At the risk of a Canadian Supreme Court judgment against me for a hundred large, I watched a pre-air, leaked episode of the much-anticipated new Fall release: “Walking Dead”. To be aired Saturday, October 31st, on AMC my succinct review is… meh.
Assuming you haven’t read every snippet and blog out there about this puppy, I’ll quickly explain the premise… Have you seen “24 Days Later”? Yeah, that’s about it- set in boons. Honestly, considering the years worth of sci-fi zombie, vampire and fantastical productions that have been created and perfected to a tee, to find this seemingly well-budgeted and promoted piece basically a remake of a nearly decade old horror was disappointing to say the least. Set in anywheresville-USA, a recently shot and hospitalized cop (6.5 at best of the sexy scale) wakes up to find the world around him in chaos and overwrought by necrotic infestation: sound familiar? As he wanders the city and takes about 4 zombies longer than it should a normal post-apocalyptic survivor to realize it’s odd that little girls are eating the faces of their parents (seriously, has this protagonist NEVER seen a horror film before?), we get some standards set for the rules of this game. As most horror-aficionados know, each film/show has its own set of laws regarding “how to kill” “how to survive” “how the monsters act” and “Walking Dead” is no different.
The zombies in this one cannot speak (thankfully no “Braaaaaaaains” on audio loop for this baby), and while they often move at the pace of a granny-crossing-during-an-amber speed: “When in a pack and frenzied,” they’re able to get the non-clotting blood pumping and can get a pretty good run going. As per, a shot to the head seems to be the way to put these bastards down (half-torn corpses continue to drag themselves across fields in this), and following the standard route, all it takes is a bite and you’re headin’ to zombie-town. The episode establishes the cop’s quest as he (wait for the unoriginality…) searches his possibly-still-alive family, and we get glimpses at a couple camps of survivors as we see how they’re attempting to rally against the hungry hordes. It’s a basic series starter, showing a pretty basic series.
The graphics are unfortunately not all that amazing. I’ll give em’ props on makeup and blood splatter effect: Dexter himself would be proud, but the green screen efforts were kind of abysmal and disappointing to say the least. Wait till the torso pulls itself across the prairies and you’ll see some pretty sad attempts by the production company to pull off a what I’ve taken to calling a gore-bore.
Overall, the writing is reasonable- but anything not low-brow comedic these days had better be, and the storyline without inspiration. Maybe the future episodes will take a huge and desperately needed turn for the better and I’m certainly going to give it another go, but for now I’m full on yawning my way through this opener. Sorry “Walking Dead”, but I predict you’re gonna be dead in the water.
Official Trailer of “Walking Dead”