I read an article recently that offered an explanation for our fascination with zombies. The article gave a history that touched on slavery, voodoo, and when it stop being a Black Thang (you wouldn’t understand) and turned into flesh-rotted world wide phenomenon.
My theory is far simpler. See, zombies offer us a certain freedom from one of our most ingrained cultural taboos; dissing the dead. Think about it. What fun is it to unload a clip into body that is just lying there all rigamortified and gross? And we certainly don’t want to unload on the living, right? (Right?!?)
Zombies give us an excuse to whip up on someone. It’s like saying, “If the dead aren’t playing by the rules, why should I?” Besides, we’d just be trying to keep from being zombie fast food. To do so means we’d need to arm ourselves with something that packs a bit more punch than veiled threats. (Me? I favor a Remington Versa Max 12-gauge shot gun, a Glock G21, and a well made wakizashi in case I need to be close, but not too close.)
Maybe that theory is hogwash too. Maybe, somewhere deep down inside, we all believe that the Zombie Apocalypse is nigh, and we watch zombie flicks not so much for entertainment as for training and instruction. (Zombieland is great for instruction, and even offers 33 survival rules, including my favorites: #2. Double Tap, and #3. Beware of Bathrooms.)
Whatever theory you subscribe to, one thing is for certain, zombies are as much a part of the American lexicon as hot dogs and baseball.
As if to emphasize that very point, AMC Network recently release a new series based on the survivors of a Zombie Apocalypse, and it’s pretty good. The Walking Dead will give you a weekly dose of the undead dead as a backdrop for a group of people trying not to become zombie kibble. The show is getting rave reviews and has garnered quite a following. if you’re not one of the the millions already watching, or are already a fan and can’t get enough of rotting flesh on the hoof, then this weeks Free on iTunes is right up your alley.
There’s a really good action comic based on the beginning of The Walking Dead. While the graphics are rather basic, the action makes up for it, And, of course, it’s free! The only downside (and you knew there would be one) is that it’s part one of a two parter, and the second part is nowhere to be found.
Still, I think it’s worth a download and a watch. Grab it
Watching the dead nosh on the living is one thing, watching a world full of nightmarish creatures go through daily routines is another, but somehow, when it comes to Chadam, I still manage to watch.
Chadam is a made-for Web series hosted on The WB Network. It’s well done, but it is decidedly strange. The protagonist, Chadam, is a block-headed guy, with little memory and the ability to make physical anything he imagines.
You can watch the complete series online on The WB, or buy it on iTunes, but I suggest you watch the free Behind the Scenes video to get a better idea of what you’re getting into.
The animated series was created using the Unreal Gaming Engine, which is pretty cool in its own right, and it gives the whole Chadam world an especially alien, yet familiar look.
Grab the free Chadam Behind the Scenes video and check it out.
OK, festering flesh on the foot or square-headed saviors is not for everyone, I’ll admit, especially if you have young ones. So, unless you want your kids to have nightmare bad enough to keep them sleeping with you until they are 21, I suggest you avoid showing them The Walking Dead or Chadam. Instead, let the wee one watch Code Lyoko.
What is It? Well, you know how the guy who gets sucked into the computer in Tron? Code Lyoko is kind of like that. It’s an animated series where animated kids get reanimated in a virtual world inside a colossal computer.
Code Lyoko is a French creation, which is a breath of fresh air in a world full of japanimation. Unfortunately the English dubbing could use some work. Even so, it’s a fun watch that your kids may enjoy.
OK, that’s a wrap for this week. More freebies below with direct links.