Monday, November 15, 2010

Whisper Tales of Gore

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas, is,


and #2,

A walk-on part in Walking Dead. Because I do believe it's in need of a little fashion victim zombie juhz. I envision head-to-toe Lagerfeld, including those hideous clogs from Spring/Summer 2010, or maybe one of Alexander McQueen's digital Geiger print dresses and horse hoof platforms . . .

Anyone else loving this show? Not much not to love, in my opinion. Based on the eponymous monthly comic book put out by Image Comics, Walking Dead airs every Sunday night on AMC (also home to the terrific Breaking Bad and Madmen) and it gives viewers plenty to sink their teeth into.

Honey, I'm home . . . and boy, am I hungry.

The gore factor is high, but so is the suspense and the human drama, which starts off with a literal bang at the beginning of the first episode when the small southern town sheriff Hero (who earns himself a solid 8.0 on Moi's Hero Hotness Meter) sends a point blank shot right through the forehead of a little girl.

Okay, so it's a zombified little girl, but still. Half of you wants to laugh because, well, she could easily have been one of those annoying kickers of airplane seat backs, so go Sheriff. But the other half is cringing because, well, it's a little girl!

And if you stuck around after that, tell me, can you think of anything in recent television history to match the tragic poignancy of one of the character's inability to put his zombie wife out of her misery or that beautiful horse valiantly carrying Hero into the wrecked heart of Atlanta, only to be sacrificed as zombie lunch and making it possible for Hero to live?

If you're watching, too, check back here every Monday and toss in your two cents. In the meantime here are some quick observations of Episode Three, "Tell it To the Frogs":

We got a much needed relief from the show's relentless Squick Factor. This episode's up close zombie head decapitation and subsequent brain scramble aside, it's going to be awfully difficult to top the giddy gross out of last week's "Guts" episode anyway.

Why yes, intestine scarves with dangly hand bits ARE all the rage for Spring 2011.

Over all, the show manages to uphold a high level of believability, but on occasion, a glaring WTF moment sticks out. Like this one: Red-neck-handcuffed-to-a-pipe-on-the-roof-dude doesn't realize until the zombies are just about to break through the barred door that he can just about reach for the handsaw that could quite possibly save his life?

Also, red-neck dude's equally red-necky brother. Both of these characters are in serious need of a bit of nuance or we're not going to be able to feel anything one way or the other for them; we're just going to feel embarrassed for the actors.

Also, Hero's wife. He was missing for, what, a month or so? Tell me, do you think that's long enough for her to forget about him and take up with his co-worker/best friend? Is this a case of girl's just gotta have it, or a short hand way to get to the warm squishy center of some Relationship Drama?

Girl can get with this . . .

Or girl can get with that:

Me? I think I'll take that bad ass Challenger, por favor. The ultimate zombie escape mobile.


Big Shamu said...

You already know where I stand on this series. However I am waiting for the inevitable mash up of Mad Men and The Walking Dead.
I've never been a zombie movie fan. Actually most modern horror are a gigantic turnoff because I'm not into violence and gore just for the sake of violence and gore. But with this series (did not follow the graphic comic books) what we're really focusing on are the living among the walking dead. Yes, last night we had the zombie head whacking but we also had the women rising up to confront a wife abuser. Unfortunately for said abuser, he got the stuffing knocked out of him not by the women but from Moi's love interest (don't think I didn't notice you picking the Cajun Bad Boy) who took out his frustration at losing his little instant family by pounding the abuser's face into blood jelly. Oh yeah, I think there's a bit of a tussle coming down the pike between the less than conforming to the former law of the land folk and the two man cop shop.
Now, since I'm not a zombie follower, I have so many questions. Like, do zombies ever starve? Can you freeze a zombie and if you can does this mean we all have to move to Minnesota? If a gator eats a zombie, do we get zombie gators? If this show weren't so serious I'd love to see famous people guest star as zombies. Number 1 on my Zombie List? Martha Stewart. With most of her lower jaw missing so there would be no chance of her speaking. Groaning would be fine.

moi said...

Sham: As a huge zombie (and all around apocalyptic lit) fan, I do agree that it's most definitely the human factor in this and other zombie-esque stories that attracts me most. For there really isn't a better stage upon which to contemplate the myriad consequences of total anarchy (not to mention, make some very clever observations on mass consumerism) than a good zombie tale.

Oh, and you're wrong about Cajun Boy. I'm Sheriff all the way. Well, okay, about 96.7 percent of the way.

Big Shamu said...

The other thing about last night was me imagining you outfitting that sweet ride as the ultimate Zombie Crushing Machine instead of letting the strippers turn it into a pretty bird bath.

Buzz Kill said...

When I saw the heading, I thought you were talking about old Al Gore. Bwahahaha

I have not seen this show and I really want too. Sunday nights have been taken up by Boardwalk Empire and The Next Iron Chef. When they're done (a couple of weeks I think) I'll give this a try.

Jenny said...

I Tivo'd all of the episodes yesterday but I'm also watching BOARDWALK EMPIRE and that's just enough gore for me on a Sunday night. :-) I did watch a few minutes from last night; I thought the acting of the Hero (and oh yeah, he is hawt) was good. I couldn't believe his wife would find time with running from Zombies and all to also find a new man, but hey, it's stressful times, right?

I'm struggling to find more than just the standard Apocalyptic formula and like Shamu, I've never enjoyed gore for entertainment sake...... but some women who I admire say it's good so I'm going to give it a try.

Roses said...

It airs on Sunday nights on the FX channel over here. I'm really not good with any kind of horror and gore, so I've been avoiding it. It's just not cool to watch it from underneath the couch.

Did you get the dog?

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

I still can't get past the concept of paying for television and then having to watch commercials. You enjoy. but if I'm going to sit around and do nothing, I'd rather read a book.

I agree with Shamu, as far as gratuitous gore goes.

moi said...

Shamu: The thought of strippers anywhere near My Precious makes me shudder. Let 'em smarm up the Mustang.

Buzz: Didn't start in on Boardwalk Empire, thank goodness. We're already committed to Dexter. Too. Much. Television. Brain. Shutting dowwwwnnnn. . .

Boxer: You know, one does have to give the gal props for managing such lightning quick replacement nookie during what is obviously an extremely stressful time.

Roses: Hey, welcome to Moi's Blob! I agree. Too much dog hair under the couch for comfortable television viewing. As for adding to my crew, my elder pup, Ivan, is having Old Man Dog issues, so I have decided against adding to our happy home at this time. Thanks for asking.

Karl: You and S.B. both. Which is why he's become the fastest remote finger in the west. I go for weeks without seeing any advertisements. Which is how I miss all the funny ones. I get my reading done before sleep and on the weekends during football season.

Heff said...

Hey, If Santa comes through for you on the car, tell him he OWES me - 'cause I haven't gotten shit from him in YEARS !

Heff will be watching EVERY EPISODE of The Walking Dead.

So far, I'm VERY impressed with it, but DAMNIT !!! Why did they only make 6 episodes for season one ??? They HAD to have known it would be a hit !

Heff said...

BTW - You KNOW how to get the walk-on part for the show.

Thought about signing up myself, lol !

moi said...

Heff: What, what? Only SIX episodes in a season? That's like asking me to wear only six pairs of shoes in a season. As for Santa, look at it this way: he gave you Donna. I figure he thinks he's good for life.

Heff said...

Good point.

Yes, I DO recall hearing last night that only 3 episodes remain.

I'm SURE they'll make more for season 2.

czar said...

It seems like it's been weeks since I've known what the hell you're talking about, Moi. Maybe it's better I don't know. The czarina watches all the TV in this house. All I see is what she demands I see during my once-daily stroll between the bunker and bedtime.

moi said...

Czar: You need a bunker intervention. Then again, you'd most likely be the safest among us, given a zombie apocalypse.

LaDivaCucina said...

Being an ex Goth punk of course I love gore! The more the better, especially when the pretty girls get it! But it depends...if it's Saw gore, no. Piranha 3D gore, YES!

I am hesitant to start watching another show I need to see every week, though I am intrigued and a spot just opened up on Sunday night! Thanks, Moi!

Pam said...

Not normally my cup o' tea, but you make it sound interesting for sure. Hmmmm, might have to check it out since I might be boycotting certain other addictive-in-the-past shows this season!

sparringK9 said...

where to begin?

the walking dead: FAIL

i had high hopes, you know i did. but the cardboard cut outs they are using as characters with hackneyed back stories that would make a soap opera writer blush kill it for me. now that the horse is dead, there's nobody for me to "like".

if i was in that refugee camp outside of atl? id hit broken nosed shame (thats right, i spelled it wrong) over the head, relieve him of his firearm and LEAVE. i do believe my chances alone would be greater. like shamu, i would be thinking of places to retreat to that zombies couldnt handle or wouldnt like. I think icy northern climes sound promising. at least the zombie smell would be diminished.

and the women? are you kidding me? doing the domestic labor and grumbling under their breaths? the social structure is no longer relevant! insanity. no way this would go down - of course i would have had a firearm - not a freaking washboard. and i would have had a lot of drugs too. painkillers esp. I know what to grab when the zombay apoc rolls into town.

i hate lori. not because of her barely letting husbands body get cold - but because she cant own that she liked shaggin on shame and cant live with it. there isnt one female character i can identify with. now we have garden variety "will husband find out"? "will lori get pregnant" ooooo tune in next week to find out.

and dont get me started with the redneck brothers. oh heavy handed.

what the, "graphic novel" written in this ridiculous social commentarese?

overall, a missed opportunity to examine real societal breakdown in the context of an astonishing biological threat.

which reminds me,

arent they a bit cavalier with smearing blood on themselves and bludgeoning bodies? if you get that shite in your eyes you zombify yourself. AYFKM? hey - i would have found a safe house that would rival the antiseptic standards of cold storage at the CDC

my rating: C-

I also hate Glee and Just Desserts. Now i have NO shows to look forward to. Not one.

Big Shamu said...

All I know is if I insisted on living in the woods in the outskirts of Atlanta, I'd sure as shit would start building myself an awesome treehouse with ziplines to get around. Soft sided tents would not be my hidey hole.

K-9, what would be your fav in the post apocalyptic genre?

sparringK9 said...

favorite apocalyptic genre? you know full well, shamy!


like whats happening now. in slo mo. "death of a thousand cuts"

zip lines is a good call - the zombies can climb though as witnessed in the van theft/chain link scene.

in a real zombie apoc every second of every day would be about finding more weapons and ammo. lots of compound bows and plenty of arrows. we dont wipe zombie blood off on our jeans. i would be making molotov cocktails and other IED's. take a page out of the AfPak playbook - perhaps a revision course on guerrilla warfare?

i would not be going back for merle. thats a negative. going back in for the weapon bag? yes. (cept id be hitting every cop station in small towns i could.....hunting lodges, private homes, etc.

Big Shamu said...

From reading the comments over at TLo, the graphic novel/comic book version has ALL the dead in the world rising up. All they have to have is a brain and the ability to get out of their graves and coffins. I'm not sure there's enough ammo in the world and while the holes in Zombie logic are swiss cheese-like, apparently the zombies like noise and come a runnin' to the sound of gunshots. Unless you've got an unlimited supply of ammo for that tank, not to mention fuel, life for Post Zombification living is not looking too bright.

moi said...

La Diva: Exactly. There are a few lines I draw when it comes to the horror genre and Saw and its ilk is one of them.

Pam: Heh. I hear ya.

K9: I agree that the third episode pretty much dropped the ball on the promise of the first two, but I'm not ready to give up on it.

My interest in this genre is solely the drama (and maybe sick humor) that comes from exposing the thickness of the thread on which civilization actually hangs. What, if any, of our social and political structures do we struggle to recreate in the face of chaos. Given that, I'm not so sure we wouldn't initially herd ourselves into little groups right outside our cities. Because the vast majority of people are not going to pack a backpack, some guns, a tent, and high tail it for remote areas. At least not at first. They're going to pack together for comfort and safety, for some semblance of "normalcy," outside of a city limit into which they can make stealth trips for food and other supplies.

As for the cliche of women ending up with the shit work, while I think that whole scene was handled poorly, I think that's exactly what would happen. Tell me, who would beat the other to the ignore over a kitchen full of piled-high, stinking dishes—you or the Big Dog? I don't know about you, but after a couple of days, I'd be the one to cave and grab the Dawn. That's just what most women do, regardless of how unconventional their marriages or lives. And in a scenario like this, making sure clothing is clean, the food tastes reasonably edible, the children look half way presentable, is one of the ways in which we can make order out of chaos. Doesn't mean we're weak or uninteresting, just that perhaps when the shit hits the fan, we're drop kicked back into our ancient biology. I often think it's a mighty thin veil, the one separating our so-called "progress" from our cro magnon genetics.

That being said, there's a way to show that without making each and every one of the women totally dislikeable.

Shamu: Monkeys in trees? Brilliant!

K9: Hells to the no, would I go back for Merle. Guns, yes, but who needs forkers like him in survival mode?

Shamu: But they run slowwwwwwlllllyyyyy. Which brings up another question: Are Kenyan zombies faster than their contemporaries?

moi said...

K9: in a real zombie apoc every second of every day would be about finding more weapons and ammo. lots of compound bows and plenty of arrows. we dont wipe zombie blood off on our jeans. i would be making molotov cocktails and other IED's. take a page out of the AfPak playbook - perhaps a revision course on guerrilla warfare?

That would be the optimal course of action, for sure. But is it what the vast majority of people would do? Look at what's happening with our current zombification. Are we fighting, or just trying to keep things semi-in-order?

sparringK9 said...

excellent point moi. im encouraged by the little rebellions on the nekkic body scanners. revolt people! see? it wasnt that hard.

to shamys point of noise. youre right. maybe a review of the movie "first blood'? hows your pungy stick skills, grrrrrrrrrrl?

moi - i agree women would talk care of basics - however, the limpness of those gals made it impossible to see the logic of that action. pitiful writing.