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Posts Tagged ‘zombies’

A Holiday Greeting

June 20th, 2010 No comments

"It's Father's Day, and I've got my cake!"

“Happy Father’s Day!!!”

Categories: Weird Tags: , , , ,

31 Monsters #21: Zombies

October 21st, 2009 No comments

This morning I’m flying to New Orleans, city of Voodoo and occasional zombie attack. Please enjoy this photo of me and my former roommate Guy Thorpe in full undead get-up, on our way to the 1987 Westwood, California premiere of Evil Dead II.

Categories: Weird Tags: ,

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies And Tedium

May 16th, 2009 No comments

As I reached the halfway point of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it began to dawn on me that I’d been tricked. Oh sure, there were the promised undead and even some bonus ninjas, but I realized that perhaps 95% of the time, I was, in fact, actually reading Pride and Prejudice. The real one. 

It may surprise you that I–a 20+ year public TV veteran–have not only never read any Jane Austen, but never even watched a for-real TV or movie adaptation all the way through. I’m pretty sure that Clueless and Bride and Prejudice don’t count. 

I don’t have a problem with romances. Granted that I prefer a romantic comedy to a straight-up love story, but I’m enough of a lovestruck fool that I can appreciate a bit of sentimentality. Especially if the actress is hot.

What I don’t like are romances in which the obstacles standing in the way of true love are entirely self-imposed. I mean the sort of stories in which the lovers in question could easily find true happiness if only they could get over themselves/their honor/their social class. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is an excellent example. Lots of people were swept away by its tragic, doomed relationship. I, on the other hand, was just pissed off. I spent most of the movie mentally shouting, “For crying out loud, just shut up about your damned destiny and kiss her!”

Similarly, I couldn’t stand the ’80s TV show Beauty and the Beast. If you don’t recall that one, it was about a district attorney played by Linda Hamilton who fell in love with a broody, bestial, underground dweller played by Ron Perlman. The title sequence’s tag line went something like “We can never be together, but we’ll never be apart.” See, apparently it just wouldn’t do for a district attorney to be seen with someone who looked like Ron Perlman, only with fangs and a bit of a mane. And so began an endless “oh no, we mustn’t” faux-mance, never mind that Linda Hamilton was living in New York City, where there are plenty of real-life people scarier-looking than Ron Perlman. Really, all they had to do was give “Vincent” a haircut, a manicure, a bit of dental work and a decent tailor, and those two crazy kids could’ve been happily having litters of kittens.

In my view, true love doesn’t let shit like that stand in the way. If you’re really mutually head over heels, you make it work. And if you don’t, or won’t, you need to shut the hell up about it.

Which brings me back to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or, as I think of it, Pride and Prejudice (with zombies). There’s a point about 200 pages in at which it’s very clear that all of the interested parties have realized their mutual interest, and all that’s standing between them and the words “THE END” is an awful lot of yakking about social standing and what the neighbors will think. Hungry undead or no hungry undead, I found myself skimming ever more quickly through the last hundred pages.

I’m certainly glad that if I had to read Pride and Prejudice, it was the zombie variant. It’s just that even the zombies weren’t enough.

It’s Really Very Simple

April 18th, 2009 No comments

Last week, Time magazine discovered zombies. Forty years after George Romero invented the modern variety. Columnist Lev Grossman wrote “Zombies Are the New Vampires,” in which he tries to relate the undead to the war, ecology, and the economy.

All very well, but I can tell you exactly why zombie flicks (28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead) and zombie games (Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil 1-5) have been so popular. It’s this:

Zombies look like people, and you can kill them.

You see, vampires are broody. You might even like them if you got to know them.

Zombies have no redeemable features, like personality or dress sense. The only relationship they desire is your sweet, sweet brain.

So, it’s okay. Slash ’em, hack ’em, shoot ’em in the head. Feel no remorse. They certainly don’t.

Kill all you want. They’ll make more.

Categories: Rant Tags: , ,

Half A Life Is Better Than None

January 3rd, 2005 No comments

Haven’t had a chance to update my blog over the long holiday week. Well, okay, perhaps I did have a chance or two, but somehow I kept getting sucked back into such diversions as Half-Life 2, a first-person shooter computer game that Vicky bought me as a Christmas gift.

I’ve never played the original Half-Life, so as far as I know, the name refers from the amount of time it took me to install five CDs, download the updates, create an online account, and wait for the damned thing to load. (My PC is well above the minimum specs for the game, yet the load times are still lengthy.)

Actually, coming into this cold simulates the experience of the main character, who is awakened by some creepy, suit-wearing alien into a post-invasion, vaguely European landscape in which jackbooted police and flying cameras monitor the tamed human populace. A little disorientation suits the mood; the player is trapped in a nightmare in which the other characters know him better than he knows himself.

The game veers through all manner of cinematic experiences, from a scary-ass stalk through a zombie-infested village to a firefight between a squad of resistance soldiers and faceless Combine troops. One of the best setpieces I’ve experienced to date involved crossing the underside of a massive girder bridge while being hunted by an alien helicopter.

The action is intense at times and the atmosphere can be downright frightening, except for one thing. You see, one of the extraterrestrial species is known as a “headcrab” because of its desire to engulf the head of a human host, turning it into a shambling corpse. All very creepy…or it would be, if the things didn’t resemble ambulatory Butterball turkeys! Having one scuttle my way reminds me that Thanksgiving is only 11 months away, and seeing one perched atop the neck of a zombie looks like nothing less than the episode of Mr. Bean in which Rowan Atkinson got his head stuck inside the neck hole of a plucked bird.

It’s a great game, and I can’t wait to get back to saving the planet. I can’t let those turkeys win.

Categories: Videogames Tags: , ,