Operations Editor Alex Cox says it’s time to bury zombies for good
The zombie epidemic must end now
Alright, that’s enough. Pack it in. Put away the ketchup and the funny contact lenses, and stop that pathetic shambling. The zombie epidemic must end now. This isn’t meant to spark a debate about whether zombies should be able to run ( they shouldn’t) or just wander aimlessly. It’s not even a rant about how basically all zombie movies, videogames and even boardgames are exactly the same. My real problem is that zombies are training wheels. They need to be taken away before the entertainment industry will ever learn to ride its bike by itself.
Zombies tick peril off the Big List o’ Movie Essentials, and much more besides. They provide relationship drama, shlock thrills, jump scares, slapstick comedy, unlikely redemption. It’s all too easy. So why bother to come up with something more original when Groany McLoosebits is risen and ready to help?
Okay, zombies are rarely pitched to the intellectual crowd, and gory excitement is a key ingredient in lunchbox moviemaking – it’s the unexpected chocolate treat which tempers the drudge of everyday life’s value- brand Ready Salted crisps, and it is good. But zombies are too easy a fix, like a multipack of suspect Czech confectionary your mum wants to use up before they go out of date. They seem delicious at first, but when you find a zombie in your lunch every day, get one forced in your mouth whenever you look bored, find one secretly tucked in your pocket so it melts and dribbles down your leg? Enough.
I’m not going to pretend to have seen everything zombie related. And how could I; Wikipedia’s probably- notdefinitive list of zombie movies thumps in at 413 entries with about three plots amongst them. But perhaps we’ve already reached peak zombie. 2014’ s cinezom output was a mere 11 movies, compared to 17 cinema outings in 2012 and an astonishing 25 in 2009. Maybe the plague is relenting, and new ideas are indeed spilling from bigwig brraaaiiinnnss. At least until the second infection of zombie remakes hits… have the budget to match the Americans” excuse is plain rubbish. It’s just a shame that mainstream audiences prefer reality TV and soaps. Robert William Graham, Facebook Let’s not forget Orphan Black. It may be BBC America, but still. It’s bloody marvellous…
Mark Ayling, Manchester It’s just the same old fact that British TV channels would rather make crappy reality TV shows than fantasy/ sci- fi. Even our one flagship sci- fi show, Doctor Who, has been dumbed down to a pale shadow of its original self to accommodate the limited attention span of people who watch TV these days!
Marc Ofner, Kingston Upon Hull Today’s programme makers in the UK wouldn’t know how to make an intelligent and challenging sci- fi/ fantasy in the vein of Blake’s 7 or original Doctor Who. Indeed, Moffat’s terrible re- imagined New Who is proof of that.
Thomas Davies, Lincoln The BBC seems to believe that the only people who want to watch sci- fi shows are 12- year- old kids. Maybe if they wrote shows for a 9pm time slot instead of 7pm Saturday.
Mark Causer, Birmingham Maybe if the makers of these programmes made them a bit less crappy they wouldn’t get cancelled.
Paolo Bianco, London
Calm down, you lot. Brit sci- fi will surely rebound, and as many of you point out, we’ve got a fantastic back catalogue to draw from if we’re ever short of ideas. Speaking of which… Someone needs to get some of the 2000 AD titles made into shows. Future Shocks could be a start. Anyone remember the liveaction Dan Dare series that was in production? I think 10 minutes were produced before it was scrapped. James Fox was Dan, and Rodney Bewes was Digby. I’ve seen stills, and it looked amazing.
Noel Wallace, East Kilbride
We’re absolutely up for some rejuvenated 2000 AD and Eagle properties – as long as the quality slider is a notch above that of the creepy 2002 Dan Dare CG series. Leonard Nimoy RIP It was very sad to hear of Leonard Nimoy’s passing. I grew up with classic Trek and recently saw his range as the sinister William Bell in Fringe. He will be fondly remembered, now he has journeyed to the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns…
Keith Tudor, Romsey He was wonderful. Always. Whether acting or directing, even in the early days when you could see the string. May he be remembered always. Especially loved The Voyage Home.
Jenny Hoskins, Facebook Spock was my childhood hero, a huge hero that taught me to work hard at school, be tolerant and respectful of others, be curious about the world and how it works, have a thirst for knowledge and a love of science. He was the half-Vulcan half- human I watched every week, and recreated every playtime. I’d spend hours in front of the mirror practising both my eyebrow- raising and my Vulcan salute. Spock is one of the very greatest of sci- fi icons, and in Leonard Nimoy we enjoyed one of the very greatest of acting talents. May he live long and prosper in our memory.
Andy B, email My favourite Leonard Nimoy thing is the early ’ 80s promo video he did for Magnavox Laserdisc players. Perhaps I’m too ironic for my own good, but it’s pure gold. Pow erful cursing HOLY CRAP. That Power/ Rangers fan film [http://bit.ly/sfxrangers] could possibly be the greatest update of a programme/ film/ toy range ever. It’s about time that people realise there is an adult market for these types of shows. Tell me Transformers wouldn’t have been a seriously superior film if it was adultafied. They need to make that film.
Mike Garner, Moorends
Now hold on. Explosions, loud noises, and a viewpoint that just can’t seem to bring itself to focus on anything? That sounds like a quality adult night out.
It’s Grim I think that Grimm is a welcome reprieve from series that try to reinvent themselves in every new season. Why change a formula that works and that the viewers like? They changed so much in the new series of Continuum that it leaves me confused and unable to follow the plot sometimes. In Grimm we get to know the characters, one series develops out of the next without changing too much, the arc isn’t too complicated or twisted so that you get lost in it. There are still some things which annoy me, like the dodgy use of German by a lot of the characters, and I know that it isn’t a very deep show but for the most part it is fun to watch.
Ilona Kosmowsky, email
The irony of Continuum’s intentionally irregular continuity cannot be lost on anyone.
“May Nimoy live long and prosper in our memory”
Nah, let ’ em die!
The stuff memories are made of.
Ooh, aren’t they colourful?!
Grimm: an example to us all?