Posts Tagged ‘Zombie’

Dead Veil

January 2, 2013 - 2:24 pm No Comments

Zombie Armageddon 4: Dead Veil
Author: Ian Woodhead
Page count/Size: 133pp/291KB
Release Date: 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Ernest has settled in to an abandoned supermarket, with his ‘son’ Darren, a model made up of cereal boxes with a football for a head. Aliza and her baby, Diane have found safe haven in the Tower Block group, but it is not quite the haven she anticipated, as her mate must be chosen by a Committee.
Everyone seems to have found their places, one year after the initial outbreak.
But, are they safe?
Zombies are not the only threat in this new society. Sometimes the living have more sinister motives than the dead.
As the dead begin to mutate, only the strongest will survive.
New powers arise and new alliances are formed.

There are some issues with this novel; some of the dialogue feels unrealistic and fabricated, and Woodhead needs to pay more attention to proofreading and editing, however, the zombie mythos he has created is truly ingenious and a cut above the normal zombie fodder. There are three types of zombies in Woodhead’s world, one type being able to pluck thoughts from a person’s head and converse.

The action is continuous and the gore is quite visceral and good fun. Despite the issues mentioned earlier, Woodhead is a good writer with lots of potential, a name to watch.

State of Emergency

December 18, 2012 - 12:40 pm No Comments

State of Emergency
Director: Turner Clay
Distributor: Signature Entertainment
Running Time: 86 minutes
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Released on Boxing Day, this lower end budget zombie film surpasses its budgetary constraints with a strong script, equally strong performances and solid direction.
Jay Hayden as Jim evokes the panic and grief inherent in the zombie apocalypse as he attempts to survive. Revealed through a series of flashbacks and news footage, we find out that an explosion has occurred at a chemical plant in Montgomery County releasing a toxin that has transformed a majority of the locals into zombies.
This film is a nice addition to the zombie genre, oozing atmosphere through use of sepia tones, an escalating tension and a sense of isolation, particularly before Jim manages to find other survivors to interact with. There is an air of sombre decay to the film and the zombies themselves are very realistic in a 28 Days Later way and half way through, as we learn more about the zombies, there are intriguing surprises in store for the viewer. The script is character focused, and though the action is comparatively low key, this is an original, intelligent slant on an overpopulated genre.
We do have the clichéd ‘go outside to fetch medicine’ scene and it would’ve worked better overall if the film hadn’t started with the knowledge Jim is alive four days after the apocalypse, these minor quibbles do not detract from the impact of this DVD.
Well worth watching.

Domain of the Dead

November 24, 2012 - 3:23 pm No Comments

Domain of the Dead
Author: Iain McKinnon
Publisher: Permuted Press
Page count/size: 252pp
Release Date: 23rd Nov 2009
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Featuring an introduction by horror author David Moody, this post zombie apoc novel jumps right in with the action, as lead female Sarah, holed up in a warehouse with a number of other survivors, hears a helicopter, a sign of hope for the disillusioned and starving group. This could be their only escape of chance, so a meeting is held and they decide the only possible way forward is to leave the sanctuary of the warehouse, where only four weeks supply of food remains, and hunt down the helicopter. Some of the group is rescued by the crew of the research ship Ishtar, assigned to find a cure, and they are brought there for safety
Professor Cutler, the obligatory arrogant, chauvinistic and genius scientist believes he has the answer. The character being, to be blunt, a dick, means his actions are somewhat predictable, though he does make the reader raise a wry smile in reaction. Sarah is a strong female lead and McKinnon has a distinctive narrative voice as he delivers an action packed, yet character driven, adventure.
The emotional aspect of this novel is welcoming; this isn’t just about guns against the walking dead (WDs), it’s about survival, loss, grief and companionship. McKinnon, through one of the doctors, also provides logical, scientific reasoning for the virus.
The novel leaves us with a cliff-hanger; though at firsts I was concerned McKinnon had forgotten about a number of characters stuck on the mainland, it appears he was teasing the reader ready for this cliff-hanger. Definitely left open for the sequel Remains of the Dead, which I look forward to reading, this novel is not only fun, it is memorable.

Coldbrook

October 20, 2012 - 3:16 pm No Comments

Coldbrook
Author: Tim Lebbon
Publisher: Hammer
Page count/size: 632pp
Release Date: 11th Oct 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

In the Appalachian mountain deep beneath the earth is a subterranean facility called Coldbrook, after its founder Bill Coldbrook, scientist and inventor. Bill is now dead, having committed suicide, so the facility is now run by Jonah Jones aged 76 years, sleep deprived and haunted by nightmares of a plague ridden burning world. And within Coldbrook is the breach, a gateway to another Earth, another universe, where strange creatures exist, and those living creatures who attempt to enter Bill’s version of earth are immediately killed with Holly’s device, the eradicator.
Celebrating the discovery of the breach with his colleague Bill, Vic Pearson seems assured of their place in the history books. All experiments are progressing well, that is until the shambling humanoid creature which comes through the breach isn’t stopped after three attempts at the eradicator. Holly assumes the creature is human, but there is something so very wrong with that assessment, which she realises as the thing attacks a fellow scientist with claws and teeth. Coldbrook is thrown into lockdown, but not before Vic can escape through a duct to try and be with his family, and not before Holly runs to the alternate earth to escape the monster, and not before . . . something, escapes the facility.
The other side of the breach, as seen through Holly’s eyes, is extraordinary, as is one of the ‘locals’ she meets.
In this z-poc thriller, Lebbon brings something new and original to the genre with his alternate universes and the breakdown of society he explores as the world is devoured in disease and decay. This is an apocalypse on a grand scale, reminiscent of King’s The Stand or The Mist, brutal, gruesome and an honest portrayal of the reactions of humanity in the midst of death and destruction.
Events are initially relayed through radio broadcasts, which add realism and an extra dimension to the novel. We often see the disaster striking a variety of places across the world and this makes the book a groundbreaking piece of work, and most certainly an original take on this well harvested genre.
The apocalyptic visions and survivors fights are vicious and gripping. Though a little long, it is still well paced and incredibly visual, reminding me of an epic mini-series. Despite the feel of it being ‘epic’ Lebbon still creates vivid characters through an ensemble ‘cast’, which breathes life and individuality into the book. In fact, as mentioned earlier, through its brutal imagery, plot construction and strong characterisation, I felt as though I were almost reading a middle period Stephen King book, if it were not for Lebbon’s distinctive authorial voice.
A truly breathtaking horror fantasy that had me reading into the wee hours of the morning in order to reach the end. Well done Mr Lebbon.

More White Trash Zombies

August 12, 2012 - 3:04 pm No Comments

Even White Trash Zombies get the Blues
Author: Diana Rowland
Publisher: DAW Books, Inc.
Page count/Size: 312pp
Release date: 3rd July 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

“Hello my name is Angel, and I’ll be your zombie day.”
If that doesn’t set the tone for what’s to come, I don’t know what will.

Even White Trash Zombies get the Blues is the sequel to Rowland’s earlier offering My Life as a White Trash Zombie. In the first novel, young drop out Angel Crawford is attacked by a random stranger and to save her life, fellow zombie and cop Marcus saves her ‘life’ by turning her into a zombie. He makes this life easier by leaving her with a short supply of brain smoothies and a job at the morgue.

The sequel starts with life a little bit better for Angel, with a steady boyfriend and her job as a van driver and morgue assistant. At leas things start okay, but isn’t long before trouble finds Angel. Zombie hunter Ed turns up at Angel’s door with a gun, having apparently killed his girlfriend. Garza, her Probation Officer turns up, demanding to know she is getting on with her high school qualification and someone is experimenting on zombies in a mysterious lab. Add to that, the fact someone has stolen one of her bodies and she has the blame, and she has to meet Marcus’ uncle Pietro who runs what appears to be the zombie mafia, and you know she’s not in for fun.

But the reader is. Filled with mystery, horror, humour and at times pathos, this second outing for Angel is even better than the first. As well as dealing with all of the ongoing shenanigans, Angel is emerging as a new person whilst she tries to overthrow the preconceptions and prejudices surrounding her, to prove she is worth something. She is also trying to rebuild her relationship with her alcoholic father who is also trying to come off the booze.

This novel is funny, often in an un-PC way, it is moving and it has some great gruesome bits for gore hounds. Overall a great achievement.