Evolution of The Living Dead   Leave a comment

George Romero‘s Night of the Living Dead is the quintessential zombie movie.  The first of its kind and the father of all modern zombie cinema. Today, you can’t walk five feet without running into a zombie and you can thank Night of the Living Dead for that.  As well as its sequels. And remakes.  And its other remakes.  And the sequels to those other remakes.

Recently I mentioned the Night of the Living Dead franchise in my post about the Army of Darkness sequel (which may have all been based on a lie). Night of the Living Dead is the only franchise that I can find where the original film continues to get sequels after there has been a reboot. Several reboots in fact.


An oversight by the distributor left the film without a copyright.  Since it is in the public domain any TV station can air it for free.  Soon after its release it became an easy go to late night filler for TV stations with nothing else to air, introducing it to a wide audience that it otherwise would not have reached.  This error in paper work lead the film to becoming the most widely known zombie film of all time.

This also lead to the film’s content and title to be fair use for any other filmmakers to capitalize on.  Anyone can shoot a movie, call it Night of the Living Dead and legally release it in theaters. And many people have.  Beyond that, rights to the many of the films that followed the original have been sold off to various entertainment groups, and have had their own series of sequels.

Today there are over 30 movies and TV shows (plus comics, novels and who knows what else) that tie directly back to the Night of the Living Dead in someway. With more to come!  With that in mind I thought this could use some sorting out.  I Present to you, Dear reader, The History of the Living Dead! Complete with nifty Flow Chart!

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It Came From Netflix Instant! Halloween Edition Week 5: The Crow   Leave a comment

Halloween is nearly upon us! With that I have one last installment of It Came For Netflix Instant! before we hit the official start of Christmas.  Because, as we all know, Thanksgiving is just something you imagined and has never been a real holiday.  ICFNI! is my almost weekly segment where I find the movies on Netflix that are worth watching, and you can watch right now! Since it is October, all the movies this month have been geared toward the coming of the Great Pumpkin.

This week we look at a film series that has its ups and downs over the years, but is always Halloween appropriate, The Crow.


Based on the comic book of the same name, the Crow films have been go cult favorites since the 90s.  The film spawned three sequels and a short lived TV series (not to mention that there is always threat of a reboot) and all of it can be watched right now!

The Crow – 1994

Brandon Lee, in the role that killed him, is an anti hero who comes back from the dead the night before Halloween to avenge his and his fiancee’s murders.  He also busts up crime and corruption on the streets of Detroit, finds time to save junkies from them selves and teaches a young girl about the importance of understanding.

This movie bleeds 1994.

Also it has a killer soundtrack that may or may not have been something that I listened to on loop on my Walkman all through high school.

This move has a diehard fan base and you should join us.

Not all of the Crow movies, however, are as beloved… but that does not make them any less fun to watch!

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Prelude to: Evolution of The Living Dead   Leave a comment

Hey All! For the last few days I have been working on a post about the convoluted history of the Night of the Living Dead films. While I do hope to one day finish the post I am quickly coming to realize that it may take quite a lot of time. But before Halloween comes and goes I do want to show off the first version of the flow chart I made to help navigate the those choppy waters. Movie buffs, if you see anything I missed please let me know! When I do one day hit publish on that entry, I want to get this right!

NOTLD expanded - New Page (2)

Click to Enlarge


Thank you so much to everyone who gave me more info about this! I have uploaded a second version of my chart.

Version 2

Version 2

Posted October 28, 2013 by atomicsam in Film

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It Came From Netflix Instant! Halloween 2013 Part 4! Spooky Fun Edition!   2 comments

Halloween season keeps on trucking! You have one week left to get you fright on! Or, if you are like me, you live your life in a perpetual haze of campy horror and the Halloween season never truly ends.

We return to It Came From Netflix Instant! my now almost weekly series.  I sort through the endless crap on Netflix Instant that most people have either never heard of or have forgotten about to find the movies that are worth the money that you have already paid to watch.  This month it is all about spooky, as I search for the best Halloween trick and treats!

This week I am taking a look at movies that are as funny as they are scary.  For the nights when you want to laugh along with your screams.

Movies don’t stay on Netflix Instant forever, so catch them while you can!

ParaNorman  – 2012

This was one of my favorite movies from last summer.  It was a bit overlooked in theaters, having been released in August as to get the DVD out before Halloween 2012.  The reviews were positive and the returns were fine considering it’s $60M budget.

ParaNorman has a ton of heart, and the care with which this movie was made really shows through.  It was groundbreaking in the world of stop motion, as this was the first film to use color 3D printers to create puppets. This sped up animation, while keeping the production value high.

A must watch.

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Army of Darkness 2 and What it Means for the Future of Evil Dead   2 comments

The internet had a small aneurism this week when B-Movie actor turned cable TV star Bruce Campbell maybe-sorta-kinda announced that he and long time best friend/bitter enemy/ blockbuster director Sam Raimi are working on the long awaited follow up to their cult classic Army of Darkness, the third film in the Evil Dead series.

For those unfamiliar with the films (right now is a good time to change that), they follow Ash Williams, played by Campbell, who goes to a cabin with his friends only to see them picked off one by one by demons. The third film sees him sent back in time to medieval Europe where he fights off an army of the dead.  The series was rebooted in 2013, with new characters in the same situation.

According to Campbell made the announcement at Wizard World Nashville when speaking to a crowd.  When asked if the film was going to happen he said:

“Ash would have to stop occasionally from chasing some deadite to catch his breath. Maybe we could do that, I guess. That would be exciting. Fight in a walker. That would be alright. Hit them with my cane. Fake them out, have a fake heart attack, distract a zombie. I like it.” and ended with “Alright sir, the answer is yes.

I am not one to get my hopes up about these things.  The idea that this movie was going to happen has been floating around since 1992.  But when Campbell said that it was actually happening, rather than saying it might like he had been known to do in the past, my exact reaction was “AHHHH!! I’m freaking out!

While I remain skeptical of any film’s expected existence until set set photos begin to leak, expectation that this announcement is true, and not just wishful thinking, is backed up by Fede Alvarez, who stated last month that “as far as I know, and heard, Sam is really determined to get Army Of Darkness 2 happening.”

Alvarez directed the very successful 2013 reboot of the Evil Dead series and is working on a sequel to that film.  According to my research, this is a first, of sorts.  The first time that a long running franchise and the reboot of that franchise will be making films simultaneously.

The one other instance would, perhaps, be the Living Dead films.  George Romero still puts out new ones every few years, even though the original film and its sequels have been remade a few times now.  But since each of those films are stand alone stories, with little connecting them other than mythology, I wouldn’t put them in same category.

Which brings me to the question of the day: How do you make a sequel to a franchise that has already been rebooted? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 23, 2013 by atomicsam in Film

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It Came From Netflix Instant! Halloween is Comming Week 3!   Leave a comment

This month It Came From Netflix Instant is focusing on the best scares to be found on instant watch! Love October! Its all beer and candy and scary movies!


Anyway, there is a lot lot lot of terrible crap on Netflix Instant and it is my goal to help guide you around it to find only the best crap!  This week I am proud to recommend the following:

Carrie – 1976

The verdict is in on the remake and it is mixed at best.  The original is a classic and if you haven’t seen it get some popcorn going and cancel your plans to see the new version.  I’m mean, it’s got John Travolta! What could be better!

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Over Thinking: Is It OK To See Ender’s Game?   4 comments

No, probably not.  But I really want to!

A few years back I picked up a book that had been sitting on my shelf for a long time, never having been read.  A gift from my sister who told me she thought I would like it.  Ender’s Game.  I was hooked in moments and raced through it, cover to cover.  It was the first time I had ever read a book so quickly, and why it is today that I love reading. I credit Ender’s Game for turning me into a life long lover of books.


When I was finished it I couldn’t wait to read the next in the series.  I was determined to read all of them.  But first I was off to  Wikipedia to read about the author, Orson Scott Card.

And then…

Heart break.

Orson Scott Card is a bigot.

That tore me up inside and I’ve not picked up any of his other works.  But, inspite of that Ender’s Game remains one of my favorites of all time.  As angry as I get at Card, I just can’t make myself unlike that book.

Now the movie is on the way and I want to see it. But, I don’t know if I can reconcile my feelings for the author with my feelings for the story.  And there are a lot of valid arguments that I shouldn’t.

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Posted October 14, 2013 by atomicsam in Books, Film, Over Thinking

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