By Sherrie Li
By Falling James
By Amanda Lewis
By Amy Nicholson
By Amy Nicholson
By Jennifer Swann
By Scott Foundas
By Sherrie Li
FIDO You think they’re dead, these zombie-film parodies, but, one after another, they keep lumbering back. Not much brain activity, alas, in this Canadian indie, which non-hilariously dispatches its walking corpses to ’50s suburbia, where they’re put to work as domestic servants and gardeners. For anyone who hasn’t pictured the movie’s 91 minutes already: In sunny Willard, docile, gray-faced zombies carry golf carts and duly provide target practice for Red Scare–era school kids, until a particularly ravenous ghoul takes a chunk out of old Mrs. Henderson’s fleshy arm. Within 20 minutes, Vancouver-based writer-director Andrew Currie leads us to stop expecting actual jokes while squandering the talents of an overqualified cast that includes Dylan Baker and Carrie-Anne Moss as the film’s Ward and June Cleaver, and Scottish actor Billy Connolly as the titular zombie-cum-pet and loyal pal of the couple’s young son Timmy (K’Sun Ray). The movie’s Pleasantville sets are well-designed on a slim budget, but the ’50s-style restraint extends to Currie’s tame direction and makes a zombie-lover hungry for the real deal, à la 28 Weeks Later — which was still taking a bite out of the box office at last check. (Nuart) (Rob Nelson)
HOSTEL: PART II Eli Roth is obviously a poseur, but on the evidence of Hostel: Part II, he’s also kind of a pussy. The sequel to Roth’s vile hit Hostel is too goofy to disturb, too silly to scare, closer in spirit (if not in skill) to the cartoon yuks of Evil Dead II than to the transgressive classics it so desperately tries to trump. H2 duplicates the original scenario but flips the gender. So long, frat boys — it’s ladies’ night! The meat puppets include Lauren German as the nice girl with a trust fund, Bijou Phillips as the slut and Heather Matarazzo as the dork. En route to Prague, they’re lured into a Slovakian snuff club where high-rolling psychopaths bid top dollar for the pleasure of killing. And the violence? Very nasty indeed, if neutered by Roth’s pathetic desperation to shock. The most disturbing thing about this implausibly R-rated spectacle is what it says about the double standard of the MPAA. Apparently, you can linger over a cock in close-up so long as it’s being cut in half by a pair of scissors. Getting an audience to whoop in pleasure at graphic castration is less an expression of some twisted feminist agenda, as our disingenuous auteur would have us believe, than a dirty little YouTube stunt writ large. (Citywide) (Nathan Lee)
NANCY DREW See film feature.
THE TREATMENT See film feature.
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