After writing Night of the Living Dead, screenwriter John Russo parted ways with George Romero, but retained the rights to titles including Living Dead. That is why Romero’s sequels are Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead and so on. Return of the Living Dead changes many of the aspects of Romero’s Night. For instance Return had elements of comedy and dark humor, and the zombies were fast and could talk, unlike in Night. This film takes place over the course of one evening, when two warehouse workers accidentally release a virus and reanimated corpse from a military storage unit. The film then proceeds with the warehouse employees, warehouse owner, mortician next door and some teenage punks running from the zombies.
Though this film shares the same name as a Chris Farley/David Spade comedy from 1996, this is in no way like it. Black Sheep takes place in New Zealand on a sheep ranch. Some scientists have been experimenting on sheep, trying to turn them from vegetarians into carnivores. The sheep mutate into killers, and when bitten, humans turn into a half-human, half-sheep monster. It’s a crazy little film with rolling green hills and rabid white sheep.
By far the oldest film on the list, Metropolis is widely considered one of the most important and influential science-fiction films of all time. Metropolis was a German silent film, and the most expensive silent film ever made. The film takes place in an urban dystopian future where society is separated by two major classes, the wealthy socialites who live above ground and the workers who live in an underground city and keep the above metropolis powered. The actual plot involves the son of the city’s creator discovering the truth of the underworld and wants to be a mediator between the two societies. There’s also a scientist who creates a machine man to resemble a leader of the underworld that he wants to use for his own benefits. The sets and visuals are stunning with beautiful architecture in the style of art deco and contemporary art. For decades it was thought that much of the film was lost, but in 2008 an original copy was found in some museum archives in Buenos Aires. Eventually this led to a re-release of the intended version that no one had seen in several decades. This is worth watching whether you’ve seen it before or not. Metropolis was a pioneer and continues to influence science fiction today.
Last year at Comic-Con, I went to a panel for a new Japanese film company. They talked about some of their upcoming movies and told us they’d be premiering Alien Vs Ninja the next night at Comic-Con. In the afternoon the next day I found the two lead actors doing autographs and photos, so I did that. Then that evening I went to the premiere. The actors were directly behind me during the movie, and it was a fun time had by all. On my birthday this year, AvN played at the Guild. So after celebrating for a while beforehand, a bunch of us went to see it. I believe everyone enjoyed the film, which includes ninjas and a guy in a rubber suit as the alien. It’s certainly meant to be funny, not scary, though there is a bit of gore. If you love ninjas and you love aliens, then you’ll love seeing them fight each other in Alien Vs Ninja.
To keep this clean, I will simply say this film is about a girl who has teeth in a place where one shouldn’t have teeth. And those teeth do not like it when anyone (or anything) comes close to them. It is especially deadly to men, and please note that just thinking about how it is deadly to men makes me shutter.