Notes from the back row 

Save money, eat human flesh.

Ah, fall in Whistler, my favourite time of year. Less tourists, more parking, and the misty crisp mornings keep reminding us winter’s on its way. The leaves change, the children go back to school (therefore wasting far less of our time by talking in the theatres) and no one has any money, except for the bare essentials like drinking and watching zombie movies.

Flesh-eating zombies rule don’t you think? I do. And there’s a hot new Zombie comedy opening this Friday called Shaun of the Dead about a slacker living in a mundane society where Zombies start showing up and he barely notices because people are so boring and routine in the first place.

It’s an English zombie-horror-comedy with plenty of gore and laughs by the bucketful. But it’s not playing up here, go figure. Oh well, it’s only an hour and a half to the city and the road construction’s not too annoying. Hopefully Shaun of the Dead starts making heaps of money and maybe it’ll arrive in Whistler next week. In any case, you heard it hear first.

Meanwhile, to fulfil your Zombie cravings, check out Lucio Fulci’s 1979 classic Zombie on DVD. This has all the elements of great B-grade horror: poorly over-dubbed audio, good nudity, shaky plot and lots of flesh-hungry zombies eating bloody remains. And it gets better, Zombie also contains a scene where an underwater zombie simultaneously attacks a topless scuba-diver and a real live shark. Zombie versus Shark! And they both take bites out of each other! It’s a horror fan’s dream come true.

Perhaps the greatest, most gore-orrific zombie movie ever is Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive. That’s right, before he was making one of the best movies of all time ( Lord of the Rings ) everyone’s favourite Kiwi was a straight-up, balls to the wall, zombies-eating-brains kinda guy. Dead Alive is about one man’s fight to keep his ever-growing household of zombies under wraps while still impressing the cute village girl, and saving the world from a giant rat-monkey zombie creature with huge gross tits. Featuring an ultra-gory lawnmower scene, this is one of the bloodiest movies ever made and therefore one of the best. Get it now.

As well, the new Dawn of the Dead remake comes out on DVD Oct. 5 th .

So get off your couch, find these movies and some alcohol or drugs or thirsty members of the opposite sex (whichever is easiest, ideally all three) and then get right back on that couch and don’t leave until you feel like a zombie yourself.

If you absolutely must leave the house, take back the empties and check out the good old Village 8 Cinema. (Seriously, how glad are you that place exists? Do you remember how painful it used to be for movie fans in this town?) If you owe the wife a favour you can let her drag you to Wimbledon , the stupidest movie playing this week except perhaps for First Daughter (which is where you’ll be if you’re in high school and your girlfriend calls the shots, or if you like getting laughed at). But if you want my advice, take anyone you care about to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It has something to impress all.

Opening this week is The Forgotten, a drama/thriller/mystery/sci-fi/horror movie that looks great in the trailer and even keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout most of the movie. It’s about a grieving mother who’s son dies in a plane crash. Or does he?

One day she comes home and all evidence of the child is erased. No photos, no videos, even the neighbours deny his existence. The woman is told she’s crazy, but she’s convinced she’s not, especially when she meets a man who’s daughter was supposedly on the same plane, and he suddenly remembers everything too.

This film will make your neck hairs stand straight and it just might startle the living bejeesus out of you too. But when it ends in the cheapest plot trick of all and you realize the entire thing was so very contrived that it makes little or no sense when finished, you’ll leave the theatre wishing you could’ve forgotten to pay your 12 bucks. Take it from me, go see Sky Captain.

In the meantime, enjoy those fall days, as they get shorter, the weather gets lousier and the tour buses keep dropping off those people who’ll gladly save money by coming here when there’s nothing to do except walk around in zombie-like packs taking pictures of nothing at all.

At Village 8 Sept. 24-30: The Forgotten; First Daughter; Cellular; Hero; Bourne Supremacy; Resident Evil; Apocalypse; Mr. 3000; Wimbledon; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

At Rainbow Theatre Sept. 24-30: I, Robot.

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