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By Jeremy Knox | July 7, 2007

Isn’t that always the way it happens? Of the two movies I saw last night, I was 100% certain that I would have enjoyed Flight of the Living Dead more. I would even have bet money on it. The Signal seemed interesting, but I didn’t really know what to expect and the summary made me think that it would have been like “”They Came from Within” but without all the sex. Not that I didn’t want to see it or anything, I was looking forward to the showing, but it seemed the lesser of the two films.

Boy”¦ when I’m wrong it’s always a doozy and this time is no exception. The Signal is the story of a bizarre transmission that is broadcast over every TV, radio and phone on New Year’s Eve, seemingly all over the world. If someone sees it, they go crazy. Only not in the “”28 Days Later” way where they’re just mindless, screaming animals. Instead they’ll do things that seem perfectly logical and rational to them at the time, like cutting someone’s head off; but when they sit down for a refreshing cup of tea over the decapitated body the act might seem a little bit rash in hindsight. Signal takes place in a large city and is told in three chapters by three increasingly unreliable narrators; and with each new story it’s amazing to see the plot twist and turn on itself in ways that you seriously did not expect.

Flight of the Living Dead on the other hand, is big, loud and predictable. Its loads of fun, but it won’t win any awards for originality. However, everything that Snakes on a Plane promised, Flight delivers. Sam Jackson is missed, but the zombies more than make up for it. Only in a movie like this could you start giggling like a loon when the Captain says he’s retiring after this flight or when you see that one of the passengers is a nun. Also, it got me to thinking about the recent Romero inspired titles like: Flight of the Living Dead or Shawn of the Dead. Very clever, but personally I’m waiting for Gay of the Dead.

Each of the two films also had a short tagging along with it. Signal was paired with “”The Morning After”, a funny little piece about a woman facing a dilemma when she wakes up in a strange bed after a particularly wild night. It didn’t blow me away, but it’s well done and fun. There are worse ways of spending 7 minutes of your life.

The one shown before “”Flight” though, was fantastic: “”The Fifth” is about a bunch of guys playing poker whose fifth member shows up late dragging a body. Turns out he’s a serial killer. Only no one except the new guy seems disturbed in the least by this, they just wanna play poker. Rob G. Kahn, who plays the new guy, is insanely funny as he grows more and more agitated by what he sees. His reactions are priceless.

Oh, and before I log off I want to mention a movie y’all should see at the fest if you’re going. I haven’t quite finished the review but the film is so good that I don’t want to dawdle either. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you have to see “”A*s Monster”

I know”¦ I know”¦ I KNOW”¦

It’s a film made by Bill Zebub who’s not quite known around these here artistic parts for delivering high quality products. However, A*s Monster, more than makes up for anything he’s done. The dialogue is as witty and smart and clever as anything Kevin Smith wrote when he worked in Black and White. I realize what I’m saying and how it sounds, trust me. But I was really REALLY surprised at how good it was. Yeah, the acting’s a bit wonky and it starts a bit rough, but it truly is impressive despite any flaws it may have.

It’s playing on July 10th and I honestly recommend it. While I’m talking about films worth seeing, “”The Signal” plays again on the 13th and that’s totally worth going to see too.

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  1. Felix says:

    True, it won’t win awards, and it will basically be forgotten pretty quickly, but it’s still fun. I admit some of the gags were just obvious. A nun? For crying out loud.

    And I never did get the whole virus thing. They said the wife had the disease in her, so why was she alive? And then she died and got back up? How did she actually contract the virus? And how long would the walking dead be re-animated?

    Either way, I had fun. The same forgettable guilty fun I had with Snakes on a Plane.

  2. Ryan says:

    I’m very glad you enjoyed my short film, The Fifth. Thank you for the kind write-up.


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