The Walking Dead Issue 97

The somewhat tedious groundwork has finally been laid.  We know exactly what the next conflict is going to be for our heroes.  Now we can get down to the tense and ominous buildup to the big confrontation.  It’s time for shit to start happening, people.

First, we check in back home where,  hey look, remember the preacher guy is still alive?  Well, he is.  It’s very important to remember which ancillary characters are still alive so that we will know who they are when they die later.  Almost everyone left behind by Rick’s Away Team gets to check in.  Maggie is concerned about Carl, because, as you’ll recall, he snuck into the van to go with his dad.  So Mags is worried.  Abraham reassures her by deducing what Carl did, but Maggie still feels sick.  And we all know what it means when a woman has an upset stomach in any work of fiction ever.  More on that later.

Even good old Eugene gets a few pages this issue.  And he’s being kind of a dick to Abraham.  I think he’s mad at him for breaking Rosita’s heart, but it’s hard to say since I haven’t seen Eugene in years.

On the way home, Rick and company conveniently run into a roving gang of Negan’s Saviors.  Not taking too kindly to threats, our heroes quickly kill the shit out of all but one of the dudes.  Rick tells the guy to go back and tell  Hopper Negan that Rick is now in charge of protecting the Hilltop.

They make it back home and there was much rejoicing.  Rick explains the deal he made and issues a call to arms for anyone who wants to help serve as the enforcers for the Larger World.  That’s when the old cliches start lining up.  Maggie is pregnant- freeing Glenn up to die horribly!  Rick and Andrea hook up, freeing up one of them to learn that everyone they care about really does always die.  And Abraham and Eugene sneak off on a top secret fetch quest for bullet-making materials…freeing them up to get ambushed by the sinister looking dudes watching them.

So what are everyone’s chances during the next big blood bath that will probably happen 3 iussues from now at #100?

Rick: Would love the shock of him dying, but my brother has told me that Kirkman has always said this is Rick’s story and he will never die.  Writers can change their minds, but still, I think Rick is a safe bet to live.

Carl: Carl barely made it through the last bloody arc and the letters section almost went nuclear.  More than that, Carl dying would have a ‘been there, done that kind’ of feel, even though he didn’t die.  I don’t think they’ll go there again so soon.  Carl is a safe bet.

Glenn:  It’s been a while since one of the originals bit it, but then again, there aren’t many left.  It’d be pretty painful to lose them now after all this time, but that could be exactly why to do it.  Shock value.  Not liking the cliche factor with Maggie being pregnant and all.  But there’s another original who is tempting fate way more…   I’ll hedge my bets and say Glenn could go either way.

Maggie: It looks like Rick and company are going to go out and meet this challenge head on, so unless the bad guys infiltrate the compound, I think everyone who stays behind will be safe.  Can’t see them doing yet another infiltration angle.  Plus, Maggie is pregnant and that would just be wrong.  Although we are talking about a series that killed off a newborn, I’m still pretty sure Maggie is a safe bet.

Andrea:  “Don’t you get it?  We’re the ones who always live!!  We’re never going to die!  Never ever ever ever!  Let’s hook up!  Let yourself looooooove me!  I do things you never dreamt of!  You don’t even want to know what that stain is on Dale’s hat!  Oh, Ricky, get that stump of yours over here and let’s sail away on the SS Live Forevah!!!!”   Oh, Andrea, come on now.  You are doomed.

Sophia:  See Maggie.

Michonne: Like I said, there are others who are tempting fate way more, but if Kirkman wants to be a dick and kill off a fan favorite right when she is about to make it onto the TV show, then maybe Michonne goes down swinging.  I think it would be a rope-a-dope death if anything.   Like, ohhhh, Andrea lives!  But wait, Michonne is dead!  Noooooo!  Michonne could go either way.

Abraham:  Do you realize that all four of the people Team Grimes met in between the prison and Washington are still alive?  Gotta remedy that pretty soon.  Abraham is another fan favorite who hasn’t done much in a while.  He’s either going down in a blaze of glory or he escapes to warn Rick that the baddies are coming.  Could go either way.

Eugene: My brother had the idea that Eugene, who had an almost out of nowhere slightly evil characterization this issue, could become a turncoat and join the Saviors.  It’s possible, but I still think he’s doomed even if that happens.

Rosita: Simple.  If she stays behind, she will be fine.  If she does something dumb like heading out to avenge Abe and Eugene, she will die.  Could go either way.

Gabriel: Can’t see Preacher Man heading out into battle.  He is a safe bet.

Too many indistinguishable Washington people still alive to name them all:  If any of them head out with Rick, they will be cannon fodder.  I’m looking at you gay guys and black guy and definitely guy who hit on Andrea.

Hilltop people:  The Saviors response to Rick’s threat might be to burn the mother down, but probably not.  I think the Hilltop people are a safe bet…for now. 

Jesus: I think he’s too new to die and he can kick ass with both hands tied behind his back.  He might fill the void of Rick’s right hand man if Abe goes down.  Jesus is probably a safe bet.





Zombie Movie Night: May ’12

I particularly like the oddly placed exclamation point. Oh! My zombie mermaid. That’s where I left her!

My entry for this month’s zombie movie viewing extravaganza was “Oh! My Zombie Mermaid.”  Let’s be up front about this: I had watched the trailer three times trying to figure out if the movie would be disqualified for not having any zombies in it.  I decided that it might be too close to call.  I wasn’t going to risk it.  Then I forgot to take it off the top of the Netflix queue.  Eh, screw it, I said.  It’s got the word “zombie” right in the title!  How can it fail?  And what, am I going to send back a movie called “Oh! My Zombie Mermaid” without having watched it?  Not bloody likely!

Shishio is a relatively famous Japanese wrestler who is living the dream.  Hot wife, son, daughter, hot sister-in-law who he works with, and best of all- a brand new house!  Unfortunately, the house warming is soon crashed by some bad guy wrestlers who apparently didn’t get the memo that the rivalries are supposed to be staged and kept in the ring.  A long and wacky brawl ensues, culminating in a bomb blowing up the prized new house.  Worse still, Shishio’s beloved wife was caught in the explosion.  After she miraculously wakes from a coma, it is discovered that her skin is peeling off and there are scales underneath.  She has become a mermaid!  Isn’t that always the way?  Damn you, God, for letting people blow up and turn into mermaids!  Why, God, why?

Believing that rebuilding the house will keep his mer-wife from killing herself, Shishio decides to take the money offered by a shady TV producer and agrees to a series of televised death matches to take place inside the reconstructed mansion.  The catch is that Shishio must win to claim possession of the house.  Given that losing means he would be dead, this seems like an obvious stipulation.  Many battles take place inside various rooms of the house and eventually good triumphs over evil and even the shady TV guy gets what’s coming to him.  There seems to be no cure for mermaid disease, but wifey decides to live happily ever after with her hubby and kids anyway.  They just have to live closer to the ocean now.

The good news is that I found this movie to be thoroughly entertaining.  We’ve had a string of disappointing Asian films but happily, OMZM bucks that trend and delivers all the wacky wackiness we’ve come to expect from Japan.  But it doesn’t only stick to “ain’t Asians weird?”- style comedy, it’s also a genuinely funny comedy outright.  Also, because the death matches are done in a pro wrestling style instead of martial arts, they never get dull.  In fact, the only thing that kept this movie from sniffing the rarified air of kind of near the top of the list is that it’s nooooooooot quite a zombie movie.  I don’t know why they threw that “zombie” in the title, I really don’t.  Wifey is way more mermaid and actually not at all zombie, really.  BUT… one of the pro wrestler opponents is a zombie.  I think.  He did become disemboweled and tried to strangle Shishio with his intestines.  Plus he was pretty hard to kill.  OMZM qualifies as a zombie movie…but just barely.  Like by a thread.  A very loose thread that only claims thread status on a legal technicality.   I’d recommend it as a regular movie before I would go bragging about its zomberific qualities, that’s for sure.    Grade: B 

Can you tell us which one of these people tried to strangle you with his guts?

Next up was some classic Italian horror in “Burial Ground: Nights of Terror.”  And, brother, they are not kidding about the burial ground thing.  There was no part of that mansion’s property that didn’t have a zombie formerly resting in peace under a thin pile of grass.

This is your classic horror movie stuff.  Group of people arrive at a place, start fucking, start dying, make the worst possible decision at every opportunity, die some more.  It’s a shame they couldn’t have been warned not to go there by a crazy old local first.  You really can’t go wrong with this format and even as bad as the make-up, acting and editing was, at least I wasn’t falling asleep.  But when “doesn’t put you to sleep” is the best thing you can say about a film, it’s still not exactly a compliment.  I did concede some points for uniqueness.   The zombies grab weapons and tools and use them effectively. They can even climb and work together.  But, God they are slow.  The answer was always “go around them!” yet the idiot characters couldn’t seem to grasp that, choosing instead to shriek in terror and stand rooted in place for the five minutes it took to be grabbed and eaten.  Also, it should be mentioned that one of the characters is a little boy that is played by a man.  So Japan does not have a monopoly on weirdness.  So there’s that.  But still….the grade is D+