Thursday, March 20, 2008

Eat of My Flesh Wednesday Double Feature

Let's Scare Jessica to Death ( 1971)

This movie is not so much a zombie film as it is a "resurrection" film. There's lots of nice atmosphere and Jessica is consistently on the verge of losing her mind. See, she's just out of a six month stint hospitalized with an unspecified mental problem, so when she starts hearing voices she's afraid to mention it to her husband and their friend. And it doesn't help that the hippie girl who's squatting in the house they've just bought looks just like a girl who drowned in the lake in 1880, or that she's hitting on Jessica's husband.

Throw in a bunch of hostile townies, all of whom are sporting odd bandages, and you've got a very odd little film. Turns out the ghost girl may be more of a vampire, since everyone turns up with ghastly scars later on. Or, maybe Jessica's just crazy. I'm not sure the filmmakers were really sure which way they wanted to go with it and thus, the ending lacks some effective punch, instead kind of draining away any tension and frightening energy.

Not a bad film, and very creepy at times, but disappointing in the end.

Zombie Honeymoon (2004)

I thought this was going to be a cheap bit of exploitation after the racy opening scenes of the young newlywed couple. But after the zombie shambles up out of the ocean and vomits black goo into Danny's mouth, and he dies but comes back to life, things get interesting (providing one can overlook details like the machine that goes ping reading no heartbeat - which shouldn't be a surprise as it's not attached to Danny). Danny starts eating people, but feels really bad about it and tries to hide it from his new bride, Denise. When she finds out, she has to decide whether to run like a sane person or stand by her man.

This was actually a pretty effective little film. Much more emotional than I expected, and not really played for the laughs that the DVD box led me to believe. It was actually much more satisfying than Let's Scare Jessica to Death, and actually had zombies. Bonus points for a romantic Last Supper on this most holy of days.

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