Out with the old baddies and in with the new. The Necronomicon has returned home to Hell after an extended vacation topside to chill with his Deadite homies. They’re probably lounging around a lava pit telling tales of possession and taking bets on how long Ash will last against Baal. One demon lord doesn’t seem that imposing in a franchise where the lead character faced an army of sassy skeletons and survived. Then Baal whipped out his massive powers.
Unlike some shows where the bad guys all have the same M.O., this one strives to venture into new, different lands. While having an episode plot based around “Who’s really the bad guy,” isn’t shining and new in the idea department, turning Baal into a skinwalker leaves a lot of fun to be had in a cliché plot device. It also allows the SFX department to give Baal’s goons a style not easy to forget. I mean, I’d wet myself if a skinless woman fell through my ceiling and ripped a prostitutes’ arm off, let alone forget it happened anytime soon. One failing in Baal’s powers is this seductive bullcrud he pulls on Ruby. She’s a badass, killing evil right and left; then Baal swivels his hips and she literally can’t form sentences? It’s a huge disservice to the female characters on the show to go from an episode where they clean house without any men to back them up, to Ruby practically begging for a little action from the guy who killed two women inside the sheriff’s station without blinking. Using sex to negate Ruby’s strength is a low blow. Ash gets laid all the time and he still gets the evil-slaying job done. Baal has so many other evil things he can do, let’s lay off the whole, “His groin is mesmerizing,” thing. Okay?
With everyone locked in the sheriff’s station wondering who’s got Baal crawling around in their skinsuit, tensions run higher than Chet’s blood-alcohol level. Sheriff Emery and Ash are at each other’s throats the entire time Linda is at the station. It comes down to Kelly to calm everyone down. By that I mean she grabs the sheriff’s gun and holds everyone hostage—when they’re technically already in a hostage situation. The Inception-like hostage situation happens again elsewhere in the station when Ruby goes to retrieve her dagger. Baal uses a deputy to work his D-Mojo on her, rendering her pretty much useless until the episode’s end when she just happens to help Ash save Linda.
Like having a skin-stealing demon on the loose wasn’t bad enough, Pablo’s got a mean case of what-the-hell-is-that spreading across his stomach. Personal theory, dude’s turning into something akin to the Necronomicon. Why else would he have Sumerian written across his torso? No one signs up for oozing boils and a dead language willingly. Ruby is thrilled about Pablo’s condition. Pablo would rather French kiss a shotgun. But, hey, he should be proud. He’s the key to saving the world . . . after dooming it by tossing the Necronomicon in Hell and freeing Baal.
Looks like more skin-jumping good times aren’t all that’s ahead for the show. Ashy Slashy may just finally win the girl this time around. Sheriff Emery isn’t the man his wife thought after shrieking throughout the fight with his skinless deputy. Linda breaks up with him then and there, totally falling for Ash’s blood-drenched swagger. All of them are out of their minds considering their having a lovers spat over a bisected, skinless corpse.
That’s the joy of this show. It doesn’t really care so long as Ash looks a fool, there’s about twenty gallons of blood used, and someone at home says, “What the heck is going on now?”
The Walking Dead SDCC 2016 Coverage By R.C. Murphy
The annual walker invasion at San Diego Comic-Con took place from July 21st through the 24th. Okay, there were a few thousand other people there, as well. Comic-Con is kind of a big thing, if you’ve lived under a rock for the last few years.
One of the most anticipated panels this year was The Walking Dead. Lucy had some ‘splainin’ to do about that angst-generating cliffhanger ending. Which is why Robert Kirkman struck that iron while hot shortly after the producers took the stage. Aside from numerous statements defending the ending since the finale, he simply added that fans would love the payoff from waiting so long for the reveal. We’ll agree to disagree, as we have since he first stepped on a soapbox to defend knee-capping Negan’s big moment.
What’s new for season seven? The producers confirmed a visit to The Kingdom, plus many more survivors and locations. Gale Anne Hurd meowed at one point, which baffled show fans who haven’t delved into the comic world. Kirkman admitted that once the show took off, he included things in the comics they’d never put on television. The show’s other producers picked up the gauntlet and plan to include some of the outlandish comic ideas into season seven. Sometimes these things bites one in the backside. In this case, one idea can bite off an entire backside and then some.
Right before they premiered the trailer, Nicotero shared new walker concept art. Looks like we’ve got more burned walkers on the way, plus the older walkers continue to become more mummy-like, and I don’t even know what happened to the bulgy walker. Death by bee hive attack?
Okay, on to the trailer.
I was really looking forward to seeing Jeffrey Dean Morgan swaggering on the screen. Instead, we got a rehash of the finale’s final scene, along with a cliché memorial video of sorts superimposed over Lucille. I would’ve gladly taken just the cropped shot of him slamming Lucille down on an unseen victim after a pan of the group by the RV. Instead they padded the footage with what is essentially an overly emotional teen girl’s video scrapbook. All that’s missing is the sappy song. The second half of the trailer delivers new characters, but too fast to identify any faces. We meet Ezekiel, leader at The Kingdom. Something we’ve rarely seen on this show is animals. Well, that’s about to change. There’s beasties coming. Most notably, Shiva, Ezekiel’s pet tiger. Funny how a few years ago, the show’s budget was nitpicked right and left. Suddenly they’re okay with tossing huge chunks of cash in to make CG animals.
The actors hit the stage when the trailer wrapped. Andrew Lincoln told fans, “Hang in there, guys.” He went on to say Jeffrey Dean Morgan has way too much fun as Negan. Which, as we already know, is probably creepy as hell on set, despite JDM’s infectious smile. There’s just something about a grinning guy wielding a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat to make one’s sphincter clench. Lauren Cohan said, “We go to very physical and emotional places.”
Pretty standard quo for this show, but things are just beginning to take a turn for the worst. Nicotero confirmed it when he said this [their current situation with Negan] isn’t rock bottom.
The panel devolved into talk about on-set pranks and several cast members doing impressions of other actors. They did air the footage from when Reedus dumped a ton of confetti in Lincoln’s car air ducts. The first time I watched it, I couldn’t breathe because I laughed so hard.
I wasn’t happy with TWD at the end of season six, and they still haven’t done much to convince me they grossly mishandled Negan’s entrance. Yes, we get a flippin’ tiger next season, as well as a smarmy yet charming Big Bad, but fans are kind of a puppy kicked too many times. They’ve promised so many grand things, what happens if these season seven grand plans fizzle like the drawn-out Beth storyline?
Once you jump the tiger, there’s no going back. Hope they have a solid game plan going into this highly unpredictable season.
Oh, the Monroe Family. You gave us hope for sane, rational characters and left way too soon. I honestly feel these actors were given the short straw with characters who were never going to make it out of that particular location. Too many great actors are brought in for one place and left to the wayside when Rick’s movable feast shuffles on to bloodier pastures.
The first to go was Daniel Bonjour’s character Aiden. Boy, he didn’t get a nice, clean death. Skewered and disemboweled. Ouch. Daniel fared far better than his TWD counterpart once he wrapped his two episodes. He’s gone on to film several TV appearances, including an episode of MTV’s Teen Wolf. Taking on the world of video games, he voices several characters in Hitman. Daniel starred alongside Will Arnett in the Netflix original Flaked. Coming up in October, Daniel will star in Frequency on The CW. The show is inspired by the film with the same name. Daniel can be found occasionally at various conventions with the Walking Dead family, meeting and enjoying the company of genre fans/creators.
Reg, like many on TWD, died doing the right thing. Steve Coulter left Alexandria behind and filmed the third installment in the Insidious film series. He also reunited with James Wan and his team to film The Conjuring 2. Not one to sit idle, Steve reprised a recurring role on Banshee recently, as well as appearing in Sick People, Ashby with Mickey Rourke, Extraction alongside action star Bruce Willis, and he has numerous other projects in the works. When he’s not on set, Steve travels the globe to attend conventions with fellow TWD cast members.
A natural leader, Deanna Monroe was the figurehead every fan wants Rick to become. She was also the kind of giving, thoughtful leader Rick can never become. With Deanna’s death, there’s a serious lack of good leadership examples left on the show. Since leaving TWD, Tovah Feldshuh’s hard work on the show has been honored with a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress on a TV Series. She is currently on The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as Rachel Bloom’s overbearing mother Naomi. The show is a musical-comedy, putting Tovah far, far away from the land of blood ‘n guts for now. Though she does still occasionally visit the Dark Side while attending horror conventions.
Given the amount of undead action on our plates, and the ferocity with which we love the shows, it’s only right to have a survival plan in place to make it through those rough episodes.
Note: this is not to replace your current go bags, escape routes, or safe haven plans.
Prepare your viewing room.
Remove any and all breakable items from the room. There may be random bouts of flailing or flinging things at the television screen. We don’t want to ruin anything important.
Ensure there’s a clear path to the bathroom. You’ve only got a couple minutes during commercial breaks to answer nature’s call. Don’t waste a second tripping over shoes or toys. Miss one second of the action and you may miss saying goodbye to a favorite character.
Build yourself a squishy fort. Load it with pillows and blankets. Pillows come in handy when you need to hug a character, yet can’t. Blankets provide the perfect Gore Shield, lest the blood and guts on screen become too much to handle.
Kleenex. Trash can. Need we say more?
Secure your noise-sensitive pets in a quiet room with their favorite toys and a goody or two. Some animals don’t react well when their owners randomly shout at the television.
Keep a roll of duct tape on the coffee table. Just in case you have that one friend over. You know, the one who stands and paces while yelling at the TV.
Refreshments. You need to keep your strength up.
The ideal foods to serve should be cold or room temperature. Soft, yet not too messy. This is in case you drop the food during a tense moment. Hot foods will burn your lap. Messy foods stain clothes/carpets/furniture. Hard foods, when thrown, have the potential to break glass. Like a TV.
Beverages should be cold to prevent burns. Preferably clear. Again, to prevent personal harm or property damage if spills happen in the heat of the moment.
Plastic or paper serving dishes, plates, and cups.
Avoid foods and drinks which resemble blood, internal organs, or raw meat if you have a weak stomach for gore.
Drink plenty of water. Exciting shows raise your heartrate and blood pressure—just like jogging*. Maintaining adequate hydration will keep you comfortable. (*Do not use TDW or FtWD as a replacement for your regular exercise program.)
Play nice with others.
Call dibs on bathroom use to avoid a stampede when commercial breaks hit.
Warn your neighbors if you feel you will yell at the show. This is especially important for apartment dwellers, those with noise-sensitive roommates, or folks living in otherwise quiet neighborhoods.
Do not, under any circumstance, discuss potential spoilers while the show is airing. Your viewing party pals may enjoy being surprised. Don’t ruin it for them.
Keep the fish in cold water until you’re ready to clean them. Fish spoils rapidly after death. Plan to catch, clean, and cook the fish within a two-hour span or less.
Prepare your cleaning table. Cover the table with newspaper. Set out everything you’ll need. Nothing is worse than getting fish goo all over your hands, then stopping to fetch the knife you forgot in the bottom of your go bag. Cleaning fish is messy. It’s best you don’t do this in camp, lest the residual mess you can’t clean attract wildlife.
Scaling the fish.
Grab your first fish and plop it on the cleaning table—keep the rest in cold water until it’s their turn. Hold the fish down by its head. Starting at the tail, use the butter knife or fish scaler to scrape the scales, working toward the head. Short, medium pressure strokes work best. Don’t press too hard, you’ll damage the flesh. Make sure to remove all the scales around the fins and gills.
Rinse the fish. Make sure all the loose scales are rinsed off. If you have more fish to work on, store the little fellow in clean water.
The First Cut:
Now is not the moment to be squeamish. Set the scaled fish down on the prep table. Hold it down firmly by the head, as before. Using the sharp knife, insert the blade tip into the fish’s anus—that’s down near the tail on the underside of the fish. Note: If you have a larger fish—one larger than a frying pan’s diameter—flip it onto its back for easier cutting.
Draw the knife along the fish’s belly, going from the tail toward the gills. Put the knife aside.
Now for the messy part.
Stick your fingers into the fish and scoop out everything inside. Dump the innards into the trash bowl. Note: Do not dispose of the innards near camp. All camp garbage should be stored elsewhere so it doesn’t attract wildlife.
Rinse the fish. Make sure to give it a good wash inside to remove anything which could potentially make you sick.
Off with its head! Some people are opposed to eating food that looks at them. If you want to, cut the head off behind the gills and give it another quick rinse.
Store the clean fish in cold, clean water until you’re ready to cook it. We suggest using Commander in Chief Juliette Terzieff’s quick and easy recipe.
Cramming supplies into your go bag isn’t enough. You need skills to back them up. In the age of microwave everything, fast food, and premade box meals, cooking is quickly becoming a lost art form for newer generations. If given a fire, a pot, and whatever supplies you can carry on your back, could you make a meal? Probably not a very tasty one the first time around. Good thing the zombies are moving slow. We have time before the apocalypse to learn some basic recipes, which can be tweaked to utilize whatever you scavenge.
Soup is always a crowd favorite and typically easy to make. Below is a quick and easy barley and bean soup.
1 cup barley
1 1/2 – 2 cups White Beans (Rinsed and soaked in purified water, or use two cans.)
6 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
Chop the following into 1/4 inch chunks:
3 Stalks of Celery
2 Medium-Sized Potatoes, skin on
1 Small Yellow Onion
Dump everything in a pot and season with:
Salt (To taste.)
Pepper (To taste.)
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper (More or less, if you like.)
1 tsp Ground Sage
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Parsley
If everything isn’t covered by liquid, add more broth or purified water. Let it cook over the fire, stirring occasionally. Total cooking time will be about 90 minutes after the liquid begins to boil.
At some point after the beans are cooked through, toss a can of diced tomatoes in the mix. Also at that point, taste and add more seasoning as desired.
No fancy toppings for this soup. Just shove it in a bowl and eat. This recipe should make about 8 servings, depending on the size of the vegetables.
Tip: When fresh vegetables are on sale, grab a few extra to chop and freeze. This way when you are forced to flee, you’ll have the base for numerous healthy meals that’ll keep you moving.
Cornbread would go good with this soup. We’ll attempt that recipe next time around.
Michael made his first zombie kill at the tender age of 13, during a time when most boys his age were too busy watching MTV, playing Space Invaders or running away from girls to notice the zombie threat. Michael’s experience and considerable brainpower may very well make him the most experienced and valuable asset the ZSC will have in the days to come.
Before facing the shambling horde for the first time, Michael tested the waters of the acting world by appearing in Tom Moore’s ‘Night Mother alongside Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft. From there he appeared in several television roles, including Growing Pains and its spinoff series Just the Ten of Us. In 1988 he accepted the role of Jesse Wilson and starred in the film that would gain him his elite zombie killer status, Return of the Living Dead Part 2. Michael was nominated for Best Young Actor in a Horror or Mystery Motion Picture for this role. He moved on shortly afterwards to take on The Blob and in 1990 turned down an offer from Beverly Hills 90210 to attend college.
Michael has achieved multiple degrees in theater arts, telecommunications and broadcasting. In 2011 he crossed paths with our own Commander in Chief, who immediately spotted his leadership potential and invited him to join our ranks. Michael is currently stationed on the West coast, operating out of an undisclosed location while putting his numerous talents to work in preparation for the dark days to come.
If you’re just joining us for this series, please be sure to check out our previous Commander Monday reports!
Having already had the honor and privilege of working with Mr. Temple for some time now, The Zombie Survival Crew is thrilled to have him on board, and even more thrilled to place him in the spotlight for this week’s Commander Monday report. Lew has a strong fanbase among the devoted followers of Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects, although his full body of work includes television, film, theater roles and even a stint in minor league baseball. Hailing from Louisiana bayou country and growing up in Texas, Lew is a true chameleon in every sense of the word. From a Minor League baseball career with the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros, he moved on to the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas to begin his acting career.
In 1994 Lew appeared in the baseball film Angels in the Outfield and began to take on numerous small roles in films such as The Newton Boys, Red Ink, and 21 Grams. The world of television also opened its doors to him, and we saw him in Walker: Texas Ranger, CSI: Miami and Criminal Minds among many others. In 2005, Rob Zombie came along with the film that would instantly score a fiercely loyal cult following, The Devil’s Rejects.
That same year Lew also played the very memorable role of Locus Fender in Domino, and by 2007 he had worked on the films Deja Vu, Rob Zombie’s Halloween and the critically-acclaimed indie film Waitress.
And then it happened.
In 2012 the dead came calling, and we were pleasantly surprised to discover Lew stepping into the role of Axel for the third season of AMC’s The Walking Dead. While the general consensus is that Axel’s surprisingly lovable character was cut down way too soon (we agree) Lew has continued to put his mustache to the grindstone, letting nothing stand in his way as he moves onward.
Lew has recently worked on numerous projects such as The Unlikelys, We are Family, Selling Isobel, Impact Earth and the uber-creepy Home. He also appeared in The Lone Ranger, alongside Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. But even as the grindstone continues to turn, the mustache continues to travel. Lew has appeared at many conventions throughout the United States, meeting his loyal fans and spreading that wickedly sharp sense of humor that all who follow him have come to know and love. We at the Zombie Survival Crew are proud to call Lew Temple one of our own, and are ready to stand at his side to face the shambling hordes in the dark days to come.
Okay, so he doesn’t really transform into an adorable floppy-eared mutt at will, but his scruffy good looks, sweet disposition, intelligence, loyalty, undeniably sharp senses as well as considerable creative talents can only be a benefit to us all.
A native of West Virginia, Sam attended Brown University before making his move onto the stage with his off-Broadway debut in Dealer’s Choice. Continuing onstage, he went on to appear in My Night With Reg and earned a Tony nomination for his part in the Broadway revival of Eugene O’Neill’s comedy Ah, Wilderness! Before landing the well-known role of beloved shape-shifter Sam Merlotte on HBO’s True Blood., Sam appeared in numerous television series, including Trinity, Going to California,Judging Amy, Dexter, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and A Drop of True Blood. Sam has also appeared in the critically acclaimed film Beat alongside fellow ZSC Commander Norman Reedus, and has also been seen in the films AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem, Guns, Girls & Gambling, the Canadian thrillerDeadweight and The Aftermath.
Sam recently appeared in the independent film Me, and wrapped up work on Three Generations and The Track. He is currently working on a television movie Cocked, slated for release later this year.
Once veteran actor Tony Todd stepped off the stage and into the 1986 film Sleepwalk, it was only a matter of time before he slipped into our nightmares through Clive Barker’s terrifying Candyman and became one of the most recognizable icons of horror films worldwide.
As William Bludworth in the Final Destination series, he shared with wide-eyed viewers his vast knowledge of death and offered up a few tips about how to cheat the Reaper himself. In the 1990 remake of Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead, Tony came face to face with the shambling horde for the first time, awarding him first-hand knowledge and experience that would prove invaluable for the future. It is this knowledge and experience that makes him more than qualified for leadership in the Zombie Survival Crew. Tony’s versatility, charisma and quiet nature directly contrast his powerful presence, and one cannot help but wonder what lurks beneath the surface, or what hides behind the chilling, intelligent smile.
Towering over just about everybody at a statuesque 6 feet 5 inches, the imposing Tony Todd hails from our nation’s capital. He put in two years at the University of Connecticut before starting on a new path with a scholarship from the renowned Eugene O’Neill National Theater Institute. Tony appeared in scores of theater performances with the Hartman Conservatory in Stamford, Connecticut and the Trinity Square Repertory Theatre Conservatory in Providence, Rhode Island. He also taught playwriting to high school students in the Hartford public school system. Tony has appeared in films, stage performances and TV series almost too numerous to mention, including Oliver Stone’s Academy Award-winning film Platoon, the title role in award-winning playwright August Wilson’s King Hedley II, and co-starring alongside Brandon Lee and Michael Wincott in the 1994 cult classic The Crow. On the smaller screen, we’ve seen Tony on Boston Public, NYPD Blue, Law & Order,Crossing Jordan, and The X-Files. He has had recurring roles in all three Star Trek franchises, episodes of CSI: Miami, and many other acclaimed television series.
While waiting for the Z-pocalypse to begin and the call to arms from the ZSC, Tony continues to work hard, honing his skills and developing his already considerable talents in preparation for the inevitable. He has a LOT coming up in the near future, as he has been working on multiple film projects for some time. Recently completed work includes Agoraphobia, The Witching Hour, and Vanish. Currently in post-production are Cowboy’s Girl, Beyond the Game, Live-Evil, Frankenstein and an as of yet untitled project from director Livi Zheng. Tony is currently filming Beast Mode and is slated to appear in more upcoming films including Broken Cross, Crimson Saints.
Tony also assumed the role of the Starfleet Commander in Chief in the indie-budgeted Star Trek: Axanaralongside veteran actors Richard Hatch, Kate Vernon and Gary Graham:
If you’re just joining us for this series, please be sure to check out our previous Commander Monday reports!