8:00 PM, 24th April, 2010
A few years ago two Australian brothers released a little zombie movie called Undead that, despite being absurdly silly and overly gory, was a surprisingly decent entry into the zombie-genre of movies. Sure, it was low budget, had unknown actors and followed a simple plot, but it was undeniably a fun movie and better than some of the other (crap) zombie movies made over recent years.
Daybreakers is their follow up, this time with a bigger budget and name actors (including Neill, Hawke and Dafoe). A virus has taken over the world, leaving the majority of the population transformed into vampires. With only a small handful of humans left, the vampire population has taken to farming the remaining humans for their blood to survive. With the blood supply slowly dwindling, a group of vampire scientists desperately try to find a solution to the virus and save humanity.
As a Spierig Brothers movie (and in Hawke’s own words) the flick is “completely unpretentious and silly” but no doubt delivers a handful of gore, effects and a surprisingly fresh approach to the vampire genre.
It’s also worthy to note that while there is a vampire pop-culture trend surging right now, this movie was originally filmed in 2007 but, due to distribution decisions, has only recently been released theatrically. All the naysayers can rest comfortably knowing this movie came before Twilight, and does not involve vampires that shimmer in sunlight.
9:53 PM, 24th April, 2010
It’s the movie that introduced the world to Ygor, the demented assistant! Sure, the first couple of Universal Studios Frankenstein movies had hunchback assistants but Lugosi’s Ygor is usually the one people think of.
Son of Frankenstein tells the story of original mad professor Frankenstein’s son (strangely enough) Wolf (Rathbone) returning to his father’s homeland in a rather misguided attempt to restore his father’s name to glory. He awakens his father’s monster and reluctantly concedes that all those cranky villagers might actually be right about the old man when the creature kidnaps his own son. The heavy handed moral being that it is probably better being a good father than a good son!
Son of Frankenstein marks the third and final appearance of Boris Karloff as the Monster, the character that made his career and that he would forever be thought of as. Though its story is not quite up to the mark of the first two films, in part thanks to the simplification of the monster as a dumb brute (which stuck for all the subsequent films in the series), the look and style of Son of Frankenstein (particularly the Monster) is arguably a step ahead of its predecessors. That style, coupled with the fact that the story is a little less familiar that the first couple of films, makes Son of Frankenstein the easiest of the series for a modern audience to get into. Highly recommended!