywood executives.
The film is set for financing through Sierra/Affinity and the Incentive Filmed Entertainment Fund with Peterman as well as Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity, Insidious) and Morris Paulson (The Devil Inside) producing – and Bell, Peterman, and Paulson’s company, Prototype, handling production. The film is set to start work in Romania this April – though no storylines or potential cast members have been revealed at this point. from SreenRant

I will reserve most of my comments for the review of  'The Devil Inside' in the next couple days. What I will say is found footage films are in a great abundance right now its starting to get boring. As for this one here's a review teaser...

My Synopsis: Take every exorcism movie you have ever seen and add a documentary crew!~

Dexter Season 9?
Showtime President of Entertainment, David Nevins on Dexter...
“[Season 8] is the likely endpoint, but I’m leaving open the possibility that plans could change [...] I think there’s a very clear trajectory now of where they’re going. I think it’s going to help to write with that endgame in mind. I’ve been pushing to shake up the formula a little bit. I think there should be fundamentally different dynamics now.” from ScreenRant

Season 8 is supposed to be the end of Dexter. But that is not to say they aren't considering a season 9 with all the craziness and added dimensions to Dexter's story currently. But all this really proves is that the powers that be behind Dexter have learned how to mess with our minds like the great people of Supernatural. Damn them!~

The Twilight Games
Summit Entertainment (The Twilight Saga) and Lionsgate (Mad Men, The Hunger Games) have merged. Find out the details of the deal, and what it may mean for the TV/Movie industry.
So what we have is two minor studios that have seen a moderate amount of success in recent years combining forces to bigger and better things. Aside from the aforementioned Hunger Games franchise, Lionsgate has had moderate success in both TV (with shows like Mad Men, Weeds, and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne) and movies (The Lincoln Lawyer, The Expendables, Precious, Kick-Ass and several Tyler Perry films). Aside from Twilight, Summit’s success has been regulated to a few breakout films, including Red, The Hurt Locker, Source Code, and current awards contender, 50/50. Hopefully smaller studios like these will result in some bigger risks that offer us more original TV/Movie ideas- rather than the string of remakes, reboots, and brand-established fare we’ve been getting in the last few years.” from ScreenRant

Over the last few decades Lionsgate have proven to be a powerhouse all by themselves. They've taken chances on many things the major studios wouldn't touch and received much success for doing so, especially when it comes to films from the Horror and SciFi genre. Summit has taken quite a gamble itself in the last decade with films like Red and the multi-billion dollar success of the vampire/werewolf/human triangle Twilight. One can only hope that a merger of this magnitude will incite others to take more chances on new and original film ideas like this article says. Hopefully it doesn't mean Lionsgate/Summit will get sucked into the maelstrom and start cranking out remake/reboots themselves.~

Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series: Jessica Lange in FX’s American Horror Story from ScreenRant

One of the greatest women in Tv/Film and the only nod this year to the horror genre.~

6 The Devil Inside (2012) $8.03M weekend $47.4M after 2 weeks

 Look for my review! ~

7 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) $6.66M weekend $89.2M after 4 weeks

This movie is labeled a crime/drama/mystery and yet seems to be getting a lot of nods from Horror reviewers. Which means we may have to give it consideration. Since our definition of horror is often based on any part of the film containing essential elements, who knows for sure. Being a purist, though, I will of course watch the Denmark original first and then likely criticize the American version for messing with the story to much. Look for a review soon! ~

New Releases this week in theater
“When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress Selene leads the battle against humankind.”

So we (normal non-vampire/werewolves) are the bad guys this time. I have no idea who to root for! Is this film going to make me wish I was one or the other? Look for a review soon! ~

Creepercast News
~Jeff and Lovesdragons hang with the cast of the walking dead!
~The Walking Dead Week in Review Fancast returns next week with the season thus far in review and Madison (Sophia) has a message for Jason and maybe a bit of a spoiler for the rest of the season!

~Barry Bostwick (Some Guy Who Kills People) contact after jan. 21!

~Gary Streiner (Night of the Living Dead) said yes! Just need to book!

~Zombies 101 next week! Origination of the Zombie Genre – Voodoo and Re-animation!

~A call to writers and reviewers! Submit material!

~Follow us on facebook and twitter to keep updated on stuff!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Some Guy Who Kills People revisited!

If you haven't please check out our review on the best movie of 2011 at http://www.creepercast.com/some-guy-who-kills-people-2011/ and hear our awesome interview with Ryan and Jack at http://www.creepercast.com/some-guy-who-kills/ (pssst, rumor has it Barry Bostwick might be joining us sometime in February!)
and if you're so inclined...
Support the Creepercast's New Projects in 2012!
just visit www.creepercast.com/kickstarter and donate to get awesome gifts and single handedly make it possible for the Creepercast to entertain you in new and exciting ways!