sareini: "Zombies are a girl's best friend" quote with a picture of Julie from Return of the Living Dead 3 (Zombies!)
I broke my DVD-buying fast today with a copy of Train to Busan.

I've not bought any DVDs for myself for several months now, for several reasons. The simplest reason is cost - even if I'm taking advantage of "4 for £20!" deals that's still £20 that could have gone on something else, like proper food or into a savings account. Another reason is that I've well and truly lost count of the number of DVDs (and the occasional Blu-Ray, for they have deals as well) I now have lying around the house that I've not gotten around to watching yet. I could probably host a film festival at this point. And finally, I haven't really needed to, what with Amazon Prime, Netflix, Shudder, the BFI Cinema Collection and the nebulous grey area that is Kodi TV and its add-ons. All of these combined are more than enough to ensure that I should never need to buy a physical copy of a film ever again.

But sometimes you just need to support a film with some actual money. Train to Busan was one of my favourite films of 2016, and it pretty much came out of nowhere and had a "limited release" so limited I didn't even hear about it until afterwards, at which point it was great fun to try to track it down. And I loved it not just because it was a zombie film, but because it did something original with the zombie attack scenario, was fun, high-energy and kept you guessing as to at least some of the eventual survivors. And if you enjoy a film enough, you should shell out some actual cash as a thank you to the filmmakers so they can make more films that you'll probably enjoy.

So after heading into town to get some cat treats (we were running low and they're an essential part of the pill-giving process, the cats will tell you), I ended up in my local branch of HMV. Whereupon it took me 10 whole minutes to actually find the DVD, hidden away in "World Cinema". I fail to see why we need a seperate "World Cinema" section in stores now, especially physical ones - it's really effectively just saying, "Films With Subtitles And Themes That You May or May Not Understand And Which Probably Have More Nudity". And most of the time no-one's going to go looking there unless they're like me and already know about the film. There's always at least two or three people blocking the aisles in front of the Horror section, trying to decide what vacuous straight-to-DVD movie they've been told is "Scariest Film of the Year!" to buy, but World Cinema is wide open (also as a side note: I wish HMV would widen it's aisles a bit; it's getting so I've seen people in wheelchairs just have to sit in the entrance and shout what films they want, which is hardly disability-friendly). If nothing else, mixing in World Cinema with the regular genres could at least give some people an education.

...I'm being pretentious film nerd again, aren't I?

***

Bonus! For those who were wondering, my Top 5 Films of 2016 were:

5) Blair Witch
4) Train to Busan
3) The Girl With All The Gifts
2) Don't Breathe
1) The VVitch
sareini: (zombie)
Well, I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that it's taken the opportunity to shoot people in the head to cheer Nick up considerably. Well, let's be exact here - they're not exactly people, not any more.

What's been happening )

Disclaimer )
sareini: richard goes fwoom! (lfg)
So after waiting for a couple of weeks more than I had originally thought I'd be waiting when I got the pre-order, and after a slight snafu on launch night that left people waiting a few minutes longer than they wanted to unlock the game (and boy did people panic about that!), the full game of Left4Dead 2 is finally in my possession. I've not had that much time to play the game yet, as I'm still sharing the computer with Nick and so I have to wait till he's done with it to play, but last night I played through the first campaign and was pretty damn impressed with what I saw.

First off, the graphics have been improved massively - not that the graphics in the first game were anything to be sneezed at, but there's still a great improvement that makes the game look even smoother. The physics engine has also been upgraded, so now when you shoot, explode, maim or otherwise commit mass zombie slaughter they bounce, flop and generally fall over in new and interesting ways. (And when the graphics and the physics are combined, I noticed, it gives a very realistic look to the dead zombies, complete with gaping holes in chests with rips sticking out, missing limbs with jagged stumps and half-exploded heads from high-caliber rifle bullets.) There are also a whole selection on new special zombies to get in the way, such as the Charger, who's kind of like a mini-Tank except that he runs at you like a quarterback, picks you up and starts bouncing you off the ground, the Jockey, who's like an evil dwarf who leaps on your head and tries to steer you into the path of other dangerous zombies, and the Spitter, who can, well, spit great gobs of corrosive acid at you. And of course there's all the old favourites too, with the occasional new twist (Witches now walk about, making it considerably more difficult to avoid them sometimes).

We've also got four new characters to get through the zombie apocalypse; Coach, Ellis, Nick and Rochelle. I'll miss Francis and his random hatred of things, but I still have the original L4D to play so I won't miss him too much. The new characters all have their own personalities and dialogue as well, and plenty of random things to say to make you stop and think "Did they just say that?" moments.

As well as the new characters, there's also a ton of new weapons as well, including new melee weapons so that you now have a choice between shooting the zombies or hacking, slashing and beating them to pulp. I particularly enjoyed using the katana on a few dozen zombies (what can I say, I watched Versus again recently), but there's also a cricket bat, a frying pan and even a guitare, just to name a few off the top of my head. Other new weapons and items include a defibrilator, to bring back dead teammates, adrenaline to give you a temporary speed boost, and Boomer Bile, to throw on zombies and give them a taste of their own medicine. Finally, there's some new game modes to play as well, including 'Realism' and 'Scavenge', which I assume do much what they say on the tin (although I suspect even Realism takes some liberties, otherwise it'd be a pretty short game).

On the down side... admittedly, I've only played the game once so far, and it was single-player as all my other gaming buddies were asleep by the time I got on (and they're five hours behind me, which should give you an idea of how late it was), but I found some of the new 'mini-quests' to be kind of difficult to do, at least when I'm the only actual player in the game, because the bots don't actually do anything to help (well, they shoot the zombies, but that's about it). I'm assuming that, if you play in a group of real people, then it becomes considerably easier, but on single-player it gets rather annoying very quickly.

But overall, Left4Dead 2 is pretty much as good as I had hoped, and with any luck over the next few days I'll be able to play with some of my friends and get an even better idea and experience of the game.
sareini: quintesson icon (transformers)
I like having a birthday in late October. Not only did I always avoid having to celebrate my birthday on a schoolday because it would always fall during the half-term holidays (no getting doused with water by sadistic teachers for me!), but because it's so close to Halloween there's always plenty of horror stuff coming out at that time to entertain me.

Last year, for example, Channel Four devoured the Big Brother house in a zombie apocalypse, which was just like seeing all my dreams not involving George Clooney and/or Eliza Dushku coming true at once. And then City of Heroes introduced the Zombie Apocalypse zone event as part of their Halloween celebrations. Really, give me zombies and I'll be your friend for life.

This year, I'm getting Left for Dead 2 (okay, not till November, it seems, but still...), and last night I got to see Zombieland, which was just all kinds of awesome. The best way I can come up with to describe it without spoiling it is to call it a buddy movie with zombies and more than a few sly nods to the genre-savvy among us. And Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee is just... awesome. I thoroughly reccommend this film to anyone and everyone.

There's a couple more films I'm very much hoping to catch as part of my October-horror-birthday celebrations as well. One is Paranormal Activity, which is this little film apparently made for just $11,000 in about a week, and is currently terrifying audiences wherever it goes. I'm always on the look out for a movie that can instill in me the same level of terror that BBC1's Ghostwatch did all those years ago (and I still have problems watching that now...) It would help me immensely if it was actually given a release date in the UK, of course, but... The other is a movie called Triangle, which I admit I don't know that much about (although I'm guessing there's a Bermuda Triangle connection...), but it's made by the same people who did the movies Creep and Severance, which I did enjoy, so I certainly want to give that one a look.

In conclusion: October: it's a good month.
sareini: richard goes fwoom! (lfg)
I don't pre-order stuff - DVDs, books, games - very often. Actually, let's be exact - I usually don't do it at all, but Nick occasionally pre-orders a game that he really, really wants (and then forgets he's pre-ordered it and leaves me to go pick it up for him, but that's another story). But when one of my gaming companions/partners in crime contacted me at the weekend with a suggested plan of several of us getting together to pre-order several copies of Left 4 Dead 2 at a discount... Well, it's zombies and my birthday is coming up soon. How could I resist?

Apparently though, I'm behind on the news as well, because it was only this morning that I heard about the boycott of L4D2 that some gamers are taking part in, because they feel that there wasn't enough free content released for the original Left 4 Dead and so they're refusing to buy L4D2 until this situation is rectified.

Umm... okay. Far be it from me to disagree with another person's right to boycott something because they disagree with it. I myself have personally boycotted the movie Titanic since its release, because I refuse to give any sort of money or attention to a 3-hour disaster movie where the bloody boat doesn't even start sinking till the final hour. I just guess I don't understand the reasoning behind the boycott in this case.

I look up at the racks of computer games on top of the desk right now, and I can instantly count no less than 8 sets of games that were or are part of a series, that had multiple "add-on" packs or "sequels" released to further the game or take it in a new direction, and all of these packs were paid for. I'm now wondering if the people planning on boycotting L4D2 (and good luck to you guys, seriously! Stand up for what you believe in and don't let them get away with throwing Leonardo DiCaprio at us for three hours and claiming it's an epic- oh wait, sorry. Wrong boycott.) ever bought any of those game add-ons, or if they steadfastly refused to do that, either, and are therefore still playing Civilization 4 without any of its extra content, or Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War without the Necrons or Dark Eldar (the poor sods if they are).

Look, I could be being desperately naive here (and it wouldn't be the first time if I am, but hey, apparently it's an attractive state for some people), but I always figured that, if you wanted games companies to release new games and content, you occasionally had to, you know, give them money, because sadly it doesn't fall out of the sky just yet. Despite what people claim, L4D does have a ton of new content in the form of downloadable new maps made by players (I personally recommend playing Death Aboard, but watch out for the cars), and it's hardly like Valve are casting the first game out like the proverbial poor little match girl.

I am, however, horrified to learn that I'd gotten the release date for L4D2 wrong and it's not coming out till late November.

Books!

Sep. 15th, 2009 01:29 pm
sareini: default (books)
After waiting impatiently since I got up at silly o'clock to feed the cats, I got my delivery of books from Amazon just now. My new books consist of:

Zombie Holocaust: How the Living Dead Has Devoured Pop Culture
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Erotic Romance
Zombie CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead
Too Good to be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends
Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries
Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema
How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs if You Ever Want to Get Published


One of my friends, on hearing this list of books, was silent for a long moment before asking... "please tell me you're not writing violent zombie sodomy..."

These books will soon be going onto my new bookcase, which will no doubt put Suki out somewhat as she's spent the last three days trying to dig through the bottom shelf.

Damn

Jun. 18th, 2009 11:58 am
sareini: (zombie)
I missed Blog Like It's The End of the World Day.
sareini: default (Discworld - Exclamation marks)
- I'm now 29. Got Supernatural season 3 (Dean is still such a woobie!),the complete set of American Gothic and a month's subscription to Warhammer Online from Nick; a box of Lush stuff from my brother and nieces (Rachael now has pillar box red hair. I approve!); and two of those Scraperfoil kits and a bar of chocolate from Nick's mother.

- It snowed here on Monday and Tuesday. Snow. In October. What really did it for me, though, was seeing the news reports of it: "Meteorologists say snow caused by Arctic air". Well I never. Next they'll be telling me that cold weather is caused by a drop in temperature.

- I broke our microwave. And quite possibly the light fitting in the kitchen. And Nick's keyboard. My friends have dubbed this ability the "Luddite's Touch". I like it.

- Everywhere I look there are zombies (although, sadly, not literally). I'm just kicking myself that we don't have cable so I can watch Dead Set on E4.

- I have done practically no preparation for NaNoWriMo. It's going to be a fun November!
sareini: default (Bub!)
You are in a mall when the zombies attack. You have:
1. one weapon.
2. one song blasting on the speakers.
3. one famous person to fight alongside you.

Weapon can be real or fictional, you may assume endless ammo if applicable. Person can be real or fictional.



Weapon - Shaolin Spade
Song - Queen's Don't Stop Me Now
Person - Bruce Campbell (how could it not be?)

[rec]

May. 7th, 2008 03:20 pm
sareini: (scared)
[rec] )
sareini: default (B5 - karma)
...I think we broke the BlogExplosion blogathon radio thing. I was listening it it, then it just cut out and now I just get a "this station is not available" message. So I'm connected to the Cape now instead.

And yes, it's the first proper zombie film of the 'thon. Good old Lucio Fulci, he always delivers.

A boat drifts into a New York harbour, seemingly deserted - except for a large zombie that's shambling round on it. He lunches on a cop before being pitched into the water, and then the daughter of the boat's owner heads off to the Carribean island where he was last with a journalist to find out what's going on. And what's going on is zombies, of course.

Really, that's all the plot you need to know, because this is a set-piece movie. There's the 'naked woman vs shark vs underwater zombie scene' (and spare a thought for the poor stuntman who had to do that scene, which included him grappling a real shark and biting it), there's the '16th century mouldy Conquistadors rise from the grave for a light snack' scene, and of course there's the 'attractive woman get's her eyeball pierced on a 13" wooden splinter' scene. Coherent plot just isn't necessary when you've got stuff like this to hold your audience's attention.
sareini: default (NoTLD)
I don't think I've done one of these in a while...

This got a lot longer than I expected... )
sareini: default (American Gods - organising gods/cats)
So there I am, sprawled on the living room floor with a cat on my hip, eating Milka chocolate and watching Junk (Japanese zombie film, lives up to its name for the most part) when my phone rings.

It's a lady ringing to talk to me about the job I applied for with British Home Stores in an admin/HR role.

Thank Eris I'm not a bad actress is all I can say, because I don't remember applying to BHS for a job (then again, most of the jobs I apply for don't say who they're with on the initial application details). Thankfully, I managed to bluff my way through the impromptu telephone interview (including questions such as "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" and "Why do you want to work for BHS?")

It also apparently helped my case that Jelli decided to start talking to me while I was on the phone, prompting me to apologise to the lady for any strange sounds she was hearing. Turns out the lady was also a cat lover, and had in fact just lost her cat of 19 years (!). So after our cat-lover solidarity was established, things went smoother.

I now have a (provisional) in-person interview next Thursday at 11:30. I should probably work out what job it is that I've applied for and look up some stuff about BHS before then...
sareini: default (Nate)
Looks like my comics budget is getting a little bigger for a while...

First off, theres the upcoming 200th issue of X-Men, which is going to feature Mr Sinister (one of my favourite villains full stop, never mind just in comics, if only for the fact that he's teaching whole generations of comic book readers what being Machiavellian is all about), and what's more, it looks like the writer (Mick Carey, who also wrote Lucifer) is actually going to be writing him right (to my standards, at any rate).

Then there's the Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness crossover. Zombie superheroes (and villains!) and Ash... sounds like a good combination to me.
sareini: default (Night of the Demons)
I'm attempting to do something at least halfway productive with my time over the next couple of days. To this end, I'm going to be trying to do as much work as I can on my much-planned horror movie book. I've got a good few reviews written out on paper, so I need to type them up and start to put them in some sort of order. I also need to decide what other films I'm going to do and why.

Here's a rough list of what I've got so far (in no particular order):

- 28 Days Later
- Black Christmas (original)
- Bay of Blood
- Freddy Vs Jason
- Profundo Rosso
- Psycho (original)
- A Nightmare on Elm Street
- Nightmare City
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original)
- Ringu
- The Hills Have Eyes (original)
- Dawn of the Dead (original)
- Death Trap

I've also got a few others that I've either got written but don't know whether to put in, or that I still need to decide on whether I should do reviews of them:

- The Amityville Horror (original)
- Cannibal Apocalype
- The Ring
- I Spit on Your Grave
- Last House on the Left
- Nightmares on a Damaged Brain
- The Evil Dead
- The Driller Killer
- Friday the 13th Part 2
- Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter
- Friday the 13th - A New Beginning
- Demons
- Zombie Flesh Eaters
- Near Dark
- Jason X
- Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
- Dog Soldiers
- Night of the Living Dead (original or remake)
- Day of the Dead
- Land of the Dead
- Braindead
- Phenomena
- Stagefright
- Sleepaway Camp

Any suggestions on what I should or shouldn't do will therefore be gratefully received...
sareini: default (Default)
1. Grab the closest book to you.
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the sentence in your weblog along with these instructions.
5. Don't grab a 'cool' book, just the one closest to you.

"They tell him that its purpose is to destroy insect pests."

- Seduction of the Gullible, by John Martin (the film being described is The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue.)
sareini: (zombie)
...can't I find my copy of World War Z? I've turned the house upside down looking for it, but it's just vanished off the face of the earth. Or this house, at any rate.

Last time either of us can remember seeing it was shortly after we moved in, as I'd put it in my overnight bag to read in the first night here (when we had no heat or anything to sleep on). I can even remember reading it.

So where's it gone now?

I really wanted to read it this afternoon while I'm waiting for an appointment with the CAB too...

Weird...

Jan. 10th, 2007 12:39 am
sareini: default (discworld - elves)
We have discovered how to get our net back up from its daily unexplained crash.

I put Land of the Dead in the DVD player. Fixes it in seconds.

Like the subject header says, weird...
sareini: default (Night of the Demons)
I've been watching a fair few of these over the Christmas period so far, mainly because there's been nothing else on worth watching. It's been an... interesting experience, as you might expect.

Here's what I've seen so far:

XMas Horror )

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