Written by John Edward Betancourt
What a wild ride the second half of season three has been for The Walking Dead. We've had Rick lose his mind, the Governor bring forth his wrath and the first ever walker bomb in horror history. So what then did we get last night? Simple enough, a dark and brooding episode that set up the pieces for the rest of the reason. Some might write this one off as a snoozer, but when last night's events come back to haunt both groups "I Ain't a Judas" will be regarded as a cornerstone episode.
The Good: I loved the cloud that hung over every scene. Now that we have all seen just how sadistic the Governor truly is, the level of brutality the inevitable conflict between the prison and Woodbury will be off the charts, and that somehow adds a sense of dread to the show I've not yet seen. Watching a 14 year old asthmatic kid pick up a rifle to prepare to defend Woodbury is new ground for the show, and Philip's pride in making the kid do it makes it even worse.
I'm also happy with the show finally giving us the answer as to what Andrea's issue really is. We finally learned last night that before the end of the world and after it, she is nothing more than a lost soul. She will go with the flow, desperately moving from one cause to another in the hopes of finding some inner peace they have yet to reveal on this show. Regardless she is now torn between two worlds and I am anxious to see where the story will take her now that we have an idea of who Andrea really is.
Have to say I also loved the twist of sending Tyreese and his gang to Woodbury. The implications of their arrival, and the two dip wads who wanted to kill Carl and Carol without batting an eye is terrifying for the group and for the rest of the season. Speaking of, my favorite scene by far, was Andrea's return to the group. The distrust from Rick was dark enough, but the gravity of how many the group has lost truly came to light as they revealed their fallen one after another. It was the first time I think we've really been able to reflect with them as an audience how grave these losses are, and for me at least, it left me worried just how much worse their losses will become.
The Bad: My only chief complaint about this episode, is that at times it felt clunky. Early on especially, but it seemed that we jumped from story to story and the show didn't really seem to find its flow until Andrea went to the prison.
The Verdict: Some may call this episode slow, or a sign of trouble with the show again, but I see it as quite the opposite. The pieces of this puzzle are coming together as the storm clouds on the horizon gather. This is nothing more than a slow build to an incredible explosion. Get ready.
Written by: Scotty
Flight 753, a new Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport, everything seems fine until the plane goes dark for no reason. The first responders eventually get aboard the flight to find that almost everyone on the plane is dead. Ephraim Goodweather is called into action to investigate, but what he finds is more than he bargained for. Only four survivors come off of the flight, and none have any idea what had happened. All of the rest were transported to the morgue with no apparent reason of death. Then the first total eclipse in North America in over four hundred years occurred, that lead to the Awakening.
The four survivors from flight 753 go through some kind of change, they think they are just sick, but what is happening to them turns out to be much worse. The bodies of the dead passengers from the flight mysteriously vanish from the morgues, deceased loved ones return to their homes. No one understands what is happening except for a pawn broker in Spanish Harlem named Abraham Setrakian. Upon the stories the aging pawn broker heard on the news, he would finally endure the battle he had been preparing for over that past forty years. Sardu, the Master Vampire from his youth had come to him after countless years of searching.
The Strain, the first in a trilogy, does not take any twists and turns as you would expect in a horror story, you know who the good and bad characters are right from the start. Ephraim is your lead and you will follow him in his search for the truth of what is going on, his fight for his family and his own survival. Abraham flows into the story and becomes a crazed Vampire slayer; he has the means and the drive to destroy the plague before it can leave the city. You also get to get into the heads of the four survivors from the flight, more of a firsthand account of their change from a normal human to an undead minion.
Every author takes their liberty of how their vampires will attack and survive. Del Toro takes his own look at the variations and adds his own spin. Instead of using mind control, beauty and fangs, Del Toro has his vampires attack with size, strength and stingers. Same with how to kill the undead, but if you don’t have the basics, silver and sunlight, I am not sure on how it could really be considered a vampire story.
Not a must read, but a should read for Vampire fans if you are open to a little change in the genre. The novel flows just like it should, not getting hung up on any character development or the time honored love story. There is not a boy girl love story, but it does focus on the family dynamic and if that is not love, then I don’t know what is.
Written by: John Edward Betancourt
For the most part, we have stayed away from spotlighting remakes here at Girls of Geek, and with good reason. Simply because it is so difficult to find something in the second go round that stands out from the original. We often know the plot, we're just getting a shiny new version of one of our favorite films.
But a few remakes have managed to stand out, reinventing the wheel so to speak as they bring something new and exciting to the table. We took a look at the remake of Dawn of the Dead for that exact reason, since it helped bring the living dead back to the forefront of horror and now pop culture. But there is another Romero remake that deserves its day in the sun as well, the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead.
As expected, the storyline is close to the original. The dead have returned to life and are attacking the living and seven strangers are surrounded in a farmhouse, desperate for survival. But while the plot remains the same, there are many differences from the original Night in this underrated film.
The usual names associated with Romero's vision of the zombiepocalpyse can be found here as well, but without their usual titles. George Romero only wrote the screenplay this time around, making the wise decision to hand the title of director to horror effects legend Tom Savini, and what an incredible job Mister Savini did, bringing forth a fast paced remake, that manages to bring new scares to life on screen all while staying true to the core components of the original.
Horror veteran Tony Todd does an outstanding job taking over the iconic role of Ben, but the show is stolen by Patricia Tallman as Barbara with her unique portrayal of the character. In fact, that is what makes this remake so fascinating. There was the easy way out in making this motion picture by simply retelling the tale shot for shot in beautiful technicolor. But Romero's script updates Night to reflect the times. Gone is catatonic Barbara, waiting for a man in shining armor to save her and make all the decisions, she is now an independent woman who is suffering from the loss of her brother but willing to do what is necessary to survive. Also removed are the explosive overtones of the 1960's that we found in the first one, which changes the film drastically, bringing about a raw element of fear and confusion that gives the picture its own unique feel.
Does this film surpass the original? Absolutely not. It works as a companion piece to the 1968 version, but adds its own credence to the series with its slick special effects, beautiful visuals and oddly enough, bleaker feel. It is almost as if Romero and Savini understood where horror films were headed. There would no longer be a sense of hope at the end of these types of movies, that optimistic notion would be replaced by the sense of terror that something awful had come at last, and it was here to stay.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
Well, after last night, it looks like break time is over. Hope everyone enjoyed a few minutes of rest and relaxation because on The Walking Dead it is time to get back to business. Unfortunately, business entails revenge, sorrow and more good people giving into the eternal darkness of death. What's worse, all those horrible things were featured in a single episode, so settle in as Daniel and I recap last night's stunner; "Home."
The Good: Khan said it best. "Revenge is a dish that is best served cold" and wow was last night's revenge cold indeed. After spending a week brooding and hiding in his apartment we learned that the Governor spent little time mourning the loss of his zombified daughter Penny and more time fantasizing about putting down Rick's group at the prison and he did it in spectacular fashion, including an unprecedented use of walkers. Yes, this was the revenge we all knew was coming and it was brutal as we watched Axel die at the hands of Philip's bloodlust.
But the jaw dropping moment of the night, was the Governor's unique use of the living dead with the Walker Bomb. Mix one part Milton (I think), one part truck and a zillion parts walker, and smash them into the prison gates and you have a Walker Bomb. It is one of the coolest things I've ever seen in horror and mad props to the show for pulling it off so well.
But aside from the slam bang last ten minutes, this episode was chock full of awesomeness. We had Daryl finally waking up to what a piece of crap his brother was and saw the tables turned at last with Daryl clearly running the show over Merle. In fact I loved the sequence where Daryl saved the day with stepping in to help out the family that nearly found itself feasted upon by walkers. The character development continues and clearly Daryl has come to realize that it is about the survival of the species, he is a man ahead of his time in the zombiepocalypse. Glenn of course is showing his darkest side yet with the anger that continues to ooze from every bit of his being, and it's a little scary to see this side of him. I certainly hope he reigns it in, I think Hershel is right about the fact he is dangerous with this chip on shoulder.
Rick's sorrow continues to be incredible to watch. I give the show major points for letting its lead suffer like this. He is clearly devastated and it is heartbreaking to watch Rick gow through all this pain and sorrow, it makes the hallucinations we experience with him all the more painful. I did love the little moment between Rick and Hershel, I got the feeling that maybe, just maybe Hershel has seen a few visions of his departed wife as well.
The Bad: There were two things that caught me off guard this week. The first was the complete and utter disappearance of Tyreese's group. Now I get Rick told them to scatter, but with that many walkers in the countryside, and an empty cell block once used by Oscar and Axel, where the hell did they go? I expected them to appear briefly to possibly squabble over taking out crazy ol' Rick or getting out of there before said Sheriff comes after them. But the glaring issue from last night that took me out of the show a little bit, how the hell can the group be absolute crack shots when it comes to the living dead, but shoot like stormtroopers when people are around? I can get Rick having trouble hitting Martinez in the woods since he was moving around. The Governor had plenty of cover. But the dude in the guard tower, being fired at by Carl "Deadeye" Grimes and not going down? That's a little too much to bear.
The Verdict: This is what we have all been waiting for. The Governor's madness and evil is finally slipping through, and the war of Woodbury is about to begin. The rest of this season is going to be what I expected, ugly, brutal, angry and brilliant.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
The day has come at last and The Walking Dead is back on the air! We've all been waiting with baited breath to know what happens to Merle and Daryl Dixon, if Rick's sanity is slowly slipping away and of course, what the Governor will do now that his precious little empire has been directly attacked. Most of those questions have been answered, and a few new ones arose over the course of last night's mid season premiere; "The Suicide King".
The Good: I have to admit that I spent a lot of time pondering on this episode while Talking Dead was on before I put pen to paper. Simply because at first, I wasn't sure if I actually liked this one. I'm glad I took a little time to think because my own mind built up an expectation that the show would never live up to. In the back of my mind I think I expected some kind of war between Woodbury and the prison and truth is, what happened last night was necessary. We haven't had a breather in this show for some time, with the breakneck pace it has kept since Lori and T-Dog died in "Killer Within" and this episode was the chance for the audience to do what the characters did last night, lick our wounds and take a moment.
We saw the Governor lost for the first time since he realized, in his own mind at least, his true calling as a leader. We saw that Rick is still having major issues with the death of his wife and out of left field, we saw that Glenn has a nasty streak in him and anyone who messes with his lady better watch out.
But I always love how this show comes back around to family, a theme we have discussed on the weekly recap before but only to point out how subtle it was in a particular episode. Subtlety was not the case last night. With Daryl leaving the group to hang with his loser brother Merle; Rick's terror at the thought of losing any one else under his watch and the touching moment between Hershel and Glenn, it's a nice thing to see that amongst the intestines and walking corpses these people are slowly rebuilding the best parts of our society.
The Bad: The most glaring issue from this episode for me is Andrea's heroic speech in Woodbury. It wasn't that the speech was bad or unnecessary, just that it seemed ill timed and rushed. I am fine with the poor people of Woodbury being terrified, and I'm fine with the Governor mourning his zombified daughter. But I am not fine with this same group of people going from utter panic to "oh wow, this girl who just moved in recently is right, we need to suck it up." There was a grand opportunity here to see Philip further tighten his grip on this town and let the evil we saw beginning to unleash at the end of the midseason finale continue to grow.
The Verdict: A solid return for the best show on television. If history teaches us anything, this is likely another calm before the storm and the heartfelt moments will turn to tears once again when the Governor does indeed let loose. Hopefully Daryl wises up and gets his butt back to the prison because let's face it, Merle is a scumbag and Daryl is way too good a man and too great a leader to be hanging around that bum. It should also be interesting to see if our rushed speech from Andrea will lead to a power struggle in Woodbury. But the biggest question now is if Rick's pending insanity will begin to completely takeover. I guess we find out next week, and while the wait will suck, at least The Walking Dead is back!