Virus :32 (2022)

In the age of COVID there’s a re-emergence of virus horror films (like it or lump it), and “Virus :32” is one of the many that’s unique. It’s unique in that it really wants to be considered a part of the “28 Days Later” canon, even lifting bars from the score track “In the House.” It’s not to say that “Virus :32” is a bad movie. It’s actually a very solid survival horror drama if you’re hungry for a good zombie picture and have nothing else at hand to watch.

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The Bootleg Files: Ouanga

BOOTLEG FILES 793: “Ouanga” (1936 horror film starring Fredi Washington).

LAST SEEN: On Vimeo.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On cheapjack public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
No one is rushing to get it into home entertainment release.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: The film has been restored, but no one is rushing to put it out on Blu-ray.

Fredi Washington earned a degree of cinematic immortality for her startling performance as Peola, the light-skinned Black woman who is repeatedly thwarted in her attempts to transcend the racial barriers of Jim Crow America by passing for White in the 1934 classic “Imitation of Life.” This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime role for Washington, both in terms of the quality of role and the exposure it afforded her – at a time when Black women in Hollywood studios were either cast as maids or nightclub singers, Washington found no offers to score a dramatic encore.
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Beyond Fest’s Black Friday: George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” with Ken Foree In Person

Join the American Cinematheque and the Cinemtatic Void for the Ultimate Black Friday mall trip: George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead with Ken Foree in Person.

In celebration of mass consumption and the grotesque gluttony, George A. Romero’s “Dawn of trhe Dead” gets a rare theatrical screening this Black Friday at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. Joining for both a pre-screening introduction and post screening Q&A will be lead actor Ken Foree to share on-set stories and the importance of Romero’s enduring Magnum Opus.

The sequel to Romero’s landmark “Night of the Living Dead,” “Dawn of the Dead” obliterated genre normas and shattered sensese jupon its release in 1978. A razor sharp social commentary on material society, Romero’s vision is fully realized in the collapsed civilization that he meticulously wrote, directed, and edited. With electric performances from Ken Foree, Gaylen Ross, David Emge and Scott Reiniger, and revolutionary special effects from the master Tom Savini, “Dawn of the Dead” remains an untouched masterpiece at the very peak of genre cinema.

Attendance to all Beyond Fest screenings requires physical proof of vaccinations and guests must follow mandatory mask mandates. Go to americancinematheque.com for details.

Syfy’s “Day of the Dead” Continues The Trampling of Romero’s Legacy

When the trailer for “Day of the Dead” arrived, it looked interesting but stumped me. The trailer for the Syfy series was a fast paced dark comedy with zombies, goofy one liners, and a bunch of action. It felt more like “Return of Z Nation” rather than a throwback to Romero. This could have been given any generic title like “Zombie Warz” or “Country Zombie Jammie Jam” and never really miss a beat. There’s no reason at all to call this “Day of the Dead” and pretend it’s honoring Romero’s original movie, and it’s sad Syfy has resorted to this.

It’s all brand recognition. It’s an easy sell, an easy pitch, and has a built in audience.

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Five Questions I’m Still Asking About “The Walking Dead”

As with all good things, it come to an ends eventually, and “The Walking Dead” is finally ending in 2022. Although AMC has yet to finish finding new ways to tell Robert Kirkman’s story, the OG series is coming to a close. I have mixed feelings about it, since every year from 2010 “The Walking Dead” was an event for me.

I eagerly looked forward to it every single Sunday for so many years. Now that they’ve decided to end it, there are five lingering questions that I’ve had since Season Two. This has a lot to do with the fact that AMC screwed original show runner Frank Darabont leaving Season Two and Three to feel messy and unfocused, but they’ve yet to really offer ideas or thoughts on these questions I’m still wondering about.

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Five Horror Anthologies that Deserve Renewed Interest

After a lull for many, many years, the horror anthology has made a roaring comeback and is once again a common place for the horror movie genre. Television has embraced the anthology for short form storytelling, while modern horror filmmakers have utilized the format to give a platform and exposure to indie filmmakers around the world anxious for an audience.

With new anthologies premiering this year (10/31 Part II, V/H/S/94, Fear Street, et al.), be sure to look for these five great anthology horror films deserving of a big audience and fan following.

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Daylight’s End (2016)

Director William Kaufman’s “Daylight’s End” is “30 Days of Night,” meets “Dawn 04” with “Assault on Precinct 13” thrown in for good measure. Sadly, while it’s nowhere near the masterpiece the aforementioned Carpenter film is, it’s silly, goofy, occasionally clumsy, fun late night movie fodder. In the heydays of cable television I could picture sneaking out of bed, and checking this out on one of the premium movie channels at three in the morning.

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Night of the Animated Dead (2021) [Blu-Ray/Digital]

The last time “Night of the Living Dead” was animated was in 2009’s “Re-Animated” where director Mike Schneider enlisted a slew of animators to offer their own interpretations of various scenes from George A. Romero’s masterpiece. That wasn’t so much a remake, as it felt more like an art installation, or a cinematic experiment that allowed us to view the classic film through various lenses and scopes, giving us unique peek in to the terrifying narrative. “Night of the Animated Dead” has a chance to feel like a unique re-imagining. Instead it picks off the corpse of George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead.” Continue reading