Geek in the City

Mixing pop culture news, reviews, and socially biting commentary with mildly amusing entertainment.

Undead a Day – Wednesday – Surviving in Portland

When the dead walk the streets, let all the foolish masses run to Costco or Bi-Mart. They might last a few days, before zombies rend their flesh and slurp their brains. You really want to survive the pending zombie apocalypse? Then read on hunter of zombies, survivors of Armageddon!

The Grotto – NE Portland –


Opened in May, 1924, the Grotto (or, The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother as it is officially known) has been a place of peace and quite for generations. Where better could one make their stand against the end of the world but a location that might have God on it’s side! Beyond the beautiful shrines, walking paths, gardens, and potential divine blessing; the Grotto has another feature helpful during the zombie apocalypse. Elevated and defensible position. Like a Gates of Thermopylae, the Grotto only has one non man-made way in. Alas, should the frighteningly resourceful undead still find the symbolic goat path into the sanctuary, you still have one fantastic option to avoid an undead existence. The Grotto is high up. Way high up. Able to jump to your doom high up. Although committing suicide in a Catholic sanctuary is all kinds of ironic. I think. And, even if the dead aren’t walking, the Grotto truly is a wonderful place to visit.

Kelly Butte Civil Defense Center – SE Portland –


Did you know Portland was named as a fall-back city should the dirty Ruskies ever turn Washington D.C. into glass. From 1955 – 1956, the Civil Defense spent countless millions of dollars hollowing out over 18,820 square feet under Kelly Butte. Designed as a fully self-contained city, the Kelly Butte Defense Center had water and air filtration systems, food storage, radio transmitters, and tons of cement walls good for keeping the undead at bay. Then again, it was closed in the late 1990s on account of the obscene amount of cancer causing asbestos in the air. Hey, what do you want? Gotta’ take the bad with the good. Because, cancer is a manly way to go, not all whining like “oh no, I’ve been bitten by zombies… Noooo… Gonna’ eat my kids now, wahaaaa”. Breathe the asbestos, wuss… Okay, in all seriousness, you probably shouldn’t go up there. Imagining a hidden city under the city is all kinds of fantastic, but the government ain’t known for maintaining structural integrity. Good chance you’ll fall in and never be seen again.

The Rose and Thistle – NE Portland –


This one is going to totally read like a plug for a local bar. Oh well. Does the Rose and Thistle (R.A.T.) have the thickest walls? No. Perhaps the R.A.T. has the required one entrance / exit. Not really. Can you smoke in the R.A.T.? Well, not anymore. Then fine, dumb ass Geek boy, why the hell do you want to hold out there? Because, everyone needs a Winchester and to many a Portland Geek the Rose and Thistle is indeed that place. A near limitless supply of Guinness and Scotch Eggs, with many a melee weapon attached to the wall, the R.A.T. is where you’ll find me waiting out the end of the world. Hey, if your ass is doomed anyway, might as well eat and drink till you pass out. And, let us be honest, ain’t none of us Ash or Rick Grimes from Walking Dead. We’re all hosed. Get drunk!


Undead a Day – Tuesday – Undead Nightmare Review

From comic book companies, popular video games, and even Sears, many companies these days are just slapping zombies on their product for a jump in sales. Red Dead Redemption is no exception, but unlike Sears trying to sell the undead Eco-minded washers and dryers, Undead Nightmare delivers on it’s promise of a rootin’-tootin’ zombie killing good time!

Undead Nightmare isn’t some tacked on zombie patch of already established missions. Like Rockstar’s previous world-spanning DLCs, The Ballad of Gay Tony or The Lost and The Damned, Undead Nightmare takes full advantage of Red Dead’s massive world. The set-up follows the Red Dead story, you’ve done all the killing that needed killing and are looking forward to the quiet life of a family man. Fate, it would see, has something completely different in mind. That damn uncle of yours, he done went and got your wife and child infected with the Zombie Virus. Not able to blast a slug into your kin’s head, you hogtie them, get back on your horse, and go looking for a cure. Then all hell breaks loose, literally in some places.

Darn near every character returns in Undead Nightmare, each one of them aware and dealing with the apocalypse in their own way. The Sheriff of Armadillo doing his best to keep order and protect the citizens. Friggen Nigel West Dickens is still trying to make a quick buck, undead hordes (and your own safety) be damned. Undead Nightmare isn’t a simple, find the cure, fix your family, end game. Rockstar takes full advantage of Red Dead’s massive game world. You will find yourself spending hours just roaming the landscape, seeing how zombies slowing change the environment. A setting that already had it’s creepy moments raises the bar to 11 with endless nights of rain, grey clouds sitting low on the land, and disturbing howls in the distance. Rockstar clearly wants you to take in the environment and the new dangers found within Undead Nightmare as they disabled the convenient Campfire Travel Feature. No jumping to mission locations this time, you have to face the dangers. A little tedious at times, just give in to the setting and enjoy this altered landscape.

Undead Nightmare drastically changes how you enter a fight. Forget tactical hiding and planning ambushes against living foes. These are classic zombies. They aren’t that smart and one or two are easy to deal with; but as a horde? Utterly relentless and damn near unable to stop. This is made even more difficult by the extreme lack of ammunition. Undead Nightmare forces out your inner MacGyver as you look for ways to send them undead sons a bitches back to hell! Some of the new weapons include holy water, the zombie parts blunderbuss, and all manner of explosions. Some die hard Left 4 Dead players might cry foul with the inclusion of specialty zombies like the Bruisers, Bolters, and Retchers. Oh well, they add to the play experience and it isn’t like Valve has the lock on “strange undead” concept.

The perfect mix of Spaghetti Western and Fulci horror, Undead Nightmare is completely worth the 800 XBox Points or 9.99 on the PS3.

Undead Nightmare is the ass-kickin’ horror western you didn’t know you wanted, but totally needed. Get it friend… And aim for tha’ head.


Undead a Day – Monday

First, good ‘ol Dan Halsted from Portland Grindhouse again brings some glorious disgusting flicks to the Hollywood Theatre with a Double-Fulci! Starting at 7:30pm on Tuesday:

HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY (1981) A terrifying tale of gore and sleaze!  A professor moves his wife and creepy ass son into an old cursed house.  It doesn’t take long before blood starts oozing from the walls and the son befriends the ghost of a little girl warning them to leave.  The real horror though is the living, rotting corpse hiding in the basement, who needs to kill to survive.  This is Lucio Fulci at his finest, meaning we’ll see decapitations, impalements, maggots, and the longest rabid bat attack in cinema history, all immersed in Fulci’s masterful atmosphere of terror.

Wait – Before we move on to the 2nd film in the Double Fulci Fright Fest… An intermission from Red Dead Redemption:

Got it? Good, get it! Back to Fulci…

ZOMBIE (1979) Fulci’s gut munching masterpiece about a doctor on a remote island whose experiments have caused the dead to return to life. A group of Americans visit the island in search of the doctor, and are drawn into a ferocious battle with the flesh eating walking dead. Backed by Fabio Frizzi’s synthesized soundtrack, zombies rise from the grave, humans are ruthlessly attacked, a zombie fights a shark, and all gory hell breaks loose! “We are going to EAT YOU!”

You can get your tickets at the door or at Grindhouse Film Fest.

See you all tomorrow with Undead a Day – Tuesday. Stay scared.480_zenegeek

Undead and Amazons – Oh My!


Don’t let the rain stop you from rising from the grave and feasting on the flesh of the living! .Okay, maybe don’t really feast on them… But seriously, Oregon Zombies should be immune to creepy water form the sky. It all starts 3:30 pm Saturday at Portland Pioneer Square. Start your shambling now!

2010pdxwonderwomandayThen, on Sunday, clean up your gore and rush down to Excalibur Comics and take part in the 2010 Wonder Woman Day event! Part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Wonder Woman Day is an ALL AGES benefit and celebration for Domestic Violence programs such as Bradley Angle and others. Since starting in 2006, Wonder Woman Day has raised over $89,000 for domestic violence prevention and counseling programs. Do your part. Pop on by Sunday at Excalibur Comics – Sunday – Noon to 6pm.


Sometimes, Zed is Better…

It will take a serious bit of willpower to not call in sick Tuesday… Just so I can plant my butt in front of the Xbox 360 and blaze through this little gem:

To my knowledge, The Sacrifice is one of the first DLCs usable on either version of a video game. That’s right, only own Left 4 Dead or Left 4 Dead 2? No worries, The Sacrifice will play on either. ‘Course, if you don’t own both, there is a good chance you aren’t all that excited to begin with. What to do while you wait for Tuesday? Pop on over to Valve and check out the gorgeous The Sacrifice comic from Michael Oeming.

Then, just a few weeks later. The whole reason I’ve hung onto Red Dead Redemption hits the DLC. (Don’t get me wrong, the game has a grip of replay value with all the online options. I’m just not a big online gamer). Unless, of course, I’m hunting the Gawd Damn Undead! Undead Nightmare hits the dirty west and I can’t wait to skin ma’ smokewagon and put some friggen zombies back into the dirt:

Look for a review from both as they break. Until next time. Aim for the head!480_zenegeek