Night of the Living Dead

For zombie game inspiration, you can download and watch George Romero’s 1968 classic horror film, Night of the Living Dead for free.

The Spanish American War In Motion Pictures

The Library of Congress has an incredible archive of film footage from the Spanish American War.

This presentation features 68 motion pictures produced between 1898 and 1901 of the Spanish-American War and the subsequent Philippine Revolution. The Spanish-American War was the first U.S. war in which the motion picture camera played a role. These films were made by the Edison Manufacturing Company and the American Mutoscope & Biograph Company and consist of actualities filmed in the U.S., Cuba, and the Philippines, showing troops, ships, notable figures, and parades, as well as reenactments of battles and other war-time events. The Special Presentation presents the motion pictures in chronological order together with brief essays that provide a historical context for their filming.

It’s inspired me to get out some of my old Spanish American 15mm miniatures for a game.

Ride With The Devil

imageRide with the Devil was released in 1999, and I frankly don’t know how I missed it. But I just finished watching it on the Starz movie channel and thought it one of the best Civil war movies I’ve seen

Directed by the celebrated Ang Lee, the movie is adapted from the Daniel Woodrell novel Woe to Live on. The story follows Daniel Rodell (Toby Maguire), a teen who joins a group of Kansas Irregulars in 1861. At its core, it’s a coming-of-age story, as Rodell fights his way through the war, losing family and friends until he finally ends the war on his own terms.

Sure, there’s a “love story” here, but it also offers a lot from a wargamers’ perspective. As it focuses on “irregular” cavalry operations, there are no set piece battles as in Glory or Gettysburg, but the skirmishes come across as quite authentic. And inspiring. I have this urge to go right out and buy some 28mm Civil war cavalry figures to do a skirmish game.

While I’m sure that the historical stickers among wargamers will (as usual) have a long laundry list of “errors” in the movie, there wasn’t anything that jumped out and ruined the movie for me (one critic I read pointed out that in that period, women didn’t’ have inseam pockets in their skirts — big deal). In particular, I loved the period language: formal and rather flowery by modern standards. While people may not have really spoken in that manner, it is right in keeping with the phrasing in period letters I have read.

If you haven’t seen it, I think you should seek this one out.