Friday, November 5, 2010

Highway Safety and The Apocalypse

HOV - The Living.
So it's a beautiful shot - lone survivor entering the city of Atlanta on horseback. The charred remains of cars in the traffic jam from hell: the failed exodus from a zombie apocalypse. It just oozes tragic ennui. The director, Frank Darabont, must have wet himself composing this sequence since it became one of the teaser posters for the series. But it's the worst thing about the first episode and mars what is otherwise a meticulously researched show that owes its lineage to the Max Brooks' school of zombies. Why strive for realism, Frank, if you're going to throw it away on one cheap Independence Day style shot?

Here in Washington DC, we have a little thing we like to call rush hour. Perhaps you have it in your city too. It happens twice a day, and can last upwards of five hours both morning and night. It's a soul crushing experience where otherwise reasonable people - the type that religiously change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors - will accelerate wildly to eighty-eight miles an hour, change two lanes without a blinker and slam on the breaks just to gain three car lengths. And they'll do all this on a cellphone with their precious six month old in the backseat. It's a lawless, near anarchic time of day.

Yet Frank Darabont wants us to believe that should traffic backup during the zombie apocalypse, people would patiently wait their turn to merge while the five inbound lanes sit pristine and unused. That people who will drive in the emergency lane to get home for Dancing With The Stars wouldn't drive on the wrong side of the highway to avoid zombies eating their brains? Give us a fucking break.  Apparently Hollywood hasn't learned anything since Independence Day. Remember the scene where Jeff Goldblum sped from New York to DC while refuges stuck in traffic waited to be turned into crispy Pop Tarts. Is that how Hollywood thinks Americans go out? Stuck in traffic? Forget that shit. Sayonara suckers, see you in hell. We'd be doing eighty-eight on the wrong side of the highway without a moments hesitation. We're happy to take the points on our license, but you'll have to mail us the ticket 'cause we ain't stopping. And we wouldn't be alone. Sorry if that fucks up your shot, Frank Darabont, here's a number you can call to complain:

How's my Driving? 1-800-Die-In-a-Zombie-Apocalypse!

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