Zombie movies are a dime a dozen it seems. On any given week, you can scrounge around on the internet and someone has either made or is in the process of making a film that revolves around the brain-eating living dead. Some would say that it is one of the most tired sub-genres in the field of horror. Director Frank Darabont, comic book writer Robert Kirkman, and the AMC television channel have changed all that with “The Walking Dead.”
Anchor Bay and AMC have released Golden Globe-nominated “The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season,” which features all six episodes in all their gory splendor. For those of you who don’t know, “The Walking Dead” is based on the Eisner Award-winning Image comic book series of the same name that was created and written by Robert Kirman. The series was launched in 2003 and is still in publication today and celebrating issue #82 this month.
“The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season” begins when “police officer Rick Grimes wake(s) from a coma in an abandoned hospital and finds the world he knew gone – ravaged by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions. Nearby, on the outskirts of Atlanta, a small encampment struggles to survive as ‘the dead’ stalk them at every turn. Can Rick and the others hold onto their humanity as they fight to live in this terrifying new world? And, amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries, will they ultimately survive one another?”
It’s interesting how “The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season” really focuses on the human condition in times of tragic circumstances and states of emergency. The show doesn’t really concentrate so much on making sure we see every headshot as it does making ourselves ask difficult questions like “What would I do in a situation like this?” or “How would I react in a state of panic and emergency?” However, it is in front of the backdrop of a zombie holocaust and that makes the social issues and commentary on our civilization a little bit easier to stomach and a lot more fun to watch.
The visual effects and zombie make-up for “The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season” are absolutely phenomenal. These undead creatures have to be the best I’ve seen in years. The team of veteran special effects makeup designer Gregory Nicotero, special effects coordinator Darrell Pritchett, and visual effects supervisors Sam Nicholson and Jason Sperling have really outdone themselves with this series.
The Blu-ray and regular format DVD versions of “The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season” include some great extra features. The Making of “The Walking Dead” is a 30-minute featurette that has interviews with director Frank Darabont and the cast as well as behind-the-scenes sequences. There are short featurettes entitled Inside “The Walking Dead” for every episode. Some of the other bonuses include A Sneak Peek with Robert Kirkman, Behind the Scenes Zombie Make-Up Tips, Convention Panel with Producers, and “The Walking Dead” Trailer. We also get extra footage like Zombie School, Bicycle Girl, On Set with Robert Kirkman, Hanging with Steven Yeun, Inside Dale’s RV, and On Set with Andrew Lincoln.
Horror fans who have grown weary of your typical lumbering corpses that are easily picked off by gunshots and a bludgeoning to the head will find something entirely different upon viewing “The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season.” This series takes a beaten dead horse and breathes new life into it. I would highly recommend it to anyone who can stomach this sort of thing.
You can buy the Blu-ray version of “The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season” right here.
You can buy the regular format DVD version of “The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season” right here.