Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘the walking dead

Zombies on the Brain (Pun Intended)

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As I’m writing this post, I’m watching the zombie romantic comedy Warm Bodies, starring Nicholas Hoult, John Malkovich, Teresa Palmer, and others. While I’m watching this for my enjoyment, I’ve been wanting to write something concerning zombies and their surge within mainstream media. Though this movie and others are one facet of this, comic books (The Walking Dead springs to mind and others),  novels, movies, television programs (again TWD comes to mind) continue to fill the mainstream and do not appear to be losing steam. However, I’m still mulling over what could be a good “in” for me into the conversation of zombies.
Right now, I’m reading Kyle William Bishop’s American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture, which follows the rise of the zombie from its roots in Haiti to the zombie’s more modern iterations. While this book is giving me some insight, I’m don’t know what would be the most interesting way to probe the “zombie” problem in literature and culture… I know that many have looked at the zombie as a figure of consumerism, others a fear of death, and much more…. Although these theories have been played out a little, I’m still intrigued by the zombie as a figure of…something… It can hold so much connotative possibility. What do I see it as? I’m pondering on that one.

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Written by barryr22

June 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Unintentional Zombie-ish Picture

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I know that this is my first post in a while and it will be brief, but I’m sharing this pic with you on here in anticipation of The Walking Dead premiere on AMC later tonight. While this picture is not necessarily one of a zombie, the effect of the poor printing makes this otherwise mundane advertisement a little off-putting and produces a scary looking normal lady. I hope you enjoy.

 

Written by barryr22

October 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm

The Walking Dead: Post-Mortem Season 2 *Spoilers*

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By Uploaded to Commons Xeworlebi, image self taken [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

After watching the season 2 finale of The Walking Dead, I come away with many thoughts about what happened and why I like some of it and why other parts irritate me. Overall, I liked season 2, and the finale made the overarching narratives go out with a bang.

1) Zombie blood bath– I think that this might have been the most impressive and exciting part of the season finale because it was the first time a horde of zombies attacked the humans without the humans invading their territory (the tank episode in Atlanta would be an example of territory disruption on the part of Rick and the others). All the characters are able to show their badassness in how they take on the horde as well with many of the more minor characters finally getting some screen time to show their skills (Hershel standing there blasting walkers made it interesting…).

By sookie (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

2) Shane’s death via Rick– I’ll be honest that I’ve never like the character of Shane. He was a dick and marched to the beat of a different drum that was going to get the others killed, it was just a matter of time. While I don’t know that Rick stabbing him was an entirely convincing way to waste him albeit a satisfying one, I feel like this  broke the character of Rick from the hopeful one of the group and produced a scary individual on the other side… I’m not sure what is going to happen with him, but I know that Shane did have to die… Lori being pissy with Rick after the fact, however, annoyed the hell out of me because she was the one who initiated the whole situation… What did she think would happen?

3) Jenner’s Big Reveal– I’ve been thinking that there was something fishy with the whole Jenner thing at the end of Season 1 and kinda expected something like this to happen. However, I’m not sure of the consequences of telling everyone that they’re infected. Moreover, I don’t think that anyone had the right to attack Rick over his decision not to tell them… Really? Does it matter that they know? Are they all going to “opt out” now? Frankly, I think that for everyone it was an overreaction because nothing changed except for the knowledge that was passed between them, and besides, Rick didn’t know himself until zombie Shane came after him…

4) Can’t they keep Carl in the f*@$ing house or at least watch him– I’m tired of Carl… He’s annoying, and I wouldn’t feel bad if the character happened to get bit by the zombies (maybe they’d get Lori too). However, I’m astonished that no one ever knows where he is in the post-apocalyptic zombie world. We know what happened when Sophia got away from the group (zombiefied). Moreover, they seem to be trying to make him useful in some way in terms of the story, but I’m still not buying that he’s up and about from a gunshot wound that quickly…

 

5) Michonne– While I’m not very knowledgeable about the comic series, the fact that we get a glimpse of a badass character wielding katanas with zombies on chains behind her makes me excited… it seems that someone has gotten it figured out in the zombie apocalypse and maybe she will help the other survivors…

While these are not all my thoughts about the last episode / season, these are some that still are on my mind and that I hope we are going to get some resolution for (the more open-ended thoughts anyway). What I do hope though is that the zombie-rific action and the human drama (not the whiny kind though… *cough* Lori *cough*) will continue to get better as the series continues and, furthermore, that we will get some more insight into the importance of some character choices as the story continues to unfold.

Written by barryr22

March 24, 2012 at 1:19 am

Romero and Post-Romero Zombies as Gothic Antagonists and the Sublime

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Recently, in my Spectral and Sublime Gothic Literature class, we had a discussion in which the majority of people agreed that the gross-out, bloody zombies of modernity could not render a Gothic tale because they lack the element of the sublime which makes them the enemy that is foreboding yet one that you want to embrace you in some way. While on one hand, I do agree that in the traditional sense of the Gothic, the Romero-type zombie does not make one want to come to it and be converted into the path of the zombie (unlike the vampire which can be a very Gothic because they are unapproachable and sublime all at the same time). However, as I watched a marathon of The Walking Dead, I came to a conclusion that more than just the zombies exist as the supernatural, antagonistic elements of the show itself that does produce a Gothic tale of sorts.

By Mark Marek Mark Marek Copyright Mark Marek Photography ©2007 URL: Zombie Walk Picture Gallery – Full Coverage with Video on Alberta Stars (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

To begin to deal with my ideology of the Romero / Post-Romero Zombie Gothic, I think that it is important for me to explain how I see the zombies begin to act as a sublime element within the movies, television shows, and comics in which I feel the Gothic exists rather than the norm of just horror. Whereas the zombies themselves are a representation of horrific / gruesome element of the sublime creature / person within a Gothic novel, they additionally represent the figure of death that comes into play in many Gothic tales. However, this death that they represent is not the beautiful death that one may identify with the Gothic notion of the sublime. Zombies represent a gruesome kind of death or undeath because they are not genuinely alive or undead with all their faculties and personalities about them like a vampire or a ghost, yet (and this is where it gets complicated in my mind) in many zombie movies, novels, etc., there is usually talk of “opting out,” as they call it in The Walking Dead.

While the zombies themselves are not what one would call sublime, this natural death to end human suffering in the zombie filled world takes up this sublimity. The humans themselves by “opting out” or committing suicide, usually from a gunshot to the head, create an air of the sublime in the natural death that does not happen as a result of being bitten or waiting to be bitten (cause let’s fact it… it’s only a matter of time in a zombie filled world). The beauty that natural death represents in this isolated and inhospitable world holds a certain air of that sublime that they want but what they are afraid to get because it is suicide. Moreover, this suicide sublimity also provides a stark contrast to the gruesomeness that is the zombie, walking till either starvation or some outside force takes them down. The need to be truly and definitely dead rises to conflict with the zombies.

Then, the nature of the sublime that exists within the modern zombie movie, television show, novel, etc. becomes a triangulation of sorts from humans to zombies / undeath, from zombie / undeath to natural death, and from natural death to

By Mark Marek Mark Marek Copyright Mark Marek Photography ©2007 URL: Zombie Walk Picture Gallery – Full Coverage with Video on Alberta Stars (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

humans. Thought the zombies themselves do not equate a form of death that can be considered sublime, the full equation of death that they and the natural death paralleling them represent the sublimity of the Gothic. As the concept of gruesome death in the form of the zombies overruns the world in zombie stories, the desire to have a natural death without the possibility of a sub-par undead resurrection plays at the corner of the survivors minds, even before a zombie literally plays with and eats their brains.

Written by barryr22

March 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm

After the Mid-Season Finale: A Darker Degree of The Walking Dead *Spoilers*

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By Zarmaine (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

“This is how we both survive. Do you understand?”

After Rick uttering these words to Sophia’s cries of “Don’t leave me!” and her immediate disappearance, we knew something was going to happen. While I thought that the zombification of Sophia might occur, part of me was hoping that it wouldn’t. Not that it really shocks me that the show would go there because apparently the graphic novels are more explicit than this (I have not read the graphic novels…. I want to… but yeah, I haven’t gotten the opportunity); however, the death of the first child character changes the dynamic of the show a bit.

1) We lose another character that is more directly going to affect and influence the emotions of the remainder of the characters in the show. When Andrea’s sister Amy was bitten and died in the first season,  we didn’t bat an eye because she was taken in as part of the zombie collateral damage… When  Jacqui and Dr. Jenner decided to die in the CDC cleansing, we contemplated how bad that would be in a world filled with zombies. Yet, something about the defenseless twelve-year-old girl changes everything… even as Rick had to shoot her, we all knew that it was the only logical course of action… but you couldn’t help but feel for the stumbling little Sophia and everyone in the crowd as any hope they had in the zombie world came crashing down…

 

2) Lori’s pregnancy becomes even more problematic and scary… With the death of Sophia one of the precious children that the group wanted to protect, Lori’s concerns and thoughts for wanting to abort the pregnancy (albeit with morning after pills that would probably only mess up the child rather than abort it because she’s so far along) become even more realistic… They couldn’t protect Sophia, what makes them think they can protect a newborn.

3) The group is going to be even more disparate. Let’s face it… the death of Sophia is going to set many members of the group on edge and rightly so. Additionally, I think that it will make the whiny characters more whiny and the resolved / strong characters stronger… if it goes against this, I think that it would be refreshing… However, I think that I will probably be correct… Still, I am intrigued by what might happen with Hershal and his family as a result of Walker Slaying 2011… yeah…

By Uploaded to Commons by Xeworlebi, self created (Self created, design from the shows intertitle) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Whatever happens with the rest of this second season, I hope that it will continue to move along at a decent pace. Before the break, I felt as if at times the show began to drag… However, now that the main plot point keeping them in one place has been resolved, it seems that the season should move toward an epic conclusion… one can only hope.

Written by barryr22

February 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Horror and Halloween Movies that I Will Be Enjoying at Some Point This Season

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Long title aside…sometimes, I can be a little verbose when I’m writing a title… or maybe it comes from the fact that all my professors say that the title of a piece should tell us what’s in the paper itself…while I know this isn’t a paper, this is a possible reason. Anyway, Halloween is a season that brings out the scary and seasonal movies to my DVD player. However, there are always a few that seem to make their way to be watched at least once during the season. Also, most of these movies may contain images, language, nudity, etc. that may not be for the faint of heart…

1) The Exorcist– A movie that may have helped launch Max von Sydow’s career which deals with the demonic possession of a little girl (played by Linda Blair…which may have dampened her career) by Captain Howdy. Moreover, two priests come in to exorcise the demon with scary and deadly consequences…(I’m going to give shortened reviews because I have quite a few). Contains disturbing images and language.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070047/

2) Hocus Pocus– A film starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as three witches executed at Salem that claimed on day they would return. A young boy lights their black flame candle and releases them. So, he, his sister, his crush, and a bewitched cat that used to be a boy must keep them from fulfilling their evil plot to suck the life from the children to Salem so that they may live forever. Overall, I enjoy this movie simply because it’s a throw back to my childhood and it’s just all around Halloween fun. Safe for children.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107120/

3) An American Werewolf in London– A werewolf movie that reenvisions the werewolf story to a large degree. David, an American guy touring the moors of England, is out with his friend, and they are attacked by a werewolf. His friend dies, but he suffers a fate that is worse than death because he becomes a werewolf and stalks the streets of London. A great movie which invokes the horror and the mystery of the werewolf legend while playing up some elements that other movies do not (such as the lack of a cure and the lack of humanity within the beast itself).  Contains disturbing images and nudity (including male full frontal because some people are more bothered by this…you’re going to see peen from a distance).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082010/

4) Nosferatu– The silent era’s Dracula because F. W. Murnau could not gain the rights to the novel from Stoker’s family. This movie is creepy as shit because of it being silent and Max Shreck being the rat-toothed Count Orlock. I find the deliberateness of movement and the overall lack of dialogue (and yes, I know that it’s a silent movie) to be very disturbing…Creepy…not too much else going on.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0013442/

5) The Walking Dead– Alright, I know that it’s not a movie… however, this show is probably one of the best zombie projects that I’ve seen in a while; moreover, it’s based on a graphic novel. Mainly following Rick Grimes  a police officer as he tries to keep a group of made of friends and people met on the road, the human drama of this is the stuff that makes you wonder if you could survive something serious like a zombie apocalypse. Along with effects that rival that of any zombie movie (given zombie movies are usually low budget…but that’s beside the point), it just holds ones attention and keeps the air of creepy and unsettledness throughout. Graphic violence and some sexuality.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1520211/

So, there you have it. A list of movies that I recommend to those out there looking for movies to watch this Halloween season. Some fun, some spooky, some disturbing, but all fun for one reason or another. I hope that you might like them as much as I do and that maybe they’ll enter your Halloween rotation as well.