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Zombies

Beware, Zombies—the Comedian is Coming!

How many fans of THE WALKING DEAD, I wonder, will go out and buy a baseball bat, wrap it in barbed-wire, and create their own custom-made “Lucille?” Not to be confused with Bluesman B.B. King’s legendary guitar, this particular Lucille is the weapon of choice for Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character Negan, who will be debuting in the finale to season six. Morgan is no stranger to the world of Geeks, of course; he will forevermore be remembered (by THIS geek, at least) as the Comedian from WATCHMEN. He plays an AWESOME villain. And a guy who names his zombie (and maybe people) swatter “Lucille” promises to be a hoot to watch.

I have wondered how long the writers of the series can continue with its unparalleled success as both a critical and fanboy darling, how long they can keep the kite flying at such a height. The primary way to do it, in addition to creative plot devices, is to keep introducing fascinating, over-the-top characters to play in their zombie-riddled world. Sounds like Negan is going to be a perfect fit. I’m just hoping they figure out a way to have Morgan give us a Comedian “homage” every now and then. Hey, I’ve got it! I propose they let Negan wear a Lone Ranger mask. I mean, if the guy’s eccentric enough to name his bat, it’d be in keeping with the character, wouldn’t it?

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Zombies

ZOMBUSES

This one goes along with similar posts I’ve made about how the word “zombie” has entered the popular vernacular. In carnie and wrestling parlance, zombies are so “over” that the mainstream is pretty much rotten with them. (Ba-dum-bum-ching!) See my recent post about “zombie houses,” for example. (http://www.zombies.org/zombie-real-estate/) Now we have zombie BUSES to go along with them. It’s apparently a pretty common scam. I’d never heard of it before, though, so I’m betting most of you hadn’t, either.

Here’s how it works. The owner of a bus or a fleet of buses— let’s call his outfit “The Happy Bus Company”—maybe has been cutting corners where safety is concerned. Y’know, to save a little cash. But Happy Buses gets busted when one of their buses has a bust-up—an accident. The owner then comes up with a new company name, say “Awesome Buses.” He repaints all his buses, slaps the new company logo on them, and it’s back to the roads—with no improvements made in terms of the safety issues. The Awesome Bus that people are riding in is really a Happy Bus come back as a zombie!

Next week I’ll probably go back to talking about THE WALKING DEAD. Until then, beware of the DRIVING dead! Caveat Emptor, y’all!

Categories
Zombies

A man comes home to find a drunk zombie in his easy chair…

Sounds like the beginning of a good story, but it actually happened to a Denver, Colorado man.

Okay, fanboys, I know you’re all big and bad. But let’s be honest, now. If this had happened to you, how would you have reacted? If it were me, I honestly don’t know. I might have run out of the apartment. Or I might’ve grabbed up my industrial-sized container of peanut butter and bludgeoned the zombie. Or I might have done what the unnamed victim in this case did: try to wake up the sleeping zombie. I doubt it, but I might have. The zombie WAS asleep when he was discovered. Given the zombie make-up sported by the trespasser, I might have assumed the guy was dead. Then again, zombies ARE dead, but that makes them no less dangerous . . . What was the question again?

The “zombie” in this case was a doofus named Dane Clark. He got so plastered at his birthday party—and it bears mentioning that this all occurred on Halloween, ergo the zombie’s birthday was the Eve of All Saints, appropriately enough—he broke into somebody else’s apartment and promptly passed out. When awakened by the tenant, he grabbed a knife and went after the guy. Now I said I don’t know how I would have reacted to all this, and that is the truth. But after the zombie drunk went for the knife, that DEFINITLEY would have gotten him clobbered by the peanut butter. Which, honestly, would have made for an even BETTER story, wouldn’t it?

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Zombies

The Plague: Worse than a Zombie uprising? Or is there much difference?

It gets a little confusing, the way people tend to use the term “plague” willy-nilly without bothering to clarify. Allow me then to elucidate. A “plague” can be anything that attacks us as human beings in large numbers and/or with enough of a detrimental impact: any disease outbreak, for example, or a sudden explosion in the fly population, or Justin Beiber music. But THE plague, properly Plague with a capital P, refers to three primary strains of disease, and several less common strains, caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. The three big ones are Bubonic (aka the Black Death, the one that decimated Europe during the Middle Ages), Septicemic, and Pneumonic. Among the lesser known strains is Necrotic, which results in the reanimation of recently deceased human tissues. There, now, don’t you feel all educated and stuff?

Alright, I made up that last part. Plague doesn’t reanimate dead bodies. But a victim suffering through the latter stages of the disease would certainly have resembled one of the walking dead, and, if the infected had one of the rarer forms of plague called Meningeal Plague, which attacks brain matter, then they might well behave like a zombie, too. And the pestilence could be spread by a bite, so there’s another similarity. As far as metaphors go, zombies as stand-ins for the Plague is a pretty good one.

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Zombies

THE WALKING DEAD made him do it!

Things definitely took a left turn at Albuquerque. After a marathon viewing of THE WALKING DEAD, 23-year-old New Mexico resident Damon Perry murdered his friend, Christopher Paquin, also 23. The murder weapon—er, weaponS? Sharp-edged objects. Could they be a little more specific? How about a guitar and a microwave oven? THAT’S specific. This case would be funny if someone hadn’t actually lost his life. (Okay, it’s still a little bit funny. I just feel guilty for finding it so.)

From the report: “Perry told investigators he had been drinking large amounts of alcohol when his friend began to ‘change into a zombie.’” Large amounts of alcohol? You don’t say! I’m betting there were some other chemicals involved, too. Exactly how drunk does a person have to get to become convinced that his buddy is a zombie, and then start grabbing anything that isn’t nailed down to bludgeon him to death? You know, obviously these freedom-restricting, First Amendment-hating wannabe censors like One Million Moms have been right all along. Shows like TWD really ARE dangerous. That, or this guy was just an idiot. One or the other.

Categories
Zombies

Zombie Rats and Zombie Ants

Nature is amazing. I mean, the specifics of it. It boggles the mind. Over millions of years, the way certain things have evolved, the intricacies of the whole web of life. All these living things in competition to survive. Germs aren’t out to get us because they’re bad. They’re just trying to survive, and to reproduce, which is just the flip side of survival, survival of the species. Everything preys on something else, or has evolved a way to exist symbiotically with it. Predation, though, is far more common. And some of those forms predation takes are awe-inspiring. And scary.

Toxoplasma gondii lives primarily in the intestines of cats. When it infects a rat, it short-circuits the rat’s instinctive fear of the odor of cats, causing the rodent instead to feel sexual attraction to the odor. Thus they approach rather than run from cats and are quickly eaten—which gets the pathogen back in the cat’s intestines. It makes the rat the zombie middleman. What the fungi Ophiocordyceps unilateralis does to certain ants is even worse. It infects them, making them climb trees to bite down on leaves—and stay there affixed until they die. Then the fungi blossoms inside the ant and shoots sprout from the ants head. Hey, the fungi can’t climb up there by itself, can it?

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Zombies

THE WALKING DEAD – Did somebody die or something?

I’ve said it before. I just don’t see the insane appeal of this TV show. It’s entertaining and all, and the FX are good, but it’s just so “been there, done that” to me. I have a friend who sets his schedule around this show (Shout out to Devin!); despite the fact that he could easily TiVo it, he HAS to be there in front of the TV every Sunday night. I teased him this past Sunday. “Spoiler alert!” I said to him. “Tonight on TWD—somebody dies!” I had errands to run, and so did NOT rush home to watch it. I was in Wal-Mart buying milk when I received a text from him. “You jinxed it!” he said, informing me that [SPOILER EDIT] had been killed. Later that night, social media was on fire with the news. It would seem to me there is no reason to mourn the (possible) passing of [SPOILER EDIT] as this is a zombie show. The showrunners can always bring [SPOILER EDIT] back as a zombie, right? I mean, the show IS called THE WALKING DEAD? Am I being insensitive to my friend, who is traumatized by this whole thing?

I can, at least, get a little more excited over the WALKING DEAD comic book series. It’s always nice to see a comic enjoying such resounding success. I’ll give it a plug here, then. Check out the linked video of how the comics are created. Fans despondent over the (possible) passing of [SPOILER EDIT] can comfort themselves by looking at some lovely horrific artwork.

Categories
Zombies

Zombie Real Estate?

When a house has been abandoned by its owners but has yet to be grabbed up by the bank and put back on the market, those in the real estate business call it a “zombie.” Why would anybody just up and leave their house? One imagines they have more than one (houses, that is), or at least they have someplace else to go, someplace more attractive to them for some reason. Perhaps the house they leave behind to become zombified is in poorer shape than the one to which they are moving. Or it might be in an overall bad neighborhood. This also explains why banks, which usually don’t let the dust settle on any abandoned building (or anything else) before swooping in like vultures to take possession of it and resell it, are willing to let the zombie just sit there and slowly rot away. It isn’t worth the investment to foreclose or fix the place up. In certain neighborhoods, places like this are also referred to as “crack houses.” I like “zombie” better.

I don’t expect any of you really care about abandoned houses or the intricacies of real estate. I don’t either. I mention it only because, searching the trusty old Internet today for zombie news, this headline caught my attention, and it perfectly illustrates just how pervasive the concept of the zombie has become in our culture. When ever real estate people are using the term, you know the zombie has pretty much taken over the public consciousness. Brains!

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Zombies

TRUE CONFESSIONS – Fear the Walking Dead

I’ll admit it. I used to HATE Harry Potter. Viscerally HATE it. It wasn’t because I thought the books, and later the movies, were that bad. I didn’t. I resented the unparalleled success of the whole Harry Potter machine. Why was Harry Potter enjoying the highest book sales in the history of the printed world when there were other, more deserving, and BETTER books that struggled in relative obscurity? And then people had the audacity to start comparing Harry Potter to Lewis Carroll, to C.S. Lewis, to TOLKIEN?! Oh, HAY-UL no! (Then TWLIGHT came along and made me realize that Harry Potter was kind of okay after all, but that’s something I discuss over at our sister site, vampires.com).

Why am I mentioning Harry Potter in a post about zombies? Allow me to explain. FEAR THE WALKING DEAD just scored the highest ratings EVER for their inaugural season, for any series on cable television. EVER. And while the Horror junkie in me should be celebrating, as my inner book lover and Fantasy mark probably should have been celebrating J.K. Rowling’s taking over the world, I still can’t help but resent it just a little bit, because there is better, if not zombie TV shows, at least zombie ENTERTAINMENT, out there. There are people out there watching these Walking Dead shows who have never seen Fulci’s ZOMBI, for cryin’ out loud! EDUCATE YOURSELVES, PEOPLE!

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Zombies

If the King don’t like it . . .

 

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t really care for THE WALKING DEAD. It’s not that it’s BAD. It’s just that it’s so FAMILIAR. And I do kinda have zombie burnout. Unlike with other supernatural creatures of menace, like vampires and werewolves, I like my zombies in a limited quantity. It wasn’t always this way. But today you can’t spit without hitting a zombie. Zombies saturate the entertainment industry. We suffer from TOO MUCH ZOMBIE.

Turns out George Romero, grand high poobah of zombieness, isn’t a WALKING DEAD fan, either. He also finds the series, both in its televised and comic book iterations, “too close for comfort.” It’s nice to have such an authority lending his voice to my own opinion. Stressing that, for him, the zombie serves as a vehicle for satire or propaganda, and that he sees little of this subtext in the TV series (I’m with ya again, George!), he calls THE WALKING DEAD a “soap opera with an occasional zombie.” Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just isn’t what he’s interested in. And it isn’t what my tastes call for, either, when I’ve got a hankering for zombies.

Then again Romero hated WORLD WAR Z, too, so it’s not like he’s ALWAYS right.