I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand

This book opens with a warning. It is indeed about making The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. And there will be zombies. Just not real ones. And no one turns into anything. It is a book about a group of teenage boys making a movie. So don't throw the book (or electronic reading devise) "across the room, hitting an innocent gerbil. Gerbils don't deserve this." I myself, have flung books across rooms (ahem, Faulkner). This book, is sitting happily on my kindle. Yes. It was so good, I bought it. And it was on sale.

Justin, Gabe, and Bobby are three long time friends living in Florida, who have dreams of being filmmakers. They have been making movie shorts for a while now on various horror topics, such as vampires, werewolves, and mummies. One day, a month before school lets out for the summer they get the idea to make THE GREATEST ZOMBIE MOVIE EVER! Their first movie and they are going to go for broke.  First of course, is the discussion of whether to have fast zombies or slow zombies. Justin settles the dispute between Gabe and Bobby by deciding to have both. It will make their movie different and stand out. Justin will direct. Gabe will be the camera man. And Bobby will handle sound and lots of abuse. All three will take a third of the script and they will put it together and see what happens. They only have a month to do this in, as Gabe will be going to Indiana for the summer right after school ends, so time is of the essence.

Bobby decides that Justin's crush, Alicia would make the perfect female lead to their movie. He has been moderately in love with her for years and has had three conversations with her that consisted of a total of eleven sentences. The last thing he wants is for Bobby to call Alicia. When he does and pushes the phone in Justin's hand, he comes up with the backbone of their movie on the spot. He tells her the movie is tentatively called "Zombies With Flesh Stuck in My Teeth" and that the name of her character was going to be "Veronica Chaos, and she's in a postapopalypitc world... with mutant zombies everywhere and she has to find the lost" --Medallion? Skull? Child? "book that can save humanity. She carries a" --Sword? Chainsaw? Lightweight lawn mower?--"cat and wears a"-Cloak? Corset? Chain and bikini?--"tattered white wedding dress." Alicia is very interested in being in their movie.

They also need some money to make this movie. They have equipment (some borrowed from the school and elsewhere) but they will need zombie special effects and stuff. So, they go to Justin's very interesting grandmother who loans him the $5,000 if he guarantees her a 12% return on her investment. Most of this is used to buy zombie special effects from Bobby's Uncle Clyde, a man in the business, and just as unusual as Justin's grandmother. He also has a basement that he works out of, which, for those of you who don't live down in Florida, people who live in Florida generally don't have basements because of the flooding.  Uncle Clyde's whole house is weird, but not in the way you would expect.

Justin fails to get permission from the school principal to shoot footage on school property, but he tells no one, thinking that maybe he can change her mind later, as that will be the last thing they shoot. The first day of shooting is the park scenes and everyone arrives early. Alicia, who is going to be sporting a purple Mohawk and her friend Daisy and Christopher, who will be playing Runson Mudd, the male lead, along with his little brother, Spork, who has brought along a camera to document a behind-the-scenes video on the making of the movie. Everything is going great (With the exception of the Alicia's crying and fact that Bobby is sick, and makes a near fatal error of accidentally dropping the boom mic on Alicia, who insists on being called Veronica Chaos for the entire shooting. Actors!), until a kiddie party arrives. With a very annoying clown. But there are ways around this. And revenge can be sweet.

But an accident causes the camera to break. Which also causes a break between Justin and Gabe. Justin has been slowly going off the rails with this movie. He has been making changes and doing anything just to get the movie made. And he is ready to sacrifice his friendship too. Gabe walks off the set, and Justin decides to continue shooting the movie with the camera on his phone, making it a "lost video" type of movie instead. He's not making a lot of sense. But will he come to his senses in time? Will they complete the movie or will grandma have someone come over and break their legs, or arm, as the case may be? Just how important is friendship? If your best friend is not there with you making the movie of your dreams, is it worth it?

This book if filled with many laugh out loud laughs. I was very careful NOT to read it close to bedtime, as I needed my sleep and I knew it would keep me up all night. This book explores not just following your dreams, but also the importance of friendship and how they will stick by you, especially when the chips are down. Definitely go out and check this book out or buy it! I'll probably be re-reading it, myself. I've already given it away as a birthday gift and bought the other two books he has written because they sound quite interesting as well. Strand is one to watch.

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Zombie-Movie-Ever/dp/149262814X?ie=UTF8&keywords=the%20greatest%20zombie%20movie%20ever%20by%20jeff%20strand&qid=1463588448&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1

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