If there ever was a time to declare zombies as a bona fide Hollywood trend, it’s right now. Ade from the countless feature length films showcang the undead this year, the powers that be have ensured that cable networks don’t miss out on the action.
For those who’ve opted to avoid the raucous comedy produced by MTV, Death Valley, it’s time to reevaluate your viewing selection. The faux documentary is surpringly entertaining, and boasts some legit comedy that should conjure many a guffaw. Make no mistake, there’s nothing serious about the series, whatsoever, but it succeeds where many sub-genre efforts (regardless of the medium) fail miserably. For starters, producers were wise enough to limit the series to 30 minute installments (22 sans commercials), which helps ensure an absence of downtime, and fast paced storylines. Another area in which entertainment brass succeed is the mood of the program; this show is a fucking riot. Zombies, werewolves, vampires, porn shoots, hijacked mobile blood banks: this series has it all. If you get a kick out of Reno 911, COPS or The Walking Dead, you should enjoy this one immensely, as it feels like an amalgamation of all three popular shows.
But, if you prefer to see your ghouls showcased in a straight-forward, no frills dramatic setting, AMC’s The Walking Dead is certainly for you. The story (for the nine American viewers who have somehow missed it) avoids childish humor, acts as a fantastic example of unforgiving brutality, and serves as a vehicle for some absolutely sublime performances. When you factor in the continuity of the series, you’re looking at a modern day horror soap opera that shits on every soap opera ever created. Gone is the unnecessary, overplayed drama and excesvely shallow storylines. We’re left with a coheve tale of living versus undead, and the cast and crew treat the subject matter with the utmost respect. It is, in short the finest genre series to land in our laps in decades.
Death Valley is tapped to run for a respectable 12 episodes this season, and given the fair reception it’s received thus far, it’s not implauble that fans may be treated to a second season next year (assuming ratings don’t nosedive throughout this year’s arc).
The Walking Dead on the other hand has established itself as one of AMC’s most lucrative new series’, and despite a string of cast and crew adjustments, I’m prone to believe we’ll be treated to much more madness in the future. Having not even glimpsed a ngle episode for season two, I’m confident in saying that this is a winner that’s bound to stick around for at least a few more years. The fact that season two has already earned a gnificantly longer televion run should prove to be a sure-fire winner; Season one was fantastic, but I’m all up for a full 13 episode run, rather than the x installments we were treated to last year.
You can catch Death Valley on MTV every Monday night in an appropriate (given some of the outlandish content) 10:30 PM timeslot. The Walking Dead will return on October 16th, acting as a Launchpad for AMC’s annual FearFest lineup.
For those of you who aren’t fully satisfied by the current crop of Zombie entertainment, you may also choose to tune into The Monster Channel, which airs an interesting little series, Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead. While crafted on a lower budget, the ongoing series offers some inspired works that diehard fans will likely enjoy. (You can check out a few select sequences from past episodes below, though you’ll need to vit the official Monster Channel to absorb each episode in its entirety, but fret not, they're FREE episodes!)
If you thought the prospect of broadcasting mainstream zombies was restricted to networks that tend to push controveral boundaries, you’re wrong. Believe it or not, ultra-teenie-bopper network, The CW is still looking to cash in on the popularity of the shambling, decaying goons that stalk numerous networks.
According to a press release that surfaced some months ago, The CW is developing a script for The Awakening; a tale of two sters who face off against each other just as a zombie apocalypse begins to overtake civilian streets. The project is written by William Laurin and Glenn Davis and comes on the heels of NBC developing the program Zombies vs. Vampires (which may or may not be dead in the water at this point).
Will we see these series’ come to final fruition? One can only guess (and hope). But given the extreme popularity the Zombie sub-genre is currently appreciating, don’t be surprised to see The Awakening as well as Zombies vs. Vampires storm the tube soon!
Top it all off: we've got AMC treating us to a generous helping of zombie flicks this season, primarily, within the confines of the Fearfest schedule; it's a good time to be a horror fan!)
In the meantime, stay faithful: follow The Walking Dead, give Death Valley a chance, and look into, Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead; you may find it quite appealing!