FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Dec 3, 2009

yet more zombies

All my jibber jabber and playing of Left 4 Dead 2 this week (seriously y'all, bitches be strategizin' on my Facebook page and it's awesomely nerdtastic)- not to mention yesterday's inaugural edition of Wednesday Comix- has got me jonesin' for some cinematic zombie action. This sort of sensation happens to me all the time. Like, if I snort a lot of meth in a short period of time, I find myself picking at my face and filled with a burning desire to watch Cookers. Or if my life doesn't feel quite miserable enough on a particular day, I punch myself in the face and pop Black Xmas in the VCR. Okay, I can't even joke about that because I hate that movie so much. The point is, however, that life frequently influences my movie-watching choices and, just as the media would have you believe, vice versa. Demon of Paradise had a huge effect on my actions; after watching it, I stood around doing absolutely nothing for 90 fucking minutes.

So, I wanted some zombies. I perused my shelves and quickly eliminated a few cinema d'undead categories (that's totally what the French call it, BTdubbs)- I wasn't feeling the Romero tip because I've seen them all a zillion times- or at least, I've seen Night, Dawn, and Day a zillion times.

Okay, time out: "feeling the Romero tip" is probably the grossest thing I've ever written here, ever ever EVARR.

Italian zombies...meh, not the vibe I was looking for. Low-budget backyard stuff...meh, I didn't have the patience. Basically, I wanted the movie equivalent of Left 4 Dead- lite, bloody, not completely sucky. I spotted Flight of the Living Dead on the shelf and thought, "Oh yeah, I remember that. I talked to that broad who was in it, and the director, and there are zombies on a plane, and it was...merrrrrrrrrrr......" and I realized: yes, I interviewed several people involved with it, and I gave away several copies of the DVD, but I never watched the fucking movie. I swear, I could not be any lamer if my fucking legs shriveled up and blew away.

Mayhaps it would be exactly what I was looking for, the perfect fetid flick to fill my zombalicious needs. Only 90 minutes of my life would tell!

Flight of the Living Dead has exactly the set up you'd expect: rogue scientists have developed a serum that can bring the dead back to life. They've got a contaminated body on ice in the cargo area of a plane that's Paris-bound, turbulence knocks the thingamajig in which the body is stored loose, the body wakes up, it's a zombie, bite bite bite, plucky band of survivors, bite bite bite, the end- no more, no less. The biggest shock here is that scientist Dale Midkiff clearly learned nothing from his attempts at bringing loved ones back from the dead in Pet Sematary.

plucky survivors

In other words, it is what it is- but even as such, Flight is pretty fun. The characters are the type populating airplane flicks since the heyday of Arthur Hailey: the cope, the criminal, the nice stewardess, the sexy stewardess, the nun, the TSA agent who I pretended was Curtis Sliwa...all the usuals. In the end, I didn't know anyone's name, but it didn't really matter. There was no character development, no deep metaphors in the plot, nothing worth taxing my brain over- which was exactly what I was looking for.

While the blood does fly, I have to say the zombie action was extremely repetitive: zombie goes "Hiss! Rarr!", then bites someone's neck. It's bloody and fun, but if the undead had varied their M.O. a bit it would have been much more fun. Surprisingly, the obligatory "feast scene" is absent.

There's a shit ton of CGI going on, and at times it's a little distracting. However, it's relegated to shots of the plane and out the window stuff- the FX seem largely practical.

The first 45 minutes are almost zombie-less, which isn't surprising- when you've got monsters confined in a small space, you can't blow your load too early or you won't have anywhere to go. The entire affair- even the long stretches without undead action- breeze by like nothing. The less I say about the ending, however, the better.

So, I've finally seen it. It's got some serious head-scratchers that you've just gotta go with (can you really decapitate someone with one swing of a golf club?), but that's no different than any other horror movie, really. All in all, watching Flight of the Living Dead is a bit like eating a whole bag of chips: it's not good for you and there's no nutritional value, but it satisfies a craving. You may hate yourself in the morning, but you'll enjoy it while it's happening- even though you know you shouldn't.

A copy of the movie was given to me by the distributor for reviewing purposes.


Christopher said...

Interesting. Sounds worth checking out. Maybe a little NOTLD, plus Executive Decision*, plus The Langoliers, plus Flightplan. (p.s.--SCREW Kurt Russell and his New York Yankees bandwagoning ass. I hope zombies eat him.)

Unknown said...

So more on L4D2. Good enough to throw a 50 spot on? My problem with playing the demo was that I kept feeling like it should have been DLC attached to the first one. I'd pay like $20-25 for it but I dunno about $50. It did improve some things over L4D but it still felt very much the same.

Unknown said...

*sigh*. Sorry, I write my comment to scroll down and realize you've already written a whole article on it. That's what I get for not check the site in a couple of day. It won't happen again. :-(

Melanie's Randomness said...

I loved Flight of the Dead. I thought it was absolutely hilarious. The best was the old woman i think gumming the guys arm. lol. hehe.

Christopher said...

Interesting, Melanie. My wife and I were just discussing the extent to which toothless zombies can or cannot be effective.

RJ said...

The one thing I definitely gave the movie credit for was killing characters I would not have expected to die.

Danny Spoiler said...

I loved "Plane Dead". Wonder why they cahnged it.