Tag Archives: Zombies

School-Live!, anime tv series (2015)

It’s been quite a while since I have been in school. And saying it like that, really does make me feel old lol. Would I ever want to go back to school though? No, I don’t think I do. There were certainly some things that I liked, but the negative aspects of school for me at least outweigh the positive ones. Let’s just leave it at that. Why am I rambling about this? Well, the anime show I am about to review deals with school a lot, but in a different way than we are used to. First off though, I want to thank the wonderful D, over at D Talks Anime. They featured this incredible anime over on their blog, with terrific posts covering every episode. So, if you are not yet following this truly amazing blog, go over there and do that first. I promise you this review won’t be caught up in a zombie apocalypse or something. Wait, where did that come from? Zombie apocalypse? We were talking about school right? Well…..

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Well, I guess that is one way to head down an escalator.

School-live opens up with the young girl Yuki getting woken up at school by a cute looking dog. Yes, Yuki sleeps at school because she is part of the “School living club”. This group consists of four other members including the young teacher Megumi Sakura, whom everyone adores. Yuki loves school. Every day she happily skips down the hallways of the school, always looking forward to the classes she attends. The other members of the group all look out for Yuki, and try to protect her in any way they can. But it’s just a school right? Besides maybe some bullies, there is nothing life threatening at school right? Wrong…..it soon becomes clear that something absolutely horrible has happened to the world. Through the windows of the school we see a courtyard full of shambling corpses. The happy world Yuki seems to be living in is apparently in her mind. It is up to the rest of the girls to make sure Yuki, and they themselves will remain alive in the middle of the ever increasing threat of the walking dead…..

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Demonstrations for gardening tools seem to become more lifelike by the minute.

So this series was an amazing surprise. I can honestly say that I would have skipped over this anime numerous times if I had not know the plot for this one. When the series starts, it seems like this will be a very goofy comedy, with some lighthearted and very happy young girls. Even the opening song, although very catchy, seems to support this. But then the series presents it’s twist, and it becomes a very different but also very unique show. Yes, this is another anime that deals with zombies, but I promise you that it really does so in one of the most unusual ways that I have seen. Although this series can definitely be classified as horror, it never becomes too gruesome or gory. Amidst all the darkness, there is always the happy go lucky spirit of Yuki, who lives in her own world, and who seems to be unaware of the horror around her.

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I am not lying….there really is a zombie apocalypse in this anime….honest.

The characters for this series are a bit of a mixed bunch. Yuki, who is pretty much the centre of the show, is a girl that everyone seems to like. She is sweet, kind, and always happy. She got on my nerves fairly quickly though, especially because of her grating voice. The three other girls, besides the teacher, are all pretty strong but in their own ways also have their flaws. The girl Miki for instance is trying to come to terms with the loss of one of her closest friends, and also has trouble with trying to maintain the delusions of Yuki. For me, I never felt any real attachment to any of them, except for the teacher Megumi, who certainly became my favorite. Strangely enough even though I never felt much for any of them, you still got scared when they got in danger. It is really something I can’t describe, nor have I ever had any kind of similar experience.

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Let me tell you a bedtime story” Once upon a time there was this beautiful zombie…”

The story of this anime is certainly it’s strongest selling point. It contains a lot of interesting and quite frankly jaw dropping twists, that I am ofcourse not going to spoil for you. Suffice it to say, that this is not your usual zombie apocalypse storyline, but I would almost call it a feel good horrorseries. That’s not to say that everything is good in this show. One of the later episodes in this anime I really could have done without, and was one of the show’s lowpoints. Some of the comedy in this series does at times feel forced, and even cringeworthy. But that could also just be me, since I am not a huge fan of comedy in the first place. That said though, I highly recommend this 12 episode anime. It is a really unusual series, that combines two totally different genres in a refreshing mix that really is worth your time. People who have always wanted to try out a zombieshow but always thought they were too gory, might want to have a go at this one.

I give School-live a 8 out of 10 score.

Train to Busan, Korean movie (2016)

I guess pretty much everyone that loves movies knows that there are certain genres that have so many films in them, that it is hard to find something that stands out or is original. Take superheroes for instance. While the Marvel movies are still highly entertaining, I have to admit that the formula for these films is starting to get a little bit predictable. Supposedly the new Wonderwoman movie is a fresh wind (Yes I know this is a DC movie) and tries to do things in a different way. I will see that for myself in the coming weekend, when I will finally be able to see it in the theatre. Another moviegenre that has become highly saturated is the zombiefilm. But just when you think that you have seen everything, there comes a film that is so incredibly good, that you start to believe that luckily there is still originality left. And I am not talking about a Hollywood movie either. No, I am talking about a zombiemovie made in Korea, a country nor really known for making these kind of films. So all aboard? Then lets get started with the review shall we?

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Has nobody ever told these people that walking on the train tracks is dangerous? 

Seok-woo is a fund manager that takes his work very seriously. He is divorced and is taking care of his young daughter Soo-an. Because of his work though, he at times neglects his daughter, and for instance forgot about her singing recital. Soo-an’s birthday is coming up soon, and she wants him to take her to Busan to see her mother. At first Seok-woo declines, but feeling guilty about missing her recital, he eventually changes his mind and decides to take her anyway. Soon they board the train that is going to take the two of them to Busan. But when a strange woman enters the train at the last possible second, things take a horrible turn for the worse. The woman is infected with something that has turned her into a bloodthirsty zombie. Soon other people on the train become infected, and not before long everything slow starts to go straight to hell. For Seok-woo and his daughter Soo-an, the ride becomes a struggle for survival. Together with a few other passengers they are in for the fight of their lives…..

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Baseball practice these days is serious business. 

To say that this is just another horrormovie would be a grave injustice. Because this movie is so much more. One of the best things in this movie are it’s characters. Seok-woo played by Gong Yoo is a character who is not without it’s flaws, but that is what is making him so human. The role of his daughter, played by child actress Kim Su-an is the one that impressed me the most. For a child so young to be able to conjure up this much emotion and act so believable is a feat that few actors are able to achieve. She pulls it off though and then some. But the rest of the cast is equally good, most notably Jung Yu-mi who plays a pregnant wife, and Ma Dong-seok who plays her husband. Each and every character in this film has his or her own story, and that is why you really care about what happens to them, something that is very crucial in a movie such as this.

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I think there might be a sales event at the shopping mall, probably the reason why everybody is in a rush. 

This movie doesn’t waste any time in cranking up the tension. Right from the start the film is a rollercoaster ride, that doesn’t let up for one second. Action and horror lovers alike will get their fill, as there are plenty of scenes that will satisfy fans of both these genres. This being a zombie movie there is ofcourse some blood, but it doesn’t get incredibly gory like for instance in The Walking Dead. This movie is more about creating a tense and creepy atmosphere than spilling buckets of blood. But the main reason this movie works so well is the underlying story. It really shows what some people become if something like this were to happen for real. Some of them become brave, others cowards and still others just plain and simple very evil. And that’s what made this movie such a fascinating watch.

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Yep….getting out of there seems like a very good idea. 

As most of you that have been following my blog for a while now know, I am an enormous lover of Asian cinema, especially Korean films. Having seen quite a few of them I can honestly say that this movie is the best Korean movie that I have seen to date. With terrific and at times heartbreaking acting, a great story and equally fantastic action scenes and special effects, this movie is one you can’t afford to miss. If you love The Walking Dead, horror and action movies I highly recommend checking this movie out. Especially if you want to see a different kind of zombiefilm. It may not be the best zombiemovie ever made, but it comes pretty darn close.

I give Train to Busan a 10 out of 10 score.

 

Resident Evil, Uk/German movie (2002)

I used to be a very fanatical gamer, until a completely insane online Call of Duty session pretty much ended my gaming days. I lost interest in the virtual gaming world, and went back to old school gaming otherwise known as boardgames. But that does not mean that I don’t look back on my gaming days with some great memories. One of my favorite horror games was Resident Evil. I remember a scene from the first game where you walked along a quiet corridor, and you pretty much knew something was going to happen. And ofcourse it did in the form of a horrible dog that came crashing through the window. I literally let my controller drop from my hands, that’s how much of a jumpscare I got. In 2002 Resident Evil made it’s way to the big screen, and has so far spawned five sequels. Today I rewatched the first movie which I had not seen for quite a few years.

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Some parties can get completely out of hand.

In Resident Evil the Umbrella Corporation has taken over the world by storm. The public knows the company only from their consumer goods, but the true money comes from their bioweapons research. It is a secret that they have been able to hide so far. But then something goes horribly wrong at one of their underground facilities known as the Hive. A special group of commandos is sent out to investigate. It is not long until they meet up with a mysterious woman who has lost most of her memories, and is only known as Alice. It soon becomes apparent that the artificial intelligence of the facility called the Red Queen has taken matters into her own hands. Most of the staff of the Hive have been killed off by her or so it seems. The real reason for this behaviour however is that the genetically engineered T-virus has been unleashed in the Umbrella facility. A virus that has truly horrifying consequences, as Alice and the commandos are about to find out…..

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Here doggy, doggy, doggy…..

I guess pretty much everyone that is a gamer knows that most movies based on popular videogames, have been a total waste. However I have always liked the Resident Evil films. Yes I guess they could fall into B-movie territory, but that doesn’t mean that they are not a lot of fun to watch. Quite honestly I had forgotten a lot of details from this first film. I was also pretty amazed that this movie is already 15 years old. Resident Evil does not have a perfect script, but that is not why you watch a movie such as this in the first place. On the action and horror front however it really does things right. The action scenes are done well, and the creatures featured in the film are pretty amazing to look at. Especially the fan favorite Licker monster taken straight from the games.

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Eveybody has those moments where you just feel trapped at your work. 

 

One other reason to watch this movie is actress Milla Jovovich. She plays the part of Alice, and does so very convincingly. If you pardon my language, she really knows how to kick some serious zombie ass. Her co-star Michelle Rodriguez also portrays a strong woman, and both women have a great onscreen chemistry that works incredibly well. The rest of the cast is pretty forgettable, except for maybe James Purefoy, who tries to make the best of the script that has been handed to him. All in all though this first Resident Evil movie does a pretty good job of bringing the game to life. Even if you have never played the games before, you will enjoy this film if you are into horror or action movies. The movie has a good pace, and certainly can’t be accused of being boring. Sometimes it’s just okay to sit back and watch a nice and simple popcorn movie, as I like to call it.

I give Resident Evil a 8 out of 10 score.

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Anime tv series (2016)

Everyone who is a fan of Attack on Titan is probably highly anticipating the release of the second season next year. (I know that I am one of them). Already pushed back once, it only increases the tension and hype for it. So, what usually happens when something is as succesful as Attack on Titan? You get people who want to hitch a ride on the succes train. In the case of Kabeneri of the Iron Fortress, the word train is taken a bit literally.

This Anime series takes place in a post apocalyptic world where a mysterious virus has transformed most of the human population into monsters. These creatures are called Kabane and can best be described as a kind of zombie, only much stronger. They are almost unstoppable, unless you manage to destroy their glowing hearts, that are protected by a layer of iron. What is left of humanity now lives in giant fortress stations, and are in constant fear of attack from the Kabane. To get around to other stations a number of steam powered trains have been created. In the series we follow the crew of one of these trains as they try to survive in this grim world. But then one day someone appears that might change everything….but is he is a saviour, or the one that finally rings the bell for the end of humankind….

This series has been criticized for being a clone of Attack on Titan. To be fair, yes there are definitely a lot of similarities between the two shows. Both series feature flesh eating creatures, a male and female hero, are set in post apocalyptic worlds, and even the soundtracks are pretty much the same. So yeah, I can relate to that. But to dismiss it just because of that, is in my opinion totally unfair. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress has a lot of good things going for it. The trains for instance, (see the example below) are just simply awesome. At times it reminded me a bit of the terrific movie Snowpiercer starring Chris Evans, that was released in 2013.

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I also liked a lot of the characters, especially the young female hero Mumei, who although appearing pretty innocent, turns out to be a force of nature. This being a horror show, there is a lot of blood in it, pretty much the same amount as shown in Attack on Titan. Action lovers will definitely have a field day with this show, as nearly every episode has tons of well executed action sequences. As such there is, at times, little room for character development and that is one of the things that you might not like about this show. Honestly though, I can only say that I have enjoyed this series immensely. I loved the setting, action and briljant animation of this series. Sure, it might be a clone of Titan, but it is a very good one. If you want to watch something to help make the wait for season 2 of Attack on Titan a little bit more bearable, try this one out.

I give Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress a 9 out of 10 score.

The Walking Dead Season 6, American tv series (2015/2016)

There is such an enormous amount of tv series to choose from these days. Everybody though, has probably got one show that is his or her absolute favorite. For me that used to be 24. That realtime series starring Kiefer Sutherland in the role Jack Bauer, one of the most iconic characters ever, was the greatest thing to ever grace television screens. At least….that was what I used to think. I had never in my wildest dreams thought that a show would ever pass 24 as my personal number one show. But then in 2010, the Walking Dead premiered. A show that tells the story of the world facing a Zombie Apocalypse, and the people who try to survive in that world. After the first episode aired I was hooked, and to date I still am. I am going to apologise in advance. I will try and be as objective as I can with the review of season 6 of this show. And I do mean try, because when it comes to the Walking Dead, I usually lose my objectivity. So once again: my apologies.

Season 6 starts off with a big problem. And I do mean big…an enormous herd of thousands of zombies is threatening the community of Alexendria. Rick, the newly appointed saviour of the town has to come up with an incredible plan, in order to rescue everyone from this latest threat. Ofcourse in The Walking Dead nothing usually goes according to plan, and it is not before long that Rick, his friends, and everyone in the town of Alexendria might have to face the reality that the world truly belongs to the dead……

The thing I love the most about the Walking Dead are the characters. Yes the zombies are cool, the action is fantastic, and ofcourse the horror is terrifying. But the heart of this show is it’s ever expanding cast of characters. As in every season we gain a few new characters, but we also lose a couple of them, usually in totally unexpected and often heartwrenching ways. This season truly has been the most brutal one to date. The lines between good and evil  are beginning to fade, and our beloved cast has to really adapt in order to survive. This leads to certain situations where you begin to question the morality of some of the decisions that are being made. And I often asked myself the question: would I be able to that, if I would find myself in this same predicament.

Ofcourse one of THE most talked about things this season, was the enormous cliffhanger at the end. A lot of people hated it, and felt it went to far to leave people hanging for such a long time with an ending such as this. I honestly did not care about it. Yes, the ending was annoying, and I can’t wait for the season 7 premiere next week to start. But I truly felt it was the only way to end this utterly fantastic season, and any other ending would not have seem right. At least that is how I felt about it. So was this the best season of the Walking Dead to date? Thinking hard and long about it, I would say it probably was. There were so many shocking moments, fantastic action sequences, and terrific character driven storylines, that I wonder what they are going to come up with to top this one. One thing is for sure: episode 1 of season 7 will be a horrible experience no matter how it turns out….but it would take a herd of zombies to stop me from watching it next week.

I give season 6 of the Walking Dead a 9 out of 10 score.

Highschool of the Dead, Anime tv series (2010)

Sometimes you watch a movie or tv show that is just so bad or completely over the top that it becomes funny. A case in point could be made for most of the Quentin Tarantino movies. He has been known to include such incredible violence and gore, that it is pretty much his trademark. People almost expect to see it in his movies, and as such are not easily offended by them anymore. I have recently watched the Anime series Highschool of the Dead. It also takes things not too seriously, but does it in a completely different way. I guess the old saying “Sex sells” has been pretty much invented for this one, but more on that later. So lets find out what the story of this show is, and I use the term story pretty loosely.

Highschool of the Dead pretty much sums up what the show is about. Yes, zombies are on the loose again, the end of the world is here, and a couple of highschool students have been caught up right in the middle of it all. As the outbreak begins to spread the group first has to survive an attack on the school, and then try to escape to a safe haven. The leader of the group, well if you can call him a leader, is the young boy Takashi Komuro. Together with his old girlfriend, and an assortment of other characters they have to try and survive in this new and dangerous world. However with the world falling ever more rapidly into total chaos, it is something that is easier said than done.

Okay, I love zombies and that is why this series had my interest. I wasn’t quite prepared for what this show turned out to be though. The fanservice in this is, too put it mildly, completely ridiculous. We have got a couple of increasingly scantily clad girls fighting zombies, and the camera just tries to show them as much as possible in pretty indencent ways. In the beginning this was actually funny, but as this trend continued in pretty much every episode I soon truly become annoyed by it. The characters themselves, especially the girls are pretty much a bunch of airheads. The only ones that I found mildly amusing were the chubby Otaku boy Kohta Hirano, and his secret crush Saya Tagaki. They actually had some funny moments, and as such managed on occasion to save a certain episode. The animation and action in this show are actually pretty good, and there were definitely some pretty cool fight scenes that are worth watching. I guess you could say, this show isn’t a total loss. If you are easily offended by scenes involving a lot of fanservice in sometimes enormous amounts you had best avoid this show. If you can look past it, I guess there is just enough to enjoy in this series, that you might give it a try.

I give Highschool of the Dead a 6 out of 10 score.