Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Something to look forward to.

Given my long-established fascination with the animated dead (i.e. zombies) it will come as no surprise to anyone that I was excited to see this trailer for the upcoming movie 28 Weeks Later:

It is, of course, the follow-up to the earlier movie 28 Days Later* in which a virus known as "Rage" escapes from a laboratory thanks to animal rights activists** and rapidly devastates the world:

The 28-whatever later series is remarkable in zombie lore because it actually creates a more or less plausible scenario. The "zombies" are not walking corpses a-la Dawn of the Dead or Resident Evil. Instead, the 28-zombies are normal humans who have been infected with a virus that causes extreme anger and aggression. For some reason, this aggression is targetted only at those who are not already infected and transmissibility is nearly 100% on contact with any bodily fluid. While the specificity of the aggression is a little hard to believe, there are a number of parasites and viruses that modify the behavior of the host organism to improve their chances of spreading, so I find this relatively plausible. As a side-effect of this increased plausibility we also end up with a more terrifying kind of "zombie." Sure, on the one hand, standard weapons are effective but, on the other, they're fast. Really fast. As fast as a normal human and, realistically speaking, often faster.

In the original "28 Days Later" we followed the story of a single man learning about a rapid apocalypse brought about by the virus- an apocalypse that caused substantial depopulation (at least in the U.K. and, by implication, globally) and the near total collapse of society. Uninfected survivors essentially resorted to locking themselves away and waiting for the infected to starve to death.

In the sequel, we are going to see the story of the resettlement of London (apparently under the aegis of the U.S. Army for reasons that frankly elude me) following the ending of this plague. Of course, all is not completely well and it appears that a carrier of the Rage has emerged, thereby restarting the contagion amid this group of civilian settlers. The scenes in the trailer- particularly of the lights going out in a crowded subway- are enough to chill the blood. So, too, are the depictions of the soldiers who, following time-honored movie conventions, decide to respond to this crisis by killing every last person in the settlement to prevent the Rage for escaping back into the wild.***

I know the preview is supposed to get me all fired up to see the movie but, really and truly, watching it there are only two things that keep running through my mind:

(1) Following such catastrophic damage, I'm fairly sure that a major effort to resettle cities wouldn't occur within 28 weeks... 28 weeks after such a thing, I'm betting we'd still be focussed on keeping farms running so that we could feed the remnant population. If we needed manufactured goods... well, there's certainly an abundance of them lying around.

(2) Seriously, movie makers, the military decided to kill everyone? You know, because after a huge depopulation event women and children aren't important at all.

I think this really just goes to show that I've spent a little too much time gaming out the apocalypse and its aftermath in my head.

Then again, on the positive side, if the Bird Flu ever hits I should be able to found my own feudal state.

Always good to have career options I guess...

* Not to be confused with 28 Days which has just as many zombies, but far less entertainment value.

** Damn animal rights activists.

*** If there's anything I've learned from movies, t.v. programs and video games over the years, it's that the military's solution to any problem is to indiscriminantly kill everyone involved. I've always wondered what that kind of policy does to morale.

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Blogger Plain(s)feminist said...

I saw that trailer, too. But I can't remember how the first one ended, so now I'm off to the Movie Spoiler to find out.

Personally, I'll take Land of the Dead - and Shaun of the Dead - over the 28___Later franchise.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 5:48:00 PM  
Blogger Drek said...

It is, admittedly, difficult to find something better than "Shaun of the Dead." I have rarely laughed as hard at a movie as I did at that one.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 9:57:00 PM  

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