The ATTACK THE BLOCK Trailer Is Killing Them! It's Killing Them!

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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The ATTACK THE BLOCK Trailer Is Killing Them! It's Killing Them!

The particular genius of Shaun of the Dead was that it was a horror comedy that took both the horror and the comedy seriously. The funny bits were funny. The scary bits were scary. And it never, ever made fun of what needed to be kept serious. There were - and this is important - No Funny Zombies. To many people miss this bit when blending genres.

Well, Joe Cornish is now here doing the same thing with Attack The Block, though there are a few different genres in the mix.

A bit scifi, a bit action, a bit horror and a bit comedy, Cornish has got a lot of balls to keep in the air here and it looks like he's doing so rather well indeed, based on the first trailer. Though he comes by the Shaun of the Dead comparisons naturally - this is backed by the same producers, shares star Nick Frost, and Cornish is a long time friend / collaborator of Shaun director Edgar Wright and appeared in Shaun as a zombie - Cornish has clearly got his own thing going on here, his own style and his own voice. But he has clearly learned the lesson about letting the scary bits be scary and the funny bits funny and never the twain shall meet.

to which I say: Right. Fucking. On.

Attack The Block premieres at the SXSW Film Festival.
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Andrew MackMarch 3, 2011 8:29 PM

So jealous of SXSW right now.

GozanMarch 5, 2011 4:18 PM

"There were - and this is important - No Funny Zombies. "

Oh, I don't know - I think they'd be good at deadpan.

Todd BrownMarch 5, 2011 7:52 PM

As soon as you make the zombies funny that'd be the end of the horror. If you use them for gags they stop being scary. So you might get a decent comedy out of it but not a good HORROR comedy.

NYBairnMarch 7, 2011 8:28 PM

Get your point about "funny zombies" but a few years back Michael Jackson gave us Thriller. Now does that qualify as treating zombies in a less than scary light?. 'Course it does. Are zombies still capable of being scary? 'Course they are.

Todd BrownMarch 7, 2011 9:56 PM

Yes, but they couldn't have done the dance zombies and then expected them to be effectively scary in the same piece. It's about internal integrity. You've got to decide what your creatures are and then stick with that for it to work. If your creatures are going to be scary then they need to be scary and if you want to have some humor as well then it needs to come from some other source.

NYBairnMarch 7, 2011 11:38 PM

Sorry Todd, but did you say "internal integrity"?
At the risk of you taking the huff and banning me like gimpy arse Dick, I have to say it's been a while since I've read such utter tripe !.

So you......wait, we're talking about zombies here?
Zombies? (said in Alan Iverson "practice" sort of voice).

I give win.

Todd BrownMarch 8, 2011 1:14 AM

It's not that complicated, man. Every film follows a certain type of internal logic. When you ask you audience to suspend disbelief - and they've got a lot of disbelief to suspend in a zombie film - and abandon regular world logic you need to replace it with film world logic. And once that's set you can't really mess around with it. If you do, you break the internal logic, you lose the audience, and the whole thing falls apart.

This is true of any film in any genre. If you're going to ask people to accept that Will Ferrel is going to set up a frat house you cannot then follow that up by asking them to believe he's a rocket scientist in the same movie. It doesn't work.

NYBairnMarch 8, 2011 12:45 PM


I was gonna give up on this but your argument(s) make no sense.
Why can't Will be a Rocket Scientist and a Frat Boy?. I mean seriously, why not?.

C'mon you need to some up with a better anaolgy than that if you're gonna convince me of this. And as you can see I'm far from convinced.

Again, I'll come back to "Thriller", you telling me that half the folks watching the Landau extended video weren't pissing themselves with freight?. But the zombies danced?......2 things at once?.

How can the human mind comprehend such a juxtaposition?.

Can I ask your take on Dance of the Dead?. Zombieland?.

Are we talking funny zombies or zombies in funny situations?.
I get your point that it's tough to be scared by a zombie telling you a "two men walk into a bar" type joke, but then has it ever happened?.
Probably not.....but if it's handled properly, with competent direction then I see no reason why not.....the joke ceases to be funny when he/she/it starts chomping on your arm.

Start thinking outside the box, eh?

Todd BrownMarch 8, 2011 12:59 PM

I like Dance of the Dead and Zombieland quite a lot. Probably actually like Dance a little bit better. Both are funny movies but not because the zombies are doing funny stuff. They're funny because of the way the human characters interact and react to the zombies. Big difference. Dance of the Dead actually has a couple of really tragic moments that wouldn't work at all if you were going, "Oh, what a goofy zombie,"

Todd BrownMarch 8, 2011 1:01 PM

If you really want to counter my argument the right film to do it with is Save The Green Planet. That's a picture that constantly reinvents itself and switches tone remarkably well. But films like that are the exception, not the rule, and most that try try fail and fail miserably.

NYBairnMarch 8, 2011 1:07 PM

And this started because of what?
Shaun of the Dead?
Watched it once, didn't like it and can remember almost nothing of it.
And think I'm better off for it.

Can we lay this one to rest an take it we're both right?, right?.

Moving swiftly on: "two men walk into a bar..........

Todd BrownMarch 8, 2011 1:14 PM

One of 'em says "Watch out for that."