“Creepozoids”

creepozoidsThe first line of spoken dialogue in “Creepozoids,” said within the first two minutes of the movie, is this: “Is somebody out there?” Within two minutes of that, a giant cockroach bursts into the room. That’s efficient. I appreciate a movie that doesn’t waste time like that. I’ve seen way too many monster movies that labor under the delusion that people watch them for real human drama and character work. “Creepozoids” was made by David DeCoteau, a protégé of Roger Corman and Charles Band, the latter being the mind behind series such as “Puppet Master,” “Gingerdead Man,” and “Evil Bong.” DeCoteau is also a veteran of the porn industry, so as a filmmaker he’s experienced at cutting to the chase. Continue reading

“Neon Maniacs”

NeonposterHorror fans have a unique relationship with the genre. Perhaps no other type of movie has inspired so many to think, “I could do this!” than horror, and because of that horror fans have a symbiotic connection to it. From Sam Raimi and Tom Savini on one end of the spectrum to Mark Borchardt and Mike Schank from “American Movie” on the other, a significant portion of filmmakers who specialize in horror started as fans mixing fake blood in their mothers’ kitchens and shooting yards of Super 8 film. And in many cases, horror returns the favor by making horror fans into heroes. Tommy Jarvis’ effects makeup skills defeat Jason in “Friday the 13th Part IV,” the Frog Brothers’ horror fandom help them identify what’s up with the Lost Boys, and the Monster Squad graduates directly from doodling werewolves to kicking them square in the nards.

One of the lesser-known entries in this subcategory of movies featuring horror nerds as heroes is 1986’s “Neon Maniacs,” a movie that nevertheless feels much closer to a pure expression of horror fandom. Like many of the homemade horror movies Borchardt and the thousands like him made as teenagers, “Neon Maniacs” is not much more than a feature-length makeup test, an excuse to throw as many monsters and murders and severed limbs at the camera as possible, sacrificing opportunities to build plot and character for more mayhem. Continue reading

“2012: Zombie Apocalypse”

The problem with zombies, according to zombie movies, is that there are far too many of them and it’s far too easy to make more of them. The same could be said for zombie movies themselves, unfortunately. Since the zombie movie became a genre unto itself, most zombie movies have taken on the characteristics of their stars – shambling, predictable, brainless and indistinguishable from each other.

Lurching alongside the rest of the pack is “2012: Zombie Apocalypse,” which couldn’t be more generic if it came in a brown paper wrapper. Even the title suggests that you won’t find anything in it that can’t be found in dozens of other movies. It’s actually surprising to me that this is a SyFy Original movie, because SyFy has shown at least enough creativity to smash two toothy animals together into one CGI beast to chase Debby Gibson or Jimmy Walker. Continue reading