Monday, November 08, 2004

Heartless, Skin Eating Jerks
Posted by Sam at 2:21 PM

I saw two movies over the weekend. One was truly incredible (hint hint), and the other was... um, not. Let's talk about the less than incredible film first. It was called Amid the Dead (you can actually download the entire film here).

Amid the Dead has been officially described as "A Swarthmore College student film that melds the genres of the apocalyptic zombie movie and the introspective existentialist self-analysis." Student film? Yes indeed. This movie has misguided film student written all over it. Apocalyptic zombie movie? Sure, why not? Although, I do have to say, this is one of the more boring apocalypses that I have ever observed (and let me tell you, I've been privy to my fair share of apocalypses). Ok, so it had zombies... but I saw no decaying metropolis, no overturned cars, hardly any fire... I mean, there was really only about a dozen zombies total. A dozen zombies does not make an apocalypse. And finally, introspective existentialist self-analysis? You know what? I'm not even going to touch this one.

The film opens with the unmistakable sounds of human birthing. A woman is being frantically wheeled through a hospital (as the lights flicker on and off... you know, to enhance the apocalyptic mood). So far so good. As the doctors prepare for the birth, we get a taste of some of the brilliant dialog that awaits us. "I don't like what's going on out there, and I don't understand it. This child may live only to witness the end of civilization as you and I know it. Even so, it's our duty to wrench him, kicking and screaming, into what's left." Zombies invade the room and eat Doctor 1, Doctor 2, and Mom. But interestingly enough, not before she gives birth to a bouncing baby boy. Fade to black, cut to 18 years later. That bouncing baby boy is now a strapping young man... confused, annoyed, shrouded in darkness, hanging out at the local tennis courts, writing in his journal, and full of angst (weren't we all at that age though?).

Questions you should ask yourself at this point:
1) How did he survive 18 years?
2) Was he raised by zombies?
3) Do zombies have the necessary parenting skills required to raise a non-zombie youth in this ever changing and constantly more difficult apocalyptic day and age?
4) How did he learn to read and write?
5) Where did he get those cool black pants?

The movie progresses and we learn more about our happy protagonist: He dines regularly with his zombie family. "After all," he tells us, "I am hungry." We also discover his unhealthy and mildly disturbing romance with a local zombie girl. In an attempt to win her over, our hero pulls her arm out of her socket. It's ok though, she apparently has the ability to regenerate the limb, as she appears with both arms in a later scene.

I don't want to give away too much more. I'll stop here. There is so much more to discover on your own.

The film clocks in at just under 30 minutes. If you have that kind of time to kill, and if you heart zombies as much as I do, give this student film a once over. While it's not a good movie (not even entertaining really), it is a zombie movie. And zombies have given so much to our society... don't you think it's time to give a little something back? The least we could do is give them the attention they deserve.

One final note about the zombies themselves: They are the most heartwarming and thoughtful zombies that I have ever experienced. On two separate occasions in this film, the zombies, huddled over their food (a.k.a. a corpse), offered our hero a handful of fresh guts. As if to say, "Come join your family at the dinner table. We would greatly enjoy your company as we partake in this plentiful bounty." See, now this just destroys every zombie stereotype I've ever had. Zombies do care. They are not the heartless, skin eating jerks that the media would have you believe. Thank you, Amid the Dead, for opening our eyes to our own disgusting prejudices.

Oh... the other movie I saw this weekend. Right. It was The Incredibles. It was great. Go see it.

Comments: 3 | Post a Comment | Permalink

oh my god, sam:

did you do any work today? That entry was huge!

the incredibles = not a misnomer, very much incredible movie

see you later!
sarah 2.0

Comment By Anonymous on November 08, 2004 2:47 PM

What do you mean, "did I do any work today?" This post was tons of work! Oh... you mean real work. Work that I am getting paid to do.

Well, no. Not really.

Ummm... I gotta go.

Comment By Sam on November 08, 2004 3:07 PM

That was indeed kinda an exhaustive review on Amid the Dead. With my current reading skills, it woulda been quicker just to watch it.

If anyone wants to comment on this and see what Sam does all day, feel free to contact me at Sam's workplace. Fill up the voicemail with horridly long messages. We'll get back to you. Really.

Comment By Blackwatch on November 08, 2004 10:49 PM

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Sam Who!?
Sam is an amazing and humble guy. Once, he rushed into a burning building, up six flights of stairs to save a kitten from certain death. He speaks eight languages, has mastered three varieties of martial arts, is a wine expert, and is a pulitzer prize winning author. Sam is an international heart-throb who prefers a quiet evening at home knitting afghans for the homeless, to the go-go, glitz and glamor of the party scene. I think the day he won the silver medal for ballroom dancing at the 98 olympics was the happiest of his life. Pretty impressive for a guy who never finished the 8th grade. - Carrie, 04
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