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Zombies

The Curse of The Website and The Zombie Tsunami

I write content for several websites–vampires.com, werewolves.com, darkness.com, topcomics.com, and this one you are presently visiting. Of them all, only one has consistently given me problems. Problems of a technical variety, that is. And that’s this one. For some reason only the tech gods could know, the zombies site refuses to behave like the other ones. Fortunately the problems have mostly been minor ones, but still, many minor problems can add up to one big headache. Recently a friend informed me that the site had stopped displaying all my recent content. The last post it was displaying was one I made last summer. I alerted the powers-that-be and the issue was fixed (for now), but I don’t know how long, exactly, the site had been doing that. I don’t visit the site as an outsider, and from the inside, my side of things, everything looked fine and dandy.

What this means, if in fact the backlog has been going on for some time, is that you, our readers, are in for a deluge of zombie articles. They will all be posting at once. We obliterated the dam and all the juicy zombie content is pouring out at once. You’ve got some catching up to do in your reading, that’s for sure. And if something like the logjam happens to occur again, shoot me a line and let me know. I haven’t abandoned you. I honestly didn’t know about it. I provide a new zombie-related article every week. It’s just that this site doesn’t always want to show them to you.

The site is cursed. I’ve just accepted it. I don’t know why, but it is. You gotta watch those zombies. They just don’t know how to behave.

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Zombies

The Zombie Nativity: Where Da Shepherds?

I’ve figured it out. I was perusing some online photos of the infamous Zombie Nativity outside Cincinnati, Ohio, and I noticed one striking detail. There were no shepherds. All those religious fanatics, we thought they were just lacking a sense of humor. We thought they all had sticks up their backsides. We thought they were objecting to the idea of having zombies at a Nativity scene. Turns out they were objecting not to the zombies, but because the depiction was historically inaccurate! We judged them wrong!

In reality, the Wise men, or Magi, as they are alternately known, did NOT arrive at the Nativity; rather, they arrived some time later. We don’t know how long it took them. Because the Jewish people were big into numerology, and the number twelve had certain connotations–the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the Twelve Disciples–and because there was a preexisting pagan tradition of “twelve days,” it was decided that there would be twelve days of Christmas, culminating in Epiphany, which celebrates the arrival of the Magi, on January 6th. (Realistically it could have taken the Wise Men a couple of years to get there, if not longer.) The shepherds, however, DID arrive on the same night as Christ’s birth. But the shepherds are missing from the Zombie Nativity. THAT is what all the religious wackjobs have been objecting to, not the zombies!

No, not really. I doubt most of the objectors even noticed the shepherds were missing. They just saw zombies and lost their shit. But there could be at least ONE of them who objected to the missing shepherds. You never know.

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Zombies

Zombies Meet Mythbusters

I’ve heard there is a new Mythbusters show, but I’m not all that interested in watching it. I wasn’t a regular viewer of the original series. More like a connoisseur. If I was channel-slipping and it was on, and nothing I wanted to watch more was on simultaneously, I’d watch it. Or if they were doing something special, like when they dedicated a program to JAWS as part of the yearly Shark Week on Discovery Channel. But I never watched it as appointment television. Even so, Jamie and Adam are the Mythbusters to me. If they aren’t in the show, I’m not likely to watch it.

I caught an older episode the other day on zombies. I know it was older because Adam and Jamie were still in it, and so was Michael Rooker, and they were plugging the fact that Rooker played Merle in THE WALKING DEAD. Still, the show was standard Mythbusters entertaining. What’s the better weapon to use to fight zombies, a gun or an axe? Why, an axe, of course. (Unless you’re using the “Ol’ Painless” minigun that Jesse Ventura used in PREDATOR, maybe.) And could slow-plodding zombies really catch a human running at full speed? It all depends on population density, but it isn’t likely. Howzabout a horde of zombies being able to break down a fortified door? Nope. Not if the door is heavily fortified. Not in anything approaching a timely manner. Zombies, busted!

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Zombies

Zombie Nativity Scene gets Snoped

The Zombie Nativity Scene has made it to Snopes. I reckon there were some people who doubted that the controversial exhibit was enjoying its final run this season and needed to fact-check it. I don’t know why; I mean, I told you all last week that it was official, that the ZNS wouldn’t be back next Christmas. You don’t need Snopes if you’ve got me. If you read it here, it’s gospel, baby.

We must celebrate the attraction, though, and praise owner Jasen Dixon. I admire the way he took a stand for his rights to freedom of expression and defied the city council of Sycamore Township, Ohio (outside of Cincinnati) when they decided to try to shut him down–illegally, I might add. They heaped fine after fine on him, made threats. But he took them to court and he won. Last year the city council didn’t even try to shut down the attraction. They haven’t uttered a peep this year, either, though I’m sure they are quietly celebrating the news that Dixon won’t put the zombies out again next year. One councilman was quoted as saying that it wasn’t worth the time and cost involved for them to try to fight the display. Yeah! Who says you can’t fight City Hall? Dixon did. And City hall backed down. Take that, zombie-haters! You should know better than to think you could legislate zombie behavior. Zombies don’t give a rip about your rules, your codes, and your laws. Zombies will not be constrained!

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Zombies

So Long, Zombie Nativity Scene

Owner Jasen Dixon has confirmed that this will be the last year for his controversial Zombie Nativity Scene. This saddens me. I never got to visit it, to see the Zombie Nativity Scene in person. Dixon and family only put the scene up for the first time four years ago. It seems longer. The attraction has packed in a good decade’s worth of publicity in those four years, though, a lot of it of the negative variety. People protested. The city started unjustly fining the family. Slimeballs vandalized the attraction. (How very Christian of them!) Though the ZNS was never meant to be anti-Christmas, people took it that way. Dixon says a lack of public interest has led him to his decision to shelve the scene, but then admits that he only put it up this year because so many people wanted him to. The latter statement would seem to contradict the former. If Dixon’s real reason for ending the attraction, though, is because he’s tired of the headaches, you can’t blame the guy. Still, it’s sad.

I have hopes the ZNS will live again. Dixon may sell off the pieces. And honestly, there’s no copyright on the idea. A zombie Nativity scene is something anybody could do, if they wanted to. You never know where or when a zombie Nativity might pop up in the future. Like any good zombies, the concept won’t be that easy to kill.

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Zombies

S’long, Carl

Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky. I didn’t catch it. Did you? Back in episode 8-O-something, “The King, the Widow, and Rick,” during that fight with the Walkers and Carl and Siddig, did you realize that Carl had gotten bit? Be honest, now. I didn’t, and I doubt you did, either. I don’t know if anybody did. They were subtle, those bastards. Slick and subtle. Looking back at it, it SHOULD have been obvious from the way he was acting.

Last night’s midseason finale of THE WALKING DEAD saw the setup for the demise of our friend Carl. It’s going to happen. There will be no miracle cure. (Honestly they might as well have killed him off in this episode. The way they’re doing it, it’s like pulling off a band-aid. It hurts a lot less if you do it quickly. They’re pulling it off slowly. Sadists. We now have to wait until February to properly say goodbye to the guy.

Alternately, did you see it coming, the face turn from Dwight? I mean, yeah, we all knew, right, we just didn’t know WHEN. By the way, for the uninitiated, a “face,” short for “babyface,” is a good guy in pro wrestling terminology, while a “heel” is a villain. Dwight was a face pretending to be a heel. And when one transitions from one to the other, heel to face or face to heel, it’s known as a “turn.” We got to see Dwight’s turn last night.

Categories
Zombies

VHS is Back?

I was visiting my favorite Horror geek haberdashery, Nightmare Toys, the other day, and what to my wondering eyes did I spy upon the shelf but a VHS tape. A brand new one, just released, with a big box. Shrink-wrapped in plastic and everything. The movie was Fulci’s ZOMBIE, aka ZOMBI, aka ZOMBIE 2, aka ZOMBI 2. (You all know the story behind the confusing game of musical titles where this one is concerned, right?) I asked the owner and she assured me that it wasn’t an illusion. It was a ZOMBIE VHS. And it wasn’t cheap.

Then, the next day I was at, of all places, Target. And there was a VHS tape on the shelves! (It wasn’t ZOMBIE.) I couldn’t quite believe it. The same way that hipsters have latched onto vinyl records, resulting in vinyl records making a comeback, it seems that VHS tapes are now on the cusp of a similar return. Should we have all kept our VCRs? And all those VHS tapes we replaced with DVDs–before even DVDs became “outdated technology”? Look, I get the whole “retro” thing. I am an embodiment of retro. Let me capitalize that: Retro. But what’s next, if we keep resurrecting obsolete tech? Will the Atari 2600 replace the Playstation 17?

I don’t even own a VCR anymore. And I found myself tempted to buy that damn ZOMBIE VHS tape. Why? WHY?!

Categories
Zombies

States Ranked By Zombie Survivability

That’s the survival of people we’re talking about, not the survival of zombies.

Which do you think would be better, to live in the country or to live in the big city? I’d think the more remote you are, the better your chances. In a big city, with people packed in like sardines, the zombie virus would spread like pinkeye. I’d figure, then, that some state like Nevada would be ideal. I just took a trip to Nevada, and outside the big cities like Reno and Vegas, there ain’t NOTHIN’. No people equals no zombies, right? Or maybe Alaska. There are places in Alaska you can only get to by airplane. Zombies can’t fly airplanes.

All fifty states are ranked in this compilation. I won’t list them all, but if you live in Rhode Island, you are screwed. California you wouldn’t expect to rank too high on the list, and it doesn’t. But Iowa? The lower population density doesn’t make up for the fact that the terrain is so flat, ergo there aren’t any places to hide from zombies. (How did Kansas rank ahead of Iowa?) My own home state came in at 31. Lots of guns in Alabama, but lots of stupid people, too. Rednecks are just as likely to mistakenly shoot you as to shoot a zombie. What state made number one? Montana. Bully for them–but isn’t Montana freakin’ COLD ten months out of the year?

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Zombies

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD getting a BluRay release

Criterion puts out some spiffy discs. Lots of bells and whistles. It’s a little surprising that George Romero’s seminal NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD didn’t have a Criterion release already. Maybe it’s because the film is in the public domain–how it ended up there could serve as the basis for an article all its own–and you can find it on any old Horror flick compilation available in the bargain bin at your nearest Walmart. Maybe Criterion figured nobody would buy a spiffy BluRay with bells and whistles if they already own the film or could buy it on the cheap. If that was their thinking, they must have changed their minds. I’m betting the rethink will pay off for them.

The forthcoming NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD BluRay from Criterion will feature a 4K restoration and a remastering of the film’s original soundtrack. Also featured (and I’m taking this straight off the press release): “NIGHT OF ANUBIS, a never-before-presented work-print edit of the film; new program featuring filmmakers Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro, and Robert Rodriguez; Never-before-seen 16 mm dailies reel; New piece featuring Russo about the commercial and industrial-film production company where key NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD filmmakers got their start; Two audio commentaries from 1994, featuring Romero, Russo, producer Karl Hardman, actor Judith O’Dea, and more; Archival interviews with Romero and actors Duane Jones and Judith Ridley; New programs about the editing, the score, and directing the ghouls; New interviews with Gary R. Streiner and Russel W. Streiner; Trailer, radio spots, and TV spots; An essay by critic Stuart Klawans.”

The overhaul was supervised by Romero himself, along with producer Russell W. Streiner, sound engineer Gary R. Streiner, and screenwriter John A. Russo. It releases on February 13th, 2018–just in time to be the perfect Valentine’s gift!

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Zombies

A Prequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD?

The LIVING DEAD franchise is as played out as the TEXAS CHAINSAW franchise, to my mind. (Although I hear rumors that the new prequel film, as opposed to the previous prequel film, might just be worth watching.) It’s been remade, sequel-ized, the sequels have been sequel-ized, the remakes have been sequel-ized, and it even spun off its own bootleg alternate version/parallel reality set of sequels. It’s been done to death, pardon the pun. Time to move aside, let it stand as the classic that it is, but stop trying to copy it. Let films like TRAIN TO BUSAN and THE DEAD carry the banner for zombies on celluloid. That’s my opinion. It don’t need no stinkin’ prequel!

Then I hear that George Romero’s son, George Cameron Romero, is behind the upcoming prequel, RISE OF THE LIVING DEAD. And that George, Sr. himself reportedly loved the script. And I think about the wonderful things that were done with the PLANET OF THE APES prequels. And I can’t help getting a little excited, after all.

Here’s what Cameron had to say on the project: “My dad read the script and called it ‘genius.’ Many have approached me about making this film and I’ve said no to many because…this one is special…my love letter to my dad…to the fact that he was once called the most dangerous filmmaker alive…to the fact that society in 1968 wanted to shut him up as much as they wanted to celebrate him…This one has been a long time coming. And it is my absolute promise to you all that this film will be everything it needs to be.”

I hope so, Cameron. You have some mighty big shoes to fill.