Fido the Zombie Film with Heart

Posted: December 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

I watched this movie last week while studying for exams and writing papers. It was sort of on in the background but soon I found myself peering out of the corner of my eye at the screen as the film is a strange mix between a stepford society, a classic boy and his dog film, as well an apocalyptic world overun with zombies. Apparently after many issues with zombies the humans developed a collar that would keep these undead in check domesticating them. Strangely everyone in the community has at least one of their own zombies, to help in the kitchen or in the yard. But the family that the story revolves around are not comfortable with this stepford society and they grow attached to their zombie covering up his indiscretions of snacking on the old lady across the street. Timmy names his zombie fido and they go to the park and play ball, as well as washing their dads car together its a joyous heartfelt story about a loner boy and his one companion. A ZOMBIE!!! No way, how can we be rooting for zombies want to see regular people eaten and a zombie survived everything we have seen up until this point has told us zombies are the bad guys and that we have to beware of them.

 

Oh and by the way this is a canadian film, yeah thats right home grown entertainment for the whole… I mean part of the family, the mature part of the family.

Translation: there is life after death

 

When considering what approach I should take to writing my essay for the second paper I had an idea I pitched to a friend in the class who choose to try something different so I thought why not get my idea out there at least in a blog post in order to express this (at least in my opinion) interesting way of examining apocalyptic fiction. I was considering what makes apocalyptic fiction apocalyptic and in many ways its not necessarily the death of people instead its a crumbling of society as it had been prior to that point in time. In this mind frame the possibility of what can be considered apocalyptic is opened greatly. The series that came to mind and in many ways struck me dumbfounded was J.K Rowlings Harry Potter series. Throughout the series following Harry potter from his younger years to adulthood we see the growing threat posed by Voldemort, although we don’t see a wide spread epidemic, or an extraterresterial meteor, we do however see the possibility of society crumbling. In the 6th and 7th novels there seems to be a great upheavel as gobal society feels the effects of Voldemort’s rise to power. he infects the society in all aspects and levels even changing the wheather and through the use of dementors taking the joy out of life. Is this not an apocalypse in the sense of the word. I propose a definition of apocalypse, as something that effects the world globally that causes a vast and all encompassing change in society.

In many ways the fear, the corruption, the deaths, and the fight for hope and survival, pitting good against evil in a battle for the world as they know it. These aspects are what makes the Harry Potter series as valid subject in the context of the apocalyptic genre of fiction

The Planet of the Apes is an iconic film, it becomes obvious that a film is very popular when parody and references are made thoughout popular culture as is the case when examining the Planet of the apes. It’s impossible to rember all the times that you have seen a joke made about Charlton hestons famous line that shocked viewers “get your hands off me you damn dirty ape” not to mention the countless parodies of the Cheston on the beach screaming at a decaying statue of liberty.

The new film rendition did not try and and steal the scene by redoing the same story in a modern setting instead the creators shoose to look at the Planet of the Apes Universe from a different perspective. No need to retell a story everyone knows “let’s give the audiences something they have been craving for sometime now” a modern interpretation of the orgins of the Apes rise to power. The rise of the planet of the apes uses modern fears about degenerate diseases that cripple the identity of the victim. The rise of the planet of the apes is a story about the cure for alzheimers and its side effects on its test subjects… apes.

The film offers a star studded cast that does not distract from the action of the play it is not like the remakes of some films that feel its necessary to use cameos from some of the original cast and crew, indstead “rise” uses fresh faces to the series that offer a new interpretation that in many ways can lead into the original series or transform the series for a modern audience that will be able to experience the series for the first time.

The film relaunch reminds me of the Star Trek relaunch that was oh so popular a few summers ago. The film did not try and retell the iconic story of the star Trek universe, but instead took the action in a direction away from where fans might be offended by the changes made by the new film.

I recommend the rise of the planet of the apes. It;s effectively chilling as it makes you stop and think about society, where we are going as a population and the futility and loss of importance in human society. We need to refocus on whats important today and not get wrapped up in the trivial things. relationships people and doing the best we can with the time we are given. I think in many ways the apocalypse is not to frighten as its to make us appreciate what we have right in front of us.

Tim Burton Sucks

Posted: December 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

ok now that I have your attention I must apologize for the title Tim Burton doesn’t suck, I love almost all his movies but I did just recently rewatch most of the planet of the apes series and althought some of the sequels are in many ways rediculous the original holds its own a beutiful masterpiece of science fiction. The story has all the elements of a good movie, Charlton Heston, Charlton Heston, Charlton Heston. Just kidding he may be a hinderance to the film in my mind as he is bulky and portrays little emotion. What the film does have is intrique, mystery, and a beutiful type of role reversal that puts our regular norms upside down on their head. It was recently pointed out to me that in many ways the planet of the apes is a social commentary about the treatment of other races and species in history. In the planet of the apes the humans are treated like the apes of our time, as test subjects for labs. in opposition conquest of the Planet of the Apes is a look at the society where the apes are used as servants. In many ways the apes in this film resemble the poor treatment of african americans regarding them as lower class slaves who would work for the white people.

In getting back to Burton his remake of the film trys to give a new twist to an old film. Burton’s remake is gritty and unsophisticated in the original the apes seemed to have a civilised culture but Burtons portrays the apes society in a much more primitive and barbaric way looking at the apes and giving them the appearance as though they are from a sort of medieval society. What the hero Mark Wahlberg comes to learn in the climactic ending is that his ship has acctually crash landed on the planet as well but both him and his ship entered time warp one of which sent the ship back much farther than walberg and he discovers that this is where the apes actually originated, from his own ship where they were testing apes.

Wahlberg then finds a way to zip himself back into the future home to earth where he is horrified to find that his actions have changed the course of history creating a new world where apes rule the earth. Amazing or grabage. In many ways this was Burtons attempt to creat a new twist on the iconic statue of liberty decaying on the beach in the original film version, but was it effective or was Burton trying to hard. I believe he needed to reevaluate step back a nd let the film stand as a great piece of film. If he was going to change the film I think he should have removed his plot much farther from the original story and tried a different tack not just a cheesy half cocked gag filled rendition.

maybe something like

In lieu of the conversation in class I thought that I could adress the issue of Movember and moustaches in the context of our apocalyptic film and fiction class. Men’s facial hair has become synonomous with heroics. Beards and moustaches are in many ways a sign of manliness and make sure that audiences understand that the character means business. In the apocalyptic tradition the characters find it difficult to remain clean shaven and beards become a more normalized occurence yet we as a population still see these rugged manly types as a different breed that is manly and unrelenting.

I have compiled several different examples apocalyptic facial hair most of which are moustaches that are very impresive considering some may not have had access to razors for quite some time

John Conner – Terminator Salvation

Ving Rhames in the new rendition of Dawn of the Dead

Denzel’s scruffy beard from the Book of Eli

Of course the nice Mo worn by Vincent Price in the Last Man on Earth

In order to drive this point home its important to look at the satire of the genre Zombieland as the two main characters are opposed one as whimpy and the other as rugged. It appears that the Whimpy character is unable to grow any sort of moustache in opposition to the rugged cowboy type character who sports a manly scruff.

I myself will be participating in this months charity to raise awareness for men’s health and raise money for Prostate Cancer Research by joining the movember campaign.

If anyone would like to follow my campaign they can visit my website at http://mobro.co/ksuttie

Party Rocking Zombie Style

Posted: September 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

I watched this music video today and automatically my thoughts turned to our class. This is one of the most popular songs currently and even it subscribes to the apoocalyptic pop culture of the day. As I’m sure you can see the video begins with a sort of spoof of the many zombie films including that of the popular tv series “The Walking Dead”.

Just as an amusing atidote I noticed in the later part of the song when the female singer is present I noticed that her costume (corset) appears to make it difficult to bend in many directions. everyone else is “shuffling” and she is merely shaking her hips.

Anyone reminded of thriller?

I just recently finished the 2008 video game Fallout 3. This game took me by surprise just like some of the best novels I found it difficult to get into but once I got into it I was hooked. The part of the game that is so amazingly fascinating is the setting. the setting is a much more advanced world with lasers and and plasma weaponry yet they held on to the stylizing of the  1950’s and some of the social intricacies of the fifties. but those aspectt are only in reference to what the world looked like before nuclear fallout.

So your character emerges from a subterranean shelter called a vault where he is struck by the sights and dangers of what has come to be known by the name the capital wasteland. Nuclear fallout has ravaged the surface and although many buildings have survived they look as though they have been bombed out and are in a state of deterioation. the earth appears to be trying to reclaim the land but the damage from the nuclear bombs has crippled the earth’s capacity to regenerate as the water is irradiated and the animal life has mutated to create fierce and vicous overgrown animals and insects in the 200 or so years since the war. The people of this wasteland live off the various irradiated wildlife and products or scavenge for unharmed pre war products yet they have many different methods to help heal radiation. The attention to this setting is what is amazing the destroyed vehicles that resemble the stylings of the 50’s and the advertisements and decor makes this game unique.

Not only is this futuristic 50’s  what makes the game so interesting is its attention landscape of the game. the capital wasteland is the fallout of Washington DC and the games map is in fact a map of Washington which includes many of the famous landmarks that are so prevalent when imagining Washington are present in the game as well. The mall, the jefferson memorial, the smithsonian these are all places that during the game you are able to visit and enjoy the developers take on what a nuclear fallout might look like in Washington.

I just thought I would attach some pictures taken from the game to show some of the more interesting sights and scenery that is found in Fallout 3’s capital wasteland