I remember rows and rows of Craig Thomas novels, with their ADJECTIVE+ANIMAL NAME titles and foil-embossed covers, nestled between James Herbert and Sven Hassel and Stephen King novels, lining the shelves in our local(isn) Tesco, back in the 1980s.
I remember my dad having all his books, much as he had all James Herbert’s and Stephen King’s (but not Sven Hassel’s, though all Isaac Asimov’s and Frank Herbert’s and a thousand other genre writers’).
And I remember watching this film, with my dad, when it premiered on TV. Probably ITV, I’ve a feeling there were ad breaks. I remember gasping at the persecution-of-the-Jews sub-plot, being shocked by the sudden murder of the drug dealer, I remember the opening with CLint jogging and the sudden appearance of the helicopter. I remember scowling Warren Clarke and kindly Nigel Hawthorne. I remember the submariners and their pretend weather station waving, and I remember the really, really long flight sequence, which seemed pretty boring compared to the hard-boiled escape-from-Moscow bits.
And that’s pretty much how I felt about it watching it nearly thirty years later.
So-so, bigger budget remake of Romero’s 70s lo-fi not-zombie classic. Not exactly terrible, just not exactly terrific. Bit bland. And doesn’t compare well with The Walking Dead. Timothy Olyphant as the hero sheriff is moderately engaging.
Olyphant again, in a video game adaptation. Seen it before, didn’t impress; didn’t impress on second viewing either. Secret order of assassins, Interpol hot on the train, blah.
I really liked Bret Easton Ellis’s contract-fulfilling collection of interconnected short stories released between American Psycho and Glamorama. First time I saw it I even quite liked this highly flawed film version by the bloke who did Buffalo Soldiers (which, again, I liked), even though Ellis himself reportedly didn’t.
Second viewing flags up the why-I-liked-it bits, and the why-it’s-not-really-very-good bits. I liked it because it held an interesting tone, its mood, there were some interesting character sketches, memorable set pieces. But, it’s just not the book, or the characters or vignettes or world of the book. And losing the vampires, and the humour? Sacrilege. A shame.