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TRAILER TUESDAY: “Escaping the Dead”

***This film has not yet been reviewed nor is being endorsed by The G.O.R.E. Score.  If you are a creator of a zombie-related film and would like to see your movie featured on the site, either via a Trailer Tuesday post or through a full 4-category G.O.R.E. Score review, please contact us for more information.***

Film Summary:

“Escaping the Dead” is inspired by a series of articles about the deathdrug “Krokodil” that was published about the same period of time when Ronald Poppo had his face eaten by a naked man hooked on bathsalt in Miami. It is the perfect zombie plot: a deathdrug that turns people into zombies.

The film has its starting point in a typical day for the lead character, David. David is the local marihuana pusher, but he is the kind of dealer that smokes more than he sells. In the meantime the country has been hit by a new deathdrug and when David and his partner in crime Ahmir is offered some exceptionally cheap cocaine they see it as an opportunity to earn big money at the big techno concert the following Friday, but the cocaine turns out to have a terrible side effect that creates a giant zombie outbreak that spreads across the entire Copenhagen. In the film we follow David and his bloody fight out of the city.

Directed by Martin Sonntag and Bastian Brinch Pedersen, the film stars Bastian Brinch Pedersen (who is also the co-director and producer of the film) as David, Rama Øzel as Ahmir, along with Daniel Hutera, Ali Öezkan, Iben Ma Bønnelycke, Nicolai Huan Nguyen, Camilla Ludvigsen and Kim Sønderholm (“Blood Fare”, “The Winedancers”, “Sinister Visions”) playing Lars the policeman.

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The Walking Dead: What does the “W” on the walkers mean?

From ComicBook.com:

A walker tagged with a

A walker tagged with a “W” from a recent episode (screenshot via AMC)

In tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead, Rick, Daryl, and Carol noticed a “W” carved into the head of a walker. While this is the first time characters have noticed the symbol on a walker’s head, it’s not the first time the audience has seen it. A few weeks ago, in the episode titled, “What Happened and What’s Going On” viewers first saw walkers with W’s carved into their heads when a dozen or so limbless walkers spilled out from the back of a truck.

It seems obvious that W doesn’t stand for “Walker,” since every group of people has a different name for the zombies. I recently wrote an article which tied the W’s to the Wolves we’ve been ominously teased, which I will reiterate along with introducing some other theories.

Wolves

The “Wolves” have been teased for a while now on the show. When the group ventured to Shirewilt Estates, Noah’s old neighborhood, they found that it was destroyed. By the looks of things, a villainous group pillaged the community and killed the residents. The writing may have literally be on the walls though. In several places during this episode, the phrase, “Wolves Not Far” was seen spray painted on walls. This begs the questions, “who are the wolves?” While the Wolves are not a group in the comics, there are two groups that the producers could be renaming for the show to keep us guessing.

First, there’s the DC Scavengers. The DC Scavengers only make it a few issues in the comics. They are the type of people the Alexandria Safe-Zone does not want to join the community and so they try to force their way in and take from them. This doesn’t go well for them, though, as Rick and the group dispose of the threat quite quickly. It’s more important in the long run though, because the gun fight causes a herd of walkers to flock to the Safe-Zone and claims a bunch of lives and Carl’s eye.

Then, there’s the possibility that the Wolves are the Saviors. In the comics, the Saviors are Negan’s band of crazy men. They come into play much later than the point the show is at, though, and stick around for a few years. While it seems unlikely we’ll meet TV’s version of the Saviors very soon, it seems more fitting that the W’s on the walker heads could tie to the Saviors. Negan, the group’s ruthless leader, uses zombies as weapons in the comic series. He has some chained up outside of his Sanctuary and also covers his weapons in zombie gore so that one strike will claim his opposition’s life.

Whisperers

This one seems like a long shot seeing as they were just recently introduced in the comics, which in TV terms are at least 2 seasons ahead of where the show is at now. The Whisperers are a group of people we still know little about, but we do know that they wear zombie masks and walk among them to survive. It is entirely possible that the show is planning or skipping ahead as we know they like to mix things up. Perhaps the W’s on the walker heads are to notify their own people to the fact that those are, in fact, zombies and not fellow members of the group. We did hear from Morgan (when he seemed a little crazy), “People wearing dead people’s faces,” back in the episode “Clear.” Maybe Kirkman and the rest of the writers are just planning far into the future.

What do you think the W’s carved into the walker heads mean? Do you think they’re linked to the Wolves that have been teased or do you think they’re part of a different storyline? Let us know in the comment section!

W-Walker

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G.O.R.E. Score: Afterlife with Archie

Afterlife with Archie: Escape from RiverdaleOriginal Release Date: Oct. 2013
Number of Issues: ongoing series
Publisher: Archie Comics

***Editor’s Note: “Afterlife with Archie” is an ongoing comic book series, but it’s the trade paperback collection “Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale” (issues 1-5) that is specifically being reviewed here.

First things first: if you’ve never heard of Archie, it’s probably best that you stop reading this review, go find the childhood that you seem to be missing, and join the rest of us red-blooded American types (special exemption to our overseas readers, although you may very well be familiar with Archie as well!).

Archie Andrews is the fictional, prototypical “all-American” teenager, first appearing in comic-book form all the way back in 1941, in Pep Comics #22.  (Fun fact: the Pep Comics series has several other claims to fame in addition to the first appearance of Archie, including: the first “patriotic” hero, The Shield, who predated Captain America by over a year; and the first superhero to die, The Comet.)  Since his debut, the perpetual-seventeen-year-old has starred in over 10,000 newspaper strip and comic issues (seriously – with over 2 billion total copies sold!), six animated television shows, a radio show that ran for 10 years, and a live-action TV movie (Google it, it’ll blow your mind).  He’s been a super-hero (Captain Pureheart, natch), sang a Billboard #1 hit song (believe it or not, the 1969 song “Sugar, Sugar” was an original creation for his band, The Archies), and has “met” such other pop culture icons as President Obama, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, KISS, the cast of “Glee,” and even the ultimate Marvel Comics vigilante killing machine, the Punisher.

And of course… he also fights the undead.

That’s right, true believers: the vanilla-as-all-getout, 7-plus-decades-as-a-do-gooder Archie is now stuck in a world of reanimated corpses.  At least, he is in the “alternate reality” existence of Afterlife with Archie, a side-series of ongoing monthly comic issues that is, interestingly enough, the first title in the 70-odd years of publisher Archie Comics’ existence that not only was sold only in comic shops and not on newsstands, but is also their first-ever comic to feature a “teens and up” rating.  Keen!

And what about the story itself, you ask?  It’s serious fare, your age-old tale of love lost, really.  Hot Dog, the faithful mutt of Archie’s best pal Jughead, gets hit by a car and dies.  Jughead asks his neighbor Sabrina (of fellow Archie-published comic book Sabrina the Teenage Witch) if she might be able to do anything to help.  As luck would have it, the angsty sorceress and her two pagan aunties just happen to have the Necronomicon laying around their house, so Sabby goes against her aunts’ wishes and reanimates the pup.  (Sabrina’s aunts banish her to the nether-realms as disciplinary action for disobeying their orders; who says corporal punishment doesn’t work?)  Wouldn’t you know it, something goes wrong: Hot Dog is just not his former happy-go-lucky self, and after getting a sizable bite taken out of him, Jughead becomes the King of the Zombies and starts to infect the humble residents of Riverdale.  All on the same night as the big school dance, darn the luck!

Let’s 23-skidoo on into the Score:

G: General Entertainment – In a nutshell: you take a wholesome icon and throw him into the typical setting of a horror movie, the juxtaposition alone is going to make for some wildly entertaining moments.  Afterlife with Archie – much like my all-time favorite comic in my personal collection, Archie Meets the Punisher – definitely does not disappoint.  I actually put off reading this book for a few weeks after I bought it due to the sheer terror I had that the story wouldn’t – couldn’t – live up to the ridiculously high expectations in my head.  Whether it was my expectations confirming reality or reality confirming my expectations, I had a blast reading this book.  9/10

O: Original Content – Let’s be honest here: where else are you going to see the iconic citizens of Riverdale making their last stand against the flesh-eating hordes?  If done with the appropriate balance of respect for the original material and appreciation for the genre being dabbled in, I’m a huge fan of these crossover/mashup type of tales, and it seems to me that even though Archie and the gang have had their fair share of genre-bending adventures over the years with varying amounts of success, writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Francesco Francavilla have pretty much nailed it here.  8/10

R: Realism – In the context of the frozen-in-time burg of Riverdale and its residents, the action and plot points actually do a fairly decent job of staying consistent and reasoned. I credit a lot of this to writer Aguirre-Sacasa’s knowledge of and focus on what can truly make a zombie outbreak scary: less a thought of our personal survival and more of an emphasis on the safety of those we care about.  There are some matters of convenience that I felt detracted from the storyline – the most glaring being the handy inclusion that the butler for the Lodges (Riverdale’s token wealthy family) is somehow a borderline survivalist/secret agent type, even though he’s been nothing but a servant for the family for the last few decades.  Overall, though, the quibbles are fairly minor in a story of this nature.  7/10

E: Effects and Editing – Tons of credit has to go to artist Francavilla for absolutely nailing the retro-horror vibe in his designs throughout the book.  Gone are the usual bright-and-cheery color palettes and pop-art-esque character designs to which Archie comics have held steadfastly for decades; in their place are dark and foreboding color schemes mixed effectively with artwork reminiscent of the old EC Horror comic books.  While I personally enjoy this style of art, I can see, however, how it might be off-putting to the “average” comic reader these days, as it is a style that doesn’t depend on the artist filling in every little detail.  Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale is the first five issues of the ongoing comic series, and while it is definitely cool to see a ton of characters from the Archie universe get their moment in the apocalyptic spotlight, at times the story does feel a little rushed and hectic in an attempt to squeeze everyone in.  8/10

 

TOTAL SCORE: 8/10
VERDICT: SWEET

 

Variant cover for "Life with Archie" #23

Variant cover for “Life with Archie” #23

All in all, not too shabby for an ongoing comic series that sprung to life pretty much on a whim from an editor after Francavilla delivered a “zombified” alternate cover for Life with Archie #23 back in 2013.  I’m particularly interested to see where the series goes from here and how long it can viably sustain not only a coherent storyline but also the readers’ interests.  If Afterlife with Archie, Vol. 1 is any indication, they should have plenty of rotting leg on which to shamble forward.

And now, my friends, you know the Score!

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Reviewed by Tony Schaab

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TRAILER TUESDAY: “Rec 4 Apocalypse”

***This film has not yet been reviewed nor is being endorsed by The G.O.R.E. Score.  If you are a creator of a zombie-related film and would like to see your movie featured on the site, either via a Trailer Tuesday post or through a full 4-category G.O.R.E. Score review, please contact us for more information.***

Film Summary: Angela Vidal, the young television reporter who entered the building with the fireman, manages to make it out alive. But what the soldiers don’t know is that she carries the seed of the strange infection. She is to be taken to a provisional quarantine facility, a high-security installation where she will have to stay in isolation for several days. An old oil tanker, miles off shore and surrounded by water on all sides, has been especially equipped for the quarantine.

 

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SHORT FILM FRIDAY: Perished

Every Friday, we here at The G.O.R.E. Score will bring you a new short film (30 minutes or less in length), available to watch for free in it’s entirety online.  There are lots of great independent and lower-budget filmmakers out there with some really intriguing stories to tell, so this is our way of trying to get them a little more connected with you, the (hopefully) adoring masses!  We’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, and (constructive) reviews in the comments below!

Today’s entry is Perished.  The film’s description:

Sometimes survival is worse than death… A man on the run finds himself locked in a shed amidst a zombie outbreak. He must rebuild his inner strength to confront his fears or face starvation.

Find more about the film by visiting it’s Facebook page.

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Research Study Reveals “Ideal” Hideout Spot During a Zombie Apocalypse

From Phys.org:

A team of Cornell University researchers focusing on a fictional zombie outbreak as an approach to disease modeling suggests heading for the hills, in the Rockies, to save your “braains” from the “undead.”

Reading World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (reviewed on The G.O.R.E. Score previously, click here) by Max Brooks, a graduate class inspired a group of Cornell University researchers to explore how an “actual” zombie outbreak might play out in the U.S.

During the 2015 American Physical Society March Meeting, on Thursday, March 5 in San Antonio, Texas, the group will describe their work modeling the statistical mechanics of zombies—those thankfully fictional “undead” creatures with an appetite for human flesh.

It's a real book! Click the cover to check it out. (Image credit: via University of Ottawa Press

It’s a real book! Click the cover to check it out. (Image credit: via University of Ottawa Press

Why model the mechanics of zombies? “Modeling zombies takes you through a lot of the techniques used to model real diseases, albeit in a fun context,” says Alex Alemi, a graduate student at Cornell University.

Alemi and colleagues’ work offers a nice introduction to disease modeling in general, as well as some techniques of statistical physics for measuring second-order phase transitions. “It’s interesting in its own right as a model, as a cousin of traditional SIR [susceptible, infected, and resistant] models—which are used for many diseases—but with an additional nonlinearity,” points out Alemi.

All told, the project was an overview of modern epidemiology modeling, starting with differential equations to model a fully connected population, then moving on to lattice-based models, and ending with a full U.S.-scale simulation of an outbreak across the continental U.S.

It involved a lot of computational results generated from simulations the researchers wrote themselves. “At their heart, the simulations are akin to modeling chemical reactions taking place between different elements and, in this case, we have four states a person can be in—human, infected, zombie, or dead zombie—with approximately 300 million people,” Alemi explains.

The project’s large-scale simulations are stochastic in nature, meaning that they have an element of randomness. “Each possible interaction—zombie bites human, human kills zombie, zombie moves, etc.—is treated like a radioactive decay, with a half-life that depends on some parameters, and we tried to simulate the times it would take for all of these different interactions to fire, where complications arise because when one thing happens it can affect the rates at which all of the other things happen,” he says.

In most films or books, “if there is a zombie outbreak, it is usually assumed to affect all areas at the same time, and some months after the outbreak you’re left with small pockets of survivors,” explains Alemi. “But in our attempt to model zombies somewhat realistically, it doesn’t seem like this is how it would actually go down.”

Cities would fall quickly, but it would take weeks for zombies to penetrate into less densely populated areas, and months to reach the northern mountain-time zone.

Unrelated to the article.  Just a really, really good zombie movie.

Unrelated to the article. Just a really, really good zombie movie.

“Given the dynamics of the disease, once the zombies invade more sparsely populated areas, the whole outbreak slows down—there are fewer humans to bite, so you start creating zombies at a slower rate,” he elaborates. “I’d love to see a fictional account where most of New York City falls in a day, but upstate New York has a month or so to prepare.”

If you somehow happen to find yourself in the midst of a fictional zombie outbreak and want to survive as long as possible, Alemi recommends making a run for the northern Rockies. While not an entirely practical implication, it’s “fun to know,” he says, and points out the benefits of applying hard science to fun topics—especially to help make learning more entertaining and enjoyable.

“A lot of modern research can be off-putting for people because the techniques are complicated and the systems or models studied lack a strong connection to everyday experiences,” Alemi adds. “Not that zombies are an everyday occurrence, but most people can wrap their braains around them.”

What’s next for Alemi and colleagues? “Given the time, we could attempt to add more complicated social dynamics to the simulation, such as allowing people to make a run for it, include plane flights, or have an awareness of the zombie outbreak, etc.,” he notes.

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Read the original article here: http://phys.org/news/2015-02-zombie-outbreak-statistical-mechanics-reveal.html

Featured image credit: via conwaymagic.com

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TRAILER TUESDAY: “Wyrmwood”

***This film has not yet been reviewed nor is being endorsed by The G.O.R.E. Score.  If you are a creator of a zombie-related film and would like to see your movie featured on the site, either via a Trailer Tuesday post or through a full 4-category G.O.R.E. Score review, please contact us for more information.***

Film Summary: “Barry is a talented mechanic and family man whose life is torn apart on the eve of a zombie apocalypse. His sister, Brooke, is kidnapped by a sinister team of gas-mask wearing soldiers & experimented on by a psychotic doctor. While Brooke plans her escape Barry goes out on the road to find her & teams up with Benny, a fellow survivor – together they must arm themselves and prepare to battle their way through hordes of flesh-eating monsters in a harsh Australian bushland.”