Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Dead Set

Smell the Movies
Smell the TV

Transmitted:October 2008
Country of origin:UK
Genre:Zombie uprising, gore, social commentary
Starring:Raj Ghatak, Andy Nyman, Kelly Wenham, Davina McCall
No. of seasons:1

Charlie 'Screenwipe' Brooker's epic zombie tale makes for incredible viewing.
The setup: In the midst of yet another series of the perennially dreadful Big Brother a zombie outbreak occurs, a global epidemic that, quite literally, puts an end to normal life as the dead rise from their slumber and begin to chow down on the warm, juicy flesh and guts of the living.
As the viewer, we follow the exploits of the inmates of the Big Brother house and also the production team, as well as the people on the outside world associated with them.
The characterisations are simply bloody hilarious: the scatty Scot lass, the blonde bimbo, the muscle bound moron and, the star turn, the obnoxious Big Brother producer, clearly an excuse for Brooker to channel all of his negative bile into one vessel, using him as a conduit to pour the scorn he truly feels about his fellow man.
Cleverly making use of the Big Brother set proper, as well as several ex-inmates and even Davina McCall, this had the potential to feel gimmicky, but the action is so engaging you quickly quell any notions along those lines and just go along for the ride.
With utterly gut-wrenching gore levels, this is hardcore horror on a par, at least in terms of the sickness displayed, with some of the more notorious zombie flicks out there and surpassing many, including the Romero movies, with the primary influence stylistically being the more recent 28 Days Later and the Dawn of the Dead remake.
But there's more to it than just gore, with social commentary thrown in for good measure (we're watching reality TV, we're already zombies, people) and a superb line in black humour, this is quality, quality TV.
More of the same, please, Charlie.

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