Saturday, February 14, 2015

Poster & trailer for Indonesia's 'Zombie Village'

Is 'The Walking Dead' racist?

Fans of the hit AMC show "The Walking Dead" responded to the death of a beloved character with accusations that the show too frequently kills off its minority characters.

Warning - spoilers ahead. Warning - spoilers ahead. Warning - spoilers ahead. Warning - spoilers ahead. Warning - spoilers ahead. Warning - spoilers ahead. Warning - spoilers ahead. Warning - spoilers ahead. Warning - spoilers ahead. Warning - spoilers ahead. Warning - spoilers ahead. Warning - spoilers ahead.

The show has long been applauded for its diversity. A majority of the characters on the show are non-white, and of the 15 remaining group members, there are only five white characters left. After the untimely death of Tyreese in the recent midseason premiere, fans took to Twitter to express their outrage. Many claimed that the show kills off minority characters too frequently - something that is directly related to its ratio of white and nonwhite characters.
“Look, this is something in this world that we should be cognizant about, so my feeling is: Sure let’s get it out there, let’s talk about it,” executive producer Gale Ann Hurd told E! News. "We’ve killed a lot more white characters than African-American characters. And not only that, I think it’s important to point out that we did cast two African-American actors in roles that were not African-American. In the comic books, Bob was white. And the character of Noah was not an African-American. We just cast the best actor.
"[Executive producer] Scott Gimple basically said to [Chad Coleman], ‘Is there anything we haven’t really touched on in Tyreese’s journey?’ And the truth was, it went from A to Z. They are at a point of total and ultimate despair," Hurd continued. "And if this really would happen, you can’t just spread it out and say, ‘OK, we’ve lost a significant character in the last episode. Let’s wait.’ Tyreese had embraced forgiveness and he’d embraced all of the positive qualities as opposed to despair and rage, and in a moment of pondering that, he was vulnerable. And in this world you can’t let your guard down even a split second."

Is Noah's time up on TWD?

“The Walking Dead” actor Tyler James Williams, despite just recently joining the cast in Season 5, has already lined up another recurring TV role. This has led some to believe that, with juggling two shows being a difficult task for any actor, his character Noah might not stick around on AMC zombie-drama.  
Deadline reports that the former “Everybody Hates Chris” lead has signed on to co-star opposite Gary Sinise in the upcoming “Criminal Minds” spinoff on CBS. Williams will play Monty in the backdoor pilot, which will air during episode 19 of “Criminal Minds” this spring. Monty is described as a kind-hearted tech analyst for the team, a division of the FBI that seeks to help American citizens who find themselves in trouble overseas. Williams’ character will stay in the U.S. and coordinate with the families of those the new team is trying to help.

This sounds like a pretty meaty part for someone who is returning in the second half of “The Walking Dead” Season 5. For those who don’t remember...
...Noah joined the group after he tried to help Beth (Emily Kinney) escape Grady Memorial Hospital. Although they failed to save Beth, when last we saw Noah, he was traveling with Rick and the rest of the survivors. 
It’s impossible to tell, given this limited information, if Williams’ casting in a new show means his character is going to be killed off. It’s worth mentioning that the character doesn’t exist in Robert Kirkman’s “The Walking Dead” graphic novels. However, the character does bare some striking similarities to Noah Cruz from the official “Walking Dead” videogame starring Norman Reedus’ character, Daryl Dixon.
In the video game “Survival Instinct,” Daryl first encounters Noah Cruz in a hospital, similar to how Williams’ character was introduced on the AMC series. The player has the option to either save Cruz or get medical supplies. Depending on what he or she chooses, Noah’s fate is somewhat different. 
According to the game’s guide, Noah Cruz can later attempt to sick a pack of Walkers on Daryl, similar to the hallway scene in Season 5 where Noah robs Daryl and Carol and cuts Walkers out of a tent to cover his escape. No matter what the player decides to do though, Noah’s fate is either death or disappearance, which wouldn’t bode well for Williams' continued presence in the show. So, although the TV character isn’t necessarily based on the videogame character, the parallels are impossible to ignore.

Happy Valentine's Day 2015!

I think that I shall ever see...a poem about a zombie...

Will TWD gang be arriving at The Alexandria Safe-Zone this season?

I’m expecting big things from the second half of The Walking Dead’s Season 5 (which returned to AMC on Feb. 8). And one thing that fans have been speculating may be on the horizon for our favorite zombie-killing group is that they will arrive at the Alexandria Safe-Zone from the comics. The first two minutes of the Season 5 midseason premiere show Rick convincing the group to head up to Virginia, which had been Noah and Beth’s plan (before Beth died). They are going to go outside of Richmond, which is (or I guess “was” would be more appropriate for the zombie apocalypse) the capital city of Virginia. I would not be inclined to move toward any capital city for fear that it would be super populated with zombies, but for readers of the comics, the fact that the group is headed that way means one very important thing: that the group may get to the Alexandria Safe-Zone. (In case you didn’t already anticipate the fact: Walking Dead comics spoilers will follow.)

The Alexandria Safe-Zone is a huge location in the comic books. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the Safe-Zone “makes its debut in the 69th issue of the comics — and remains the story’s central location through its current, 136th issue.” The outlet also spoke to showrunner Scott M. Gimple who would not confirm that the show will get to Alexandria in Season 5, but said, “Whenever we get to Alexandria, it will probably have stuff that’s right out of the comic book and stuff that’s different.” Very specific, Gimple. Thank you for that.
At least we know that The Walking Dead will have to get to Alexandria eventually. And once there, what should fans expect? The Safe-Zone is a walled-in community comprised of a few blocks in Alexandria, Va. with homes and farms. (If you’ve never been to non-zombie apocalypse Alexandria, the historic section is super quaint and adorable with lots of shops and restaurants that draw in tourists.) So, think a more established Woodbury minus the Governor (thank the zombie gods). Although the word “safe” is in the name, that doesn’t mean Alexandria isn’t without danger (uh, of course). But there are good people that are a part of Alexandria — like Aaron (speculated to be portrayed by Ross Marquand), a recruiter for the Safe-Zone, and his boyfriend Eric.

Douglas Monroe is the person in charge of the Safe-Zone when Rick and his group arrive in the comics. Although far from perfect, he is focused on keeping the community safe. But because Rick is Rick (aka the best), he eventually becomes the leader of the Alexandria Safe-Zone (Rick Grimes for president! I love that people just recognize his leadership abilities almost immediately and defer to him).

Using Google Maps, I discovered that Atlanta, Ga. is approximately 530 miles from Richmond. And Richmond is 100 miles away from Alexandria, so the gang has quite a ways to go before getting to either destination. (I also want to note that Alexandria is less than 10 miles away from Washington DC, so that bastard Eugene will kind of get his wish if the group ends up there, dammit.) From the Season 5 preview, it looks like they’ve picked up some vehicles, so they may be able to drive. But we know the zombie-filled road is a treacherous one. 

Even if The Walking Dead doesn’t get to Alexandria this season, we know it’s coming. And I’m looking forward to the group finding a place where they can actually stay for awhile. And for Rick to continue to be the badass leader that he is.

Kickstarter Project: Zombie Mike

About this project:

Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. No one will be charged for a pledge towards a project unless it reaches its funding goal.
Zombie Mike is a feature length script, and with YOUR help, soon to be movie! 
It’s a dark comedy about a guy named Mike, who, while on a date, gets attacked by zombies. When he wakes up, he’s a thinking zombie! He has to regain muscle control, learn to walk without moaning and adapt to his new diet.
Mike meets a few other thinking zombies. Noah, the vegetarian zombie, is doing all he can to stick to his diet. He is convinced Mother Nature has a cure for zombieism and he's looking for it. Griz lost his limbs when brain dead zombies killed him. He is searching for a new pair of legs and his value in society. He will learn that his unique situation will help to save all zombies.
Dr. Krovok mentors Mike through his transition and fights for zombie rights and freedoms. Zeus, leader of the zombies, is a tough guy’s tough guy. He appreciates tactical kills that add to the zombie army. Olivia is smart and ready to fight. She shows Mike how to survive and enjoy his new life.
When the humans nearly wipe out all the zombies, Mike will have to gather up the survivors and lead the counter attack on the humans. Starting with the easiest target first, he will attack an old folks home and you will witness the world’s slowest attack scene.
Is he up for the task? Is Olivia a possible love interest? Do undead body parts work in the bedroom? When Mike was alive he was just going through life like a zombie, but now that he’s dead…he’s really living.
Finalist at the Bare Bones Film Festival and Winner of the Audience Choice Award, we are confident YOU will love it too!
Who is Joe Cook?
Cinematic zombie enthusiast, Hollywood screenwriter and creator of Zombie Mike. I grew up watching all the great movies…White Zombie, Night of the Living Dead, Return of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead…you get the point…anyway, I believe that Zombie Mike is a very valid addition to the already amazing catalog of zombie movies that have entertained us thus far. THIS story has never been told.
Who is Nick Santonastasso?
Cinematic zombie enthusiast, professional zombie prankster and top “Viner” with over a million followers. Best known for his prank on Norman Reedus from the hit TV show The Walking Dead. He will be playing the role of Griz in the upcoming movieZombie Mike.
Got a plan!? Got a movie location in mind!?
YES!!! We will shoot in Los Angeles California…HOLLYWOOD!
Who is Spike’s Tactical? 
Glad you asked! What’s a Hollywood zombie movie without guns!? We don’t wanna know. Rest assured Spike’s Tactical has us covered. This passionate firearms company out of Apopka Florida, uses only the highest quality American made guns, is thrilled to be a part of our movie. BANG! BANG!
Why Kickstarter!? Why YOU!?
There is SOOO MUCH that goes into making a movie! We need a cast, a crew, LOTS and LOTS of Zombie Makeup!, props, rewards/creation/distribution…but…first and foremost…We need money to make it all happen. Since Kickstarter is “all or nothing", the project can’t move forward unless it’s fully funded. The journey starts here on Kickstarter with YOU!
IT GETS BETTER! We didn’t just want to raise money. We gave great thought to the kinds of rewards we wanted to include…and that would include YOU in a really big way. In addition to donating money to the project, there are some awesome opportunities for YOU to actually BE IN THE MOVIE! COME TO HOLLYWOOD!!!

Ok, I'm intrigued. What's the story?

What if…we let you READ THE FIRST 15 PAGES of Zombie Mike!? 
A risky proposition for us, but we believe you’ll enjoy it, get excited, become invested, and want to see what happens next! This feature length script is by Joe Cook...Finalist at the Bare Bones Film Festival for best screenplay and winner of the Audience Choice Award best table read. ENJOY!
I’m ready to donate but the pledge button rerouted me to Amazon? It says I need to open an account?!
Amazon is Kickstarter’s partner and handles all the credit cards, etc.  Create an account and you’ll be all set up to support Zombie Mike and any other campaigns that spark your interest! It’s so easy…even a brain dead zombie could do it. LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!

Risks and challenges:

The biggest challenge is distribution and finances – "Zombie Mike" does not have a distributor attached yet. Lack of distribution can also be a good thing. There are some great new avenues which will help us get the film distributed to hulu, VOD and Netflix.
Our goal is to debut the film at the Sundance Film Festival. If you fund the project, we intend to start pre-production right away, shoot this June, and finish the film in time to submit it to the festival.
Your rewards like t-shirts and posters for helping us make this possible will be sent out by a few of us, in the late hours of the night, in between production meetings or after a few drinks. We will get them out to you as soon as they are available. If your package includes the t-shirt we will be asking for you to vote on which t-shirt we create.
Many elements of the rewards will be fulfilled well before July of 2015, which is when we hope to release the film and have all of our premieres and screenings.
For those of you who are attending an event or joining us on set, we will do our best to keep you updated with our schedule.
For those of you visiting our set, we anticipate shooting in July in Los Angeles. However, this has the potential to change. We will keep you updated so you can plan ahead to visit us.
• You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the premiere or visit the set. Extras must also be over 18.
• The content of the voice and video messages are at your direction, but at my discretion. We reserve the right to refuse to say what you request if we find it inappropriate.
• Some rewards may require additional paperwork. If you are appearing in the film, you will have to sign a release.
• My final cut of the film may reduce your part in the film. If you have lines and say them without going all Shakespearean you should be fine.
• All shooting locations, are subject to change for a variety of reasons, including the amount of money we are able to raise and the locations giving us the right to shoot.
• This fundraising campaign is all subject to applicable Kickstarter rules/regulations, movie guild rules and applicable law. If any of this conflicts, we will work with you in good faith to give you a substitute reward.
We start with a script I'm really proud of to create a film I feel hasn't been done yet. Then, we assemble the best team possible. It's impossible to guarantee everything will work out exactly as planned, but in the end, we will have created a movie that hopefully all of us can be proud of. It's a great journey, and I thank you in advance if you can help us make this possible.

For questions or to make a pledge, click here!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Australian Students Let You Kill Zombies In A Fabulous Dress

RegentZ is a satirical zombie game set in the romantic Regency era synonymous with Jane Austen novels. The night is young when Charlotte, daughter of the Montgomery estate, decides to take a stroll in the garden to escape her mothers army of suitors. What she finds in the garden might turn out to be much less pleasant than what she faced inside the manor. The grounds are full of well dressed zombies with great hair, proving that being dead doesn't mean you can't look dashing too. Charlotte will have to take it upon herself to not only defend the oblivious party-goers but also try to gather help to get rid of the zombies for good.

Everyone here at 2Bit Studios is very happy to announce the RegentZ is getting released today for free!

RegentZ is not a game made officially by 2Bit but rather a game that started development before 2Bit was created by many of the members that would form 2Bit. It's a satirical third-person action game set in the Regency period (think Jane Austen) with zombies thrown in. At the time of development, everyone working on RegentZ was still studying at University. The original scope of the game proved to be far too big, so in order to finish the game instead of leaving it in limbo the scope was reduced while keeping the game silly and fun.

If you want to play RegentZ for free, you can download it from the game page.

Go and enjoy! We have a fully polished commercial game in the pipeline at the moment so stay tuned in for more information in the coming months.

New trailer for "Escaping the Dead"

The film has its starting point in a typical day for the lead character, David. David is the local marihuana pusher, but he is the kind of dealer that smokes more than he sells. In themeantime the country has been hit by a new deathdrug and when David and his partner in crime Ahmir is offered some exceptionally cheap cocaine they see it as an opportunity to earn big money at the big techno concert the following Friday, but the cocaine turns out to have a terrible side effect that creates a giant zombie outbreak that spreads acrossthe entire Copenhagen. In the film we follow David and his bloody fight out of the city.

6 Books that Give The Walking Dead’s Zombies a Stagger for Their Money

The Walking Dead returned on February 8 with its mid-season premiere, and I, for one, had my “I <3 Daryl Dixon” wristband on in preparation. Even in this time of excitement, it’s still important to remember the corpses that, er, cleared the path for our current undead addiction.
There’s probably no easier way to get horror fans fighting than to declare the living-impaired  former humans  that don’t conform to specific characteristics of a zombie are, in fact, zombies. I’m speaking, of course, of the original modern zombies, which first appeared in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.: mindless, shuffling, flesh-hungry automatons.  The phone crazies in Stephen King’s Cell, for example, are still technically alive, so even though they attack the living in mobs, often show signs of rot and decay, and appear to have no higher reason, you might have a fight on your hands if you use the z-word on them.
You don’t see this kind of genre-policing with other monsters like, say, the vampire. A lot of people roll their eyes at the sparkling vamps in Twilight, but very few deny that they fit in the larger definition. Fiction has given us vampires that walk in the sun, don’t need blood as sustenance, or are a separate species from humans (meaning, contrary to legend, vampirism isn’t contagious).
Indeed, eschewing legend was what set Romero’s 1969 film apart. Before Night of the Living Dead, the zombie was more like a golem, created by a sorcerer towards a specific, often murderous, purpose. They were the tools of someone’s will, not a mob united towards a shared ravenous purpose. It tickles my sense of irony, then, that in the world of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, whose zombies follow so perfectly the Romero formula, his iconic film doesn’t exist (Kirkman himself has said this is why his characters don’t call the walkers zombies, and why they don’t know right off the bat to aim for the head).
If you are a traditionalist who likes zombies slow, stupid, and starving for brains, here are six books that aren’t shy about taking a page from the Romero playbook.
Day by Day Armageddon, by JL Bourne
Written in diary form from the point of view of a soldier on leave from deployment overseas, Day by Day Armageddon has a much better sense of bullets-to-kill-shot ratios than one usually finds in zombie fiction. From a purely practical standpoint, Rick & Co. simply cannot be landing as many head shots as they do. While the novel doesn’t particularly address the larger questions of human society in the apocalypse, it does very carefully address the smaller ones: the nuts and bolts of survival.
The Gospel of Z, by Stephen Graham Jones
This may be a harder sell as a traditional zombie novel, as it includes giant constructed mecha-zombies and a cult devoted to armadillos, but the zombies in The Gospel of Z are otherwise pretty traditional. (They do also have a tendency to bear-crawl, which is very alarming.) Done well, zombie stories grapple with grief, as everyone surviving has lost everyone who hasn’t. Jones runs the apocalypse 10 years down the road, from this place of familiarity to escalating weirdness, providing emotionally resonant way to express that loss.
The Reapers Are the Angels, by Alden Bell
Temple, the main character of The Reaper’s Are the Angels, is the harsh, pragmatic daughter of a zombie-blighted American south. In some ways, she’s more comfortable with the dead than the living; the simplicity of their needs is, if not enviable, then at least more legible than those of the living. The novel probably owes more to the Old Testament morality of the Southern Gothic than it does to Romero’s class commentary, but the zombies are the same, down to the fact that anyone who dies, turns. (A surprisingly uncommon detail, even in the most faithful zombie novel.)
This Dark Earth, by John Hornor Jacobs
There’s a lot about This Dark Earth that follows the tropes of zombie fiction very closely, from the zombies themselves, to broader questions often posed by post-apocalyptic fiction: how will we maintain our humanity in the face of relentless savagery? But Jacobs doesn’t have to rely on gimmicks to explore the question of society. The Prince, like Carl from Walking Dead, cannot remember the modern world, and the line between expediency and cruelty grows thin.
World War Z, by Max Brooks
When the film version of World War Z transformed the book’s slow zombies into fast ones, a million voices cried out in terror. Understandably: almost none of the book holds up with the shift to “fast zombies.” While the novel doesn’t hew exactly to Romero, Brooks’ zombies function much like Romero’s in the narrative: they are there to show society’s responses to civic trauma. Not everyone who dies becomes a zombie, leading to the awful military choice to kill the living to create a firebreak against the dead. Contrast this with the opening to Dawn of the Dead, which shows a police force at odds with the residents of an apartment building who are protecting their reanimating dead in defiance of martial law. While the zombies may be slightly different, both writers use them to show the tension between community and security.
Zone One, by Colson Whitehead
In Whitehead’s novel, in addition to the usual slow, collecting mob, there exists a small number of undead called “stragglers,” who are frozen in tableau while doing everyday things—flying a kite, running a copy machine. The characters ruminate on these creatures: was this the action that defined the straggler’s life, or just a random moment caught like a photo? (This results in some mordant comedy, such as when one character blows away a straggler standing over a fast food deep fryer “on principle.”)Zone One is less a genre exercise than a eulogy to a lost New York, and the stragglers, as they stand rotting, fit beautifully into his observations and reflections. Is our memory of the past random or representative?