Monday, May 28, 2007

What the Hell?

This is not about this news story. It's about the picture they use to illustrate the story. It makes zero sense and they don't explain why they even used it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Zombie Week Day 7

You may have noticed that I didn't have a post yesterday but I intended to have the last day coincide with my debut of my short story at The Late Late Show. The debut came a day late but I can finally get the last post of Zombie Week out now. Are you a little teary-eyed? I can understand I feel the same way. If only there were 10 days in a week but we can only let this go on for so long.

If you would let me be a bit self indulgent I decided to talk about the zombie I have in my short story. I played around with the rules a bit in this one. The most important one is that only the firemen in my short story became zombies. I wanted this story to be a reactionary tale to the government response to Katrina and I always thought the part of the government everyone could agree that we needed, no matter what type of politics you might have, are the firemen.

These zombies are undead and still want to eat flesh so I went classic with the old Romero type but I made it so the bites they make are lethal but didn't change anyone into a zombie (it would dilute the story if others that weren't firemen became zombies). That means I had to give some more umph to these zombies since they would be few in number so I made it so that even brain damage couldn't kill them. In fact, not much of anything could kill them.

I also wanted them to be more horrific from the regular zombies so I made their bellies bloated to bursting from all the flesh they consumed. I reasoned that since zombies are dead, they don't have functioning digestive systems so all that flesh in their bellies would stay in there and just rot. Pretty disgusting image but I liked it and used it.

So if you want to actually read the story in question you can read it here and also listen to it here.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Zombie Week Day 6

I can see the end in sight and it makes me a little sad. There really is much more to talk about than just 7 days worth so I'll just gloss over the remaining zombies in this post. Some of these monsters won't even be zombies but they are the dead come back and you'll notice a strange trend when it comes to the dead come back to life.

We should start with one of the most famous reanimated corpses. Frankenstein's Monster was never really written as a monster that was a patchwork of dead people parts, but ever since the Universal movie came, it became the general consensus. This guy follows many zombie characteristics so I thought we was worth a mention. He can't talk in the first movie, resorting to just grunts and the masterful acting of Boris Karloff to get the monster to come to life. He stumbled around like a zombie and was often seen with arms stretched reaching for something like zombies often did, hell Karloff probably invented that walk.

There are also the movies with generic zombies. We can see these guys from Evil Dead movies to Simpson's Halloween specials. Most of these zombies don't really have any rules per say. Sometimes they want brains, sometimes they just want to bite you and other times they are smart as hell. Sometimes it's only a bite that will turn you into a zombie, other times just dieing will do the trick. It's the lack of consistency that makes it impossible for me to classify them as a species or sub specious of their own.

I also want to mention the few times that the dead come back different. I wouldn't call them zombies but they do have a murderous intent. A prime example is the little kid from Pet Cemetery who came back from the dead after being buried in a pet cemetery. Five year old undead kids with a scalpel are worse than any zombie. Why you ask? Cuz they can hide under the bed. In fact 9 out of ten times if you are missing your five-year-old undead kid you'll find him under your bed with a scalpel. Fun fact btw the little kid killed the actor who played Hermon Munster, who was a Frankenstein monster, so you can see it as a kind of passing of the torch amongst undead monsters... nahh I'm just talking out of my ass.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Zombie Week Day 5

Hey there, sexy. You want me to seduce you, you say? Well there's only one way to do that and that's with another zombie related post!

Today we're going to take a look at a subspecies of zombie. This zombie came to us from a Romero film and I think it added another dimension to the regular zombie. I am talking about none other than the smart zombie.

Now I am not going to say that a smart zombie is in any way smart as a human, but when you consider the fact that a regular zombie is about as smart as a roll of toilet paper then you have to admit that a zombie who can figure out how to use an assault rifle is the freakin Einstein of Zombies. This zombie, named Big Daddy, is one of the most dangerous of its type because it can actually direct other lesser zombies to do things like walk through a river, take apart some walls, and even teach them to figure out how the ever-elusive door knob works.

We saw glimmerings of a smart zombie in Day of the Dead in which a zombie managed to use a hand gun but that zombie seemed just as surprised as his victim when he managed to use the thing so I'm gonna chalk that up to luck and simplicity in gun design. Hell, I don't even know how to use an assault rifle. Don't those things need to be oiled and reloaded and junk?

You also have to appreciate the fact that Big Daddy works really hard for his fellow zombies. He isn't satisfied with just flesh for himself. He wants flesh for all of his kind. If only our own leaders had as much passion for us.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Zombie Week Day 4

Is it day 4 already? Oh how the time flies when you're knee deep in zombies. Who should we look at now? How about a zombie class that arent even zombies?

When the movie 28 Days Later came out the zombie genre got a new kick in the pants. What's funny is that the creatures in this movie arent really zombies, ie they are not the dead come back to life. Instead of the dead, it is a virus known as the Rage virus that is making all these kids go cuckoo for Coco Puffs. These people don't really want flesh or brains like our previous zombie friends. Instead they just want to kill the hell out of anyone that isn't like them and when one of them bites you the virus spreads so rapidly that you become one in a matter of seconds.

The real strength of this type of zombie, or Rage infected as some of you would rather call them, is the virus itself. Most zombies will slow down to chomp down on a newly captured victim but if a single bite is all you need to turn someone then you're in big trouble and entire seas of people can become a hoard of zombies in a few minutes.

The one thing that helps people in the never-ending battle of humans vs. Zombies is the fact that these zombies are actually alive. That means a good shot in the gut or punch in the face can knock one out. On the other hand there is a new aspect to these zombies that can make them more terrifying than any other zombie; they can run. Getting chased by fast zombies is far more scarier than raptors in my opinion and much harder to avoid than your average slumping zombie.

We saw fast zombies again in a remake of the classic Romero film, Dawn of the Dead and now the debate rages. Do you like your zombies fast or slow? It's a debate that pits brother against brother, father against son, and tears at the very fabric of this nation. Like the great Less Filling/Tastes Great debate, this issue may never be settled, all we can do is wait it out and hope the bloodshed stays to a minimum.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Zombie Week Day 3

Come, children. Sit down in a semicircle as I regal you with information The zombie we will be examining today will be the Return of the Living Dead zombie.

In 1985 the zombie genre had all but run it's course. There really was nothing new to the market until Return of the Living Dead decided to hit the general public. These zombies had different rules than the Romero zombie. Instead of an unknown, mysterious reason as to why the dead come back to life there is a definite reason in this movie, a chemical. It's this horrible lethal toxic stuff that brings back the dead. When they come back they have a huge hankering for brains. Yes, this is one of the major contributions to the zombie genre, the hunger for brains. These zombies also differ from the general zombie because they can't be killed by a blow to the head. We'll get to how to kill them later since it is a bit complicated. Another difference is that these guys can actually talk. In fact they can be quite articulate which means they can also be cunning if it came to that. Depending on there state of degeneration, they could also be quite fast if they were hungry for delicious delicious brains. They hungered for brains because they said it was the only way to fight the horrible pain of being dead. I don't know what that pain would be like but remember that brains are the only aspirin to that pain.

I always wondered if one of these zombies could be reasoned with. Perhaps they could be bribed with brains or a brain supplement and we could all live in a happy zombie wonderland. Unfortunately, that idea never came up in the movie, what from all the running away from zombies.

Now, because these zombies couldn't be killed by a smashed brain, these zombies were extra difficult to kill. One could reason that you could chop one into pieces and burn that into nothing, but when they tried to do that in the movie the really bad thing about these zombies became apparent. You see, the real threat wasn't the zombies but the chemical inside them. When a zombie was burnt, the chemicals inside it would go back into the atmosphere and when it rained come back down contaminating any dead thing it touched. Very very bad news. The answer to killing them came in the sequel Return of the Living Dead 2 in which zombies could be killed through electrocution. There are further sequels Rave to the Grave, and Necro-something, that changed the rules but those movies were crap so no one saw them, thankfully.

Another aspect of zombies that was brought to the plate with this movie was the comedic zombie. This is because you can only look at a bunch of stumbling zombies begging for brains for so long and not start laughing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Zombie Week Day 2

Talking about zombies just makes my mouth water. I'm pretty happy that I decided to have this week. And today we get to talk about none other than the classic zombie.

This zombie came from the genre defining movie Night of the Living Dead, directed by the father of zombie movies, George A. Romero. The Romero zombie is pretty much what you think of when you think of a zombie. They are slow and sluggish. They are the dead come back to life and they want to eat your flesh. If you were ever forced to deal with one of these guys, you would be better off just avoiding it. They are slow but they are strong and they have a lethal bite. They don't talk but do moan a lot, I suppose I would moan too if I had a top speed of 2 miles an hour and my prey can go 15 easily.

It would be quite easy to get away from one but their strength lies in numbers. When a hoard of them are surrounding your house you are in big trouble. Your best bet is to fortify where ever you are as much as you can and stick to the second floor with only a rope to get to the next level (zombies are not known for their dexterity and have enough trouble with step ladders). You can kill these zombies with enough damage to their head or brains.

One thing I always wondered about these zombies was that they craved flesh but did not eat one another. So at what point does a zombie stop eating a victim? Till it's dead? Till it becomes a fellow zombie? If the latter were true then is there an awkward moment when a new zombie just stares at the guy eating him and go... "do you mind?"

The latest version of this zombie would probably be Shaun of the Dead, a great movie and worth a viewing. Hell, any of those zombie movies are worth viewing but some people tell me they don't like zombie movies and then I just stare at them like they just said they can hear bees farting.

Chun out.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Zombie Week Has Started

There's a sense of energy in the air. Do you feel it? It may be that spring air or it may be that Zombie Week has started! I decided to make a series of posts describing the many types of zombies there are in anticipation of the release of my zombie short story A Contained Inferno.

I thought I would start with the classic zombie this time, the one that started it all. The following is not fiction if you can believe it or not. Certain witch doctors of the Voodoo persuasion would often find a need for a mindless servant to do farm work or labor intensive kind of grunt jobs. I think we've all wished to have such a servant but while most of us kept the idea to just wishful thinking, proactive Voodoo witch doctors decided to do something about it. With the help of an unknown recipe (many think the main ingredient is blow-fish poison) the witch doctor would blow some of this powder on a victim and the victim would suffer from a paralysis that is so effective that many people assume that the victim is dead. These people get buried by family members, but are, in fact, still alive. The Witch Doctor will dig up this person and as the effects of the poison wear off it will leave the victim in a mindless and suggestible state.

This is when the witch doctor can take his new zombie to his home and show it to his family so others can pet it and give it a dish of milk.

And that, children, is where zombies are made, at least in our world. The practice has pretty much fallen off the planet since doctors have become better at figuring out if a dude is dead or not, but it should be noted that it is still a crime punishable by death in many Caribbean Islands.

Monday will be the Romero zombie. Can you stand the anticipation?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I'm Moving to Lafayette

I didn't tell most of you because I wasn't sure I was going to be accepted anywhere and I didn't feel like spreading my misery around if it didn't happen but I got accepted into a Ph.D. program for English at the University of Lafayette. I got accepted so now I can breath easy until the first class starts. It's a new stage of life for me and I am a bit scared but also excited.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Zombies are Coming

If you look here you'll see that my story is on que for the May 26th issue of The Late Late Show. I'm trying to think of a good way to get people there what do you guys think? I was thinking of having a zombie week where I will post a zombie related article until the story is up.