The Walking Dead and Horror Fans by Jack Wallen
The Winter of Zombie Tour strikes Darkness Dwells again with this awesome essay about AMC’s series The Walking Dead and horror fans. Enjoy!
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I don’t know how to put this kindly – without seeming like I’m nibbling at the phalanges that feed me – but through the magic of social media (and absolutely zero scientific experimentation or big data trolling), I think I’ve discovered something that will probably change the way humankind exists.
Okay … not really. Honestly, it’ll probably not even be a blip on the radar to anyone outside of die hard TWD fans and the truest of the true horror fans. But after watching an endless stream of social media postings (through various zombie-themed Facebook groups and twitter) I have come to realize the average Walking Dead fan is not a true horror fan.
I crossed a line, didn’t I?
How dare I!
Stick with me here. I’ll prove my point eventually.
First and foremost – The Walking Dead is officially described as:
“…an American post-apocalyptic horror drama television series.”
The key term – horror.
With that said, it should be assumed the show would include the standard tropes of the modern horror genre. I’m talking:
- horrific imagery
- suggestive themes
- humanity at its darkest moments
Add in the post-apocalyptic element and you can include:
- A lot of death
- Fading Hope (see what I did there?
With all of the above elements securely in place, anyone that partakes in The Walking Dead knows, beyond any shadow of any doubt, what experience they are in for. This is not Once Upon A Time In Undead Land. This is not Zombie Hookup, or Sex In the Apocalyptic City. This is horror, plain and simple.
So when one of the latest episodes of The Walking Dead dropped the cannibalism bomb on the audience, it was every man, woman, and child for themselves. People responded, in disgust, on Facebook. “Why would they do that?”
I’ll tell you why – it’s horror. Any “died” in the wool horror fan would have shrugged the eating of Bob’s leg off as a casual stroll down PG-13 lane. We’ve seen it, many times and in many forms.
Seriously – get over it. Hope on board the Midnight Meat Train and see what delights the genre has to show you. If true horror fans can stomach the romantic sub-plots of TWD, romance fans need to give our fiendish little tribe a fair shake.
Tit for tat.
Meat for the beasts.
That is not to say casual fans of the fantastique need not apply. I find it absolutely thrilling that so many people are imbibing in nectar which we horror writers have been drinking for so long. It is my hope that the casual fan, the fan on board the Norman Reedus train will open their eyes and see just how much horror there is to delight the mind and senses.
Horror is one of the single most cathartic genres of fiction you will ever find. And now that you’ve discovered a gateway to fright, please be welcome and enjoy what we have to offer. We are an accepting and loving lot and want, more than anything, for you to sit at our table and listen to our tales.
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The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #WinterZombie2014
AND so you don’t miss any of the posts in November, here’s the complete list, updated daily: