Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hokey Movie Writing

There was nothing on TV last night.  Nada.  So, as I was flipping through the channels, an older zombie movie caught my eye.  Okay.  I can get behind an black and white cheesy movie for a few minutes at least.  When it comes to old horror flicks, the hokier the better, right?

But this was too hokey for even old horror flicks.  Even Christopher Lee would be ashamed and he made some of the hokiest horror flicks ever.

So, anyway, I don't know what was happening before I hit the channel, but there was this house with people in it and they were under siege from what the movie was referring to as 'ghouls' (aka typical pasty-faced, flesh eating, shambling zombies).  People are dropping like flies until finally this one guy barricades himself in the basement and blows the heads off the two remaining zombies down there.  He's safe.  He's alive and unbitten.  Everything should be hunky-dory for what is obvious the hero of the piece.  All he has to do is wait for morning and help.


Day breaks and the cavalry (as in the local sheriff and his posse of gun toting locals) arrives.  They're blowing the heads of zombies right and left.  Then the sheriff decide to head for the house.  The hero awakens to the sounds of gunfire outside and decides to investigate.  He walks up into a zombie-free house with his shotgun at the ready.  Just outside, he sees the posse walking toward the house with their guns.  He's safe right?

Wrong.  At this point, the sheriff gives orders to his sidekick to shoot the guy in the house in the head - cuz, like, that's the only way to kill these things.  They shoot the hero and the movie ends with still photos of the hero being dragged off so his body can be burned.

Is it just me or wouldn't the hero - upon seeing humans who weren't pasty-faced, flesh eating, or shambling - have shouted something?   A little "Hey guys, don't shoot!" or "I'm not a zombie", maybe?  Something.  Anything?  Nope.  He stands there being dumb in more ways than one and the cops blow him away.  End Scene.

Talk about too stupid to live.  Geez.

Don't even get me started about the chick who stood by the door and let the zombies paw at her instead of fighting or even running.

Personally, I think even hokey movies should be better than that.  I demand a better class of hokey movie, dammit.  ;o)

What was the hokiest movie you ever saw?  Have any of you seen the movie like the one I'm talking about?  Because I totally missed the title and didn't recognize any of the actors, so even IMDB can't help.  Not that I need to know the title, other than to avoid it if I ever see it again.  LOL


  1. You were watching Night Of The Living Dead, which is arguably the best zombie movie ever. It also started the zombie movie trend that continues unabated today.

  2. Hokiest movie I've seen? And LOVED? Snakes on a Plane!

    I'm sort of a wimp, but I hesitantly enjoy the occasional zombie movie. I liked 28 Days Later and I Am Legend (which I'm billing as a zombie movie, even though the book was clearly about sentient vampires).

    That actually sounds like a pretty good ending--very literary!--but yeah, if he just stood there without saying anything, I would've been like DUDE YOU IDIOT. Maybe they could've blocked it differently, like he's opening his mouth to speak, or raises his arms to flag them over. Because yeah, I hate it when the character does something SO STUPID that it has a huge effect on the story.

    You know what zombie movie I'm really looking forward to? THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH. I don't know what stage it's in, or if it's even been optioned yet, but I'm pretty sure Carrie Ryan's got film agents.

  3. Oh. My. Gosh. That would seriously make me mad if I saw a movie that ended that badly. I'm all for a hokey movie and all but endings like that just infuriate me. Like I has suffered through this whole thing to get THAT ending?! *cough* The Mist *cough* But it is a good example of what not to do in writing, though. Can't have characters do stupid things just because. And things they wouldn't actually do (like stand there like a blithering idiot and get shot)

  4. Well, Anonymous was right. I checked IMDB and it was Night of the Living Dead. I'd heard it was a cult classic and always meant to watch it. Maybe if I saw it from the beginning it wouldn't have been so bleh.

    My favorite zombie movie, Shayda, was Shaun of the Dead. But I'm goofy that way. I'm not sure I want to see Carrie's book as a movie, but I heard something about it being optioned. (Just checked her website - Seven Star Pictures picked up the film rights in 5/09. No news on when or if it'll be in theatres.)

    I never saw The Mist, Colene, but thanks for the warning. As writers, we're supposed to avoid making our characters 'too stupid to live', so when I see it on film, it really ticks me off.