I have had a list of TV and movie topics I have been wanting to blog about but, like a baby with bright sparkling objects, I am easily distracted by zombies.
Not traditional zombies this time, but the ones who either die or get bit, and then instantly become infected and chase after your ass.
I am speaking of the new Netflix show BLACK SUMMER, a supposed prequel to the recently canceled show on Syfy called Z NATION (I confess, had trouble getting into the first episode of Z NATION and never viewed any further; I am now reconsidering).
BLACK SUMMER’s secret is that it moves 90-miles-an-hour and never really slows down. Remember the opening sequence of the 2004 DAWN OF THE DEAD remake?… the one that started in quiet suburbia and then all hell breaks loose and suddenly we’re running with Sarah Polley, having no idea where we’re going… just knowing that we can’t stop.
Well, imagine eight episodes of that… only take out the quiet suburbia part.
But let’s fuel the intensity of this series a little more. Let’s make each episode a collection of vignettes led dramatically by single-word titles, following three or so groups of characters as they try to survive… eventually intersecting at often crucial plot points.
But why stop there? Let’s also reduce the length of each episode chronologically so that by the end they’re clocking in at 20 or so minutes as opposed to 40-45 at the beginning.
You see where I’m going here?
Let’s also make two of the characters a Korean woman that speaks very little English and a deaf guy. Take that, WALKING DEAD.
So BAM!… the race is on. Run or you’ll be infected.
And no, it’s not perfect. But it’s an amusement park ride and really doesn’t pretend to be anything else. About midway through the series, it becomes a little video gamey, with most of the cast suddenly comfortable with sophisticated firearms… and an episode called HEIST which, though highly improbable, is cool as fuck.
But I’ll forgive them their shortcomings… considering that the majority of fast-food America wouldn’t survive running down the block from rabid zombies, much less crossing urban terrain in search of a sacred stadium.
I’ll also say that I started and finished this show in a little over 24 hours…
And that I squirmed and conversed with the actors on screen A LOT…
And that I’d watch anything with Ty Olsson in it… for reasons I won’t go into here.
So, there it is. If you’re looking for tense, fast-paced, relentless, post-apocalyptic horror… go directly to Netflix and watch BLACK SUMMER. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
And next time I promise I won’t write about zombies.
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