Tuesday 14 October 2014

Episode Review: The Walking Dead - s5 ep1

Flying Flaming Zombies! Butchery! Carol is a bad ass! EVERYONE is a bad ass! Carol is back with the group! LITTLE BABY JUDITH!

Phew. Pretty great episode, even if it was just a standard adventure romp, to tie together a lot of loose threads. Now that's done, we'll get into some of the season themes next week, I'm pretty sure.

Oh, one or two political parallels emerged this episode though. See if you can pick them....

Monday 13 October 2014

The politics of The Walking Dead

So here we finally are.

Ever wondered what The Walking Dead is actually about? Because it's not about zombies, I can tell you that much. There is a pretty clear political analogy being drawn throughout the series, by both Kirkman and AMC, to contemporary USAan society, and once you realise that, the comics and show actually become a stinging political critique.

There is of course a lot more to talk about here. Even though this video is a full 10 minutes long (apologies, but it does contain the core of my theory on how to read the show), I still haven't covered every aspect of how the show intersects with modern American life. Suffice it (at this point) to say that I believe there is a reading on almost everything: from feminism to race politics in the States.

And the show remains pretty solidly scathing, at its core. The Walking Dead is a critique of modern America. And somehow it has managed to fly completely under the radar of the vast majority of the people who watch it - delivering this critique to record breaking numbers of people for five years now.

I can't help but love and admire that kind of subversive political artwork.

Sunday 12 October 2014

Season 5 Predictions

I'm pushing this up before my Grand Thesis on the political angle of The Walking Dead, because I just haven't had time to edit that together.

So I thought it was important to at least go on record with my predictions for what we will be seeing go to air in a few hours time.

The Walking Dead - comic series

And now we come to the other millennial entry to zombie fiction, and the one that we are all here to talk about. 

Technically, this comic started coming out before Shaun of the Dead was released, so Kirkman gets to take credit for being the first to use zombies as a metaphor for our daily grind - but again, I'm fairly sure this is just a case of similar artists working in the same milieu, independently coming up with the same reflections on our world.

Millennial zombies: faster, stronger, and uncut

A new millennium, and with it new types of zombies. But the change in zombies from some sort of semi religious or sorcery based monster, was more than a move from the fantastical to the more sci-fi. It gave us zombies that were fit to become tools for political commentary in the modern age.

Friday 10 October 2014

The 80s and 90s

This decade or two (the "long 80s, as Josh Marsfelder would have it) is a bit of a dry period for politically aware zombie fans. There are one or two efforts of slightly higher quality, but mostly its a bit of a barren, exploitative consumerist wasteland.

Wednesday 8 October 2014


Well, you can't talk about the political use of zombies in film, without talking about George Romero. The man is a legend, and frankly the reason that the sub-genre even has a political slant, rather than simply being an exploitation medium.