Loyalty, generosity and compassion are words one might use to describe David. A winning smile and soft-spoken nature are enough to win over even the most critical of viewers… but one also cannot deny that a certain amount of mystery surrounds him, leading the imagination to fill in the rest.
David (aka “Rocco”) is an Italian-American comedian and classically trained actor. Hailing from Norwich, Connecticut, he currently resides in Los Angeles alongside many other ZSC commanders, further ensuring the safety of our Western shores in the dark days to come. Best known for his breakout role as the beloved Funny Man Rocco in the Boondock Saints series, David is a member of the Actor’s Studio, and also an accomplished stage veteran who has appeared in numerous performances, including Glengarry Glen Ross at the Third Street Theatre and Freedom Frogs at the Lee Strasberg Theatre. Rocco has also appeared in Jake’s Corner and the critically acclaimed documentary film Off the Boulevard.
It is a little known fact that Rocco is also a master of disguise, a talent that longtime childhood friend Troy Duffy made use of in 1990’s cult hit The Boondock Saints. The role of the Funny Man was written specifically for him, but this opportunity also allowed him to form early connections with future ZSC Commanders Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery. Another small piece of trivia was revealed during attendance at a convention last summer – his preference for the classic architecture of the standard door system over that of the modern convenience of the revolving door.
David recently joined the world of social networking on Twitter. While he claims to have been coerced by fellow commander and Boondock Saints alumni Sean Patrick Flanery, he’s tackled the online media world like a champ and so far seems to be enjoying the opportunity to reach out to his fans.
In addition to the notoriously hilarious role of Rocco in the Boondock Saints franchise, David has appeared in the films The Black Dove, Dead in 5 Heartbeats, Jake’s Corner, and Anthony Colliano’s Feeding on Fear.
If you’re just joining us for this series, please be sure to check out our previous Commander Monday reports!
This is the tale of a rabbit named Percy. He wasn’t a wild rabbit, who spend their days scurrying frantically to and fro to find food where predators wouldn’t find them. No, Percy had the privilege to be born under the care of a kindly older human woman. He came into the world in his mother’s spacious cage on a farm far away from the noise of the city. It was a peaceful place to grow and get to know the world of a pampered pet, as the Old Woman called them. One spring afternoon, a family approached Percy’s mother’s cage. They ooed and awwed, pushing pieces of alfalfa through the bars. His mother taste-tested the offerings, of course, but Percy ate his fill. An hour later, Percy’s world grew dark and terrifying. Stiff brown paper trapped him in twilight. The world bounced and hummed around him. A high-pitched voice—the voice of His Girl—cooed over the hum for time too long to tell. Rabbits never grasped the art of telling time. To Percy, there were only three parts of the day: Time for fresh greens, Time for alfalfa, and Time for greens in the dark. Occasionally, there was Time for treats. The Old Woman said too much wasn’t healthy so she kept the sweet treats for herself. In the humming dark, there wasn’t time for anything except fear. Percy’s nose twitched—the only part of him he dared move. Around the Time for greens in the dark, the jostling and humming stopped. As did the cooing. Percy’s dark, papery world shifted suddenly. He scrambled to stay still. Mother had once said, if he ever lost his standing as a pampered pet, he had to stay still to keep the bigger animals from gobbling him up. Percy didn’t want to be gobbled, but he didn’t have any control over his movements.
His Girl brought light back to Percy’s world. The thick paper darkness parted, revealing her freckled face and funny smile—funny only because her teeth were so much different than his own and some seemed to be missing. Along with her smile came the tummy-flipping scent of fresh green things and a flood of light too white to be the sun. Gentle hands pulled him from the dark and set him on the grass. Percy froze. He’d been banished. Only rabbits not suitable to be pampered pets hopped around on grass willy-nilly. Where was his cage? Where was his mother? Why had the Old Woman given him away to His Girl, only to be tossed outside?
Sadly, this would not be the most frightening day of Percy’s life, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Once his panic settled, Percy realized this was his cage. A funny cage, it’d been built right on the ground. Fresh grass grew where in his mother’s cage there’d been coarse hay that poked his belly. Clover and yummy flowers grew in one corner. Far, far across the cage sat a tiny house without windows and only one door, the floor lined with soft material to cushion his belly while he slept. Of course, Percy didn’t investigate any of this until long after His Girl gave up hope and left him alone.
By the time he’d finished a nap in his new house and ate four of the purple flowers, and another five clover leaves, the funny noises had begun.
“This is an awfully noisy bunch,” Percy thought. “Thank goodness my cage is outside or I’d never get any rest!”
Try as he might, Percy couldn’t ignore the racket. Hopping to the edge of the cage—something he’d yet to muster the courage to do—he searched the Big House for His Girl. Her noises were the loudest, nothing at all like the gentle words she’d whispered in the jostling darkness that brought him to his new cage.
Shadows passed over the Big House’s windows, some moving faster than others. Crashes drowned out His Girl’s voice. Bang! Bang! The door directly across the Big Yard from Percy’s cage slammed open. Percy jumped and dashed into his clover patch. Hunkered behind the green covering, frozen like a tree trunk, he watched a new man—not one of the two who’d escorted His Girl to the Old Woman’s farm—trip down the steps. A heartbeat later, His Girl bolted through the door. Her shrieks rivaled Percy’s that one time a big dog had knocked into his mother’s cage, nearly toppling it over with them locked inside. Red stuff covered her yellow dress.
“What a messy eater,” Percy mused from his hiding spot. “She’s got strawberry juice all over. Her father won’t like it.” Shortly after he thought, “I wonder if she’s brought any sweet treats to share.”
Percy’s stomach seconded the idea.
The strange man caught sight of His Girl and gave chase. What fun, a game! Percy dared to poke his head above the cover to watch the two race around the Big Yard. His girl shrieked and raced ahead of the strange man, but the man gained ground with every huge step. Right beside Percy’s flower patch, the strange man caught up with His Girl. Unbelievably, more strawberry juice covered His Girl’s dress.
The strange man tackled His Girl to the ground. It looked like a tickle fight—something the Old Woman did with Percy to shoo him to another part of Percy’s mother’s cage while she tidied up. Percy wanted to play. Feeling brave, and hungry for a taste of the strawberry juice on His Girl’s fingers, he hopped through the flower patch to where her hand lay pressed against the cage. Percy tilted his head up and licked the juice.
What kind of strawberries tasted like metal? Percy’s stomach gave a rumble. Then a roar. Maybe it liked the juice, even if it tasted funny. Percy gave it another taste, sneaking a lick at His Girl’s still hand.
A little better flavor this time, though still not any strawberry he’d tasted before.
Starring: Kris Holden-Ried, Emily Hampshire, Shawn Doyle, and Claudia Bassols
Rated: NR (Adult language, partial nudity, mild drug use) From Filmax International:
Kate (Emily Hampshire) works at the hospital in the Return Unit, helping those who have been infected by the virus that turns people into zombies. Kate’s dedication to her work is absolute, but few people realize that for her it is also a personal matter; Kate’s own husband, Alex (Kris Holden-Ried), has been returned.
After various brutal and prolific attacks at the hands of Anti-Return groups and rumours that the “Protein” stock is running dangerously low, Kate fears for Alex´s safety. Suspicious of the government’s order that all the returned should report to a secure medical facility ‘for their own safety’, the couple decides to flee, taking with them all the doses of “Return Protein” they have. At no point does the couple imagine that the real threat is a lot closer than they think…
The Returned came from the same house as the [Rec] series, and the quality shows. I went into the film expecting one of the random, low-budget films that are usually slid under my cell door. Boy was I in for a surprise. While The Returned isn’t a blockbuster, it’s not something to snub at a glance.
Let’s get down to it. The film starts with what feels like a random, bouncy flashback scene. It isn’t entirely clear why we’re seeing this scene until the final minutes where it becomes clear this is a pivotal moment in Kate’s life, one that shapes how she deals with the fallout of so many harsh decisions from those around her. The importance could’ve been made clearer. Possibly by cutting some of the post-production additions—all the “noise” added to make the footage feel old—and pushing the credits until the following scene set in the present time.
As for the characters, I’ve found a rare film in that none of them are, as I call it, Too Stupid To Live. Every decision made throughout the movie is thought out, or when done impulsively there’s decent character-driven reasons, as is the case for Jacob and Amber when they ultimately are forced to make a hard decision that may put them at odds with their friends, Alex and Kate.
There’s not a lot of zombie action on screen. The film instead focuses on society’s inability to adapt to change and accept a new species of people. Because, that’s what the Returned are, something new and unpredictable. Forced to rely on a daily dosage of drugs, the Returned are given the same treatment as homosexual AIDS patients by the media. What happens when they stop taking their treatments? What will they do to others without treatment? How fast will this disease spread if the government doesn’t step in and micromanage their lives? Wouldn’t it be better if they were all just killed—gunned down while idiots seek to coddle the monsters? We recoil at the truth of it—anything new and uncertain is automatically handed a death sentence. That’s the way humanity is hard-wired. Kill the unknown to spare the larger population. Never mind who is traumatized in the process.
The Returned is a slow-burner. The plot pushes steadily forward, forced along by the characters, their decisions and reactions, and not the evil undead waiting to tear them limb from limb. This is not an action film. It’s a statement on a society that cannot change without first destroying itself. If you want hack-and-slash, keep moving. However, if you’d like to think about the implications of how zombies would change everyday life, give The Returned a chance. I’m giving it 3.5 bloody scalps out of five.
Keeper of secrets, slayer of demons, romancer of vampires, destroyer of zombies and things that go bump in the night, Orange Brigade Commander RC Murphy is as gifted with the pen as she is with the sword, and twice as deadly. An accomplished writer, blogger, student of history, musical theatre and Oreo aficionado, RC Murphy is a creature of extraordinary talent. She resides in a dungeon of red satin and lace by day, putting her talents to work in order to best prepare us, the hapless and clueless, for that fateful day when all that goes bump in the night becomes reality. By night she patrols the California coast with a sharp eye on the perimeter and an ear tuned into the undercurrents, listening, watching, and waiting for even the smallest sign that the Z-pocalypse is upon us.
We’re still trucking along with BBC’s “In the Flesh” here in the ZSC command center. By “we,” I mean I am still watching. Everyone else is busy cleaning weapons and ignoring my requests for show time snacks. Would it hurt them to take a little time to bring in a leg of someone delicious? Really, sometimes I feel trapped in this gig. What’ve the folks in Roarton been up to during the series break? Nothing good.
Kieren Walker, in the now seemingly PDS-friendly world of Roarton, is keeping his head down, working soul destroying shifts in the Legion pub and squirrelling money into his ‘escape fund’. The only problem is that he can’t escape himself.
In the wider world, tensions are re-igniting. The radical pro-living party, Victus, is whipping up hatred and the Undead Liberation Army is retaliating violently. When Victus MP Maxine Martin enters Roarton, Kieren is dismayed, sensing that danger is encroaching. And when Vicar Oddie violently clashes with her, it seems Kieren’s instincts are right.
Kieren is also overjoyed by the return of his BDFF (best dead friend forever), Amy Dyer, though his delight is cut short by a tense encounter with Amy’s opinionated beau, ULA member Simon. When Amy and Simon reveal the prejudice still bubbling under the surface in Roarton, Kieren knows he needs to leave the village immediately.
The episode opened with a supposed ULA attack on a busload of innocent bystanders—including the man who killed Bill Macy during the first series finale and his young son. This is only the second time they’ve shown the effects of the Blue Oblivion drug, and it doesn’t look like a good time for anyone involved. Blue Oblivion negates the effects of daily government mandated Neurotripteline treatments. PDS sufferers must use the treatments in order to pass from the rehab facilities back into the world. Without, they’re considered rabid and put down or held in rehab and forced to receive treatment. The legalities around PDS abuse isn’t clear. How many rights do they retain after release from rehab? It’s clear they are capable of finding jobs, as Kieren has once the village calmed down and accepted the returned citizens. They even disbanded the HVF and declared the village a weapons-free zone. To protect themselves or their PDS citizens? Who knows? It’s just a good thing the guns are gone, some of the former HVF “heroes” can’t let go of the past and are itching to stir up trouble everywhere they go. Dead guys can land jobs, but these HVF members can’t be bothered to try, blaming Kieren and his kind for their unemployed status. Not their bad attitudes, lack of hygiene, and lack of motivation to get off their backsides.
Despite the tension rife within almost every character interaction, the tone for the second series is, so far, much lighter. Even the color pallets are brighter. Except Kieren. He’s still a blob of drab compared to Amy’s vibrancy. Part of it may well be that he wants to blend in as much as possible. Fall into the background, work, earn money, and get gone before people realize he’s still there. Still the loner. And most importantly, still the boy who killed himself and rose from the dead. How often each day does Kieren curse his family for burying him instead of cremating him, as he’d requested? His parents are coping. Slowly. Sue fell back to her role of, “don’t rock the boat,” “everything is normal.” Steve’s adjustment period is taking much longer. He’s at the over-sharing stage of talk therapy. Anything and everything bothering him comes out his mouth. Unfortunately, it’s usually something that pains Kieren or embarrasses him. Jem, unlike the others, is having the hardest time moving on. She’s back in school. A loner now, like her brother. Worse is the PTSD she won’t talk about with anyone, but it’s begun to affect her life day and night.
Maxine Martin is a new/old face in Roarton, with a completely unknown agenda. She’s supposedly there on official business, but there’s glimmers of something under the surface of what she’s saying to the Vicar and others in the village. She’s hunting for something. Or someone. And her fixation on the PDS sufferers in town, especially Kieren, is unsettling. Could she be connected to Lisa, the girl Kieren ate before Jem found him and sent him to the rehab facility? Is she searching for a loved one who was buried in Roarton, hoping they rose and simply weren’t found or reported? We have no clue. It is clear, though, that she’ll do whatever necessary to obtain information and keep her cards close to her chest about her true intentions. Just ask the Vicar. Oh, wait . . . . That ship may have sailed.
So far, this series of “In the Flesh” is much more complex than the last. Can’t wait to see how it unfolds over the next five episodes.
Ideally, when plotting your escape routes it’s best to remain on the road. Venturing into the landscape is dangerous, full of unknown dangers from more than just the undead. In reality, you’ll need resources like flowing water, edible vegetation, and game animals who shy away from busy roads. Once away from the beaten path, it’s easy to get turned around and lose sight of your escape route. Relying on GPS during the apocalypse (or heck, even driving through Texas today) isn’t a good plan. We have no clue how long technology will continue to run post undead uprising. Now it the time to start honing your navigation skills. Below are some tips and tricks to keep you from relying on breadcrumbs to find your way.
Learn How to Read a Map
We’re all about being prepared, which means you should know well in advance what escape routes you plan to take.
Make sure you have a map, or numerous maps, in your go bag covering the locations you must travel through. Take a little time to study them. Find roads that take you near moving water sources so you can top up on fresh water and have a chance to bathe, catch fish, and gather edible vegetation growing nearby.
An easy map-reading guide:
Check the map key. It’ll tell you what various symbols mean. Important for navigating via landmarks or finding towns/cities large enough to safely resupply.
Learn how to gauge distance using the map scale. For 1:24,000 scale maps, one inch equals 2,000 feet. For 1:25,000 maps, 5 centimeters equals 1,250 meters. Most maps are drawn on grids to help facilitate calculations.
For the most part, maps are color coded the same: Black – man-made structures, roads, train tracks, pipelines, and property boundaries. Brown – topographic features such as contour lines. Green – Vegetation features, like forests. Blue – Rivers, lakes, streams, swamps, water reserves. Red: Main roads, highways, and sometimes tunnels or survey lines.
Use Major Landmarks
Once you’re on the road, keep going for as long as possible before making a pit stop, especially if the area you’re traveling through is mostly wilderness. It’s no good putting yourself in unnecessary danger for a drink of water when you’ve got a full supply in the car. But once supplies start running low or you can’t stand the body odor of your traveling companions, take a few vital steps before heading into the woods:
Find a spot in the road nearest to the body of water you seek.
Double check with your map to make sure the water source is a river, large stream, or lake. Swamps and the like are stagnant and chock-full of harmful bacteria that won’t boil out using emergency purification techniques.
Locate at least two major landmarks on the map, and then make visual confirmation from the point where you leave your car. This gives your brain something physical to work from while calculating which direction to walk on your return trip.
Note which direction the sun is moving.
Using the map scale, judge how far your trip will take you from the road. Keep hikes short. Not only will this reduce exposure to danger, but it’ll use less energy to take a 30 minute hike compared to a 2 hour hike. Less energy means fewer calories burned. It’ll make your food supplies last longer. Also be mindful of the time of day. Schedule your trip so you have ample time to return before dark. Improvised camping is dangerous. You don’t know what native beasts lurk in the woods. Without proper shelter, you could wake up cuddling a snake. Or not wake up at all in the belly of a desperate, hungry mountain lion.
Map and Compass Work
The easiest way to navigate new territory is with a map and compass to keep yourself oriented, even after scouting a few major landmarks. I won’t pretend to be an expert here. Heck, I get lost in the mall all the time. But that’s what the internet is for. Here’s a link to an excerpt from The Backpackers Field Manual by Rick Curtis that covers the basics of map and compass work.
Navigating without a compass
While we don’t advise leaving your compass at home once you’re on the run from the undead, accidents happen. Things get lost or broken in the shuffle. The dog ate your compass. Whatever. So on the off-chance you’re stuck without, here’s a couple simple ways to find north so you aren’t a lost babe in the woods, Hansel.
Never Eat Soggy Waffles. This is a mnemonic, a cheeky phrase used to memorize North, East, South, and West going clockwise. So once you’re facing North, East is to your right, South behind you, and West to your left.
Watch the sun: It rises in the East and sets to the West. If you don’t have time to watch the sun, there’s a quick-ish method to determine which way it’s moving:
Find a tall stick and set it in the ground.
Mark the top of the stick’s shadow with a rock (or whatever’s handy).
Wait 15 minutes.
Now mark the stick’s shadow with another rock.
Put your left foot near the first rock, your right near the second. Now you’re facing north.
Using the stars: This takes a little more work, depending on visibility and your location. In the Northern Hemisphere, there’s two ways to find the North Star (Polaris).
Big Dipper method: First, find the bugger. Then using the two stars forming the side of the ladle away from the handle, mentally draw a straight line until you hit a super bright star. That’s Polaris.
Little Dipper method: Polaris is the final star in the Little Dipper’s handle. Super easy to navigate by, if you can find it.
There you have it, a few tips to prevent you from getting lost in your quest to find food and water while on the run from zombies.
These little visits with the not-so-nice people of Roarton have become the highlight of my week. What are they up to in the second episode of BBC’s “In the Flesh”? Lies, lies, and—surprise—more lies.
Feeling trapped at home, Kieren escapes to his grave where he is reunited with his old hunting partner, Amy Dyer, who persuades him to take a dangerous day trip. After fleeing when he is spotted, Kieren discovers that Rick, his former best mate who died in Afghanistan, is back in town and is persuaded by Amy to go and see him at partisan local pub, The Legion. After an awkward reunion, Kieren finds himself on an HVF hunting mission in the woods, where the night patrol has reported live rabid zombies roaming free.
Which liar to tackle first? Might as well make that liars and point out the Swiss cheese logic fueling the Walker Family. Kieren is being treated like a mental case from the good ol’ days, back when the mentally disturbed were treated with ice baths, overdoses of opiates, and left to wallow in their filth until such time as they became mindless zombies, easily manipulated by doctors. Once they were free from the asylum, their families secreted them away. A dirty family secret best left locked in the cellar. Jem, despite still hating her brother for killing himself, knows the lies their parents feed Kieren are wrong and will only hurt him. She’s constantly talked over in this episode, and at some points walked out of the room before she says anything to undermine the fantasy Sue and Steve have created for their new way of existing. They’re living in a yacht on the Nile, so far removed from reality it’s going to bite them in the backside like a starving crocodile.
Which is exactly what happens when they leave Kieren alone in the house for the afternoon. He gets cabin fever and takes a walk. To a cemetery. Because all well-adjusted zombies like to take a stroll to their own grave. Except Kieren isn’t well-adjusted. He’s an emotionally traumatized and bullied teen who thought he’d finally ended his pain when he cut his wrists four years ago. Not only did he return, but was dumped right back into the same awful place which forced him to take his life. And this time there’s no way out. No friend to buffer him from the cruelest alpha-male jockstraps walking around Roarton. He’s an artist, or was before his death. Small town men don’t understand him. Small town women don’t trust him to be capable of providing for them. Aside from his seriously dysfunctional and lying family, he’s alone.
Enter Amy—who’s a few crumbs short of a cookie and doesn’t care. Really, she doesn’t. In a breath of fresh, possibly insane air, she swoops in and saves Kieren from being, well, himself. She points a shining mirror at his life. Questions everything he’s done since returning home. Amy even invades his home, spills a bunch of lie-abolishing truth about PDS people on his family’s dinner conversation, and makes him seriously think about his quality of life and the lies he’s allowed his parents to live in.
“They don’t like admitting that I’m—”
“What? The undead?”
“Shouldn’t they start getting used to it?”
“Shouldn’t you start getting used to it?”
She’s also the only person who’s stopped and really talked to Kieren about his suicide. Not blame him and hate him like Jem, but try to understand why he did it. Show a little sympathy for the decision he made. And then point out how stupid he was to waste the life he’d been given, when she’d had no choice—dead from leukemia before ever truly living.
Every PDS person returning to normal life needs their own Amy. Rick Macy, son of HVF leader Bill Macy, could learn a lot from her. From the second he steps off the transport truck, he’s telling similar lies to the one’s the Walkers peddle with every single breath. Rick tries too hard to be normal, to make his father believe nothing’s changed—because Rick knows the second he acts like a zombie, his father won’t respect him. Zombies are not normal. They won’t make their father’s proud. They can’t continue the family name. What good is a dead person to a man like Bill Macy? So Rick lies. He commits self-harming actions, like drinking and eating even though PDS bodies cannot process anything they ingest and get violently ill. The one good thing Rick accomplishes amidst his lies and acts of normalcy is reclaiming his position as buffer in Kieren’s life. But does Kieren really need that buffer now that Amy made him stop and examine where his future could lead?
It’d appear she’s done some good. When Kieren and Rick help the HVF track down a pair of rabid Rotters in the woods, he steps in and uses sound reasoning to keep first Rick, then Bill and his cronies from slaughtering the zombies. Sure, Rick is now diminished in his father’s eyes—why would anyone listen to a pansy who slit his own wrists? But Kieren may have found a purpose to his second life. If he takes Rick down a similar path, they’ll be golden.
Can Rick and Kieren break the habits hanging on from their old lives to start something better or will Bill’s grip on their lives derail the positive influence of Amy’s presence? There’s one more episode in season one of “In the Flesh.” We’ll find out which way the guys go soon.
A review of “In the Flesh” season 1 episode 1
By A. Zombie
They’re trying something a little different in the ZSC command center this summer. This time around, my assignment is to tackle the BBC’s breakout hit “In the Flesh.” Let’s not waste any time getting into episode one.
Partially Deceased Syndrome sufferer Kieren Walker returns home to the cauldron of Roarton, but doesn’t receive a warm welcome from all. His parents, Steve and Sue, are undoubtedly pleased to see him, but his sister, Jem, isn’t so ready to pick up where they left off when Kieren died back in 2009. Meanwhile, the zombie-hating Human Volunteer Force, led by the violent Bill Macy, are ready to take action against any PDS sufferer reintegrated on their patch.
Right out of the gate, the show is visually impressive. Detailed, but not overly done effects makeup on the undead. Fully dressed sets. The cinematography adds movement to the first moments, which could’ve been a boring one-sided walkie-talkie conversation. But they killed it when viewers realize they’ve used an age-old trope—opening a show with an action-packed dream or flashback sequence. It’s been done to death. Even with them working it into the plot, explaining that the rehabilitated zombies will suffer side-effects such as flashbacks, it’s not a strong start story-wise.
Where they catch interest is in the way they handle a beaten-to-death zombie plotline. Yes, the zombies rose from the dead. Yes, for quite some time humans were forced to fight against ravenous hordes or die. But instead of seeking to wipe out the undead population, the humans found a way to reboot a zombie’s mind with Neurotripteline and make them mostly human again. The rehabilitated zombies are slowly reintroduced into society. Sure, they have to put on colored contacts and paint their pallid flesh to resemble the living, but it’s worth it to be at home again. Much to the delight of folks in backward small towns.
That was sarcasm.
In Roarton, we’re introduced to the main cast. Some of whom we’ll no doubt grow to like or at least tolerate, like Kieren’s family. Others we can only hope will find the toothy end of a rabid rotter—slang for an untreated zombie. Of the latter are Bill Macy and his pal Vicar Oddie. Bill runs the local zombie killing group, the HVF. In its heyday, the HVF were heroes. Always on the front line against the zombies. But since the rehabilitation program and the PDS Protection Act went into law, most cities disbanded their local HVF chapters. But not good ol’ Roarton. There’s little to no official government involvement in a town so small. The Parish Council rules all, and most of them side with the HVF. Vicar Oddie has his fingers in all the pies. He knows what buttons to push to send his wild dog—Bill Macy—off on the hunt. He uses Bill’s anger after his son’s death for his own gain. Why should these zombies be allowed to come back and live with them when Bill’s son, Rick, remained dead in Afghanistan? We’re shown a brutal example of Bill’s hate toward the end of the episode. What would he do if he knew Kieren were back in town and that one of his own HVF soldiers, Jem, was protecting a zombie? Pretty sure we’ll find out soon enough.
“In the Flesh” may have fresh-faced actors in the lead roles, resembling Warm Bodies, but where the film made light out of the zombie condition—curing it with the power of love—the show shines a blinding light on the hate that can manifest when normal people are faced with something they don’t comprehend. Jem calls her brother a demon when he returns home. She refuses to believe Kieren is actually back until he tells her something only he’d know. And even then, she still hates him because she cannot understand why he killed himself four years prior. Ignorance is the perfect breeding ground for turmoil, and there’s plenty of that in Roarton.
How long until the humans turn on each other? Hate can’t be contained to just one set of people, or not-quite-people in this case. Eventually tempers will get the better of everyone.
Actually, the title is slightly misleading. Some of your ZSC commanders are always on the road. Traveling from city to city to touch base with brigadiers not only across the United States, but world-wide at numerous conventions. This time around, four of us are converging on Phoenix, Arizona for Phoenix Comicon. The event begins on Thursday, June 5th at 4:00 PM inside the Phoenix Convention Center.
Yellow Brigade commander Jinxie G and Orange Brigade commander R.C. Murphy will be in attendance Thursday through Sunday for the event. You can find them at booth 793 throughout the weekend (coffee runs are one of a few exceptions to this). Red Brigade commander Juliette Terzieff and Special Forces Commander Michael Rooker plan to roll into Phoenix for Sunday only. Keep an eye out for them. Shouldn’t be too hard to find those two, right?
This is a huge event, and a first-time trip for some of us. If you plan to attend, make sure to come find us. Even if it’s to say hi. Mostly, we want to make sure everyone survives the insanity sure to follow once the convention doors open. Kinda like when someone opened a certain barn we all remember from that one show. You know, the one with the staggering, rotting folks on it. Catch our drift?
After a brief hiatus and several very important missions (which may or may not have involved a horde of drooling zombies, duct tape and a kangaroo) our weekly field reports which we lovingly call Commander Mondays have returned. Because we believe it is important to know exactly who will be leading you forward after the dead have begun to walk the Earth, The Zombie Survival Crew will be bringing you weekly updates with vital information regarding your commanders. This information is equally important to members and prospective members, because… well… because Our Fearless Leader SAID so, and she’s never wrong.
So, without further ado… Orange Brigade, meet Second Lieutenant J. LaRose!
While many of you are no doubt aware of his rather messy demise in Saw III (disembowelment does have its drawbacks), rest assured that the LT is in fine shape and more than ready to take on the ever-growing threat to the human race. You don’t even have to take my word for it, just a glimpse into J’s varied talents and wide range of experience is enough to convince anyone. He can glare a hole in a brick wall in one moment and charm even the hardest of hearts with a winning smile in the next. Coming from a solid background of horror movies, television and short films, J is more than adequately equipped to face the horror in the days that lay ahead. It doesn’t even have to be mentioned that J LaRose is related to a certain Special Forces Commander, but we mentioned it anyway. J. hails from Chicago, making his first appearances on various television series, including Mortal Kombat: Conquest, In Search of, and short films Butterfly Dreams and The Crown of Rust. In 2006 he made his big screen debut as the unfortunately disemboweled Troy in Saw III (spoiler alert), and from there moved on to Repo! The Genetic Opera and the horror films The Tenant, Insidious and The Tortured. J has also been involved in many projects coming up in the near future. Most recently, J LaRose appeared in The Devil’s Carnival,Insidious: Chapter 2, and the short film Amazing Grace, which will be screening at the Sunscreen Film Festival on 5/02/2014. You can view Amazing Grace online here: http://vimeo.com/89128574
J LaRose is currently operating from an undisclosed location, and we are eagerly waiting to hear more from him soon. We’re very sure he won’t end up like poor Troy again, at least not any time soon.