March 31, 2013

Million Dollar Zombie 3-1

[...Posted by Ted H]

You know how freakin impossible it is to write when you're suppose to be watching your 1 year old nephew and he won't stop crying unless you hold him...but now you're trying to type with one arm while holding a child in the other while he keeps trying to slam his little hands down as hard as he can on your keyboard........this is why I shall remain childless...


Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway, I was originally planning to do a mock-bible write-up for Easter, but then some shit went down around here and I found myself with no time to attempt such a task. The effort required was too great to do at the last minute, so I guess I'll just shelf the idea for a year. If you must know-it involved Jesus pissing off God big time, fist-fighting Satan, and fighting zombies with the apostles. I know everyone's pants just got real moist at that preview, but you're going to have to contain yourself until next year.

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[Million Dollar Zombie 3-1]


            "Noooooooo!" Marko screamed as the taillights of Jacks truck disappeared into the storm. "You fucking bastards!" he screamed as some zombies who were blindly following the truck turned towards the screaming. "Shut the fuck up," Ted said as he aimed his gun at the zombies already closing in "We need a new plan. We can't stay here."
           "We run after them. They have to turn back, right?" Marko suggested. Ted was about to respond as a scream grabbed their attention. Both men exchanged an "Oh shit" look before running towards Jay, who was trying to push off zombies as more shuffled over. One had a hold of his leg as it continuously bit into him while another had a grip on his shoulder, keeping Jay from pushing it too far away.
            Ted rushed over and grabbed the zombie on his shoulder and easily tossed him aside while Marko shot the other one in the head. "Give me the gun and grab him," Ted shouted as Marko handed over his gun and helped Jay up. He couldn't put any weight on his right leg so Marko had to shoulder him.
            "We won't last ten minutes out here," Ted shouted as they slowly moved out, Ted shooting a few zombies to clear a path. "We're not leaving Jay behind," Marko barked. Ted made a face as he looked out in the direction of Cazenovia. "We head for the town," he finally shouted "Find somewhere safe to hold up. Move!"
            The three made their way towards the town, carefully weaving their way through the closing hoard. Jay balled his hood up around his left shoulder to cover the bite wound while he gritted through the pain radiating from the devoured remains of his right calf. He knew Jerry had done all he could before running. If he stayed any longer, he probably would've lost out on his chance to escape. Jay wondered if Ted and Marko were carelessly throwing away their chance to escape by staying to help.
            They had gotten ahead of the main mob, but main street still had a few dozen scattered about, and the snow was letting up, exposing them all the more. "What's the plan?" Marko asked. "My old apartment," Ted said "End of this block we turn and-"
            "I don't suppose your landlord let you keep the keys," Marko interrupted.
            "We'll improvise," Ted said as he sidestepped a lunging zombie. He didn't want to attract more with gunfire, but that was too close so the next one that came in Ted fired. "They're too many!" Jay cried out as their progress was all but halted by an incoming horde, almost shoulder to shoulder. Ted shot a couple hoping to create a hole in the approaching wall as more undead approached from behind.
            They backed up towards a jewelry store. The window in front was cracked but didn't look like it could be broken open with the means anyone had on them. Marko dropped Jay near the door while Ted aimed and fired into the closing crowd. Marko ran up and kicked into the door but it didn't budge. "It's bolted or something!" Ted said without turning. "Then I just need to kick harder!" Marko shouted as he tried again "We don't have much choice!"
            "Down to one!" Ted yelled as one of his guns clicked empty while Marko made a failed third attempt to open the door. "I'm so sorry guys," Jay said as he buried his head in his hands then almost jumped at the sound of a booming gunshot that felt like it was right next to him.
            "This way!" Someone yelled as they appeared from a door to the left of the jewelry store. They held up a rifle and fired again into the horde. Ted and Marko both grabbed Jay and dragged him to the door. The man followed them and closed it. The door had a large center window that was covered with a nailed board on the inside.
            They entered into a cramped stairway that led to two doors on the second floor. One of those doors were boarded up with a red x painted on the outside. The man began walking up the steps. "Get away from the door," he said as the door to the street began to shake from pounds from outside. "Will that hold?" Marko asked. "It has so far," the man said "But if you want to stay and find out if it survives this assault..."
            Ted pocketed both guns and helped Marko shoulder Jay as they began up the stairs, every step gave off an uncomfortably loud creak as they progressed. "You know this guy?" Marko asked as Ted shook his head. When they reached the top, Ted looked at the boarded up door and listened. "There's something in there," he said. "Living or dead?" Marko asked.
            "Stay away from that door, too," the man said as he stood by his own door and motioned everyone in. As soon as they were through, he closed the door and began pushing a couch in front of the door. Ted helped while Marko brought Jay into the kitchen. "Thanks, by the way," Ted said as the man nodded and slung his rifle around his back. "The others are inside. Grab your friends and head on in."
            Ted walked into the kitchen to find Jay on the ground holding a wad of paper towels on his leg bite. Marko was digging in the cabinets looking for anything he could use to dress Jay's wounds. "How bad?" Ted asked. "Hurts like a bitch," Jay responded "And the bleeding won't stop." Jay's hood was soaking through and stuck on his shoulder. He made no attempt to move it.
            "Better than nothing," Marko said as he pulled out a large rag and began tearing it up. "How'd that guy find us anyway?" Jay asked as he tossed the bloody wad aside and shoved a new one in before tying it down. "Shooting guns right outside his window might have something to do with it," Ted said "And there are more people here."
            "Can we trust any of them?" Marko asked as he dropped the last of the rag down to Jay. "I trust anything that's not trying to eat me," Jay said as he finished up and pocketed the remaining rag. "Just let me do the talking," Ted said as they helped Jay up and walked out and towards the living room.
            The apartment as a whole wasn't spacious. From the door they entered in was a hallway leading to bedrooms in back. The main living area was divided by a mess of boxes, leaving only a narrow path from the kitchen to the front of the apartment where three men were waiting. One was peering out the window in the corner, another was laid out on a couch drinking a beer. The one with the gun was standing nearby, arms folded, and cleared his throat when Ted and company arrived.
            "I'm Doc," the man said "That's Ryan by the window and John's getting drunk." Ryan barely looked over from the window, taking more care to spy on the horde just outside. John nodded to the men but seemed too inebriated to care beyond that.  Jay was let off onto the couch and Marko stood in front of him. "I'm Ted. That's Marko and Jay is on the couch," Ted said as Doc tried to look around Marko at Jay. "What's wrong with your friend?" he asked.
            "Ankle," Jay said quickly as he slunk down in his seat. His entire coat was wet from the melted snow and his pants were covered in mud which helped to conceal the parts that were soaked with blood. "I took a nasty fall out there."
            "What were you even doing out there?" Doc asked. "Well..." Marko started but Ted cut in "Trying to get out," he said.
            "There's no getting out," Doc said.

            "No harm in trying."
            "Your friend's hurt and you almost got eaten."
            "Either get out or wait to die. So what if we almost expedited or deaths?"
            "Help will come. We just need to last long enough."
            Ted looked over to Marko who clenched his jaw but said nothing. "Help isn't coming," Ted said. "People will come," Doc said as Marko sighed "It's been long enough, some sort of rescue should be here soon."

            "No..." Ted started "It...Help would have been here by now."
            "What if we work together?" Ryan asked from the window "Six of us together might stand a chance."
            "We'll be swarmed in seconds," Doc countered.
            "We've got more guns," Ryan said as he finally turned away from the window "That guy is right, help would have been here by now."

            "What would the holdup be?" Doc asked.
            "It's the fucking zombie apocalypse," Ted said "A quarantine is blocking anyone from getting in...probably."
            "So we just need to make it to wherever this quarantine ends and a bunch of armed mother fuckers with help us out," Ryan said as he looked back out the window.
            "Sounds like a plan," Doc said as he turned to Ted. "How much ammo do you guys have left?"

            "Not much," Marko said "But it's not like we're gonna find more, so we might as well try."
            "Alright," Doc said "Then we'll just have to-"

            "This guy's bleeding all over the place," John said.
            Everyone's attention turned to John and Jay on the couch, and the puddle of blood that was on the ground by Jay. "It's ok...really," Jay said as John jumped back on the couch. "He's bit!" he screamed "Holy shit, Doc, you let one of those things in!" Doc readied his rifle as Ted and Marko stepped into his line of sight. "Let's not do anything rash," Ted said as Doc raised his rifle and said "Get out of the way."
            "We're not gonna let you do this," Ted said as John jumped off the back of the couch to get away. "I'm...I'm not...I feel fine," Jay stammered as he braced himself in his seat. "This isn't up for debate," Doc said as he leveled his gun.
            "What did I say?" Ryan shouted from the window "They're probably infected. They'll get us all killed." Ted pulled out both guns. "Shut the fuck up or I'll send you out that window," he shouted to Ryan. "Get him up," he said to Marko "And stay behind me."
            John made a movement towards Marko when Ted aimed one gun at him and the other at Doc. "I think it's time we left," he said as Marko helped Jay up and they backed their way to the door. "You can't go that way," Doc said, keeping his rifle pointed at Ted as they moved "You'll just let everything outside in."
            "Well they can't stay here," Ryan protested "At least not alive." Ted shot Ryan a look. "I'm not telling you again," he said. "I'm not killing anyone I don't have to," Doc said "There's another way out." He lowered his rifle as Ted lowered one of his guns but kept the other trained on John. "A back staircase?" Marko asked. "Not exactly," Doc said as he walked back towards the kitchen.

            Doc led everyone back to the kitchen, doing his best to ignore the pool of Jay left from before, and opened a small window in the back. Cold air blew in as Marko moved up and peered out the window. "We're on the second floor, how are we getting down?" he asked. "There's a drain pipe near the window," Doc said "It's pretty sturdy and it goes straight down. I've used it a couple times myself. Those things don't dwell back here unless something grabs their attention so be quick, wherever it is you're going now."
            Jay flashed Marko a worried look as Ted moved up and stuck his head out the window. "Nothing out there I can see," he said as he pulled himself back inside and looked to Marko "You first. I'll cover you if there's trouble."
            "What about-" Jay started but Ted cut him off. "Once you get a hold on the pipe, we'll try to get Jay onto your back." Marko made an uncomfortable look but said nothing. "C'mon," Ted said "You rock climb all the time. This isn't any different." Marko sighed. "I'll have an injured person on my back and going in the wrong direction," he protested "It's nothing like rock climbing. How about you carry and I'll cover."
            "Can you get Jay out the window and onto me without dropping?" Ted asked and Marko shrugged. "Anyone else ant to help us?" he asked towards the others to find that only Doc was watching them and he was keeping his distance. "Fine," Marko said annoyed as he climbed into the window and reached for the pipe. "Got it," he said as he swung himself out and waited. "You're up," Ted said as he helped Jay to the window. Jay steadied on his good leg in the window as Marko extended his arm.
            "Hold on tight, Marko," Ted said as he patted Jay on the back. "I got you," he said as Jay let go of the window and reached his other arm out and half jumped to Marko. He swore as he crashed into the other man and wrapped his arms around him. Marko maintained his hold on the pipe. "So far so good," Ted said. "Not dead yet," Jay said sarcastically as Marko began to work his way down the pipe, grunting the whole time. "Keep it down," Ted said. "I'm gonna punch him," Marko said under his breath."
            "Still looks clear," Ted said as he scanned the surrounding area outside "Guess we made enough commotion on the other side to draw everyone's attention." Doc remained silent.
            "Look," Ted said turning away from the window "I kinda get why you're doing what you're doing. And we appreciate it over things turning into a shootout back there."
            "I might need the bullets," Doc finally said.

            "Yeah...well, whatever. Thanks anyway. I didn't want to waste a bullet on either of your friends, so I guess we'll call it even."
            "Ryan isn't going to stop bitching about helping you guys to begin with now."
            "I take it he wasn't too keen on you rescuing us earlier, huh?"
            "We voted on it when we first heard you guys. I was the only one in favor of helping you."
            "Wow...uh...so if you were in the minority..."
            "I was also the only one with the gun."
            "Well thanks again."
            "When your friend does die...and assuming that neither you or your other friend get-"
            "Jay isn't dying anytime soon. But we'll be in touch...maybe."
            "I don't need you lingering around-"
            "No, no, you see? Check this out," Ted said as he pointed out the window towards the rear of a block of buildings nearby. "Behind the dumpsters, second story. See those windows?" Doc looked out and nodded. "That's where we'll be...maybe," Ted said as he checked to see that Marko had reached the bottom of the pipe and was letting Jay off.

March 24, 2013

Million Dollar Zombie 2-2

[...Posted by Ted H]

...Personally, my favorite part is always when I get to write where a situation irreversibly hits the fans in a big way.

BGI is taxing me for some reason. Apparently transferring v2 and making it all coherent in v3 involves a bit more effort than I wanted. Writing Ted and Aaron hanging out before it all went down was fun...Kristen getting killed by zombies was a blast...D talking to his superiors and worrying about his task at hand came easy as well, but none of that happened in any prior version. Ted dicking around with an electric fence and the other two major characters he encounters on the way back to the school both were in the previous version and are the ones taking me the longest. Those parts are slow but once the story proper gets rolling I'll be able to pound out v3 much more efficiently. For now I just need to drop my head and plow through. I just need everyone to get back into the school, then I can do this much easier.

Until then we have our other story where 5 greedy jackasses are getting attacked by the undead...
...And Anthony's story about a guy (Chinese? I'm only saying because he ate a cat and my brain can't help itself) in a different apocalypse, which is very good so far (And you can trust that endorsement because the voices in my head don't praise all that much)

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[Million Dollar Zombie 2-2]


            The snow had stopped, but the others were too far ahead for Jack to see. He got out anyway since he wanted a cigarette. It had been snowing hard for a while but thanks to the wind, little actually stuck to the truck. Still, it would pick up again and Jack didn't feel like busting out a snowbrush in the middle of a alleged zombie attack. Just to be safe, he reached back into the truck and retrieved a brush alongside his dads magnum that he "borrowed" for the little adventure.

            He quickly brushed the light snow off of the side windows as he made a circle around his truck. "Done and done," he said as he tossed the brush into the truck bed, then quickly stopped to listen. He thought he could hear shuffled footsteps. "Fucking crazy," he said as he approached the door. The snow was still out of the way but there were no streetlights on or anything to give much visibility.

            Jack reached in and turned his lights on to reveal a half dozen stumbling figures approaching. "Oh...That...That can't be..." Jack started but stopped when the closest of the approaching figures let out a long moan and reached out. "Yup, time to go," he said as he jumped back into the truck and fired up the engine. He knew the plan was to sit in the dark quietly and let the others lead back a zombie, but the zombies found him and he was going to make a change to the plan.

            Jack shifted gears and backed the truck around again. The first of the undead had just reached the truck when he shifted into drive and drove off after the others. The storm was picking up again as the hoard of six grew larger and together they marched after the truck.

 *******

            "Alright," Marko said as he aimed his gun at the approaching people "What now?" Jerry was at a loss for words and could only stare at the approaching. None of them were dressed for the weather and their faces looked pale and discolored. Some were partially devoured in places and all were covered in blood, especially around the mouth. All of them groped the air in front of them as they encircled the men.

            "Jerry!" Ted screamed "Tell me you planned for this!"
            "I..."Jerry started but couldn't bring himself to focus anymore.
            "Jerry!" Ted screamed again as he grabbed the man by the shoulders and shook him. "Fuck it, we lost him."

            "You got a plan then?" Marko asked as Ted pulled the gun out of Jerry's hand, then pointed it at the closest approaching person.

            "STOP!" Ted barked out "I will shoot!" He fired a shot overhead to show the gun worked then pointed it back, but the approaching took no notice. "I'm warning you!" he yelled again as even more figures stepped out into view. Ted hesitated a moment longer before he pulled the trigger again and put a round right through their head. The persons head knocked back as they slowly fell over and didn't move again.

            "Holy..." Jay started and pointed his camera but stopped himself, unsure if he wanted a picture of what just happened "This...It's real..." The gunshot snapped Jerry out of his own head as looked at all the other approaching continue on unfazed from the headshot. "They don't even care," Jay called out.

            "Back to the truck!" Ted yelled as the storm strengthened "Shoot a path, Marko!" Ted and Marko led the way as they shot the closest in their way, Jerry and Jay stayed close behind. Jay held up a moment to get one more picture as the undead converged where they were standing before, then he took off after the others. They had just run into the intersection when headlights pierced through the storm and Jack drove in.

            "Look out!" Marko screamed as he and Ted dove forward and Jerry and Jay dove back just as Jack drove his truck between them. He then hit the brakes as slid to a stop. Without waiting, Jerry ran for the truck as Jack came out. "You guys ok?" he asked as Jerry ran up pointing to Jack's left. "Incoming!" he yelled as Jack turned to see a zombie approach.

            Jack immediately held up his magnum and yelled for it to stop. "They're real, just fucking blow it away!" Jerry screamed as Jack hesitated. Real or not, Jack had never fired a gun before and found it difficult to pull the trigger. "Jack!" Jerry screamed "Kill it!" Jack continued to wait, shaking his head as his aim waivered. "I'm...I'm just here to drive," he said to himself as Jerry pulled the gun from his hands.
            The zombie was close enough to reach out as Jerry pulled Jack back and extended his arm to aim. Jerry squeezed the trigger and the gun jerked out of his hand as the top of the zombie's head disappeared and it fell backwards. "Oh shit," Jack said as Jerry picked the gun up and pointed it at other approaching zombies. "Get that thing in the truck," Jerry said as he shot and missed at another zombie.
            Jack went to pick up the body and observed all the things wrong with it. The top of the head was the only injury the magnum caused but this man was defiantly dead long before. They were barefoot and only wearing jeans and a torn shirt. Where the shirt was torn, the man's chest had been torn into with skin missing all the way up to their face. Despite the wounds, only the head injury was yielding blood, and even that seemed to produce little in the way of liquid.
            "Come on, Jack!" Jerry screamed as he squeezed off another round; the shot striking a zombie in the chest, but otherwise doing nothing to deter it. Jack hesitated a moment, then grabbed the man by the remains of his shirt and pulled him up so he was sitting up. He then threw his arms under the corpse's and dragged it up. This wasn't supposed to be his job, prompting him to ask Jerry "Where are the others?"

*********

            Jack couldn't hear them over the storm, but Ted and Marko were only twenty feet away. After diving out of the way, they were quickly overtaken by zombies and they had to scramble away to avoid being eaten. They had taken temporary refuge on someone's front lawn.
            "How's your aim?" Marko asked as both men aimed into the closing zombies. "Paintball count?" Ted answered as Marko fired three shots and dropped two zombies. "Good enough," Marko said as he continued to fire.
            "I can't see Jerry," Ted said as he struggled to see through the storm then spun around and fired at the zombies who were coming in from behind.
            "We need to move!" Marko screamed as more zombies approached, forcing the two to retreat away from where the truck was. "Jerry!" Ted screamed before shoving his gun into a zombie's face and shooting.

 ***************

            "I need help, Jerry!" Jack yelled as he struggled to push the corpse over the top and into his truck-bed. Jerry fired off another shot, blowing through zombie's neck and severing its spinal cord. He quickly turned and grabbed the corpse by the belt and pulling up, helping Jack flip it into the truck. "Go go go!" he yelled as he fired a wide shot and sprinted to get to the other side.
            "Ted! Marko! We're leaving!" he screamed as Jack threw his door open to block some zombies and jump in. Jerry strained to listen for the others but could only hear gunfire that seemed to be so far away.
            "Help me!" someone else screamed, turning Jerry around as a cold sweat washed over him. He lost track of Jay, and unlike the others, he was alone and unarmed. Jerry took off to where he remembered diving away from before, shouldering away a zombie and knocking it over. Jay was on the ground and trying to kick two zombies off of him. Others were making their way to him as well as Jerry aimed and shot the head right off of one of the zombies on Jay. The body fell over on top of Jay as Jerry quickly aimed for the other and pulled the trigger, only to find the magnum was out of bullets.

 ************

            "We're going the wrong way!" Ted screamed as Marko reloaded his gun. "I know!" he screamed back as the approaching hoard kept pushing the two backwards "But what are we gonna do, ask them to let us through?" Ted and Marko continued to fire as they retreated back into the street but still in the wrong direction.
            "I'm out!" Ted yelled as he constantly pulled the trigger to no effect. "How is that possible?" Marko shouted as he fumbled a new clip out and tossed it over. Both had been conservative with their ammo; only taking sure headshots. It wasn't until later that Marko realized that when Ted took the gun from Jerry, he never bothered to take any of the spare ammo Jerry had on him.

            Marko had only one spare clip, and Jerry just screamed something inaudible from the truck. Whatever it was he was screaming, they needed to get back fast. "This is fucking ridiculous," Marko screamed as he fired two more shots "They're swarming from everywhere!"
            "We gotta risk it," Ted finally said as he took one final worried look at Marko, then charged into the hoard where it was thinner.

 ***************

            Jack had to push off a zombie that was pulling on his door, but he finally closed it. The engine still running from before, he shifted into reverse and drove to where he saw Jerry disappear to. Through the wall of falling snow he saw him, pushing a zombie away while trying to pull Jay out from under another zombie.
            "Holy shit," he breathed as he sat helplessly and watched as zombies began to pound at his door trying to get in. He watched as Jerry jumped back as he avoided a lunging zombie while the original zombie fell on top of Jay and bit into his shoulder. "No!" Jack screamed as Jerry kicked the zombie back off of Jay, while another crouched down behind Jay and grabbed his leg.

            Jerry wasn't going to give up though as more and more zombies began to pound on the truck while more approached Jerry and Jay. Jack realized, on top of the fact that he couldn't hear any more shooting from wherever Ted and Marko were, that if anyone was going to leave alive, they needed to leave now.
            Ted and Marko were gone, and it became pretty clear that Jerry wasn't going to be able to help Jay as the zombie bit right into his calf. Jack pushed his hand into the steering wheel, sounding the horn which grabbed the attention of everything, living and dead. With Jerry's attention, Jack waved furiously for him to get into the truck.

            "Come on you idiot, he ain't gonna make it!" he screamed as he beat the horn while Jerry made one final effort to pull Jay away but gave up when too many zombies got too close. Jack drove back a little to push some zombies off of the truck so Jerry could reach the passenger door.

            As soon as Jerry's door was shut, Jack shifted and sped out of the immediate area, knocking everything aside as he drove. "No!" Jerry screamed "What about Marko and Ted?"
            "I don't know where they were. I don't think they made it either," Jack said as he clenched the steering wheel.

            "We need to go back."

            "If I waited any longer, we die. If we go back now, we die."

            "We could've saved Jay."

            "He was fucked."

            "You don't know that!"

            "Jerry, do you even realize what just happened?"

            Jerry didn't say anything. "Yeah, you do," Jack said "And believe me, I do too. We can't go back. We shouldn't have even bothered."

March 17, 2013

Why LAND OF THE DEAD sucked pt.5

[...Posted by Ted H]

Oh. My. God. A new writer? This means I can actually slack off a bit and not rush anything out the door? Fuck yeah, baby. Welcome Anthony to the asylum club blog trap err...asylum.

Can't tell the difference between us? Well one way you can tell is I'm the one who keeps bitching about a bad movie (though this is the last part) before I return to regularly scheduled apocalyptic stories...though both of us seem to be covering our own variant of the end of days...
................or there's the fact that I point myself out at the beginning of every post I do [...with this retarded style]

As stated, this is the final part of my LotD hate-fest. I had this ready for a while and just wanted it out, plus I'm typing this on a Thursday, knowing full well I won't be able to do much writing until at least Sunday night. So rather than try to pound something out for either MDZ of BGIv3, Ill just wrap this saga up and give myself more time to trudge through the slow parts I've written myself into.

For the record: I found that I hate this movie all the more ever since I took the time to nitpick everything wrong with it. Things that I previously didn't notice/care about came to light as I progressed and made me resent Romero all the more for it. It just made me bitter at how much of a missed opportunity this was. I never thought that I'd ever sympathize with Star Wars fans in any way, but this movie was Romero's Phantom Menace.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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[Why LAND OF THE DEAD sucked pt.5]


Part 5: Challenge Pissing 

The long awaited follow-up to Romeros Dead trilogy, to the point where it was originally titled as "Twilight of the Dead", Land of the Dead did anything but live up to the hype. Hell, the only smart move at the end of the day seemed to be the re-title.

 Could this movie be salvaged? Tough call cuz I went back and watched the opening again. It presents a decent premise at the onset but it trips over itself with needless bullshit. Take away Dead Reckoning and you get a bit more even fight and reason to be fearful in the opening. While not vital, it would be a big fucking plus if Charlie wasn't a retard. If you want to keep him distinguished with the way his face was, fine, but making him retarded was overkill. Again, microcosm; trying too hard to get a theme and struggle across that it ends up looking dumb and pretentious.

 Let's make Charlie, not a retard, but maybe a bit more grizzled. His face looking like shit could signify the fact that he and Riley have been through a lot together during the zombie apocalypse without getting into too much detail. It also makes him more competent sounding. The movie makes him out to be somewhat important, when he was about as useful as the fat guy later on. He is to this movie what Jar-Jar was to the Star Wars prequels.

 As for Fiddlers Green, if you're going to present something seemingly invincible and then show how it falls, you need to give a more plausible downfall. The chain link fence falling in under 30 seconds? The river having absolutely no fortifications? The armed soldiers and Nazi security having absolutely no screen time after the undead breach FG, thus inferring that they had no prepared response in the event of zombies? Complete rubbish. Fiddlers Green was presented as a well established haven from the zombie apocalypse, and yet the zombies didn't even need to be halfway intelligent to infiltrate; any decent sized horde would waltz right through.

 Give us plausible cracks in the foundation of FG! Maybe the system keeping the electric fences working is slowly breaking down and you just don't have the resources to keep it up forever. How bout something happens to the river; it raises too high and starts breaking down the surrounding defenses (that should be in place) or it lowers granting easier access for outside threats. And if you're feeling daring enough: The never ending hordes of zombies are constantly outside the gates and the manpower required to keep them at bay forever is dwindling as are the supplies required for them to do their jobs.

 Hell, I mentioned earlier that Safe Haven was the less stupid variant of Fiddlers Green. For that place, it's protected on all sides by giant walls comprised of debris. The long term issue for that is there is no safe or intelligent way to perform the necessary maintenance on the walls from the outside. The defenses were constructed in a hurry as a last bastion for humanity at the onset of the zombie apocalypse. The penalty for such a desperate job is it slowly rots from the outside with no adequate way to repair.

 Safe Haven having a defense that is breaking down, and can only be patched and never really fixed, allows me (the author) to introduce zombie related tension to the city in a way that doesn't require any hand waving or the audience to have any suspension of disbelief.

 But you can change all that and still have one thing dragging down this movie in a big way. Let's go back to the central conflict in this movie, the main issue driving the humans. Cholo is threatening to shoot missiles at the Green and Riley is leading the charge to stop him because a lot of POOR people might get hurt. You know what's missing from that last sentence? Any mention of the living fucking dead!

 Take the missiles away and maybe we can save this thing. Maybe the driving force now can be that Cholo stole the tank and is holding the tank itself hostage. Maybe make it so that without the tank, the humans no longer have their trusty trump card against the zombies and any future (and already risky) ventures into the zombie wastelands for supplies become all the more dire and perhaps now impossible without Dead Reckoning. That may make a little sense, and at least put a little bit of the spotlight back on the zombies in this zombie movie.

 Now obviously something needs doing about the biggest gripe I have with this movie: The RICH and the POOR theme bullshit. I can maybe swallow the notion that there would be people who still honor the dollar in the zombie apocalypse, but my earlier question still stands: How are any of those RICH people making money? We see people running around and enjoying themselves in that mall, spending money and shit, but where is their revenue coming from?

 You want to have people be of a higher status in the zombie apocalypse? Then those people better be doing something to earn that status. I'm talking about doctors, farmers, military tacticians, construction and scientists. People who have valuable skills for a post-apocalyptic setting could reap the higher status of their skills. People with useless skills: retail, lawyers, certain politicians and sports can all take their useless trades and chill out as the poor class. Notice how those group types, when compared against social norms, are now jumbled? I know, right?

This restructured social ladder would also harbor less resentment all around. People will treat the farmers and doctors with higher respect because they are offering indispensable knowledge and skills for the undead world. Lawyers will be looked down upon mostly because hey, who gives a fuck now? You want to be of a higher status? Learn how to grow and process grain or maybe learn how to properly plan and construct a building. There will be no stigma of being "the wrong kind" because the only wrong kind is "useless" and only effort, not money or heritage, will change that.

 The evolution garbage that I am expected to swallow doesn't need much explaining at this point as to why it's just plain wrong. But if one insists that it remain, then this movie can still work despite the ill advised concept. It just requires that most if not all of my earlier suggestions be implemented.

 Can we make a better version?
The challenge: Make an improved pitch for the bad movie. I'm not allowed to add new characters or change too much about existing ones. I can ignore some characters, or at least downgrade them to minor characters who have no bearing on the story. The location and elements within must also have minimal tweaking.

 A better version of LotD would work like this:

The city of survivors at Fiddlers Green have to contend with the fact that all their defenses from the outside zombies are breaking down. There are two prevailing opinions over what to do now. Some think that it's time to flee and find a new refuge. Others believe that nowhere else would be safe and they might as well double down of FG and at least die trying to defend it.

 We can introduce Riley and Cholo through this conflict. Riley can lead team "Get the hell out of dodge" while Cholo can lead team "We're dead no matter where we go-might as well stay!" The only thing keeping Riley and company around is the question over what to do with Dead Reckoning. If the group splinters, then whichever group doesn't get Dead Reckoning will be fucked; the ones that stay will be hard pressed to defend Fiddlers Green long without it, while those who leave would have a tough time lasting in case there's a major problem. So unless Riley and Cholo can decide upon a solution for everyone, then people will die.

 Then we learn that the "evolved" zombies have been biding their time and have decided to strike now, when FG is at its most vulnerable. Not only that, but in the ensuing chaos, they've compromised the area where Dead Reckoning is kept, effectively cutting it off from the humans. At this point the human v human drama can be "Who can get to Dead Reckoning first?" Team Cholo wants to get it first so he can try to fight off the zombies and keep FG under human control. Team Riley wants to get it first so he and his friends can all get out and survive out in the zombie wastelands. I know this effectively makes Riley the "bad guy" here but I'm only working off the established character motivations presented by Romero; Riley wants to go to Canada, and Cholo wants to make a better life for himself in FG. Yeah Riley returns to save the day in Romeros version, but in my version all his friends are with him at the onset.

 What about Big Daddy you ask? He can be included. Hell, he can be the biggest zombie threat in the movie, but not the leader. He can be allowed to "learn" to shoot a gun all in the name of making him more dangerous. This could also lead up to a final confrontation with him and Riley. It would offer a payoff to all the buildup of Big Daddy and Riley as separate forces. Because I couldn't have been the only person who felt ripped that Big Daddy never had to face off against Cholo or Riley.

 So the movie can climax with Riley getting to Dead Reckoning first, but Cholo manages to convince him to stay long enough to help the remaining people trapped in the city so that everyone can escape together or some shit. Maybe Riley got infected during his face off against Big Daddy and now he had a change in his short term perspective. Saving all those people he previously thought so little of could be his defining moment and actually give him a bit of a character arc (as opposed to "I don't want to be here, bitch bitch bitch, Canada"). The movie can end with all the survivors driving off to an uncertain future. Their hopes are bleak because they clearly are not well enough equipped and won't last very long even with Dead Reckoning. Kind of a downer, but hey, that's zombie movies for you.

 This is much better for three reasons: 1) Notice how I never mentioned Kaufman, the whore or the retard? They're dumb characters and have nothing to offer my better movie. 2) It keeps the zombies as the central threat. There's still plenty of human on human drama, but it always takes place under the overarching threat of the undead attack. And it also leads to my third point. 3) It keeps the zombie threat on our "heroes" throughout. Everyone in Night had the constant threat of the undead on top of them. Dawn had a few notable "Oh shit, what are we gonna do about all these zombies?" moments. And Day had the one notable part at the end, and through that the characters at least earned their happy ending.

 Tell me one point in Land where Riley was truly vulnerable to the undead? At all times he was either accompanied by well armed backup, or inside Dead Reckoning. The closest he came to being in any real danger was when he and the bull fighter were looking for ammo, and all those zombies were too busy eating to be any threat. The worst the whore got was when the midget had her thrown at two zombies for sport, so that doesn't count. The worst the retard got was for a jump scare. And all Cholo got was the one ninja zombie.

 In no point in Land of the Dead were any major characters in any real danger, unless the script called for ninja zombies. In doing so, Romero swung and missed at the cornerstone of fear of the genre that he himself popularized. If Night of the Living Dead took place in a fallout shelter instead of the farmhouse, then that would be fucking stupid, and Romero would never get the chance to make any other movies. The best scare involving zombies is the notion that nowhere is ever really safe. No matter where you are or well fortified and protected you are, the dead will eventually find a way in and kill you. Dead Reckoning, essentially, was Romeros way of including an "always safe" place for the main characters.

 A major misstep in this movie was the inclusion of Dead Reckoning. How breaking was this tank? Along with "Twilight of the Dead" another early title for this movie was to simply name it "Dead Reckoning." That's right, not only did Dead Reckoning take the focus of the zombie movie away from the zombies, but it almost took the title away from them too. My guess as to why he changed the title from that was to ensure more people would buy tickets, because at the end of the day fans will line up for this movie based on its title. "Oh snap, [Blank] of the Dead directed by THE George Romero? Shut up and take my money!" Don't believe me? I refer you to the two movies that follow.

 As implausible as it sounds though, maybe it isn't too unrealistic to say that people would be able to construct that kind of vehicle in the zombie apocalypse. What I am saying though is that the only way to make a zombie movie engaging with the tank involved is to compromise the tank or at least compromise the humans ability to properly utilize it. Force them to remember just how hard life can be when you don't have your trump card to use against the zombies.

 I guess what I'm trying to say here is: a zombie movie where the main characters have no real reason to fear the zombies is a really stupid movie. Dead Reckoning was a dumb idea.

 Land of the Dead featured some...interesting concepts, but shit all over itself in the delivery. I'd like to think my five-part bitch fest might have some sort of impact in a world where crappy movies by established directors are allowed, but I am far too late for that. Maybe if I didn't spend the next year after first seeing this movie in denial about its awfulness...maybe. But since that movie, Romero has in turn shit out two more movies that I am led to believe, like this one, happens in the same universe as the original trilogy.

 To this day I still haven't forced myself to watch Survival of the Dead. I might if I make myself do a write up for it like this movie, but that would require me to first endure Diary of the Dead, and like a root canal, I am just not looking forward to doing that. For now I am content to know that I have said my piece about this singular tragedy of a movie. Lord knows there are far worse zombie movies out there, but this one was made by a man who should know better, and claims to be a follow-up to three movies it could never hold a candle to. To let this slip by would be to say I don't care. And I just can't allow that because I do care. Otherwise I wouldn't have written 10,000 words explaining why.

March 3, 2013

After the Fire

This is a sort of rambling attempt to create my own little slice of post-apocalypse survival literature. I'm not promising miracles, but a semblance of plot will emerge at some point, I promise.
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It was quiet today. The cat was happy for this, as it presented a relatively safe hunt today. Scrounging for food was always a feline specialty, but the bigger cities were getting emptier as time went on, and soon the cat would have to draw on older instincts, and go out into the wilderness to hunt. Coming up to an opening in a partially collapsed wall, the cat stopped, picking up a tantalizing scent: blood. Looking out the hole, the cat did not see any other scavengers, a promising sign, meaning that, hopefully, the kill wold be untended.

The cat then moved swiftly, hunger outweighing judgment. Over a small heap of rubble, across a small room, and along a broken wall the small cat raced, until it found the man, face down in a pool of blood. Here, the cat paused. It could see no wounds on the corpse, no indicators of how he died. It eased closer, sniffing carefully, trying to catch the sickly sweet smell of a poisoned death, but the smell of the blood was overpowering to the hungry creature, drawing it in still closer. As the cat sized up a good place to start its meal, the man's hand came up, quick as a striking snake, and grabbed the cat by the neck. His other hand came around, grabbing the top of its head, and snapped the cat's neck in a single, sharp twist.

Drew worked himself up to a sitting position, and examined his catch. A scrawny thing, but it had a decent amount of meat. He'd have a decent dinner tonight. He moved aside a stone, retrieved his gear, and headed into a nearby building, which looked relatively intact. If he wanted to get a fire going, it was best to have a couple walls to hide the light. Ammo was getting scarce here, and he didn't want to have to fight off any of  Spooks, if he could help it. Having a roof was important, too, because having a Dynasty patrol drop in on him would certainly mean capture or death. Sweepers had already gone through the city, so he wouldn't have to worry about those patrols, at least.

Finding a suitably concealed spot, Drew set up a campsite, and set about getting a fire started. The cat made for a surprisingly filling meal, and he boiled down the skin and the tiny amount of fat he could glean into a thin oil. It worked well as cooking fuel, and the occasional pocket of survivors often used it to grease the functional machinery they had. He hated the way the stuff smelled, but it had uses, and these days, you couldn't really cast something aside because you didn't like it.

With dinner out of the way, Drew looked outside, and saw the sun starting to dip awfully low. He wouldn't be able to get out of the city before the night. Unhappily, he trudged back to his campsite. Digging through his gear, he pulled out a few coils of wire, a couple of bells, and two small crossbows. He didn't have many quarrels left for them, but he couldn't sleep without them primed. He busied himself for the next half hour setting up alarmed triplines, and two traps covering the doorways into the room. He set his bedroll deep into the corner of the room, set his pistol at his reach, and slipped his knife into the pocket he sewed into his pillow. One last sweep of the room, and he settled in for a few hours of uneasy rest.

Deep in the heart of the city, silent, shadowy figures darted about in the darkness. They shuffled around the empty, rubble filled streets, searching for unwary prey, squabbling with each other over scraps. They ate, fought, killed, and died, all in darkness and silence. Few ever saw them and lived. The ones that managed came back with crazed tales of ashen white skin, large, luminous eyes, and a sort of utter silence that can only really come form the dead. They made no sounds, be they vocal or respiratory. Many thought they were the ghosts of those from the age before, come back in rage for the transgressions that burned the world.

They haunted Drew's sleep, but thankfully, none of them managed to work their way up to his camp. Maybe camping out on the edge of the city wasn't so dangerous. As the sun crept over the shattered towers, Drew packed in his gear, and started out of the rubble and into the sticks. Maybe he'd find a roving trader or two. Some extra bullets would be nice. Fresh water would be better.

Why LAND OF THE DEAD sucked pt.4

[...Posted by Ted H]

Busy week of working...
......So yeah, more bitching about a bad movie until I have actual free time...

.........aaaaaaaaand we have a new author pending. Whenever he decides to accept the invite and start posting is up to him though...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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[Why LAND OF THE DEAD sucked pt.4]


Part 4: Nothing makes sense anymore! 

I seem to be just a little bit critical of this movie and there are reasons for such behavior. I do it out of love. As stated before, the Dead trilogy are some of my favorite movies of all time; each standing out in their own distinct way.

 Now if this were just another bad zombie movie, it would earn a pass from my wrath and just be ignored by me. But two reasons prevent this. The primary reason is it's directed by Romero. He should know better than to try and pass this garbage off as one of his own. But even then, there lied the potential for me to still ignore. The catalyst, the true lynchpin of my ire is the fact that Romero attempted to pass this off as a continuation of the original Dead trilogy. It can still be ignored theoretically, but the knowledge that this movie is in the same universe as the original three just further irritates me.

 What really pisses me off is how Romero tried to drive home the fact that this is all in the same universe: Enter Tom Savini reprising his role from Dawn of the Dead (1975) but now in zombie form, or at least trying to pass him off as the same character. It shouldn't since that guy didn't die from zombies, he died by getting shot in the chest and falling into a fountain. There is not bullet hole in this guys shirt so either this is more sloppy work or it's just needless pandering to the crowd to invoke emotions tied to a much better zombie movie so the audience feels better about this steaming pile. All it did for me is piss me off even more. It's one thing to suck on your own...but it's an entirely different thing to suck and try to bring down an entire franchise with you on the way.

 Anyway, some guys with guns show up and start shooting the retarded cannibals in their torsos, because apparently nobody knows how to fight zombies many years into the zombie apocalypse. Then one of the nazi security guys abandons his post because RICH people are EVIL and apparently COWARDS.

 Cut to Cholo getting bit by a ninja zombie, the fakest looking zombie of them all. Seriously, that was the best you could do? That ninja zombie though gave off the impression of an anorexic old person who couldn't run ten feet without breaking one of their decrepit legs...and I'm suppose to just believe that it managed to sneak up right next to Cholo out of nowhere? Fuck that.

 But now Cholo is infected and we are about to witness Cholo's boy having the most logical and legitimate reaction to another person being bitten. I was so impressed by this, that I've decided to call him by his name: Foxy (...and I regret that already) So Foxy points his shotgun at Cholo but doesn't fire. At this point in the movie you would expect him to either run away like a pussy, or just shoot him in cold blood because of the clich├ęd "You're infected, so I need to make sure you won't kill me when you turn" bull shit. Remember how it took the whore about three seconds to kill the Bull Fighter guy earlier? Yeah, and she was a good guy.

 Foxy gives Cholo the choice if he wants to be mercy killed and Cholo declines, instead giving some BS about wanting to see how zombies live or some shit. They eventually ride off towards FG together, because Cholo is still Cholo despite the infection and isn't just gonna turn in three seconds and try to kill anyone like this were some other shitty movie about not-zombies named 28 Days Later.

 Cut to more ineffective shooting that featured maybe one head shot (by accident probably). One retarded cannibal catches fire and then Big Daddy mercy kills it because it was crying out in pain from the fire. WHAT? THE? FUCK! WHAT THE FUCK! WHAT THE FUCK! WHAT THE FUCK! WHAT THE FUCK! WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!

 Don't even talk to me about zombies anymore. Don't even try. If you need any more convincing, look to Big Daddy picking up a jackhammer and giving off the most accurate retard laugh I have ever heard in a movie. On a side note: who the hell was even jackhammering in the middle of the night anyway? Then the retarded cannibals arm up with various tools as they make their way to the rich section of FG. To that I say...I'll allow it. The mental capacity to use basic tools was long since established in better Romero movies. (Simple tools does not include jackhammers and assault rifles though.)

 Cut to Cholo and Foxy as Cholo gets dropped off near FG. Cholo has a bone to pick with Kaufman before he dies and lets Foxy ride away. Foxy actually survives this shit, which I forgot happens. Usually bad zombie movies like to tie up every loose end by killing everyone when their relevance is up. Foxy living ain't too bad...still a shitty movie though. We're all just gonna assume he dies anyway.

 Oh and Cholo is still bleeding out from his earlier gunshot, so he's dying. The last we see of him living is him walking in the tunnels to FG with music because we're still trying to establish he's a badass and not just an asshole.

 Retarded Cannibals breach the rich section of FG and start killing all the RICH people. Whatever...Some RICH people escape and try to leave the city, only for the electrical fence to stand in their way. At this point one would either find a way to shut the damn thing down or try running elsewhere. But apparently standing around hopelessly is all anyone can muster.

 Meanwhile, Riley and company are at a drawbridge trying to lower it so they can ride in with their tank and save the day. The logic to why and how probably makes sense to them but whatever, let's just go with it. While Riley, alone, goes to lower the bridge, everyone else stands around in the tank doing nothing. Then ninja zombies show up and bang on the tank to get in and everyone panics over it.

 You're in a tank and the undead have no way in. All you have to do is drive away, it's not like anyone but Riley is in any danger. And when Riley is attacked by (yet another) ninja zombie and cries for help, no one in the tank is able to help cuz their too busy pissing themselves over the zombies fruitlessly banging on the rear of the tank.

 Riley is ready to be picked up but the zombies are in his way. If only the tank could drive to him so he wouldn't have to run into a horde and climb up onto the roof of the tank, Oh well. Then the blond chick who drives Dead Reckoning pointlessly backs the tank up and crushes some zombies because she needs a defining moment in this shitty movie. She says "I'm gonna shake these bastards." You know how else you can shake those bastards? Simply driving away! Pointless.

 Before they can drive away (foreward) they need to do something about the dozen or so zombies milling about in front of them so the whore shoots the miniguns to level them all as if a tank couldn't run them right over. More pointless! We also witness a zombie climbing up the tanks rear ladder. I wonder if that will be relevant later?

 They then realize that maybe some fireworks would be useful, so they send some of those up, stopping the zombies in FG right before they kill all those RICH people. Then it shows the zombies not caring anymore because they've apparently "evolved" again.

 Kaufman escapes into the garage with his racial stereotype manservant. Big Daddy follows. Big Daddy then attacks the car Kaufman is waiting in, causing the racial stereotype to run away. Big Daddy then proceeds to toss a running gas hose into the car then walks away because now he's apparently evolved the ability to plan or something, using ninja skills to disappear and eventually cover ground no zombie, fresh or otherwise, could ever cover.

 Enter a zombie Cholo, covered by shadows. Kaufman shoots him a few times (never a head shot, but that gets a pass since Kauffman had never portrayed himself as the type to do any zombie killing himself in the apocalypse and thus, lacking the discipline to nail a head shot...plus he thinks Cholo is alive still.) Cholo slumps over, for some reason, and then ninjas his way right up to Kaufman and bites him after a short scuffle. Big Daddy eventually rolls some fire down and ignites all the gas, killing Cholo zombie and Kaufman. And not so subtly added is all the burning money now flying about.

 I really hate this movie and am glad it's almost over.

 Cut to Riley on the roof still as that zombie from before finishes going up the ladder. Nothing happens. They reach the outer fence of FG where the electric fence was. All the RICH people are dead and getting eaten. They then shoot missiles and blow the fence. Then we discover all the POOR people survived.

 Movies ending. Everything seems to have been wrapped up and...what? What about that zombie on the roof? Nothing. All that buildup and it only served the purpose of a jump scare, nothing more. Kind of a microcosm for this movie: a whole ton of build up...followed by a poor delivery.

 Riley and company ride off into the sunrise towards Canada...though I'm sure at some point they would want to turn north. I guess we'll just assume they'll find a highway heading that way eventually. And we're gonna have to assume they thought to pack enough food and supplies to last six (seven if you wanna count the fat guy as two people) people an indefinite amount of time...or are we assuming they're gonna raid more inexplicably non-lethal and fully stocked supermarkets?

 Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Is this a happy ending? I know there's no rule against it, but at least make these people earn it. These guys didn't do shit! They rode around and fired missiles at a gate. That earns them a happy ending in a zombie movie? Fuck this.