Yeah, they’re dead. They’re all messed up.

Happy Post Halloween Everyone!

The wife and I had a great Halloween / Anniversary yesterday. Having dressed up for our reception last year it kinda sets the bar high for repeat performances each year. Suzanne understandably didn’t get dressed up but far be it for me to let some cold weather, stress from packing and no costume idea deter me from throwing something together. For a couple of years now I’ve contemplated tossing on my #7 jersey and walk around with a bloodied stuffed dog on a leash and be Michael Vick but I ultimately decided that wouldn’t be in good taste so I fell back on an old reliable favorite…

I had a ball concocting a thick gooey blood recipe. In the end some petroleum jelly, red food coloring, corn syrup (to loosen it up a bit) and cocoa powder (to darken it) did the trick. The torn apart skin came courtesy of this really gross putty-like Halloween makeup we got in a dollar store a couple years ago. You can mold it and blend it in to your skin so it did the trick in a pinch.

I’m sure the dear Mrs. Etheridge to fill everyone in on what happened throughout the day. Geez. It still doesn’t sound right saying that. Mrs. Etheridge has always been reserved for referring to my mother so it just feels weird calling Suzanne that. Anyway my night was capped off perfectly with, of course, some zombie action. No I’m not talking about creepy tantric freaky deaky sexual acts with the Mrs. I’m referring to watching the highly anticipated The Walking Dead premiere on AMC.

I should be flogged for not having collected the comic series. A guy who boasts about loving the genre so much should  however, the comic world and I had a very turbulent divorce many years ago so there is a reason behind the madness. Perhaps one day I’ll reveal the details but not today. Today we’re talking zombies.  For those of you who live under a rock (or just don’t follow the zombie horror genre) The Walking Dead is a black and white comic series first published in 2003 by Image comics and tells the story of a band of survivors trying to find safe haven amidst a zombie apocalypse. At 78 current issues the series won the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series at the San Diego Comic Convention.

The AMC adaptation debuted last night and I must say I was rather impressed with it. I’ve been waiting for a good zombie tale for years now. After having to brave through bombs like Zombie Wars and Survival of the Dead my faith in the genre was hanging by a thin thread. I was so desperate for some legitimate zombie work that I even started writing a zombie blog tale months ago just to provide my fix. Thank goodness for Frank Darabont. He’s directed such hits as The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and most recently The Mist and has single-handedly brought my faith back into the modern zombie. While a ton of credit must be paid to the comic creators Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore it takes a good writer and director to translate that to the small (or big) screen. Darabont doesn’t just give you a more developed view of zombies to revel over but allows you to see and feel the psychological effects of a cataclysmic event such as a zombie apocalypse.

The cast is an interesting one. Playing the lead character Rick Grimes is British actor Andrew Lincoln. I’m not too familiar with his work but you can rarely go wrong with a Brit in the lead. I’ve always appreciated how dedicated the English are to the craft with many of them being classically trained theater performers. The pilot episode focuses primarily on the main character so having someone compelling and convincing enough to hold the audience’s attention is a must and they found that with Mr. Lincoln. Fellow Brit Lennie James also joins Lincoln in the premiere playing a distraught father named Morgan Jones. Mr. James is no stranger to the post apocalyptic world having played Special Agent Robert Hawkins in the prematurely canceled  series Jericho. Those of you unfamilair with him can get a pretty good understanding of how fantastic he is just by watching the premiere. He’s an incredibly intense actor with a wide range. Let’s just say he has that uncanny abilty to convey emotion like few can. I’m not a fan of giving spoiler riddled reviews of shows so you’ll just have to watch the series to understand.

All in all I am totally enthusiastic about this series. I had a glimmer of doubt that it might be the nail in the coffin for my love of all things zombie but in fact it opened up the lid and let them out. I hope that they’re able to continue impressing me with the upcoming 5 episodes. My heart is heavy though. The last time I got so buzzed about a television series they canceled it after two seasons despite it having a huge following. It just goes to show you that if it ain’t CSI Montana or Law and Order: Kindergarten Patrol then it won’t last on network TV. Thank goodness this is being branded as an original series by AMC. Their two other original powerhouses Mad Men and Rubicon seem to be doing well so hopefully The Walking Dead will walk tall along side them.


13 responses

  1. Amy

    I watched the first episode on line last night then caught the second episode on tv.
    Loved it! Never thought I would see that much gore on a tv show. They really did set the whole tone for the show in the first few minutes when he put a bullet in that little girl’s head.
    I’ve never read any of the graphic novels so I can’t wait to see where this goes and how the plot progresses.

    November 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    • I’m glad you got caught up! From what I heard it’s pretty faithful to the graphic novels so far. The comics are very character driven and I’m seeing that in the TV series as well. I’m digging the fact that some of the scenes are giving me slight anxiety when watching them (like being trapped in the tank) so I’m totally hooked on this show now. I totally agree that AMC has definitely set a tone for how they’re going to do this show. It could have been SO campy but thankfully it’s going in the right direction!

      November 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

  2. Hippie Cahier

    Somehow it makes sense to me that flesh-eating walking dead are preferable to Michael Vick. 😐

    Great makeup work!

    November 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    • My lovely wife called me revolting. I took that as a great compliment. 😀

      November 8, 2010 at 10:14 am

  3. Love it!

    November 3, 2010 at 4:03 pm

  4. I would go out and tell you to immediately buy as many of those comics as you can but it might ruin the show for you. I’ve read through all of the books thus far and the first episode followed it very faithfully. If this continues, I can promise that you will go on a long hard ride with some of these characters. The plot does not pull any punches and won’t, for a moment, coddle you. For me, that made the comics impossible not to keep reading but I have to wonder how far AMC can go. Some of the things that occur in the books just seem… well, difficult to put on television without getting into quite a bit of trouble.

    I’m glad that AMC picked this story up and I hope they continue to do it justice. Even though I wasn’t entirely sold on the not quite movie quality special effects, lighting or camera work, I have to remind myself that this is still INSANELY ambitious for a television series. Let’s face it, I’m comparing it to a high-budget hollywood film when we’ve only just covered the very first episode that was, in itself, almost as long as a feature length film. At any rate, the zombies look great and a lot of work is going into the settings.

    However, none of that will matter either. This show is going to be good because of the characters. The choices they make, how they deal with each other and how they grow in this new world will be the key to this show and it’s likely success. If you can’t tell, I’m pretty excited to see how the cast comes together.

    Also, your head trauma looks really good.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    • Thanks for stopping by. Since seeing the premiere I’ve been doing some Google homework on the comic series. I read that the story was very character driven with the zombies serving more as a “oh and there are zombies too” sort of accent to everything going on. It’s great to get some input in from someone who’s actually been keeping up with the comics. To get a confirmation that it’s holding close to the original work is truly getting me jazzed about it. Based on the fact that in the first 10 minutes they managed to put a bullet in the head of a child – albeit zombie – gives me hope they’re willing to tackle some of the more darker issues.

      November 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm

  5. Amy

    I am kicking myself for not watching this last night. I’ll have to try to catch this episode somewhere. It looked really good and now reading your review I am sure that I’d love it.

    November 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    • AMC is heavily promoting this series so I’m quite certain you’ll be able to catch a rerun before the next episode comes on.

      November 1, 2010 at 1:51 pm

  6. I had a feeling you stole the camera from my purse… :-p Yeah, I was extremely impressed by the first episode. Looking forward to seeing the rest…in fact, can’t wait.

    November 1, 2010 at 11:29 am

  7. Pretty scary costume, Ian! My stepson did the zombie thing, but he wasn’t nearly as scary as you are (photos in yesterday’s post)!

    [shaking head]”THE wife” Really? How about “my wife” or “Suzanne”? Why do guys say that? Even “Mrs. Etheridge” is preferable to “the wife”! Rant over…

    I don’t know anything about the zombie stuff…will have to take your word for it!


    November 1, 2010 at 11:22 am

    • I honestly don’t know why I call her “the wife”. It kind of just happened. It’s better than saying “my” wife cuz that sounds far to possessive for my liking. “The wife” makes her sound more tremendous. Watch out! Her comes the wife! *cue dramatic music* ;p

      November 1, 2010 at 11:30 am

    • Eh…I don’t mind. I still call him partner sometimes, so people think I’m married to a woman. 😉

      November 1, 2010 at 11:31 am

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