Tag Archives: Evil in the Time of Heroes

Edinburgh International Film Festival Begins! Daily Roundup (pt 2)

*First there were The People vs George Lucas

*But then the jedis met the zombies in Evil in the Time of Heroes

*Only to be snuffed out by the silly Red Hill

*Don’t worry though: magic tricks from The Illusionist made it all better

other news

The Edinburgh International Film Festival officially kicked off last night with the premiere of Sylvia Chomet’s love letter to Edinburgh and 1959, The Illusionist. I watched this period film at the Festival Theatre, an old, warm venue with huge red curtains and wooden seats with antique number fonts. I couldn’t have asked for a more fitting location for this film.

Chomet and the EIFF’s director Hannah McGill introduced the film, with Chomet playing the silly French character, stealing the mic from Hannah and chatting away about people dying on the very stage they stood upon.

I’m having a great time spending most of the day in the dark screening rooms around Edinburgh.  If I’m having this much fun covering the festival for free, I can’t imagine the silly-kid grin I’d be wearing all day if I was getting paid.  I hope all the employed reviewers have the same sense of joy.

Also, I need to give a shout out to my wife Bethany, who has been like a pit crew to me over the last two days.  Unlike sitcom nagging wives out to destroy a man’s dreams, she’s been totally behind me on this project: editing my posts while I’m seeing more films and providing encouraging words when I’m feeling tired of my own writing style.  I’m very lucky to have a good partner, especially while covering the fest.

reviews to come

22 Bullets, Blank City

What the hell is going on in “Evil in the Time of Heroes”?

There have been a regular horde of marching zombies since Romero’s seminal work,  but not many films try to explain the phenomenon of the dead folks rising.  Evil in the Time of Heroes explains the zombies, but also needs to explain itself.

Walking the same line as its zombie flick forefathers, the film follows a rag tag group of survivors, equally assorted in weaponry and personality.  The catch is, this isn’t the first time that Greece encountered zombies. Flashbacks display shields and sandals slaughtering the undead during Greek’s historic height, even as the contemporaries follow the same path.  Connecting these histories is the time traveling jedi, played by Billy Zane.

I haven’t been this discombobulated about a film since Night Watch.  For those who’ve seen this Russian vampire movie, you know I don’t mean that it or Evil in the Time of Heroes are intellectually challenging: just that it’s difficult to make heads or tales of what’s occurring on screen.*

The theme to the confusion is paradoxical: where one or two characters are paper thin, others feel adequately presented; the film is funny, but is it trying to be funny?  Does it know it’s being funny?  It feels like watching Shaun of the Dead with random parts of 300 cut into the film.  At the end it just comes out as the ultimate mashup film.

I must also say, this film marinades in a bath of hemoglobin, reminiscent of Zombi 2 and Dead Alive/Brain Dead.**  But don’t worry, as the survivors fight their way through the film, there’s also plenty of mashed, and bashed limbs and exposed viscera to compliment your gushing fluids.***

If you were to put the now much abused internet phrase “WTF” under a microscope and look at its components at a cellular level, you’ll see DVD copies of Evil in the Time of Heroes floating around.

Funny, surreal, bloody…insert your choice adjective and it probably fits.  WTF indeed.

*not to mention Evil ‘s poor subtitling: white letters are hard to see and not everything is translated

**the latter being another confusing concoction of horror comedy

***even in terms of special effects it goes back and forth inflecting different tones, looking cheep and in other instances disgustingly real