October 24th, 2012
Oxytocin and the Zombie Apocalypse:
If you've been watching AMC's riveting series about zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead, then you're probably into blood and guts like me. You might also be watching because you're interested in the moral dilemmas that the characters face during each twist and turn of fate. As the misfortune adds up and the body count rises, some of the most honest and trustworthy people must do some pretty terrible things all in the name of survival! [...]
When I was watching the opening to season 3 this week, I couldn't help but think about how much the zombie apocalypse genre of television and cinema can teach us about oxytocin. That's right, we can learn more about the mislabeled "cuddle hormone" by thinking about both the benevolent and terrible things that people do in the name of survival. [...]
[Via The Morning News]
April 13th, 2011
BBC News – Apology over The Walking Dead poster gaffe:
An advertising firm has apologised for placing a billboard for a TV show called The Walking Dead on the side of a funeral parlour.
November 5th, 2010
Alyssa Rosenberg's review of the first episode of The Walking Dead draws an unexpected parallel between Frank Darabont's adaptation of Robert Kirkman's comic and Gone With the Wind:
AMC's new series The Walking Dead is everything you've heard: the queasiest show on any television channel, anywhere; a well-written pitch-black comedy; and a revitalization of the zombie genre on the small screen. But while the gore's gotten much of the attention, Frank Darabont's adaptation of Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard's comic books also lies at a fascinating intersection of two genres that are having hot moments: Westerns, and shows set in Atlanta.
[...] The Walking Dead is situated squarely, and consciously, in the [post-apocalyptic] tradition. From the moment Rick Grimes (the excellent Andrew Lincoln, utterly transcending his sweet blandness in the role he's best known for in Love, Actually) awakens – gut-shot, in an abandoned hospital, only to find the parking lot full of executed corpses, a vivisected body crawling through a neighborhood lawn and his family gone – we're waiting for him to shower, get back in uniform and ten-gallon hat, and mount a horse headed back to Atlanta.
[...] Given the role the Civil War plays in so many Western stories, whether it's the lost Confederate gold in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly or the origins of the James gang as Confederate guerrillas, it's fitting that one of the best recent Westerns set in the present day should return to the site of one of the Civil War's most famous campaigns. Only this time, it's the zombies who will never be hungry again.
I trust that one of the free-to-air channels will pick up the UK rights once FX has done with it.
August 2nd, 2010
Daniel Drezner's Night of the Living Wonks: Toward an international relations theory of zombies is all sorts of fun:
II. Unite-to-Fight-Zombie Liberals
Like realism, there are many varieties of liberalism. All liberals nevertheless share a belief that cooperation is still possible in a world of anarchy. Liberals look at world politics as a non-zero-sum game. Working together, whether on international trade, nuclear nonproliferation, or disease prevention, can yield global public goods on a massive scale. Major actors in world politics have an incentive to realize the gains that come from long-term mutual cooperation and avoid the costs that come with mutual defection.
A second glance reveals that the liberal paradigm offers some significant analytical bite. Romantic zombie comedies — rom-zom-coms for short — contain both implicit and explicit elements of liberalism. The 2009 film Zombieland is about the articulation of and adherence to well-defined rules for surviving in a zombie-infested landscape. Its central message — beyond the need for cardio workouts — is the need for disparate individuals to credibly commit to each other.
At the climax of Shaun of the Dead, Shaun rallies his friends and relations with a stirring paean to liberalism: "As Bertrand Russell once said, 'The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.' I think we can all appreciate the relevance of that now." [...]
[Via Ben Hammersley's return to old-fashioned blogging]
August 2nd, 2008
I Love Sarah Jane has unrequited love, a post-apocalyptic society and zombies: what more could you reasonably ask for in a short film?
July 8th, 2008
What garden wouldn't be enhanced by the addition of The Zombie of Montclaire Moors?