Saturday, November 26, 2005
It's the end of the world as we know it...
OK I’ve been severely slack here of late and offer 3 CHUD film reviews as compensation. A CHUD, as every horror film aficionado knows is a Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller and I just happen to have coincidentally seen 3 straight films featuring said creatures…well one may be pushing it, but….

The Descent
Firstly, this film is quite awesome and a British horror film to boot. It’s from the makers of ‘Dog Soldiers’ which is also a must see.
British films are low budget compared to Hollywood. The ‘CHUDS’ in this film are all non-CGI which helps a lot. Also the lack of budget normally means the film has been made because it has something special to ever be released, and this does.

A bunch of women friends take annual adventure holidays in scary situations (see Mother’s Day and Blood Games for this surprisingly popular theme). This year is the year after one of our gals lost her husband and daughter in an early scene in the film I guarantee will have you hitting rewind!

So we have a bunch of female characters going into the Appalachians on a caving trek. This may sound crap but the dynamics between the ladies are very well played, with a diverse mix and realistic character interaction that draws your interest.

Firstly, I have to say the film is damn scary enough BEFORE the women face any outside threat and could almost stand on it’s own as a disaster movie when they hit problems underground.

The creatures are VERY well portrayed! Particularly when the women have only IR cameras to see what’s going on. The character relationships also are strong. Some of the final scenes are both tragic and spooky.

Well worth watching and watch Land of the Dead

George Romero is a horror legend. He made the ‘Dead’ trilogy…Night, Dawn and Day of the Dead. Each a classic in it’s own right. Dawn of the Dead has been remade (quite well I thought) recently. Dawn was VERY 70’s but a classic.

Now George has made his ‘real’ sequel to Dawn of the Dead, you know, the one he didn’t have the budget for when he made Day…

Why then, is it one of the shittiest films I’ve ever seen in my life? Is George hard up now? Did he just knock out the first crap he thought of under a drug addled haze?

I think pretty much all of George’s films have shown a particular integrity and talent. Night, Dawn, Day, Martin, The Crazies, Jacks Wife etc. etc. Genuine message that the director has a vision and purpose and point.

Land of the Dead resembles a combination of cheap 80’s ultra low budget rip-offs Supervan and Rats : Night of Terror with none of their originality.

First of all, every fucking thing in this film has an (un) futuristic slang word that will utterly annoy you. I will explain the plot. 'Cholo' drives 'Dead Reckoning' through the 'stenches' shooting 'sky flowers' to distract them.
I truly wonder if Romero is making some kind of point about early 80’s Italian films that ripped off Mad Max? If so he made an incredibly boring film. Dennis Hopper is the ‘head of the city’ and I’m sure his footage could be used in any other ‘asshole in charge of a city’ film as it looks like the scenes were filmed that way (Hopper is as hammy as you can imagine).

This is an utter travesty to ANY zombie fan. I’d watch and enjoy the worst Italian zombie film before seeing this again? What the hell is Romero doing?


OK there is something creepy about the London Underground railway if you ever travelled it (read Books of Blood which transposes it to the USA). Do NY subway passengers delight in watching mice skitter along the track? I’ve travelled there often and it doesn’t take much to make it creepy. There are ‘ghost stations’ that haven’t been used in decades and the tunnels plough through thousands of years of bloody history under the city.

This film really has plot holes the size of a jumbo jet EVERY time something happens, but is still enjoyable. There is some really good gruesomeness that flags the interest.

It’s been said that this film copies Death Line (aka. Raw Meat, yum!) that had a plot about London underground diggers getting lost in tunnels and to be honest that probably made more sense. Franka catches a late night subway train in an attempt to meet George Clooney (!?). She falls asleep in the station, misses the last train and gets locked in the underground system (!?). From then on it's a chud chase movie. I was kind of hoping this film would be along the lines of 'Midnight Meat Train' in Clive Barker's 'Books of Blood'. Exciting news is that Midnight Meat Train IS currently being made into a film!! Yay!

Visually the film is good and quite exciting, but don't think about the plot too much. The Franka Potente interview at a film convention on the DVD is highly entertaining.

Rent it and possibly even buy it!

There you have my 3 Chuds!
Choose wisely!