Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Thoughts On The Dead Island Trailer


For the past week or so, the gaming world has seemingly been up to it’s knees in news AKA dick-sucking festivals regarding the announcement trailer of a new videogame titled Dead Island.

Developed by the Polish studio, Techland; and incorporating first-person, open world play mechanics, married with some RPG elements, Dead Island is nothing if not an ambitious undertaking.

I suppose it’s also worth noting that the game has been in development for over 5 years at this point.

Curiously enough, a quick look at Techland’s portfolio of games reveals that the vast majority of their products were racing games, with notable exceptions being the first-person action/adventure games of the Chrome and Call of Juarez series.

While I haven’t played either of the Chrome games, from what I’ve read and been told, the Call of Juarez series has been consistently good, but unfortunately; not great.

That being said, I’m not here to speculate on how Dead Island will or won’t succeed, rather I’m just here to lend a few of my thoughts regarding it’s much hyped/publicized trailer.

In short, I found the trailer to be both clever, and technically impressive.

And this is coming from someone who regards zombie games/movies/TV shows/muffins as being overplayed these days.

Taking advantage of it’s brief running time, the trailer is effectively, and cleverly arranged in such a way as to reach out to it’s viewers on a visceral level in the form of showing us a dead kid, while playing out it’s content in ultra-smooth reverse motion.

While it might sound, um, “wrong” of me, I’ve always felt that kids should be fair game in movies.

Seriously man, nothing pisses me off more than watching a movie and getting that nagging feeling that some kid was spared getting his head torn off just because some producer or PR guy felt it would hurt ticket sales.

Thank you Feast, for killing a child. With considerable zeal, no less.

Tangents aside, my point is that the trailer does a good job of working from a short running, while managing to tell a very complete story despite itself.

Curiously enough, said story, that of a family going on an island vacation only to be killed by rampaging zombies; (or is that, be killed by rampaging zombies only to end up going on vacation?) feels largely familiar despite very likely being unique.

This most likely stems from visual and tonal similarities to other, pre-existing films.

Case in point, the theme of having an “innocent” child turn against her family as a result of becoming a zombie is something we’ve seen in many other zombie stories, most notably the original Night of the Living Dead, as well as the opening sequence of the Dawn of the Dead remake.

I know there are very likely a billion other zombie films that utilized this plot element, however I haven’t seen them, most likely won’t ever see them, and sure as hell don’t need you posting some fatty complaint about how I failed to represent them on this blog.

It’s not often I take opportunities to say “fuck you” to whoever might be reading this blog, however consider this my way of saying just that to all the zombie-whores/hipsters across the globe.

*Ahem!* All tangents aside, let’s get back to talking about stuff that reminds me of other stuff.

It’s a minor element, but the “found footage” segment at the end of the trailer seems to bears some resemblance to the closing moments of Cloverfield.

A quick Google search also reveals that some people believe the whole trailer bears some resemblance to a Coldplay music video as well, but at this point I’m done being an ass, so don’t expect me write about that, let alone even watch the fuckin’ Coldplay video to confirm the validity of said claim.

Coldplay and the Azn Badger…. Let’s just say they don’t mix…

Such resemblances to pre-existing shit throughout the trailer may in fact be intentional on the part of the production crew, however that doesn’t change the fact that I found the home video portion of the trailer to be more than a little extraneous.

I get it, they’re a family.

It’s sad that they’re dead.

You don’t have to spell it out for me.

On a side note, the minimalist piano score of the Dead Island trailer deserves just as much credit as it’s animators, as it manages to hit all the right notes, making for an experience that feels much more genuine than it likely should.

Make no mistake, the Azn Badger is not one to get emotional over a trailer for a fuckin’ zombie videogame, however I tip my hat to the production team, as despite the core concept of the game they were working from, they did a pretty swell job of balancing the fun and serious in this clip.

Did I really just use the word “swell” in a sentence?

Anyway, I think I’ve just about run out of steam on this one.

It’s a neat trailer, worth checking out if you’re into digital art, videogames, or *sigh,* zombies.

I don’t see why it’s success was deemed significant enough at this point to dictate a purchase of the Dead Island movie rights, long before the game has even debuted; however such is the arcane world of business and marketing.

Anyway, thanks for reading!

 

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The Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies, #6: Bonnie and Clyde

#6 on our Best Overkills in Movies list, is what we call a “gimme.”

That is, something that is a given; something that is so obvious that it’s pretty much obligatory to the subject matter.

Bonnie and Clyde is well documented as a game changer in Hollywood cinema, setting a precedent with it’s graphic, flamboyant, and borderline pornographic portrayal of violence, as well as it’s rapid-fire editing style.

You see, in 1967, bullet hits and violence were generally staged in a very theatrical fashion I.E. man mimes getting shot, clutches side in agony and falls down after doing a silly dance.

Kind of like this, but with guns:

Unlike most other films of the time, Bonnie and Clyde employed extensive use of squibs for it’s bullet hits, greatly enhancing their visual and dramatic impact in the process.

Take for example this squib hit from Total Recall:

While I haven’t personally seen Bonnie and Clyde, I’ve been shown it’s historical overkill sequence numerous times, usually in school of all places.

Anyway, that’s enough film school bullshit, let’s make with the overkill:

CLICK HERE FOR CLIP

The setup couldn’t be more classic.

Basically, we have the pair of bank robbers taking a leisurely drive down a country road, celebrating Clyde’s impotence, you know; the usual.

Behold, Warren Beatty being a hipster-doofus with his one-eyed sunglasses.

Anyway, eventually they run across an old man changing the tires of his truck on the side of the road.

I’d just like to take this moment to point out that this particular old man has a habit of nervously twitching and looking off into the nearby foliage every couple of seconds.

Never trust the elderly...

Hmm, I wonder; why on Earth would a seemingly inconspicuous old man act like this?

Surely not because the cops paid him off to help them lure Bonnie and Clyde into a overkill death trap…

Of course that’s why, dumbass.

Anyway, upstanding crazy-as-fuck citizens that they are, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker decide to pull over and lend the old man a hand.

"Oh it's no trouble sir, I'm just eatin' my apple, wearin' my one-eyed shades, fuckin' my girlfriend, and fleeing from the police, all at once. It's not like I'm not busy or anything."

Pretty much as soon as Clyde hops out of the truck, leaving Bonnie to sit alone; some crazy shit starts goin’ down.

The old man’s eye twitches!

Goddamnit, I told you not to trust him!

A flock of birds fly out from the bushes!

Hmm, now why would they do that?...

Bonnie smiles!

"DURR!! BIRDIES!!!?"

Clyde laughs!

"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine, I.E. make Dick Tracy and a shit ton of money..."

Bonnie gives Clyde a last second “fuck me” glance!

"Do me Clyde. Do me HARD..."

"NOW? Really?...

And then shit goes from choppily edited craziness, to insanely brutal OVERKILL craziness…

Virtually unseen from their sniping positions in the bushes, the police open up on Bonnie and Clyde with one helluva’ Ultra Combo of gunfire.

Yes, those would in fact be entry wounds in his face. A LOT of them.

Unfortunately, neither Bonnie nor Clyde remember the command inputs required to execute a C-C-C-Combo Breaker, thusly resulting in their grisly demises at the hands of a few hundred bullets.

Good girl. Keep that wheel steady...

Seriously, when it comes to, literally; “painting” a target with gunfire, these cops get an “A.”

Needless to say, Bonnie, Clyde, and their sweet-ass truck are torn to ribbons, with Clyde getting sprayed so bad he ends up being spun around on the ground like a dog trying to cure a nasty itch.

"Just a little bit to the right guys. Yeah! That's the spot..."

In all, we are treated to just over 20 SECONDS STRAIGHT of Great Depression era overkill savagery.

Do the math son, 20 seconds is a motherfuckin’ eternity when it comes to simply showing 2 people get shot.

...Or when showing a lady get a wood splinter shoved into her eyeball.

While hardly creative, or even all that graphic by today’s standards, Bonnie and Clyde’s climactic overkill sequence is well remembered as a revolutionary moment in film history.

Why then, with all this overkill savagery; and all these pimpin’ credential is Bonnie and Clyde ranked so low on the Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies?

Because this is my fuckin’ list, that’s why.

Like I said, while I respect the legacy attached to the film, I haven’t even seen it, so honestly you should be happy this one even made the list.

Besides, this is supposed to be a list of the BEST Overkills in Movies, not the bloodiest, or the most famous; the BEST.

Ah c'mon, you knew I had to stick this in somewhere...

That being said, Bonnie and Clyde sits atop the bottom 5 on our list, and trust me; once you’ve seen the top 5, you’ll think twice about questioning my judgment…

Seriously, good shit’s to come.

Stay tuned.

Filed under: Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Tribute to the Greatness that is Donnie Yen: Part IV – The Real Donnie Yen

A funny thing happened in the 2000’s.

Jackie Chan got old.

Jet Li was tied up doing movies with rappers.

Guess who stepped forward into the spotlight?

Close, but not quite.

That’s right, Donnie Yen, and he was bringing the sexy back!

2005 marked the first collaboration between Donnie Yen and Bio Zombie director Wilson Yip.

The film was called Sha Po Lang, (S.P.L.) and it kicked some serious ass.

See that baton? It's goin' right up your ass.

In the late-90’s one of my brother’s videophile friends screened for me a laser disc of John Woo’s The Killer.

With Jackie Chan having just become the next big thing in the states with the domestic release of Rumble in the Bronx, the climate was just right for me to get into Hong Kong cop and robber movies.

Needless to say, Tiger Cage, Hard Boiled and Beast Cops were old hat in my book by the time I was in high school.

SPL was a throwback to the Hong Kong “hard boiled cop” movies of the 80’s and 90’s, and it accomplished what very few Donnie Yen films had done before it.

With a star studded cast including the likes of Sammo Hung and Simon Yam, SPL presented us with an emotional and dramatic story, populated with characters we cared about, and did it all with a smaller than expected dose of action.

However nobody said that what fighting was there wasn’t some of the best of Mr. Yen’s career.

This brutal fight, between Donnie Yen and, then, up-and-comer Wu Jing, is what I proudly refer to as “The Best Weapon-Based Fight Scene of All Time.”

No fooling, I’ve watched it dozens of times and I’ve never once felt any doubt in my sentiments.

I love how you can read the intent behind every move in the fight just by looking at the intensity in both men’s facial expressions.

I love how the pace of the choreography has a natural and realistic sense of progression and crescendo to it.

I love the energy of the camera work and how it darts in and out like a fencer on the sidelines, hinting to us the perceived openings in each man’s guard from each fighter’s perspective.

I love this movie, and I’m glad it was the one that finally introduced me to the real Donnie Yen.

It was well worth the wait.

Check back for “Part V – All Hail Emperor Yen!”

Filed under: Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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