Have you ever had a day where as soon as you wake up, it all goes to hell? Okay, so it wasn't that bad for me, but it was close. I walked around in a not so good mood today. I'm better now, but it my mood, and all the things that went wrong today, delayed getting a post up for today. So here it is, late at night, while I try to get this post done before I wake up with the keyboard etched into my face. I did manage to get Rose Red watched tonight, so hopefully I will have that review up tomorrow. After that, I have another screener to watch, before heading back into my Netflix stuff. I have to give a shot out to Jay, who did make my day a little better. He posted a commercial that showed how real women shop! You can check it out here. If the commercial surprises you, then I guess you never went shopping with your woman before.
Since it has been a while since I have done a book review, I figured it was time to do so again. I have been reading, just not horror novels. Instead, I have been reading books more in line with fantasy. Since my little blog has been keeping me busy, getting screeners, setting up interviews while finishing others, as well as the usual reviews, I don't really have a lot of time to read for my pleasure. I would end up taking my book with me whenever I would go eat somewhere other than my room. This would sometimes lead to conversations like this one:
Annoying Person: You are getting far into that book. Do you read much in your room?
Me: Yes, but mostly for classes. Rarely these kind of books.
Annoying Person: Doesn't it take you a long time to read a book that way?
Me: Yes it does. Takes even longer when someone notices I am trying to read, yet keeps talking to me anyway.
So you can see the problem I was sometimes having. Anyway, the book I eventually did manage to read is Book Of The Dead: The Complete History Of Zombie Cinema by Jamie Russell, published in 2005. I think I got this book when I ordered a few other horror themed books, as part of a package deal. Russell starts his book by exploring where zombies come from in the real world. This was very interesting to me. I knew that zombies are linked to voodoo, but I didn't realize how far into the past this was the case. He also shows us how Americans, and for that matter the rest of the world, came to know about zombies. Once this has been established, Russell then starts to talk about zombies on film. What I liked about this book, is that Russell broke down each chapter to talk about each decade. Sometimes he would jump ahead a little bit, but not by a whole lot. Russell mostly talks about the films that do something to change zombies, or films that he feels has a lot of meaning behind, or in, the zombies. I was actually surprised at how many of the films he talked about I have actually watched. This is a good thing because one of the things I didn't like about this book is the way Russell just assumes we have watched each of these films. He usually goes into a lot of detail about the plots of each film he talks about in length. Since he gives away a lot of the major plot points, this is a good book if you just want to make a long movie really short.
Russell has a fairly broad range with what he sees as a zombie. Listing such films as Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, The Crazies, and 28 Days Later as zombie films. Even though he admits that there are no true zombies in those films, he still likes to call them that now and then. When talking about 28 Days Later, he will often call them "the infected", and "zombies", in the same sentence. It is this indecision that would sometimes frustrate me. Another thing that I noticed, that would also frustrate me at times, is the way that any film that has meaning to it is an okay to great film. Rather it be an issue of race, the Vietnam war, or anything by Romero (zombie movie that is), gets a lot of praise from Russell. There are exceptions of course, but even the bad films get some praise for having at least some meaning behind them. If the film doesn't have any meaning, or what Russell deems as no meaning, then it is often written off. Such films as Return Of The Living Dead, and the remake of Dawn Of The Dead, are basically written off because they are mearly entertaining, but have no real meaning to them. While I disagree that some of the films he writes about in this way don't have any kind of meaning to them, I didn't understand why the need to just write them off even if they don't have meaning. I love a movie that makes me think, not just about the film itself, but even real life issues. At the same time though, it is nice to just be entertained now and then. Just because a film doesn't have some deep meaning, doesn't make it a bad film.
I did find Book Of The Dead: The Complete History Of Zombie Cinema to be a fun read. I found the real history of the zombie, which he picked up again when talking about The Serpent And The Rainbow, to be especially interesting. It was also really neat to see how the zombie has changed, and evolved, over the years since it started to show up on film. Since Russell goes into a lot of plot details, I would only suggest this book for those that truly love zombies. I ended up not reading the entire book, just because the back of the book is a list of every zombie film that Russell knows of. I didn't check, but I believe each film gets a small blurb about it as well. Even though I have watched a lot of zombie movies, Russell has watched a hell of a lot more.
3 out of 5 Giving away the plot for this book
2 days ago