A couple young village slackers are being lectured to by a religious elder when in mid sentence the old fellow keels over and dies. Not long afterwards the same thing occurs with another elder. Their bodies are laid out but mysteriously disappear and the village goes into frantic mode – among them a couple good looking girls, the slackers wannabe musicians (played I think by some pop stars), a hard of hearing gentleman and a clearly gay fellow where the old term limp wrist is very literal and who runs in circles when he is scared. It is that kind of movie. Sure enough the old men become Zombies as do many of the other village people and the ones who are still alive board themselves up in a small meeting hall and try to fend them off. The Zombies are decked out in badly painted white faces and one fellow screams out Alice Cooper when he first spots one. The Zombies form a union of fellowship and promise not to smoke because it is bad for the health but that eating human brains is not. There is a DVD out there but as far as I can tell it has no English subtitles; I was able to watch a screener.
Now that could not be said for a remake of The Lady Vanishes that I came across while looking for the original at the Brooklyn Library. This version was made in 1979 by Hammer Studios and stars Elliot Gould, Cybill Shepherd, Angela Lansbury and Herbert Lom. That’s a pretty good cast for a film that I bet not many people knew existed – but for good reason. Talk about taking a classic movie and making all the wrong choices from Elliot basically doing his usual deadpan shtick to Cybill screeching from beginning to end and the very inept Nazis. Most of the plot points stay the same but it is simply awful. The only good thing to perhaps come out of it is that the producers of the TV series Moonlighting saw it and were wowed by Cybill and her braless dress and thought she would be perfect for her role in that! Just a by the way since this Blog has a literary hint to it - The 39 Steps was also based on a novel of the same title by John Buchan and his chracter Richard Hannay was in a series of five adventures by Buchan that are quite out of date now but still fun to read
Sorry for having nothing much to say about Asian film this go-around but hopefully I can get back to the pictures and a film or two very soon – have Pinky and Aaron on deck.