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The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia: 2000-2010 by…

The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia: 2000-2010 (edition 2012)

by Peter Dendle

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1610615,960 (3.9)7
Title:The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia: 2000-2010
Authors:Peter Dendle
Info:McFarland (2012), Hardcover, 292 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:zombies, movies, non-fiction, owned, Early Reviewer

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The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia: 2000-2010 by Peter Dendle



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Received as an Early Review.

Pretty exhaustive collection of zombie films from 2000-2010.
I skimmed through the years and enjoyed reading the various reviews. The tone is definitely academic and dry, but descriptive.

The author also tends to color the reviews with his personal opinions which I did find distracting. For instance, Doghouse is an obviously misogynistic fluff piece, yet the author reports his findings as if there was some deeper meaning behind the sexist shenanigans.

Be warned that the reviews do contain spoilers, which I'm personally ok with in this context.

The Shorts and Serials section is an interesting and useful addition.

The b&w pictures throughout are enjoyable, though sparse. ( )
  estrus | May 6, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Horror films frequently come in waves. Over the course of the twentieth century we saw the emergence of the classics, the creature features, atomic horror, haunted houses and ghost stories, alien invasions, werewolves, vampires (reemerging in several waves), slasher flicks, torture porn and body horror, etc. For the last decade or so, zombies have been one of the biggest things in horror films, possibly the most prevalent kind of horror in 2000s. I’m not sure if they will maintain their staying power – I noticed the prevalence of zombie films starting to dwindle in this year’s horror film festival circuit – but their influence and near omnipresence is undeniable.

This is actually Dendle’s second zombie film encyclopedia. The first volume covers the zombie film genre from its infancy in the 1930s through 1999. That a second volume was needed to cover just the first decade of the twenty-first century is a testament to the veritable explosion of zombie-related films in the new millennium. The encyclopedia obviously contains all the major zombie films of the decade: LAND OF THE DEAD, DIARY OF THE DEAD, and SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD by Romero; 28 DAYS LATER and 28 WEEKS LATER; SHAUN OF THE DEAD; ZOMBIELAND, etc., as well as a host of smaller, low-budget, and direct-to-video films, along with a bunch I suspect most of us would be hard pressed to ever locate. This is a truly comprehensive guide. I cannot claim that it literally contains EVERY zombie film made anywhere in the world during the 2000s, and neither does Dendle. I will say this though: I couldn’t think of a single zombie film Dendle overlooked and I’m a big fan of the genre who sees quite a lot of indie films at film festivals and the like. If this collection is actually missing any relevant films, I didn’t notice the omission. There’s even a meaty appendix that provides brief descriptions and analysis of all the zombie shorts (i.e., non-feature films) for the period.

As with any good movie encyclopedia, I was inspired to seek out a number of films I had not yet run across, including both PONTYPOOL, a Canadian film with an odd name about survivors of a zombie apocalypse trapped in a radio station, and [REC], a Spanish film about a group of apartment dwellers trapped inside an apartment building with a bunch of zombies as filmed by one of those trapped. Dendle actually profiled a large number of films I plan to check out, so the encyclopedia was certainly useful from that perspective.

There were a couple points in the text where I thought I could have done with fewer political interjections and criticisms, but I suppose given that the period covered was the first decade of the twenty-first century, I should have expected as much. I did come to enjoy Dendle’s analysis of the films as well as his wry cynicism. At times though, it’s clear that Dendle is almost weary of his subject. I suspect the poor man has simply seen far too many crappy zombie flicks in too rapid a succession.

If you are a fan of recent zombie films – and there are still good ones being made, despite the saturation of the market with all things zombie – then this will serve as an excellent guide. Production values are very high with this volume, and it’s both attractively laid out and very sturdy. For a reference guide like this one, a hardcover format is almost required, as I have far too many similar reference works in flimsy paperback format. More movie stills would have been nice – and color ones especially so – but I understand that their inclusion would have exploded the cost of the book. Dendle’s second volume does exactly what it says it will do: it examines all the zombie films (in detail) from the last decade. If you’re looking for a reference work that does that, you can’t go wrong here.

Review copyright © 2013 J. Andrew Byers ( )
  bibliorex | Apr 16, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Good: I enjoyed Dendle's 2nd volume of the Zombie Movie Encyclopedia much more than the first. Probably because it contained, almost totally, movies I'd already seen and for the most part, I agreed with his opinions on said movies. The book even included certain episodes from "Masters of Horror" that included zombies, in its shorts section.

The Bad: Hardcore zombie fans may find themselves lacking on new content, but this book would be perfect for anyone just getting into the genre. ( )
  TequilaReader | Apr 11, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Peter Dendle's compendium of zombie movies made between the years 2000 and 2010 is outstanding! Each movie is given a short description (normally a half page or longer) listing cast and crew, plus a short synopsis of the plot. Dendle gives his opinion about each film without coming across as smarmy. It's clear that he's done his homework and that this book is a labor of love for him. Added bonuses with the book includes some great appendices. There are sections listing the movies produced during each year, the country in which they movies were made, and a compilation of zombie "shorts" during the decade.

My only complaints with the book are minor ones. There are just a few movie stills scattered throughout the book and it would have been nice to have posted more of these. I would have also enjoyed a little more information about some of the interesting character actors who seem to show up time and again in these films.

All in all, these small complaints should deter zombie movie fans from a great experience as they work their way through this book. Dendle's done great research and fans will appreciate his efforts. ( )
  coachtim30 | Mar 9, 2013 |
As Peter Dendle notes in his introduction, when he published the first Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, the zombie movie phenomenon had gone into a slump in the 1990s, one he never thought it would rise out of. And yet movies like 28 Days Later and Resident Evil in the early part of the following decade, revitalized the genre and opened the door to a new plethora of zombie movies.

Dendle apparently spent three years scouring the internet and tracking down every zombie movie he could find produced and distributed in 2000-2010, from home movies to blockbusters, in an attempt to make Volume 2 of the encyclopedia as comprehensive as possible. Considering his claim to have seen every movie listed, it was clearly a monumental and impressive task, especially if he wanted to have a life beyond watching zombie movies, the majority of which were clearly derivative and awful.

His introduction gives an overview of the new zombie era and presents the changing landscape of the genre. This is followed by the encyclopedia, where each movie is given at the least a short description and a brief analysis. More interesting, compelling, or popular movies are given a more in depth review that presents a critical analysis, noting metaphoric intent and why the movie was important for the genre. These are highlighted with the inclusion of still images from the movie or their movie poster.

I thoroughly enjoyed looking through the book for the movies I have already seen in order to see Dendle's thoughts on them. In some cases he offered new perspectives on a loved movie, while in other cases, I disagreed entirely with his analysis. I also skimmed through every other movie in the encyclopedia, stopping to read more thoroughly if it interested me. His wit, as to be expected, shines when he didn't like a movie, and it's entertaining to see him come up with new ways to say a movie is creatively bereft. Dendle was particularly interested in tracking down international works that present a unique setting.

Some reviews I stopped reading specifically because most of them contain spoilers and I knew I needed to watch the movie first. For example, Pontypool is a psychological thriller about a group trapped in a radio station during the zombie apocalypse, which Dendle describes as a movie that should not have worked, but turns out to be the most compelling and creative from the decade.

The other must see movie is Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated, in which various artists and animators from around the world take the original 1969 Romero classic and animate it frame by frame into a mixed media feature that uses the original sound and music. This one is even more compelling because it's non-profit. Non of the artists were paid for their work, but are allowed to sell DVDs for the project on their own sites, provided any proceeds go to charity.

On the whole, I'd say Dendle has done an excellent job of compiling this list of zombie movies (he also includes a list of short films as an Appendix). Already it's out of date, of course, as zombie movies are coming out as I write this. The way things are going in the genre, it looks like he'll have a reason to publish a new zombie movie encyclopedia at the end of the next decade. I, for one, am looking forward to reading it. ( )
  andreablythe | Feb 26, 2013 |
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Wikipedia in English (137)

A Virgin Among the Living Dead

American Zombie

Autumn (2009 film)

Battle Girl: The Living Dead in Tokyo Bay

Battle of the Bone

Beneath Still Waters

George: A Zombie Intervention

Ghost Brigade

Gory Gory Hallelujah

Horror Rises from the Tomb

I Eat Your Skin

I Was a Teenage Zombie

The Dead (2010 film)

The Dead and the Damned

The Dead Pit

The Earth Dies Screaming

The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake

The Ghost Breakers

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