Monday, November 29, 2010

The Walking Dead S1E5 (11/28/10)

For not having that much zombie-action - and yes, I confess to being on the side of the zombie-action proponents vs. the survivor-tales camp - I thought this was a good episode.

The remaining survivors clean up camp in the aftermath of last night's walker onslaught.  The zombies get pickaxes through the brainpan and then tossed on a bonfire; the pre-zombie dead humans get pickaxes through the brainpan and then buried.  There is some dissent that all the bodies should be burned, just in case, but Glenn is adamant that their people get treated with dignity, and Lori points out that burying their dead gives the living a chance to mourn. 

One person who is in full-on mourn mode is Andrea, crouched motionless over her dead sister's body.  The other survivors are getting antsy, knowing that dead Amy is a zombie time bomb just waiting to wake up and start chomping.  But when Rick tries to take Amy's body, Andrea shoves her gun - safety off this time - in his face and tells him to back the hell off.  The survivors give the sisters some space.  And when Amy jerks back to zombie life, Andrea strokes her face, tells her little sister that she loves her and puts a bullet in her poor dead brain.

Another issue is that Jim - he of the grave-digging dream - got bitten during the zombie fight.  Darryl thinks they need to pickaxe him ASAP but Rick thinks they need to try to save him.  Rick suggests that they go to the CDC, thinking that if anyone could have survived this zombie apocalypse and possibly have any sort of treatment, it would be there.  Shane thinks they should go to Fort Benning instead: even though it's farther away, the military base should be well-defended.  There is quite a bit of tension between the group's two alpha males but in the end Shane caves and they head out for the CDC.  Rick leaves a note and a map for Morgan and his son: he's been trying to reach them on the walkie-talkie to warn them away from Atlanta but hasn't heard anything.

En route to the CDC, Jim gets worse and worse, finally asking the group to just leave him at the side of the road.  There is some discussion as to whether they should kill him so he doesn't zombify, but Lori points out that they should honor the dying man's wish and in the end they put him in the shade, say their goodbyes and leave him there.

Meanwhile, there is a lone survivor deep in the basement levels of the CDC ... and he's going a little nuts, being down there for 194 days.  He's been running tests on zombie tissue but a lab accident destroys the freshest specimens and he starts to despair, his taped log sounding more and more despondent.  One night, halfway through a bottle, he announces that he might blow his brains out the next day - he's undecided.  First, though, he's gonna get drunk.

Topside, the survivors have arrived at the CDC.  The grounds are littered with rotting, fly-infested bodies.  They pick their way through, only to find the CDC closed off behind blast doors.  Everyone starts to panic: they have no food, hardly any gasoline, it's nearly dark and the walkers are starting to stir.  From inside, the lab guy mutters for them to go away.  As Shane tries to drag Rick back to the vehicles, Rick sees movement from a CCTV camera.  He starts screaming, begging to be let in, saying that they'll die if they're not let in.  Finally, just as everyone is reaching meltdown, a blast door rolls up, flooding the ragged band of survivors with light.  Looks like they'll be inside for the night at least.

One nagging question: where the frack is Merle?

Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mini movie review: Idiocracy

One might think I would know better than to expect great things from a movie called Idiocracy.  Or even good things, really.  In all honesty, I really should have expected bad things - or at least really dumb things - from this movie.  Because that's what I got.

Starring Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph and Dax Shepard, the Mike Judge-penned and -helmed Idiocracy is supposed to be satire: Wilson and Rudolph are volunteers for a year-long government experiment in long-term hibernation, but are forgotten and reanimate 500 years in the future where everyone on the planet has devolved into morons.  Crops have failed, continents are giant dustbowls and the economy is in the tank.  Once the most average guy in the U.S. Army, Wilson now finds himself the smartest guy on Earth and tasked with saving it, in one week.

The movie starts sharply enough in its prologue, saying that smart people over-thought themselves out of existence (focusing on their careers before having children, trying to wait for just the right time, then waiting too long and being unable to have them) whilst the redneck dumbasses propagate like rabbits.  [Mr. Mouse looked at me at this point, saying: "This is kind of too close to reality, isn't it?"  Which was the whole point, really.]  But Idiocracy just gets dumber from there, relying on sightgags (i.e., Fuddruckers restaurant morphing over time into Buttf**kers) and lame sex jokes.  Maybe Mike Judge was getting meta - using the increasing stupidity of his movie to illuminate the increasing stupidity in the world around us - but it doesn't come off.  Idiocracy, plainly put, is pretty idiotic.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Yeah, yeah, no posts, whatever.  But I've got the last coupla episodes of Big Love S1 to watch/mini-recap for you and if I ever remember to get to the post office, Idiocracy is waiting for me there, and I'm about a third of the way through John Carpenter's They Live.  So stuff is forth-coming.  Now I have to go eat pumpkin pie, however, so you're on your own for just a little longer.

BTW: this whole Glee thing with the homophobic closeted football player?  Um, Buffy did that storyline like back in 1998 or 1999 already.  Just sayin'. 

Also just sayin': this rumored BtVS movie reboot?  Worst. Idea. Ever.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Walking Dead S1E4 (11/21/10)

Now, some folks have been complaining that TWD has slipped from its extremely strong pilot episode, slowing down, focusing on the human relationships and less on the [expensive, more difficult, etc.] zombie action.  As E4 started, with the two sisters in the canoe, fishing in the quarry (are there even fish in quarries?) and tearfully waxing nostalgic about learning to fish with their dad, I was all, maybe the naysayers are right: this is frickin' boring.  Then I kept watching the rest of the episode.

It's two-pronged, with the survivors at the campsite and the rescue-Merle-and-the-bag-of-guns crew.  Out at the campsite, one of the guys, Jim, whom he haven't heard from much thus far, is acting really weird.  He's out in the sun, frantically digging holes in the dirt.  The crew tries to get him to stop and when he won't, Shane tries to get him to hand over the shovel.  Jim takes a swing at Shane, who quickly drops him and handcuffs him and ties him to a tree in the shade.  Some time later, Jim has drunk some water and cooled off.  Shane asks him WTF was with the digging.  Jim says he had a reason - some after effect of a dream he had - but doesn't remember what it was now.  That evening, the gang enjoys some fresh fish and storytelling around the campfire.  Enjoys, that is, until a whole herd of ravenous, slavering zombies falls upon them.

Meanwhile, back in Atlanta, Rick, Glenn, Darryl and T-Dog try to track Merle, following the blood spatter from his self-amputated hand.  They follow the trail to a kitchen, where it becomes evident that Merle cauterized his wound with a hot iron and then scarpered out the window.  He could be anywhere, and likely really pissed off.  They decide to go after Rick's bag of guns instead: Glenn sets up a plan where he runs out to grab the guns while Darryl covers him from one alley and the other two men from another.  Darryl is grudgingly impressed (and thus begins Darryl's rehabilitation from loose-cannon asshole redneck to slightly less loose-cannon asshole redneck).  The plan goes pretty well until Glenn makes it back to Darryl's alley with the guns and a bunch of vatos jump them, trying to steal the guns.  Our guys fight them off and the vatos drive away, leaving one of their own behind but taking a shrieking Glenn with them.

Rick, Darryl and T-Dog arrange a trade with Guillermo, leader of this apparent gang but all is not quite as it seems.  Guillermo is tough, but not the bad ass he purports to be: he and his crew have holed up at an old folks' home, taking care of the elderly patients who were abandoned when the zombie apocalypse hit.  One of the gang members is actually a nurse; Guillermo used to be the janitor.  Touched by Guillermo's loyalty to these helpless old folks, Rick leaves a bunch of guns and ammunition with the vatos.  However, when Rick et als. return to where they left their van, it's missing.  Who could have taken it?  Why, Merle, of course, and he could wreak all kinds of hellfire down on the campsite.  The guys shoulder their guns and hoof it for the hills.

Rick's party gets back to camp just in time to help demolish the marauding zombies, but not before heavy casualties are taken.  The battle is quite amazing for cable television: there are full-splatter head shots galore plus many, many instances of zombies taking large and bloody mouthfuls out of their prey.  It's awesome.  And in the end, it leaves the much-diminished band of survivors reeling.

Afterwards Jim stands there, axe handle dripping grue on the ground, and says to no one in particular: "Oh.  Now I remember my dream."

Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Movie review: In Bruges

On the plus side, last night Mr. Mouse stayed awake for the whole 107 minutes of In Bruges, despite his stated preference for 90 minute movies.  On the minus side, this morning he announced: "The more I think about that movie, the less I like it."  I still liked it twelve hours on, but it wasn't what I expected.

In the wake of a badly botched hit, two Irish hitmen (Colin Farrell as "Ray" and Brendan Gleeson as "Ken") are sent by their boss Harry (a lunatic Ralph Fiennes) to hide out in Bruges, Belgium for a while.  Ken is instantly enamored of the beautiful, old town, dragging a reluctant and twitchy Ray all over the place to see the sights.  Ray is not impressed.  He thinks Bruges is a "shithole," and refuses to be charmed by its ancient and picturesque stone buildings, canals and bridges.  He does like the pretty Belgian girl he meets in the town square, however, and she helps take his mind off the fact that he's stranded in a town he hates.  For a little while, anyway.  It was his error that screwed up the hit and it weighs heavily on him.  Things get complicated when Harry comes to town and the last twenty minutes or so of the movie are full of gunshots, spurting blood and dead bodies.

The blurb on the DVD mailer called In Bruges an "action-comedy."   The Mouses take issue with that descriptor since (1) much of the film is quite slowly paced, full of dialogue and loving shots of the gorgeous architecture of Bruges and (2) whilst some of the dialogue (when you can understand it: Farrell gets to use his real Irish accent here and speaks really quickly) is quite funny, the movie itself is NOT, and ends rather grimly in fact.  It's a very pretty film, a postcard to Bruges, and Farrell is very good in his role.  But when someone says "action-comedy" I think Hot Fuzz or a Lethal Weapon, and In Bruges is not one of those.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Titles Nine - #10 -- Utah edition

It's another fascinating installment of the FMS series, "Titles Nine," whereby I go to my many bookshelves and pick out nine volumes to share with you, my faithful reader[s].  In our explorations of Utah since we've moved out here (and the two vacation trips), we've relied on a number of sources of information: word of mouth, newspaper articles and, mostly, guidebooks. Here's what our Utah-centric library looks like right now:

  • The Historical Guide to Utah Ghost Towns by Stephen L. Carr
  • Insider's Guide to Salt Lake City (4th edition, but a treasure trove of information regardless)
  • Frommer's Utah (a going-away present from a dear coworker)
  • Moon Handbooks - Utah (found in a used bookstore and not that helpful because it's old)
  • 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles - Salt Lake City by Greg Witt (we've done so many of these that we're wishing there was a volume 2, 60 More Hikes Within 60 Miles)
  • Hiking the Wasatch by John Veranth (not quite as detailed as 60 Hikes)
  • Roadside History of Utah by Cynthia Larsen Bennett
  • Best Easy Day Hikes: Canyonlands and Arches by Bill Schneider (2nd ed., a Falcon Guide booklet
  • and two Pocket Naturalist pamphlets, Utah Trees and Wildflowers; and Utah Birds

















 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Walking Dead S1E3 (11/14/10)

Episode 3 opens back up on the rooftop, Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) alternately pleading with and cussing out God for his predicament.  As the zombies try to squeeze through the chained and padlocked door, snarling and drooling and hungry for Merle's live flesh, he tries to catch hold of a hacksaw with his belt, hoping to cut himself free before the walkers get to him.

At the survivors' camp outside city limits, everyone tries to go about their daily chores - haircuts, collecting firewood, cooking - without worrying too much that the raiding party hasn't made it back yet.  Soon enough the raiders return.  Rick sees his old partner Shane first, then catches sight of his family.  Carl flings himself into his dad's arms; a stunned Lori quickly follows suit.  After a couple of moments, Rick pulls Shane into the group hug.  Cuckold and cuckolder together!

After the reunions, talk quickly turns to having left Merle behind - as in, who's going to 'fess up to his little brother Darryl.  Rick is wracked with guilt at having abandoned a livng human (completely without irony at the same sort of thing (yes, same but different) having been done to him when he was comatose in the hospital).  Darryl gets back from hunting - with only a brace of squirrels since the deer he wounded wandered off and was bloodily eaten by an itinerant zombie (who is soon brutally bludgeoned to bits by the male survivors) - and the raiding party tells him what they did to his "douchebag" brother (Shane's words, not mine.).  They also plan to go back to rescue Merle in the morning: Rick, Darryl, Glenn and T-Dog, guilty at having dropped the handcuff key.

The next day Lori is not pleased at potentially losing Rick again after having just found him and she takes it out on Shane, telling him to stay the hell away from her and her family.  He gives her a hurt look, to which she snarls, "You told me he was dead, you sonofabitch."

While this is going on, at the other side of the quarry (located below the survivors' campsite and their source of fresh water), the other women in the group are doing the group's laundry, complaining about the current division of labor.  The menfolk have to watch for the zombies, you see, and can't be bothered with laundry.  There's some laughter too, though, as the women joke about what they miss from their previous lives: texting, coffeemakers, their vibrators.  Then Carol's husband, Ed (?), interrupts their fun with some rude, then sexist, then abusive comments.  The women get agitated and then Ed punches his wife in the face.  Now Shane charges over and beats the everloving bloody hell out of Ed, channeling all his frustration over the Lori-situation into Ed's face.  Shane shouts that if Ed ever tries that again, he'll gladly beat him to death.  By the looks on their faces, the watching women believe him.

Meanwhile, the erstwhile rescue party gets back to the department store roof without incident.  There is one problem, however: Merle is gone.  He managed to reach the hacksaw but ended up pulling an Aron Ralston instead of sawing through the cuffs: his severed hand is all that is there for the rescuers to find.

Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Random Weekend Musings

Wow.  When I ceased and desisted on the FEFMSSOMS, I didn't actually mean to cease and desist the posting entirely - sorry.  I've been doing stuff, like watching the whole fourth season of Dexter (John Lithgow = awesome), keeping up with Hawaii Five-O (lame) and The Event (lamer), baking chocolate cakes and homemade dog biscuits, raking leaves and getting my photo taken for my season ski pass.  None of which translates to anything postable here, really. 

Well, I suppose I could have recapped Dexter but [here comes the excuse] I was knocking off the episodes really quickly so I could return the DVDs to the girl at work who loaned them to me, and staying up WAY too late to do so.  Recapping just wasn't feasible.  But this was a stronger season that recent ones, I thought.  I still like S1 best, when Dex was new and crazy and we weren't sure if we were actually supposed to root for him.  I'll put S4 as my second favorite season, on the strength of Lithgow's performance; then S2, with that crazy English chick that no one really liked; then S3 as the worst season becaus Jimmy Smits was just so awful with all his scenery-chomping histrionics.  The series is still pretty good but I am concerned about the gradual domesticating and taming of its anti-hero.  We'll see, I guess.

Actually, this post was SUPPOSED to be a review of In Bruges but due to the lame-ass DVD that Blockbuster.com sent me, we didn't get to watch it.  Instead, we saw The House Bunny, which I actually saw in theaters (review here) but Mr. Mouse had never seen.  It didn't hold up as well on the second viewing, frankly. 

That's it for now.  Looking forward to The Walking Dead tonight and will have a mini-recap up as soon as possible afterwards.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Walking Dead - S1E2 (11/7/10)

Lest we think better of them, and forget with whom our sympathies are supposed to lie (i.e., the not dead husband/partner), S2 starts off with Shane and Lori sneaking off into the woods for some nookie.  She takes off Rick's wedding ring, which she wears on a chain around her neck; he flips her over and takes her from behind.

Meanwhile, Rick takes advantage of the zombies' horsemeat feeding frenzy and jumps out of the tank.  He runs to a nearby alley where Glenn, the kid who called him a cozy tank-hiding dumbass, ushers him into a department store.  There are five other survivors there with Glenn - two women, three men - they've ventured into Atlanta for supplies.  From the department store rooftop, the group alternately watches the city streets swarm with zombies and bickers among themselves.  The bickering gets ugly when the Racist Redneck, played by Michael Rooker so you just know he's going to be extra nasty, starts beating the crap out of the black guy ... basically because he's a black guy.  Rick settles things down by punching Rooker out and handcuffing him to a pipe.

The rest of the episode involves this group of survivors trying to get back out of Atlanta.  First they try to go through the sewers, but it's a no-go as there are too many starving, rat-gnawing zombies down there.  They're frustrated - and getting scared since the swarm of zombies is close to breaking into the department store after them - until Rick gets the clever idea to slather themselves in zombie guts, so they smell like dead people, not living ones.  He and Glenn chop up a zombie and coat themselves in entrails (the intestines wrapped around their necks like scarves are a nice touch), then stagger down the street towards a getaway vehicle.  They almost get chomped when a passing rainstorm washes them clean, but they manage to nab a box truck in time, returning to the department store to pick up the other survivors.

Except for Michael Rooker.  He's been left behind, still cuffed to the roof because the black guy lost the handcuff key that Rick gave him for safe-keeping.  It really was an accident, but everyone gets disapproving and judgey when they hear what happened.  It's too dangerous to go back now, however, so they leave Rooker up there to starve to death and/or get eaten by zombies, and haul ass on out of Atlanta, heading back to the group's camp ... where the adulterous Shane and Lori are about to get a helluva big surprise.

Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The First Ever FMS Scarelicious [October] Movie Series - Movie #15: The Crazies (2010)

Ah, the final film for the FEFMSCOMS: the 2010 remake of George Romero's The Crazies.  I'm going to classify this one in the zombie category: even tho' the infected folk aren't dead, they're still significantly altered in zombie-ish ways a la 28 Days Later

SPOILERS AHEAD: In a nutshell, when the residents of a teeny Iowa (?) town start acting strange - like burning their families alive inside their home and then mowing the lawn in a stupor while the fire rages - Sheriff David (the lovely, lovely Timothy Olyphant), his wife Judy (Radha Mitchell) and Deputy Russell (Joe Anderson - just great (and British in real life - who knew!) (also, he was in The Ruins which I totally didn't remember)) decide to investigate.  A military plane, carrying a biological weapon to be destroyed, has gone down in the town's water supply.  Designed to "destabilize a population," the bio weapon wreaks havoc on Sheriff Dave's friends and neighbors, causing veins to swell and pop, and ramping up their natural aggression to unnatural levels.  It's not quite as extreme as the 28 Days Later rage virus - as in the townsfolk do not tear each other apart with their teeth - but it's damn bad anyway.  To make it worse, the military arrives to contain the infection.  And by "contain the infection" I mean "kill everyone in town."

It's pretty clear that the military/government is meant to be the bigger bad guys than the crazies.  It wasn't the crazies' fault - it was the government's - and instead of helping these poor people, the military are just covering their asses by eradicating not only the threat, but the witnesses.  This was the political statement being made by Romero in the original (which I have not yet seen); the remake sticks to the playbook.

The Crazies is an okay horror movie, kind of average, nothing special.  The acting is solid - I really liked that Joe Anderson a lot - and the writing is fine; the gore-osity is a little light, devolving into a shoot-fest that is more action and less horror once the military arrives.  That being said, the best scene in the whole movie, and one of the better scenes I've seen in a horror film in quite some time, is the car-wash scene.  It's AWESOME and I'm not going to tell you anything about it because it deserves to be seen, not read about.  Car-washes sort of wigged me out before I saw The Crazies - I'm going to be a nervous wreck in 'em now.

*               *                *             *             *

So there you have it: fifteen scary movies in a row, celebrating (and extending) the season.  It's been a lot of fun.  Mr. Mouse is appalled at how much I've come to like horror movies but I've been really impressed with the quality and depth of the genre.  I'm going to take a little break from the scare fest and watch some other stuff, but not to worry: my movie queue is stuffed full of fright flicks and I won't abandon them for long.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The First Ever FMS Scarelicious [October] Movie Series - Movie #14: Event Horizon

1997's Event Horizon is a pretty good science fiction/horror movie that starts strong but lost me a little with the histrionics towards the end. 

Set in 2047, the Lewis and Clark is a search-and-rescue ship, heading out past Neptune to find the lost Event Horizon, an experimental spacecraft that disappeared in 2040.  The crew finds the EH, adrift and alone but still fully functional; they also find what appears to be the remains of the crew splattered all over the walls of the ship's bridge.  After some investigation, it appears that the experimental engine - which uses moviescifiscienceystuff to basically fold space/time for instantaneous space travel - took the ship to another dimension ... and brought back a dark passenger.  The rescue crew starts to hallucinate/experience really bizarre and bloody stuff and it is clear that the Event Horizon has no intention of letting them escape back home.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson assembled a really strong cast (Lawrence Fishburne, San Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Sean Pertwee, etc.) but unfortunately ignores half of them, focusing on Fishburne, Neill and Quinlan.  Jones and Pertwee are stuck outside for the bulk of the movie, trying to fix their space ship, while Richardson simply disappears for a good half hour, only to reappear not particularly worse for wear, for the end.  Perhaps these folks are the victims of rigorous editing - EH is only 95 minutes long - or maybe the filmmakers just couldn't be bothered to keep up with all their cast.  It may be just as well: Jones's character is more caricature than anything else.

Event Horizon starts off really strong - moody, atmospheric, creepy as hell.  The hallucinations/visions are grim and grotesque and the icky effects are good.  But I lost a little patience with the movie when Sam Neill's character turned into a possessed Pinhead without the pins and started ranting about hell dimensions ... give me scary space movies with aliens or people just going nuts from being out in the black, but spare me the rushed metaphysics.  It's a decent enough scary movie but won't move into my list of favorites.

Next (and last for the Scarelicious series): The Crazies, version 2.0.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Intermission

Despite this short hiatus (during which I have been going out to dinner with friends; and also watching the fourth season of Dexter), and despite it actually being November now, I declare that the First Ever FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series is not quite over. 

Thus far we've seen zombies of the rage, Nazi, Spanish, space slug-induced and regular varieties; aliens both dog-splitting and sternum-splitting; traditional slashers; zombie-causing porcupine fungus monsters; giant carnivorous burrowing cicadas; supernatural wolves and however you would classify Phantasm ... I think we need a couple more.  Like The Crazies (new version) and Event Horizon - neither of which I've seen before but both of which I'm looking forward to with great excitement.  So stay tuned - the happy horror-fest ain't done yet!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch another Dexter.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Walking Dead – S1E1 (10/31/10, on AMC)

Season 1, Episode 1 of The Walking Dead:

Rick, a sheriff’s deputy, upon waking up from a gunshot-induced coma of indeterminate length, discovers that Georgia (or possibly the U.S.A. or even the world) has been decimated by the inevitable zombie apocalypse, รก la 28 Days Later. Rick does not take this revelation with quite as much aplomb as Jim did in 28DL, making his stupefied, stumbling way back to his home in search of his family, wife Laurie and son Carl. Luckily, he does not get eaten in his complete obliviousness to what is going on.

Also luckily, he meets a father and son who are hovering in limbo in Rick’s town, unable to move on after the recent zombification of their wife/mother. They feed him and bring him up to speed on the “walker” situation – mostly, don’t get bitten as the resulting fever will kill you … but not for long. They also tell him that apparently Atlanta is a safe haven, with military protection and the Centers for Disease Control. (Anyone who has ever read The Stand probably suspects that the zombie problem started at the CDC.) Rick takes them to the sheriff’s department where all three get a much-appreciated hot shower (thanks to the department’s stand-alone propane boiler), as well as stocking up on firearms and ammunition. Then Rick heads off to Atlanta, looking for his family, and the father and son tragically try to work up the courage to put their zombie wife/mother down.

When his car runs out of gas, Rick liberates a horse from an abandoned farm and rides off into the sunset. Atlanta is teeming with zombies, however: the horse gets eaten and Rick takes refuge in a derelict tank. About to kill himself in despair and desperation, he stops when he hears a voice over the tank’s radio: “Hey, dumbass! You in the tank – cozy in there?”

Meanwhile, a small group of survivors has set up camp a ways outside of Atlanta, running a CB radio on a battery to try to contact other survivors. The leader of this little band is Rick’s former partner, Shane, and he is determined to keep everyone together and safe. Also in this group: Laurie and Carl. And they apparently think Rick is dead, because when Shane puts a liplock on Laurie, she doesn’t fight him off - at all.  Makes me wonder how long ol' Rick was in that coma.

I thought this first episode of The Walking Dead was awesome! The zombie makeup/gore is just outstanding and the story is both compelling and heart-rending (of note: Rick’s sobs in his empty house and the father trying to shoot his zombie wife). The accents are a little iffy – both Rick and Shane are clearly not true Southern boys – and I hope they don’t spend very much time on this love triangle with Rick/Laurie/Shane. But I think this is another fantastic show from AMC and a great start. And not a moment too soon: I was beginning to despair of this whole television season!

Next time on The Walking Dead