The Walking Dead, getting back into it

I’ve been trying to get back into The Walking Dead. I stepped away from it last season when it devolved into hostage-of-the-week storylines. But, I’ve read the comics so I have a general idea how things go. I’ve been catching up and things are moving back towards layered stories that suggest the writers have decided to make some effort.

If you recall, when the show first started there wasn’t an M4 to be had. It was all pump shotguns and bolt rifles. Then the AR’s and Ak’s started making gradual appearances. Now we have awesome high-end suppressed rifles and pistols (and one white trash dude with a crossbow). I like that. I think that’s fairly representative of how things would go. Like a first person shooter video game….you upgrade your weapons as you come across them. The Internet Movie Firearms Database (IMFDB) covers the guns of the show season by season, so if you’re really curious about what exactly that was someone used to remove the head of that other guy….there you go.

While much of the acting on the show is pretty one-dimensional, I think Melissa McBride is way overdue for some professional awards. For the first few seasons her character was background filler and not very compelling. In the last several seasons she has easily become the most nuanced and deep character on the show. A lot of the time I watch the episodes just to see how her character will react to a situation, but it’s also entertaining to see how McBride conveys that characters turmoil and pathos.

Of course, the backdrop of the end of the world has a tremendous appeal to me as well. I can think of no television drama that has portrayed an apocalypse as stark as this. ‘Jericho’ had to work within the constraints of network television, but still managed to eke out a winning episode or two (and, hey, Lennie James is still killing people after the apocalypse!) There’s no mincing words – the end of the world is going to be all sorts of ugly rolled up into a big ball of suckage….all-Somalia, all-the-time. But, it is, for me, loads of fun to war game. “What would I do in that situation?” or “what if I had this piece of gear?”…I like the intellectual challenge of imagining alternative courses of action.

I won’t tell you to go watch TWD because at this point you either are, or you have no interest in it. But, as a survivalist, I do find it a fascinating thought experiment. Interestingly, the companion show, Fear The Walking Dead, seems a tad more ‘realistic’ since it takes place in the early days of the zombie apocalypse when normalcy bias is still strong.

So..yup, I’m back to watching.
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10/22 mags are still available. Don’t go into the zombie apocalypse without.

Movie – The Accountant

I’ll keep the spoilage to a minimum. Ben Affleck plays an autistic/Asperger-y accountant whose upbringing by his military dad included lots of hand-to-hand to keep dad’s son from being a victim. Fast forward twenty years and the obsessive-compulsive kid is now an accountant to the mob, terrorists, and other undersireables.

The gunplay in this movie was pretty good, and there’s some Barrett lovin’. This movie also features Jon Bernthal, last seen in “Sicario”, as basically the same character he played on The Walking Dead. There’s some nice pistol work, a little bit of small-unit stuff, and a whole lot of CQB-gun-to-the-head action.

The rest of the story you can go see. And, actually, it’s not bad.. sort of “Rain Man” meets “Bourne Identity”. But, what I found interesting was the the level of preparedness the main character engaged in. Hidden away at a storage unit was his Airstream trailer, loaded with cash, gold, rare paintings, weapons, and everything he’d need to pull up roots and GTFO before the heat landed on him. As he tells another character, he can abandon his life and be on he road “in twelve minutes”.

If you’ve ever wondered what a decent ‘bug out trailer’ would be like, this is a nice example. It sits in his stroage unit, loaded up and ready to go, just waiting for the twelve minutes he needs to grab it and it’s life-altering cargo.

Anyway, enjoyable movie, some really nice plot twists, good action, and not a drop of useless romance or love interest. Oh, and local lad JK Simmons does a really nice job as the multi-layered treasury agent.

 

 

 

Fear The Walking Dead – Season Finale

You know, I’ll be the first to admit that the major character that killed off was definitely one that I’m happy is gone. The bad news it isn’t either one of the insanely annoying chicks.

And as the election season approaches with politcal rhetoric about illegal immigration (and remember kids, there’s a difference between immigration and illegal immigration) we have what appears to be a Texas border militia group making an appearance.

I’m still having mixed feelings about this show, but it is satisfying to watch the character start to turn into pragmatists and lose the we-have-to-save-everybody attitude. It’s also interesting, and I think this was a brilliant move, to set the majority of the series in a non-US venue. It allowed for plenty of different characters, lifestyles, and scenarios that were fresh and interesting.

Anything worth observing? Well, seriously, everyone needs a damn bugout bag packed so that when you have to beat feet out of your refuge you can leave with more than a Beretta 84 and a couple gallons of water. Binoculars are worth the weight. Wear your seatbelt. Don’t believe in people selling miracles. Always check your six. Two-man rule. Static positions aren’t going to last forever.

The regular Walking Dead series has been losing my interest lately, at least this series has a few fresh ideas. So, yeah, I’ll tune in but until they kill off those annoying women I’m gonna root for the zombies.

 

But keep this one. I like her…..

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Video – After Armageddon

Remember when [insert name of animal] Flu was the big apocalypse du jour? I was down the YouTube rabbit hole and got sucked into this video.

Man, if this doesn’t make you want to redouble your efforts, nothing will.

This is one of the reasons I think it isn’t a waste of time to watch/read surivivalist fiction (or non-fiction). It gives motivation and makes you think about things you may not have thought about. And wargaming these sorts of things is always an interesting exercise.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go check my stocks of bleach and AA batteries………

Movie – Amerigeddon

The cheese factory has turned out another wheel of cinematic cheese.

Let’s go through the checklist:

  • The UN as bad guys? Check!
  • Trendy EOTW event? Check!
  • Turn them all in, Mr and Mrs America? Check!
  • Evil foreign conspirators? Check!
  • Surveillance state commentray? Check!
  • Dramatic use of the term “New World Order”? Check!
  • Vilified big businesses and corporations? Check!

Roll em!

Almost seems like Alex Jones should get writing credit, doesn’t it? Interesting to note that the best thing I can find in the cast list as far as a notable actor is….Dina Meyer. Best known, probably, for the incredibad “Starship Troopers” and it’s coed shower scene.

But…yeah…I’ll roll my eyes during the whole thing but watch it anyway. I like EOTW genre films and we haven’t had a collapse movie in a couple years since that last EMP movie.

Article – ‘Scarface’: Whatever Happened to Tony Montana’s “Little Friend”?

Reminder about Mountain House group buy possibility.

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With the possible exception of “Dirty” Harry Callahan’s .44 Magnum, Tony Montana’s “Little Friend” might be the most famous firearm in movie history.

As you might expect, it wasnt a real M203 for federal reasons. But..since it shot shotgun shells, there may have been other issues since that barrel looks less than 18″.

Nonetheless…interesting article to read for those of us who have seen the movies mentioned.

While an M203 might be nice, I think I’d rather have a Milkor.

Fear The Walking Dead – wrap up of S1

The first seaon of ‘Fear The Walking Dead’, the spinoff series of ‘The Walking Dead’, came to a close the other week. I finally got around to watching the last several episodes.

The series is entertaining from the zombie-genre standpoint, but the characters are tremendously weak. There is literally no character about whom I care whether they live or die. The only interesting characters, for me, are the newly-introduced ‘Mr. Strand’, and the stereotypical immigrant-who-turns-out-to-have-shady-military-past, Salazar (played by the always entertaining Ruben Blades.)

However, I’m watching this series for it’s portrayal of the slow-to-fast descent into Detroit  Thunderdome. I’m fascinated at the progressive failures of infrastructure and critical systems, and how the characters react to those situations. So far, the only character I’m feeling any sympathy for is the schoolkid at the beginning of the show who kinda knew which way the wind was blowing. (I am, though, appreciating the unflappability of the Hawkins-like Mr. Strand.)

The most noteworthy thing about the final episode of the season was the decision undertaken by the family to leave the confines of the relatively secure neighborhood they were in. It was the classic bug-out scenario.

One character asks where they are going to go. The answer? “West”. That’s a direction, not a destination. But it does illustrate the classic survivalist dilemma – stay or go. But, if you’re going to go, you need to have an actual destination. Just leaving the dangers zone is always a great idea for the short term, but nothing good comes from wandering around in a crisis without a stable place to park yourself.

You would think that out of a group of a half dozen people, someone would have had a hunting cabin, relatives house, or other distant location to fall back to. As it stands, it appears they had nothing better than to drive blindly to the location suggested to them by the enigmatic and clearly self-serving Mr Strand.

But, the lesson in there is that if you’re really going to take this sort of thing seriously, you need to have another location in mind to relocate to. “Shelter in place” or “bug in” sounds great but it would be really, really nice to have a plan B.

New season of The Walking Dead

It looks like the guys at TWD are finally throwing in some tactics and strategy into the plans of our intrepid group of survivors. Two-way radios, backup plans, mobile scouts, etc, etc. Nice to see that someone finally gets the idea that you can’t just run around the apocalypse and meet things head-on without plans.

Things that still annoy me about The Walking Dead:

  • There are no consequences to horrible personal hygiene
  • Wheres all the gasoline coming from?
  • No .gov of any kind exists? Anywhere? At all?
  • The ‘rogue military’ scenario hasn’t really been fully explored, although the ‘rogue cop’ one was (at the hospital).
  • Guns go ‘click’ multiple times when empty
  • The way Rick holds his Python makes it clear this guy knows nothing about guns

Still, I’m very much enjoying the zombie genre. I still maintain that the fella with a suppressed 10/22 and a few bricks of ammo would go down in history as humanity’s greatest defender.