Posts Tagged ‘zombies’

Phony Beatlemania

NPR had a pretty good story about London’s efforts to use The Clash’s “London Calling” as the theme song for the 2012 Olympics.  I don’t pretend to speak either for Jesus-God nor Joe Strummer, but I reckon if he were alive he would either think it was funny, or he would throw an absolute shit fit.  (he was something of an Angry Elf) If they tried to use Anarchy in the UK, well, Johnny Lydon (nee Rotten) would be all over that, I think.  He’s all about selling out, even though he’s not your stepping stone.

Anyway, the controversy surrounding the song concerns not Joe Strummer’s legacy, but the fact that the song is about a nuclear apocalypse that floods the Thames (I really need you to pronounce the ‘th’ like in ‘that.’  Try it, it’s fun.) and results in an ice age with zombies.  The title is from the BBC.  It’s kind of like a kinder “God save the Queen.”  (she ain’t no human being)

On a side note, JT and I watched Get Him to the Greek last night, which featured both “London Calling” and “Anarchy in the UK.”  Longtime friend of Biblecomix Dan Bern co-wrote two songs for the movie.

Lyrics:

London calling to the faraway towns
Now that war is declared-and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, all you boys and girls
London calling, now don’t look at us
All that phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain’t got no swing
‘Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing

CHORUS
The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Engines stop running and the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
London is drowning-and I live by the river

London calling to the imitation zone
Forget it, brother, an’ go it alone
London calling upon the zombies of death
Quit holding out-and draw another breath
London calling-and I don’t wanna shout
But when we were talking-I saw you nodding out
London calling, see we ain’t got no highs
Except for that one with the yellowy eyes

CHORUS
Now get this London calling, yeah, I was there, too
An’ you know what they said?
Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
After all this, won’t you give me a smile?
I never felt so much a’ like

Original:

My parents are going to see Elvis Costello tonight at the Newport folk festival, so here he is singing it:

Bangers and Mash from GHttG, which I think is like a double entendre:

Catering to the zombie demographic


Also the Lucha and live action anime:

She’s actually supposed to be a ninja:

Juan of the Dead

This looks awesome:

Return of the Living Dead


I started watching Return of the Living Dead on the way to DisneyWorld a couple weeks ago, but lost the 3G signal somewhere in Georgia.  I made it only through about 19%.  I finished the final 81% this morning.  RotLD (Not Rolling on the Lavatory Door) is a for the most part pleasant comedy about a zombie outbreak in a medical supply company when a barrel of toxic government gas is mistakenly exposed to some cadavers.  The movie is supposed to take place in Louisville, Kentucky, which was apparently chosen at random because no local landmarks are featured.  Not even the Galt House, which would be a perfect place for Victorian zombie prostitutes.  The cast reminded me of That 80s Show, a program that I have never seen.  I’m not alone in that lack of endeavour, as it was canceled after 13 episodes.  Nonetheless, my impression was that the show was comprised of an amalgamation of 80s stereotypes, which is precisely what is featured in RotLD.  There’s a pastel jacketed dude, a punk rocker with a mohawk, a black guy who makes it to the end (he does die, as Louisville is nuked at the end.  Sorry for the spoiler.  It came out in 1985. You had your chance.), a material girl who spends nearly all of her time naked (nice), and so on.  The special effects are pretty phenomenal for mid eighties.  There’s an awesome zombie puppet which totally looks (un) alive, were it not for the frequent use of ‘B’ words which require lips the zombie does not have. 
Looks like cocaine is involved in the first scene of the pilot:
The ending is fairly similar to Escape from L.A., which is to say not very happy.  Not a bad way to waste 90 or so minutes.

 

So this is what disappointment feels like

1I’ve written about Outsourced several times on Biblecomix, even though it really has nothing to do with vampires or Jesus, zombies or the rapture.  It’s a culturally important show that stole my idea, twisted it around, and still came up with something that was watchable.  My idea was to have a Northern Exposure style show where two American guys go to India to get their jobs back when they’re outsourced.  Both Outsourced and my idea would drive home the concept that, though the jobs were sent to India, the people doing those jobs weren’t much different from each other.  Mine would have had a bit more Slumdog Millionaire (which I, snob that I am, thought was vastly overrated and relied too much on Indian stereotypes.  Those kids never would have made it to the Taj Mahal.  That was just thrown in for stupid Americans.) and a little less The Office. (I also still have the idea of a Dallas style program about the tech bubble of the 1990s.  A kind of prime time soap opera with Asperger’s)

Alas, the dream is dead.  Outsourced has been canceled.

It’s too late, but please go vote anyway.

iZombie redux

I just finished issue number 6 of iZombie, which details the origin story of Scott, the were-terrier.  It’s full of interesting little details, some cliched (his parents died in a car accident and he was raised by his frandfather) and some not so much (his grandfather provided the voice for the animated monkey, Mr. Chimps.  Although he brought joy to kids everywhere, he resented the cartoon and was always hard hearted toward it.  While not technically a comic book cliche, this detail does remind me, quite vividly, of Satanic Verses, and what a kick ass comic book/graphic novel it would make.).  The story also seems more of a riff on Being Human, with minor details changed, like the vampire in BH is a zombie here.  There’s even sort of a zombie/revenant syndicate that coordinates brain eating.  Gwen, the zombie of the title, also solves Scooby Doo mysteries inspired by the brains she eats.

My point is, that, though zombie and vampire stories have been done to death, I think we’ve really only scratched the surface of their nature.  The successful stories, thus far, have gotten by on minor tweaks to the vampire mythos (in Twilight, vampires sparkle in the sun. Woo hoo.) and strong characters.  However, very little has been done to explore variants and mutations of vampires.  Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter trod down this path, suggesting there are different species of vampire, but the only major differences were that the vampires died in different ways.

I think this is the future of vampire fiction.  I’ve already proposed that Jesus’ blood and vampire blood sucking are related, the Eucharist is a pretty vampirific ritual, etc., but I envision vampire castes in India who eat human excrement or semen and are associated with the castes who clean the toilets or the prostitute caste (though I’m not sure if there is such a thing as that last.)  The point is that these vampires would bring a whole new dimension to the stories.  As outcasts, their rage would be driven not by hungers, but by resentment and shame.  (There are, BTW, many different caste systems already proposed for vampire world, but they are all pretty tame, with such classes as ‘priests,’ or ‘counselors,’ but these don’t challenge the vampire mythos in any meaningful way.  Maybe people don’t want any changes.  It just rearranges chairs on a My guess is that they do.

All that said, I rather liked the following page from issue six:

Danny the Diabetic Vampire

In searching on Diabetas and Vampires, I found this web comic, which you may have guessed is called Danny, the Diabetic Vampire.  Kudos for the Christmas cartoon below featuring Jesus as a zombie.

The upside of the end of “rarity.”

This post on boingboing lamenting the end of rarity intrigued me.  The piece on Slate is tl,dr, and it is packed to the gills with pretentious name dropping of hipster bullschtick music like hours of Van Halen rehearsals.  The article is almost entirely from the perspective of collectors and fetishists whose lives are made simultaneously easier and less interesting.

(I remember when I bought the CD with the song above in Camden Market in 1996. Now I just have to remember the name of the song to hear it. That’s as good as having something no one else has.)

However, the article doesn’t really attempt to see things from the point of view of everyone else.  I’ve said for quite some time that the next generation of auteurs will put Tarantino’s incessant film homages to shame.  All the Chinese gangster movies and French crime films he references are just a click away on Netflix.  And there are thousands more he never could have seen.  There’s a real democratization of media going on which should only bring good things.

JT has seen way, way more foreign films than I had seen into my thirties, and he’s not even in high school.  If he reads about a painting, he doesn’t have to go to the library to look at it, just on google images.

The next generation will synthesize things in ways my previous generations couldn’t even imagine.  There will be lots of competition, but it should yield some really awesome stuff.

Like Jesus fighting Vampires through transubstantiation and making five brains feed five thousand zombies into their graves.

I rest my case.

iZombie contains a Rosetta Stone of monsters

I had been aware of iZombie, having read an excerpt at the end of a comic book I finished several months ago. At the time, it seemed somewhat derivative, though, who am I kidding, it’s a comic book about zombies, so the options are limited. However, when Dory Doctorow offered his endorsement, however tentative, I decided to take another look. I always add on to my Amazon orders to get free shipping and added this on to my Tron Blu-ray order.

izombie also has mummies, which feature in bible comix

iZombie is the tale of an undead girl who is, to outward appearances, normal, albeit a little wan and clammy. She must eat human brains at least monthly to maintain her normal sheen, otherwise, she turns into a shambling, mindless, George Romero type zombie. She chooses to eat the brains of the recently dead, and is haunted by their memories. A large part of the story involves her attempting to avenge the deaths of those whose brains she ingests. The concept is quite intriguing, adding an element of film noir style disinterested revenge sets the story on solid ground.

The derivative part involves most of the rest of the story. Gwen, the titular zombie, lives with the ghost of a woman who died at the height of the mod 60s, and their best good friend is a were-terrier, Scot, whom they call Spot. It’s starting to sound a lot like Being Human, yeah? Oh, and the stuff about taking on the memories of those whose brains you’ve eaten, that’s kind of ganked from Chew, the comic about a guy who gets a sense of the life of anything he eats, animal or vegetable (minerals were never alive).

So it was derivative, or so I thought. Around the middle of the first volume, iZombie launches into a Linnaeus-like classification of the common monsters. The classifications hinge on a dual soul, the upper soul, which includes memories and personalities, and the lower soul, which contains the emotions and appetites. (this is not entirely clearcut and there is some overlap. Who could have memories without emotion? It’s more that the upper soul is aware, the lower soul is not. In addition, the upper soul resides in the brain and lower soul, appetites and emotions, reside in the heart and blood. Each monster’s choice (for monsters with a physical body) of body part is driven by what he lacks. The vampire is has memories intact, but needs blood to feel passion. The zombie craves brains to have memories. Ghosts have memories, poltergeists have appetites. I think this is a compelling way to describe why there are monsters who are so similar yet so different. I fully plan to adhere to this explanation in Bible comix and will soon post more about how Jesus fits into everything.

Btw, Gwen, our hero, is a revenant. She has a body and upper and lower soul but still needs brains to keep the upper soul active.

The first volume does have some loose ends and veers dangerously close to the ancient conspiracy theory against which I rail, but I’m sitting on pins and needles for the conclusion and am still willfully suspending disbelief.

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Thoughts of Inigo Montoya

Inasmuch as I’m on an ongoing quest to study the ins and outs of the horror genre to lend as much verisimilitude as possible to Bible Comix, I’ve felt like Inigo Montoya this weekend, as I’ve pursued rather than studied.

Saturday evening, JT watched I Sell the Dead while I tried in vain to unlock some achievements on Tiny Wings.  (It is much more difficult than Angry Birds)  The movie is about two grave robbers who encounter zombies and vampires and have one of those love triangles where the chick (also a grave robber) comes between them.  It was pretty boring, but the trailer is below.  I think it’s safe to say that its contribution to undead culture is negligible.

Then today, I got totally into a marathon of Holmes on Holmes, which is kind of addictive.  This dude goes in and corrects messed up contracting jobs so you get to feel self righteous, but not in a Jersey Shore sort of way.  You get to take joy not that you’re better than the contractors, but that the problems are being fixed.