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Zombieholics Anonymous

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Julianne’s Monday Meeting: Shock

Hello, my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

Did anyone else watch the fall finale of The Walking Dead? Oh and beware there are spoilers below so if you haven’t watched it, and you continue reading, it’s at your own peril

There’s a part of me that knew someone was likely going to die and having got almost to the end of the hour without the death of a character, I began to wonder if it was going to happen.

And then they went there.

If you watched it, did it shock you as much as it did me?

Are you sad that Beth is now gone? While she wasn’t my favourite character, I’m very sad to see her go. And just when she was coming into her own as a strong individual who was willing to do what had to be done to ensure her survival.

Beth

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Wednesday Meeting: What’s Your Plan?

Hello, my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

So lately I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I would do if the dead were actually to rise. I mean I love the genre but I’m not entirely sure that I would want to actually live to see the Zombie Apocalypse…

So my plan involves getting as far away from civilization and holing up until I have to move again.

So what’s your plan? Maybe we can be Zombie Apocalypse besties??

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Wednesday Meeting: Favourite Zombie Movies

Hello, my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

I won’t lie to you—I’m an avid watcher of Zombie films. In fact, I’ve likely seen most of them (I’d never even begin to believe I’ve watched all of them; there truly are a lot and I learn about new ones coming out or ones I’ve missed every week). But what are my favorites?

Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead (1968) holds a special place in my heart. It was the first zombie movie I ever watched and I saw it when I was just a young girl. But it would instill in me a love for the genre and take me on the journey to writing my own Zombie tales—I owe it a debt of gratitude. Actually, I think it likely tops quite a few lists for the ever-loving Zombie freak out there!

To that list, I would add Pontypool: a clever and psychologically twisted take on the genre that doesn’t put the zombie in your face. No, it puts them in your ear and that’s all I’m going to say about it. If you haven’t watched it—do it. And better yet, if you haven’t read the book it was based on—Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess—run out and pick it up now. You will thank me.

keep-calm-and-watch-shaun-of-the-deadI do love the Zombie comedy and will watch Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland whenever I catch them on television. But to that list, I’d like to add DogHouse—a delightfully gory tale out of the UK. The first time I watched this film I didn’t stop laughing, even as I cringed with the gore! Okay, it’s not that gory for a Zombie flick, but it’s a different kind of gore. A funny, little twisted bit of gore and I swear you’ll love the scene with the finger!

So if I had to choose a top 10…

  • Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • Pontypool
  • 28 Weeks Later
  • Cabin Fever (and it’s sequels)
  • Return of the Living Dead
  • The Crazies (both the original and the remake)
  • DogHouse
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  • Zombieland
  • World War Z (taken away from the book, this really was a great movie)

Okay that’s 11 but I’m the one writing this so you’re going to have to cut me a little slack! What are your favourites? Do you have any recommendations for me??

Julianne’s Monday Meeting: Zombies Everywhere!

Hello, my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

There are zombies everywhere lately and trust me, I’m not complaining! I recently attended Horror-Rama in Toronto and definitely got my fill. From meeting Rob Sacchetto (finally!) and Brett Kelly, co-writer and director of My Fair Zombie, it was a great weekend!

Then on The Walking Dead that night, we learned what happened to Beth and got a glimpse at what might be coming down the pike for those at that hospital. I can’t wait for tonight’s episode, and while I admit I want to know more of what’s going on in the hospital, especially now that Carol is there as well, I’m excited to see how far the group gets on their trek to Washington.

But I have to ask—is it just me, or does anything else think that things are moving really quickly? I think I’ve been lulled into a set pace with season’s two, three, and the beginning of four, only see the ramp up in action. I’m not used to this AMC!! Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly not complaining—I love that we’re seeing more and exploring story lines fast and hard. But there’s a small part of me that’s finding my heart in my throat at times, thinking to myself ‘they didn’t just do that!‘, or screaming at my television ‘Holy Sh*t! That just happened!‘.

So I ask, how are the rest of you enjoying this season? Do you like the new pace? Or is it just me that’s finding things are moving along at a pace you’d think would occur after the end?

Leave your thoughts for me below—I’d love to hear them!

WEDNESDAY MEETING: Julianne Snow

Hello, my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a meeting. Don’t get me wrong, my addiction is still strong, and I feed it every chance I get. But I do admit that life sometimes gets in the way of getting here. But that’s all going to change – I need you and you all need me. It’s all about community and that’s the only way we’ll be able to get through this – together.

I’ve watched many new movies and even read a few books and stories that have kept the hunger at bay. But the major event that occurred this past week was the premiere of the fifth season of The Walking Dead on AMC. Who else watched it? What did you think?

I had to say it was the strongest season premiere in recent years and I was riveted as I watched it. Part of it was down to the fact I was getting my fix, pure and simple, but the rest of it was because the story itself really started to take off. And it was brutal – just the way you expect the end of the world to turn out!

I had a few favourite scenes, but I will admit that the one at the very end made me absolutely giddy!! I’m not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched it, but holy hell!!

Wednesday Meeting: Scott Baker

Hello, my name is Scott and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Scott.”)

I first became hooked back in the mid-1970s when one of the local television stations in Boston broadcast Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things. The movie was an independent, amateur production and looked it, with some of the worst acting and make-up around. But then, half way through the movie, the dead began to rise, crawling their way out of the cemetery accompanied by copious amounts of dry ice fog and the creepiest, synthesized background score my warped young mind had ever heard. From that point on, I was addicted. Slow zombies. Fast zombies. Comical zombies. Movies. Books. Graphic novels. Video games. Like the living dead themselves, I would feast on anything zombie in order to feed the hunger.

We all want to be scared, to sit in a darkened movie theater or alone in bed late at night and enter that fantasy world that sends a cold shiver down our spine. Vampires and other monsters can provide us with that same thrill, so why are zombies so much more terrifying? Because with vampires, all you have to do is survive until morning, and then the threat is gone. With other monsters, once you kill off the creature, you’re safe and can go about rebuilding your life. The living dead, however, represent our worst nightmare – the apocalypse, the complete breakdown of society and its civilized norms. A zombie outbreak would result in a battle of survival between us and thousands of creatures that know no fear, no pain, no emotion, only the desire to feed off of us.

One trend within the genre that has become increasingly popular in the past several years is the idea that the worst part of a zombie apocalypse isn’t the rise of the dead but how the survivors will react. This concept has always been around, going back to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), and has been a staple of the genre for zombie aficionados. What made this concept popular amongst mainstream viewers/readers, however, was the devastation of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and the total breakdown of authority in the aftermath of the storm. We all watched live on cable news the destruction of a large, famous city. The complete breakdown of local, state, and federal governments and their inability to help the victims or maintain order. And man’s basest instincts playing themselves out uncontested inside the Superdome. For the first time, we realized that an apocalyptic event could touch anyone of us and that, rather than work together for our mutual benefit, society would more than likely turn on each other. It left most of us with a sense of unease because that event drudged up our deepest fears about the end of the world. It’s those fears that zombie fiction taps in to.

I didn’t tap into this societal collapse theme in Rotter World. I wanted my first zombie novel to be more of a traditional story, a living dead shoot-’em-up adventure. The story takes place eight months after a zombie apocalypse. A small group of humans and vampires who survived the outbreak accompany a cryptic doctor from the coast of Maine to an underground military facility in Pennsylvania to retrieve the vaccine to stop the Zombie Virus. However, the sequel, Rotter Nation (due out later this year from Permuted Press) makes the collapse of society its central theme. In this book, one character finds herself at the mercy of a rape gang and has to do unspeakable things not only to survive, but to save the lives of those close to her. Meanwhile, a band of survivors from the first novel travels across country, discovering that every town and city along the way endured its own nightmare during the apocalypse. (It was difficult writing Rotter Nation because I wanted to get across the physical and psychological trauma women would go through when left at the mercy of rape gangs without glorifying the act itself. It was also difficult not mentally placing my wife and eleven-year-old daughter into the scenario I created for my female character, and dealing with the emotions that engendered.)

Is the zombie phenomenon on its last legs? Not at all. We’re not going to see various subgenres of zombies (anguished zombies with souls, glittery zombies, zombies dating teenage girls) that will keep the genre going. We don’t need to. As long as the fans are terrified by the end of the world, then zombies will provide them with a terrifying and exciting why to exploit that fear.

And guys like me will try to get as many people addicted on the living dead as possible.

***

IMG_1368ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Scott M. Baker was born and raised in Everett, Massachusetts and spent twenty-three years in northern Virginia working for the Central Intelligence Agency. Scott is now retired and lives in Gainesville, Florida as a full-time writer along with his wife and fellow author Alison Beightol and his stepdaughter. He has written The Vampire Hunters trilogy, about humans fighting the undead in Washington D.C., as well as Rotter World, which details the struggle between humans and vampires during a zombie apocalypse. In early 2014, his fifth novel will be published; Yeitso is his homage to the giant monster movies of the 1950s that he loved watching as a kid. Scott is currently working on the next two books in the Rotter World saga and a series of young adult novels set in a post-apocalyptic world.

Scott has also authored several short stories, including “Rednecks Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things,” “Cruise of the Living Dead” (zombies aboard a cruise ship), “Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly” (an alcoholic mall Santa battles zombie reindeer), “Last Flight of the Bismarck” (steampunk zombies), “The Hunger” (cannibalism during a zombie apocalypse), “Lebenden Toten at the Gate” (Nazis versus zombies in Stalingrad), and the novella Dead Water

When not writing, Scott can usually be found doting on the two boxers, one house rabbits, and one cat that kindly allow him to live with them. 

Julianne’s Monday Meeting: The Concept of Commitment

Hello my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

What does commitment mean to you? How far would you go to carry it through?

Do you think commitment would get in way if the world as we know it descended into chaos?

I’ve been pondering this very question for a few weeks now and I have to wonder how my level of commitment to certain people would wane if the end were to come about. We all have loved ones, people who it would be hard to forget, but what if you had to forget them… I honestly don’t know the answer to my own question, but I would love to hear all of your thoughts on it!

Wednesday Meeting: Leaving People Behind…

Hello my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic!

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

So I have been pondering this question for quite some time and I’d like to take a few moments and talk about it.

Could you leave someone you loved behind?

What if there were hordes of Zombies coming your way and it meant the survival of more than just yourself?

I get wanting to be loyal and protective where your family and friends are concerned, but what if they were a liability? What if they put the whole group at risk?

The action is a little extreme, but you get what I’m going for here…

I’d like to think that I would do what was best for the greater good. If it was the difference in many surviving over the one lost, I would have to part ways with the one. I’d take into consideration things like age and mental status of course, but it would come down to survival. And sometimes it’s us or them. Plus I just know I’d get saddled with dead weight in terms of their inability to comprehend what was going on around us and not understanding that it’s never far or fast enough.

But what would you do? Would you leave your loved ones behind?

Julianne’s Monday Meeting: I Got My Fix Last Night!!

Hello my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic!

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

If you have AMC or managed to catch it online, we all got our fixes yesterday. Since it’s mid-season return, The Walking Dead has amped up the action and I’m beginning to find myself completely invested in the show again.

There have been many moments that disappointed me, but then they come back with an episode that blew me out of the water. This past episode was one of them. So in the interest of not spoiling it for any people who have yet to see it, I’d love to know your favourite parts of the episode! Heck, tell me your favourite parts of seasons past. Those of you who haven’t watched it can consider yourself warned to not read the comments!

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