PCR past banners Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #209  (Vol. 5, No. 13)  This edition is for the week of March 22--28.

A special commentary on The Passion of the Christ
 by Mike Smith
"Dawn of the Dead"  by ED Tucker
There and Back Again: The Pivotal Year of 1987
 by Andy Lalino
The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien's Legacy
 by Nick King
Dawn of the Dead....The Passion of the Christ....Comics  by John Lewis
What In The Name Of God...?
 by Matt Drinnenberg
The Passion Of The Python....I Love Rock And Roll....Andy Says....Check Your Calendars....Me And The Lord (with book excerpt)....Meet The Beatles, Part 10
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
Email PCR
Creature's Corner

Hello Fellow Fright Fans:
Well, it finally happened. Last weekend all the denizens of the castle took off to haunt their favorite movie houses. The reason; DOTD (Dawn of the Dead). I have now seen this blockbuster ($27.3 million) twice and so here goes.

Dawn of the Dead
Overall I liked the movie. The beginning carried that same sense of chaos that Romero is popular for. The viewer is up close and personal with the action in the first five minutes. There's something about a cannibalistic child Zombie that is real unsettling. Add to that the speed and viciousness of the attack and you know you've got a wild ride ahead of you. I'll tell you one upgrade Zach Snyder gave to his Zombies; They are savage and their transition time from death to un'death is almost instantaneous. This makes for great difficulty in controlling the spread of the virus.

Anyway, on to the movie. The beginning of the chaos starts on the morning of the day before Dawn starts. A guy is bitten by a maniac and is brought into the hospital for observation. By the evening he ends up in the intensive care ward. Unfortunately the scene never plays out. Instead the story follows one of the nurses, Ana (Sarah Polley), and her bid for survival in a world gone mad.

I'd rather not say too much in case some of you haven't seen it yet. Instead I'll just talk about some of the more controversial points of the film. To compare the new one with the original would not be fair because they added enough to make the story unique unto itself. Both movies were good though I do have to say the new one appears to have a little more of the standard "Hollywood" trappings than the original. The next thing is the difference between Zombies that walk and those that run. Running is certainly a very scary thought but for more reasons than you might imagine. If you try to outrun a Zombie you will not win because they won't tire out like you will. So there is very little chance for long term survival under those conditions. The only problem with the running is that I feel it takes a bit of intelligence to accomplish that feat as opposed to undead souls wandering aimlessly for living flesh to munch on. There would almost have to be someone or something directing the movements of the Walking Dead like a Lich, Wraith, Vampire, or yes, a Mad Scientist. Mr.Snyder, there's a hint for your follow-up. So I'm not sure how I feel about running Zombies though I think as the film progresses they appear to be not as scary as the lumbering lost soul type of Zombie.

The one thing I've always wondered about is what attracts them to us. I thought about it as I watched the movie and came up with a solution because they never go after each other. Their eyes must be able to detect auras or something like that. Kind of like a bug drawn to the lights. Hey, it makes as much sense as anything else.

Back to the movie. I thought it was very well cast. All the actors did great jobs and it was nice to see some of the original cast members in cameo roles. Ving Rhames gave an excellent performance as a cop trying to reach his brother at one of the "Safe Stations." (Yeah, right) The film looked good and James Gunn handed in a top notch screenplay with plenty of action to move the story. Overall I would have to give DOTD 3 screams on the Creature Scale.

The Passion of the Christ
Next, finally I can give my review of "The Passion of The Christ." I liked the movie quite a bit and it sure kept my attention. The brutal beatings handed out to Jesus (which is the foundation the film is built on) were very graphic and had me fidgeting in my seat a couple times. The look of the film was great, the effects very realistic. When they scouged Jesus with the Cat-Of-Nine-Tails you felt that whipping with the character.

One thing bothered me in the movie but not enough to take away from the story. The movie begins well into the story with no set-up at all. If one were not familiar with Jesus and his story they would be completely lost while watching it. Now, of course, most of us know the story so there is no question as to what is happening.

The idea of using the old language was a good one and added to the film. I give this one 3 screams also on the Creature Scale.

Finally, one last thing this go-round. A new horror comic hit the stands this week that many people who read the PCR should know about. I've been waiting for a while and now it's here: Zacherley's Midnite Terrors # 1. The cover sports a very good painting of Zacherley himself, one of the most celebrated horror hosts in history. The comic is a series of black and white horror stories along with pictures of ol' Zac himself. The cover was done by none other than Basil Gogos of Famous Monsters Of Filmland fame. I haven't read it yet because I've spent so much time working on this "Creature's Corner" but you can bet I'll dive into it tonight. So run out and grab one before the become as scarce as Hydra Teeth. Have a Great Week. C-Ya!

The "Creature."  The Creature from Clearwater

"Creature's Corner" is ©2004 by John Lewis.  Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.