zombie

Top 10 Halloween Time Movies

Episode 221: Top 10 Halloween Time Movies

We continue Halloween Month with a discussion surrounding our favorites films for this time of year! Derreck & Rae sit outside in the evening air to speak their Top 10 Halloween Time Movies! These movies include classic horror, fun spooky stuff, and a few surprises from across decades of film!

Before that, we talk the latest news in entertainment including the new details out of the HBO Max Green Lantern series.

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Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Hosts: Rae Stewart | Derreck Mayer | Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor: Derreck Mayer

Music by Flying Killer Robots

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Social Media: @ScreenHeroesPod

Top 10 Halloween Time Movies

Screen Heroes Halloween Special

Halloween is almost here, meaning it’s time to celebrate the films we all love and sometimes love to hate for their intensity, gore, and startling surprises. That’s right, it’s time to pick our favorite films including horror, ghosts, zombies, vampires, slashers, and more! With returning guest, Ian of Haus of Turner Cosplay, we each pick our own favorites dating back to the black and white films all the way through 2016.

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Halloween Special Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Ian Turner

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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Social Media
@ScreenHeroesPod

Screen Heroes Halloween Special

The Walking Dead and All The Fake Deaths

It’s about time The Walking Dead stops with the fake deaths already. Setting it up to have a character look like they died just before a long break to keep viewers interested. It’s like crying wolf and starts to lose its emotional impact after awhile. Worse is that the viewers start to second guess everything you show them. If you’re not up to date on The Walking Dead and insist everything must be a surprise to you, then you may want stop reading now as there are some spoilers. Not that some big spoilers are to be had here but it may detract from some of the things that are revealed in the show. Not that I think any of the fake deaths are that great anyways. But here lately The Walking Dead has been trending more and more towards the soap opera variety of entertainment of suggesting a character has died towards the end of a mid or regular season final and then bringing them back. It’s lame story telling.


 

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The Walking Dead: Fake Deaths

First Fake Death, Merle
I guess it could be argued that it all began in season one, with Merle being chained to the roof of a building in downtown Atlanta for being too much of a prick. Though he probably deserved being left to die, it set up his return with the Governor a couple seasons later. His toughness and determination are what allowed him to make it out of this dire situation and it added to the character and it added depth to every scene he was in when he came back. It was actually pretty good. The tension later on between Rick and others because of it was excellent, it made watching it exciting. Not to mention we never really saw him die on the roof and it’s believable that he could’ve chopped his hand off to escape, people have actually done this before. Ever hear of a wolf caught in a bare trap? Merle is the same kinda animal. This is an example of some good story telling.

With-Myrl_themodernmage-com

2nd Fake Death, Judith
It wasn’t until season 3 when Rick and the others were routed from the prison that another fake death happened, this time with Rick’s daughter Judith. In the chaos she was left unguarded. Tragic yes but in the chaos this is understandable. I mean in a world of constantly fighting off the undead and contending with rival groups of survivors, anyone who can’t take care of themselves doesn’t have good chances. I imagine there wouldn’t be many elderly, injured, or slow people left after the zombies took over. This is a very difficult world to live in after all.

Rule Number 1

Babies suck at cardio

And when I saw the empty baby carrier, bloodied and abandoned, I was like wow. They actually stuck to the brutality of the comic books. I was impressed, sure they didn’t actually show it on camera but I don’t think anyone wanted to see a baby get mauled by walkers. It was a necessary touchstone in Rick’s development from the comics and was glad it made it into the show.

Baby Carrier

Hardly a snack

When Rick’s daughter looked like she died it really hit home with viewers. The thing that drew audiences in was Rick’s loss, he was crushed. In the comics the rout from the prison is what broke him, changed him. It was a watershed event in the story and for the character. Rick became a lot more harsh, a stone cold stare was often apart of his character.

Walking Dead Gif

Unfortunately, it was just another fake death. She made it out of the prison after all. Even a helpless baby is apparently capable of faking its own death in the way that both Elvis and Hitler would be envious, at least if any of those tabloids are to believed. Sure, it was a bit of a let down. I mean I’m not rooting for baby killing or anything like that, I’m definitely pro-baby. Now there’s a political bumper sticker for ya, I’m not pro-choice or pro-life, just pro-zombies not eating babies. It’s just that the scene set it up to make the viewers think that the baby died. I mean come on, absent baby, bloodied carrier, satiated walkers nearby, I guess the babies gone and they just didn’t want to show the gore. What were we supposed to think? I was cool with that.

hitler-is-alive

Instead when the new season starts the baby is fine. Nothing was gained from it, no character growth, no development. Nothing was learned, it was flat. It may have not been the best death on television but it made sense that in the difficult post-apocalyptic zombie world in which they lived in. There probably isn’t many babies left because life is hard, tragedies happen. Babies are tasty, Jonathan Swift jokes not withstanding

Jonathan Swift

3rd Fake Death, Glenn
This ended up not being a tragedy after all. So later on when Glenn, one of the show favorites, falls off dumpster with one of his dead weight companions into a crowd of zombies, he looks to be a goner. From a trick angle the scene is shot from above looking down on the horde, who are apparently tearing into a Glenn. Who has a very sad look on his face, not to be confused with the “Ahhhh, walkers are tearing into my guts” kinda faces, it was one of those sad faces 🙁 It’s revealed several episodes later that his friend fell on top of him, buying him time by distracting the walkers. Glenn makes is way under an nearby dumpster, kills the scant few dedicated walkers who try to chase him and just calls it a day. He decides to wait the walkers out. I mean that works with zombies right?

Horde one

I mean come on walkers are busy people, they have things to do, people to eat. They can’t just wait around for someone to come out of hiding and they do get distracted easily. That’s the problem with the undead, short attention spans. I mean think of all the time walkers surround a prison or something else like or tank and just give up and left. That’s what they do, right?

the_walking_dead_rick_tank_scene

The real kicker of it is that in the comics Glenn does die. And a sign of any good zombie show is that everyone’s survivability eventually drops to zero, no one lives for ever. It’s what the genre is about. So when they showed Glenn apparently dying I was like, it sucks but I understand it. It was a good death after all, he did his best, fought to keep his friend alive, never once showing cowardice and selfishness. He looked death in the eye and didn’t blink. It was a good death, it was a shame it was fake though. It rang hollow.

3rd Death, Daryl??

Aside from the cheapness of it, pretending a character dies just to bring characters back ends up biting you in the end. And that’s where we are, about to enter the finale for season six, with Daryl and friends at the mercy of some real nasty baddies. Just at the end of the episode you see Daryl apparently get shot. Well it’s suggested, but not shown explicitly. This will be the forth time an apparent death has happened and it’s starting to lose all impact. They’ve cried wolf too much. We’re not buying it anymore.

Darryl Death 2

Over the span of the show The Walking Dead has overused this fake death plot device way too much, it has become tired. They need to move on to better story telling. It may be interesting to see them kill off a big character that the fan girls love ( cough, cough, Daryl) and have them do it in an undeniable way. Point blank shot to the head. No cheat angles, no deus ex machina dumpsters, just plain dead. Seeing the forum board light up in the anger would be worth it alone. But more importantly it would be good story telling, something The Walking Dead needs to get back to.

The show can’t go on forever and they are starting to catch up with the comics. They’ll have decide how the show will end eventually. Just as with the zombie classic model, no one lives forever, all things must come to an end. It’s not saying that a lot of people have to die but faking out the audience into thinking that characters die in a finale before a break and bringing them back is a amateurish way to do it.

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What are your thoughts? Have the fake deaths helped or hurt The Walking Dead in your eye? Do you think Daryl is really dead? Sound off the in the comments below and don’t forget to catch The Walking Dead Season 6 finale tomorrow night on AMC!

The Walking Dead and All The Fake Deaths

Maggie – Review

Truck Drive Arnie

 

 

Intro

Maggie is a great 2015 indie film, casting Arnold Schwarzenegger against type. Set in a post apocalyptic zombie world a father takes responsibility for his terminally ill daughter who was bitten, played excellently by Abigail Breslin. This movie will emotionally haunt you afterwards thanks to Breslin’s talent. The film has some excellent scenes and builds tension superbly and acting from the supporting cast is fantastic, far better than your typical indie film.hr_Maggie_5_horiz

But the real question on everyone’s mind is how is Arnold in this role? Quite good actually. Even the most staunch Arnold fan wouldn’t claim that he is a versatile actor but he has some great traits that fit nicely in this film; charisma, confidence, grit, and strength all best described as a kind of stoicism. Exactly what you would expect of a farmer. But what you haven’t seen much of Arnold before is him being caring and loving and he pulls this off reasonably well. It takes a keen eye to spot but it fits his character,this role is written well for him.

That being said this film may not be for everyone. Slow at times, imagine the Walking Dead scenes were the character was bitten but the death stretched out, much, much longer. But doing this actually makes it much more painful, its easier to shoot someone in the head and be done with it but this film makes you feel for Maggie and her father. Viewers who can’t stand Arnold as an actor may not like this film either as he is very subtle in this role and a lot of people will gloss over his performance. But if you’re like me and can dig something different and are intrigued with idea of Arnold being something other than an action hero, then this film is for you. Because Arnold hits his mark.

Maggie Plot and Characters

Arnold plays Wade, a stoic Midwest farmer who has found his daughter in the chaos of the zombie apocalypse,  but it is too late. She has turned up in a quarantine hospital for the infected. The zombie apocalypse was averted and some semblance of government is in effect, both on the federal and state levels. Hospitals are open and utilities are just barely working but it is all still very tenuous, society could slip back into chaos. Wade goes to get his daughter Maggie despite all of the dangers of the infection and people’s fear of the infected. He loves her and wants her last days to be as good as they can, just as with any good father, he wants the best for her. Her suffering is his own.maggie-Arnold-Schwarzenegger

What makes this film so different from other zombie films is the speed of infection. Where 28 Days Later has the infection taking over a person as fast as say a sprinting zombie, this film is terribly slow, painfully slow. It makes the Walking Dead’s infection look like …. well a sprinting zombie. It takes several weeks for a person to turn. In many ways the film is more like a family dealing with a with a terminal illness. Something like your mother coming home and telling you she has cancer and slowly seeing her body betray her and everyone being powerless to stop it. Maggie is slowly but inevitably turning into a zombie and she will be a threat to all those around her. Wade’s responsibility was to find her but after he takes her into custody he must be the one to eventually deal with her. To see that she comes to a humane end.

In an excellent scene Maggie, when playing outside as any child would, she falls and breaks a finger, normally it would heal but with Maggie’s condition it immediately starts to rot and die as her body starts to betray her. She is helpless to stop this and in a fit of frustration she lops her finger off with a nearby knife, as if to separate herself from the infection that is slowly but inevitable claiming her childhood innocence. Breslin sales this so perfectly that you feel touched and you will be haunted by it and many other scenes like this. Breslin is such an anchor of this film, everyone else plays off of her exceptional performance through out.

zed exam

Arnold’s Performance

Arnold during this exam is also exceptionally wonderful but much more subtle. As you might expect a Midwest father or any conservative person to be, Wade is very stoic. Arnold’s performance isn’t about big flourishes of emotions, just little hints of what Maggie’s terminal illness is doing to him, killing him on the inside. In the check up scene with the doctor you see such an array of emotions conflicting inside Wade, all just beneath the surface. Fear, anxiety, worry, and above all else love for his daughter all being masked with face that tries to reassure his daughter. Arnold is no Shakespearean actor but he is perfect as a Midwest farmer dealing with the slow death of his daughter. It fits him perfectly.

Arnie scene

Her sickness is progressing quickly and In private the doctor lays it all out plainly for Wade. “She’ll lose her appetite, then her sense of smell will be heightened, then she’ll crave something else … …” Wade can administer a drug that will kill Mag quickly but painfully, sparing him the anguish of having to kill her but knowing she’ll suffer. He could take her to quarantine where her remaining days will be inhumane and terrible and ignore it all. Or he can do as the doctor recommends “end it quickly.” Implying a gunshot to the head.

Bio Hazard Walk

This is where the movie shines. Wade realizes all of this and continues regardless of the risks. Her skin shows signs of rot and is flaking off, maggots start to appear near the bite wound. Her eyes fog over and her voice takes on the rasping breathing of someone who is close to death. A raspy death rattle of a voice letting it be known not much time is left. All the while Maggie is still mobile and cognizant, she is still just a frightened little girl. This is where that farmer stoicism factors in so well. Arnold betrays no vulnerabilities, no remorse, he has a job to do. He must ensure that his daughter can live as long as she can, to hold on to being an innocent child just a little longer. If Wade should falter and show signs of grief it will hurt Maggie, she will read it in his eyes. Wade must be brave on two fronts, he’s got to shield her from this pain but he also has to keep the world from coming for her.

Y R U Here

Tension and Climax

The film builds tension expertly as Maggie’s sickness continues and Wade is confronted by the police about Maggie’s condition having gone too far. She should be dealt with says the police. This is where Arnold’s natural gifts of being confident come in. So many great actors in Hollywood fake this kind of confidence but you don’t doubt for a moment that Wade will do anything to give his daughter just a little more time to live. Wade knows the implications of standing up to the police and allowing Maggie to progress so dangerously to the edge of being a zombie. But he does it anyway, out of love. It is at this moment that Wade’s stoicism makes sense, not only is he doing this for his daughter that he loves, he’ll do it despite the cost. Wade is the kind of person that will march into hell for love, he is Orpheus. Such strength being paired with love is so rare in film. Arnold’s strength and confidence in this confrontation punctuates and adds the necessary exclamation mark to the climax and the ending of the film. Without it, the film would’ve suffered for it.

Cop Confront

 

But in the end Maggie’s change is unstoppable and Wade must make the final choice. He doesn’t skate out on his responsibilities but the film’s plot does end on a cheap note and a great opportunity is missed. Without giving too much away the ending is still strong but could’ve been better considering the excellent build up and tension but despite this the film ends reasonably well.

shell pick up

Conclusion

The film is heart-wrenching and enjoyable story. It’s a bit slow at times in the middle as it tries to build bonds between Maggie and her family and friends. Though Arnold’s performance was really good it would’ve been nice to see him slip and show more signs of pain and anguish when Maggie wasn’t around. Perhaps confiding in the doctor or friends, humanizing Wade more. The rookie director Henry Hobson does an incredible job of building tension and setting up great shots to tell stories without words. And I look forward to seeing future work from him. But Hobson is at times a little too slavish to the use of dark, low light scenes to set the grim mood at detriment to the mechanics of the scenes. Especially considering the subtlety of Arnold’s acting. But despite this the film as a whole is rather excellent, a great example of an indie film and the kind of acting Arnold can do when put in the right situation. Zombie fans, Arnold fans, and people who just plain like good old fashioned tension and drama will enjoy the film.

 

Maggie – Review