Thursday, November 4, 2010

Zombies on the Brain

The tricky thing about telling a Zombie Apocalypse story is that essentially the plot is always the same. Zombies arrive on the scene by one cause or another, get hungry, and devour the living. That's it. So the real story becomes about the survival of the fortunate few...or perhaps unfortunate depending on the tale the writer wishes to tell.

Given that the tale has been told many times, the job of the writer is to have an interesting hook to the survivor's situation. In Zombieland, the Zombie Apocalypse becomes a backdrop for a buddy story. It focused on a specific aspect of surviving the zombies...who you partner with. In the brilliant British mini-series Dead Set, the hook is the fantastic setting for the zombie outbreak.

The show takes place on the set of reality series where the contestants are secluded in the Big Brother house. They remain oblivious as the people outside get brutally slaughtered until one of the production crew manages to find safety inside and reveal what's going on. Seeing these people slowly come to grips is wonderfully done. We see each of them drop their 'reality tv persona' and begin to deal with the horror that surrounds them. In a incredibly bleak and absolutely terrorizing conclusion, the show manages to become one of the rare emotionally charged horror films that also leaves the viewer with powerful questions about our society.

This is definitely one of the best zombie related things I've seen. Though I must warn you, it's absolutely horrifying...but in a good way. Just be prepared, I was too scared to enter my basement for an entire day. I just hope The Walking Dead lives up to this. More to come on that show after a few episodes.


  1. I missed the Dead Set marathon on tv. I still must watch it. And I plan to finally watch my recorded first ep of Walking Dead. Hope it lives up to its graphic novel counterpart.

  2. Resident Evil 1 (the best) had the same effect on me.