Tag Archives: zombies

Night of the Living Dead Live Review

May 3, 2013


The theatre is dark. On stage, black and white characters on a black and white set enact a tense scene. A chase erupts, followed by a cacophony of shots. Ghoulish hands stretch through the holes in the boarded-up windows, reaching for something living to eat. Chopped-up limbs sail about the stage. All around the theatre, spine-tingling moans erupt ominously. A heated argument breaks out center stage – and then, one of the completely color-drained characters onstage makes a capricious remark, and the audience erupts into peals of laughter.

Welcome to Night Of The Living Dead Live. Co-created by Phil Pattison and Christopher Harrison from Nictophobia Films, and co-executive produced by Russ Streiner, John A. Russo, and George Romero himself, the stage production not only pays homage to the seminal 1968 zombie film, but also asks the question: if the characters had done things differently, would they have survived?

Night of the Living Dead Live

The play’s remarkable attention to detail is astounding. The lack of color in everything from the set to the actors’ skin really serves to bring you into the story. The makeup jobs are incredible – instead of looking like mimes, the characters look dull, like you’d see on an old television set. It seems natural, so much so that when you grab a zombie-themed shooter at the bar during intermission, seeing the audience in full color is a bit of a trip. The social issues played out in the original film are there, too – handled with humour and aplomb, proving just how far we’ve come as a society since the late ‘60s.

The actors are incredible. Most of them Second City alumni, the small cast manages to pull off multiple roles without a hitch. Nug Narhgang delivers solid laughs as Harry – he’s adorable, even as a cranky slimeball. Gwynne Phillips is a perfect Barbra – down to her looks, which are eerily similar to the original actress in the film. Relative newcomer Andrew Fleming proves he can hold his own with the other comedic big hitters in the cast, and his earnest portrayal of Tom is delightful. Darryl Hinds is infinitely likeable as Ben, as is Trevor Martin as good ol’ boy Chief McClelland (though the real laughs for Martin are when he’s stepping in as a zombie). Dale Boyer is brilliant as both the abrasive Helen and the vacuous Judy.

The play is excellently crafted by co-writers Boyer and Martin, as well as director Christopher Bond, who also co-created and directed the cult hit Evil Dead: The Musical.  It’s a bit of a reunion of sorts for some of the Evil Dead cast, as Martin and Nahrgang are vets of the much-loved musical. And while NOTLDL balances camp, horror and humour as perfectly as Evil Dead: The Musical did, the similarities end there. For one, Living Dead Live is not a musical. And don’t expect buckets of blood – the horror in NOTLD is a more subtle terror, as opposed to gratuitous gore. However, fans of EDTM will love this show on its own merits – Night of the Living Dead Live fills the void left in the Toronto theatre scene that Evil Dead: The Musical left in its wake. The play only runs until Sunday, May 19th, and tickets are going fast, so run, don’t walk (or stagger!) to pick yours up at http://nightofthelivingdeadlive.com.

Night of the Living Dead Live Banner

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Survival of the Dead:
DayZ’s Dean Hall Refuses to Go Easy

November 12, 2012

DayZ creator Dean Hall has only killed once in his own video game. This is an oddity because the world of the multiplayer zombie apocalypse mod for ARMA II is cutthroat. Stories of being taken hostage by other gun-toting players, ambushed by bandits and picked off by camping snipers are rampant, more so than tales of zombie-related mayhem. Continue reading

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Gamercamp Day One Wrap Up

By Dork Shelf
November 3, 2012

With Gamercamp 2012 now officially almost half over, the Dork Shelf team reports on day one of the Toronto-based video game culture festival. Zack Kotzer, Jonathan Ore, Eric Weiss, and Wesley Fok round up today’s busy schedule. Continue reading

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Zed.TO presents
ByoLogyc: Retreat

October 31, 2012

Ever wanted to have a company picnic with the Umbrella Corporation? Zed.TO has you covered with ByoLogyc: Retreat. Continue reading

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Gamercamp: Don’t Even Breathe

By Jaime Woo
October 23, 2012

The genius of DayZ is in showing how humans become beasts themselves in their pursuit of survival. Continue reading

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TAD 2012 Reviews
Part Three

October 23, 2012

With the final slate of 2012 Toronto After Dark films upon us, we continue our coverage with looks at the zom-com Cockneys Vs. Zombies, the apocalyptic Korean sci-fi flick Doomsday Book, the country splat fest Inbred, the LARP comedy Lloyd the Conqueror, and the zombie found footage sequel REC 3: Genesis. Continue reading

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DayZ designer Dean “Rocket” Hall coming to Gamercamp

October 2, 2012

Toronto’s Gamercamp is set to announce another stellar addition to their already rad local and international lineup today. Get your hatchets and beans ready, because we’ve learned that one Dean “Rocket” Hall, creator of the wildly popular ARMA 2 mod DayZ, will be coming to TO for the two day game celebration running November 3 – 4. Continue reading

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Interview: ParaNorman’s Chris Butler & Sam Fell
Part Two

August 15, 2012

In the age of the omnipresent CG animated film and vapid big budget spectacle, it’s incredibly refreshing to see a lovingly handcrafted stop-motion animated movie like ParaNorman come along. We had a chance to speak with directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell earlier this year, and talked about the talented young cast of the film, the directors’ own experiences with bullying, ParaNorman‘s relationship to the horror genre, the importance of zombies, and much more. Continue reading

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Interview: ParaNorman’s Chris Butler & Sam Fell
Part One

August 14, 2012

In the age of the omnipresent CG animated film and vapid big budget spectacle, it’s incredibly refreshing to see a lovingly handcrafted stop-motion animated movie like ParaNorman come along. We had a chance to speak with directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell earlier this year, and talked about the “John Carpenter meets John Hughes” origins of the film, how technology has helped make stop-frame animation more practical, and much more. Continue reading

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TADFF 2011: DeadHeads Review

November 2, 2011

Genre mash-ups are all the rage these days. Remakes and reboots aside, it seems like the only way filmmakers are able to get a genre film made these days is if they blend well-trod tropes and conventions together. Vampire police procedural? Let’s make a deal! Post-apocalyptic rom-com? Sign on the dotted line. Kung fu werewolf revenge drama? Please, just take our money! If any of these made up movie pitches appeal to you, then you might just get something out of the zombie-buddy comedy DeadHeads. Continue reading

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Paramount May Scrap World War Z Film

March 24, 2011

Vulture reported on Monday that Paramount Pictures is likely to cancel production plans for the eagerly anticipated adaptation of Max Brooks’ zombie apocalypse novel World War Z. Continue reading

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Geek Nerd Dork Episode 10

January 12, 2011

Happy 2011! We’re back at it and have stories of our nerdy New Year’s Eve adventures. Gavin and Jess share tales of hilarity from Futurecon, while Jeff introduces a new segment to the show, and we return to pitching your favorite comic books to moronic studio executives. Of course, no post-Christmas GND would be complete without talking about the Doctor Who Holiday Special and share personal thoughts on things to come and zombie readiness. Continue reading

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Are You Watching
The Walking Dead?

December 5, 2010

If you haven’t been watching AMC’s The Walking Dead this season, what have you been doing?! Since the season is only six episodes long, there’s still time for you to catch up before tonight’s presumably awesome finale. Continue reading

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Pontypool with Very Special Guests

By Dork Shelf
November 30, 2010

As part of the Toronto Underground Cinema’s “Good Canadian Cinema” series, we are proud to present director Bruce McDonald’s Pontypool which has not only solidified its place in Canadian cinematic history, but is also very quickly becoming a cult hit around the world. Joining us for this special evening, co-presented by Rue Morgue and Chizine Publications, will be the stars of Pontypool famed Canadian actor Stephen McHattie and actress Lisa Houle. We will also be joined by the author of the novel Pontypool Changes Everything and the writer of the film, Tony Burgess. Continue reading

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The Walking Dead Trailer

August 24, 2010

AMC has just released the trailer for their new zombie-apocalypse TV series The Walking Dead which debuted at San Diego Comic Con last month. The series is being run by writer/director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist) and Gale … Continue reading

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Fantasia 2010 – Neighbor Zombie Review

July 26, 2010

It seems that cinephiles worldwide can’t get enough of zombies these days. Vampires too, but I’ve always been a bit puzzled by the attraction to zombies. After all, they are undead creatures who have no cognitive functions and eat brains. … Continue reading

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Plants vs. Zombies Review

By Joel Minty
July 3, 2010

Take up Gardening Plants vs. Zombies Style Chances are if you have ever been on Facebook, or held a mobile phone, you have seen Bejeweled, the flagship title from PopCap Games. The company’s mandate is “to create fun games that … Continue reading

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Ten Infected Valve Should Include in Left 4 Dead

By Joel Minty
December 8, 2009

Left 4 Dead 2 is a game which made me a pretty happy man.  There were lots of improvements, and despite a few steps backwards, overall it was a welcome addition to the shelf.  One particular aspect most people seem to … Continue reading

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