Sunday, December 14, 2008

Will Living Dead 4 Become the Ultimate Zombie Extermination Experience?

I naturally thought of my son when I saw this review of Living Dead 4. I never could understand his fascination with the Resident Evil series. He told me "Hey, Mom, after putting up with jerks at the office all day, there's nothing like it to blow off a little steam!"

I live alone these days, but my favorite memento of my old roommate is the 2005 headline from The Onion that is still stuck to my refrigerator three years after she put it there: “Study Reveals Pittsburgh Unprepared for Full-Scale Zombie Attack.”

The line makes me smile every day because the concept of zombie apocalypse is so elemental and yet subtly humorous in its repugnance. And where else but a stolid middle-American city like Pittsburgh (or Cleveland or Detroit) would you want to set down your pack of former insurance clerks and housewives turned ravening undead to hunt down a ragged band of survivors?

It’s difficult to imagine that some developer at Turtle Rock Studios (now part of Valve) hasn’t had the same Onion headline pasted by his desk since work began on Left 4 Dead, also in 2005. Left 4 Dead nails just about every part of the classic George A. Romero “Living Dead” zombie genre in what amounts to a glossy and frenetic homage to every shotgun shell that has ever been pumped into the pustulent maw of the ghoul next door.
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