Christopher R. Mihm’s “Attack of the Moon Zombies” Wins Numerous B-Movie Awards
“Attack of the Moon Zombies,” a B&W 1950s-drive-in-style creature feature film by writer/director Christopher R. Mihm, took a record six Dead Letter Awards in this year’s competition.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mar 23, 2012 –
Minnesotan writer/director Christopher R. Mihm has a unique filmmaking niche. He makes only B&W, 1950s-drive-in-style creature features, or as he puts it, “I make good bad, new old movies.” Released in May 2011, his sixth film, “Attack of the Moon Zombies,” received universally positive reviews from those who want their nostalgia to be newly made. Recently, cult-movie site MailOrderZombie.com nominated “Attack of the Moon Zombies” for many of their annual Dead Letter Awards for quality filmmaking in the zombie genre.
The awards Mihm’s film won are: 1) Best Zombie Movie, feature length; 2) Best Director of a Zombie Movie (Christopher R. Mihm); 3) Best Zombie (Michael Kaiser); 4) Best Actress in a Zombie Movie Sid Korpi as Administrator Ripley; and 5) Best One-Liner in a Zombie Movie: “I know I’d rather die in agonizing pain than become some weird meat puppet for those nasty little things out there, wouldn’t you?” Plus, the movie won Best Death Scene via a write-in-only ballot, naming Mike Cook’s self-sacrificing demise as Dr. Vincent Edwards the best of the deaths. The film took home more awards than any other in the competition. Winners were established by popular vote.
Fans of this monstrously memorable, family-friendly, super-cheesy flick are urged to visit the Mail Order Zombie site to listen to the highly entertaining 3/22/12 podcast #177 at http://www.mailorderzombie.com.
Also up to popular vote to decide is the 10th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, for which “Attack of the Moon Zombies” has been nominated as Best Independent Film (Category 8). Please visit http://www.rondoaward.com/rondo/rondos.html to vote for this fine ’50s movie and support independent cinema by March 31, 2012.
If you haven’t yet seen “Attack of the Moon Zombies” and want to check it out to see what all the hubbub is about, order your copy from http://www.sainteuphoria.com today! While you’re on the site, why not purchase your tickets for the May 23, 2012 Heights Theatre premiere of Mihm’s seventh film, “House of Ghosts”? This show, a spooky homage to the 1950s-fright-film director William Castle (“The Tingler” and “House on Haunted Hill”) is selling out fast—fewer than 50 tickets remain—so act soon.
Attack of the Moon Zombies
Twenty years have passed since Dr. Vincent Edwards took on a certain radiation-mutated bat creature and he is ready to retire. While training his replacement on the Jackson Lunar Base, the two stumble upon a seemingly impossible discovery: alien plant life! Unfortunately, exposure to the spores of this otherworldly flora cause instant death. Too bad those killed by them don’t stay dead and instead, want nothing more than to replicate! (2011)
“…a hilarious and well-orchestrated send-up of sci-fi films and their audiences. It’s as if you’re participating in a live episode of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000.’ ‘Attack of the Moon Zombies,’ much like Mihm’s other films, is a love-letter to cinematic cheddar played to the hilt. …
“AotMZ boasts an impressive cast of thespians–most notably Mike Cook and Sid Korpi in standout performances as an avuncular senior scientist and a hard-nosed-moon-base-administrator-with-a-golden heart, respectively. Douglas Sidney and Shannon McDonough seem to relish their purposefully 2D portrayals as love interests/leads. Sidney punctuates every scene he’s in with silent goony-faced expressions and McDonough is a twirling, sobbing, wreck of a woman straight out of a ’50s soap opera acting class.”
— Jay at Exonauts!, Far-out, Sci-fi Adventuring
“There was much to appreciate in this, Mihm’s sixth film. Once again, Mihm stayed faithful to his premise—making a cheesy film with no onscreen violence, no swearing, with a ‘Star Wars’ reference or two and a cameo appearance. That word ‘cheesy’ is his own as in his statement, ‘I love to make cheesy films for the sake of knowing exactly what they are with no pretense.’ The thing is, these films are so much more than that to an audience that has been bombarded with high-tech, overly graphic, 3D-infested assaults on the senses. In short, these ‘cheesy’ films are a welcome antithesis to all that, confined to the basics of filmmaking. Story, acting, directing, special effects and music. …
“This cast included some brilliant performers who got the point and played it to the hilt. Shannon McDonough gives a nearly flawless if somewhat subdued interpretation of a botanist on a scientific expedition that is beleagured by a lunar plant that blows spores in the faces of its victims, turning them into hideous zombies. She is one of several personnel under the supervision of Administrator Ripley, played expertly by Sid Korpi. Ms. Korpi’s command of the lengthy but pointedly satirical dialogue was eloquent and hilarious.”
— Darrell Moen, Minneapolis Movies Examiner
“Attack of the Moon Zombies” (2011) By Jason Coffman
In 2006, Minnesota-based filmmaker Christopher R. Mihm released his first feature film “The Monster of Phantom Lake.” A loving tribute to the 1950s creature features Mihm grew up watching with his father, Mihm’s first film established the blueprint for his subsequent oeuvre: low-budget black & white features shot on the cheap that aim not to ironically appropriate the look and feel of 1950s genre cinema, but to actually replicate that look and feel as an end in itself. Each of Mihm’s films— with titles such as “Cave Women on Mars” and “Terror from Beneath the Earth”— build on and add to an overarching mythology and world that has been earning his work a cult following of like-minded fans who grew up on and love the same b-movies that inspired him. Mihm’s latest film, “Attack of the Moon Zombies,” is no exception and may also be his most technically accomplished film yet. In the not-too-distant future on the Jackson Lunar Base, Dr. Vincent Edwards (Mike Cook) is on the eve of retirement. While training his young replacement, Glen Hayes (Michael Kaiser), the two men find a long-dormant plant hidden in a cave on the lunar surface. They return it to the laboratory of the Base Botanist Dr. Hackett (Shannon McDonough) and report the find to Base Administrator Ripley (Sid Korpi). Once removed from the lunar surface and its deadly radiation, the plant springs to life and the scientists learn the hard way that the plant’s spores cause paralysis and death in short order, followed by reanimation as a plant-like zombie! Soon the Moon Zombies have overrun the Base, constantly thwarting Dr. Collins’ (Douglas Sidney) attempts to propose to Dr. Hackett and resulting in the shutdown of radiation shields over two-thirds of the base. A small group of survivors must figure out a way to reach the shield controls and wipe out the Moon Zombies in time for the next supply ship to arrive and take them home. Too bad the base is absolutely crawling with monsters and time is running out— can our heroes save themselves and end the Moon Zombie threat? Shot in “era-appropriate black & white” on digital video, “Attack of the Moon Zombies” looks a bit sharper than Mihm’s other films, but that may be because it’s almost entirely shot on sterile interior sets. The Lunar Base is all white walls, plastic lawn chairs and automatic sliding doors, probably making lighting a bit easier and more consistent than in the outdoor locations that make up much of Mihm’s previous films. The cast is mostly made up of alumni from Mihm’s previous films (and includes his wife Stephanie), and the lo-fi sets, costumes and monster make-up all add to the film’s considerable charm. The Moon Zombies themselves are perfectly realized, looking exactly as cheap as they should (they appear to be masks and gloves) without being too goofy to generate some genuine tension. Mihm absolutely nails the tone and dialogue of his 50′s inspirations, and the game cast does a great job across the board. Aside from the crisp DV picture, the only tip-offs that the film isn’t from the same decade as “It Conquered the World” are the sly pop culture references (be sure to note all the characters’ names!) and the use of some simple CG animation early in the film instead of cardboard-tube space ships and Christmas-light stars. While “Attack of the Moon Zombies” may be most fun for “Mihmiverse” converts— it really does pay to watch all the films and pay careful attention— any fan of classic sci-fi and horror films will find a lot to like, and this is a great introduction to Mihm’s work. Learn more about “Attack of the Moon Zombies” and Christopher R. Mihm’s other films at his official website: www.sainteuphoria.com.
Jason Coffman is a film writer living in Chicago. He writes reviews for Film Monthly and “The Crown International Files” for Criticplanet.org as well as contributing to Fine Print Magazine (www.fineprintmag.net).
RJDiogenes wrote on the Trek BBS site: “For those of you who are fans of of Drive-In B-Movies from the 50s (and homages thereof), we have Attack Of The Moon Zombies. This is the latest film by Christopher Mihm, all of which are set in the same growing universe.
“The films are quite humorous, but not in the same way as, say, Larry Blamire’s movies, like Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra. Most retro pastiches go heavy on the parody, but Mihm plays it mostly straight; if you came across any of these movies on TV, it would take you a few minutes to realize you’re not watching a genuine old flick. And, best, he treats his characters with respect; there’s an emotional investment that is genuine and gives the audience something to care about beyond a simple homage.
“Anyway, my copy of Moon Zombies just came today, so I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ll be getting to it soonest.”
Followed by this response after his viewing the movie: “Well, I was certainly not disappointed in ‘Moon Zombies.’ It was as good and entertaining as I anticipated. The casting is great-—Mihm seems to have a knack for that. Mike Cook is as classic a character actor as anyone could hope to find and the rest of the cast is wonderful to watch as well, especially Shannon McDonough and Sid Korpi. As I noted above, Mihm brings real Human pathos and feeling to the wonderful campiness and cheese of the B-Movie universe. I wish that Sciffy would show these movies and bring them to a wider audience.”
To which OmahaStar responded: “Cheese? What cheese? I don’t know what you could possibly be referring to. There’s no cheese in Mihm’s movies. Ok, maybe a tiny little bit of cheddar, but that’s all. I’m glad you liked it. I was at the premiere on Wednesday (haven’t missed one yet, this was the fourth one for me), and it was completely sold out. I’m glad you pointed out how great Sid is. She’s remarkable, and … Ok, I’m sorry, but it takes one hell of an actor to pull off the line ‘All-out space plant zombie attack’ and keep a straight face. That line got massive applause.
Attack of the Moon Zombies World Premiere!
May 31, 2011
All of us like good entertainment. But would you fly 3000 miles and have your wife drive 15 hours and almost 1000 miles to meet you for a secret rendezvous in the Twin Cities just to go to a movie?
To be fair it was part of a meeting with an editor friend for a book project that I am working on and a road trip to Deadwood, South Dakota and then home to Denver for a couple weeks before I head back to Alaska.
The movie was the world premiere of Christopher R. Mihm’s Attack of the Moon Zombies!
Moon Zombies premiered at the Heights theater in Columbia Heights, MN. The Heights is one of those cool old school-type theaters that our great country is losing at alarming rate, giving way to I-Max, 3-D and twenty screen stadium seating multiplexes. What a shame.
There was a line around the block waiting to get into the sold out performance and even included reporters Bob and Rob asking us what we were wearing and asking goofy questions. They weren’t Joan and Melissa Rivers but close…
Before the show Dr. Ivan Cryptosis emceed introducing the film and the man behind the madness, Christopher R. Mihm.
[Listen to Attack of the Moon Zombies Interview on Dog Works Radio]
The movie was everything that we would expect from Mihm. True to form bringing back some of his characters from previous films and that quirky 50s drive-in horror/sci-fi style that kept the sold out audience on the edge of their seats.
Moon Zombie’s peppered humor with some serious acting from Sid Korpi (Administrator Ripley), Mike Cook as Dr. Vincent Edwards and the fan favorite, Michael Kaiser as Glen Hayes.
What would a 50s-style B-Movie be without a damsel in distress? Of course Moon Zombies covers this with a brilliant performance my Shannon McDonough and her screams!
Of course we have to have a monster. In Moon Zombies we have plenty of cabbage-headed zombies lurking around that scoop up their victims as quick as you can toss a salad. With Mihm’s trademark bug eye’s the monsters paid a great homage to those creatures from the films of yesteryear. While the effects are cheesy and low budget (they are supposed to be) they work!
This message was sent to me from one of our beloved Two Right Feet dance students following the premiere:
Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for letting us know about Christopher Mihm movies!!!! We had so much fun.
YOU and Anthony were FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*
The cast was great, the crowd was fun and the whole atmosphere was really relaxed and fun. We laughed and laughed at the movie, the props, and the filming. The kids “got it” which we didn’t know if they would, and they really had a good time too. They thought you were a beautiful movie star, YOU LOOKED SO GORGEOUS (not that you don’t normally but you know what I mean…the dress, etc…).
Again you have made us HUGE Christopher Mihm cult followers, we are going on the website to get more stuff today!!! We scored some t-shirts and posters last night. The movie far exceeded our expectations and was SO WELL WRITTEN and PERFORMED!