My second favorite place in the world is the Castro Theater in San Francisco. It's the city's 100th historical landmark and features beautiful architecture and live wurlitzer music. It was there that I first saw The Taking of Pelham One Two Three when they screened it on a double-bill with Network. Some of the best film-going experiences have been at the Castro. This is where Midnites for Maniacs marathons are held, including the 12-hour "Animals Attacking Humans" 5-film extravaganza. I volunteered for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival more than a couple times, during which I met famed film critic Leonard Maltin. The Castro will always hold a special place in my movie-loving heart.
Positive reviews for Dante's next film, The Hole, made me excited to see what he'd been working on for the past few years. That's when I discovered Homecoming, a film he directed for the Masters of Horror series. Here's the plot in a nutshell, America's recently deceased veterans aren't too happy with how their country's being run so they decide to come back and change things up--by voting. The zombies don't eat brains, they don't kill the innocents, they just stand in line like everyone else until they cast their ballots.
Let's get one point out of the way early, this film is less subtle than Crash. It's got a point to make and it's going to make it, no matter what. If you want to find out that point, you'll have to watch the movie...or rememer that Joe Dante is not Kelsey Grammer, Hollywood's only conservative.
Themes aside, let's get down to the hunky-gory. Zombies usually bring quite a bit of the old bloodguts but in this case, more violence happens to the undead than the living. Shame. Their legs are blown off, their bodies are shattered across car hoods, and even worse, their voting rights are in jeopardy. These Masters of Horror films are pretty hit and miss and this one is unfortunately is one of the latter. Instead of bashing on a lesser piece from (did I mention he was one of my favorite directors) Dante, I'd rather take this time to remember the brilliance.
Note: My favorite place in the world is Amoema Music on Haight