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The Castle of Dr. FettersteinBrains!!!!!!!
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, November 29, 2013    Share

Holed up in a farmhouse somewhere in rural Pennsylvania, a blonde mute woman and a young man are trapped inside. The man is trying to secure the house by nailing boards across the windows. Just outside the dead are shuffling around, trying to get in, so they can feed. So begins my long journey into the wonderful gore-filled world of Zombie movies.

I remember visiting the Metro Mall in Kansas City, Mo and going into Musicland to look for videotapes back in 1985. I was curious about seeing a horror movie that I had heard about but never really sat down to watch. Such were the days of being able to visit a music store and looking for videos instead of online purchasing with no chance of meeting fellow fans. I bought two tapes that day on my shoestring budget. One was an episode of Star Trek called The Naked Time and the other was the one that started me on a journey with the undead called Night of the Living Dead.

I greedily took it home to watch because I had recently moved from Tampa, FL and I was going through Creature Feature withdraw. I loved Night of the Living Dead from the moment I first saw it from the Boris Karloff looking first zombie to the downbeat ending that George Romero is famous for.

I invited my friend Daran Holt to watch it with me. He wasnít that impressed because it was black and white and it wasnít as gory as all the killer horror movies that were coming out back in the 80ís.

Still, I liked it and that led me to go out and find Dawn of the Dead. This was the zombie movie we all loved. Dawn had something for horror fans, action fans, cult movie fans, and just about anyone who can appreciate the fun ride it is.

This was George Romero at his best. I know some fans out there really love Martin and Creepshow but Dawn of the Dead remains my favorite Romero flick.

It has such a cool mall with the Monroeville Mall, a kick ass soundtrack by the Goblin, (thanks to Dario Argentoís involvement,) good acting from the four main characters, and the icing on the cake was the jaw dropping special effects wizardry of Tom Savini, the man who got the most out of working within a limited budget. Dawn was a good time and on any given Friday or Saturday night, my friends would gather at my house. We would cheap in our money for Little Caesars 2 for $7.99 pizza and thatís all we needed. None of us were into drugs or alcohol because we were so into zombie movies and horror films in general. Who needed that other stuff?

A few years later I was back in Tampa attending Monroe Middle School and I was at a friendís house that I remember from my elementary school days. Well, we went out to Blockbusters, ordered pizza, drank Cokes, and sat back to watch The Return of the Living Dead. To me Return was a rock-n-roll zombie movie with a punk attitude. It is not my favorite zombie movie but some scenes still haunt my nightmare even today.

I remember when an elderly man gets inside a coffin that is slowly heading towards the fire inside furance at the crematorium as a song about burning is playing on the soundtrack. It was such a hideous scene that I had to laugh even though I found it so shocking at the time.

The best scene for me is when one zombie is standing beside the ambulance and grabs the CB and says, ďSendÖmoreÖparamedics.Ē

Plus all the numerous quotes about brains and eating brains made The Return of the Living Dead such a great movie to memorize lines from.

I remember having nothing to do one Saturday afternoon and I was looking through old videotapes and saw one just called Zombie. It turned out to be Zombie by Lucio Fulci and it was a simple story told with such genius. What other director would have filmed an underwater fight scene between a zombie and a shark? I was fascinated by that scene and I am still trying to figure out how Fulci got a live Tiger Shark to cooperate.

The kick ass scene was when the girl gets a wooden splinter right into her eye. I never saw that coming and no one watching it for the first time could predict that it would happen either. It didnít shock me when I saw it because I was young and pretending to play tough. However, that scene did enter my nightmares later on. However, the real fun in Zombie happens on the island as the zombies are being shot at as they break into a hospital.

I was back in Kansas City for summer vacation when I was in high school and spending a lot of time with Todd Sheets. We started talking about making our own zombie movies and so on a zero budget and equipped with only a big bulky 80ís era video camera, we found an old house and filmed Blood of the Undead. It that movie I play a zombie and my best friend Daran also played a zombie and we chased another friend of ours behind an abandoned house. Daran grabs him and throws him to the ground. Then we lift up his shirt and pull his intestines out in true Dawn of the Dead spirit. I remember how awful those intestines tasted. We bought some pasta and overcooked it until it was large and mushy. It was hot and nasty sitting out in the warm Sun all day until we needed it. I didnít put many pieces inside my mouth. I do remember spitting up everything in the grass. Later that night I brushed my teeth twice.

Later on we made Blood of the Undead part 2. I remember still being in makeup and I got home late. I almost missed my flight back to Tampa. I didnít have time to take a shower so I boarded my flight with fake blood on my shirt and arms and zombie makeup stuck to my face. Sitting in my sit I tried pulling the makeup off which really hurt and caused the other passengers to stare at me and wonder what I had been through. To this day I wonder why I was allowed to fly looking like I did.

Since that time I have played other zombies for Todd and each time I had a blast because he is so much fun to work with as a director.

In college I discovered Dead Alive by Peter Jackson and that is one of the funniest zombie movies I have seen. Dead Alive is a great example of splatstick. I followed up Dead Alive with Cemetery Man by the very talented Michele Soavi.

Recently my favorite zombie movie has to be Shaun of the Dead. It is a hysterical riff on Dawn of the Dead and all the classic Romero zombie movies. This was before Romeroís fall from grace with Land of the Dead and all the other zombie movies he made following Land that are unwatchable to me.

So with all the hype surrounding The Walking Dead, do yourself a favor and check out some classic zombie flicks. The ones Iíve mentioned are sure to entertain. The ones I am in are extremely hard to find. I should mention other zombie movies that I love such as Let Sleeping Corpses Lie aka The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, Fulciís The Beyond, and from Australia the comedic Undead.

There are more and more zombie movies popping up now and a lot of them are just awful. So stick to the good ones via word of mouth because the quality ones will rise above the crap.

With that in mind I think I need to check on the boards across my windows and grab my shotgun. I hear an all too familiar moaning sound outside in the dark.

"The Castle of Dr. Fetterstein" is ©2013 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2013 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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