DID YOU READ

The History of “Night of the Living Dead” and the Fast Zombie Debate

The History of “Night of the Living Dead” and the Fast Zombie Debate (photo)

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Entertainment Weekly has a lengthy history of the making of the zombie classic “Night of the Living Dead” written by Clark Collis. Would you believe that major decisions, like who would play the very first zombie in the most iconic zombie film of all time, were made totally haphazardly?

“The role of the film’s first revived corpse — the so-called ‘Cemetery Zombie,’ whose stiff-legged jog would dictate the ambulatory speed of the ghouls in Darabont’s Walking Dead — was played by a photographer and acquaintance of the Image Ten team named Bill Hinzman. ‘Whenever a zombie was needed, I did the part because I had an old suit, and I was tall and skinny,’ Hinzman once said. ‘That opening scene was the last thing that we shot. George said, ‘You look so great as a zombie, why don’t you do the graveyard zombie?’ So I did.'”

Of course, no article on zombie movies would be complete without tedious arguments over whether the undead should move fast or slow. Frank Darabont, executive producer of the new AMC series “The Walking Dead,” weighted on the perpetual debate:

“Well, it depends on the zombie’s mood. If they’ve recently fed, they’re a little less interested, a little more shutdown. Other times, they’re riled to a predatory state and can get a little faster…This all goes back, by the way, to the original ‘Night of the Living Dead.’ The Internet adherence to zombies never running clearly ignores the first 10 minutes of that movie. Because the first zombie you see is pretty spry. He’s obviously rather hungry and worked up.”

First of all, big style points for Darabont for using the Internet’s twisted logic against it: zombies shouldn’t run because they didn’t run in Romero’s zombie movies — BUT WAIT!! they totally did in that one scene. But really, seriously, honestly: who cares?!? To say there should only be one kind of zombie first of all precludes the possibility of bringing any new ideas to the property. So filmmakers should just make the same movie, with the same kind of monsters, until the end of time? Lord help us if we ever force people to make movies that way.

There’s also a really ridiculous implication on both sides of this argument that there is a “real” way for zombies to act. Folks, zombies are made up. They act however they’re written. And anyway, there are all kinds of vampires — some that have fangs and capes, some that glitter and have really awesome wardrobes — so why can’t there be all kinds of zombies? So long as they have a remorseless craving for flesh, why be picky? Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.

Nerds rejecting zombies because they walk a little too briskly is just another strain of the idiotic, close-minded logic that forced thousands of people to work themselves into a frenzy about Spider-Man having organic web-shooters in Sam Raimi’s Spidey movie. Unless he’s swinging around on his own prehensile armpit hairs, what’s the difference? “Night of the Living Dead” is a masterpiece, and “28 Days Later” is pretty damn close to one even though their zombies are very different monsters. Isn’t that a good thing? I thought diversity and original thinking were good things in movies, not bad. In this regard, we should behave as zombies: we should crave the brains.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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