I'd never seen a zombie film in my life so I thought this would be an interesting experiment, if somewhat risky - 5 at once.
We started off with the classic - Night of the Living Dead. I actually thought this one was pretty good although I was giving it leeway for being very old. I wondered how revolutionary it was to have the black guy taking charge for a film in those days. I didn't really find it scary and there weren't really any surprises in it but it didn't disappoint me either.
Next was the remake of Dawn of the Dead, which was also pretty good and a lot scarier - fast moving zombies are much worse. There were a couple of points where they split up and got away with it which I thought was letting them off lightly - they reminded me of our role-playing party actually. The credits at both ends were really well done; I tend to leave the cinema while the credits are playing usually and would have ended up with a very different impression of what the ending was in that case.
Next up, Shawn of the Dead. As I expected, I didn't find this hilarious, but it was quite cute. That's pretty much how I reacted to Spaced to be honest - it was quite fun but a bit too silly in places. I also found Ed, the best friend character, really really annoying, which detracted from the whole thing somewhat.
Over half way there and on to 28 Days Later. I thought this was the best of the batch to be honest. I'd heard all about the opening sequence but it was still really impressive to watch. There were some interesting and likeable characters and some really good ideas. I liked the fact that it ended up not being just the infected that they had to fight and I have to admit that I really liked seeing a hopeful ending for the thing. The one thing that bugged me was that I couldn't figure out why the infected didn't attack each other if it was some kind of rage based thing. With standard zombies you can say "Oh well they need fresh brains" but that didn't really fit the 28 Days scenario. Still, minor gripe and a really good film. Also the film which had for me the scariest scene - the one where the rats come at them while they're changing the tyre in Blackwall tunnel.
Last up was Braindead. I was curious as to what this would be like, the 2 pieces of Peter Jackson's oeuvre that I've seen so far (at least as far as I know) being Fellowship of the Ring and Bad Taste. I was cautiously hopeful that no director could do something as dreadful as Bad Taste twice. I was partially right - this was worse. It was the worst film I have ever seen in my entire life. It made no sense, it wasn't scary, it wasn't funny, it was complete toss. I find myself of the opinion that no matter how good the rest of the films Peter Jackson makes are it would have been better if he'd never been allowed behind a camera. It was a bit of a disappointing way to round off an otherwise good night but so it goes. At least they put the duff one at the end.
I think this also marks the first time that I actually have stayed up all night - I don't think I have even managed that at OUSFG punt party writing sessions before - so I choose to feel proud of my achievement. I'll let you know the total hours awake tomorrow.
I should mention, by the way, that I also went to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind this week but have found it impossible to write a review of. Suffice it to say that it's an utterly fantastic film, Jim Carrey is an actual actor (who knew!) and everyone should try to see it.
*It occurs to me that in none of the films did anyone try to use the internet as an information source - TV, radio, but not the net. Maybe in the next one...