Tag Archive: Zombies


Alternative histories are big right now. It started with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and has now morphed into a new literary genre that includes Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, the March sisters, Henry VII and even Abraham Lincoln as protectors against the hordes of supernatural marauders.

Well, time to add Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the mix. Somehow he found the time while authoring the new deal and fighting the Axis to kill werewolves for fun. Oh, the Axis *was* comprised of werewolves. It all makes sense now.

 Warning: A bad word or two

Starring Barry Bostwick as FDR, Lin Shaye as Elanor and Ray Wise as General Douglas McArthur, better known as Dougie Mac.

And as an added bonus, here’s the one-sheet for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter

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And we’re over-run by the zombie hordes, I want to be on this guys team.

Okay, just when you think you know where Universal Dead is heading, director Vernon Mortensen and writer Kelly Parks rip the steering wheel out of your (trembling) hands and makes a sharp left turn into the unknown, most likely a cornfield.

After this episode, I’m left wondering where the hell we’re going to end up? The only guarantee I have is that the ride to is going to be anything but predictable.

Did I see what I thought I saw at the end of episode?

The series just keeps on getting better and better. And for once, someone is addressing some of the burning questions that I’ve had since I saw Night of the Living Dead – does a zombie poop? (give me a break, I was twelve). But, from a biological perspective, if the circulatory system doesn’t work, why would the digestive system? How does a zombie derive nutrients from the flesh it consumes? Why does it have to be human flesh? Can a zombie become constipated?

These are subjects that I don’t think George Romero has ever dealt with.

To use thermodynamics and physics as a whole to answer these questions is bloody brilliant! My physicist husband was practically salivating. Not only did the writers use plausible science to drive the story, they actually got it *right*!  If it wasn’t for the cannibalism and the profanity, he could use this episode of Universal Dead to teach a senior Physics class.

The flatland theory described by Dr. Vataber (Doug Jones) has been around for at least 100 years – Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions was written in1884 by Edwin Abbott Abbott and was described by Isaac Asimov as being “The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions.” It’s been made into several short movies over the years, but it’s nice to see the theory taking front and center in a horror film.

This has me wondering what exactly is the training regimen for the U.S Navy?

Kudos go to Vernon, Kelly and the rest of the crew. The series keeps on getting better and better. Viewers are definitely kept on their toes. Special hat’s off also to Doug Jones for some great comedic timing and especially to Valerie Perez for eating that leg with such gusto. I’m not sure I want to know what it was made out of, but she seemed to enjoy mowing down on it a bit too much.

I can’t wait for the next chapter.

Doug Jones aka Dr. Vataber in Universal DeadI’m pretty sure the answer is yes, especially if you are a zombie in the  Universal Dead web series.

I received an email from the guys behind the camera of UnDead – Vernon Mortensen & Kelly Parks with some exciting news:

Unconventional Films – creator of UNIVERSAL DEAD – is completing discussions w/ Paramount Lot Producers, Fishman Productions, Ltd., on a Full Length Feature version of their highly successful horror web series. An official announcement is anticipated during Comic Con where UD will be the featured Project at ICON’s Saturday July 24, 2010 Event. UD Talent will be at Comic Con for signings and to meet their avid fans.

UD writer Kelly Parks indicates “I can’t wait for fans to see the whole story!” Director Vernon Mortensen said, “Fishman Productions has the highest integrity and has really earned our respect.” FPL Executive Producer, Jeff Fishman, admits being “blown away by the connection fans feel for “Universal Dead” and the Full Length Feature Script Kelly has written”. The Full Length Feature script is still under wraps and Fans are hoping for some teasers during Comic Con.

AWESOME! Congratulations guys! That’s great news. Wish I could be at ComicCon to hear the announcement.

BTW Vernon, when’s the next installment of Universal Dead coming out? Hmmmmm…..?

Universal Dead: Episode 1 | Episode 2

I love the above statement! It gives me shivers when I consider where Universal Dead might go, which seems to be right into Day of the Dead territory.

Doug Jones has made his first appearance as the cuckolded and slightly unhinged Dr. Vataber, whose wife is now the subject of his experiments on the undead.

The other thing that I’m enjoying is the semantics surrounding the undead or the infected, as CDC representative Dr. Macavoy (Gary Graham) likes to call them. It reminds me of the arguments that first surrounded the AIDS epidemic (and yes, I’m old enough to actually remember that) and continues to swirl when discussing it’s cause.

The film is directed by Vernon Mortensen and written by Kelly Parks, both of whom have been in the military, as were most of the crew. Interesting, considering in these scenarios, the military is usually portrayed in a less than stellar light.

This is definitely one to watch.

George Romero by Nolan Harris - I just love this image!Vanity Fair has posted an awesome interview with George Romero about all things Zombies. What’s surprising to me is that Romero’s zombies have always been just that, reanimated corpses that walk around looking for a nice piece of living human to gnaw on. If you look at the zombie genre, they’ve always been seen as representative of something, whether it be Communism (Night of the Living Dead) or couch potatoes (Shaun of the Dead).  Well, apparently not:

Eric Spitznagel: To paraphrase Freud, sometimes things have symbolism and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Are the zombies in your movies always a metaphor, or are they sometimes just bloodthirsty walking corpses?

George Romero: To me, the zombies have always just been zombies. They’ve always been a cigar. When I first made Night of the Living Dead, it got analyzed and overanalyzed way out of proportion. The zombies were written about as if they represented Nixon’s Silent Majority or whatever. But I never thought about it that way. My stories are about humans and how they react, or fail to react, or react stupidly. I’m pointing the finger at us, not at the zombies. I try to respect and sympathize with the zombies as much as possible. (Laughs.)

It’s also obvious that Romero still loves what he’s doing:

So you’d never watch one of your movies and point to a random zombie and say, “That guy in the tie? His name’s Fred, he used to work in real estate, and he died of melanoma at 48.”

(Laughs.) That would be great! But no, I’ve never done that. There were a few zombies that were memorable. I really liked the helicopter pilot in Dawn of the Dead, when he gets bitten and comes out of the elevator. That guy was amazing. He did this incredible walk that we didn’t even know about until we started shooting. And I also have a soft spot for Bub from Day of the Dead, which was a brilliant performance, worthy of Boris Karloff. But that’s pretty much it.

At any rate, it’s a great interview and as always, Romero is thought provoking and a lot of fun.

George Romero’s latest movie, Survival of the Dead, was released May 28th, 2010. Here’s the trailer, please note, it’s a red band, so no peaking if you’re under the age of 18.

This looks interesting…

I’m not a big fan of the zombie genre – Zombieland is about as horrific as I get, but this looks interesting. Seems they’re going to be examining people’s reaction to seeing a loved one turned into a walking dead.

Besides, Doug Jones is always fun to watch. I hope he plays a disturbed medical genius who secretly believes that zombies are the next step up the human evolutionary ladder.