Thursday, July 8, 2021

Yeah, we'll probably die.

Being almost nine-hundred posts in, I'm sure I've repeated myself on more than one occasion, but, uh, unfortunately, good luck stopping me if you've heard this one before...

Probably/sadly close to twenty years ago, I wrote something of a treatment for a zombie flick I intended to write called The Peaceful Dead. 

The supposed horror-comedy would have told the (lackluster) tale of an out-of-work stuntman named Eddie, who, after banking a large settlement check from a cut-rate 'film' studio (Eddie got catastrophically injured on the set of Ninja Island, obvs) heads to Vegas to let it roll. Some major shit goes down on the strip, and Eddie ends up leaving town in a hurry. Turns out, he's being followed by film company goons to collect the cash Eddie already lost. On the way out of town, ol' Edward picks up a whacked-out hitchhiker who claims there's a fully functioning town of the undead, one that the government cut off from society years ago (the driver of the lowest-bidding toxic waste disposal company spilled his load after a masturbatory mishap, naturally). Eddie ain't buying this Area fifty...two, but after the goons catch him and threaten his life, he finagles his way out of imminent death by mentioning this alleged zombie town. He figures this location would be ideal for a horror-movie shoot, as all the effects will be real. And no stuntmen can get hurt during the process. Just some undead bastards, who happen to be going about their lives, you guessed it, peacefully.

It goes on from there, but clearly, you've heard enough.

Bad news for me/good news for the rest of the world, Shaun of the Dead came out shortly thereafter, and I immediately gave up the dream. I felt that the ideas were too similar, and Edgar Wright's flick was f--king awesome - one of my all-time favorites. Why even bother fleshing this one out (for a multitude of reasons, honestly), you know?

Somewhat surprisingly, it wasn't Simon Pegg and Nick Frost who (partly) read my mind and tore up my dream. Nope.

It was f--king Zack Snyder?

Well, sort of, as his latest offering, the Netflix-exclusive Army of the Dead, somewhat reminded me of the script, uh, I never wrote. 

Snyder's second foray into the lives of the undead opens when a couple of soldiers inadvertently unleash heck just outside of the Vegas strip. The mysterious cargo wasn't aliens as its drivers had guessed, but instead a mini-Hulk looking dude, existing solely on a healthy diet of violence and chaos. It doesn't take long for the virus to overtake Sin City and its slew of hookers, magicians, and of course, hooker-magicians. Naturally, the plan is to wall the whole place off and blow it straight to f--king Hell. Seems reasonable, I suppose...

Also making small-kine sense (Hawaiians love them some Vegas), is the assembling of a ragtag squad of zombie-horde survivors, ass-kickers and masters of general unsavoriness, in an effort to breach the wall and head back in. But, uh, why would anyone want to do that, with all the biting and the dying and such? Well, when everyone got the f--k out of there, a lot of the money stayed behind, see. And the bigshot assembling the crew says there's two-hundred million dollars inside his casino's safe, and Dave Bautista's Scott Ward can keep a quarter of it. Sounds like a good deal to me, you know? Assuming everyone, uh, plays fair and makes it out alive, or at the very least not...undead.

This is Scott Ward. Nothing goes over his head. His reflexes are too fast, and he would catch it.

While I feel like Snyder has ascended/descended into someone you have to either be willing to kill or kill for, for me, it isn't, nor has it ever been (or ever will be), that serious. I've always been a fan of his over-the-top love of slow-motion and his extreme willingness to have pretty people doing cool shit as often as possible, even if it almost always toes the line of excessive and unnecessary. In fact, the epic opening number set to Viva Las Vegas featured here was easily my favorite part of the movie, far surpassing anything else that would happen over the next two-plus hours. But the world he built was kind of cool, and I'm always, always up for the assembling of a crew of charismatic a-holes. Yep, even if the mission ends up being kind of stupid, you son of a bitch, I'm in.

Everybody needs a friend like her.

  • Zombie knockers via some undead showgirls? Sure, why not. (note: twenty years later, the Angry Princess from 13 Ghosts still wears the dead-boob crown proudly)
  • My goodness, that chain-gun action was absolutely ridiculous. Same goes for guy with giant-ass skill saw (seems impractical to wield effectively, but, uh, I'll allow it)
  • So, I've been thinking Dieter was the MVP of the crew, but Helicopter Lady (pictured above) was also pretty clutch, too.
  • Though can we sleep on YouTube Guy? He turned out to be pretty rad, too, even if his sub-crew sucked hard.
  • Not a hundred percent sure what was going on with hibernating zombies, but I'm positive that that shit gave me the willies. *shudder*
  • That one chick was, like, fully an homage to Jenette Vasquez, right? I mean, badass Latina in a red bandana just straight-up murdering the enemy? Totally legit. (if only her gun were a little longer)
  • My guys @chopperfireball would know better than I would, but that helicopter crash was pretty f--king awesome.
  • There was no better song to (almost) end this movie than the one they selected. Oh, and just because it's obvious, doesn't mean it can't also be tremendous.
  • Those flight attendants were soooo nice, it's a shame really....
  • And finally, I'm not sure if it will ever see the light of the day (though, honestly, with this relentless onslaught of content maybe it will), I could be fully down for a sequel. The ending was all kinds of ridiculous (not entirely how that dude is just strolling about post-nuke), sure, but make the next one an hour shorter and with less serious bits and I'm there. Hell, I could even write it (some of barely any of it) if you'd like.
Wow, I was totally here to say f--k that guy, um...
...I got distracted upon closer look.
  • Two hours and twenty-eight minutes? Should be illegal.
  • Uh, did we really need that little girl going out like that? Could have been implied.
  • Hey, everybody, it's Sean Spicer. F--k that guy.
  • I don't know if I should go Creepy Guard Guy or Shitty Tony Reali, but either way, that mfer was the worst. And I'm pretty sure that mustache wasn't doing anyone any favors...
  • What the f--k was that detention center for? Are they seeing if they turn or something? I was confused, not that that's hard to do...but still.
  • Way too many 'touching' parts and/or family strife, you know? Guys, we wouldn't give a shit about this relationship in a movie about relationships, let alone in something called Army of the Dead.
  • Speaking of, either way you slice that title, this 'army' is pretty shitty. Drax's crew is like eight people. More of a suicide gang or a murder militia...
  • Look, I know trying to be funny and failing desperately, and that booby-trapped test-thingy certainly qualifies. What the shit was that?
  • Speaking of, it seemed like no one really considered how bulky two hundred million dollars would be to carry. Are there one-million dollar bills that I am unaware of?
  • Dieter did NOT have to go out like that. Worst call of the movie right there...
  • That arm breaking bit still haunts my dreams. Yeeee-ouch.
  • And finally, the mid-level bosses here that constitute the Big Bad are pretty lame, to put it mildly. Leading the initial charge, is basically Courtney Love before Hole hit it big. And her side-kick/baby-daddy? Pretty much 90s-era Trent Reznor, zombified and if NIN played exclusively at Hot Topic grand openings. And the whole burgeoning family angle? F--k off with that noise. (even though my movie had an entire elementary school of undead kids)
Being that I can barely write a (shitty) blog at this point, there's essentially a zero percent chance that I ever write a (shitty) zombie movie in whatever is left in this lifetime. Back when I cooked up The Peaceful Dead, it seemed like fifty movies came out a year. Shit, now it seems like fifty new feature films is a slow Tuesday. 

Hell, maybe we'll reach a point where Netflix and other streaming services will literally make anything, right?

Hopefully Pegg and Frost have some good ideas...


  1. I would've watched your zombie movie! I haven't even bothered with this. I need a break from Snyder on the basis of the snyderbros online lol

    1. Hahaha, you say that now...but man, would it have been shitty. Hopefully *good* shitty, but like this site, it was going to try way too hard to be funny.

      Oh, right...the snyderbros. Those dudes can get pretty hardcore. I remember I once pissed off one of Nolan's BFFs and that dude went ballistic. And those guys are 'intellectuals', right?