By Johnny Apocalypse
Horror movies always seem to follow trends. The last few years it's been zombies, before that it was vampires, and before that it was something else that I can't remember. Sadly, I get sick and tired of the big trends in horror movies long before everyone else does. They've put out so many damn zombie movies in the last few years that if I see another one I'm going to puke. I'm still sick of vampires, so that won't solve anything either. And vampires fighting werewolves got old after the first "Underworld" movie.
Something I hear from my fellow movie buffs all the time, is that Hollywood is out of ideas. They base this on the fact that so many of the movies coming out are re-makes or movies based upon old TV shows. But it goes further than that; they're out of stories too. As much as I enjoyed "Taken", I'll be the first to admit that it's far from an original story. Bad guys screw with tough guy's family and pay the price. "Taken" worked so well because they simply did as good of a job telling the story as you really can. Beyond that, it's an old, used story.
This is more true than ever with horror movies. The first zombie craze started in 1968, with the release of the original "Night of the Living Dead". This led to two sequels, a quasi-parody (Return of the Living Dead), and a bunch of other zombie-related nonsense (I hear that the Italian-made zombie movies of the time are pretty gruesome). I'm not sure when this initial zombie fest ended, largely because I'm not doing any research for this article, but it was re-introduced when the "Dawn of the Dead" remake and the "Resident Evil" film series became popular.
Since then, there's been another outbreak of zombie films, video games, books and god knows what else. The term "zombie apocalypse" has become popularized, and the government even posted a joke web page about preparing for a zombie attack. Frankly, this has gotten out of hand, and Hollywood needs to move on.
And what the hell is so special about zombies, anyway? They walk around and eat people. Occasionally they run, stumble and moan, but in the end it's just walking and eating people. You know what else walks around and eats people? Lions. Why not a horror movie about that? Or a tiger? That's be pretty entertaining, just watching an evil tiger eat people for an hour and a half. How about bears? Bears can be pretty scary. We can even rip off "Night of the Living Dead", with some people stranded in a cabin in the forests, under siege by tons of hungry bears. Call it "Night of the Pissed Off Bears" or something. I'd definitely watch that.
But maybe resorting to animals wouldn't help the horror movies. Maybe what we need to do is make a completely new horror movie monster. No more vampires, werewolves, blobs, mummies, self-driving cars or zombies. Something completely original and unheard of.
I consider myself a man of ideas. Maybe they're not always great ideas, but for horror movies? No sweat. Whipping up some new crazy monster to attack the earth shouldn't be a problem at all.
Idea 1: Sun monsters! Little known to mankind, the sun is actually a sentient being, and it's angry that humans stopped worshipping it as a god centuries ago. To enact it's revenge, it unleashes a coronal flare that, upon reaching Earth, breaks up into eight-foot-tall humanoids of flaming plasma. It's up to mankind (led by Nicholas Cage) to stop the sun monsters and save the world!
Okay, that's kind of stupid. Let's see, better idea, better idea.
Idea 2: The Paper Man! One night, while working late at the paper mill, employee Stuart Lester accidentally falls into a vat of wood pulp. Emerging to find that his entire body is now made of paper, Stuart becomes a crazed maniac and goes on a killing spree, slaughtering his victims with hundreds of paper cuts! It's up to Detective Roy Pine to stop the paper man before the town is torn apart!
Well, that's a bit more promising. With the right director it might just be watchable. Maybe.
No fear, I've saved the best for last! I like this idea so much, I'm going to copyright it. I could definitely make a winning horror movie from.
Idea 3: "Attack of the Stick Figures"! A young child's unusual power animates his simple drawings. Initially scientists are intrigued, but when the drawings start to leave the pages, chaos breaks loose! The stick figures are on the run, and killing everyone in their path!
I think that the Stick Figures idea could really make a pretty decent movie, as long as it's tongue-in-cheek. But take it too seriously and the movie will fall apart. But some decent special effects and the right director, I think it could definitely be a winner. Have a scene or two emphasizing how hard it is to shoot the stick figures because they're rail-thin. Seriously, this could work.
Sadly I don't think my words here will stop the zombie movie craze any time soon. I'm pretty much going to be stuck with my current method of dealing with the fad, mostly ignoring it.
The only thing I really care about with zombies anymore is the possibility of an actual zombie apocalypse. I seriously don't see what the big problem is, or why people would freak out. All it really means is "free target practice". What's not to like? No more trips to the gun range, no shelling out fees to get a lane, no silly range safety rules (shooting from the hip not allowed my ass!) If anything, I think we should encourage the actual zombie apocalypse. Zombies are better in real life then they are in movies.
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