Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Walking Dead

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Transmitted:October 2010 - March 2012
Country of origin:USA
Genre:Zombapocalypse
Starring:Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey DeMunn, Norman Reedus
Rating:4/5
No. of seasons:2

The premise:
Shortly after the zombie apocalypse, Sherriff Rick Grimes awakens, lying in a hospital bed, alone. Clambering from the bed, he discovers there are no other humans in the building, and that anything that does move is to surely be avoided.
Emerging from the hospital, Rick discovers a world gone mad: seemingly, there are no people left, but bodies lay scattered everywhere, some mutilated, some burnt.
Finally meeting up with a man and his son, they explain that the dead now come back to life, reason unknown.
Duh.
Desperate, Rick opts not to stay with the pair, as he is now a man with a quest: make his way through this zombie riven world, to find his wife and son.

Sounds pretty clich├ęd, right?
And it is.
Developed by Frank Darabont, he of Shawshank Redemption fame, this is horror delivered by a man who really knows his subject matter. Darabont, despite his association in the mind of the public at large with all things Redemptive, has cut quite the niche for himself on the horror scene - he wrote the screenplay for The Fly II, The Blob remake, Elm Street 3 and more besides – as well as bringing to the screen the excellent adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist, so this is familiar territory for the three time Oscar nominee.
Whilst nothing here is in any way original, it is still reasonably ground-breaking. Maybe others can, but down here at Smell the Cult HQ we can’t think of another American series that has teased the promise of such a bleak premise and actually delivered on it, not to mention the fact that the gore levels are set to a degree only usually seen in cinematic fare, discounting Charlie Brooker’s excellent Channel 4 offering Dead Set from a few years back.
Whilst the tropes and themes are familiar – anyone who has seen or read The Day of the Triffids will either be enthralled or annoyed by the opening sequences - the delivery is sufficiently engaging, the cliff-hangers suitably suspenseful and the potential for mayhem yet to come delightfully intriguing.
Only seen season 1 so far.
Will devour the rest greedily in the near future.
Quality TV horror.

Find an episode guide here:

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