If I were having a romantic conversation with The Walking Dead, I’d probably coo, “You had me at ‘bathing in zombie guts.’” Remember that early episode of The Walking Dead in which the characters rub zombie guts all over their bodies to mask their human scent and navigate through the ravenous packs of undead? Well, I’m not really saying that’s the moment I fell in love with the show, but it’s the moment that I realized – along with a compelling storyline – that The Walking Dead was willing to cover uncomfortable, even nauseating terrain that most horror – on the Big Screen or the TV – never considers touching. Watching the zombie-guts, season one episode of The Walking Dead is in fact a fond memory. Michael and I sat eagerly in front of the television, ready to binge watch the first five and a half seasons of the show to prepare for the second half of season six, which was set to air in the spring. When the characters lathered themselves in zombie guts like they were taking a shower and basking in aromatic, sudsy soap, Michael started to gag, and gag, and gag. “Honey, shut your eyes!” I exclaimed. “I am,” he yelled, “but I can still hear them!” “Well then, leave the room,” I told him, because I really thought he was going to vomit, and if he vomited on me, well, that might just send me over the edge, and then we’d have a mess on our hands. But he didn’t (leave the room or vomit). And so, we enthusiastically enmeshed ourselves in six more seasons of drama, violence, and unpredictable, unchecked bloodshed. Ahhhh, memories. Continue reading “WTF TWD?: AMC’s Hit Series Takes a Dark(er) Turn”
the walking dead
Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Six): Who’s the Real Villain Here?
Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller
As a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead, I spent the past week re-watching Season Six to get ready for this Sunday’s impending Season Seven premiere. So much of the undercurrent of last season was devoted to slowly building the tension (and anxiety!) surrounding the Saviors and the introduction of their boss, Negan. In the final moments of “Last Day On Earth” we finally meet The Walking Dead‘s ultimate villain. This profanity spewing, motorcycle jacket wearing, bat swinging, vision of dread certainly radiates menace. And, from what I understand, he’s to be the Joker to Rick’s Batman. But, if I’m being honest, he’s not the character who scared me the most last season, nor is he the one I fear the most going forward. Continue reading “Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Six): Who’s the Real Villain Here?”
The Big Ten: Looking Back on Some Popular Just Dread-Full Posts
Well, it’s official. I’ve written an uneven 73 posts on Just Dread-Full since the blog’s inception in late October of 2015. Now, before I continue, I had a different introduction written in this piece, but the ghost of Miss Jessel is apparently bitter about how I depicted her in my piece on The Innocents, because she’s crawled out of the movie and consumed my laptop. Really. Michael and I lost my laptop in the transition from his parents’ house to his house (one of us was carrying the bag). We, and his parents, have searched every conceivable place, and it’s simply disappeared. As such, I’m typing from his laptop, and I have to start this piece over again.
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A Father’s Day Top Five: Top Five Horror Fathers
Confession: This excellent post idea is not my idea. In 2013 a woman named Lainey created a Top 5 on YouTube, which morphed into a Top 5 group on Goodreads. This week’s top five? Top five literary fathers. Well, you know, since this is a horror blog, I’ve decided to name the Top Five Horror fathers of all time. Now, as any adamant fan will admit, a list like this is highly contestable, and in choosing my favorite five, other great (or not-so-great) fathers have been omitted.
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The Professor, the PhD Candidate, and the Undead
Zombies: pop-culture’s electrically hyped up obsession. While we haven’t completely tired of vampires yet, we love the thought of plague-stricken, psychologically incompetent but paradoxically dangerous human-monsters bumbling around, chewing flesh and making trouble for everyone. Surely The Walking Dead, which has received attention on a season-by-season basis on this site, is responsible for much of the captivation provided by the dead-in-life, alive-in-death status of these hungry roamers. But while The Walking Dead has some spot-on zombie action, I always suspect that maybe we’re more interested in a vision of the apocalypse – and the varied problematic but original scenarios an apocalypse creates – than the zombies, who serve as both a means to that vision and an entertaining sideshow. A recent short-story I read seems to validate this theory. Stephen Graham Jones’s Chapter Six is a zombie short-story that puts zombies in the backdrop of a sinister, surprising human drama. Continue reading “The Professor, the PhD Candidate, and the Undead”
Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Five): Aahh – I’m Losing Faith in Humanity!
Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller
Season Five contained an odd experience for me. By nature, I am a trusting person. I believe in (and hope for) the best in people. I think a better, beautiful world can be forged. I believe we can overcome our darker habits and live in the light of love. I’m as nonviolent a pacifist as you can be, thoroughly believing that violence only breeds more violence. I even unashamedly believe in the potential to transform our world, free of hate and violence, in the power of love, trust, and mercy. However I seemed to forget all of that when our intrepid group of survivors wandered into Alexandria. Continue reading “Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Five): Aahh – I’m Losing Faith in Humanity!”
Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Four): Things got DARK…
Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller
It seems redundant to say that a show about surviving after the zombie apocalypse, a show known for its graphic violence and bloodshed, is a little dark. In fact, it seems like a completely needless observation. It may even seem like – GASP! – filler. However, as Kalie and I binge-watched The Walking Dead back in November (something I wouldn’t recommend unless you like intense, free-floating anxiety), I felt Season Four took the darkness of the show to a whole new level. It forced me to ponder, is this the cost of survival in this world? Could I become what I’d have to survive if I lived in this sort of a setting? Continue reading “Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Four): Things got DARK…”
Expect the Unusual with The Boy
Despite being perhaps the least creatively named movie in the genre, The Boy is one of the more original plot lines I’ve seen in horror lately. Take It Follows – one of Hollywood’s most recent horror hits. The plot line of It Follows is compelling and unique, but the movie’s title is perfectly indicative of the events in the film: an unnamed “it” will follow you. (Let me emphasize again that I love It Follows and proudly proclaim my adoration here, but the film’s brilliance doesn’t lie in plot twists, and its title is perfectly indicative of the film’s central conflict.) The Boy is similar in that yes, in part, the movie is about a boy, but forecasting the plot twists in this film will be tricky for even the most seasoned horror veteran. Predicting plot lines isn’t much my forte, but Michael is exceptionally adept at doing so, and his prediction turned out to be mostly wrong. The Boy will surprise you, and at least for me, that surprise was welcomed and refreshing. Continue reading “Expect the Unusual with The Boy”
Deadpool and a Zombie Tale of Surprising Depth
Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller
Cullen Bunn and Ramon Rosanas, the author and illustrator on Marvel’s 2014 graphic novel Night Of The Living Deadpool, taught me two very important lessons with their book. First, I learned they know the genre. The whole book is filled with references, direct and subtle, to all manner of zombie dystopias from Night Of The Living Dead to The Walking Dead to I Am Legend to Zombieland. Second, and much more importantly, I learned if the zombie apocalypse ever does occur I think I want to go through it with Deadpool! Sorry Rick. Sorry Darrell. Sorry Glenn and Maggie (our zombie apocalypse version of Jim and Pam). Sorry Carol. I love you all. And you kick ass. But Deadpool’s the one I want getting me through the apocalypse because he’s the one joking about it the whole time. With Deadpool by your side you might even enjoy yourself. That’s the attitude you’d need! Who wants bleak and depressing reflections on humanity and death when you can own your last-man-on-earth status and walk through the apocalypse singing Tiffany??
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Point – Counterpoint : Grooming in the Zombie Apocalypse
Guest Writers: David Miller and Michael J. Miller
A few weeks ago, Kalie began her “Walking Through The Walking Dead” series and in her first article, she briefly commented on how the characters in the show have a surprising amount of mousse/hair gel for a post-apocalyptic dystopia. There’s also a lot of shaving of the face for men and legs/armpits for the women too. Basically, there’s an odd amount of modern grooming happening in a world gone to hell. This has generated a great deal of heated debate (particularly between my brother and I). So, below David and I have written short, opposing opinion pieces about grooming in the zombie apocalypse. Please read and please, please, please (yes, I’m begging but sibling debates will generate this) leave your opinion in the comment section about whose side you’re on! We are seeking some Internet aid in settling a debate that has filled too much of our free time already. Continue reading “Point – Counterpoint : Grooming in the Zombie Apocalypse”