Tag Archives: zombies

31 Days of Spoooktacular: This is Thriller

I’m going to be honest right here and right up front. I didn’t “grow up” with Thriller. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve been such a huge fan of the song and the music video (the full version).

If ever there was a way to condense Halloween, and the spirit of the aforementioned, into 14 minutes, the Thriller music video would be the way to do it.

First of all, it’s directed by John Landis, the director of the best werewolf movie ever made. There is no argument to make. You can bring up Ginger Snaps and The Wolfman and Dog Soldiers or even one of the Underworld movies if you’re a goddamn lunatic who prefers leather and Kate Beckinsale to balls-to-the-wall fear, but An American Werewolf in London is the best werewolf movie ever made. Done. Period. Fullstop. Stop arguing. I’m tired of it. You can see his directorial touch in the scenes at the beginning of the music video, when Michael Jackson turns into a werewolf. John Landis equals Halloween awesome.

Second, I’m going to describe a scene to you: Zombies dance a choreographed dance around their leader who wears a black and red leather suit. This scene, which should have been ludicrous and absurd, is iconic. It has become embedded into our pop culture in a way that shrieking violins and opaque shower curtains have. Sometimes, zombies just have to dance.

Third, Vincent Price. For the 50’s and  60’s, Vincent Price was the voice of  horror. No-one is arguing with me. And, if they are, they’re just being difficult. He was the spooky voice that meant a murderer seeking vengeance was nearby or the Invisible Man’s return was close at hand. You cannot have Halloween without Vincent Price and Thriller had Vincent Price.

If you want to kick off the season right, watch the full version of Thriller.

NOW.

-D-

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Filed under Halloween: Rock and Shock, 31 Days of Spooktacular, Spoooky Beer Reviews and More

A New Story Is Up: Carolyn

Over a year ago, I wrote a story called For Carolyn and it was published on Tales from the Zombie War. There were a few comments asking for more about both Carolyn and her mother, Alex, and while I normally ignore comments asking for a sequel, I actually had an idea about them and where I could take them.

So over the course of a year, I fleshed out a story about Carolyn and her mother trying to survive in woods infested with zombies. I actually liked it a lot. It’s a little story. Focused, I think. I hope you’ll like it too. Be sure to check out some of the other stories on Tales of the Zombie War because they’re pretty awesome, too.

You can find it here.

And, if you’re coming from the story to here, be sure to check out my other stories and my book.

-D-

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Zombies, Run!: Conclusion

This will be the last Zombies, Run! entry for a long, long while. Promise.

After completing the first three missions and starting the third, I think I’m ready to bring in my final verdict on Zombies, Run!

There are a couple of things that I wish they’d add:

-I’d really like to know how much I’ve run in terms of miles, rather than in the vague and ambiguous steps. Some of us aren’t blessed with iPhones or iPods equipped with a GPS.

-In line with the previous, I’d really like to be pursued by zombie mobs at some point. I dunno if that’s really possible with the accelerometer and I’m not going to stop using the program because it’s not there. I’ll just be bummed.

-Something explaining why I want to level up all these buildings. What’s the difference between having a level 1 armory and a level 2 armory? I know that higher level buildings will give access to more missions, but I don’t know which buildings to level up to unlock, say, Mission Four.

Aside from these issues, Zombies, Run! is a great app. It’s gotten me running again and I actually look forward to running. If it keeps me running for, say, a month, that’ll make it more awesome than my own, not-so-great willpower. The second and third missions don’t have the lengthy opening narration either, so feel free to run right out the gate without worrying about extended helicopter sequences ruining the illusion that you’re running from zombies. A small aside, I’m glad that they’re not avoiding using the word zombies. It’s kind of refreshing for someone to break that rule, for once (Don’t say the Zed word!).

I also like how the game has started to introduce other elements. At one point, your character picks up a newspaper clipping, which has a reference to a twitter account. And, lo and behold, you can follow the account. Considering that the game is an alternate reality game, it’s nice to see that they’re not just limiting it to the running itself. I’m interested to see just how much further they’ll take it.

So, buy the app if you’re interested in making running fun. Don’t buy it for the iPod if you want the random zombie encounters. And the length of the missions depends on the length of the songs you play while you run.

To see the first two parts of my review go here:

Zombies, Run!: First Impressions

Zombies, Run!: First Mission Review

Dylan Charles

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Zombies, Run!: First Mission Review

I used to run occasionally, but that was a year ago and the most I’ve done since then is to stare at my running shoes before quickly throwing a towel over them to hide my secret shame.

So keep that in mind as I review the first mission of Zombies, Run!.

As I mentioned before, the beginning of the mission has a three minute introduction in which there is no running. If you’re anything like me and you want to stay grounded in the game’s universe, I recommend using this as a warm-up period. Do some stretching.

This is especially important if you’re like me and you can’t run more than ten minutes without fainting. I wasn’t able to run long enough to make it to he second checkpoint, which meant I had to sit through the introduction again the next day.

I also recommend holding onto any items you find until after you complete the first mission. The game gives you information for all the buildings in Abel at that point giving you a better idea of where you should put everything. At this point, I don’t see how the base plays a part in the game. It just seems like a neat graphic for your runner to come home to.

My initial problems with the accelerometer are not as bad as I thought. It does settle down after a while and stops counting off paces when I stood stock still. The main problem with the accelerometer is the that the zombie chases are disabled. This seemed like the funnest portion of the game when I first heard about it, but it’s only available if you have an iPhone.

There’s also no way to input how long one step is. So while you know if you’ve gone 1000 steps, you won’t know how long that really is in miles or kilometers unless you’re willing to crunch the numbers yourself.

Aside from the nitpicks, Zombies, Run is a great app. It got me out of my chair for the first time in over a year and I actually look forward to running the next day, if only to find out what happens with Sam and Runner Seven and the doctor lady whose name I can’t remember. The voice acting is serviceable at its worst and considering this is an independently funded and designed game, the voice acting is, for the most part, pretty good.

They’re going to implement for free content over the next few monhs, including repeatable supply missions. I want to see how the storyline develops over the next couple of missions and I want to see how the supply missions will be handled.

The story drew me in and gave me a reason to keep running, even when I was flagging. For whatever its flaws, it does what it’s supposed to do: make running fun.

Dylan Charles

 

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Zombies, Run!: First Impression

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that at one point, I was doing some running. You might also remember that I stopped talking about it. A lot of that has to do with the fact that running bores the absolute dogs out of me. I can’t keep doing it every day or every other day without some kind of constant impetus and my own good health is not enough of one.

So I got excited when I heard about Zombies, Run!. It’s an app for the iPod and the iPhone (scheduled for Android for a Spring release date).  It’s the zombiepocalypse and you’re Runner 5. You go out and scavenge supplies for the tiny community of Abel. The difference between this and any other zombie game is that you actually run to get the supplies. As you run, your device uses GPS or the accelerometer to keep track of how much you’ve run. You pick up supplies, dodge zombies and try and complete the mission before you’re eaten.

I started playing it today using my iPod and I had a few issues.

Since an iPod obviously can’t link up to a satellite, I have to use the accelerometer, but it looks like either the software or the accelerometer is way too sensitive. I’d be standing still and notice that I was continuing to run in game. I ignored that and just kept going. Since at this point, it’s not tracking stats yet, it doesn’t really bother me if it’s not completely accurate.

The second issue is the storyline. The first couple bits of plot don’t really feature a lot of running, so I was running while my character was in a helicopter. It was only after I’d gone a few blocks that the radio operator told me to get as far away from the zombies as I could. This is a bit of nitpick, but it kind of took me out of the story a bit. I wish I’d known so I could just have sat on my ass and made helicopter noises for the first part.

I’m going to run through the first two missions before I write up a full review of Zombies, Run!, but I’m tentatively enjoying it. It got me to run a mile for the first time in almost a year, so that’s good.

More later.

Dylan Charles

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