It’s nearly 2013. Fuck you, Mayans, we made it. In honor of the special occasion of us all being alive and not cosmic cinders, the Zombie Report would like to present…
The Five Greatest Zombie Moments of 2012
5. The Discovery Channel finally gave the zombie apocalypse the respect it deserves and showed us scientists on the same show with people who hoard weapons and passionately debate whether or not they can bear to shoot their families when they get bit.
4. Filmmaker Joss Whedon endorsed Mitt Romney for President because he’d be the candidate most likely to bring about the zombie apocalypse. Romney lost, in spite of Whedon’s help.
3. Marina Bridges and J. W. Manus published the ebook, ZOMBIES TAKE MANHATTAN! (you seriously didn’t think I’d leave myself out.)
2. Most of Ronald Poppo’s face was chewed off by Rudy Eugene in a bizarre Miami, Florida zombie attack. Police had to shoot Eugene multiple times before he ceased and desisted and died. There were cries that the zombie apocalypse was upon us, but Eugene took the reason behind his actions to his grave without infecting any of the rest of us.
1. AMC’s The Walking Dead killed off the character that hero Rick and the entire country loved most…T-Dog. In spite of hardly ever having lines or anything to do, T-Dog won the hearts of the country by being a black guy in a zombie entertainment who didn’t die immediately. Rick’s wife, Lori, also died, but eh, nobody much cared. Here are all of T-Dog’s lines from Season Two of the top series. All five minutes of them.
Welcome to 2013, you survivors. Be sure to stay with a buddy and aim for the head.
Shark Week starts August 12 on the Discovery Channel. I’m not interested. Once, a friend asked me to videotape as much of one of the early Shark Weeks for her as I possibly could, and I said, “Ummm, let me think about it….no.” Unless a shark is biting me, I don’t care about sharks. Shark Week is well over a week away and I’m bored with it before it starts.
However, the annoying, incessant commercials about the upcoming Shark Week have made me think of the most famous zombie vs. shark scene ever shot. As far as I know, it could be the ONLY zombie vs. shark scene ever shot, but I’m not going to say that because I don’t know for sure. What I do know for sure is that I doubt there will ever be another zombie vs. shark scene like it.
In 1979, Lucio Fulci’s Italian masterpiece, Zombie (Zombie 2 was the original title) hit US screens. I didn’t see it in the theatre. I was too young. The poster of the zombie with the worm in his eyehole was enough to insure that I didn’t even whine to my parents about wanting to go. The film was trimmed a bit to avoid an X rating for violence. It was wild stuff, at the time.
I did see the film a number of years later. It was a lousy copy, so the signature bit of gore, the eyeball impaling, was too hard to see to be gross. What I could see well was the zombie vs. shark scene. I was impressed by both the oddball campiness of it and the unexpected realism.
I kept saying, “Is that a real shark? That’s not a REAL shark. That can’t be a real SHARK.”
It was a real shark. An actor was slated to fight the shark, but he called out sick (wonder why) and the shark’s trainer, Ramón Bravo, fought his own damned shark. The shark was fed a large meal before the shoot and drugged to (literally) the gills. Now, these people had a man fight a LIVE SHARK for their movie, and they couldn’t be bothered to put makeup on his EAR. Watch the clip again. Look for the naked ear.
Naked ear aside, Lucio and his zombie vs. shark scene beats the hell out of anything on Shark Week. Viva Lucio! Bravo, Bravo!
Read my ebook!
I’m hopelessly old fashioned and cheap. I don’t have DVR. I don’t have On Demand anything. So, when people said, “I bet you are going to have fun this weekend when AMC runs both seasons of THE WALKING DEAD,” I moaned at them like a zombie. I had to work. All I caught was a few episodes each evening after I got home.
I did catch the highlights. I saw TALKING DEAD, which was stupid except for the two minute Season III preview they cruelly dangled in front of us. Of course I entered the sweepstakes in which the prize is a stagger-on role as a zombie. I’ve entered all of those. Have I won a role? No, I have not. I bet you haven’t, either.
Then, the big enchilada. What we’d all been waiting for. Sort of. I still have no understanding of why AMC showed us the pilot episode of THE WALKING DEAD, a very well-done piece of television, in black and white. It looked nearly as shitty as I thought it would. Old black and white movies looked good because they were purposefully shot to be viewed in black and white. Suck the color out of something with a computer, and it looks sucked and that’s about it.
Why did AMC give us the questionable treat of THE WALKING DEAD in black and white? I don’t really know. I suppose it’s an homage to the mainly black and white graphic novels that inspired the series. Maybe there was a salute in there to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, George Romero’s black and white film. But I wish that what happened to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in the 1970s had served as a little cautionary tale to the minds behind THE WALKING DEAD.
There was a time, kiddies, when no television shows were in color. All shows were in black and white. Although movies had been in color for a long time, television was slow to follow. As late as the 1980s, I knew people who still had old black and white television sets in their homes. They were losers. Winners had nice new color television sets.
During the 1970s, American lust for progress–and the American lust to make people feel like shit if they didn’t have nice new color television sets–led to a rejection of all movies and television shows that were shot in black and white. Screw black and white. Screw THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Screw PSYCHO. That stuff was black and white trash. We wanted nice new modern entertainment. Except, my god, the 1970s wasn’t really a decade of great movies or television shows. So, Ted Turner, a rich Atlanta man who bugged us for quite a while by giving his opinions and we kept saying, “Who the hell is this guy, again?” decided that it was sad that good movies weren’t being seen. Ted invented “colorization” which was pooping really ass-looking color into old movies with some computer program that made Microsoft Paint look like LucusFilm’s CGI department.
Somewhere in all of this madness, some idiots colorized NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. That badly colored version became the only version of the film you could find for years. It’s so horribly stupid looking that I stopped watching NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, even on Halloween. (Well, I was also out getting drunk. That also stopped me from watching the movie.) BUT, and I can’t stress this enough, I WOULDN’T HAVE WATCHED IT IF I HAD BEEN HOME AND SOBER BECAUSE IT LOOKED LIKE ASS. Look at it.
THE WALKING DEAD in black and white didn’t look totally like ass. It just looked kind of like a pancreas, which is an organ I feel that most of us don’t understand any more than we understand why we watched THE WALKING DEAD in anemic black and white tonight.
While we are all waiting for October to arrive, be sure to check out my ebook. Zombies Take Manhattan! It’s a collection of short stories about zombies in Manhattan. It’s not THE WALKING DEAD, but we don’t have THE WALKING DEAD, now do we? Not for months and months. So buy my book!