The Halloween Horror Fest Don’t Die

The Dead Don’t Die (2019)

Wow – what a cast! Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Danny Glover, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits – amongst many others – star in this comedy horror from director Jim Jarmusch.

The Dead Don’t Die tells the story of a zombie apocalypse in a small US town, as we see events unfold from the point of view of two cops on patrol (Murray and Driver). Natural phenomena begins to go awry, and following the murder of two workers in the local diner, events escalate quickly. Soon enough, the police (together with Swinton’s samurai funeral director) scramble to retain control as hordes of zombies take over.

Although there are some wonderful performances in this film – Murray and Driver’s brilliantly understated cops being the best – this film doesn’t really succeed as a comedy or a horror film. The zombie arrival is very slow, and the conclusion seems rushed. The comedy is rarely laugh out loud hilarious, it’s mostly dry humour and deadpan delivery, and there’s a lot to enjoy in the approach that the movie takes.

The Dead Don’t Die follows it’s own path, avoiding the much more in-you-face approach of Zombieland. The film is an enjoyable and worthwhile watch, but it doesn’t quite achieve its potential. It’s more of an Indie arthouse spoof of the genre, but whilst it has it’s own peculiar charms, I was expecting much more. Maybe I should know more about Jim Jarmusch. Who is he, anyway?

7/10

The Mummy (1959)

Frankenstein? Check. Dracula? Check. Next on the horror hitlist for Hammer was The Mummy, and boy does it look great in splendid colour. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are, of course, on hand; as are Terence Fisher (director) and Jimmy Sangster (writer). You can’t go wrong.

It’s 1895, and an archaeological dig in Egypt finds the ancient tomb of of Princess Ananka. John Banning (Cushing) has a broken leg, and can’t enter the tomb, though it’s probably for the best. His dad Stephen does go in, despite the protestation of the Egyptian Mehemet Bey (George Pastell) and is driven mad by… something.

On returning home, Banning senior (Felix Aylmer) is in a nursing home, receiving care for the mentally disturbed. He becomes lucid enough to warn his son that he fears the mummy of Kharis, the high priest will destroy them all for entering the tomb.

Sure enough, the Mummy of Kharis (Lee) is awoken by Bey, and begins to take revenge for the disturbance. Will Banning be able to stop it’s rampage?

Predictably excellent work from Cushing here, as expected. And Lee is imposing as ever as Kharis, looking incredibly grim emerging from a swamp. The film does drag a little in the final third, but with the beautiful sets, a lush score and a decent story, The Mummy is unmissable for any Hammer fan.

8.5/10

How Do Fossils Form? by Eloise Jones

A rare guest contribution today, in the form of a piece of school work my daughter, Eloise (aged 10), wrote recently. Home schooling hasn’t been easy, but this piece really brightened my day. Great vocabulary and writing style, Eloise undoubtedly takes after me, haha!

I laughed out loud reading this explanation of how fossils are formed. Hope you enjoy Eloise’s masterpiece, and like meeting her two Tyrannosaurus Rex friends, Mick and Leon.

How Do Fossils Form? by Eloise Jones

So, everyone’s heard of dinosaurs, right? Wait, what did you just say?! You’ve heard of dinosaurs, but you have heard a thing called a fossil AND YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS?! Well, I might have to tell you because of my obsession with dinosaurs…

Well, it all starts with a dinosaur. Let’s say a herbivore was walking about, same day, no different, running away from dilophosaurus, and let’s go with a parasaurolophus, for a herbivore quite fast. At least 25 MILES PER HOUR! They were having a rest and woke up and said to themself; “YAWN!!! Man, I’m bored of sleeping all the time. OOoOooOo what’s that over there?????” 

He in fact saw the freshest, green, rich bush of leaves in weeks! He hadn’t had any for weeks, and finally a fresh bush would do him good. He ran over, excited. He started eating, and then when he was full, he lied down, full of fresh food. “Man”, he said, “I don’t feel too good”. He laid down, and died. What?! People have to die at some point, and he had been going for weeks without any good food.

THE NEXT DAY.

Two T – rexes were looking for food…

“And then, I pounced on him and did I have a stiff belly in bed that night. But that was the old days, hey, Mick? Eh?”

“Yep, I know about your cousin Rex who wanted to marry a Velocaraptor”.

“Yep, should have known you never listen. Next time I won’t listen to -”

“OH MY! LEON, LOOK!”

“What, you filthy two headed -”

“FOODDDD!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Mick you miracle! I knew you were good for something-”

“Leon, stop telling me about your boring cousin, eh?”

So the two greedy T – rexes saw the food and they ate it up in one go. Then they ran off, not full, looking for more food – (and arguing about Leon’s cousin). But, what happened next? 

Well, that’s a good question. Since the dead body of the parasaurolophus was near a little lake, his bones got washed over with water and later on got turned into mud, his body got turned into stone. Then I think you can guess what happened next. WHAT?! YOU HAVE NO CLUE?! Alright, I’ll tell you.

Millions of years later, archaeologists came into the game, wondering about a question they’ve always asked; Are the bones of a dinosaur still around, buried deep in the ground? Well some very clever archaeologists dug up some bones and named them fossils. Now you get it? Good!

Bye, thank you for reading my funny docs about how fossils have formed over millions of years. Buh – Bye, now!