Since the blog has been a bit quiet of late I thought I would upload some photos from the Charlie Brooker written zombie series Dead Set (2008). I have only seen an episode or two but it really looks like it works excellently as a witty, visceral response to the cult of reality T.V. The script is as pithy and swear-ridden as you would expect from Brooker. It is also very gory. Tthe zombies are suitably deadly; they move at high speeds, eat anything going on the human body and their construction seem to be a mix of the relatively recent zombie films 28 Days Later and the WIll Smith version of I Am Legend. As you may expect, the best way to kill them is to go for the head. In fact, the zombies in the film work well but are not particulalrly revolutionary in the way they have been imagined. What makes this T.V. series engaging is the slick direction (think of a low budget 24), the script, the setting and the characters (particulalry Jaime Winston’s). In other words, not necessarily the tropes associated with the archetypal genre film. Also, Davina McCall gets her neck chomped and then goes postal..
I think I find the images of Davina so striking because, obviously, I have never seen a TV presenter of my generation as a zombie and also she is so integral to Big Brother that it actually makes the film seem more real. This brings up questions about decoupling and whether or not we really see reality TV stars and presenters as ‘people’ or whether, due them being on a T.V. set, we regard them as some sort of fictional Other to our daily lives. Dead Set is so like Big Brother in its fictional staging of it that such questions are hard to answer. Either way, the DVD is out now and I recommend it for fans of zombie flicks. Has anyone else seen it yet? Do you, like me, feel that it doesn’t matter that it uses over-worked zombie tropes, as the film-making and handling of the setting is so well executed?
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