©2008 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
Every right imaginable is reserved.


This week:
28 Weeks Later

Filthy says:
"Bad teeth are crunchy."

I think everyone in touch with reality like me--that is anyone else who listens to a lot of late night, crackpot AM radio--knows the end of the world is coming, and it's gonna be fucking brutal. We're going to die gruesome deaths, and the world will crumble into decay, with mountains of dead bodies on street corners, flooded houses full of bloating corpses, shit and piss gurgling up from every orifice of the earth.

The horrid end comes to mind whenever I'm in the men's room at the Tavern. I also think about what Worm's shit smells like, but mostly I think about the end. I guess those ten square feet are my evangelical church, although I'm not as convinced that I'll be part of the Rapture, or that there's going to be nearly enough porn in heaven for everyone. I mean, we're talking about a shitload of people with a long unfulfilled need for anal dildo action.

28 Weeks Later preys on these thoughts. Well, not the one about anal dildo action. Hell, if it did it would have easily scored another finger. As it is, the only nudity is of a middle-aged mother getting hosed down by the military. I know there are fetishists into that. What do those guys call them? MILTHD? It ain't my scene, though. Get her hosed down by people in plush animal costumes and, again, another finger. That's not how this movie works.

28 Weeks Later is the sequel to 28 Days Later. In the first movie, England is attacked by a virus that turns its victims into flesh-eating zombies. Not slow zombies, but the fast-running, single-minded kind. They are sort of like sharks, except with arms and legs, and bad skin, and bloodshot eyes. Oh, and they're on land. So, more like the Harelip than sharks. Eventually, they take over England, leaving it more desolate and decayed than it already is. The current movie picks up where the last left off. A few survivors hole up in a country cottage not unlike a Thomas Kincaid painting, except for all the blood and the boarded-up windows. Of course, the zombies finally make it out of the cities and get around to eating the hillbillies. That includes a couple who had sent their kids to America for a visit just before the outbreak. When the zombies start to chomping, the chicken husband (Robert Carlyle) ditches his wife and leaves her to be gobbled up.

Now, six months later, England's worst nightmare has come true: the U.S. has taken the job of cleaning up the mess and repopulating the country. Nation-building, I believe it's called. And I hear we are really fucking terrible at it. Anyway, the child (and England still thinks of us that way) must now take care of the sick old parent. And we're gonna put that fucker in the crappiest rest home we can find. A small zone of the country is deemed okay for living in, and Carlyle has a prominent role in running it. His children return from the States and he tells them some bullshit about he tried to save their mother.

The kids, I guess being kids, immediately ditch the safe zone to visit their old home and, surprise, surprise, find their mother. decrepit, filthy and blood-soaked living in squalor in its attic. Talk about deja vu; that's exactly how we found my grandmother the summer I turned twelve. Turns out, she's immune to the virus. She's a carrier, so if she spits on you, you're fucked. But she doesn't get sick and eat brains. The US military brings her back into the safe zone and, of course, she infects someone. From there, it's like a Clairol commercial: she kisses her estranged husband and he bites two friends, and they bite two friends, and so on and so on, until the US is in so deep they just have to try to kill everyone, infected or not.

The themes and big issues that the movie sets up are pretty much dumped in the toilet at this time. It becomes an exercise in body counts and blood, formulaic stuff about a small group trying to defy odds and escape before the military kills everyone. Thousands are shot, streets are firebombed, zombies bite shitloads of people, nobody puts a dildo up her ass.

I suppose the gore and zombie shit is done well. I mean, the film is all grainy and the scenes are made up of toms of fuzzy jump cuts. They clearly spent a fucking fortune on blood and locations because the action covers a huge swath of London. including stadiums, business centers and Underground tunnels.

The shame is that it's all so damn standard. There is no zombie attack we haven't seen before. It's action-packed for sure, but not in any way that really made me do more than wonder if the dildos would show up.

Maybe someone chickened out on making this a commentary on military action and overreaction, or on the role of the US as a nation-builder that burns everything to the ground so they can start over. They also chickened out on a chance to point out how easily England would roll over. But, hell, political commentary isn't my thing. I just think its stupid to set up a premise and then puss out.

More disappointing is how quickly 28 Weeks Later drops the family tension among the cowardly father, his children who learn the truth about him and the mother who forgives him too easily. Once the story is set up, the father gets infected and then he just seems to be a bogey, popping up at convenient times to chase his kids around. The conflict the kids must feel doesn't deepen or resolve because they're too damn busy running away.

28 Weeks Later could have been great, I guess. It started out looking for meaning and depth, to be different and have impact. In the end, though, it was just a lot of scrambling around, trying not to die. Sort of like life, I guess. Three Fingers.



Shawn Edwards of Fox

Georgia Rule is "Wonderful! The surprise of the summer. A heartfelt and touching film. Jane Fonda is exceptional. Lindsay Lohan's prerformance is phenomenal. Felicity Huffman continues to prove her brilliance as one of today's best actresses."

Filthy's Reading
James Ellroy- The Cold Six Thousand

Listening to
David Bowie - The Man Who Sold the World


Out of the Past