In the spirit of Halloween, “The Walking Dead” had its series premiere on AMC last Sunday. Every minute of the show gave the feel of a dystopian world and showed the true moral conflict of a zombie apocalypse.
The male lead, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), is a police officer who, after a shootout, becomes hospitalized for a bullet wound. During his stay, a zombie virus breaks out across the world and begins a chain of events leading to a dark and decaying society.
After an undetermined amount of time, Grimes wakes up from a coma to find that the hospital is in shambles. There are creatures groaning in the corridors and masses of dead bodies on the hospital loading dock.
In a moment of human emotion, he checks the hell out of there and tries to make his way back home.
One of the few things that doesn’t seem to have died in “The Walking Dead” is Southern hospitality. Grimes and company try to hold on to common courtesy in an apocalyptic world.
They help lost kids and wounded civilians, and ask politely to siphon gas — all the while being wary of the possibility that the person they are with may become reanimated flesh-eating corpses.
“The Walking Dead” seems to be much more focused on survival rather than on any of the zombies. There aren’t any ridiculous mutations, as in “Resident Evil,” and the zombies are reminiscent of those in the 1978 film “Dawn of the Dead” in that they are slow and only a real threat in a large group (but not nearly as humorous).
All in all, “The Walking Dead” has some of the classic flaws found in many zombie on-screen depictions. None of the main characters seem to know what a zombie is or use the word zombie. The main character seems to awaken unharmed and unaware of the chaos outside the window. And, of course, there are always those moments of sheer stupidity that make you yell at screen, “Why the hell did you do that?”
However, isn’t that the point of most zombie movies? It isn’t supposed to make us scared, but, rather, aware of the human condition and how irrational we all can be. A situation as simple and logical as survival becomes extremely conflicted once someone becomes infected.
In the end, I’m sure “The Walking Dead” will be successful as long as the show continues with a viewership containing everyone from survivalists to zombie buffs.
Minahan is a member of the class of 2012.