Welcome to ‘Zombie of the Week,’ folks, where each week we’ll present you with a different brain-eating member of the undead that has captured our fancy. There is no methodology to our Zombie Awesomeness meter, just our own piqued interests. Got a zombie we should see? Comment below. No zombie is too small, too short-lived, or too gross.
Last Thursday’s episode of Supernatural marked the return from hiatus for The CW’s spooky series and tried to make a serious dent in monster lore.
In Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Sam and Dean head to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where zombies shuffle back into their old lives like they just came back from a life vacation. One man walked out of his grave to kill the man who had put him in the ground five years prior, a wife returns to her wheel-chair bound husband (poor Bobby) and a little boy skips back to his parents for bedtime stories. Aside from a little pastiness, they didn’t even appear to be dead. There was no decomposition, no vacant expressions, no thirst for human entrails. Basically, the entire episode – now available to watch on CWTV.com – threw a giant “Screw you” in the face of our zombie quo. Result: The only thing scarier than a zombie acting like a zombie is a zombie who just wants to bake you a pie. That stuff will really mess with your psyche – not to mention your ability to eat dessert.
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Still, the twist was intriguing. I’m not knocking traditional zombie lore, we all know I have the highest regard, but sometimes a new twist on an old ghoul can be fun. (Like Twilight.) These “people” returned from their graves – a few even from cremation – with all of their human personality traits, memories and even their wit in tact:
I can’t believe you were going to kill me.
You’re a zombie.
I’m a tax payer.
It was the benign beginning to the episode that sent our heroes into a panic, while town folk just hugged what they believed to be long lost. It was the perfect setup for a sneak, and let’s face it, immanent attack. Just days after climbing out of the grave, the returned dead collapsed with fevers, complaining of uncontrollable hunger. The slow progression into the flesh-seeking zombies we all know and love created an interesting story arch and made the final hunt all the more heart wrenching. (I still can’t get the image of the little boy with bits of his father’s innards hanging from his mouth out of my head. Yeesh.)
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I won’t give away the story’s resolution, but the hour ended like it should, with an all out battle for survival. Buckshots to the head were plentiful, including one scene that resembled a water balloon dart game at a carnival. This may not be for zombie purists, but if you enjoy a nice twist, I think you might really enjoy it.