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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Blu-Ray review: THE WALKING DEAD -THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (TV, 2010)

THE WALKING DEAD
Created by Frank Darabont

For those that don't know, THE WALKING DEAD is a direct adaptation of the ongoing comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman.   I was never a reader of this comic, but knew about it, and was super excited to hear that it was being made into a TV show.  There haven't been many zombie themed TV shows, and being a huge fan of zombies, I couldn't wait once I heard this show was being made. It seems like we had to wait a long time from the first announcement of the show until the actual night of the series debut, but when the show finally debuted last Halloween night, we all knew that the wait was well worth it and we were treated to one of the best hours on TV that I can ever remember.  The show turned out to be extremely popular and immediately became the most watched drama series in cable's history among Adults 18-49 with 3.5 million viewers!  If you haven't seen this show yet, check out the awesome DVD and Blu-ray of the first season which is being released this Tuesday, March 8th by Anchor Bay Entertainment.  You will see what Entertainment Weekly described as "The Best New Show on TV", and that says a lot, coming from a magazine that has never been too big on the horror genre.  Before I go any further, let me give you the show's basic plot synopsis from the Anchor Bay website:

After waking from a coma in an abandoned hospital, police officer Rick Grimes finds the world he knew gone - ravaged by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions. Nearby, on the outskirts of Atlanta, a small encampment struggles to survive as 'the dead' stalk them at every turn. Can Rick and the others hold onto their humanity as they fight to live in this terrifying new world? And, amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries, will they ultimately survive one another?

The series was created by Frank Darabont, the director of such great drama films such as THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and THE GREEN MILE.  So right from the start you know you are getting a quality product.   Each episode is much bigger than a regular TV show....the production value makes each episode feel like an hour long film rather than a TV episode. 
The show grabs a hold of you the first first episode and never lets go.  I was hooked right from the start.  The scene of Sheriff Grimes walking through the abandoned hospital and coming across a gory, half composed yet still alive body, I knew we were in for a huge treat. Episode 1 hooks you in and introduces you to the main, base characters, yet new characters pop up all throughout the season which keeps things fresh and opens the door for many new future story lines.
 
One of my favorite scenes occurs early in the series, in episode 2.  Rick and Glen need to get to another building, but a horde of zombies blocks their way. They figure out that if they act (and smell) like one of the dead, or undead, then the zombies won't be attracted to them.  They find a zombie, attack him, and begin hacking him up with an axe.  Rick and Glen then put on rubber gloves and rain jackets, and cover their jackets in the corpse's putrid blood and guts.  The pair is then able to walk through the crowd of zombies unnoticed, yet when everything seems to be going fine, it starts to rain, washing off the blood and guts and leaving Rick and Glen in a vulnerable situation.
 
Along with the obvious horror aspect, every episode is also packed full of action and drama.  One moment I found to be very moving, yet disturbing, is when a man and his son are barricaded in their home.  The wife/mother has been turned and keeps coming back to the house, out of instinct or just out of habit.  The scene where the father has to decide what to do with the woman is very touching, as he has such deep love for her still, he battles within himself, knowing he should pull the trigger and put her out of this lifetime sentence of walking the earth in an undead state.  But then having to actually pull the trigger on someone you love is not that easy, obviously. 
 
The acting in this show is excellent, but the main thing that I love about this show is the zombie makeup and effects.  These are some of the best zombies you will see, better than most zombie movies.  What is also great about this show is even those that aren't big fans of zombies and horror in general will like this show.  My wife does not like blood and gore, or much horror at all, but she got hooked just as bad as I did with this show.  The show is much more than horror. It is a horror based drama, with great character development and some character story lines that don't revolve directly around the zombies.  There is something in this show for everyone to enjoy. 
 
The DVD and Blu-ray being released this coming Tuesday, March 8th by Anchor Bay.  This is one show you will definitely want to add to your DVD collection.

DVD and Blu-ray extras include:

* Making of THE WALKING DEAD Featurette
* Indside THE WAKING DEAD: Epidodes 1-6 Featurette
* A Sneak Peak With Robert Kirkman
* Behind the Scenes Zombie Make-up Tips
* Convention Panel with Producers
* THE WALKING DEAD Trailer
* Extra Footage including deleted scenes and On Set Footage with Robert Kirkman and starts Andrew Lincoln and Steven Yeun

CLICK HERE to watch a trailer for the show
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray
CLICK HERE to visit the show's official AMC website


CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Anchor Bay Entertainment

2 comments:

  1. I think it's a testament to just how good this series is that its audience includes people who either aren't really genre fans and/or don't care for the excessive (for mainstream television, anyway) gore. I can't wait for Season 2!

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  2. Thanks for the review. I'd been wondering whether to check this series out. Definitely will now!

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