by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares

(The Scene:  A city street, infested with zombies, shambling along aimlessly.  MICHAEL ARRUDA, in full zombie make-up, joins in on the action, while L.L. SOARES watches from the sidelines.)

MICHAEL ARRUDA (to LS):  What are you doing over there?  You’re missing all the fun.

L.L SOARES:  I’m sick of zombies!

MA:  Your loss.  Hey, didn’t we do this at a convention once? Get made up as zombies?

L.L. SOARES:  Yes we did.  But we didn’t have real zombies with us then!

MA:  Yikes!  These are real zombies?

LS:  Do you think those are actors? (points to several zombies chomping on a body, ripping out its insides and munching on intestines).

MA (grimaces):  I just lost my appetite.  (Looks at LS who has a cell phone to his ear.)  What are you doing?

LS:  I’m ordering take-out!  All this feasting is making me hungry!

MA:  Anyway, folks, welcome to our Coming Attractions column for February, that column where we preview the movies we’ll be reviewing for the coming month, and no, we’re not kicking off February with a WALKING DEAD movie.

LS:  No such luck. But speaking of THE WALKING DEAD, the TV series comes back with new episodes in February….

MA:  But the zombies here are to promote the new teenage zombie movie, WARM BODIES, opening Friday, February 1.


WARM BODIES believe it or not, looks to be a romantic zombie comedy.  Now, I love movie zombies, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the zombie comedies as well, movies like SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004) and ZOMBIELAND (2009).  But, I don’t know about this one.

While the trailer makes it look halfway decent, I’m thinking it just might be a bit too silly for my tastes, and by silly, I don’t mean comedic.  Laughs are fine. I mean it might just be too light and airy to make much of an impact.

LS:  As I’ve said before, I’ve gotten really sick of zombies. And I never liked teen romance movies that pretend to be horror. So this one has two strikes against it from the start. Based on the trailer for this one, a zombie falls in love with a human, and that love reanimates his dead heart, so it starts beating again. How heart-warming. Excuse me while I throw up.  I’ll see this one and review it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

MA: Also opening on February 1, it’s the latest Sylvester Stallone action pic, BULLET TO THE HEAD.  Now, I’m a Stallone fan, so in spite of the fact that this one looks like just another buddy cop action film, I’m looking forward to it.  I always find Stallone entertaining.

LS: Too bad he doesn’t play a teenage zombie in that one.


MA: That being said, the trailers do very little for me, as it looks pretty standard.  The plot could have been lifted from any 80s action buddy movie.  And it’s directed by Walter Hill, the guy who gave us some of those 1980s buddy action movies, including 48 HOURS (1982) starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy, and RED HEAT (1988) which paired Arnold Schwarzenegger with James Belushi.  So, the guy’s had lots of practice.  Hill might be most famous for directing THE WARRIORS (1979), the controversial film that was blamed for inciting gang violence back in the day.  Hill also directed a little movie I liked a lot—again, back in the day— THE DRIVER (1978) in which the two lead actors were cast against type, as Bruce Dern played the cop, and Ryan O’Neal played the villain, the driver.

LS: THE WARRIORS was a lot of fun. He also directed STREETS OF FIRE (1984).

MA: Walter Hill is a veteran filmmaker, and so perhaps BULLET TO THE HEAD will be a better than average movie.

LS:  Yeah, with Hill at the helm, I bet it’s not too bad, even if it does rip off the title of one of John Woo’s best Hong Kong movies.

And opening in limited release on February 1 it’s HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2 (2013).  I have no clue if this one will be playing near me, but if it does, I’ll check it out. If I remember correctly, the first one wasn’t too bad.


(Zombies crowd around MA and are about to attack him, when LS pulls out a shotgun and blows their heads off)

MA: And to think I complained that you didn’t do the zombie makeup thing with me.

LS: Someone’s gotta shoot them in the heads.

On February 8, we’ll be reviewing Steven Soderbergh’s latest movie SIDE EFFECTS.  Like one of his previous movies, CONTAGION (2011), this one seems to give everything away in the trailer, which annoys me to no end. But maybe it will be good. It’s about a new anti-anxiety drug that has murderous side effects – or that’s how it looks, at least.


MA:  I know very little about this one, as it hasn’t been heavily promoted in my area.  I do like both Rooney Mara and Jude Law.  On the other hand, it’s by the same writer/director team— Scott Z. Burns and Steven Soderbergh— who gave us CONTAGION—and this isn’t a good thing, as I didn’t like CONTAGION all that much.

LS: Soderbergh is hit or miss, but I think he’s made more good movies than bad ones, so I’m hoping SIDE EFFECTS is a good one.

MA: Moving ahead to February 15, I’ll be reviewing the latest in the DIE HARD franchise, A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (2013) starring Bruce Willis as everybody’s favorite super cop, John McLane.

LS: He’s not my favorite super cop!

MA: Now, I enjoyed the original DIE HARD (1988) a lot, but I can’t say that I’ve ever warmed up to the sequels all that much.  They’ve all been exceedingly far-fetched— not that the original was all that realistic.  However, I do enjoy Bruce Willis, so I’m willing to have an open mind about this one.

Let’s see, this movie comes upon the heels of Stallone in BULLET TO THE HEAD which followed Schwarzenegger in THE LAST STAND in January— have we gone back in time?  It’s the 1980s action line up all over again!

LS:  I’m not a fan of the DIE HARD franchise. I didn’t mind the first one, but I went out of my way to avoid the sequels. Instead, I’ll be reviewing the new Don Coscarelli movie, JOHN DIES AT THE END that week. A new movie by the director who gave us PHANTASM (1979) and BUBBA HO-TEP (2002) might just be something to get excited about.


MA:  We finish the month with a review of the February 22 release DARK SKIES (2013), a science fiction thriller directed by Scott Charles Stewart, the guy who directed PRIEST (2011) and LEGION (2009).  Ugh!

LS: That doesn’t bode well.


MA: But it’s produced by the folks who gave us the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies and INSIDIOUS (2010), so this helps, I guess.  The trailers do look pretty creepy.

LS:  The trailer for DARK SKIES looks pretty good. So I’m looking forward to it. I hope it’s more like INSIDIOUS than PRIEST.

MA:  And that wraps up February. There’s nothing really amazing that I want to see coming out this month.  (looks at zombies)  You guys actually don’t look so bad.

(Zombies begin to jump and cheer behind them.)

MA:  Don’t get too excited.  I still don’t have high hopes for your movie.

(Zombies frown and start closing in on MA & LS)

LS (loads his gun):  On the other hand, it could be just the genre film we’re looking for!

(Zombies stop, and as they ponder LS’s words, LS & MA run away.)

LS & MA: Stupid zombies!

(Zombies shrug and return to foraging for food.)


© Copyright 2013 by Michael Arruda & L.L. Soares


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