Sunday, March 30, 2008

Amy Reads the Week (of March 30th, 2008)

It has been a week of horror, Gentle Reader, both in the literal and metaphorical sense. Academically, I'm drowning, drowning, drowning, and pop culturally, I'm seeing The End Of The World. That is to say, I finished through volume 7 of The Walking Dead, and Mr. Reads and I watched Stephen King's The Mist.

As I have confessed to you before, Most Constant of Readers, I have a weakness for the Zombie-geddon, the Apocalypse (we've all been there, no?), the low-budget and high-budget horror movie and book. A decade ago, when This Humble Author wore a lot of flowy dark garments and wrote a plethora of bad poetry, I was inclined toward the Vampire Story. Now, some ten-odd years later, I find myself fascinated by the Zombie.

Not, of course, the Zombie itself, because as far as monsters go, it is a rather shambling shuffling travesty at that. No, it is the Zombie Tale, because it always, always has to do with the Death of the Living rather than the Living Dead. So, too, do Apocalypse Tales, like the cinematic version of Mr. King's novella, have to do more with the scariness, the awfulness, of Us. We are always the scarier monster, are we not? And when things get bad, we get So Much Worse.

Ultimately, I found The Mist to be an Utter Failure. The last five minutes betrayed the ninety before, and there were Serious Problems throughout. I have not read Mr. King's novella, but Mr. Reads has, and he assures me that, as in most things, the book vastly outweighs the movie.

But so many items in my pop culture lately deal with The End Of The World, and perhaps I am drawn to these things because I am reaching The End Of My Student Life. Yes, that is right, Friends. This Humble Author plans to defend her dissertation in the next few months and graduate, Ph.D. in hand, come August. Is it no wonder, then, that over the past few months, I have found myself drawn (or re-drawn) to things like Stephen King's The Mist, Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead, Steve Niles's 30 Days of Night, Max Brooks's World War Z, Brian K. Vaughan's Y the Last Man, and even more symbolic EndDays Tales, like Joss Whedon's Angel and Buffy continuations, Gail Simone's Welcome to Tranquility, Grant Morrison's All Star Superman? Astonishing X-Men, too, recalls The End Of The World, as does the recently ended television show Jericho.

Any suggestions, Friends, on Tales of the EndDays?

To counter all of this death, to make the world more rainbow, rainbow, rainbow! (gratitude, Ms. Bishop), I have just replanted all of our plants, including the peppers, rosemary, mint, and tomatoes we bought last weekend. Let us hope I can bring our Cuban Oregano back to life, Gentle Reader, because I truly feel guilty over its demise!

5 comments:

Scott said...

Hmm...

Shaun of the Dead
Hulk: The End

That's all I've got, I'm afraid. Not really my genre.

skullduggery said...

The Mist is probably my favorite Stephen King story.
I have to admit that the movie wasn't the disappointment I thought it would be. I went in with low expectations so it wasn't all that difficult to exceed them. I was curious what they were going to do with the ending (since the ending of the novella doesn't work all that well for your typical movie). I wasn't actually surprised by what they did.
It certainly wasn't a great movie by any means ... but I found it passable at least (nothing that I'd ever sit down and watch again though).

If you're in a zombie mood, I would suggest my favorite zombie movie of all time.
The American release is titled (conveniently enough) Zombie (it is known under the title Zombi 2 in Europe since they were trying to capitalize on the popularity of the European version of Dawn of the Dead -- which was released under the title Zombi).
It was directed by noted Italian horror master Lucio Fulci. I'm a big fan of Italian horror movies (Dario Argento is one of my favorite film makers -- you should check out some of his work if you've never seen any of his films before).

Amy Reads said...

Hi Scott,
Hmm...

Shaun of the Dead
Hulk: The End


Shaun of the Dead is a Great Favorite in Chez Reads, but I've not encountered Hulk: The End. Are you a fan of the Hulk, generally?

That's all I've got, I'm afraid. Not really my genre.

No worries :) Thanks for the suggestions!
Ciao,
Amy

Amy Reads said...

Hi Skullduggery,
The Mist is probably my favorite Stephen King story.

Story-wise, it's "Apt Pupil." Novel-wise, it's either Hearts in Atlantis or Wizards and Glass.
I *adore* Mr. King.

I have to admit that the movie wasn't the disappointment I thought it would be. I went in with low expectations so it wasn't all that difficult to exceed them. I was curious what they were going to do with the ending (since the ending of the novella doesn't work all that well for your typical movie). I wasn't actually surprised by what they did.

I wasn't disappointed, because as a horror movie, it completely succeeded. Mr. Reads and I were Very Uncomfortable throughout it, a sure sign of a successful horror film!

It certainly wasn't a great movie by any means ... but I found it passable at least (nothing that I'd ever sit down and watch again though).

I feel as if the last five minutes betrayed the 90 before, truly. There was something so insincere about the ending. Something so very *mean* in a movie that felt as if it were arguing *against* meanness.

If you're in a zombie mood, I would suggest my favorite zombie movie of all time.
The American release is titled (conveniently enough) Zombie (it is known under the title Zombi 2 in Europe since they were trying to capitalize on the popularity of the European version of Dawn of the Dead -- which was released under the title Zombi).


I will Most Certainly check it out! Speaking of Zombies, have you read World War Z?

It was directed by noted Italian horror master Lucio Fulci. I'm a big fan of Italian horror movies (Dario Argento is one of my favorite film makers -- you should check out some of his work if you've never seen any of his films before).

I think I've seen some Masters of Horrors by him, but let me check IMDB. I've seen Pelts and Jenifer, and, of course, Suspiria, which I confess I didn't like.
Ciao,
Amy

NoelCT said...

I thought MIST was a very good film ... up until the ending. While I can see it being a bold choice, I don't think the director adequately brought the characters to the mindset required to take such an action.

If you want an "End of the World" tale, you can't top NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. It starts as a somewhat typical (albeit well made) anime series with teens piloting giant robots against monsters, but the director gradually works in these wonderfully complex psychological layers. Then, half way along, something happened and the director threw out the set storyline. He takes it in some brilliantly insane directions, literally tearing the characters' psyches to pieces before bringing it to a quiet conclusion. It was then followed by the film END OF EVANGELION, a scifi interpretation of Book of Revelations, which is one of the most complex, visually stunning films I've ever seen. Check out the trailer.