Tagged: Zombies

Tweeks: Love Riverdale

archie-1The Tweeks would not exist without Archie. These were our first comics and we loved them. We still love them. Archie taught us to love comics and teen drama. So this week we talk all about Archie and make a case for the few kids out there who haven’t read Archie for whatever reason to get on it. We also review Afterlife with Archie (we admit, we were afraid to read it!) and Diary of a Girl Next Door: Betty.

Mindy Newell: Zomb-O-Rama!

“I love zombies. If any monster could Riverdance, it would be zombies.”

—Craig Ferguson

We’re not the only ones obsessed with—ahem—[[[The Walking Dead]]]. Everybody seems to be in on it.

Here’s a very, very, short list of zombie movies:

There are lots more.

Probably hundreds.

Yeah, everybody loves zombies.

Everybody but me, that is. (Okay, I did love Shaun of the Dead.)

The first time I saw a zombie movie was way back when, and it was George Romero’s classic Night Of The Living Dead. Only I really didn’t see it because I was terrified and spent most of the time either cringing, with eyes closed, in my movie seat. Though it wasn’t the zombies themselves so much that scared me—it was the claustrophobic terror of being trapped with no way out that did me in.

It’s probably that experience that turned me off zombies forever. (Except for Shaun of the Dead).

Vampires? Love ‘em to death. My therapist would say that’s because Dracula and Angel and Spike represent the sexual fantasies that resonate with the underlying forbidden desires that lurk within my psyche. It doesn’t have anything to do with Frank Langella, David Boreanaz, or James Marsters.

Ghosts? The most popular theory professed by parapsychologists as to why people hang around after death is that he or she can’t let go of some relationship or need to right some great wrong. That’s gothically romantic. Especially since Patrick Swayze. Werewolves? Not so sexy or romantic. Okay, a million-zillion teenage girls on Team Jacob would argue with me. But they are sad souls—Seth Green’s Daniel “Oz” Osbourne in [[[Buffy the Vampire Slayer]]], David Naughton’s David Kessler in An American Werewolf in London, and the saddest of them all, Lon Chaney, Jr’s. Larry Talbot in The Wolf Man—for whom I can cry and with whom I can vicariously suffer the vicious vagaries of life as a monster.

But zombies?

No, thanks. I’ll pass.

(Okay, except for Shaun of the Dead).

Tonight (last night as you read this) is the premiere of Resurrection on ABC, which is based on the novel The Returned by Jason Mott and is produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. The Sundance Channel had immense success last fall with the French television series The Returned, which was an adaptation of Les Revenants, which in English means They Came Back and which is on the list that opened that column.

Will it be more zombies?

It’s Zomb-A-Rama!!!!!

Journeying into The Taranormal With Howie Noel

Happy Hallowe’en!

Howie Noel is a writer, artist and filmmaker.  He created the web series Tara Normal, which he now brings to kickstarter. I had a  chance to talk to him about Tara Normal , and his filming experiences.

Joshua Pantalleresco:  What Inspired Tara Normal?

Howie Noel: Tara Normal was inspired by my love of the paranormal as a field and as a genre. I wanted to create a story using the genres of horror and science fiction. I always wanted to create a story starring a strong female character who saves the day and is fearless. My wife and I are both big fans of the X-Files so there are hints of a tribute in my stories as well. There’s actually of lot of my wife’s personality and more in the character.

JP:  Since a lot of your protrayal of Tara’s personality happens to come from your wife, can you reveal some of those parts?

HN: My wife is very brave and doesn’t take crap from anyone so those are 2 of the traits.

JP:  Heh. For those of us coming into the series, describe Tara.

HN: Tara is a paranormal investigator who has also has special powers. Yes, she can see and speak to ghosts, but she can also punch them. She has the special strength and ability to fight all supernatural beings. The mystery behind her powers will get revealed in the graphic novel. Tara wants to save her mother’s soul which was lost after a demon took her life.

JP: One of my favorite things about this series is the little bit of world building and the attention to detail that comes with it.  I love Tara’s business card and the ghost hunters show, just neat little details like that.  Which ones are your favorites?  Describe how they came to be.

HN: My favorite parts of the world building are designing the businesses and their logos. Making the pirate bar in the new graphic novel was a lot of fun. Also, if the Kickstarter hits $6,000 I’ll be making a Tara Normal tour guide featuring ads for the businesses from the comic. A fun little extra for backers and fan

JP:  If I had to pin you down to just one scene, written or drawn, what is your favorite moment in the series?

HN:  Wow. Tough question. I can’t really pick one moment that is my favorite. There’s a lot of scenes at the end that I can’t share. I think the ending is what readers will love the most.

JP:  Do you prefer writing or illustrating?  What’s your favorite thing to draw?

HN: I like storytelling. I believe that comic books are a visual medium so art is very important to me. I need it to tell as much as the story as the text. I love drawing and if I don’t draw, I get a little crazy. I’m always thinking of stories in my head so it’s just the creative process that I adore.

JP:  I want to know about that short film you did!  Can I watch it anywhere?

HN: The film! The zombie film I wrote and starred in is 8 Hours Earlier. It came out years before 28 Days Later (which is funny to me). My wife directed and filmed it for her senior project at Pratt Institute. It’s a short film and we made it at the same cemetery in Pennsylvania where Night of the Living Dead was filmed. I love George Romero so it’s a fun tribute to him. It was made before the current zombie craze. I’ve always been a huge fan of Romero zombies.

You can check it here:

JP:  How was your filming experience?  Was it fun?  Would you do another horror movie again?

HN: The filming experience was fun. The best part of being in the cemetery with 2 of my friends as zombies. The local police showed up and saw we were doing a tribute to Romero and just drove away wishing us luck. I would love to do another horror movie and I also just finished writing the script for a Tara Normal film.

JP:  Will you be kickstartering for the Tara Normal movie?  Or is it going to be another short?

HN: As of now, I’m not planning on Kickstartering a movie project- only Tara books for right now. The movie talks are in early stages so no real announcement can be made. I’ve been in talks since day 1 of the book so I like to just cross my fingers and focus on the book. I try not to let it distract from the fact that the book is my focus

JP: Finally, congratulations on making your goal for Tara Normal.  What is next for Howie Noel?  Anything else you’d like to add?

HN:  Thank you. I am very appreciative of all the backers on Kickstarter for helping me on this journey to get the book made. I’m spending the next few months drawing the 2nd half of the book and preparing it for print. Then I get to share it with everyone. I can’t wait.

You can donate to Howie’s kickstarter at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hcnoel/tara-normal. Howie’s website is at http://www.taranormal.com and his twitter is @hcnoel.

World War Z Blu-ray to Include Unrated Cut

WWZ_BD_3D_FNIt feels a little fast for us, especially considering how well it performed at the box office,but here’s the formal details for home video release of Paramount Pictures’ World War Z.

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.  – August 2, 2013 –  “The suspense is killer!” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) in the fast-paced, pulse-pounding epic WORLD WAR Z, debuting on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and On Demand on September 17, 2013.  The pandemic begins one week early on Digital September 10th.  Due to overwhelming demand, the film has been digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX® 3D format and will be released in select IMAX theaters domestically for an exclusive one-week running beginning today.

Starring international superstar Brad Pitt and based on the best-selling and wildly popular novel, WORLD WAR Z took audiences by storm and was hailed by critics as   “thrilling, epic and spectacular” (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly) and the “most gratifying action spectacle in years!” (David Denby, The New Yorker).  The tense and thrilling film follows a former United Nations investigator (Pitt) as he helps stop the chaotic pandemic that has gripped populations around the world.  WORLD WAR Z features stunning visual effects and edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that take the Zombie apocalypse phenomenon to a more extreme and electrifying level.

“I’m really excited for fans to see the new unrated version of WORLD WAR Z on Blu-ray,” said producer and star Brad Pitt.  “We were thrilled with the audience response to the film in theaters and wanted to give viewers even more of the action and intensity that they loved when they watch the film at home.”

WORLD WAR Z will be available on Blu-ray Combo or Blu-ray 3D Combo with an Unrated Cut packed with even more thrills and action too intense for theaters, along with the theatrical version of the film.  The combo packs feature UltraViolet™ and boast in-depth looks at the making of the film, the seamless blending of practical and digital effects, the science behind the Zombie outbreak and much more.  The film will also be available as a single-disc DVD.

WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

The WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The combo pack includes access to a digital copy of the film as well as the following:


  • Feature film in high definition (Unrated version)
  • Origins—The filmmakers discuss collaborating with renowned actor/producer Brad Pitt to create a Zombie film the likes of which have never been seen.
  • Looking to Science—Explore the scientific realities of Zombie behavior in nature and learn more about Zombies in literature and film.
  • WWZ: Production
    • Outbreak—Go on set with Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster for a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s breathtaking first attack in Philadelphia.
  • The Journey Begins—Delve deeper into Gerry’s fight for survival during the dramatic escape in South Korea.
  • Behind The Wall—Explore the epic scene in Jerusalem and discover the incredible logistics of creating the elaborate stunts and crowd sequences.
  • Camouflage—Experience the final confrontation between Gerry and the Zombies and discover the phenomenal scope of the film’s production.


  • Feature film in standard definition (Theatrical version)


WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

The WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray 3D combo pack includes all of the above, as well as the theatrical version of the film in high definition and 3D on a disc presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.


The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The disc includes the theatrical version of the film in standard definition.

The Blu-ray releases available for purchase will be enabled with UltraViolet, a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies.  With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – reliably and securely – to a variety of devices.

Mike Gold: Screw The Zombies!

Gold Art 130508OK, folks. It’s official. The zombie thing has gone on way too long. Time to stomp them back into the ground and move on.

Truth be told, and with all due respect to George Romero and Robert Kirkman, I was never much of a zombie fan. There’s not a lot you can do with the buggers, and even by stretching the rules and applying our contemporary wussification of the monster legends… there’s still not that much you can do with them.

There have been zombie stories that I’ve enjoyed, particularly Stan Lee and Bill Everett’s classic “Zombie!” from Menace #5, July 1953. Twenty years later this inspired something of a revival with Marvel’s black-and-white magazine Tales of the Zombie. Or, in other words, it took two decades and the combined talents of Roy Thomas, Steve Gerber, John Buscema and Tom Palmer to finally come up with a worthy sequel.

This is not to say that all subsequent zombie stories sucked. Not in the least. But the massive proliferation of zombies throughout our mass media has, you’ll forgive the expression, choked the life out of the concept. By definition, zombies have no personality and not all that much to say. Their diet is really boring: only in St. Louis can the population stomach so much brain meat.

(I’ve eaten brains… once. Once. Believe me, it sounds better than it tastes. To quote musician Steve Goodman, “Even the cockroaches moved next door.” However, it is more palatable than goat’s head soup.)

As we continue to sashay through the 2013 convention season, it is tedious to see that so many cosplayers have chosen this motif as the subject of their craft. It doesn’t take long to glaze over the horde; if you’ve seen one hundred zombies, you’ve seen them all. And by the time my second show of this year’s convention season concluded, believe me, I have seen them all.

It’s time for something new.

Maybe something that’s actually… alive!

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases


REVIEW: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

REVIEW: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Pride, Prejudice and Zombies was a quirky, fun mash-up of genres that sparked a brief fad of similar works. Of the rushed releases to fight for shelf space, about the only worth successor was Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  This is early Abe; pre-White House, when the rail splitter used his axe in imaginative ways, keeping the frontier safe from the undead. Given the nation’s continuing fascination with Honest Abe, it was tailor made for Hollywood.

This summer, we got director Timur Bekmambetov’s interpretation and thanks to a script from Grahame-Smith, the finished product is pretty much what you expect: atmospheric popcorn fun. While attention has returned to the more somber Abe with Steve Spielberg’s forthcoming Lincoln, 20th Century Home Entertainment has released Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on home video and it’s well worth a look.

Starring Benjamin Walker, the film’s protagonist looks perfectly capable of dealing death to vampires while cracking the occasional joke which was the man’s signature. The story sets out early in his life when he saw his mother poisoned by a vampire, named Jack Barts (Marton Csokas), and years later, after being trained by Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper), exacts his grisly revenge, setting Lincoln on his path to destiny. Along the way, he befriends shopkeeper Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson), working and living at the general store. And he meets his future wife, Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), when she was young, pretty and still sane. We rush through the 1800s at a pretty fast clip so suddenly he’s president and the Civil War is threatening.

His mission to eradicate vampires leads him to learn they all report to Southern plantation owner Adam (Rufus Sewell) and his sister, Vadoma (Erin Wasson). Adams offers Confederate president Jefferson Davis (John Rothman) his vampire’s allegiance in the coming war. Don’t come looking for a history lesson in the plot although it does nicely weave the vampires’ plight and desire for dominance into the slavery issue (slaves make for plentiful and tasty food it seems). Nor should you look for the vamps to follow the standard rules so the bitten become vampires instantly and Abe’s axe is dipped in silver, better for werewolves than vampires.

The film veers from playing it with tongue firmly in cheek to deadly serious and the shifting can be jarring and dissatisfying. Bekmambetov, best known for the stylish Wanted, does a better job with the look of the film, using a dark color palette and keeping things feeling eerie. His action is frenetic but unoriginal, which is a shame. His cast does what they can but the tone affects their performances, wasting some fine potential.

Thankfully, the transfer to disc is pretty flawless and sounds good. The Combo Pack comes with the standard Blu-ray, DVD, and a code for both an iTunes digital copy and UltraViolet copy. The extras are a standard assortment, starting with Audio Commentary with Writer Seth Grahame-Smith which is interesting although his wit needed more air time. The Great Calamity (7:43), is an interesting CGI-animated short about vampires in America as told by Edgar Allen Poe to Lincoln, featuring the story of Elizabeth Bathory. The Making of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (75:21) is a five-part making-of documentary which tells you everything you need to know and then some. Lincoln Park’s “Powerless” Music Video (2:54) and theatrical trailer round out the assorted extras.

Zombie Apocalypse Training from the Halo Corporation?

English: Front Cover of "The Do-it-Yourse...

Since this is starting next month, I can only assume that this is part of the most amazing marketing campaign for the season premiere of The Walking Dead:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is ready for a zombie apocalypse. Gun owners got prepared for a zombie apocalypse. Now, the military and law enforcement are getting ready.

And next month, they’ll begin training.

Security firm HALO Corp. announced yesterday that about 1,000 military personnel, police officials, medical experts and federal workers will learn the ins and outs of a zombie apocalypse, as part of an annual counter-terrorism summit , according to the Military Times.

via Zombie Apocalypse Training: HALO Corp. To Train Military, Law Enforcement On Virus Outbreak.

On the other hand, since this is being done by the Halo Corporation, this could just be a feint for a WildC.A.T.S revival.


CAN I BE FRANK-Pulp Reviews by Frank Schildiner

Monster Hunters means Modern Pulp

By Frank Schildiner

Vampires coming up the front path? Zombies on the lawn? Maybe werewolves howling and keeping you awake at night? Then you might want to look up the MONSTER HUNTER series of pulps by rising scribe, Larry Correira. Three books in the series are MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL, MONSTER HUNTER VENDETTA and the recently published MONSTER HUNTER ALPHA, all of which are available in bookstores, online as well as electronically through Baen Book’s website.

These true modern pulps tell the tale of  Owen Zastava Pitt, an account with a love for nasty fighting and upbringing that included training a Green Beret would find arduous. Attempting to live a normal life, Pitt is one day attacked by his supervisor who was unfortunately recently infected as a werewolf.

This setup plunges the hero into a world of vampires, ghouls, zombies and government paper-pushers that have terrifying secrets of their own. Owen Pitt is soon recruited by a private company of monster hunters, all of whom are fun and interesting characters in their own right.

Correira, a weapons expert as well as a former account himself, provides the reader with an astonishing level of detail unseen since the days of Don Pendleton’s Mack Bolan War Against the Mafia series. It should be said that most writers who place this level of detail in a series often bog the story down in minutia, but Larry Correira manages to rise above that pitfall and provide the reader with just enough information to get you move involved in the story.

As a hero, Owen Pitt is reminiscent of the pulp heroes of the Western yarns; he’s strong, amusing, self-effacing and confident without becoming a “Mary-Sue”. If you don’t understand what a Mary-Sue is, feet free to pause this article and look up the term on Google (and maybe read the Conrad Stargrad stories by Leo Frankowski). In any event, he plays well off the other protagonists, especially the terrifying FBI Agent known as Franks. That character’s backstory alone is worth the price of admission.

The true pleasure of Larry Correia’s series lies in his world itself. Monsters such as vampires and werewolfs exist and have their own sets of rules. These rules derive from legends as well as great films from the Universal and hammer series and no doubt other sources. Other, equally terrifying and interesting creatures exist and provide the reader with plenty of excitement as well as fast paced action. The approachability of the characters allows the reader a better connection with the story, preventing a feeling of disconnection one often gets in action and adventure tales from new and historical pulp.

To sum up, if you want some modern pulp horror with a fun does of action, not to mention beautiful women and clever dialogue, Larry Corriea’s Monster Hunter series of books. I’m betting you’ll have a good time in the process and, like me, will be looking forward to the continuation of this enjoyable series of tales.