|The Original Cast-- Many did not survive|
AMC's THE WALKING DEAD is a remarkable achievement in TV-- it's actually really good. I need to go on record that in my opinion as far as zombie movies go the only ones that are worth your time are NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) which is flawed but well done especially when you consider the budget and the earlier LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964) which isn't even about zombies but it was obviously an influence on director George Romero.
And that's it.
My brother, the infinitely talented NewtMonkey-- who writes amazing movie reviews for grade z schlock films will heartily disagree. He and I had a zombie fest the last time he was in America and we watched DAY OF THE DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD and a few others but I stand by my original statement.
The vast majority of Zombie movies are all about the gross out factor and feature cardboard characters who give the viewer little reason to care or get invested in what happens to them-- and that is where THE WALKING DEAD gets it right. They still do gross out effects for the diehard fans, and I'm the first to say it's done very well and serves the story. You want these zombie attacks to be scary.
The writing is very good-- it's not EXORCIST good, or USUAL SUSPECTS good-- this is still TV after all and sometimes bits of the dialogue make me cringe (note to producer Robert Kirkman-- I do dialogue doctoring for scripts, call me) but the characters are well defined and actually evolve over the course of the series, which to date just wrapped it's second season-- and since each season is only 6 episodes that means we've seen a lot in just 12 hour long episodes.
It's intense, and it's actually better than the comic book series it's based on which at times can be much too dark and depressing.
It's on break until the Fall but I'm sure it'll be on iTunes and rerun on AMC through the summer. If you get a chance to watch a marathon give it a go. Just make sure to leave a light on.