Written by: John Edward Betancourt
Our movie spotlight from the other day brought about a long standing topic of debate in the living dead universe. Which are more effective in the horror world? Zombies that can chase you down at top speed with little or no effort, or the slow movers that take your time to find you? It's a good topic for one reason, both can be effective in their own way. In fact many a film has made the case for both versions of the walking dead, but one particular type of monster wins every time...the slow mover.
Now I don't say that simply because of the fact that I am huge George Romero fan and his brand of zombie is as slow as can be. I say it because of the fast movers simply remove any sense of imagination from the story. I mentioned it briefly in my last post and felt this was a good opportunity to break it down a little further.
The fact of the matter is, a corpse will eventually rot away. That poses one big quesion for any film that presents a zombie than can run as fast as you or I, how the hell do they do it? With their muscle tissue slowly sloughing away, there is just no way that they can physically run like that. It's why I find myself so frustrated when I see them on screen, virus or not, they're dead. In fact, Romero himself was asked in several interviews when Diary of the Dead came out why his zombies never tried to do it, he himself stated that their ankles would simply snap.
This may seem like my only argument for the slow movers, but we have to remember we are talking about horror here. I also fully understand we are talking about a fictional monster that requires a suspension of disbelief with the whole concept of the dead returning to life as is. But horror is about our fears, and the living dead are our fear of death, how it creeps up on us and eventually overtakes us. That's what makes the slow mover such a terrifying zombie.
That to me is far more powerful than seeing these things run right at you. The thought of a corpse, walking around and able to take all the time in the world to find you is bone chilling, and it makes the slow mover my zombie of choice.
Written by: John Edward Betancourt
I suppose if any "good" can come out of the Zombiepocalypse, it is the fact that there are so many stories to tell. Think about it, there are seven billion of us living on this tiny little rock we call home and every last one of us, has a story. If tomorrow the dead were to rise from their graves and decide that eating tasty steak made from humans should be the new norm, those stories would take an awful turn but they would be out there none the less.
It is an approach George Romero has taken in his Dead saga, and clearly it has served as inspiration for Robert Kirkman and his own tome; The Walking Dead. From the original comic, the recently released video game, the show itself by splitting Andrea from the group and even the literary world with the novel Rise of the Governor it is obvious that Kirkman gets the fact that while we love the source material, we want to know as many stories as we can when it comes to a world filled with the living dead. But the downside to telling so many stories is that sometimes you will find a tale that just isn't that interesting and that is unfortunately what has happened with the second novel set in Kirkman's zombieverse; The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury.
The world as we know it has ended. The dead walk, and they are everywhere. Young Lilly Caul is doing her best to get by with a handful of survivors just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. But a terrible mistake robs Lilly of her safe haven and she is cast out with some of her friends into the world of the dead. Starving and desperate, the chance to stay in a small town named Woodbury seems too good to be true. It is safe, secure and while the leader of the town, an enigmatic man known as "The Governor" seems a little strange they take advantage of the opportunity. But as the days progress they will learn that Woodbury is quite possibly more dangerous than the world beyond its walls.
I have to say point blank that I was completely disappointed reading through this novel. As I hinted to earlier, this book's greatest flaw is that it is flat out boring. Yes, there are zombies, yes there is gore, and hell we even get more of the Governor, but it is simply not enough to overcome two major flaws for the book. The first being that the characters are people we simply don't care about, and second, there is nothing exciting about this book.
I would love to write about something positive or awesome in this novel, but sadly I cannot. Unlike the last book, there is no twist or turn here that changes the game in The Walking Dead universe. All we get are a series of events that lead to...an abrupt ending. Should you read it? Honestly, that's up to you. My hope is that someone out there finds something unique that maybe I missed, but I won't hold my breath. I suppose if there is any positive at all from the disappointment of this book, it is that maybe the next one will absolutely blow us away.