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”
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?”
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.
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”
Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller
Horror fans, you are in luck! You know how Deadpool’s captivated the country and broken allllll sorts of box office records with his new movie?? Well, it turns out the Merc with a Mouth is no stranger to the horror genre either. That’s right! Everyone’s favorite box office darlin’ the Sassin’ Assassin has starred in several solid horror comics too. SO, if you like your Deadpool served a la Ryan Reynolds (and who doesn’t?!) then head to the theatre this weekend (along with the rest of America). BUT, if you like your Deadpool filtered through the lens of a horror tale, then this amazing story needs to be included in your reading list. Before he was a big time movie star, Deadpool walked the world of horror. Just like on film, Deadpool delivers. And there’s a lot more to this story than you might expect. Continue reading “DEADPOOL (and horror and zombies and social critique)”
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??
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”
I love watching The Walking Dead before bed. I have coined the term “Dead ‘til bed” for nights I set aside for a Walking Dead marathon. Nothing says nighty-night like slaughter, zombie guts and involuntary bloodletting. Indeed, I just finished season three, and I started watching the show a couple weeks ago, so I’m catching up quickly. But if mindless zombie hacking was all the show was about, I would have already stopped my viewing, and the show wouldn’t be in its sixth season. Much of The Walking Dead’s intrigue lies within its characters. The show presents us with complex, dynamic characters who evolve and adapt to a disorienting apocalypse, many of them with admirable gusto. We warm toward them and cheer for them. Season three, in particular, is rife with captivating character development. Continue reading “Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Three): The Characters”
Why do so many people watch The Walking Dead? I’ll admit, I was a bit cynical when I first tried to answer this question. I reasoned that people watch The Walking Dead because it has an unprecedented amount of violence, or because Americans love guns. And those elements of the show might be appealing to some viewers, but they don’t fully explain the show’s intrigue.
Continue reading “Walking Through The Walking Dead: Ethical Quandaries in Seasons 1 and 2”
Michael and I have finally started watching The Walking Dead. So that means we’re about six years behind schedule. I saw a few episodes, once, a long time ago, with friends, but I never latched on to the Walking Dead phenomenon. I had nothing against the few episodes I saw, but at the time I was more into watching old re-runs of HBO’s Six Feet Under. Ostensibly, I wanted to contemplate death without focusing on unfortunate and unholy resurrections. Plus, Six Feet Under gives death a thorough examination. The Walking Dead sort of dances around it and runs from it, while flaunting it at the same time. Continue reading “Walking Through the Walking Dead (Season 1): Questions the Zombie Apocalypse Raises”