Saturday, November 27, 2010


Several interesting Zombie things of note this week, starting with an MTV Zombie TV report entitled "What Happens at 'The Walking Dead' Zombie School." It's an interesting look at what the extras had o go through in order to appear on the massive AMC hit. And there'll be more about "The Walking Dead" in a bit...

In Zombie News, now that holiday shopping is in full swing swing, the CTPost had this article about a special gift for under your favorite Zombiephile's tree. Uncle P has actually bought zombie presents for two of his favorite Zombiephiles, but since they both read this blog (or at least they tell me they do), I can't reveal what they are or they are for, though I know they know who they are... (suddenly this has become the Ralph Kramden Zombie Zone). And the New York Times opinion page recently ran this column about the recent proliferation of everything Zombie. While the author says she doesn't think there can actually viable plotlines involving the Zombie Apocalypse, she fails to realize that zombie stories (good ones, at least) are really about the living people who are trying to survive amidst the worst possible of conditions.

And almost finally, in the new (though probably one-time) category of Zombie Sports, the Columbia, MO Daily Tribune asks: "Are Zombies Any Good at Football?" I'm guessing the answer is "no." That's probably because zombies are far more interesting in eating their opponents than in scoring touchdowns.

This week's Zombie Clip of the Week is sort of a cheat. Since I recap and review each episode of "The Walking Dead" over at Caliban's Revenge every Monday, I usually save these "sneak-peek" clips for then, but I thought I'd share early... After all, we know what's going to happen to poor Amy, even if Andrea is in deep denial about it:

More rising from the dead, soon.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Flash Flesh Feast

Uncle P has been a flashmob mood all week. Primarily because I am desperate to organize one to promote a JTMF or Shakespeare '70 event, but haven't been able to come up with an appropriate one.

Now, I love a really good and creative flashmob. The best ones are promotional, set up by advertising firms to promote a product, event or even a TV show. Though occasionally there will be a mad, senseless and just fun flashmob. Which is where the zombies come in.

Here the, are a few of Uncle P's favorite Zombie Flashmobs:

Italy, 2009:

San Francisco, 2006:

Denver, 2009:

New York, 2007:

There isn't a whole lot of Zombie stuff going on right now (except in Zombie TV on  AMC's "The Walking Dead") what with the Holidays upon us and all... But speaking of "The Walking Dead," AMC has this interview with cast member Sarah Wayne Callies who plays Lori on the show.

And the Zombie Clip of the Week is Episode 7 of "Zombie College:"

More meaningless brain eating, soon.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Please Do that Voodoo?

Let's start with a combination of Zombie Films and Zombie Science this week, shall we? That's the poster for documentarian Hamilton Morris' latest film Nzambi, which documents Morris' attempts to prove the work done 30 years earlier by Wade Davis in his book "The Serpent and the Rainbow" (which was later fictionalized in the underrated Wes Craven film of the same name). The always entertaining Zombiphiles at BoingBoing recently posted this interview with the filmmaker.

The interview led Uncle P to seek the film out and I have posted the first 9 minutes or so below. While Nzambi has almost nothing to do with the modern concept of the flesh-eating eating zombie created by George Romero in Night of the Living Dead, it's still a fascinating and intense look at a cultural phenomenon that is almost entirely limited to the culture of Haiti and the religion known as Voodoo.

Since we started with Zombie Science, let's continue and talk about this fascinating item to your right, "Effervescent Brain Salt." Sounds like some sort of zombie condiment, doesn't it? It is, of course, an old-timey headache cure along the lines of Alka Seltzer, but I bet it's delicious on braaaaiiiinnnnssss.... (also via)

The zombie-loving Sci-Fi geeks at i09 have this insightful article about a ship converted into a Zombie Safe House, complete with living, farming and storage decks, insuring years of survival on the ole Mississippi. The winner of Architect Southwest's "Zombie Safe House Competition" the SS Huckleberry was designed by Shea Michael Trahan.

io9 also provides us with a fairly comprehensive primer for The Walking Dead, the much-loved graphic novel which has now been adapted into a critically lauded Zombie TV series by cable channel AMC. And since we're talking about "The Walking Dead," AMC has this nifty little interview with actor and rat-lover Steven Yuen, who plays Glenn.

Of course, one should never confuse the AMC show with the 1936 Warner Brothers thriller of the same name, starring none other than Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff; about about a mad scientist who resurrects a man who was wrongfully executed for murder:

And since its been a while, this week's Zombie Clip of the Week is Episode 6 of "Zombie College:"

More very disturbing fantasies, soon.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Walking Dead, Mike White and a Chainsaw

That's a panel from Robert Kirkman's graphic novel The Walking Dead. As you all well know by now, AMC hs adapted Kirkman's work into an exceptionally graphic and well-produced TV series. The premiere aired last Sunday to AMC's highest ratings ever and proved that Horror has an audience on TV. So let's start with some Zombie TV, shall we?

The premiere episode, "Days Gone Bye" introduced the main character, a Georgia Sheriff's Deputy named Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) with marital problems who is shot in the line of duty. He awakens from a coma about a month later to find the world has changed for the worse. Everything he knows is gone, including his wife and son. Even worse, the dead walk and they want nothing more than to eat the living. My original review can be found here on Caliban's Revenge, but I watched it again today (man, do I love my DVR) and have some additional thoughts.

First, Frank Darabont is an obviously talented director who understands and appreciates genre story-telling, perhaps more than any director working today. One need only to watch his three Stephen King adaptations (The Shawshank Redemption; The Green Mile and The Mist) to know that. He is also a master at getting nearly point-perfect performances from his casts. No matter how outrageous the situation, the actors in his works make us believe them because they believe them, themselves (see Tom Hanks in The Green Mile and Marcia Gay Harden and Thomas Jane in The Mist). Finally, he is committed to conveying the humanity in the stories he tells. "The Walking Dead" isn't about a world over-run by flesh-devouring zombies. It's about the living and very human beings trying to make their way in such a world. As with his other genre works, Darabont understands this and uses it to his best advantage. We can see all the gore and grotesques in the world, but without real human reaction  to them,, they mean nothing. The confusion and fear on Rick's face as he picks his way through a field of corpses outside the hospital tell us more about him than a hundred exploding zombie heads ever could. And the abject grief in Morgan's eyes as he puts his wife's zombified head in the sight of his rifle is enough to bring tears to the most jaded of horror fans' eyes.

Of course, Darabont isn't afraid to creep us out - the scene where Morgan's zombie wife tries to open the door the house where they are hiding is as scary as any boogieman we might imagine in our closets or under our beds. And the sequence in which Rick finds himself surrounded by hundreds of zombies in downtown Atlanta is nothing less than heart-pounding. "The Walking Dead," while ostensibly a story about the Zombie Apocalypse, is actually a tale about the people trying to survive in a world turned upside-down by circumstances completely beyond their control. And that is why it works so well.

In Zombie Film news, it is being reported (via)  that Mike White (Chuck and Buck; Year of the Dog) has been offered to direct the film adaption of Seth Grahame-Smiths Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the zombified version of the Jane Austin classic.  And while Natalie Portman is reportedly no longer attached, Scarlett Johansson (Ironman II) is now reported to be in the running for the lead.

Finally, tonight's Zombie Clip of the Week, in which the zombie-killing claymation maid makes a welcome return:

More kids with chainsaws, soon.