You might not remember this, but not long ago, zombies were the monster of choice. Slow zombies, fast zombies, funny zombies, Nazi zombies, alien zombies—you name it, there was a zombie for it. Of course, these days it’s all about vampires. But this October, zombies are making a comeback…as zombies tend to do.
On Halloween night at 10:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. CST), AMC is airing the 90-minute premiere episode of The Walking Dead, a new television series based on the popular comic book written by Robert Kirkman, drawn by Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, and published by Image Comics. The Walking Dead tells the story of a disparate group of people trying to survive the aftermath of the now seemingly inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Horror is new ground for AMC, the basic cable channel best known for the hot, Emmy-winning shows Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Though it’s hard to imagine a zombie show actually winning awards, I have to admit that The Walking Dead does have an award-winning pedigree, with Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) and Gale Anne Hurd (Aliens) producing and KNB head honcho Greg Nicotero handling effects.
As you can see below, the show’s trailer looks fantastic. It’s obvious that there’s a pretty large budget involved, especially for a show based on a horror comic book—two genres that have recently escaped from the ghetto due to their ability to turn a large profit at the box office. So, while The Walking Dead might be considered an unusual, even brave, programming choice for AMC, it’s a safe bet that the network will do all right with it. But just in case, AMC hedged its bets somewhat by ordering only six episodes.
Content-wise, the trailer feels somewhat familiar and, at first, a tad too earnest, especially for what is, at heart, a reanimated road trip (I mean, it’s right there in the title). But by the preview’s end, things are a bit more in place tonally, with the 1966 pop song “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” kicking in to add a welcome touch of bittersweet irony. I’m a fan of the source material, which never takes itself too seriously. Hopefully, the show will be allowed to follow suit.
For added value, I’m embedding another video of some zombies I’d like to see make a comeback. Yes, it’s the ‘60s pop group The Zombies singing “She’s Not There.” Personally, I think AMC would be crazy not to acquire the band’s entire catalog for the almost certain second season of The Walking Dead. The kitschy promotional value alone would make it a good investment, don’t you think?