It wasn't until I saw Quarantine, the American remake of the Spanish-made [REC], that I became aware of this Spanish-made series of horror movies. Most of them I have seen on Netflix, so if you want to watch any of them, Netflix is probably your best bet to find them. As I understand it, the first two (or perhaps three) were composed of found-footage, which, if you read my blog regularly, you know I despise. Luckily, this one wasn't. [REC] is the continuing story of what is essentially the start of a viral-zombie outbreak.
[REC] 4: Apocalipsis (Apocalypse) picks up the story of Angela, TV reporter extraordinaire, who was the star of the first film. The events in all four movies are supposedly occurring around the same time, or shortly afterwards. Angela is rescued from the quarantined building full of zombies that she nearly died in, and ends up aboard a ship at sea. Also aboard the ship are a dotty old woman from the wedding party in one of the previous films (rec 2, or maybe 3), and the pair of soldiers / SWAT guys who rescued Angela. Needless to say, the entire ship is quarantined, and there are soldiers and scientists trying to find an antidote for the virus. Unfortunately, to find an antidote, you know they have to have a sample of the virus. And where there's a sample, there's a risk of infection! And then... all hell breaks loose. Yea. It always does.
I thought this movie was pretty good. Everything was in Spanish, of course, because this was a Spanish-made horror flick, but the subtitles on Netflix were adequate enough to read while watching the movie. I read some reviews on Netflix that said this movie wasn't as good as the first two in the series, and the sole reason they gave was because it wasn't composed entirely of found footage, which I think is ridiculous. Found footage may be an attempt to put you "in" the movie, but if the movie isn't done well enough to draw you into it in the first place, it doesn't matter how they arrange the footage. I'd much rather see a well-done film with good views of everything important that goes on with the story, than a cheaply made film that gives you dark screens and random sound effects from off-camera, meant to simulate something horrible happening. No matter how well they do the sound effects, anyone watching the found footage just wants someone to pick up the damn camera, and point it at what's going on, so we can see. Let's face it, vision is our most important sense, and if we can't see what's going on, then we're literally in the dark.
There's no nudity in this film, but there are monsters. Viral-made zombies tend to pop out from every dark corner, and then come running at the good guys, like bad zombies are supposed to do. The acting seemed pretty decent. Angela may not have any nude scenes, but she is fairly good looking eye-candy, and the rest of the cast isn't necessarily butt-ugly. However, this is not a cast of characters that would look at home on the set of Beverly Hills 90210. Angela is pretty much the only female cast member except for the dotty old grandma (who plays her part well, I might add), so if you were looking for blondes or nudity, you won't find any here. What you will find is a fair amount of suspense, gore, and some decent edge-of-your-seat zombie chase scenes while they explain exactly wtf is going on with these multiple outbreaks of zombie-ism, which I found refreshing. Having an explanation for the last four films is always nice, and they left it wide open for film number five, so I expect another one in a few years. There was also a lot of shooting, which is normal for a zombie flick. I mean, you have to kill the zombies somehow, right? Right.
[REC] 4: Apocalipsis is new on Netflix, so it will probably be there a while. As far as I can tell, they've made Quarantine 1 and 2, so I have no idea if Hollywood is planning to make an Americanized version of [REC] 3 or 4 yet. the first movie is set in an apartment building, the second one is set in an airport, the third one is at a wedding, and the fourth one (this one) was set on a cargo ship at sea. It will be interesting where they plan to set the next one. Hopefully, it won't be set in my mom's basement. Frankly, I've always found it a little creepy down there. Adding vicious, killer zombies would just make it difficult to go down there and fetch pork chops out of the freezer, to say the least. There's already spiders down there the size of bowling balls.
In other news, David Letterman is still retiring on May 20th. I may be kind of beating a dead horse here, but I've been watching the guy do talk shows since I was 12, so forgive me for wondering who the hell I am going to get my celebrity fix from, once he retires. Who else is going to randomly insult people like George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger? Nobody, that's who! Who else is Drew Barrymore going to flash her boobs to? Me, I hope! I mean, uh, nobody, that's who! Who the hell else could get away with having a thing for Julia Roberts and not have it be creepy with the vast age difference? Yea, nobody I know!
I can't even recall heading to work at my last two jobs without waking up to my radio station replaying Letterman's top ten list from the previous night's show. Even after my hours changed, I usually caught it on the way to work, and there's nothing quite like the sun being out in the summertime, driving to a stressful cubicle farm where you know you're going to spend the entire sunny day indoors, being yelled at by angry customers, and having David Letterman read off the top ten list from the previous night's show to perk up your day. I'm sure people thought I was probably crazy, laughing at my radio with the windows down while I was on my way to work, and maybe I was, but dammit, David was enough to get me through my day. Now who's going to get me through my day? Who, I ask you? Nobody, that's who!
For all that I am making a big fuss of Letterman's last shows, and would have watched more of them if I could have, I didn't even know Jay Leno had retired from the Tonight Show. Apparently, he's been gone for years now, and in fact, had come out of retirement to re-host the Tonight Show, twice. I just found that out a few weeks ago. The only show of Leno's I remember watching was when Halle Berry had her nipple-slip, and if female nudity can't get me to open my eyes and pay attention, then you best put me in my coffin, because I'm dead already.
Tomorrow night, David has Bill Murray as his final guest (who was also Dave's very first guest), and then who the hell knows what he'll do on Wednesday night for his last show. After that, I've heard he's going to be spending more time with his family, which sounds like fun. Man, what I wouldn't give to be making 32 million a year, and then retire to spend more time with my wife and kid. And I don't even have a wife and kid yet. Or the 32 million a year, come to think of it. I don't even have 32 dollars. :-/
That's all for this fine evening. If there's something else happening in the world of entertainment, I don't care what it is. I'm too bummed about Dave leaving. I hope to see you all back here next weekend, with hopefully another horror movie review. I mean, maybe I'll have a horror movie review, not that you guys will. If you guys are doing my reviews for me, then I'm probably doing something wrong. Or, something right. Hmmm.
Also, I hope everyone likes the new color theme and format. It's more spring and summer-y, and reminds me to mow the lawn every time I look at it. :-D