Quiet Beginnings

I like to think that the end of the world will come, not with a bang, but with bird song.

You’ll be walking along, doing your own thing, when you’ll notice that a creeping quiet has descended upon you. Where’s the dull roar of distant traffic? Where’s the thrumming of planes in the sky? When did all the clatter stop?

You’ll look up from your little slice of life and notice you are – quite suddenly – alone in a great empty world, with only the soft sparrow-chirping in the treetops to comfort you.


Cockneys v Zombies

Oh, you knew it was just a matter of time! Looky there, Avenger and Bond Girl (and overdue for GGSA Idol status) Honor Blackman stars with stalwart Richard Briers and the legendary Alan Ford — and a bunch of young folks — in the latest zombie apocalypse with a twist and a few guffaws. You can bet the Apocalypse Gals will be there!

Cockneys v Zombies: the trailer (h/t to Lochee for the heads up!)



~Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

Abed: The Film

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

What would you do to keep your family alive?

We tend to think of the zombie apocalypse with pyrotechnics, unspooling in the crowded streets of big cities with ample armed forces in place to protect the citizens from the ravening hordes (at least at first). But what happens off in the periphery where people are left to their own devices?

From Familiar Productions LLC, director Ryan Lieske brings to life a gruesome little tale from acclaimed horror writer (and super-nice person) Elizabeth Massie. Abed offers a unique angle on the zombie narrative, one that focuses the horror on the human costs. In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that some of the folks involved in the film are friends and I was part of the Indiegogo project that funded its filming (and thus get a thanks along with all the funders in the credits). I think this will become more common as projects go direct to their potential audiences for funding and cut out the middle men.

For a film with a shoestring budget, it looks awfully good. There’s a texture and palette to the visuals that lends richness to the story. The acting is mostly quite natural and convincing, especially stars Rachel Finan (Meggie) and Daniel E. Falicki (Quint) who carry the film by providing its heart. I found Mama, played by Vicki Deshaw-Fairman, a little too mannered at times, but not distractingly so. There was an extra level of creepiness for me because it was filmed near where I grew up, so the familiarity of the landscape and accents made the story even more uncanny. Great make-up and art direction. The music by Tom Ashton enhances the atmosphere without ever overwhelming it.

I’ve watched a lot of horror films and find it rare to actually feel horror while watching one: Abed will fill you with horror. Like a lot of Massie’s tales it’s not initially the “in your face” kind, but subtly creeping up until you wonder how things got so bad. This is a truly unsettling story; not for everyone! Lieske and crew have done a wonderful job at bringing the story to life. You invest in the characters and believe in the lengths people will go to for the ones that they love. You’ll shudder. This film will stay with you. Well done.

It’s going to be making the rounds of festivals, so with luck news soon about distribution. Drop by their Facebook page for updates.

Buy the original story for 99¢

Jonesy Badge Winner: Anne Billson

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

The GGSApocalypse Girls are happy to award the Jonesy Merit Badge to Anne Billson for various contributions to cat-kind, not least of which her blog celebrating moggies in movies, “Cats on Film”, but in particular for her retelling of Alien from the point of view of the most important personage on board the Nostromo.

Jones the Cat, of course!

Get Anne’s “My Day by Jones: The Cat’s Eye View of Alien” for 99¢ over at Smashwords or Amazon. Here’s the blurb: Remember Jones, the ginger cat from the 1979 movie Alien? Of course you do. If you ever wondered what the events of the film looked like from his angle, here – at last – is a short story that gives you the cat’s-eye view. And if you never gave it any thought… well, maybe it’s time you did. Because you know what cats are like. 

It’s hilarious to read Jones’ description of life with the “can-openers” and the sudden arrival of a new creature on the ship expressed in decidedly feline terms. The ebook also contains a teaser chapter of Suckers, Billson’s satirical vampire novel. Also be sure to check out the various collections of Billson’s writing on film including reviews and her column from the Guardian. See her blog for details.

Congratulations on your Jonesy, because we know you’d always go back for the cat!

Don’t forget to add your suggestions for those worthy of winning GGSA merit badges and get your sashes at the ready!

UPDATE: Jonesy now featured at Bleeding Cool! Well done, Billson.

The Ultimate Fantasy Weapon

Taking a break from the ANOS (apocalypses not otherwise specified) I thought I’d take a moment to showcase what would come top of my list of ‘desirable but not necessarily real weaponry’.

Ladies (and of course gentlemen) I present to you: The Chainsaw Katana

This is the ultimate weapon of choice for the discerning zombie slayer. It has everything a slayer might need – a high-powered, many toothed electric chainsaw and the cutting ability and reach of the elegantly deadly katana.

This picture is from a brilliant and insane apocalyptic Japanese movie called HellDriver. I leave you with its superb and rather mind boggling trailer. This may be the bloodiest, most bizarre movie I have ever seen.

In other words I highly recommend it.

All Hail The Queen!

Apocalypse Girls of the world unite because the queen of the zompoc is almost back!

With only a few months to wait until the full movie, here, for your educational entertainment is the trailer for the next chapter in the Chronicles of Alice.

We give you – Resident Evil: Retribution…

Vambi & Stumper: Disney goes post-apocalyptic

We all know the world of Disney animation is lovely. It’s where Sleeping Beauty finds her Prince Charming; where Hans Christian Andersen gets a child-friendly makeover, complete with singing crab and undersea orchestra.
What happens when the apocalypse hits?
The oceans will be the first to suffer. Ariel will look helplessly on as Sebastian, poisoned by irradiated seaweed, slowly loses his mind and turns on his friends. Yes. Even Flounder. Especially Flounder.
On the ground, the wind carries the nuclear fallout across the land. The woodlands die. Bambi turns cannibal, and together he and Thumper hunt down the smaller forest creatures. They show no mercy.
Beast becomes rabid, and for the safety of the kingdom he must be kept chained up at all times. Meanwhile, in the castle courtyard, Belle builds a bonfire of the books which have failed to help her find a cure for her beloved.
Lightning McQueen and his Cars buddies fare no better. The oil wells are burning and fuel shortages have left them stranded; exhausted and parched. As he creeps closer to his best friend, Mater manages to croak out the words: “Miss…. Sally…” before his headlights go dark for the last time.
With the world in turmoil, the search for new power sources has claimed 7 victims. While working a new mine-shaft–deeper than ever before–Snow White’s miner friends uncovered a pocket of gas. By the time they stumbled back to the surface, Sneezy was showing the first signs of infection: sores, a shuffling gait, a green tinge to his skin and an unhealthy interest in brains. Doc was, predictably, the first to be eaten. In despair, Snow White attempted to bring him back to life (using the necromantic skills she learned at her stepmother’s feet as a child) but… well, let’s just say she didn’t live happily ever after.
Even the Disneyverse isn’t immune to the end of the world.
Call us twisted, but we’re not the only ones who’ve considered this. Check out Julia Segal’s amazing Tumblr of Zombie Disney Princesses or this (actually quite creepy) line-up of Disney-zombie cosplayers
There’s also David Gray’s Reuters photos which have been doing the rounds online of the deserted “fake Disneyland” in China, abandoned part-way through construction, one of which we’ve used to head up this piece. If that doesn’t give you the chills, you’re made of sterner stuff than we are.
Now, tell us if you dare… what’s your favourite Disney apocalypse scenario? Who bites it (or whom) and how?
—Daystar out—

Know Your Idols #18: Charly Baltimore

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

You wake up in suburbia but something tells you it might not be where you belong. You can’t remember the rest of your life and you settle into being a teacher and a mom and bake for the PTA. Then one day you discover a brilliant skill with knives. You’re a chef!

Oh, wait — you’re not. You’re a killer.

Geena Davis’s turn as Charly Baltimore in The Long Kiss Goodnight offers an excellent role model for the post-apocalyptic woman (Davis herself is no slouch as a role model, too). See her trade witticisms with Samuel L. Jackson, survive torture and Craig Bierko. Charly kicks, shoots, knifes, skates, loves her husband and daughter and drinks vodka neat. Brava.

And the film is great fun, too. Consider it part of your holiday training.

Movie Week – Shaun of the Dead

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

When the zombie apocalypse comes, will you be caught with a Cornetto stuck in your mouth? 2004’s Shaun of the Dead offers a hard-hitting look at the average wage slave’s preparation for game-changing mayhem.

The picture was not pretty.

Nonetheless, the titular character managed to survive despite his lack of preparedness through the fortuitous discovery of some important survival rules. Viz.:

1) Choose your team with care — okay, sure it included a lot of dead weight (best friend Ed) and annoying negativity (whiny David) as well as the dangerously injured and vunberable (his mum),  but let’s face it: when it comes to survival, you need some ‘broken wings’ to draw the fire.

2) Blend in — nothing helps you slip past innumerable hordes of shambling undead like the ability to mimic their lifeless stumble. A numbing job in retail can be your best training ground to ape the listless movements and dead-like expression of the revenants, although there is much to be said for factory work as well.

3) Surround yourself with sports equipment — this is helpful especially if you don’t actually play sports of any kind. While it may be encouraged to participate in athletic games and maintain a healthy lifestyle, this type of preparation may also lead to unhealthy levels of confidence and risk. Those who know themselves to be less well prepared and woefully out of shape maintain a reasonable level of doubt as to risky undertakings, leaving the heroics to those wearing their team jackets.

4) Trust the pub — The others pooh-poohed him, viewers doubted but in the end, Shaun was right. The pub was the right choice. Know your pub. Study it well. Get to know the owners and their possible assets (e.g. Winchesters). Make sure there are few enough entrances to control entry, but make sure they also have enough food to tide you over until the first break in the hostilities. A grocer’s or corner shop next door is definitely a plus — so is another pub (or in my case three, plus five more around the square).

Just stay away from the fruit machine!

Movie Week – The Core

(posted by Daystar)

You know how, some days, you wake up and the Earth’s core has stopped spinning, condemning everyone on the planet to certain death within a year?
Yeah. Don’t you just hate that?
What you need is a sensitive-yet-brilliant geologist (Aaron Eckhart), a sensitive-yet-brilliant pilot (Hilary Swank) and a decidedly insensitive-but-brilliant egomaniac scientist (Stanley Tucci) to jump-start the planet with a nuclear bomb delivered directly to its core in a laser-powered ship built of unobtanium.
And an unlimited supply of Hot Pockets.
A film so exceptionally apocalypse-centric that it decided to throw all the rules of science out of the window (when last seen, they had settled into a steady geosynchronous orbit somewhere over Miami), this one is all about the set-pieces.
When Rome’s exploding and the Golden Gate Bridge melts, you know things have got bad…
—Daystar out—