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Book Review – Zombies: Complete Guide to the World of the Living Dead

Zombies: Complete Guide to the World of the Living DeadZombies: Complete Guide to the World of the Living Dead by Zachary Graves

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s an decent read, covering zombies in a cultural sense as well as in popular media. I felt that the book for have gone into greater detail with some of the media references (there are a number of zombie movies that the books mentions in passing, but never revisits them to explain why they were included). There is a section of zombie movies that feels redundant since at least five of the movies (White Zombie, I Walked With A Zombie, and the first three Romero “Dead” movies) are covered extensively in previous chapters. A better use for the chapter would be to give a brief description of some of the other “zombie movies” that are mentioned in the book once, then never mentioned again.

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Bad Movies

There are bad movies, and there are really bad movies, movies so bad that they actually physically hurt to watch them.  Unfortunately, like a bad car accident, sometimes you just have to see how bad they really are.

Case in point, last weekend I watched Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.  I had sort of seen it before, but in that case, it had been Elvira-ized.  I had seen and heard so much about how bad this movie was, from tv shows, books, web sites.  Yet, for some strange reason, I had to see for myself exactly how bad it was in its original, unmocked form.

It was bad.  It was really bad.  It was unbelievably bad.  It was obvious that the filmmakers were trying to make a parody of bad giant monster movies (not the Godzilla ones, the [insert animal] grows big and rampages ones), but just failed at every turn.  The jokes were horrible and the acting hideous.  Yet, I had to watch it all the way through, like some sort of horrible self-torture that I needed to endure.  It is easy to see why it became a cult classic because there is just so much to mock in the movie.  Even more shocking is that it spawned sequels.  That’s right, someone thought it would be a good idea to actually make a sequel of this movie… and cast George Clooney in it.

Having watched this movie… intentionally… made me realize that I have seen a lot of bad movies in my life, many of which I actually chose to watch.  Tank Girl, seen it, in theatres.  I’ve even seen a movie with an Alan Smithee movie a theatre (Hellraiser: Bloodline) to be exact.  I’ve even seen Spacehunter: Adventures of the Forbidden Zone, Jaws 3 and Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn in theatres… in 3D no less (sorry for the link fest).

Personally, I think everyone should watch a bad movie every now and then.  And by that I mean intentionally, not in “This is going to be so cool…. wait a minute, this stinks!” way either.  Watching bad movies is a  good thing.  Communally, it can provide a great source of entertainment when you watch a movie and everyone in the room gives it their MST3K best.  At the very least, a bad movie will make you better appreciate the good ones that much more.

Now if you will excuse me, I hear the original version of Piranha calling my name.

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