The Horror of Resurrection

Well it’s Easter, creeps. That means candy, rabbits, and dyed eggs… oh yeah and Jesus rising from the grave. Now I’m not particularly religious, but Easter seems like the perfect time to examine some excellent depictions of reanimation in horror films. For the purposes of this list, I’m going to try and leave off the super obvious choices, so no Frankenstein. That doesn’t mean I’m only listing indie films, it just means I won’t be recommending Evil Dead. I mean, come on, that’d just be lazy.

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Cemetery Man

There are so many weird things about this movie, apparently it’s based off a novel that is just as abstract and comedic. Although this movie is hilarious, there’s also a layer of sadness winding through it and the ending is gut-wrenching. You won’t find many clear cut answers in Cemetery Man, but one thing is clear. Keeping the dead in their graves is a lonely and unrewarding task.

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Pet Sematary

Let’s be honest, Pet Sematary is not a great film. Like a lot of Stephen King adaptations, it feels a tad lackluster. Still, I love it. This cautionary tale is well suited to this list, because it demonstrates the tragic results that can occur when the natural process of death is disturbed. Louis Creed should’ve listened to Herman Munster. I mean, hell he’d already been reanimated once. Also, can we all agree that Rachel’s sister Zelda is one of the creepiest things ever?

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Wake Wood

Wake Wood is a delightful little Irish flick that marked the return of Hammer Films. The premise is the same as Pet Sematary. A child dies, the parents are devastated, so they turn to extreme methods to bring their kid back to life. While Pet Sematary revolves around Native American mythology, Wake Wood utilizes Wicker Man style Paganism. The loopy locals combined with the gloomy Irish setting make Wake Wood a unique gem of a movie.

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Burying the Ex

Maybe you’d prefer a film that’s a bit more cute. Well if you consider flesh rotting and romance cute, then you should check out Burying the Ex. Burying the Ex features iconic Los Angeles scenery, an adorable Halloween loving protagonist, and Ashley Greene as the most annoying undead girlfriend anyone could imagine. Joe Dante’s films have always held a certain unparalleled offbeat charm, and Burying the Ex is no exception.

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Dead Alive

Before Peter Jackson made long films about fantasy creatures taking epic walks, he made some insane movies. Among those, is Dead Alive. Dead Alive begins with Lionel’s obnoxious mother dying after being bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. Unfortunately for Lionel, she rises from the dead and proceeds to devour the living. Not only does this screw up Lionel’s love life, it leaves him with a whole mess of zombies to slaughter. Like Cemetery Man this film is laugh your ass off funny. It features some of the most gore-tastic zombie killing methods I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for a zombie film that’s bursting with creativity, this is the one to watch.

I hope these 5 “Back from the Dead” films bring you a bit of macabre joy this Easter. However, if you’re having a big celebration dinner, I might wait until after you eat to check these flicks out. You might find them a bit nauseating if you’ve got a weak stomach. Check me out on Twitter @LolaTarantula and on our blog feed @HallowsHaunts. Happy Easter friends, enjoy.

 

Bardo Thodol- A Journey Through Death

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Of all the experiences I had at Midsummer Scream, Bardo Thodol was the most unexpected. The most shocking of course was Urban Death, but now that I’ve performed in UD four times, nothing shocks me. With Bardo Thodol I had no preconceived notions. It was pitched as a personal tour of your own death, and I knew that it was based on the “Tibetan Book of the Dead”. Other than that I was clueless.

When I made my way to the front of the line, I was asked to remove my shoes and socks and put on a blindfold. I could tell right away I was in for something amazing. Blindfolded, I was led inside a dark space. A man began to whisper in my ear. He told me I was dying and that I needed to reconsider my life. I didn’t particularly care for this part, just because I don’t like the sensation of people whispering to me. I’m no fan of ASMR. Once he was done whispering, I was led to another part of the room and told to lay down. I quickly realized that I was laying on a tarp of some sort.

Soon my blindfold was removed and I was lifted, tarp and all, by a group of people in medical uniforms. I was placed on a gurney and rushed into a sort of ER. There, doctors checked me for signs of life, while a man gripped my hand and cried. This part was so much fun it was hard not to laugh. I was impressed by the amount of emotion the crying man exhibited. As he cried, he told me that he wasn’t ready for me to go into the light.

Once the doctors declared me dead, I was covered with a semi-transparent plastic sheet and whisked away into the darkness. From there, I was placed back on the ground. Then it was time for me to be returned to the Earth. Dirt was shoveled bit by bit on top of me. I was surprised to see how much they actually buried me under. As anyone who’s carried a bag of soil knows, that stuff is heavy. I could feel the weight over my whole body and face. It wasn’t unpleasant, though. I actually found the sensation kind of nice.

Abruptly, the experience came to an end. I was pulled out from my grave and led to the exit. This ending was so puzzling, that I wasn’t sure if it was over or where I should go. On the way out, I was given a chip with a web link to details for the whole Bardo Thodol attraction. I came to realize that what I had experienced was only part one. I had a blast, so I’ll definitely be looking into what else they have to offer. I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get to see any demons or angels. I was hoping for some sort of final judgement. Perhaps that will be in the next installment. This event is good for people who want something more immersive than Halloween Horror Nights, but less insane than Heretic. I would not recommend Bardo Thodol to those who are claustrophobic or uncomfortable with the reality of death.