Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Zombie Surprise

So I'm watching The Walking Dead premier right now, and I will say it is pretty good. We aren't far in yet, but so far the acting, setting, effects, etc. are all solid. A few issues with details here and there, but nothing big. So far, think 28 Days Later, but in the US rather than the UK. I know it doesn't sound like a big difference, but we have guns (kind of changes the game. you know, just a little).

Right, but the real reason for the post: the main character wakes up in the middle of a zombie outbreak, sees a bunch of dead people, then sees one corpse that had been ripped in half that starts moaning a crawling towards him. He runs away (understandable), but then, later, he sees another guy with gray skin silently shambling down the middle of the road. Now lets think... There is surely some serious shock associated with waking up in the middle of armageddon, but you've already seen that some corpses have the ability to come after you, and, if nothing else, everything you've seen is dead, so this guy shouldn't be so calm. Now why, oh why, would you think its a good idea to flag this strange, shambling man down (as our foolish protagonist did)?

Why does it seem that every zombie movie/show (at least every one I can think of) starts with the "Oh shit, zombies! But I've never heard of a zombie!" moment? Every zombie universe seems to include the general ignorance of the population as to what a zombie is and how to deal with them. What would happen if there was a zombie story set in the world where we live, where people are well aware of the zombie mythology, and many even have plans in place for a zombie-scenario. Hell, I own a book called the Zombie Survival Guide. Has fantasy/sci-fi in these slightly different universes just glossed over the living dead, thus leaving their citizens hopelessly unprepared? How would prior understanding of zombies change the way zombie stories go?


Tristram said...

Just finished the episode. Love it, and excited about its potential. The only example I can think of where a character is aware of how to handle a zombie situation is Jill Valentine in Resident Evil Apocalypse. She just walks into the room, shoots all the zombies, then tells the police force to "Shoot them in the head". Her prior knowledge seems to make the her role more action based than zombie survival, which is what Walking Dead represents. I can't think of any other roles where the character has prior knowledge, and I do agree that at some point characters have to have some idea of what is going on because the first 15 minutes or so was identical to 28 Days Later.
I'm also wondering if his wave to the shambling person in the street was less out of stupidity, but more because he was in denial or still felt he was dreaming.

Jordan said...


I watched it today (YAY DVR!) and really enjoyed the first episode! Although, I agree that Deputy Sheriff Rick is kind of an idiot. Even after he realizes what's going on and gets help from the survivors in town (also... why would they elect to stay there? seems stupid to me even if they were still grieving. There is safety in numbers. I would have gone with Ranger Rick.)

Anyway, he still does stupid things. Going off into the park away from his car to find the legless zombie, then shooting it? I get his intention, but if he had attracted a ton of rotters with that shot, he'd have been in the middle of nowhere with one gun and no hope of escaping.

And oh, let me just crawl under this tank that has massive openings on both sides! They'll never get me under here! Lucky the bottom was open. How convenient. I totally side with the voice at the end on the radio. "Hey Dumbass! You in the tank! Is it cozy in there?" hahaha that cracked me up.

One last thing... The chance to win a "stagger-on role" on the show. LMAO. Because of course it wouldn't be a "walk-on" role. Zombies don't walk.

Anyway, yes. I am excited to see where they take the series from here.

Elizabeth said...

I felt like it was really hard to tell that he had grey skin from the distant it showed him until the dad shot the zombie... But maybe my TV is just really tiny?