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Zombies

WALKING DEAD in California?

A real-life case of human plague comes just weeks ahead of the upcoming “Fear The Walking Dead” series premiere.

No, actually. The headlines a little misleading. But the story, or the germ of the story, if you’ll excuse the bad pun, is still pretty frightening. A kid has been diagnosed with the plague. The article doesn’t specify what kind of plague it is; one would assume it’s of the bubonic variety, since no other information is given. Maybe it’s like with Madonna. No one needs to mention her last name, because everybody knows who she is. Or Prince. One name says it all. So “the Plague,” capital P, is probably of the bubonic variety, the infamous “Black Death” transmitted by rats and fleas that decimated one-third of the population of Europe during the Middle Ages.

Yes, THAT Plague. In the 21st century. In Los Angeles, one of the largest and most technologically advanced cities in the world. No, we’re probably not looking at an outbreak, but just knowing that the Black Death is still around is a little unsettling. And let us not forget that we share the planet with Ebola and God only knows what other even-more-nasty, waiting-to-be-discovered virus or bacterium. While we aren’t likely to see any rotting corpses shambling around anytime soon, some pathogen-driven nightmare like WORLD WAR Z or 28 DAYS LATER is disturbingly possible, and not just in the minds of Hollywood script writers.

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Zombies

Gimme one more reason to hate (not being in) California

I’ve never been to San Diego Comic Con. It’s too far and too expensive and I can’t spare the time to go. I just have to put it off until that mystical, intangible neverland known as “Someday.” Unfortunately, someday didn’t come soon enough for me to make it this year, which is a shame, ‘cause there were lots of cool things going on, as always. For instance, though I’m not, as I have stated, a huge fan of THE WALKING DEAD TV series, it would have been cool to see several members of the cast of Telltale Games’ THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON ONE take to the stage to reenact scenes from the game in a live performance.

Voice actors present for the performance were Nicki Rapp (Lilly), Dave Fennoy (Lee), Melissa Hutchinson (Clementine), Gavin Hammon (Kenny), and Nicole Vigil (Carly). It would have been interesting to see how closely the players resemble their digital avatars from the game. In addition to the reenactment, the cast took part in a live Q-and-A session with guests, and Telltale Games, together with Skybound Entertainment, also provided some information on the upcoming THE WALKING DEAD: MICHONNE mini series.

Anybody make it out to the Con and want to rub it in?

Categories
Zombies

New Dead Faces

AMC has revealed pictures of the new crop of walkers that will plague our heroes in Season 6 of AMC’s zombie phenom The Walking Dead

Can I just be honest? I don’t dig on THE WALKING DEAD. I mean, it’s okay. And I know I’m in the minority. It just doesn’t grab me. What can I say? I watch it, and it’s entertaining, and the visuals are really cool, but I can’t help thinking the whole thing has been done before. LOTS of times before, usually by George Romero. There’s simply nothing new there. I know the same thing could be said about vampire movies or TV shows, or werewolves or what have you. But each vampire or werewolf has a distinct personality. For the most part, zombies are zombies. And I’ve seen DAY OF THE DEAD enough times that THE WALKING DEAD seems like an undead retread. I felt the same way about the comic book series, long before it ever became a TV show. It was done well, but been there, done that, y’know?

As stated, though, I can appreciate the visuals if nothing else. They feature some cool-looking zombies. Hearing, then, that they will be featuring a wider variety of “walkers” in upcoming episodes, I am more inclined to want to watch them. Which is probably the point. Maybe I’m not the only one who feels this way about the show? Are there other people out there who find it generic, but tune in just for the spiffy zombie effects?

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Zombies

Don’t snort the water!

St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana is undergoing a 60-day chlorine “burn” of its water supply after the deadly amoeba Naegleria fowleri was detected.

This is way scarier than Montezuma’s Revenge, the common term for Amoebic dysentery, which plagues many a first-time tourist to Mexico. If the phrase “Brain-eating amoeba” isn’t scary to you, what is? Naegleria fowleri, the scientific and not-nearly-imposing-enough name for the microbe in question, is showing up in the water supply not of some Third World country but in the United States! Louisiana, to be precise. People in St. Bernard parish don’t have to be afraid of drinking the water, because the brain-eating little bastard is no match for the acid in the human stomach. Rather they have to exercise caution when showering. If water gets up their nose, the amoeba can travel to the brain and, y’know, start eating it.

Infection from the BEA (brain eating amoeba, natch) can be deadly and deadly fast. There are no reports of stricken individuals displaying any type of damaged, zombie-like fugue behavior; this would require a mutation of the pathogen. All the same, local authorities are conducting a “chlorine burn” (whatever that is) to eradicate the BEA. Sounds like a good idea to me. I don’t want to sound flippant about this. Real people have died, and the BEA IS scary as hell, even if the odds of contracting it are miniscule.

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Zombies

Don’t eat the Zombie Cucumber!

Even if you’ve never seen a zombie movie, you probably know something about the walking dead. But did you know that zombies have their roots in folklore and — according to some researchers — in real events in Haiti?

Zombies are real. And the real-life version is scarcely less terrifying than the cinematic one. In fact, if one imagines him or herself as the zombie, then the real zombies are far more terrifying.

Imagine you live in Haiti. You manage to make an enemy of the wrong person, or perhaps you have greedy relatives and they want something of yours. Someone pays a witch doctor, a HOUNGAN, to “get rid of you.” You are secretly poisoned with the houngan’s powder, a mixture of tetrodotoxin (it comes from a pufferfish, the same one that a Japanese sushi chef has to be licensed to prepare because doing it incorrectly can KILL you), a plant called Datura stramonium, or “Zombie Cucumber,” and a whole bunch of other stuff we probably don’t even want to know about. You die—or at least you appear to. Your heartbeat and breathing become so minimal that they are undetectable. You are buried. Then, during the night, the houngan comes and digs you up. The effects of the drug wear off, but you are left with permanent brain damage from the experience. You are now the houngan’s property, his zombie, to do with as he pleases.

Scarier than Romero? I’d say so.

Categories
Zombies

Zombies Ahoy!

If you’ve been to a horror convention in the last few years you’ve surely noticed that The Walking Dead has almost completely taken over the scene, so much so that the show spawned an entire convention of its own. Now the folks behind that con are setting sail with an official Walking Dead cruise. 

I’m surprised someone hasn’t made a movie about this yet, or a movie with this premise, I should say: Zombies on a cruise ship. Think about it, you’ve got a group of victims trapped on a boat in the middle of the ocean, and then zombies break out and start rampaging. The engines are damaged and the ship adrift. The radio and other communications don’t work. Where would you go? Jump overboard and you drown. There would literally be nowhere to run. You’d just have to lock yourself in a bulkhead or cabin and try to keep the dead from getting in, while you desperately pray some passing ship will arrive in time to help you. There is mucho possibility here.

You may not be able to participate in this scenario in real life—and why would you want to?—but you can experience the next best thing. You can go on a scenic cruise to the Bahamas with PRETEND zombies. The actors who portray pretend zombies, that is, or the humans on the run from and fighting against them. The Walker-Stalker Cruise will feature cast members from the wildly popular THE WALKING DEAD TV series, and it sets sail in January of next year. All aboard!

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Zombies

Check out the legs on that cadaver!

Check out these flesh and blood skintight leggings from Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MXAT7RM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00MXAT7RM&linkCode=as2&tag=zombiesws-20&linkId=OPRSPA7VCW5UDCOY

These could mess a fella up!

A few years ago, my theatre company EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS staged a version of FRANKENSTEIN featuring a FEMALE monster, who managed to look sexy despite all the monster make-up, fake scars and stitches. In the laboratory scene, she rose from the table wearing little more than strips of bandages. One night, she tripped over those bandages and fell. Completely in keeping with the character, not yet able to walk—but her bandages shifted and she gave the audience a glimpse of her (non-scarred) lady parts. There was one boy of ten or eleven seated front row, center. We joked that this kid hit puberty during our show, but that he would, for the remainder of his life, get an erection when he drove past grisly traffic accidents. THAT is the way these zombie tights could mess a guy up, linking sex and gore.

A lady can now wrap her shapely legs in flesh-and-blood tights, giving the impression that she’s been skinned. A hetero male will automatically notice the proper shape of the legs and buttocks on display, but while his libido is appreciating these, his mind will also be taking in that the woman is denuded—and not in a good way! Yikes!

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Zombies

Zombies in the Land of the Pharaohs

Weighing the evidence for and dating of Solanum virus outbreaks in early Egypt (a spoof!)

Some people, even historians, believe that civilization first began in ancient Egypt. Writing may well have developed there even before it did in ancient Mesopotamia. Egypt may have seen the first of pretty much everything, so why not the first zombie outbreak? Submit it for your consideration, exhibit A: Bodies hastily decapitated sans the traditional ritual embalming afforded even to the poor. No brains removed through the nostrils with a stick or nothin’. Hurried burials. Mysterious scratch marks on the interior of tomb walls, as of something trying to get OUT. Must be zombies!

I however would urge caution here. We cannot as yet ascribe to Egypt the first zombie outbreak in recorded history. After all, those scratch marks could have been made by a mummy, not a zombie. What’s the difference, you may ask, between the two? Are they not both reanimated corpses? Don’t they both groan instead of speak? Yes and yes, but the resemblance stops there. Mummies are not known for craving human brains, and they tend to retain in undeath some degree of their former intelligence, where as zombies tend to be mindless. Also, mummies don’t get all stinky like a zombie, thanks to the Egyptian’s advanced mummification techniques.

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Zombies

ZOMBEAVERS! (Need I say more?)

Zombeavers has been causing a buzz on the Internet in recent weeks, and its trailer has already amassed over 1.8 million YouTube views.

Okay, either this is me telling you to see this movie post haste, or else it’s me warning you not to waste your time with this movie. Clear? Allow me to elucidate. If you have ever watched a film of this ilk and exclaimed afterwards, “Well that was stupid!” then do NOT watch ZOMBEAVERS. If, however, you can love and appreciate a movie primarily BECAUSE it is stupid, because it realizes it is stupid and celebrates that stupidity, and in the so-doing achieves and betrays its actual insidious intelligence—in other words, if you are in on the joke—this delectable delight is as good as it gets.

Outrageously gory, unabashedly cheesy, yet subtly self-aware and possessing production values high enough to keep it from being another, say, THE GROUNDSKEEPER, ZOMBEAVERS is the best movie of its kind since BLACK SHEEP. It had me laughing till I was wiping away tears. The premise alone is sufficient to elicit a chuckle. They’re beavers. Dead beavers. And then they become ZOMBIES. I mean, college kids in a cabin in the woods, menaced by zombie beavers? If that doesn’t sound like a flick you gotta see, I just don’t know if we can be friends anymore.

Categories
Zombies

The Blind Zombies – A Cheesy Delight

You know how sometimes you’re on a train, going to some glamorous destination spot, and you hop off because you’re mad at your boyfriend, and then you end up accidentally disturbing the resting place of an order of evil knights who’ve become bloodthirsty mummies?

They were a splinter sect of the Knights Templar, fallen into devil worship and human sacrifice. As punishment, they were executed, but not before having their eyes gouged out. Yet evil cannot so easily be done away with, and the knights rise from their graves as zombies—only they’re BLIND! You could elude them, possibly, as long as they can’t hear you. Quiet! They’re coming! Don’t move! Don’t make a sound! They’re so close! You dare not even BREATHE . . . !

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? And the BLIND DEAD movies (TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD, RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD, THE GHOST GALLEON, and NIGHT OF THE SEAGULLS) might’ve been terrifying—if they weren’t so unintentionally hilarious. Granted, they’re Spanish movies, and a film can gain some extra-added cheese in dubbing. (One of the many charms of a “bad” GODZILLA movie.) Poor dubbing can’t explain the melodramatic overacting, however, or the fact the same little village keeps getting attacked, yet none of the people there have ever bothered to move since the LAST zombie rampage. All that said, these films are wonderful. I adore them. If you haven’t seen any of the BLIND DEAD films, do yourself a favor and get to it!