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Episode guide: 604- Zombie Nightmare

Movie: (1986) A voodoo queen resurrects a dead teen, who then seeks revenge on his killers.

First shown: 11/24/94
Opening: Crow and Tom are Secret Service agents protecting Mike
Intro: The Mads are into voodoo, so they send a voodoo kit to the SOL
Host segment 1: Crow is reading when Tom runs him down!
Host segment 2: Mike, Crow and Tom enjoy a hot tub
Host segment 3: Crow abandoned his “Batman” screenplay, but neglected to tell Tom and Mike
End: Letters for Adam West, Frank has turned Dr. F. into a zombie
Stinger: Incantation and screaming
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (254 votes, average: 4.70 out of 5)

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• It’s hard not to like this episode. The movie is big and bold and insane, the riffing is fantastic and the segments have a goofy, happy-go-lucky quality that I like.
• This episode appears on Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XV.
• This episode was held from TV while it made the rounds of many college campuses, during the fall of ’94, as part of Comedy Central’s “Fresh Cheese” tour. It was finally shown on Turkey Day ’94.
• I saw it in the University of Pennsylvania’s cavernous Irvine Auditorium. The sound was terrible and the place was about half full. One of the school’s modern and luxurious (at least at that time) screening rooms might have been a better venue. Anybody else see the college tour?
• This ep marks the change from green to the solid blue jumpsuit we saw Mike wear for much of this season.
• Do you think that “Head!” thing was planned? After so many accidental beheadings of Tom, it nice to think they did this one on purpose.
• This week it’s the “umbilicus.”
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: bulletin board, beaker, book
• Segment 1 is related to the movie — he runs Crow over just like the kids just ran over the guy. But it’s also the beginning of a running gag for season six, in which Tom repeatedly — and cheerfully — smashes Crow in various ways. Unfortunately, this episode, where the running gag begins, wasn’t shown in order, so some of the humor of the running gag was a drained away.
• Tom imitates a Jamaican guy attempting to lure tourists to his jet ski/parasail business. I understand that the cast vacationed together in Jamaica at least once. Maybe that’s where this came from.
• The song Tom is singing at the beginning of segment 2 is “Walkin’ in Memphis,” by Marc Cohn.
• Callbacks: “I’d never touch you, Terry. You’re dirt!” (Teenage Crime Wave)
• Second “Governor and JJ” reference in a few weeks.
• The original film was MUCH gorier. Tia Carrera’s character’s death, to give one example, is far more gruesome than we see here.
• Also, the attempted rape of the Twist N Creme waitress by Jimbo is much more explicit and brutal in the original (the original is on YouTube). There is a huge edit, shades of “Sidehackers,” from the point where Jimbo grabs her and the next scene, where she is wrapped in a blanket telling the cops what happened. That scene also includes the gruesome, explicit and completely deserved onscreen impalement death of that jerk Jimbo. The edit kind of robs us of that cinematic justice.
• I exchanged emails with a representative for Jon Mikl Thor, and he revealed three interesting bits of info.
1. The soundtrack list includes bands called The Things and Knighthawk. They are just Thor in disguise (dull surprise!). 2. A band called Battalion does a song called “Out For The Kill.” That New York City-based band did exist, and even had their own comic book. (Thor co-produced their first album.) Sadly, Thor told us the guitar player of Battalion committed suicide by leaping off a 35-story building in New York City just before their album was to be released, and they were to embark on a U.S. tour. This turn of events ended the band, the release of the album and the tour. 3. A band called Deathmask, reportedly one of the first speed-metal bands, did a song called “I’m Dangerous.” Thor invested a lot of time, money and effort into the band. He helped get them a record deal and then co-produced the record. But, for reasons that are not remembered, the band refused to tour (which is sort of required to back up an album). Without the effort from the band to get out there to promote and tour, Deathmask then faded into obscurity.
• No cast and crew roundup this time: Nobody involved with this worked on any other MSTed movies.
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. This is the final episode for the credit: Video Provided by: Fournelle Video Production Services, St. Paul, MN. The second of two episodes where Sarah E. Wisner helped out with Post Production Coordination with Ellen McDonough Thomas,
• Fave riff: “C’mon, turn the tape over!!” Honorable mention: “They’re missing the forest for the trees with this whole sleazy chicks thing.”

203 Replies to “Episode guide: 604- Zombie Nightmare”

  1. Joe in Seattle says:

    Is it really pronounced, “Mickle-Thor?”

       1 likes

  2. Warren says:

    This one’s enjoyable, okay soundtrack and a few name actors but I don’t watch it very often.

       0 likes

  3. This Guy says:

    As a minor meta-comment, I think “Incantation and Screaming” is one of the lesser-known works of the concert band repertoire. The right people will get this.

       0 likes

  4. John Seavey says:

    A couple of things I actually liked about the plot that never really got made clear by the film-makers:

    1) The guy that the cops arrest as a patsy for the teen killings is the same guy Jon Mikl-Thor beats up in the convenience store robbery sequence. It’s a subtle gag that suggests he wasn’t even tough enough to take on the real killer even before the real killer became zombified.

    2) The grave at the end is Jon Mikl-Thor’s dad. (“He’s husky.”) The idea is that even though the son’s revenge spell ended when his killers died, the dad was right there and was reanimated to take revenge on his killer. (Of course, why didn’t she do that at any time in the last decade or two?)

    3) This one always puzzled me: The coroner comments that he’s utterly unmoved by Jim’s death, even though he’d known the family for years, because the kid was a bad seed and a disgrace to his father. Then, when Jim’s father dies, the coroner is utterly unmoved by that too. Is that the film-makers forgetting that the coroner was supposed to know the guy, or is it meant to be a commentary on the coroner’s utterly jaded nature?

       6 likes

  5. Kali says:

    It’s the Nestea Plunge!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeffhI2sp4Y

       1 likes

  6. Strummergas says:

    First off, great episode! When I used to set up my VCR to take the 3AM showings near the end of the Comedy Central years, this is one that I snagged. Already a huge Motorhead fan, imagine my surprise when “Ace Of Spades” (not even close to their best song BTW) starts blaring over the film’s opening credits. That followed by the names Jon Mikl Thor, Adam West and Tia Carrere had me immediately hooked!

    I rewatched this for the first time in years yesteerday and it was every bit as good as I remembered it. Excellent and seemingly non-stop riffs, many of which were mentioned in the posts above. But one really underrated aspect of this episode is the host segments, or rather how short they are. Let’s face it, in earlier years, a skit like Tom running over Crow would have dragged on incessantly, thus removing all comedic value from it. The fact that skits like that one and the hot tub one are so concise, allows them to be funny. Any longer on either of them and they’d become tiresome (the Batman segment is just right, I believe). That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the host segments and wish them all to be so short. I just think it all depends on the type of humor the Brains are putting forth.

    Anyway 5 Stars! One of the best if not THE best from Season 6, and one of my top faves as well. Next week is the famous (or is it infamous) Nummy Muffin Coocol Butter episode!

       4 likes

  7. fatbarkeep says:

    “Park Harpel. That’s Canadien English!”
    One of the first episodes I ever saw and still a favorite.
    Perfect cheese for MST.
    And I really really really would love to see George Romero’s “Casey at the bat”

       4 likes

  8. Professor Gunther says:

    #157: is “Canadien” American English, or are you a Habs fan? :-)

       2 likes

  9. Yipe Striper says:

    Hey!

       4 likes

  10. Droppo says:

    I adore this episode. 5 stars from Droppo despite frustratingly brief and subpar host segments.

    The movie and riffing is just too good to deny this a 5 star rating.

    I love the Penguin-voiced detective most. They couldn’t have done enough Adam West/Tim Burton riffs for me. Shawn Levy’s hateful performance is perfectly eviscerated. Mikl-Thor…..I mean, just brilliant.

    Hank Peters, Italian grocer.

    It’s just all so good.

    Thank you MST3K and Zombie Nightmare for….ah, you know the rest.

       7 likes

  11. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Blame Canada!

       1 likes

  12. Sitting Duck says:

    Zombie Nightmare fails the Bechdel Test. The only females who converse with each other are the Voodoo Lady and Louise, and they talk exclusively about the zombification of Tony.

    Mike’s subversion of the voodoo doll has what might be considered a Joel-like vibe to it. His using it to prank Dr. F. though is more traditionally Mike-esque.

    Similarly, the final host segment also has a Joel era feel to it. What I’m saying is that any claims that a particular tone is exclusive to certain hosts is at best misleading.

    Do you think that “Head!” thing was planned? After so many accidental beheadings of Tom, it nice to think they did this one on purpose.

    Probably not. But it worked with the tone of the host segment, so no real need to reshoot.

    @ #42: IIRC the Voodoo priestess did explain to the mom that the zombification wouldn’t actually bring her son back.

    @ #71: I’ll ask again. Did you ever learn if it was just a superhero fetish gone horribly wrong, or something more unsavory?

    Kali #139: Servo (as Molly): Oh, is your Batmobile in the shop?
    Crow (as Adam): Shut up!

    Best. Batjoke. Ever.

    And even better after Rifftrax did that Batman serial.

    @ #154: Perhaps she hadn’t gotten her full voodoo priestess credentials yet.

       6 likes

  13. MSTie says:

    Well, since my comment four years ago, I’ve come to love this episode even more. What can I say, the Canadian ones speak to my “true north, wild and free” heart, eh?

    From Adam West, gleefully chewing the scenery (literally, if you count that cigar) to Jon-Mikl Thor, ZN is right up there with Wahr-wilf when I need an episode I know will make me laugh. Besides, after suffering through JMT’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare on Rifftrax, ZN looks practically Oscar-worthy.

    I love how Adam West was able to laugh at this movie and his role later in the Turkey Day marathon. Does anyone else enjoy actors’ performances more when you know that they know it was totally crappy and can laugh at it?

       9 likes

  14. Michael Howe says:

    Anyone ever notice that the town this film takes place in, is quite corrupt and dangerous? I’m often surprised there aren’t curfews in place.

    I find this one like “Village of the Giants,” to be rather surprising, in that it has an actor who went on to become a pretty famous producer/director, in this case, Shawn Levy. He had a hand in the success of “Stranger Things” recently (and directed a few of the episodes). In fact, during one ep, one teen throws a ‘what are you looking at’ moment/tantrum, that made me wonder if Levy had a hand in really directing.

    One also has to wonder how many widowed/grieving Moms would consider voodoo-fying their son as a means of revenge.

       2 likes

  15. E - just E says:

    Oh no! I failed the Bechdel Test too! Can I retake it next semester?

       6 likes

  16. tinaw says:

    This is one of the good episodes. I love Adam West’s unapologetic scene-chewing. That’s 1) what he’s good at, 2) what he’s known for and 3) what they pay him for. I’m glad he didn’t try to water it down. It’s the best part of the movie. That and the ME who was only funny because the voice and the ridiculous dialogue combined into accidental hilarity.

    I have a question though: When I made notes for this episode I mentioned the song – the one with the girl singing – was playing in the after work night club. Isn’t that Tia Carrere singing? I always assumed it was, because she sings in Wayne’s World, and it certainly sounds like her. I thought they put her in the movie because she worked on the soundtrack.

    My favorite riff (as of right now): “I don’t WANNA feel again the worm!” I’ll watch this again tonight, and maybe I’ll have a different fav riff. That’s the beauty of permanent access.

       6 likes

  17. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    This movie is awful, cheesy, stupid, confusing, and poorly acted, so of course it’s perfect for riffing, and M&tBs do not disappoint. It’s chock-full of riffing goodness.

    “She’s hiding behind A WINDOW!” One of my favorite Crow riffs – I always love it when he becomes exasperated with the movie.

       6 likes

  18. Lisa H. says:

    MSTie:
    Well, since my comment four years ago, I’ve come to love this episode even more.What can I say, the Canadian ones speak to my “true north, wild and free” heart, eh?

    Strong and free, I suppose you mean, eh?

    This is absolutely among my favorite episodes. No idea how many times I’ve watched it.

    “Heheh, I like the *ting* sound!”

       4 likes

  19. Atorgo says:

    Michael Howe:
    Anyone ever notice that the town this film takes place in, is quite corrupt and dangerous? I’m often surprised there aren’t curfews in place.

    I find this one like “Village of the Giants,” to be rather surprising, in that it has an actor who went on to become a pretty famous producer/director, in this case, Shawn Levy. He had a hand in the success of “Stranger Things” recently (and directed a few of the episodes). In fact, during one ep, one teen throws a ‘what are you looking at’ moment/tantrum, that made me wonder if Levy had a hand in really directing.

    One also has to wonder how many widowed/grieving Moms would consider voodoo-fying their son as a means of revenge.

    Don’t forget Timothy Van Patten, another actor who became a successful producer/director.

       1 likes

  20. MSTie says:

    Lisa H.: Strong and free, I suppose you mean, eh?

    This is absolutely among my favorite episodes. No idea how many times I’ve watched it.

    “Heheh, I like the *ting* sound!”

    OMG, I am unworthy to be Canadian. Or Canadienne. Justin Trudeau, pardonnez-moi! (In my weak defense, when I typed that this morning I was still coffee-deprived.) Oh well, still love this episode, in all its ’80s glory.

       4 likes

  21. Ian L. says:

    Adam West is the best part of this episode. I especially love the moment when he first appears: “What’s THIS?!… Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah dadadadadadadada…”

    Also: “HEY!”

       3 likes

  22. Ned Raggett says:

    Had missed that Shawn Levy detail all these years. Dean Devlin and himself should star in a terrible buddy-buddy cop movie.

    Great episode, insanely stupid in all the right ways movie, etc. etc. Nothing to add there that hasn’t already been said!

    Best thing ever about Jon-Mikl Thor — an old favorite record store of mine in (‘the’) OC used to have a huge poster of this album cover somewhere in the back, I think inside the restroom. Appropriate:

    http://www.metal-archives.com/images/4/2/9/0/4290.jpg?1828

       5 likes

  23. Sitting Duck says:

    E – just E:
    Oh no!I failed the Bechdel Test too! Can I retake it next semester?

    Sure. But if you blow it again, I’m afraid it’ll be permanently on your GPA. And you really can’t afford that. :pain:

       7 likes

  24. Ray Dunakin says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes. The movie is reasonably watchable (compared to a lot of the stuff on MST3K), and is also incredibly goofy, and it has Adam West, and it has an “Italian grocer” straight out of Central Casting who is inexplicably name “Hank Peters”, and a side character with a ridiculous voice, AND it’s Canadian, so there’s just an abundance of prime riffing material.

    The movie is apparently supposed to take place in a city large enough to have a sizable police force full of jaded, “seen it all” cops. Yet everybody in the movie seems to know everyone else. The two random guys who help Mr. Peters know both him and the dead guy’s mom, plus they know the guy who provides the “blood from a live animal”.

    And what is the deal with nobody calling the police or an ambulance to report the hit/run? They just assume Tony is dead and haul his body home to his mom??? And then SHE calls the neighborhood voodoo lady instead of the cops??? LOL!!

    To top it all off, the main investigator is a guy who looks barely older than the teens, and instead of downplaying his youthfulness, they have him refer to the dead dad (who looks to be about 40) as an “old guy”.

    I also have fond memories of seeing this in a theater with a couple hundred other MSTies when they were doing the Cheese Tour.

       4 likes

  25. Ian L. says:

    “Threw some meat loaf at my mom this morning.”

       5 likes

  26. Into The Void says:

    Saint Vitus-Zombie Hunger
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ydj7jKff2So

    :yes:

       2 likes

  27. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    DarkGrandmaofDeath: “She’s hiding behind A WINDOW!” One of my favorite Crow riffs – I always love it when he becomes exasperated with the movie.

    “Don’t use the EXIT”

       4 likes

  28. Doug says:

    The really amazing thing is that this is the good Jon-Mikl Thor movie. He’s made far worse than this, as anyone who’s viewed the Rifftrax VOD of Rock’n’Roll Nightmare can attest.

       7 likes

  29. littleaimishboy says:

    “Jim” sure looks & acts like he’s modeled after Brian Setzer in a circa 1981 Stray Cats video, doncha think?

       3 likes

  30. Thomas K. Dye says:

    tinaw: I have a question though: When I made notes for this episode I mentioned the song – the one with the girl singing – was playing in the after work night club.Isn’t that Tia Carrere singing?I always assumed it was, because she sings in Wayne’s World, and it certainly sounds like her.I thought they put her in the movie because she worked on the soundtrack.

    Read #132… it’s a singer named “Pantera,” a protege of Jon Mikl-Thor, singing “Midnite Man.” Listen carefully and you can hear the title sung over and over.

       1 likes

  31. thequietman says:

    Well, his hair’s bouncin’ and behavin’!

    I didn’t see this episode in full until Shout released it and it was love at first sight. Despite the fact that they had to cut some stuff out of the film, I wonder if the host segments were cut down as much as possible in order to leave as much of the remaining movie in as possible. If so, it was completely worth it!

    Fave riffs
    Voodoo lady: He will be in a state between life and death.
    Crow: There may be some discharge…

    Crow: Not the Twist and Cream!!
    Servo: No, that’s ‘creme’

       3 likes

  32. Ray Dunakin says:

    “It takes a man to wear Farrah Fawcett hair.”

       4 likes

  33. Rice off Peeples says:

    I’ve always thought that the strange medical examiner was Eugene Levy in disguise!!!

       3 likes

  34. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Terry the Sensitive Knight: “Don’t use the EXIT”

    Sure, easy enough to mock when YOU’RE not the one who’s in terror for your life who’s gonna die who’s gonna die who’s gonna die, when YOU’RE not the one in a state of total panic and shock, when YOU’RE not the one whose romantic interest was just *murdered* before your very eyes by a frickin’ ZOMBIE.

    A little *empathy*, people? Sheesh.

       1 likes

  35. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Yipe Striper:
    Hey!

    Your pardon, but I lack the cultural referents for the joke. ;-)

       1 likes

  36. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    John Seavey:

    2) The grave at the end is Jon Mikl-Thor’s dad. (“He’s husky.”) The idea is that even though the son’s revenge spell ended when his killers died, the dad was right there and was reanimated to take revenge on his killer. (Of course, why didn’t she do that at any time in the last decade or two?)

    Well, did anyone ask?

    Oddly enough, the notion of a murder victim rising as an unstoppable zombie intent on nothing but killing his/her murderer is one of the major tenets of zombiedom in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels, the author of which I for some reason suspect has never had occasion to watch “Zombie Nightmare.” ;-)

    I find the Anita Blake novels to be reasonably entertaining but if anyone here hates them, please don’t expect me to rise to their defense. Everybody’s got their deal.

       1 likes

  37. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    (this is supposed to replace an earlier similar post that I didn’t get quite right, and which I don’t know if anyone saw before it was removed or whatever or not)

    DarkGrandmaofDeath: “She’s hiding behind A WINDOW!”
    Terry the Sensitive Knight: “Don’t use the EXIT”

    Sure, easy enough to mock when YOU’RE not the one who’s in terror for your life who’s gonna die who’s gonna die who’s gonna die, when YOU’RE not the one in a state of total panic and shock, when YOU’RE not the one whose romantic interest was just *murdered* before your very eyes by a frickin’ ZOMBIE.

    A little *empathy*, people? Sheesh.

    Or to look at it from a different perspective, just think of how many people in real life do totally idiotic things even when they’re not terrified. Human beings frequently do very stupid things again and again and again. That’s what sets us apart from the animals, who at least learn from their mistakes. ;-)

       1 likes

  38. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    My most recent post was yesterday and it’s presently today, so I’m posting again despite there being no posts from anyone else in the interim. I’m untamed, I am.

    >>>Michael Howe: Anyone ever notice that the town this film takes place in, is quite corrupt and dangerous? I’m often surprised there aren’t curfews in place.

    Uh, curfews enforced by whom? The corrupt and dangerous police officers? Wouldn’t curfews imply some form of law & order at work? Wouldn’t curfews mean fewer random citizens to brutalize?

    >>>Ray Dunakin: it has an “Italian grocer” straight out of Central Casting who is inexplicably name “Hank Peters”

    What’s inexplicable about that? Where does anybody’s last name come from? Maybe his great-great-great-[et cetera-]grandmother married a guy named “Peters,” who was the only non-Italian in Mr. Peters’ ancestry. Yet that man was Mr. Peters’ DIRECT ancestor, his paternal great-great-great-[et cetera-]grandfather, so of course he bears the same name. EASY.

    >>>Ray Dunakin: The movie is apparently supposed to take place in a city large enough to have a sizable police force full of jaded, “seen it all” cops. Yet everybody in the movie seems to know everyone else. The two random guys who help Mr. Peters know both him and the dead guy’s mom, plus they know the guy who provides the “blood from a live animal”.

    There *are* such things as neighborhoods within large cities, y’know. It’s not unprecedented for everyone to know everyone else in a *neighborhood*. Yea, verily, one of the great wisdom sources of our era has, indeed, advised us to make sure to know “who are the people in [our] neighborhood, in [our] neighborhood, in [our] neigh-bor-hood…The people that [we] meet, when [we’re] walking down the street…the people that [we] meet each daaaaaaaaaaaay.” A la peanut butter sandwiches, A la peanut butter sandwiches…

    >>>Ray Dunakin: And what is the deal with nobody calling the police or an ambulance to report the hit/run? They just assume Tony is dead and haul his body home to his mom??? And then SHE calls the neighborhood voodoo lady instead of the cops???

    The cops are corrupt, remember? And Tony was just “one of them” (whatever Jimbo or one of his cronies meant when saying that; was he supposed to be a member of some sort of minority?).

    Were the cops going to supernaturally zero in on the [accidental] killers whose faces no one saw? Oh, I Don’t Think So.

    >>>Ray Dunakin: To top it all off, the main investigator is a guy who looks barely older than the teens, and instead of downplaying his youthfulness, they have him refer to the dead dad (who looks to be about 40) as an “old guy”.

    Actually, he called the guy “an old man.” Which, really, seems to me to be a worse thing to be called than “an old guy.” “Old man” sounds so much more…concrete. So I’m not disputing anything here, I’m just being nitpicky. ;-)

    Besides, isn’t it a nice change to see an actor who’s too young to be a police detective instead of actors who are too old to be high school students?

       2 likes

  39. JeremyR says:

    Strictly speaking, someone who comes back from the dead to avenge his murder is a “revenant”, not a zombie..

       3 likes

  40. Cornjob says:

    I thought of bringing up the revenant/zombie distinction, but I thought the term was too obscure. Maybe DeCaprio changed that. I think that revenants are self reanimating which makes Tony a zombie but the guy who crawls out of his grave at the end a revenant. Always call before digging.

       1 likes

  41. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    My apologies. I was unclear. :-|

    In the Anita Blake novels, Zombies AFAIK don’t under any circumstances rise from the grave on their own.

    I think it might be mostly a quick-and-easy explanation for why people who can raise zombies (necromancers) don’t get Zombies to track down their own murderers (’cause it’s, y’know, generally considered a good idea to apprehend murderers): Because such a Zombie will incidentally destroy and kill anything and anyone who happens to be BETWEEN the Zombie and the murderer.

    Zombies who weren’t murdered, upon rising, retain their personalities and can carry on conversations and so on (the series has a whole set of How To Raise Zombies rules that I’m declining to look up). Murder victim Zombies are near-unstoppable engines of destruction, period. Obviously, the problem would be if a necromancer resurrected a Zombie who was THOUGHT to have died in an accident but who was IN FACT murdered.

    *IF* I were going to make any recommendations about the Anita Blake novels, I’d recommend starting with the early ones; after the first ten or so, things like plot and characterization start becoming secondary to sex SEX sex SEX S*E*X. That is, of course, the author’s prerogative.

       2 likes

  42. schippers says:

    Regarding the movie, I’ve always thought it was a very odd choice for the big-haired psycho kid to get killed off relatively early. Dramatically speaking, it would make more sense for him to be the last bad guy standing (I suppose Adam West’s character is the real “last bad guy standing,” but you know what I mean).

       4 likes

  43. new cornjob says:

    “reverants vs. zombies” – i’d never even heard of the term used before, but makes sense! just to sort out’cher zombie-problems lol. makes sense – that explains why “the crow” isn’t perceived (or presented) as a zombie.

    reminds me of an old question i’ve thought about (probably others have blogged a thousand pages already on this) – is frankenstein(‘s monster!) a zombie? or dracula? i suppose “the mummy” is… (“the creature from the black lagoon” is “only” a monster, and for that matter, the wolfman is only a part-time monster!)

    ah oh – as far as “this week, on a very special episode of mst3k” lol… if it had a few more musical numbers and a little less raping, lol it could’ve been an alternate version of “ace hits the big time” (look it up! ;0) – as far as my eighties late-night cable exposure, this flick comes up so sub-par to my own personal proclivities, it doesn’t even achieve an “alien from l.a.” level of “fun”… though the crew does their best to make it fun. i’ve tried a number of times to keep paying attention to this one, but it just doesn’t hold up for me – dunno quite why!

    it tries so hard to be metal, and no disparaging much the soundtrack – i think the movie is culturally a little too “pre-85” instead of “post-85”, if ya know what i mean. (glances back up at the movie release date; guess it was 86, so that makes sense!) it’s a pretty bland flick man… there’s like only three locations; the crisp’n’creme, the witch’s burning pile of tires, and the interiors of unphotogenic small houses and school hallways and such. eh, you’d think makin’ a movie, they’d scout harder for locations!

       0 likes

  44. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #193: Dracula is explicitly a vampire. As for the Frankenstein’s Monster, I’d peg him as a magitek golem.

       0 likes

  45. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    My most recent post was yesterday and it’s presently today, so I’m posting again despite there being no posts from anyone else in the interim. I’m untamed, I am.

    >>>Michael Howe: Anyone ever notice that the town this film takes place in, is quite corrupt and dangerous? I’m often surprised there aren’t curfews in place.

    Uh, curfews enforced by whom? The corrupt and dangerous police officers? Wouldn’t curfews imply some form of law & order at work? Wouldn’t curfews mean fewer random citizens to brutalize?

    >>>Ray Dunakin: it has an “Italian grocer” straight out of Central Casting who is inexplicably name “Hank Peters”

    What’s inexplicable about that? Where does anybody’s last name come from? Maybe his great-great-great-[et cetera-]grandmother married a guy named “Peters,” who was the only non-Italian in Mr. Peters’ ancestry. Yet that man was Mr. Peters’ DIRECT ancestor, his paternal great-great-great-[et cetera-]grandfather, so of course he bears the same name. EASY.

    >>>Ray Dunakin: The movie is apparently supposed to take place in a city large enough to have a sizable police force full of jaded, “seen it all” cops. Yet everybody in the movie seems to know everyone else. The two random guys who help Mr. Peters know both him and the dead guy’s mom, plus they know the guy who provides the “blood from a live animal”.

    There *are* such things as neighborhoods within large cities, y’know. It’s not unprecedented for everyone to know everyone else in a *neighborhood*. Yea, verily, one of the great wisdom sources of our era has, indeed, advised us to make sure to know “who are the people in [our] neighborhood, in [our] neighborhood, in [our] neigh-bor-hood…The people that [we] meet, when [we’re] walking down the street…the people that [we] meet each daaaaaaaaaaaay.” A la peanut butter sandwiches, A la peanut butter sandwiches…

    >>>Ray Dunakin: And what is the deal with nobody calling the police or an ambulance to report the hit/run? They just assume Tony is dead and haul his body home to his mom??? And then SHE calls the neighborhood voodoo lady instead of the cops???

    The cops are corrupt, remember? And Tony was just “one of them” (whatever Jimbo or one of his cronies meant when saying that; was he supposed to be a member of some sort of minority?).

    Were the cops going to supernaturally zero in on the [accidental] killers whose faces no one saw? Oh, I Don’t Think So.

    >>>Ray Dunakin: To top it all off, the main investigator is a guy who looks barely older than the teens, and instead of downplaying his youthfulness, they have him refer to the dead dad (who looks to be about 40) as an “old guy”.

    Actually, he called the guy “an old man.” Which, really, seems to me to be a worse thing to be called than “an old guy.” “Old man” sounds so much more…concrete. So I’m not disputing anything here, I’m just being nitpicky.

    Besides, isn’t it a nice change to see an actor who’s too young to be a police detective instead of actors who are too old to be high school students?

    old man
    noun
    noun: old man; noun: one’s old man; plural noun: one’s old men; noun: oldman

    1.
    informal
    a person’s father, husband, or boyfriend.

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  46. Cornjob says:

    A Revenant is animated by a need to avenge it’s death or finish an uncompleted task. They also retain their personalities unlike zombies. And most revenants de-animate once their compelling task is completed.

    Vampires are sometimes called revenants, but vampires drink blood, are sired by other vampires and are susceptible to supernatural weaknesses (like water and crosses), and have supernatural powers (like turning into mist and hypnotism) that your Crow type revenant doesn’t have.

    Mummies can seem like bandage wrapped zombies or revenants, but are typicly associated with Egyptian (or possibly Central/South American) magic and burial practices.

    Frankenstein’s monster is special for being a uniquely created scientifically animated composite golem-like creature. It’s personality makes it somewhat revenant like, but it did not self-animate because of an unfinished task. Yes, I think about this crap way too much.

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  47. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Michael Howe:

    One also has to wonder how many widowed/grieving Moms would consider voodoo-fying their son as a means of revenge.

    You say that as if it would somehow be unlikely. Many mothers will do anything for their children. Anything.

    When you think about it (“So don’t think about it.”), the Friday the 13th franchise started out as an exact reversal of this scenario. In Friday the 13th (1980), Pamela Voorhees is (at least in her own mind) taking revenge for her son Jason’s death. In Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), JASON is (at least, maybe, in his own mind) returning the compliment.

    variations (i.e. not necessarily mother avenging son)

    Sugar Hill (1974)
    Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981)
    Deadly Friend (1986)
    The Majorettes (1987) non-supernatural but IMHO interesting
    Monstrosity (1987)
    Pumpkinhead (1988)
    Hellgate (1989)
    Pet Sematary II (1992)
    Boy Eats Girl (2005)

    I know that there are more but, well, what are you, paying me for my services? ;-)

    In revenge films, it’s sometimes pointed out that, no matter how much vengeance has been wreaked, it doesn’t bring back the deceased loved one. Except in this case, it kind of actually did.

    I’m guessing that the spell didn’t allow much latitude, since a more straightforward (and much rarer) approach would be to heck with revenge, just GIVE ME BACK MY SON. So he’s chalk-white and non-verbal and maybe even mentally limited (we shouldn’t just presume that he suffers from decomposure, though). He’s her SON, she’s his MOTHER, she unconditionally loves him no matter what. I mean, ideally.

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  48. Gary says:

    John Seavey:
    A couple of things I actually liked about the plot that never really got made clear by the film-makers:

    1) The guy that the cops arrest as a patsy for the teen killings is the same guy Jon Mikl-Thor beats up in the convenience store robbery sequence. It’s a subtle gag that suggests he wasn’t even tough enough to take on the real killer even before the real killer became zombified.

    2) The grave at the end is Jon Mikl-Thor’s dad. (“He’s husky.”) The idea is that even though the son’s revenge spell ended when his killers died, the dad was right there and was reanimated to take revenge on his killer. (Of course, why didn’t she do that at any time in the last decade or two?)

    3) This one always puzzled me: The coroner comments that he’s utterly unmoved by Jim’s death, even though he’d known the family for years, because the kid was a bad seed and a disgrace to his father. Then, when Jim’s father dies, the coroner is utterly unmoved by that too. Is that the film-makers forgetting that the coroner was supposed to know the guy, or is it meant to be a commentary on the coroner’s utterly jaded nature?

    Wait, Jim’s father dies? I don’t remember that part.

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  49. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    I’d perhaps dig up (a-heh) more similar vengeance films, but now that the next review page is up, I doubt anyone will come back in here. Shrug.

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  50. bad wolf says:

    @192 true that.
    @198 i think he was the guy getting into his car after talking to Adam West on the phone?
    And thanks to #154 John Seavey for answering some other nagging questions… I guess i’ll have to bite the bullet and check out the unriffed version on Youtube, this one got edited so heavily it’s a bit frustrating.

    I think part of the problem is the lack of a protagonist or POV character–the cop seems the closest but he doesn’t show up until halfway thru the movie! So who is–the zombie? Anyway leaves the film feeling pretty choppy imho.

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