The Walking Dead is to television what the Fleshlight was to wanking, an answer to a question that had never really been vocalized, yet asked in an unconscious way for so many years. And while in the case of wanking the question was often “is this it?” while one look dolefully at their own pathetic hand, in the case of the Walking Dead the question was “where’s my damn TV show about zombies?” If the internet has taught us nothing it’s that people on the internet which represent a fair chunk of real humans, love bacon and zombies and cats. But screw the cats and bacon right now. Zombies, man. Rock!
If you’ve been following the series you’re aware that the damn zombies are pretty much everywhere but you may not have noticed there are a few distinct kinds on hand. If you haven’t been watching then go. Just go. We don’t want you here. For everyone else, let’s get a closer look at the zombies on The Walking Dead
The Money Shot – The big seller on the Walking Dead is this bad boy, the zombie whose makeup took all day in a trailer to apply for the pay off of that one scene when it comes on camera and you, at home, go “oh shit, that person must have spent all day in make up!” and then wait for someone to blow its head off. You probably get the same feeling when watching Two and a Half Men when any of the aforementioned two and a half men are on screen, minus the bit about the makeup. So far every episode has had at least one of these zombies. Here look at this one;
Yep, that’s more than just chewing gum and shoe polish (what most HT staffers had for Halloween makeup back in the day). That’s real live makeuppy stuff with ribs and teeth and a nearly palpable stench.
The Heart String Tugger – The most effective zombie is the zombie you don’t want to shoot, if there is such a thing. But how do you make a 150lb sack of rot and ass sympathetic? It needs a backstory and it gets that by having family. In the first episode Morgan and Duane Jones, a father and son, are holed up in their house where, every day, mommy comes back to jigger with the doorknob and moan for brains on the doorstep. Damn, that’s poignant. Last episode saw Andrea’s sister Amy get killed by a zombie. I ain’t saying she’ll try to eat everyone next week, but she’ll totally try to eat everyone next week. And it’ll suck. For them. Because being eaten alive ranks up there with spontaneous human combustion and prolapsed everything as awful ways to die. If they want the season to end with a bang, they’ll have a main character shoot their insides out their ass in a ball of fire as they get eaten alive. Now that’s entertainment.
Background Shuffler – You can’t fault AMC for not being innovative enough to do away with this character who has been in every single “mob mentality” horror movie ever. Whether it’s a horde of zombies, vampires, CHUDs or whatever the things that weren’t trolls were in Troll 2, there’s always some douchers just standing around in the background because the director only wants monsters 1 through 7 to attack the hero because the fight choreographer wasn’t comfortable with any more than that. The result is that while the near-miss attack is going on, you’re sitting at home drinking your Yoo Hoo thinking “why the shit aren’t the rest of the zombie swarming on him yet? They could have eaten him six times by now.”
If these guys weren’t there it’d be some shitty apocalypse with only a half dozen zombies wandering around. But while they are there they can never do anything overtly menacing, otherwise they muck up the whole idea that you’d actually have a whisper of a fight to escape thousands of ravenous, infectious beasts that feel no pain, have no ability to reason, require no sleep or nourishment and single mindedly want you dead and inside them. Seems like we should make another Two and a Half Men joke here…
The Rageaholic – This zombie is one of those seven that the director wants to attack the main characters because he’s going to get a lot of facetime. And while he may not be the Money Shot zombie for make up, what he lacks in missing torso pieces or mandibles he makes up for in intensity. For whatever reason, when this guy came back from the dead he got caught in his fly or something and he’s been in a mood ever since. He’s baring his teeth and growling and snarling and really making a mockery of the notion that these are just animated corpses by making it seem like you just made his last moments of life an unending nightmare, perhaps by forcing him to watch Two and a Half Men, and now he’s back for his sweet, brain-saturated vengeance.
Captain of Industry – A rare breed in the zombie genre, this diligent fellow draws attention to himself because simply moaning and shuffling isn’t good enough for him, oh no. He has to pick up a rock and try to smash a window with it. Every time a zombie uses a tool, a nerd gets a free Mountain Dew out of a pop machine. But there will then be a three hour debate over remaining brain function, memory retention and the potential to train or even rehumanize zombies. This is all George Romero’s fault.
Poseur – No zombie production is complete without this character, the laziest shit of all zombies. You’d think., being animated after death with little to no purpose left in your existence beyond the pursuit of food (which for whatever reason is the living), you’d at least mill about with your brethren and try to fit in. Not this guy – this guy is doing one of two things – he’s laying perfectly still waiting for you to pass by and assume he’s dead before he lunges and bites the extremity of a minor cats member, or he’s in some random stairwell/closet/storeroom by himself. Just because. Because he’s an asshole.