Part Two! Quint visits the set of The Walking Dead! Darabont chat! Fast vs slow zombies? Plus much more!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. With part two of my Walking Dead set visit report. Read Part One here! Now where did we leave off again? Oh, yeah…:
Lunch was called and I found myself sitting across from Mr. Darabont as we chowed down.
Talk wandered a bit, but I did ask some series questions… For instance, at what point will the series reach the prison? I expected maybe end of the first 6-episode season, but Darabont said the current plan is to reach the prison somewhere at the end of the second season. He really wants the first two seasons to be an on-the-road story.
He went on to say that he will be heavily involved in the series, but that right now the pilot is the only episode of Season One he’s directing. He did call overseeing the post on the show “a full time job” in and of itself. Don’t know who else is coming in to direct, but I know the person directing the second episode hails from Canada.
He also mentioned there will be a huge Walking Dead presence at Comic-Con this year. I suggested they do a zombie flash mob and I only got a sly smile in return, so we’ll see.
Then the age old (maybe more like decade old) zombie question. Fast or slow?
I was first asked my opinion. I said that I’ve always been a slow zombie guy, but I like those that have attacked this question scientifically. Meaning a fresh corpse would be faster before rigor set in, before the muscles atrophy and grow slower as they rot.
Frank compared his zombies to lions. After they eat they’re a little dopey, you can walk by them… but if they’re hungry you’re prey and they’re very dangerous.
Darabont said he’s put a lot of thought into it and decided to fall back to George A. Romero’s original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. He called it the “Book of Genesis” of his zombies here. People forget the first zombie we see in NOTLD is moving fairly quickly. He’s not running, but he shuffles after Barbara at a decent speed. That, Darabont feels, gives him a little liberty at having his zombies do a little more than a mummy-walk.
That said, you’re not going to see 28 Days Later stuff here. Look at the cemetery zombie from NOTLD, that’s the top speed.
Back on set the clouds had parted and the sun shone bright. Unfortunately that meant silks had to be erected to filter out the light so the new footage would match the rainy/cloudy previous footage.
Darabont volunteered that things like matching were a big test for directors. The instinct is to just move on. It’s frustrating to sit and wait when he has to make his day. On top of that, you can cite some of the best movies of all time as having horrible matching. Darabont mentioned both Jaws and Saving Private Ryan. In Jaws they were shooting on the ocean and didn’t have the luxury of waiting to match the sky… their production was much more dictated by when the shark was working. So if you watch that movie, you’ll see the skies go cloudy to bright and back again in one scene.
With Saving Private Ryan, Darabont pointed to the rescue coming in at the end after Hanks shoots the tank… how they are coming in during a pouring rain and arrived completely dry in the sunshine.
As the silks were being raised I noticed a new zombie: a woman whose left arm was missing below the elbow. They were able to hire an amputee to play one of the undead. Nicotero and his team had dangled tendons and gore down her arm so she looked the spitting image of one of Charlie Adlard’s zombies.
Sarah Wayne Callies, who is playing Rick’s wife Lori, came to set with her very cute and very large dog to watch the first zombie day. She hadn’t shot yet and seemed very squeamish about the zombies, a problem she admitted she needed to get over.
Although she did get a very cool picture, courtesy of Nicotero’s camera-work, of all the hero zombie extras petting her dog.
We chatted a bit about the character of Lori, a character I view as the most challenging in the ensemble. Lori’s constantly reacting in the books and could be seen as… well, a bit of a nag. She’s always telling Rick not to do something… and there are revelations that paint her in a fairly unflattering light. Yet, she’s gotta be able to anchor Rick.
Callies agreed and mentioned her and Darabont having long talks about Lori and her concerns of giving Lori enough real and caring moments so we can buy her and Rick as a genuine couple.
She also showed me a heart-shaped locket she has been wearing since getting the part. In it is a picture of young Chandler Riggs (GET LOW) who will be playing Carl, Rick and Lori’s child. I then brought up my theory that Carl is going to play a HUGE part of the book as it goes on. He’s already playing a larger role as he comes of age in the zombie apocalypse, but I think it’s going to go one step further in the near future. She didn’t comment on that, but said Riggs is going to be great in the role.
The next shot up was a low angle behind Rick as he walks up to the station and sees the No Gas sign banging in the wind. The low angle turns into a close up as Rick walks in and turns towards camera.
After the first take Frank called out perfect and he wanted to check the gate (meaning the camera crew checks the film gate to make sure it is clear of debris… you know when you see little hairs wavering at the edge of the frame when watching a movie? That means there was a dirty gate when shooting. Checking the gate is a last step before moving on to the next shot).
Cinematographer David Tattersall broke from the set and started making his way to the video village tent. Darabont noticed and called out “Oh, no! It’s Tattersall! He’s coming! Hide me!”
Smiling, Tattersall approached and conferred with Darabont. Apparently he wanted to make sure the sign flapping in the wind was dramatic enough. The idea is that the banging of the sign is going to drive the scene, giving it a very creepy vibe. Darabont agreed and they got a couple more takes as crew members aimed a fan at the sign so it swung and flapped dramatically enough.
On the last take Darabont called out “It’s just like the inside of my head!” and they moved on.
Now enter the little girl, fully zombied out. Outside of seeing her legs shuffle past the camera this was her first real shot.
They waited until after lunch to get all of her fully dressed shots because the contacts were full-eye and difficult for a little girl to put up with. Nicotero and his team needed about 40 minutes to prep her.
I’m not exactly sure how Darabont is going to present this scene. I saw him get enough coverage to play it in a few different ways. Either he can clue the audience in before Rick (that’s the way I vote) or he can keep her face hidden until she turns around and faces him.
This first shot was on little Addy with Rick rounding the car behind her, out of focus. She stops and does a dead-eyed stare right at camera as Rick cautiously approaches behind her. It’s a very close shot, so you see a lot of the detail of KNB’s work with the cheek rip and the contacts.
Her eyes rotate to the right, her head following them as she slowly… oh, so slowly… turns to face Rick. She takes her first step and Rick doesn’t move. When she gets close enough Rick pulls his revolver and aims at her head. CUT!
Denise Huth turns around at video village and announces to those in her immediate surroundings that “We’re all going to burn in hell.”
There was something electric about this shot. Sarah Wayne Callies had her hand over her mouth, eyes wide. She said this is almost too much for her and I thought “Oh boy, are you in for it! This is just the start.”
Frank tweaked it a little bit on the second take. This time instead of doing a simple zombie shuffle towards Rick Addy started slow, then sped up as she got closer. In Part One of this set piece I mentioned this reminded me of a thirsty man in the desert seeing water for the first time in a week and that’s pretty much spot on. She was too fucked up to be hauling ass, but there was an immediacy to her walking-jog that was missing the first time.
Also, on the second take Rick backed up and the decision to pull the gun felt more like instinct. He still pauses, the gravity of what he’s about to do weighing on him, but then mimed pulling the trigger and the kick of the shot.
When Lincoln came to the monitors to see how the shot looked Addy’s mom exclaimed “You just shot my little girl!” with a smile. Lincoln responded with a sincere “I’m so sorry” which got a laugh out of video village.
The next set-up was closer to a Rick POV. The shot started looking down on Addy’s bunny slippers as she passes and we see her back walking away from us. It’s the same action… she stops, she slowly turns and then takes a slow step that turns into a faster shuffle.
To be frank, this looked fucking terrifying.
There was an issue with Addy blinking that diminished the effect a bit, but was hard to help. She had really uncomfortable contacts in and just couldn’t really hold that open-eyed stare while running.
Callies suggested a trick she learned at some point, which was to do a long blink right before the camera sees the eyes. Frank asked Addy if she could blink right before she turns toward camera and on the very next take no blinking. And it was even more horrifying than before. When Addy sped up this time Frank loudly giggled from behind the monitor leaving no doubt the deepness of his inner-geek.
One more shot before moving on to the first zombie kill of the show. This shot was a “gunslinger” shot, at Rick’s hip seeing his holstered revolver and also the approaching child zombie.
It wasn’t long until they were on to the kill.
Due to the young age of this little zombie they decided against putting a squib on the back of her head. A squib is a small explosive after all. So, this will be a digitally enhanced kill.
To prepare, the stunt guys laid a mat down behind Addy and did a few half-speed falls so Addy developed enough trust not to clench up when she fell backwards. The action of the shot had Addy taking a few steps toward camera, then Frank yelled out “BANG!” and Addy would whip her head back and fall out of frame.
The VFX guy came up to Frank after the first take, which went well, but apparently VFX needed the camera to be locked down in order to give them more freedom to remove frames for the head snapping back. Addy didn’t give herself whiplash, so the snap back done on the day was a bit slower than it needs to be in the final version.
So they locked the camera down and did another take. When Frank called out “BANG!” Addy fell sharply backwards, her arms flailing out and the creepy burnt and bloody teddy bear flew out of her hands.
They wanted to get her fall backwards, not just have her fall out of frame, so the next set-up had two cameras… one pointed directly down from above and another a profile angle.
Addy took a step up on a ladder at the foot of the safety mat and when action was called she pushed off the ladder and fall on her back.
Logistically this was a little more complicated. She had to hit a specific mark where she was in frame on both the profile and the overhead shot.
The VFX guys insisted the black mat was just as good as a green mat, but they needed to fly in greenscreen for background in the profile shot. In order to layer it so it’s not a primarily greenscreen shot the bumper of one of the abandoned cars is in the foreground.
It took 6 good takes for them to get this shot right. Sometimes Addy would land out of frame or wouldn’t land right. For instance in the first couple of takes she would fall back, hit and let the momentum of the hit bring her legs up. It’s a very childlike, but Frank thought it looked too comical.
Six takes later and all the right marks were hit and everybody was happy.
Although she had been killed, that wasn’t the end for Addy. They wanted to get one more shot of her from earlier in the scene. This was Rick’s Point of View as he looked under the car and saw her bunny slippers.
Perfect creepy set-up, in my opinion. It just took a few takes to get the timing right as these disgusting, dirty pink bunny slippers scuttle into frame and stop just shy of the burnt and bloody teddy bear. There’s a moment of stillness before a small, delicate little girl’s hand reaches down and gently picks it up.
With that Addy was wrapped and got a round of applause from the crew before being carted off to be de-zombied and turned back into a little girl.
They still needed to get an angle of Rick actually firing the gun, though. Up to this point he had only ever mimed it and they needed the muzzle flash and the real kick.
Due to the distance between the blank firing and the camera, the safety coordinator decided on a half-load blank instead of a full load. They might not shoot projectiles, but blanks are still incredibly dangerous.
Darabont was readying the shot and heard them talk about the half-load. “What is this half-load bullshit?!? Full load!” The safety guy approached Darabont to say he’s not comfortable doing that with the camera so close. Frank relented with a “Pussy. Peckinpah fired real rounds in The Wild Bunch!” Of course that was all said with a laugh and the half-load was used.
The shot was a cool one, not just a quick insert of the gun firing. It was a nice, close rack focus from Rick’s tortured face as he prepares himself to shoot a little girl to the revolver as he fires, then back again to his face. His eyes lower and after a beat he whips his head around. Obviously this is the point where he hears the other zombies getting out of their cars, coming for him.
As the light was fading, the day almost done, the first big move had us relocating from the side of the gas station to the shoulder of one of the rural highways. I’m assuming they grabbed an insert of Rick picking up his hat and gas can because this shot was the Indiana Jones running from the Hovitos shot of Rick hauling ass away from the gas station, holding his hat on his head with one hand as he ran.
Behind him was a gaggle (herd? Group? Gang?) of zombies, a few hero zombies and a couple masked ones. The difference is that the hero zombies had contacts, fresh prosthetic make-up wounds whereas the masks are essentially a super high end and detailed Halloween masks. Peter Jackson did the same thing for group Orc shots in the Lord of the Rings movies. The masks looked really sweet, though, so don’t worry. It wasn’t Uwe Boll shit, trust me.
So, Rick runs from these zombies to his police cruiser. He throws the gas can into the open door, dives in after it and immediately throws it into drive, peeling away from the zombies and around the wrecked cars on the highway, the trunk still open and slamming up and down as his car accelerates.
The thing that grabbed my attention in this shot was the personality of the walkers. These zombies were old school, one in particular limping along like a classic Romero zombie. Not quite Fly Boy Zombie great, but with very much the same kind of personality to his zombie walk. None of them were moving fast, moving slowly in a group just like zombies are supposed to.
That was the last shot I saw and one of the last shots of the day. After a short walk back to the church parking lot I was in a car on my way back to Atlanta.
Hope you guys dug these two reports. I had a blast on the set… From the randomness of meeting Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson to getting to bullshit a bit with one of my favorite working comic writers, Robert Kirkman, and watching KNB play with some awesome zombies… well, what more could a horror geek ask for?
I had full confidence in Frank Darabont adapting the comic before I visited the set, but there’s always that odd chance that something’s not going to click and a sure thing becomes a missed opportunity. I saw no sign of this being a missed opportunity. Granted, I saw one day of filming on the pilot, but if Frank is setting the standard for the show then I think we’re in for some history-making television.
Before you go, I’d like to hand over one final image. Here’s a new, exclusive zombie shot just for you guys, the loyal AICN readers.
Click on the below image (Scott Garfield © TWD productions LLC) for the big version:
Don't know about you guys, but I love the tortured look to these zombies. There's something incredibly moving and terrifying about them appearing as tortured souls.
Thanks to AMC for the trip and the access, thanks to Darabont for putting up with bugging him on yet another set and thanks to you guys for following along.
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June 22, 2010, 11:04 p.m. CST
luv tha zombies......
June 22, 2010, 11:06 p.m. CST
... but this series is looking good....
June 22, 2010, 11:16 p.m. CST
Maybe he can have a hit again.
June 22, 2010, 11:19 p.m. CST
Can't put into words how excited for this I am.
June 22, 2010, 11:19 p.m. CST
fast vs. slow zombies. I for one think that they should start fast, and as they decay, start to slow down to the Romero style that we all know and love. Return of the Living Dead.....meh. Tarman saying Brwwainnes, is the highlight of the movie...with the exception of the dude who worked the morgue, he was my favorite character in the whole flick.
June 22, 2010, 11:28 p.m. CST
Thanks Quint. My most greatly anticpated new series.
June 22, 2010, 11:54 p.m. CST
Thanks for the great review Quint! Awesome new pic...but then aren't they all?
June 23, 2010, 12:02 a.m. CST
for a long time. Maybe since Moriarty took off. Thanks, Quint.
June 23, 2010, 12:17 a.m. CST
If I remember correctly, after Rick comes out of his coma, he has to escape the hospital full of zombies. Has this beginning been changed?
June 23, 2010, 12:39 a.m. CST
June 23, 2010, 12:42 a.m. CST
Great report, but why does everyone pretend to be an expert on death when it comes to Zombies? Firstly, when you're dead you're dead. So there's no 'scientific' way to look at how the body would respond to 'reanimation' per se/ Secondly, rigor mortis IS NOT PERMANENT. It wears off. How do I know? Too many police procedurals I guess.
June 23, 2010, 12:43 a.m. CST
Great article guys; really puts you in the scene and goes into a level of detail you just won't find on any other website. Excellent excellent work! Reading AICN for 10 years and this is the stuff that keeps me coming back
June 23, 2010, 12:55 a.m. CST
Great stuff. And yes, I now have a huuuuge hard-on for this.
June 23, 2010, 1:01 a.m. CST
the fanedit movie made out of the british tv series was groovy...
June 23, 2010, 1:03 a.m. CST
Good job on the report, Quint. Can't wait for this shit to air.
June 23, 2010, 1:12 a.m. CST
...as someone who has found the comic to be one the best, if not THE best, comicbook properties currently running. There are some events that happen during/toward the end of the Prison story arc that are essential to the overall story and can not be glossed over, but to depict them on TV would be very difficult, if not impossible to do, without R-rated graphic violence. Not to spoil anything, but these events involve human-on-human violence, rather than zombie-on-human violence. One of them involves using a spoon to do very bad things to a very bad man. Others involve horrible violence to children. Such depictions of man's inhumanity to man in the midst of utter calamity are what make the funnybook so great, but I don't see how they can accurately depict in with AMC's standards while staying true to the story.
June 23, 2010, 1:18 a.m. CST
to the less believable fast sprinting undead.... whose ligaments / muscles , etc, would be degenerating fast....
June 23, 2010, 1:31 a.m. CST
With Simon Boswell and Trevor Jones. <P> or Matt Clifford and Paul McCollough. A Supergroup of Synth Horror, if you will.
June 23, 2010, 1:35 a.m. CST
zombies running when "fresh" and gradually slowing down to a shuffle over time as their bodies rot sounds like best option...
June 23, 2010, 1:47 a.m. CST
You ain't moving around like normal. It hurts to damn much. Every step would feel like skin being torn off. Every arm sway or head movement would feel the same way. The Running Dead is a pipe dream, and scientifically impractical. It's a wonder that the dead could move at all with our screaming in absolute pain. Why are zombies so damn quiet. They should be yelling with each movement they make from all the pain. <P> Outside of blood clots, which would take place with in hours, by the way. You also have rigamortis. and lactic acid build up in the muscles and brain. Your brain should be soup in 24 hours or so. Really zombies in a real world, if we really could have them would only be a threat for a few hours or so after becoming one. With in 24 hours there would be nothing left to control them in their head, with in a few hours it would hurt to much for them to move, and at the half way mark of a day they would be to stiff to move at all. <P> Also how come Zombies don't swell up. After a few days the hair should start falling off, their nails should become a lot weaker as well and easily tear themselves off, when they claw at things. The flies would find them, movement or not. So they should be covered in gooey flesh filled with maggots. Oh and the swelling... Losing train of thought here. Their stomachs should be distended and swollen from all the gas, and soon it should burst open. Imagine fighting one of them off and you both fall to the ground and their stomach burst open and release a bunch of maggot covered internal organs on your face.
June 23, 2010, 1:50 a.m. CST
as the zombies are "undead", their bodies are still functioning, to a certain degree, and maybe they dont feel pain once "undead"...
June 23, 2010, 2:13 a.m. CST
If these nerves cant register pain how in the hell can they transmit motion.
June 23, 2010, 2:13 a.m. CST
Fight against zombie discrimination and support your local walking dead.
June 23, 2010, 2:30 a.m. CST
A zombie bite turns the victim into a zombie. Thus propagating their numbers and ultimately outnumbering the living.<p> However, zombies don't just bite their victims like vampires - they actually eat them. You usually see a whole gang of zombies chowing down on a fallen victim. But an eaten corpse isn't going to be able to become a zombie right?<p> This seems rather at odds with the concept of a zombie apocalypse where their numbers increase exponentially, no?<p>
June 23, 2010, 2:59 a.m. CST
It's funny, seeing Frank Darabont shouting for full load, while his team are reluctant and nervous. <p> Peter David, if he's still around to comment, recently reprinted an article from 1993 on his blog, in which he spoke about the LACK of need for real guns on set. <p> Accidents happen. And there's no way special fx guys couldn't make a SAFE realistic gun if they just put their minds to it. <p> Reading Franks reaction above makes me think that even if such tools were available, some directors wouldn't use them.
June 23, 2010, 3:18 a.m. CST
by David Cloverfield
Bites don't turn people into zombies. They just kill people. In the romero films (and in walking dead) something has gone so utterly wrong with the world, that the dead is coming back to life. It's not a virus. So every suicide, every murder, every starving to death, every desease, every dying of thirst creates a new zombie. And after society starts to collapse, there's a lot of those. also, even in the stories where it's a virus, Zombies are usually not very good predators. They rarely manage to catch and eat someone. They only bite before the prey manages to get away. That's the problem.
June 23, 2010, 3:23 a.m. CST
by newkie brown
I always liked Romero's Day of the Dead explanation of why his zombies had locomotion - that the rate of decomposition was slowed significantly upon reanimation. The plan was to have the Land of the Dead zombies simply lying in the street rotting away and all you had to do was step over them. I'd love to see Darabont get Romero down from the frozen north to direct an episode. The last trilogy of Romero Dead movies has (in my opinion) suffered from not being shot in the US. It's part of their DNA. <p> By the way, Simon Pegg's great final-word article for The Guardian about slow versus fast zombies is available at (remove the space) http://ww w.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/nov/04/television-simon-pegg-dead-set
June 23, 2010, 3:53 a.m. CST
....still bugs the crap out of me.
June 23, 2010, 3:53 a.m. CST
I am SICK SICK SICK of ZOMBIES ZOMBIES ZOMBIES! Zombies, slashers and demons, are the most OVERUSED and boring memes in horror today. AND IN THAT ORDER. Seriously, can anyone REALLY get excited about these anymore? Be honest with yourself.
June 23, 2010, 3:54 a.m. CST
This kind of reporting is what used to make AICN what it was and what started a lot of us coming here years ago. <p> Man, these zombies look fantastic. I haven't read the books, but I'm totally on board with this and can't wait til October!
June 23, 2010, 4:18 a.m. CST
Being bitten doesn't turn you into a zombie?<p> Are you sure?<p> SPOILER<p> <p>In DAWN OF THE DEAD doesn't the co-lead 'Rog' get his arm bitten while moving the trucks around to block the entrance to the mall, and soon after he turns zombie?<p> Can you name a movie where someone survives a zombie bite?
June 23, 2010, 4:24 a.m. CST
The bite kills Roger... remember his slow demise. "I'm gonna try..." He doesn't get bitten and turn into a zombie. He gets bitten, dies and comes back... I think what Cloverfield was saying is that it's not so much a virus (that's more 28 Days Later), but something that gets in the blood when bitten that kills you. And when you die you come back.<BR><BR>Thanks for the kind words in the talkbacks, peoples. It means a lot when you've put a ton of time and effort into a particular article.
June 23, 2010, 4:37 a.m. CST
I'm a massive fan of the comic so I can't wait for this TV show! Everything so far looks and sounds spot on. Cheers for a great article Quint!
"Im gonna try... not to come back"<p> Yeah, great moment. I think you're probably right actually. And yes, pat on the back Quint for going the extra mile on this article.
June 23, 2010, 4:41 a.m. CST
...without a "does not exist in this dojo" headline?
June 23, 2010, 4:45 a.m. CST
he was so sure that he was going to turn that he basically went wackado. He opened the gate and let all the zombies into the underground bunker. They ate him on the way down.
June 23, 2010, 4:46 a.m. CST
June 23, 2010, 4:49 a.m. CST
Like a Komodo Dragon. It's not cited as a virus in the Romero Movies.
June 23, 2010, 5:25 a.m. CST
Along with the recent Jaws reminiscence, this is the reason why Ain't It Cool still has a degree of relevance. I so hope this series measures up to, in some way, its source material...
June 23, 2010, 6:04 a.m. CST
You might hate the idea of zombies, but you should actually give The Walking Dead comic a read. It's not entirely a zombie comic-book. There's been a few issues where the zombie count is just about nil.
June 23, 2010, 6:06 a.m. CST
...not to kiss your ass but you seem to be the only one doing their homework around here recently. Keep it up. Just sayin'.
June 23, 2010, 6:14 a.m. CST
I'd love to see a Cronnenberg zombie movie
June 23, 2010, 7:18 a.m. CST
was looking forward to this now, really really looking forward to this. Spot on comment about the tortured look on the zombies faces, almost as if a tiny bit of them is vaguely human still and knows what is happening and is tortured by it??, maybe... anyway... Loved the articles. Great job Quint!
June 23, 2010, 7:20 a.m. CST
Love reading em, my only problem is your making this fucking difficult to wait for, this is easily the most anticipated show for years, heck i cant think of a movie id rather see before this, love the comics and those zombies look fucking class, heck it already looks like the pilot is gonna shit all over Romero's last 3 cinematic efforts.. <P> as for fast vs slow, well im in the fast boat, fast zombies are infinately more terrorfying than slow shambling take an age to get anywhere zombies but if the book had fast zombies everyone would be dead in first couple of chapters
June 23, 2010, 7:30 a.m. CST
This. Fast zombies are much more deadly and scary, but as you pointed out, your narrative is kinda fucked since it becomes alot less likely for your heroes to survive. I'd compare it to erosion via natural wave action vs. erosion via a tsunami. Both will end up yielding the same end result, the difference is one is more immediate.
June 23, 2010, 7:40 a.m. CST
That's Kirkman's genius, to move away from the zombie focus in the books, because he realized they arent scary. If I'm standing across an open field from Monster X, and there is no chance whatsoever that Monster X is any threat to me, that aint scary.
June 23, 2010, 8:12 a.m. CST
because for 2hrs i want to be on the edge of my seat shit scared at fucking cannibals who'll keep chasing me until i either escape or collapse through exhaustion, for a narrative like TV, slow ones work best to keep the focus on the survivors and not on the zombies hurtling at you at every turn.. <P> to me this is why Romero’s latest flicks fail badly.. well apart from the terrible actors, horrendous direction and lousy scripts, his zombies are now nothing more than laughably bad caricatures as bout as scary as a 5y.o. girl.. <P>hopefully the success of this show will prompt World War Z into full gear with a decent budget
June 23, 2010, 8:40 a.m. CST
We totally could've...<p>um...<p>Nah, I got nothin'.
June 23, 2010, 8:40 a.m. CST
by Col. Tigh-Fighter
Cant wait for it. There just not enough Zombies on TV. <p> Now if they can just crack World War Z then all is well in the world :)
June 23, 2010, 8:55 a.m. CST
otherwise zombie fanboys would be infected with RAGE. gooseud: slow zombies maybe aren't terrifying like sprinting zombies, but they are "creepy" as symbols of creeping death, slowly and perpetually shuffling toward us all.
June 23, 2010, 9:05 a.m. CST
And whoever mentioned GOBLIN? I actually think something along those lines would be much better than your standard, western-feel Cooder soundtrack/score. Breaking Bad already has a bit of a score that's sometimes like that. I think it would be better for the show if it didn't feel like it was aping Breaking Bad in ANY way. Something a bit more unexpected would be refreshing. Everyone will be expecting standard horror music, slide-guitar western schlock or (GAHD FORBID) nu-metal nonsense.
June 23, 2010, 9:26 a.m. CST
I. CAN'T. WAIT.
June 23, 2010, 9:28 a.m. CST
by David Cloverfield
A human mouth is dirty as fuck. If someone bites you, disinfect it, or it'll fuck you up. I was thinking though. The Walking Dead zombie epidemic still can be a virus. Just one that has already infected the whole world and is only activated at death.
June 23, 2010, 9:28 a.m. CST
Remember, it's not just being bitten! In Night, EVERYONE who dies comes back. It doesn't matter how (unless the brain is disconnected or destroyed). I think it changes slowly from movie to movie but if their using Night as their bible... then there ya go! The bite itself would be deadly just because of all the messed up bacteria and crap growing in a zombie mouth. You get bit... you linger for a few hours (maybe days) kick the bucket and come back.
June 23, 2010, 9:46 a.m. CST
In the unholy trilogy, the dead rise, no matter how you die. A bite from zombie, as stated by Groper is sure to be filled with bacteria and cause death by sepsis. <P> In 28 Days Later, it was a virus and the zombies are not dead, so bodily fluids are needed to move the virus....I loved the puking zombies in that movie. <P> On the topic of walking/running zombies a nice mix is the way to go. While I love the running ghouls of 28 Days later and Left 4 Dead, the massive shuffling hordes and scary as hell. All zombies are in various states of rigamortis, rot, and injury so having them move at different tempos makes sense. <P> I live in GA, and I am pissed off that I can't be in this.
June 23, 2010, 10:01 a.m. CST
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June 23, 2010, 10:02 a.m. CST
The characters don’t realise till a few weeks into their journey, and when they eventually do, the main character Rick heads back to the grave of his dead (but un-bitten) friend who he digs up, sees him in the grave moving around all "uuughh arghhh" and pops him one in the head to put him out of his misery. There’s also a guy who keeps zombie heads in fish tanks like piranhas or the historical celebrities from futuramma. Can’t wait to see that!
June 23, 2010, 10:06 a.m. CST
yer the man! youre easily the best writer on this site. thanks for tackling my favorite material. sooooo jealous!!
June 23, 2010, 10:10 a.m. CST
One of the best moments in the book. Rich had some stuff that he had to talk over with his friend. <P> and of course 57 channels and nothing on.
June 23, 2010, 10:32 a.m. CST
How does Rick peel out and away from the zombie horde if he has no gas? Someone will say, "Well, he had some left!" You don't get out of your car and walk to a gas station if you still have some left. Obviously the stations within walking distance and he's obviously out of gas. Yet he still starts up the car and takes off to the next town maybe. So why get out of the car in the first place. It's a nitpick but the scene doesn't make much sense unless they resolve it somehow.
June 23, 2010, 10:51 a.m. CST
June 23, 2010, 11:11 a.m. CST
Doesn't really matter, so not sure why you keep bringing it up. They're going with the Adlard look, as that's what is the dominant style for most of the publication history. Do you expect them to make them look like Moore's zombies for the first few episodes, then ugly them up some more to look like Adlard's? Do you expect Quint to describe them as looking like Moore's zombies even though they look all tight-faced and toothy like Adlard's? That said, I vastly prefer Tony Moore's art because he can draw a child that doesn't look like a tiny adult with big head mode turned on.
June 23, 2010, 11:14 a.m. CST
June 23, 2010, 11:15 a.m. CST
That is all.
June 23, 2010, 11:17 a.m. CST
by Nice Marmot
June 23, 2010, 11:20 a.m. CST
by Col. Tigh-Fighter
That is all.
June 23, 2010, 11:28 a.m. CST
I met Frank Darabont, Greg Nicotero, and Thomas Jane at SDCC promoting the DVD release of The Mist, and they couldn't have been nicer. I always look forward to any new film from Mr. Darabont and this just looks amazing. I would say that it would really be cool to bring some of the best known of the zombie makers to each direct an episode of the series: George Romero, Zack Snyder, John Landis and Edgar Wright. Hell, let Stephen King come in and do one, too!
June 23, 2010, 11:32 a.m. CST
I don't know if they are still there. A local big arse Church near me with lots parking space (mall parking lot big sized space) told me to tell them (if I ever find them) that they are 100% welcome to park at this church when ever they want! The pastor is a big movie geek. Gotta find em.
June 23, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST
You didn't read part 1 carefully "I could see them blocking the next shot, which featured some KNB corpses in cars as Rick (Andrew Lincoln) walks down a hill, between cars, towards the gas station."...the road was full of cars, ie he needed to stop a ways away and make his way to the gas station by foot, rather then risk/attempt getting his vehicle through the maze of cars. Plus in a situation like this, you wouldn't drive your car until empty THEN get gas. You would get what you could when the opportunity presents itself, and a gas station presents an opportunity (although TBH he would probably be better trying to siphon from cars if there is no electricity to run the pumps)
June 23, 2010, 11:47 a.m. CST
June 23, 2010, 12:23 p.m. CST
Excellent two parter on an adaptation of my favorite comic (that's saying a lot as I'm an at least 8 book a week guy) by one of my favorite filmmakers. October can't come soon enough.
June 23, 2010, 12:41 p.m. CST
in the comics.<P><P>Michonne's two zompanions having no arms for pages, and suddenly when they are beheaded they both have limbs.<P><P>Axel asks Patricia if she is going out with "the red-headed fella" but Otis stays at the farm while they are in the prison (I'm willing to slide a little here; he may have come over from time to time).<P><P>The farm is said to be four hours from the prison with the roads cleared, but later a sign says that Atlanta (further than the farm) is 50-odd miles/kilometres away.<P><P>Its just nit-picking, but it does grate when there are so many noticable errors like this. Some of the character motivation is totally perplexing as well. I like the books, but not as much as I'd like to.<P><P><P><P>The art isn't as good as it started out like either...
June 23, 2010, 12:43 p.m. CST
This was a great piece. AICN had slipped from my bookmarks, but there was clearly a lot of effort put into this by a very INTERESTED writer. I think thats what a lot of the articles here lack now.<P><P>Awesome stuff, Quint.
June 23, 2010, 1:32 p.m. CST
Just have to add something to the dumb fucking little piles of hate sitting at their keyboard listing petty things to complain about, this looks fucking great other than REC these are the best looking zombies I've seen in fucking years. I'm a little sad we won't get F-Bombs, some of Rick's lines such as "Motherfuckers are gonna feel pretty stupid when they realise..." Abraham retorts, "Find out what?" Rick concludes, "That they're fucking with the wrong people." So fucking cool man such great dimensional characters this show looks great and I'm looking forward to it more than most things this year but can it ever be as great as the comic is? I sure fucking hope so.
June 23, 2010, 1:36 p.m. CST
-it helps if you detach their heads. They really are the best zombies. Tarintino directing an R rated Marvel Zombies is what this world needs. Zombie hulk climbing out of galactus' ribcage on the poster
June 23, 2010, 1:50 p.m. CST
...Light and Shadow...
June 23, 2010, 1:56 p.m. CST
how complicated it is to get one shot sequence perfect. So many contingencies and variables. Thanks for the step by step! very interesting.
June 23, 2010, 2:11 p.m. CST
...a shrewdness of apes, a sleuth of bears, a clowder of cats, and a zoloft of zombies. Okay I made that last one up, but it sounds appropriate, huh?
June 23, 2010, 2:30 p.m. CST
Mock the Prequels if you like, but he made sure they looked damn pretty. Some of the most underrated blockbuster cinematography of the past ten years. Cool to see him working with Darabont again.
June 23, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST
..."The Walking Dead" refers to the survivors not the zombies, but I understand your point. It would be pretty incongruous to have zombies running around at breakneck speed.
June 23, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST
by tj donkey show
...not zombies. Zombies are reanimated dead. While the ghouls from 28 Days were infected by rage virus, hence not reanimated dead. It's simple really.
June 23, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST
by Arcadian Del Sol
this is basic zombie 101 stuff, people.
June 23, 2010, 2:59 p.m. CST
by tj donkey show
I'm sold, a "zoloft of zombies" it is.
June 23, 2010, 5:50 p.m. CST
and bite large chunks out of flesh, they are strong enough to at least jog. Numbers don't matter either when you're so weak/rotted you can't accelerate beyond a shamble. A group of 4 year olds could not pull me apart like Day of the Dead.
June 23, 2010, 6:08 p.m. CST
AICN may have lost some of its style (particularly since Moriarty left and Harry found he was too busy to do more than keep a weather eye on things) but it's this kind of coverage plus the talkbacks they generate that ensure I check this site several times a day.
June 23, 2010, 6:33 p.m. CST
100% agree,great article
June 23, 2010, 6:43 p.m. CST
He's been living in Toronto since Land of the Dead. He goes back with Greg Nicotero to 85's Day of the Dead. He's also said he's a fan of the comic and is jealous Darabont is doing it. Not to mention Darabont keeps referencing NOTD as his "Zombie Genesis." Fingers crossed they get him in on this at some point.
June 23, 2010, 6:57 p.m. CST
but Nicotero and crew really, really outdid themselves with those zombies. Such a good job, I'm not sure if I'll tune in... Excellent report Quint.
June 23, 2010, 7:36 p.m. CST
If you apply too much common sense to a zombie apocalypse, it doesn't really hold up. For instance, I doubt many people could easily bite through a leather jacket, if at all, so someone in a zombie outbreak would just have to wear thick enough clothes covering their exposed skin and they could lay down in a pack of zombies without actually ever getting bitten. But that would probably make for a boring movie. <p> One thing I always wondered about, why don't zombies attack other zombies? Can they sense a living pulse or something? When someone is overtaken by zombies and they start eating him, at what point do they stop eating him? Do they just gnaw on the skulls, eternally trying to eat brains but never strong enough to actually crack the skull to get to them? For the amount of zombie movies that are out there, there's not a whole lot of explanation (that I'm aware of) in regards to zombie physiology.
June 23, 2010, 8:22 p.m. CST
To the one who said they should make a Left 4 Dead movie... I have to ask... Why? Don't get me wrong, me and my friends actually love the games. I think their adictive as hell... but at no time have any of us said to ourselves that these would make good movies cuz.... you know... there is NO STORY to speak of in these games. Basically take any "fast moving zombie movie", cut out all plot details, and there's your Left 4 Dead movie.
June 23, 2010, 9:05 p.m. CST
Slow zombies are feasible b/c whatever is causing the reanimation of the deceased also has infects all of the flesh and blood of the zombies so that it does not degrade or rot. According to Max Brooks' "Solanum" zombie, the virus that infects and kills those who are infected though bites / blood, the virus is toxic to all creatures. When dead bodies "rot" a majority of it is from bacteria, bugs, etc. eating and breaking down our flesh. If other bacteria, bugs, and other carrion eating creatures will not touch the re-animated corpse, it will last much longer. Their tissue will eventually break down over long periods of time as they move more and do anything strenuous. The scary part comes with them feeling no pain and having no physical limitations. They can walk / shamble after you for hours, days, weeks without sleeping, stopping for bathroom breaks or eating, or general fatigue. Kinda like the Tortise and the Hare. They are not smart so follow you through instinct via smell, hearing, and sight (if those are not overly damaged as they decompose SLOWLY). The herds happen when they hear something in the distance (or a moan from another zombie) and just keep following it. On the way, they bump into other Z's who just start following them too. These groups start bumping into each other and continue to herd in packs. They can't even go in straight lines b/c they "forget" what they were chasing to begin with or lack of coordination sends them off in askew directions. One spots a fellow zombie who saw you veer of and starts following it. So you think you're safe, haven't encountered a zombie in hours. Sit down to rest. Wake up and now there are hundreds who have quietly and slowly surrounded you or just over taken your position. You were in a house and now there are dozens to hundred of Z's pounding on the doors and walls. Eventually after the constant pounding and pressure (even with broken and shattered limbs) the doors will give. Also the human jaw is VERY strong and can bite through a LOT of material, especially with sharp broken teeth. And it only takes one little nick on an uncovered part of the body for the infection to set in. The Zombie Survival Guide pretty much covers the whole "scientific" aspects while leaving room for interpretation and adjustment for the "no matter how you die, you come back" version of the undead that appear in TWD and Romero films. Fast zombies are just stupid. There would be no story b/c there would be no survivors. I have zombie dreams all too often, I know its kinda a common dream since they seem to represent death (or just they are everywhere in pop culture), but I am often scared shitless in my very vivid dreams about Zombies.
June 23, 2010, 9:39 p.m. CST
by tj donkey show
Not "packs", Zolofts.
June 24, 2010, 12:54 a.m. CST
how they can tear people in half or bite huge chunks out of struggling, living beings if they are so broken down they have to shamble. The probably wouldn't even have the strength of a very weak adult or normal strength child, neither of which can do the kind of damage, with their bare hands, that you see in the goriest films, even if they attacked in packs. <p>But all that is ok because zombies are supernatural, not scientific.</p>
June 24, 2010, 1:03 a.m. CST
but I regard their ability to be rotting and still strong as hell as supernatural.
June 24, 2010, 2 a.m. CST
to answer your query "How do the z's recognize the living", I'll let you in on a possible *spoiler de spoil*. In the comic, that comes up. They theorize it's by scent. So before a supply run into Atlanta, a couple of characters 'musk up' by rubbing bits of bagged zombie all over themselves, putting the odd hand in a pocket here and there & head into town. It works for a while as they pass numerous zombies unnoticed. And then it starts to rain. OH SHIT. *End Spoilent Green*
June 24, 2010, 2:05 a.m. CST
is da kids. How dey gonna work that out? See: Walt from Lost. The little ones get bigger between seasons. If they aren't gonna get to the prison until season 2 at the earliest, I see a problem. That's UNDER 1 YEAR comic time. And it's maybe been a couple months since then in the latest issues. Carl's gonna be shaving on the show before that.
June 24, 2010, 2:55 a.m. CST
Since I mentioned Goblin with various "of the Dead" veteran guest composers for the music (minus Trev Jones) <P> I cant seem to think of any other living veteran horror poster artist with a wicked bad ass style better than the Gogo's. Why not open my big mouth one more time. that would be my choice. Basil- more than a culinary herb.
June 24, 2010, 4:34 a.m. CST
My effects ain't as good as these of course, but I'm doing my best- http://www.m yspace.com/sonnyfernandezfilms
June 24, 2010, 6:03 a.m. CST
That exists solely because of the gore shots it allows, and not because it makes any sense. If zombies tore their victims to shreds, there wouldn't be a lot of zombies. To get a giant zombie horde, you need a lot of single bites spreading the infection, but no eating legs or arms off, no tearing victims apart.
June 24, 2010, 7:05 a.m. CST
he had one good movie. Now instead of fast zombies/slow zombies, good acting and plots...he puts zombies on horseback. Time for George to retire.
June 24, 2010, 7:08 a.m. CST
I want him no where near this series, so far everything ive seen and read has been outstanding, they're treating the material properly and the love and passion that everyone is putting into this is gonna make for a great show, what i dont want is some lame ass guest director spot to please the die-hard zombie fans who cant see past Dawn and somehow make excuses for Land/Diary/Survival, let Romero continue to ruin his legacy with his shitty DTV crap, keep the Walking Dead pristine please!
June 24, 2010, 7:11 a.m. CST
I've been burned before. But I believe in Deborant, and the notion of a Cronenburg zombie movie makes me all tingly.
June 24, 2010, 7:30 a.m. CST
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June 24, 2010, 9:56 a.m. CST
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June 24, 2010, 10:50 a.m. CST
And the one good Film jab? Um Dawn is in some ways better than night to some fans. I used to watch that film endlessly on betamax. The remake didn't supersede it imho (theres only a handful of cool moments in the remake. the opening/end credits are the strongest moments, the look alike celeb comp, and the tank crowd explosion) <P> Outside of the dead series. <P> Martin, dude martin is my generations American Psycho but it's way more creepy. The phone scene in the film is one of the most freaky fucked scary phone scenes comitted to film. Scream cant touch it. <P> Creepshow- with out it there would never be a Tales Series. Knightrider and The Cazies are fun watches as well. Two evil eyes is awesome. Bruiser was a nice try. Never saw Season of the Witch. The Dark Half has it's moments. <P> I understand that people are pissed about his new low bo zombie flicks. Hollywood is rough on new/oriignal ideas. He wasted/lost time trying to get a Resident Evil flick made, something original called The Diamond Dead, and then a King adapt of From a Buick 8. No one bit/dished out until he said he had some living dead ideas. If this is his kickback plan, then so be it. The man has earned it. In a perfect world he would he would have the freedom support and budget to tackle films that didnt involve walking corpses.
June 24, 2010, 10:58 a.m. CST
for a source on anything. World War Z is beyond overrated. The first quarter of the book isn't bad, but it gets worse as it goes on.
June 24, 2010, 10:59 a.m. CST
Quint, you've done some great work here. Really nice to see this site get back to doing things like this. Great job
June 24, 2010, 11:11 a.m. CST
his past 4 zombie movies were all pure shit. 4 for 4... really bad average. He's batted zero for decades.
June 24, 2010, 11:41 a.m. CST
To me, original Dawn was more of a fun movie. Honestly, it was hard to take it seriously it was so cheesy, but it was fun in the same sense it's fun when you're a kid to make some complex fort with secret doors and such. Dawn remake, imo, was a much scarier movie overall. The intro alone (movie start through the Johnny Cash bit) was probably one of the strongest and most intense zombie related material ever put to film. It really gave you a sense of how quickly society went to hell and how completely ineffective we were with almost no time to react, since they were a bunch of sprinting zombies that overran almost all defensive lines.
June 24, 2010, 12:50 p.m. CST
slow zombies in the 21st century just don't cut it I'm afraid, they are unscary and let's face it the shaun of the dead scene were they rifled through a record box while this moaning monstrosity slowly shambled toward them just shows how ineffective they are, society today would be able to put down a zombie apocalypse with ease now you make them sprinters and suddenly it's a whole different ballgame, society would crumble almost immediately as the military ad police would have no time to react and the numbers of undead would increase at such an alarming rate that it litterally would be the end of the world hence why fast zombies are in actual fact scary as fuck <p> as for romero hate, well I like the guy he seems genuine and well he gotta eat, but his load of flicks have been beyond dire and to hear people on here defending his last loada flicks is hilarious, they really must be seeing shit through rose tinted glasses and with that last abomination of his I think Romero showed his true feelings for the genre and that was one of utter contempt, he's reduced his zombies to jack in the box waste of spaces who coudnt scare my gran ffs and I know how everyone of his fans use the excuse that his zombies are merely bit parts to a larger overall look at society... if you honestly beleive that, you need one in the head, not only does he populate his stories with laughably unscary zombies, but he fills them with completely unlikeable characters who couldn't act their way out of primary school pantomime and then wraps all this round abysmal storytelling, he may of released some classics at the start of the century but they guy just can't hack it in this one and to me he's turning the zombie genre into a joke and needs to do something else or just fecking retire
June 24, 2010, 7:49 p.m. CST
As a "Shuffle" of Zombies for groups....Course that shows my preference for slow ones, but hey, those were the most terrifying. It wasnt their speed, it was their numbers and the fact that you screwed up in your choice of where to run that got you eaten more than the fact that they just ran your ass down. Save that fast stuff for infected eh? P.S. Great article! I am green eyed as of this moment on O_<
June 24, 2010, 7:50 p.m. CST
A ROMERO of zombies. Let's give the man his due.
June 24, 2010, 7:57 p.m. CST
Instead have skipping zombies. That would down right spooky.
June 24, 2010, 10:46 p.m. CST
by Jay Retread
First of all, Romero deals with the living dead, not zombies. And B) the dead are living because there is no more room in Hell. If you buy into that explanation, then trying to dissect the physiology of an animated dead person is pointless - they walk due to some screwup in the flux between Heaven, Hell and Earth - beyond human understanding. Just because.
June 25, 2010, 12:24 a.m. CST
I am really looking forward to this!
June 25, 2010, 11:04 a.m. CST
was someone making a guess. There is nothing to prove or disprove that statement in any of Romero's films.
June 25, 2010, 1:21 p.m. CST
Wasnt there a mention of some "alien object" that was being tracked in the first one? Talking NOTLD here.
June 25, 2010, 2:35 p.m. CST
The book suggested that radiation from a fallen satellite could possibly be the cause, but that was only a theory. It was never stated factually. No one knows.
June 25, 2010, 4:58 p.m. CST
Slow is scarier because no matter how far you run, and no matter where you hide, they will eventually find you. You can never truly rest, or let your guard down. Being chased by a fast zombie is no more terrifying than being chased by a regular human bent on killing you. You either get away right then and there, or he catches you and kills you. Fast zombies are the bomb under Hitchcock's table when it goes off. Slow zombies are when it doesn't.
June 26, 2010, 8:05 a.m. CST
Zombie. We need a newer, faster zombie for the XTREME generation. Okay. So he starts out as a slow zombie, but then he pounds ten red bulls, snorts three lines of coke and he’s off, raping and murdering and eating people. Shyamalan can direct the episode where it turns out there is no disease, and nothing supernatural going on at all; it’s just the American media in a symbiotic relationship with the addictive personality. XTREME! Not XTREME enough? Well, these zombies shoot fireballs out their ass. XTREME! The slower zombies (60-90 miles an hour) secrete a toxin that makes their victims slower. XTREME! They ride on zombie horses! XTREME! I loved “The Mist” and I’m pretty confident that Frank Darabont could make a TV show about zombies at least feel new. Even if it really, really isn’t. I get it. Zombie movies make money at the theater, so now there needs to be a TV show about zombies. I’m really not complaining… much. It’s Frank Darabont. I’ll be watching the first episode, at least.
June 26, 2010, 8:06 a.m. CST
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June 26, 2010, 11:40 a.m. CST
"Being chased by a fast zombie is no more terrifying than being chased by a regular human bent on killing you." Um, I dunno about you, but a fucking psychopath killer SPRINTING AFTER YOU, whether living or undead, is alot more scary then a geriatric shuffle slowly making it's way towards you.
June 27, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST
June 27, 2010, 3:54 p.m. CST
I can't wait to see this series start! I really hope that they are shooting this thing as graphically as Darabont could, and editing it down for AMC airing. I want an Unrated DVD release, please!! I am a huge fan of the comic series (Thank you, Blair Butler for advising me to pick it up over and over!) I wish it were filming in NOLA.
June 28, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST
100% correct. That is always how I have viewed the debate between fast and slow zombies. I just never put it as well as you did. Thanks!
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