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The Mixmaster's Horror Movie Countdown, October 22: 28 Days and Weeks Later

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Nearly a week before Halloween, and we haven't spotlighted a zombie film?

Well, here's two: 28 Days Later (2002) and 28 Weeks Later (2007). The original and the sequel are watershed zombie films. They changed the game. Moaning, meandering brain-eaters are officially boring. Danny Boyle's two-part, digitally-shot original turned the walking dead into the dead-sprinting. Also, they vomit torrents of blood. Also, people turn into zombies instantly.

Atmospheric is too kind of a word. In the opening scene of 28 Days, and most memorable scene of the film, Cillian Murphy wakes in a hospital (after being in a coma) to find London completely deserted. He wanders into a church. He sees a priest who looks...off. From there-on-out, Boyle juxtaposes a dreary, apocalyptic London against the blood-spurting, kinetic zombies. It's the first--and best--of its kind. The operative word is: nightmarish.

28 Weeks Later, I'd argue, is a more disturbing presentation. It's a little less, you know, story, and much more of a sensory assault. You can feel the zombies attack.

The sequel begins in-the-middle of a zombie-occupied London. The uninfected are quarantined in a apartment-fortress that's pretty well-protected by Jeremy Renner. Once the inevitable happens, when zombies infiltrate the apartment complex, the film is pretty much: run. Which is great, but few moments match the brutality, the barbaric-ness of the first 10 minutes of the film.

The Mixmaster's Horror Movie Countdown October 1: Halloween October 2: Antichrist October 3: Student Bodies October 4: Poltergeist October 5: Jaws October 6: Suspiria October 7: Scream October 8: The Fly October 9: Dead Alive October 10: Drag Me to Hell October 11: Se7en October 12: Rosemary's Baby October 13: Friday the 13th October 14: The Thing October 15: Audition October 16 and 17: The Exorcist and The Exorcist III October 18: The Omen October 19: Paranormal Activity October 20: Changeling October 21: Hellraiser

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