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Guest Blog: The Weirding Dead – Author Jamie Russell’s Top 10 Strangest Zombie Movies

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Jamie Russell's Revised and Updated Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema

The Weirding Dead: Author Jamie Russell's Top 10 Strangest Zombie FilmsOn Tuesday, October 14th, Titan Books is releasing an updated and revised version of Jamie Russell’s Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema, and in honor of the occasion, he’s written a guest blog for us entitled “The Weirding Dead – Top 10 Strangest Zombie Movies.”

Check it out, and then add your own entries below.

The Beyond (1981)
Lucio Fulci’s gory, surreal and silly zombie masterpiece is a Marmite movie. Like the classic British spread, you either love it or hate it. But whichever side you’re on, it’s impossible to deny its weirdness. Set in Louisiana, its Southern Gothic zombie apocalypse unfolds with Lovecraftian menace before literally falling apart in a jumble of demented editing, ropey SFX sequences (tarantulas eating eyeballs!) and portentous cod-philosophical muttering. Fulci cobbled it together cheaply – even hiring winos off the streets to play zombies. For me, no matter how silly it gets, it retains a nightmarish terror that’s borderline avant garde. It unfolds in a surreal universe where the logic of time and space has collapsed and the dead shuffle with incomprehensible menace. Not everyone saw it that way. Actor David Warbeck was particularly unimpressed – check out the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot in the hospital lift where he jokingly reloads his revolver by trying to insert a bullet down the barrel!

Pontypool (2008)
One of my favourite zombie movies of the last decade, Pontypool only features one zombie… Inspired by Orson Welles’ infamous, 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast, Pontypool also draws on William S. Burroughs and Roland Barthes. It pivots on a bonkers premise: The English language contains a virus that’s suddenly turning people into zombie-like chatterers. Unable to find meaning in words, the infected start spouting random gibberish, before biting the lips off their victims. Reporting on the chaos unfolding off-screen is Stephen McHattie’s cynical shock jock DJ, who slowly realises that the death of words = the death of the self. A horror movie full of creeping dread and incredible weirdness, Pontypool delivers a semiotic apocalypse of nonsense/no-sense – a tale of linguistics and the living dead that will leave you feeling truly scared… scarred… scored… scorched. Rightly described by New York Times Magazine as “the Finnegan’s Wake of zombie movies.


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POLL: Who Should Direct Wan and King’s TOMMYKNOCKERS?

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It was just last month that we learned James Wan (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring) is going to be producing a new big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers.

While I’m sad that it seems Wan will not be directing the film, I think it’s a great time to bring up the question: Well, then who the hell SHOULD?

You can find my top 3 choices below and then make sure to let us know who you think should direct James Wan’s upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

ABC mini-series’ executive producer Larry Sanitsky: “It is an allegorical tale of addiction (Stephen was struggling with his own at the time), the threat of nuclear power, the danger of mass hysteria and the absurdity of technical evolution run amuck. All are as relevant today as the day the novel was written. It is also a tale about the eternal power of love and the grace of redemption.”

Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers will be produced by James Wan (The Conjuring), Roy Lee (Stephen King’s IT) and the ABC mini-series’ executive producer Larry Sanitsky.

Synopsis:

A town in Maine that falls under the influence of a dangerous gas from an unearthed spacecraft. The gas begins to transform the people, giving them enhanced abilities, but also making them violent and subject to an alien hive mentality. One man, thanks to a steel plate in his head, is immune to the effects and tries to stop the townspeople.

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Guess Who Just Snagged Wan and King’s New TOMMYKNOCKERS

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Earlier this month we passed along the exciting news that that none other than James Wan plans to bring Stephen King’s novel The Tommyknockers back to the screen.

Wan will be producing (but not at this time, directing) the film along with Roy Lee (IT) and the original ABC mini-series’ executive producer Larry Sanitsky.

And today Deadline reports Universal won the bidding war over the new adaptation, barely beating out fellow heavyweights Sony and Netflix. And thus Universal, home of the classic movie monsters, will be bringing us Wan and King’s first (and hopefully not last) collaboration.

Are you excited by this news? Do you think Universal is the right fit for this new film? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Synopsis:

A town in Maine that falls under the influence of a dangerous gas from an unearthed spacecraft. The gas begins to transform the people, giving them enhanced abilities, but also making them violent and subject to an alien hive mentality. One man, thanks to a steel plate in his head, is immune to the effects and tries to stop the townspeople.

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PUPPET MASTER Reboot Gets Theatrical Release Date!

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Puppet Master: Littlest Reich

The upcoming reboot of Full Moon’s classic Puppet Master just premiered at the Overlook Film Festival and is said to “maintain all of the brutally inventive puppet-kills infused with the comedic tendencies that made the original franchise so popular with fans while expanding upon Toulon’s backstory and developing richer dialogue, characters, and narratives.”

I’m looking forward to the film and if you’re like me then you’ll be excited to hear Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich looks like it will be heading it’s tiny way into theaters this summer via RLJE Films! More specifically the film will be hitting in August of this year.

“We are incredibly excited to be able to bring the first film under the new Fangoria brand to audiences this summer,” RLJE Films’ Chief Acquisitions Officer Mark Ward said in a statement. “With an amazing script from S. Craig Zahler and performances from horror legends Barbara Crampton and Udo Kier, we know Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich will thrill fans of the original films and new audiences alike.

Are you excited to check out Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich in theaters this August? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

The reimagining is directed by Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund from a script written by S. Craig Zahler and stars Thomas Lennon, Jenny Pellicer, Nelson Franklin, Charlyne Yi, Michael Pare, Udo Kier, and Barbara Crampton. The film is produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian.

RLJE Films plans to release the movie in theaters in August 2018.

Synopsis:

In Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, recently divorced and reeling, Edgar (Lennon) returns to his childhood home to regroup his life. When Edgar finds a nefarious looking puppet in his deceased brother’s room, he decides to sell the doll for some quick cash at a small-town convention celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. Girl-next-door Ashley (Pellicer) and his comic book shop boss, Markowitz (Franklin), join Edgar for the doomed road trip. All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets at the convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that’s motivated by an evil as old as time.

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