Six years ago I woke up from having an amazing zombie dream. I decided I wanted to make it into a movie, but then realized that zombies can't actually ride motorcycles nor do they wear post apocolyptic armor. It is possible that a Mel Gibson trilogy might have influenced the ending a little bit. Anyway the idea ruminated and matured over the years and I came up with a solid idea that I wanted to drag out over hours and hours of film.
Within the past year a good friend of mine handed me this book called The Walking Dead. It was superb. Then not one week had passed until the internet told me that the Genius behind Shawshank and The Green Mile, was producing it into a TV show. Well my plans went to hell in a handbasket. But then I started thingkng about how it couldn't be any good because it wasn't going to be on HBO or Showtime it wouldn't be violent enough and there might be hope left for me to pioneer or at least create the first good one. And Frank focuses on intense emotional prison dramas. Zombies are scary he can't do that, Thats when I checked out The Mist. It was not bad. Crap
I am really excited to be able to speak about something new that is happening right now. I don't really have the cash to go see a bunch of movies and don't want to only talk about old favorites. I was going to keep up with The Event, watched two episodes and quit. I am pretty sure it isn't very good.
After two episodes of The Walking Dead I am super excited for Frank and his cast, and Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. So far this is a superbly faithful recreation of the comic, Clearly Frank decided that he didn't want to worry about storyboards or even really writing a script and just faxed the book to everyone. It is almost as spot on as it can be.
There are some tight scenes, that look great are acted well and don't skirt around the gore and violence. I don't love seeing violence but I feel like it is necessary for a zombie story, it helps with the literal horror of what is happening. I'll talk about zombies another time, i don't want to get bogged down by other references and ideas. But I will say I hate the Zombie vs. Infected / Fast vs. Slow debate. Neither is better than the other and both have their place. Romero and Boyle are both equally important in the mythology. Anyway, the point is that these "walkers" are a different breed, a sort of hybrid, Land of the dead smarts and memory with the ability for basic motor skills and simple tools while still moving slow, but also and a 28 Days pep in their step and aggressive nature. I am not going to lie, I had really wanted to do this in my story and probably still will but I am no longer the first. This kind of attitude and energy from the zombies adds some unpredictability which is already there with zombies and Frank has upped the Ante.
Lennie James was awesome. i just remembered his scenes. He was really good.
Also Michael Rooker is cool always.
I still can't believe that this is allowed to be on a non premium channel. Because whoever is their makeup designer has figured out the perfect mixture to make realistic blood. Perfect. It is disgusting and terrible and doesn't make me feel like I am watching corn syrup. It's clear that even with all of the gore and guts, the blood and body parts it is not what Frank has decided to focus on. The human journey and condition, is what made this Book great and I assume it is what caught is interest when he decided to option it. This is evident in the first scene of the first episode.
I am talking about the cop car scene not the looking for gas scene before the credits. Which brings me to the two things I don't like so far. I don't think that the cold open should have been there. It sort of ruins what we are in store for. A pair of guys sitting around eating burgers and trying to figure out women is better. It is one of the most human things we can do. Casual and thoughtless. And then all of the sudden ZOMBIES! There was a car chase 5 minutes later, that should be enough action to start with. The car scene sets the tone better I feel.
The second thing is the song during the aerial shot at the end of the first episode. It ruined the tone and the journey and the fear. It was dumb. The song at the end of episode two however was perfect. That was a great ending.
Other than those two, I guess nitpicky things, I think the show is off to a great start and I love that Frank Darabont is the one who is behind it rather than someone who would sacrifice things and fight to make the show more "mainstream." As an audience member I would like you to make something as good as possible and not dumbed down. I appreciated the Book and am enjoying the show.
In closing, I hate that I am not a part of this show. Jealousy pure and simple.
A quick post script: Kudos to AMC for taking on some daring projects that wouldn't happen otherwise. Mad Man wouldn't survive on one of the big 4. Don Draper and Meth seems to have helped give the network some balls.