True Love

“Is there something in my teeth?”

Even though I left my Gothic lifestyle behind years ago, I still love vampires. Up until recently, I’ve kept this love under wraps, lest I be labeled a total weirdo. However, with the resurgence of vampires in the media (even though it includes Edward Cullen, who is probably the lamest vampire ever), liking vampires is now acceptable. When I heard that my favorite show, True Blood, was renewed for a fourth season, I thought to myself that now is the perfect time to “come out of the coffin” and treat my friends to a vampire-themed party.

The premise is simple: get a bunch of people together, nibble on some snacks (or a fellow partygoer), and watch vampire movies until the sun comes up. If somebody decides to don a pair of fangs or a cape, well, all the better.

Sounds fun, right? So invite some people, make some vampire bite cupcakes, and celebrate all things undead. Who knows, maybe Dracula himself will show.

Fathers of the Apocalypse

Kenneth Welsh as Patrick O’Flynn in “Survival of the Dead.”

When the zombie apocalypse hits, one thing most survivors can really use is a dad — someone to protect them, make sure they have food and shelter, and who always, in theory, knows what to do. Zombie movie dads do what they have to do, sometimes, like moms, even if it means their own doom. In honor of Father’s Day, here are five notable zombie movie dads (spoilers ahead):

Harry Cooper, Night of the Living Dead: Antagonist, bully, devoted dad. And, not for nothing, right about staying in the basement, no matter how much more appealing Ben is. Of course, the basement isn’t quite so safe if your sweet daughter has you for dinner.

Frank, 28 Days Later: Frank is the dad you’d want to have when the shit goes down: smart, nurturing and badass. Daughter Hannah had a sense of security and reason to live that few movie survivors have, at least until Frank’s infection. In an alternate ending, Frank is actually cured and reunited with Hannah — it didn’t really work, but part of me wished it could have.

Patrick O’Flynn, Survival of the Dead: O’Flynn is one of two hard-headed feuding patriarchs on a tiny island, and the father of a couple of its inhabitants, including Judy. Judy wasn’t dealt the best hand in the dad department, but she’s one of the few adult zombie movie characters to have one. She doesn’t take it for granted: it’s Judy who acts as protector of her dad from the rival patriarch and suggests his banishment when things get ugly. Well, one of the many times it gets ugly.

Andre, Dawn of the Dead (2004 Remake): A newborn baby introduces the concept of instant, unconditional love to a lot of new dads. How unconditional? Andre didn’t seem to even consider being anything but a proud new daddy when his zombified wife, Luda, gave birth to his beautiful undead daughter. Kind of shocking, but pretty sweet.

Tallahassee, Zombieland: Tallahasse is not quite right, more than a little bit as a result of the fact that he’s a father who lost his son. Who he talks about as if he could be a dog. But a dog he really, really loves.

Now go give dad his annual tie, and make sure your emergency plans in case of zombie apocalypse are synchronized. You wouldn’t want to have to navigate it without him.

Fight!

So, the mysterious Mortal Kombat Rebirth film short/trailer that started making the rounds this week is not a game teaser, but a pitch to Warner Brothers for a new, darker MK movie, according to Jeri Ryan, who appears in the short. No word yet on whether WB is backing the movie, but if you were hoping that the mystery film was a game teaser, you’re in luck: a new Mortal Kombat game is coming in ’11 for Playstation 3 and XBOX 360. The new version, to be released by Warner Brothers, is expected to go back to featuring ultra-gory finishing moves.

I don’t know, sounds like an excuse to dress up as a ninja fighter!

Ninja Gal Teen Costume

In other news, I saw via Dread Central that “Kick Ass” star Christopher Mintz-Plasse will play Evil Ed in the “Fright Night” remake. Peter Vincent will be played by David Tennant, aka Dr. Who. I can totally see it.

App of the Dead and other Apps… of the Dead

The Official George A. Romero App of the Dead has finally been released “in anticipation of … ‘Survival of the Dead,'” which opened in arthouse theaters across the US last week (and is still available to view on Amazon On Demand and several other direct streaming options). OK, so it’s a little late. It’s a photomanipulation app that goes for $1.99 — you take a photo of a friend with your iPhone or use a photo from your iTunes gallery and turn it into a zombie. It’s pretty cool, but a couple of additional features would have made it really worth the money. I definitely think it should have the full “Come to Plum Island” video pitch that the characters watched on an iPhone in the movie. Hello? They watched it on an iPhone! There goes my summer plan to recreate the scene in the back of a truck on the way to Slaughter Beach. Which is an actual place here in Delaware, by the way. Fun fact!

Anyway. App of the Dead is still an addition to the coolest zombie apps you can pick up for iPhone and iPod Touch. My personal favorites:

Undead Attack Pinball: classic pinball game, with an added twist: you have to knock out waves of zombies with the pinball before they reach your gate, below the flippers. I’m not big on iPod games, but this one is a blast. $2.99 for the full version, with a free Lite version available.

Diner of the Dead: Another game — this one would be just OK, if not for the awesome art. Instead of killing zombies, you feed them various body parts in the order they “request.” If too many starve, you lose. 99 cents for the full version, with a free version available.

Lost Zombies: Notes From the Apocalypse: The app companion to the huge Lost Zombies community and interactive zombie documentary experiment. Visually awesome. $1.99

Got a favorite zombie app? Comment!

The Dead Have Spoken: Brazil to Win World Cup

According to a report from Reuters, Nigerian mystic John Adatiri was given a spoiler from beyond the grave on the outcome of the ’10 World Cup, which starts next week in South Africa: Brazil will take it. The dead also informed him that his own home team would make the quarter-finals. Zulu witch-doctor Sebenzile Nsukwini has also contacted the dead in regards to the event, and assures us that there will be no terror attack on the World Cup. In other news, soccer is kind of awesome for once.

By the way, the World Cup isn’t just the world’s biggest sporting event, it’s also an excuse to dress up! There’s still time to order the Adult Male soccer uniform (the sexy Adult Female costume of currently out of stock, but there’s always the Victoria Beckham-style “Soccer Wife Wig”). My personal favorite soccer-related item in the Fright Catalog is the Plush Soccer Ball Purse:

Next to the costumes of dead people, of course.

h/t: @nshn

57 Mummies

In honor of the 57 newly-unearthed Egyptian mummies, I’m calling today “Dress Like a Mummy Day.” Don’t tear up all your white sheets–check out these costumes in the Fright Catalog shop:

Universal Studios Mummy Mask

Arguably the coolest of all the mummy items in the store, the Universal Studios Mummy Mask is a realistic latex over-the-head mask of Boris Karloff’s Imhotep in the classic 1932 monster movie “The Mummy.”

Mummy Queen Costume

Decomposition not your style? The sexy Mummy Queen costume with headdress and pencil-cut skirt is super cute, if not super scary.

Mummy Adult Costume

Scary Mummy Adult costume with un wrapped face.

 

Pink Mummy Child

Pink Mummy Child is a sort of winged angel/mummy hybrid… and she’s pink! Weird compromise between a creepy and an adorable costume for little girls — I like it! Continue reading

It’s Alive!

This is one of those news stories that reads like the first chapter of an apocalyptic horror story: Scientists create artificial, self-replicating DNA cells that they plan to manipulate into synthetic bacteria to be released into the air in an effort to reverse damage to the environment. I’m not making this up.

Dramatization

To be fair, I’m not afraid of technology in general. I don’t live in fear of genetically modified vegetables, nuclear power, or DDT. What’s frightening about unleashing microscopic artificial life into the air we breathe, aside from, well, unleashing microscopic artificial life into the air we breathe, are the Utopian suggestions that, in effect, it can allow humans to control the environment and bring about world peace (or at least eradicate our dependency on oil by using the buggers to create fuel). Anything that appears so too-good-to-be-true is bound to bite us on the ass. And, I mean, think about it: in theory (not established scientific theory, but theory) self-aware micro-organisms could fly in through your nose and mouth and take over your brain and body. Not to mention the bodies of dead people. Just saying….

h/t: @rarenews

Mad Scientist Costume Kit (pictured above) available on frightcatalog.com

Fulci’s Zombie vs. Shark All Over TV

I was knocked over when I saw the new Windows 7 ad, which features a clip from Lucio Fulci’s 1979 film “Zombi 2″ (aka “Zombie” and “Zombie 2: The Dead are Among Us” in the US). The Italian “zombie vs. shark” scene is a cult classic, but the clip’s relative obscurity made it possible for the ad to recontextualize it — it’s not a movie clip in the ad, but a nature documentary streamed from the fictional “Zombie Companion” Website that describes the zombie’s “loving bond with its fellow man-eater, the Great White.” Which begs the question: Do David and his roommates live in an alternate post-zombie outbreak universe? Is “Intel WiDi” even real? Still, best Windows 7 ad ever!

Check out the uncut zombie vs. shark scene here.

Fun fact: “Zombi 2″ is not actually a sequel. The first “Zombi” is Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” (“Zombi” was its Italian title). The name was changed to lead people to believe it was connected to the popular American series. Despite the cheesy marketing ploy, “Zombi 2″ is a classic in its own right. Let’s see if the exposure from the Windows ad leads to a run on Man-Eating Shark costumes to pair with Zombie costumes this year!

Continue reading

Can Charley Defeat Edward?

A couple of years ago, a “Near Dark” remake was scrapped because the producer was afraid that the story, which has a teenage romance element, would come off like an R-rated “Twilight” knockoff — apparently, the planned unnecessary remake was probably a thousand times worse than imagined. Although 1985’s “Fright Night” isn’t quite as awesome as the near-perfect “Near Dark,” it’s up there; “Fright Night” also has a teen romance element, so it’s fair to worry that the updated remake that’s currently in development could tread too close to Twilight territory. More likely, the “Fright Night” remake will be the anti-Twilight, an encyclopedia of traditional vampire lore like the original, with wooden crosses, bats and razor-sharp fangs.

The remake actually looks promising. This week, it was announced that Colin Farrell and Toni Colette have been added to the the cast, in addition to Anton Yelchin (aka teen Kyle Reese) as Charley and rumors that Chris Sarandon will be featured as himself in the Roddy McDowell role, which would be too cool, if true. Now word is the new “Fright Night” will be in 3D, too — how could a ’10s version not be?