Thursday, October 15, 2009

Zombie!!! (Not the Cranberries' Song! lol)

Its 6:00 am on a Friday morning, June, 2030.

Dawn has just broke, as you can see and feel the sun coming in through the windows of the store your currently held up in, and you've been there for 3 weeks now. You've managed to sneak out everyday to the nearby gun shop, and have managed to slowly bring back all the supplies to your current stronghold at the mall. They're everywhere, but for some unknown reason, they seem not to sense your presence. You have another 2 weeks worth of fresh food and water, hopefully by then, the rescue teams have come and saved you. Maybe not. Due to the animals being turned, as well as mass amounts of humans, there is no way to get fresh food, and all you have is what's still fresh from before, and the already expired food. The water may not be safe to drink, except for what's bottled, but the air seems ok, as you haven't turned yet. Not only have the living turned, but it's brought back the previously, long dead as well.

What do you do? What caused it? Why did it happen? Can it ever truly happen in reality?

It may seem very far fetched and very unimportant, but it may be as close to happening now more than ever. With all the growing tension in the middle east, the rising problems with N. Korea, all the new technology being developed for surgeries, and cures for illness and disease, it seems more imminent than ever that this could be a totally plausible, foreseeable danger.

Lets look at some possible ways that this could happen:

Possibility #1: Brain parasites

Parasites can seem like a fairly common thing encountered in everyday medicine and health, as more than half the human population is at any moment, infected with some sort of mostly harmless parasite. Things like lice, tape worm, ring worm, parasitic bacteria and round worm. But there are more rare, deadly, mind altering and fast spreading parasites. Take Primary Amoebic Meningoencephilatis (PAM). This is a parasite that enters the nasal passage in fresh water when exposed to the nose, and heads straight for the brain and nervous system. Side effects include: nausea, vomiting, headache, delirium, seizures, respiratory failure and/or an irreversible coma which can ultimately lead to certain death. Or Malaria, which is caused by mosquito bites and infected water sources. It enters your body and travels through your blood stream. Side effects include: fever, vomiting, anemia, convulsions, joint stiffening, inter cranial pressure, abnormal posturing, brain damage and possible death. Lets take one more, Toxoplasma gondii. This little sucker infects mostly cats, but can, and will infect anything that moves. It can enter through pretty much anywhere on your body, but works faster through straight up ingestion (Undercooked or uncooked meat). Its been known to alter the minds of rats, mice, cats and infected humans, so much so, that it can make the host inflict severe bodily harm to it self, make the host suicidal, and cause them to loose all thought.

Imagine if a renegade terrorist sect or Militant opposition country were to manage to combine those three things together, and spread it though the food, water and oxygen supply? Zombie City. Population: Earth.

Possibility #2: Nano Technology/Neurogenesis (Is that anything like a Sega Genesis?lol)

With the other reason left for discussion in this blog post, this one may, or to some may not, seem way too far fetched, but people have already used nano technology (Nanobots) to test on dead tissue with amazing results. People at the University of Nebraska have already created a thing called a "cellborg", a mechanical device in which living bacteria is being assimilated, and integrated into an electronic circuit, which is used as a humidity gauge to keep dead tissue alive until total decomposition (2 days in the tests on very small samples). Also, Trinity University are working on a nanobot, that can actually attach itself to the brain, and the central nervous system, which can re-wire and fix damaged or missing neural pathways, which can ultimately re-wire your thoughts anyway it wants. They also have a working prototype that can control the hosts limbs, organs and brain for up to 27 days after complete heart and brain failure (death) or to complete decomposition and disintegration of tissue (Which ever comes first). Labs have already been testing stem cell neurogenesis on coma patience's brains, and it shows steady reanimation and new growth of damaged and missing brain cells. The nanobot(s) can also be programmed to self replicate, and be transferred from host to host at the will of the nanobot in order for the nanobot to survive (As it can't survive without the host, so it needs to transfer to stay alive) .

Now imagine dear old grandma, who's just died, up walking around and craving brains. Pretty picture ain't it?

Last possibility to be discussed here: Rage inducing poison/virus

This has been in public/common knowledge now for some time, but not as you'd think. Its most commonly called Mad Cow disease, as its most prevalent in the bovine species, but can also affect humans as well (By ingestion of infected beef). When this happens its called Creutzfeldt-Jakobs Disease. A rare, but serious brain disease/disorder caused by the same virus as Mad Cow. It attacks the spinal cord, and brain, causing massive damage along the way. It can change the way you walk, the way you speak, cause hallucinations, eliminate your coordination, cause your muscles to jerk and twitch, cause seizures and rapidly developing delirium and dementia. Rabies works the the same way. Caused by an animal bite from an infected species, it attacks the brain and the central nervous system. Symptoms include flu like symptoms, partial paralysis, cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, insomnia, agitation, confusion, aggression, paranoia, terror, hallucinations, delirium and death as soon as 2 days after showing of symptoms. Note both diseases are notoriously highly contagious.

Visualize the nanobots with the brain parasites merged to them burrowing under ground and merging with the dead. Now imagine that those nanobots and parasites are infected with the diseases from the animals and people they came from, and now you have walking, angry hoards of dead. Not good.

So, overall, when push comes to shove, what will happen first? The so-called 2012 end of the world, or a zombie apocalypse? I'd say the zombie apocalypse. Too many signs point to it to not be some sort of imminent danger. Whether through terrorist attack, war, a homicidal Dictator or a failed vaccine/cure gone wrong, there is more factual, proven evidence that this could actually happen, than there is the end of the world in 2012. So when you see someone just stumbling down your street, covered in blood, moaning, aim for the head, and run like heck!! (Joke. Don't actually do that)

Cited sources:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A New Nightmare: My Thoughts on the A Nightmare on Elm St. Remake due in 2010

On November 9th 1987, the world gave witness to the birth of one of the most brutal, charismatic, and frightening killers that the film world has ever concocted and thrown on the big screen. The man with the razor hand and Christmas sweater, Freddy Krueger.

In horror, there are many characters synonymous with the genre such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, Jason Voorhees, Damien Thorn and Chucky, but none are more sly, cold, calculating and entertaining than Freddy himself. Portrayed by actor Robert Englund, and directed by Wes Craven, the A Nightmare on Elm St. series spawned 8 movies, one classic character and became one of the most successful horror franchises in history.

Fred Krueger, a child killer from Springwood OH, was burned alive in his own home by an angry mob of parents who had had enough of his murderous killing spree. On the verge of death, the dream demons come to him and grant him the power to invade dreams and twist them to his advantage in order to continue his rampage. Over the course of 8 films he managed to not only reach kill numbers in the middle triple digits, but cement himself as a classic villain, and cornerstone of horror.

Now lets bring it to the present. After a lackluster addition to the series (Freddy vs Jason) in 2003, which I saw on opening night, and now own on DVD, I thought good, lets put his to rest with some dignity. After a lull in the genre for the next 5 years which saw some pretty bad remakes (Amityville, TCM, Black Christmas, The Hills Have Eyes, Friday The 13th, etc...), on January 29th, 2008 Platinum Dunes announced that they were picking up the option for a A Nightmare on Elm St. remake.

Now here it comes. My opinion on the remake.

I'm not a huge fan of remakes, as first, why not try and further the story and add something new, instead of just remaking someone else's movie, and secondly, although some do work out ok, most IMO, suck. But upon hearing this news I thought to myself, "OK, here is a movie that's a classic, one I always loved, why?" and the pondered some more. My next thoughts were optimistic though "Well, with what we can do with special effects these days, and Robert being in it, and Wes helping to steer it creatively, it must turn out decent, right?" Then sometime later Robert Englund announced that he will no longer be involved, as he is not in good enough shape for the work required, and that Wes Craven was never even approached to help mentor the film along, that's when it hit me. Michael Bay is going to kill the series I love the most.

Here are my suggestions to Platinum Dunes people in and making the movie.

First off, Michael. Please, please, please add a real story to it. I know you said it will be an origin story, but please focus on an actual, entertaining story line instead of gore, girls and a campy, half brained plot. You've ruined every remake with that philosophy, don't do it with this one. Are two of those three elements staples of the slasher genre? Yes, and I can see the tasteful addition of those, but please, I'd like to not be bored after an hour into it.

Jackie Earle Haley, I know you have some big shoes to fill, but please don't try and over do it. There are some elements to Freddy that have made him legendary, his sense of humor, his slyness, his darkness, and his overall complete scare factor. Please! By all means make him as scary as you can, but don't make him overly serious.

Platinum Dunes, please don't screw this up promotion wise and under promote. This could be the biggest horror movie in the last 10 years, or one of the biggest in history if done right. In stores, TV adds that don't give half the movie away, cross promotion in TV shows, BETTER merchandise, Metallica in the movie soundtrack (All Nightmare Long please!), special Halloween events, Hollywood Horror Nights and others. This needs to be seen, heard and thoroughly enjoyed.

All in all, this is shaping up to a decent, mediocre remake of a classic film. Will I go see it in the movie theater? Yes (Cheaper than buying it on DVD). Will I buy it when it comes out? More than likely if not to just complete the collection. Will I watch it more than once? That remains to be seen, as it depends on how the movie is. Could it become of the the most relevant, biggest, best horror movies of the last 10 years? Well, that's all up to Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes, but I believe done the right way, yes it could be.