POSTING BY BIG ANGRY
It’s been almost a year now since AMC debuted their breakout hit The Walking Dead. For those not in the know, this series follows a group of Georgia citizens as they gather together in order to survive a “zombie apocalypse” that has gripped the entire world. I have to be honest, my dear Throwdowner, I was highly, I mean highly, skeptical about a series based on zombies. I mean, really? Zombies?!? I’ve watched and enjoyed my fair share of zombie movies, however, it was beyond me how could such a topic be made into a decent series. Especially on AMC!
Wow, was I ever proven wrong.
Of course it wasn’t until a co-worker of mine loaned me the series on DVD in February of this year that I truly realized my erroneous line of thinking. Upon viewing the opening scene in which the lead character, Rick Grimes, comes across and confronts the young girl who turns out to be a zombie, I was sucked in. What followed was a well crafted, engrossing, and grotesque story that enraptures viewers at every turn. I couldn’t stop watching it. For two nights I stayed up late taking in everything I could until my eyes could stay open no longer. Even now, these DVDs get a regular rotation in my player.
If there is any negative that could be said about The Walking Dead is that the first season only lasts six episodes. However, within those six episodes, we are introduced to a cast of characters that seem real enough to remind you of someone you’ve encountered in everyday life. Even those characters who appear momentarily are done well enough to be thoroughly engaging. We are provided with a sense of emptiness, desolation, and impending danger around every corner that is palatable and as well done as I remember reading in first half of ”The Stand” when younger. The viewer is also provided with an excellent and scientific explanation as to the transformation and exact level of brain function of your typical “walker.” An explanation, by the way, that could lead one into a discussion of life vs death on a very real level as seen in some traumatic brain injury cases.
Let’s face it, what makes this series amazing besides for the great characters, is that the zombies are cool. I mean, really cool in a haunting your dreams kind of way. Unfortunately, we are in an age where it’s ok that vampires (and I use that term loosely) “sparkle” instead of burn in direct sunlight. A sad age where we are treated to remakes of classic horror/slasher films that now insist on including a back story with the poorly conceived notion of developing a sense of “depth” or, god forbid, sympathy for this modern-day villain. It’s refreshing to see these unthinking, unfeeling creatures whose only purpose is to pursue, eat, and rot. Like the original Terminator, they cannot be reasoned nor bargained with. They only know one thing, consumption. What scares us, what truly scares us isn’t some back story or psychological profile, it’s the illogical, unexplained evil that tries to chase us down. If we can rationalize it, it’s no longer as scary to us.
Thus, the zombies in The Walking Dead with their one and only goal of consuming flesh, combined with their unwavering desire to hunt it, exemplify that irrational fear. These lumbering, stalking, and sometimes crawling creatures touch something primal inside that raise the hackles of one’s skin. Pensive, bitchy vampires and moody werewolves don’t scare, but the feral hunger exhibited by these zombie foes chill to bone. That, my fine reader, is the icing on the cake, the cherry on top of the vile beauty that is The Walking Dead.
Now, I can’t make comparisons with the graphic novel from which this series is based. Up until I watched the series, I was unaware such a thing existed. I promise you though, that once I get through the Game of Thrones series of books, I will be delving further into the print version of this series. Until that time, I can only gush over AMC’s fine take on this comic series. Which, by the way, I am very happy to report will resume with season 2 on October 16th. This time, we will be treated to a full 13 episodes. Be sure to check out the season 2 trailer below.
Be weary, my fine reader, for October 16th is just around the corner. It’s time to sharpen your axes, load your weapons, board up the windows, and get ready for a little zombie Throwdown.