Zombie Book Club

The Girl with All the Gifts (Book and Movie Review) | Zombie Book Club Episode 20

October 15, 2023 Zombie Book Club Season 1 Episode 20
Zombie Book Club
The Girl with All the Gifts (Book and Movie Review) | Zombie Book Club Episode 20
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This week on Zombie Book Club, our journey kicks off with "The Girl With All The Gifts" by M.R. Carey. An intriguing zombie novel that dishes up a dangerous fungus and a diverse cast of characters. We dissect the two types of zombies in the book and how they challenge our understanding of what it means to be human. We compare and contrast the book and movie versions, and anticipating with bated breath the possibility of a movie adaptation of the sequel "The Boy on The Bridge". Fingers crossed.

Whether you're a zombie enthusiast or a casual reader, this episode promises to have you rethinking everything you thought you knew about the undead and countertop heights(citation needed)! So, plug in those earphones and join us for an entertaining and thought-provoking conversation.

Follow our linktree for social media links, and links to all the places you can find our podcast! https://linktr.ee/zombiebookclub

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Zombie Book Club, the only book club where sometimes the book is actually a book. Imagine that we're reading a book. Well, you did, I read a book, and the zombies in this book, I should say, are adorable children with Hannibal Electra face masks. But they're nice, but also they're vicious, people-eating killers.

Speaker 2:

You can be both. Yeah, you can do both things. People are complicated. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Hi, I'm Dan and I'm a writer, and when I'm not huffing diesel fumes while rocketing down the road in a 100,000-pound vehicle, I'm writing a book about how our current society is set up to fail in the event of a zombie apocalypse. And then some other stuff happens.

Speaker 2:

What's the other stuff?

Speaker 1:

Wow, I haven't figured that out yet.

Speaker 2:

Well, I'm Leah, and this podcast is a way for me to bring a little brightness, a little stupidity and a lot of joy to my life. Work's been getting me down lately. It's coming up on the one-year anniversary of my horse soulmate's death, atlas, and this podcast is my happy place to go. But that does not mean I'm actually a good book club member, because I definitely did not read the book we're about to talk about today, but I did watch the movie.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it turns out there's a movie. Thanks, greg the writer for letting us know that there was a movie made about this and I am shocked that more people don't know this movie exists because spoiler alert, it was great.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm going to preview it and say I give it 10 z. We'll talk about why in a minute.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so we upload episodes every two weeks on Sunday. Isn't that wild? It is so wild you should subscribe. Yeah, they should subscribe. Today we're talking about the book and the movie the Girl with All the Gifts by MR Cary, and also the movie, because Leah didn't have time to read the book. But thanks, greg, greg the writer. He's on Instagram and threads, I think, and he told us that we should watch the movie, thank God. And also, you said he loved the book. He loved the book so much that he watched the movie. Am I getting that right, greg? Am I thinking of somebody else?

Speaker 2:

Who knows For what it's worth. I would like to read the book, but I really don't think I can handle two book clubs is what I'm realizing, and the other one gives me real life friends, so I have to prioritize it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, if you want to become Leah's real life friend so that she can quit her other book club.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you got to move to Vermont first. Yeah, move to Vermont. Yeah, come stalk us yeah.

Speaker 1:

Personal life update Leah.

Speaker 2:

It's fall, it's fall, the fall of humanity. It's the fall of humanity Just autumn, but also autumn, yeah, in the Northern.

Speaker 1:

Hemisphere where we are. It's funny because it really felt like autumn the last couple of weeks and now we're going to have summer again for a week 81 degrees baby At least a week.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't know what will happen after that. We'll see. I mean, it's climate change. It's our own apocalypse.

Speaker 1:

we're dealing with and because it's autumn, my personal life update is that I'm officially counting down the days to the end of the season. Currently, we're at what? 44 days, possibly Something like that. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Around the day of morning, slash US.

Speaker 1:

I'm counting down the days. I don't know the number, though. Also, I'm on a learning journey. I well, kind of you know, I made a very unpopular post on threads about feminism and countertop heights.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Can I? Can I tell the beginning of this?

Speaker 1:

story, you tell the beginning, you tell how it went.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, this is what happened, is Dan? It comes up to me in the kitchen very proudly peacocking chest out, so proud of being a good feminist boy man, and says to me I just made a post about countertop heights, because countertop heights are what.

Speaker 1:

They're sexist.

Speaker 2:

Why are they sexist, according to you?

Speaker 1:

Because they design them for women to be the sole proprietors of the kitchen. Assuming that? Assuming what?

Speaker 2:

That women are shorter than that.

Speaker 1:

Yes, assuming that women are between the height of five feet and five foot five.

Speaker 2:

Yes, which actually the average height of a woman, I believe, is five foot six. And immediately when Dan told me this, I was like what about shorter people? It's also hard for them. And also, what about taller women?

Speaker 1:

And I said sure people could just deal with it, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So Dan's getting canceled on threads right now. So what happened on threads?

Speaker 1:

Well, actually, you know, as it turns out, I just kind of immediately. People pointed out I'm five feet tall and every time I try to reach across the stove I burn my tits off. Did somebody literally say that? Somebody said that, yeah, that sucks. And they pointed out that the struggles of being tall and using a short countertop are much less severe than the troubles of being too short or wheelchair ridden or somebody who is vertically challenged I don't know what the proper Just a little person. A little person, yeah, and a person with just physical disabilities yeah, using a it's harder to deal with those things than to just kind of make your backache a little because you have to crouch down a little bit and that the real reason that they are the standardized height that they are is not because of the patriarchy, but rather that they were just trying to find a middle ground where people within a certain height range could all use it.

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean, it's kind of related to the patriarchy, in the sense that I got into that like rant about the Industrial Revolution, how before the Industrial Revolution, everything was made to the person. It didn't matter if you were rich or poor. People either made themselves or they had people make it for them. And now everything is standardized, which means it doesn't fit anybody with the average person, which is fucking annoying actually. So that's to sell more stuff.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but you know, I did hear a wide range of stories from people, people who are very tall, people who are very short and how they deal with countertop heights, which I know is a thrilling discussion to have.

Speaker 2:

Well, clearly it is, because last I checked it had like 500 and some odd likes.

Speaker 1:

No, that's a different comment. Oh, it's more like 80. Oh, that's the other one, that, but you know like, give it a couple of days yeah, give it a couple of days of people quoting and rethreading me being like look at this fucking moron.

Speaker 2:

But you know what you got? An E for effort and an F for feminism in your effort to think about it.

Speaker 1:

I tried so hard I thought I was being so profound. I'm like nobody's talking about countertop heights. Why is the mainstream media not concerned about countertop?

Speaker 2:

Well, it's really. It's actually a really classic example of privilege, because countertop heights are not the right height for you, but you were centering your own experience as a taller person and then extrapolating to women and like the reasoning for countertop.

Speaker 1:

So I can see where you got there, but you know, I really where I really failed was I just didn't understand that, like somebody who's five feet tall, with even with the standardized countertop heights that we have still struggles with that height, like I figured like, oh yeah, you're five feet tall, you're like a foot and a half taller than the countertop, that's fine, that's more than enough room, yeah, but if you're a little person it's not good either.

Speaker 2:

So I'm going to share with you and with the audience something that I was taught recently that actually has really helped me, which is when you're trying to actually think about inclusion, or feminism, which is a form of inclusion and equity, you should ask yourself the question like huh, what would this be like for someone else? And then, like, imagine a few different kinds of people in the world, and then and then be like is this, is this equitable, is this inclusive, or is this really just designed for quote, unquote your opportunity, in which which you're right the countertop Sorry.

Speaker 1:

I would add that you should also ask yourself will this make me look like a fucking moron on social media? Yeah, people were very nice, though, and and actually I feel like the conversations that I had actually were kind of deep and meaningful. In an interesting way, even though it started with my ignorance, it ended with me being like I'm an idiot and this is what I've learned, and people being like oh, you actually sound nice.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's nice, I mean. I think that it is worth being vulnerable and having a little dialogue that way. Another exciting life update is that we found, for the second year in a road, road.

Speaker 1:

Road, road, road, road, road. Two roads, two roads a year Two years two, two, whatever.

Speaker 2:

We all. I'm sober. I feel like I need to say that every episode that I am, are you, I am. I did not assume that I can't this. Anyways, we found a bears head to bears to bear bears dooth had fungus. Yeah, again at the same tree. It was a little bit too old for us, so we spread some spores around. Yeah, and we're hoping it'll show back up For those who don't know it's it's.

Speaker 1:

it's a cousin to the lion's mane mushroom. It's a big white ball that looks like it's growing white fur off of it and it's a really great mushroom, especially if you want to cut it into little pieces and deep fry it.

Speaker 2:

Oh, so good.

Speaker 1:

It's a has has a texture like chicken and a flavor that's kind of like lobster.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a really good description. And when we successfully forged something which actually we didn't because it was too old, we needed to be there, like a week ago.

Speaker 1:

We could have eaten it, but it would have been.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

There have been a lot of bugs in it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean extra protein. What I was going to say is that it makes me feel more confident in my ability to survive the apocalypse. Yeah, but also we find forageable edible mushrooms, like once a year.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's not very successful, yet it's not good.

Speaker 2:

No, they're looking more than finding.

Speaker 1:

So we're talking about the girl with all the gifts, so let's just dive into it. Let's dive in, let's do it Get your swim trunks on.

Speaker 2:

We're diving into this, I knew I was going to like this one just because of the name, but I got to admit that I had a completely wrong. Yeah Well, I guess not totally wrong, but I, when I heard girl with all the gifts, I thought it was going to be like some like superhero kick ass, young girl with superpowers who's like saving the world, and that's sort of what happened, but also not. I guess it depends on your point of view.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I had a very similar experience. I was thinking like is this going to be a magic zombie? I don't want to read a story about magic zombies, but I read it anyways because it was suggested to me and I'm like OK, I'll read a story about a girl. So regardless of if she has gifts or not, feminism. So if you haven't read this book or watch the movie and you have any amount of interest in it whatsoever, we will be spoiling it.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

I'm starting right now because I'm going to tell you all about it.

Speaker 2:

So watch the movie if you want the fast version.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Well, this is going to be the fastest version, for sure, because I'm just going to tell you everything that happens. And so, as many stories start, this one starts in the beginning, unless, of course, you're watching a Christopher Nolan movie, which sometimes starts at the end. Yeah, Then it goes back to the middle. That circles back around to the end.

Speaker 2:

Goes backwards a little bit. That starts at the quote unquote beginning.

Speaker 1:

Then it has a flashback and a flash forward and ends at the beginning.

Speaker 2:

Is time linear.

Speaker 1:

OK, so this begins at the beginning, unlike Christopher Nolan movies, and we are introduced to the research facility. It's this underground bunker, and what they're keeping in this bunker is a bunch of children.

Speaker 2:

In creepy, oversized orange jogging suits.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so these children have to be put into these special restraining wheelchair situations and they have to wear face masks over their faces. We don't know why. They seem perfectly nice. They're excited to learn, they go to their their first teacher, who isn't as thrilled to be teaching them as our one of our main characters, miss Justin O, who is Melanie's favorite teacher Because she tells good stories.

Speaker 2:

We could like Greek mythology stories which.

Speaker 1:

Melanie loves. Then then some stuff happens the the facility gets overrun by zombies, including Melanie, who was, who was taken in for a special brain surgery that would probably kill her from the doctor, dr Caldwell, who is researching these children. It's a research facility. Did I mention it was a research facility?

Speaker 2:

You did, but you don't mention what the why the children are special. You are you waiting to surprise us? Oh yeah, we, we discover that they're.

Speaker 1:

They're not that they're, they're actually zombies.

Speaker 2:

Well, they're like zombie people, hybrids, and we discover it because Miss Justin O breaks the rules and touches the head of Melanie, after Melanie shares her very first story that she wrote all by herself.

Speaker 1:

She created a story which is very interesting for a zombie to do.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, because so far people are just thinking they're not really human, they're just mimicking humans. But then this soldier guys like mad at Mrs Justin O because he was, or Miss Justin O, he was like eavesdropping on her, sneaking around the corner looking, and so he ran in there and bared his arm to one of number four. I don't know what the kid's name was, but he was in the force, melanie was number four.

Speaker 1:

He was a different.

Speaker 2:

OK, some other number and and immediately the kid goes from being like a regular kid writing a story to being like hot, hot, hot.

Speaker 1:

She is making a biting face? Yes, trying to Leah is clacking her teeth, don't know if it's working or not. A prehistoric bird yes.

Speaker 2:

That's what they do Trying to, trying to bite this man's arm. Yeah, so that's when we know that they're zombies, yeah we realize that these, these children are not normal.

Speaker 1:

Mrs Justin O also after Sergeant Parks gets mad at Melanie because Melanie tells Sergeant Parks that Miss Justin O will not like Sergeant Parks, she doesn't like him and she definitely wouldn't ever touch Sergeant Parks had the way that she touched Melanie's head.

Speaker 2:

It was a flex on Melanie's head.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so Sergeant Parks just leaves her in her wheelchair restrained all night, which they don't. They don't go into this in the, in the movie, but they don't sleep the children. They don't sleep, so in it's really boring inside of their cells. There's nothing to do. They don't have any like coloring books or anything. There's nothing to do. So that's why she just counts all the time. So she just has to sit there and wait in her in her wheelchair, which is very uncomfortable.

Speaker 2:

That sounds fucking horrible.

Speaker 1:

And then Miss Justin O comes and decides to go into her cell to take her out and Melanie smells. Miss Justin O.

Speaker 2:

So she smells very good yeah.

Speaker 1:

And by very good she means tasty, Edible yeah.

Speaker 2:

And tries to eat her, but then restrains herself and it's like get out of here, which is like the first clue that maybe they're not just mimicking you in behavior. But we're going to do into the deep edge of things right now.

Speaker 1:

We should also mention that when Miss Justin O touched Melanie, like Melanie had never been touched before, she never felt love, she didn't have a mother. She clawed her way out of her mother's zombie womb, you know, like she'd never felt affection.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's sad.

Speaker 1:

And and it's, it's a really, it's a really powerful moment when that happens, anyways. So Dr Caldwell says let's cut open her brain. Yeah, there's a vaccine in there, I'm sure of it. And yeah, then that's when the facility gets overrun by zombies. They're put there's a whole bunch of zombies, they're they're pushing against the, the fences, and they break through, and and and stuff happens. I'm, I'm, yeah, I'm having a rough time right now. I need some more of this special liquid.

Speaker 2:

Diet Coke. Actually do not endorse buying Diet Coke, even though we are obviously doing that yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we do that, we do, we do it. We're hypocrites. It's better than water.

Speaker 2:

No, it's not. It's going to upset me. I love water.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so zombies break in. One of my favorite things happens. We'll talk about our favorite things later, but let's just say that it gets overrun. People get eaten. Melanie does some eating. Melanie takes a bite out of a couple people.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, she does, living on like mealworms up until now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they feed them mealworms and when she gets a little bit hungry, that's what they call the zombies. They call them hungries. Mm hmm, then then they, they all escape. They escape because they're overrun. They're like let's go to to Beacon, which they don't describe anything about Beacon in the movie, which I think is a bit of not good because Beacon is the last city.

Speaker 2:

I didn't care I was doing, throw a story to them.

Speaker 1:

So they want to go back to Beacon, where, where it's safe, and that's the plan. That's what they're doing in the movie. It's going to Beacon, but anyways, yeah, then they do stuff out there. Am I doing this well?

Speaker 2:

Do you want the nice answer?

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Oh, it's excellent. Thanks, top notch. I think the one last thing I would add to the synopsis, dan, other than your very excellent job, is just that the, for me, the fundamental moral dilemma here is the thing I've been thinking about a lot lately, which is do zombies have human rights? And if they do, who deserves to live? Because you can't really, you can't really have a world with those zombies and humans and zombie children, because they all want to eat each other. At least we think they can't. So that's kind of the the crux of the issue that we see unfold over the movie and the book.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, if you look at it this way, like the, the zombies are like the things that are replacing the humans.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, devolution.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the humans are just kind of being phased out and by resisting being phased out, they're kind of suffering. They're, they're suffering and they're causing suffering. That's true. And if everybody was just zombies, nobody'd be suffering anymore.

Speaker 2:

I mean, that's not yeah. So what kind of zombie types are these Dan?

Speaker 1:

So this is kind of interesting because we did. We were watching the last of us, which has fungal zombies based on the Cordyceps, the Ophioid Cordyceps fungus, and this is a meat. I read this immediately after we watched that and it's like it's like the algorithm knew they're like, they're like read this and it's it's the Cordyceps fungus. And you know what book I read right after that? What I read? A book that was called the Last Survivors, also Cordyceps fungus. It's popular. Yeah, all like the two books that I read after the last of us was written in 2009. So, like 2009, something happened where people like let's all get really obsessed about this fungus.

Speaker 2:

I mean it's pretty cool. Yeah, it was like guys to guess. But we'll go back to the zombie types in their their quarter step.

Speaker 1:

They're called hungries, isn't that adorable.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I guess it's it's all right, it works.

Speaker 1:

It's. I mean, I think it's adorable, Anyways. So you have your regular infected human hungries. They're driven purely on the need to feed. They're hungry and they are the the primal threat in the novel.

Speaker 2:

They're also fast zombies. That's very important and they seem to have a lot of strength.

Speaker 1:

They are fast and strong. Also, when there's nobody around, they kind of just stand still and fall asleep.

Speaker 2:

They gather together in groups and Melanie says when they talk about she's like, well, maybe they're lonely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they all want to be together.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's very interesting.

Speaker 1:

And then the second type are the, the next generation hungries, the, the infected children like Melanie, who are in the lab and they're infected but retain their cognitive abilities they may have. They are potentially the key to the cure. They describe in the book that when the fungus takes over the brain like it kills the host, so the brain is dead and it's. The neural pathways are replaced by the mycelium of the fungus. And then the case of Melanie and the infected children, the, the fungus and the brain tissue are cohabitating the same space and it's like the fungus is not overriding the human brain unless they smell a person or they're hungry, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So they'll eat anything like a cat.

Speaker 1:

They tend to think that, like the human aspect of of Melanie, is the fungus, just like allowing the human brain to just do its thing so that it just looks like a human. It talks like a human, it looks like a child. Everybody thinks it's smart. Cordyceps and then, when it smells something, the cordyceps takes over and it's now a ravenous vicious beast.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a really interesting take. I like this like second generation zombie kid. Yeah, sentient zombies, that's all bees Zombies. Yeah, yeah. So who are your favorite characters? There were so many good ones, you go first Leah. Well, I mean, it's not going to surprise anybody that Melanie, this kid, is my favorite character because she is the girl with all the gifts she's got a lot of gifts.

Speaker 1:

She's like Santa she's she has a big bag of gifts.

Speaker 2:

She sure does.

Speaker 1:

Giving people gifts left and right.

Speaker 2:

She sure does. I think I like her because her point of view of the world is really cool, like when they do finally get out of the bunker. She's never seen anything before. She's only heard about these things in stories. So like she's referring to rivers from the Greek mythology story she heard when she actually goes and sees a river, or like the sky, and she's just in a lot of awe of that. But she's also like she proves the point that she's not just a zombie mimicking humanity, because she has compassion and she really cares about Ms Justineau and she doesn't want to hurt any of the other survivors which there's not a ton of them, there's like five or so people traveling together.

Speaker 1:

And actually I'm going to tell you all about the other characters, but first I'm going to tell you that my favorite character is Sergeant Parks. He starts off. When he starts off, he's very like, cold blooded. He does not give a fuck about these children. They are, they are the enemy to him. They are not children, they're not human, they're not people, they don't have feelings, they're just pretending. But as the story goes on, he tends to warm up and he actually starts to trust Melanie like he builds, he builds a rapport and he learns to trust her and and towards the end he actually kind of likes Melanie.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think yeah, Like yeah.

Speaker 1:

So for characters, we've got Melanie. She's a protagonist, she's she's the main person, she's the one that we hear from the most.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's her point of view. A lot in the beginning and the shifts.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then there's Ms Justineau, who's Melanie's teacher and caregiver. She's the nicest of the teachers and Melanie loves her, and she tells stories to the children, despite the fact that it seems like she's not supposed to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's just to just make them memorize things they wrote.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, then there's Dr Caldwell. She is the scientist who's in charge of the entire bunker lab and she's on the search for a cure, and for her. Her moral compass doesn't see these children as children. They are just her, her experiments.

Speaker 2:

I think, beyond that, she's taking out her anger at what's happened to the world, on the children, because she makes. She goes and asks Melanie like riddles, and then in the middle of the night, and then like makes comments like oh, I'm just testing to see how well you're, you're able to mimic humanity. And then asks Melanie to like pick a number between one and 20, and whatever number that is represents a kid within one of these cells that she then, like performs fucking horrifying surgery on to try and create a cure Like it's it's she remembers what's the word? I'm looking for Mass and I'm as if it's sadistic. Yeah, sadistic.

Speaker 1:

Also something that they don't touch on in the film but they do in the in the book is the fact that the children because the court of seps doesn't respond to anesthetic If they're injected with anesthetic it doesn't work. They they didn't show that in the movie. In fact they did put her under, but it just seemed to have like less of an effect but all of the children. What that means is that all of the children before Melanie, when they had their brains surgically removed from their bodies, they were awake during the entire process. Fuck that yeah. Then we have Sergeant Parks. He's the, he's the head military person in charge. He's in charge of the security at the facility and he is just a sergeant. So like we can assume that there isn't much, much, much leadership left in the world. So, like they're putting, they're putting somebody who's like basically an E5 in the army in charge of like everything.

Speaker 2:

I will be honest, I paid very little attention to the military characters. I was pretty much fixated on Melanie, dr Caldwell and Miss Justin.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they don't give us too much. In the movie about Sergeant Parks and our last character, private Gallagher, who's a who's a younger soldier and he's a he's a little bit more of a vulnerable character. We see him like reading stories to Melanie, when, when, when he's supposed to be just kind of like watching her as if she's a prisoner, like making sure she doesn't eat the rest of them, and he's like let's, let's read a storybook and and he's, he's a little bit more childlike. You know he's he's. He's a younger person who, like, maybe doesn't necessarily want to be out there, you know, killing hungries and fighting against people in the bad lands, you know yeah. Favorite moments. What was, what was one of your favorite moments?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think we could do this, try and do this in like movie order, which I think for you. Actually, you're the first one. Oh, I did. This is not one of my favorite, I'll go first, yeah.

Speaker 1:

You hold on to your favorite scene for later. I'll go first.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, go for it Dan.

Speaker 1:

So I really liked the scene when Melanie comes above ground for the first time and is going in for surgery, because we see, we see the outside world for the first time and what we see is this military complex and the fences are just deep with zombies, like there are zombies everywhere and there's just it's everything they can do to just hold them back off of the fences and we get the impression that things aren't going well. They're not.

Speaker 2:

Looks a little chaotic.

Speaker 1:

And I think that was a really good depiction of like what it might look like if, if you were, if you're being besieged by that many's yeah, it felt real to me. Yeah, oh, and my, my second scene that I liked, which happened right after Dr Caldwell's office. They get the, they hear the alarm and she decides that she's going to go through the surgery anyway. So just hit the button for the shutters. They have these rolling shutters in case this happens. So the assistant is rolling down the shutters back to the window like, you know, not even thinking about things, this is normal, this is this is everyday stuff. Like, yeah, you know, sometimes zombies break through the fence. We just hit the shutters. It's very chill.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

then a zombie comes in like yeah, and what I love is that you see, you see the zombie running towards the glass, through through the, through the hanger, and she's just like rolling down the shutter talking about something else and just smashes through the glass and just starts, just takes a bite out of her.

Speaker 2:

And it was an amazing scene. Well, that's another thing that's important. These are zombies where you turn like pretty much immediately there's no, there's no incubation period. I don't think. Yeah, this brings me to one of my favorites, which is to explain this one. We got to, we got to do a little backstory, so when they are in the city is not beacon, though right, they're there.

Speaker 1:

They're in London. Yeah, they're in.

Speaker 2:

London on the way to beacon, melanie is going out. Melanie is always helping them. Now, because she's the zombies don't care about her, because she is one, so she can go and do stuff. And I don't remember why she was out of their little bunker thing that they had found. She was hungry. She was hungry, that's right. She realized that she could just go and eat something. She wouldn't eat the people she was with, which is very thoughtful of her, I think, yeah. So she was out trying to eat and she sniffed, smelled a horde of zombie children that were very feral and had never brushed their hair and spoken like they're like they made their own language. They had like a grenty language and I don't know why they were clothed.

Speaker 1:

That's because they don't want to show naked children. I guess that's probably true, but also London.

Speaker 2:

like you, would need some kind of clothing to get cold sometimes.

Speaker 1:

Well, in the book they're naked.

Speaker 2:

Hey UK people, does it get cold in London? I'm making an assumption that you probably can't wonder You're getting canceled.

Speaker 1:

Leah, they're going to tell you are you crazy? It's cold in London. All year it rains a lot. At least that's the stereotype.

Speaker 2:

But anyhow, they are very hilarious. And Melanie realizes very quickly that Private Gallagher, who is also out at the same time as her on a different mission to find food, is in trouble because she sees that this like group of children that don't know she's there like sniffing the air and they can smell Private Gallagher, yeah, and then a really wonderful moment happens. Dan, you share this part.

Speaker 1:

So Private Gallagher goes off on his own and he is looting a little convenience store which is untouched, like it has everything in it. He's, he's, he's, he's eating potato chips. He's probably never had potato chips because this is 20 years after the fall of civilization. We should have mentioned that at the beginning.

Speaker 2:

That's true 20 years. And also I want to know that Private Gallagher really loves his food, because we see him intimately in the movie like kind of sneaking food and not sharing it with other people.

Speaker 1:

So very food made of it and he has he has discovered the pornography rack, the top shelf of the magazine rack, or where all of the juiciest magazines are and the book. They describe that because the stuff isn't made anymore. These things like he could.

Speaker 2:

he could basically go into business Selling all of those when he gets back to beakin Like it.

Speaker 1:

Like he's like he would spend like $50, $50 an hour to read one Like to look at one.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, Loaning a loaning business. Yeah, actual business.

Speaker 1:

That's like and like these people that have these. They usually only have one and they are not very good condition.

Speaker 2:

I just realized they would have to have a system for not getting stuff all over it. I mean, I guess you would have to pay for it, or a plat, no that's, you'd have to have like plastic on it or like.

Speaker 1:

Well, I mean if you, if you messed it up, you'd have to pay for anyways. I'm going to like $50 an hour to rent, to rent pornography magazine in magazine form, so like he's got a whole rack of this and it's like he's like he's just in bewilderment, he's like this is I could retire.

Speaker 2:

I didn't even realize that, because that's definitely not clear. I just thought he wanted to do it off in the movie.

Speaker 1:

It's not clear in the movie. No, but that is the the whole thing. But anyways, wiley is doing that. A hungry child sneaks up on him and he tries to talk to the little like second generation hungry child which I don't think he realizes is a zombie at this point. Yeah, well, he knows, he knows Melanie, yeah, so maybe I mean, he must know.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if he knows, because he thinks he's trying to help this kid. I think if he knew he wouldn't have been so casual about it because literally this kid who doesn't understand humans is trying to lure a private gal ago with a fucking rat.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, she's holding a rat and she's like, starts backing up and like he, like he tries to tell her like oh, no, I've already eaten. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And like gesturing with this live rat to make him follow her.

Speaker 1:

It's very funny, it's it's really funny because it works yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, then he suddenly surrounded by a zombie.

Speaker 1:

He doesn't want the rat, but he is like trying to communicate with the child who is holding the rat. So as far as the child's concerned, like she's like this is working, he wants the rat.

Speaker 2:

I really don't think you knew that she was a zombie child, because if you knew that was a zombie child, you wouldn't react that way.

Speaker 1:

I feel like in the book he did know.

Speaker 2:

Interesting, it was not clear in the book.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. Then they slice his legs up with butcher knives and then beat his head in with a baseball bat. Then they eat him. Yeah, there's a great meal for them. So that's your favorite scene, just the rat part. Then, immediately following, that is when Melanie squared off with the zombie children.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because she's trying to protect who was with her Miss Justineau and and Sgt Parks. Okay, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So they go to investigate and when they come out they realize it's a double trap All the zombie children. They were waiting for the rest of them to come investigate and see what happened to Private Gallagher.

Speaker 2:

They smelled all those people.

Speaker 1:

They knew it was more than one. This really shows how intelligent these children are.

Speaker 2:

And they're organized.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

They're organized.

Speaker 1:

They're actually not fair as far as they're concerned. You know what?

Speaker 2:

They have their own society. I shouldn't call them fair. That's very judgmental of me.

Speaker 1:

As far as they're concerned, they're not children, they just they have their own society and this is just the age they are.

Speaker 2:

I am so curious if, as babies, they were like more functional than a human baby, because how did they survive?

Speaker 1:

They chewed their way out. But then what?

Speaker 2:

Babies, when they're first born, are literally useless. They just kind of like stare vacantly at stuff and drool. They had to have been like super powered babies.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think they were. Something that they don't do a very good job of showing in the movie is the fact that Melanie actually is a little bit super powered.

Speaker 2:

They kind of show it in this scene, though, because she's like she's super strong and she's super fast and super intelligent. And magically seems to know like very special fighter moves that I couldn't tell you the name of. But they look like professional fighter moves, not just like angry kids fighting.

Speaker 1:

You know, I think that just comes from her intelligence. It didn't really look like a fighting style. What I saw is that she was just really good at ducking out of the way whenever the kid swung his baseball bat.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and the kid with the baseball bat I think there's going to be like 20 kids is really the leader. So she has to show everybody else that she owns the humans that she's with and beat the leader, which is. Then she beats his basin and doesn't seem to feel any remorse. So that's interesting.

Speaker 1:

She tricks the kid and handcuffs him to a radiator.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and then kills him. I think he's dead. Yeah, pretty sure, but then, yeah, I mean it just basically convinces the rest of the kids that those are her humans and to like, leave them alone and she's the scary alpha zombie kid.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, in the book it was almost. It was actually a lot better in the book. Because she sneaks up behind the leader kid who's actually a lot bigger, like almost teenager size and really strong, and what she does is she puts a hazmat helmet on top of her head so that she's a lot taller, and she paints herself blue so she looks like this weird, godlike alien creature.

Speaker 2:

That's amazing.

Speaker 1:

And then and then lights a flare and she's holding a flare overhead. She sneaks up behind him, lights the flare and they're like this thing's controlling fire and is really tall and blue. So the leader swings his baseball bat and knocks her head clean off, but it's just the helmet. And that's when she takes her opportunity and grabs the bat and beats him in, beats his face in.

Speaker 2:

Hmm, wonderful. Yeah, I was okay without that scene, it was fine as it was. It was the one moment that I feel it was fun, but it was on the moment that my disbelief was not as suspended because I was like, how is this kid fighting so well? But that's just me. I feel like these last ones require a lot of spoiler, but I'm just going to do it. So, at the very end well, at some point in their journey in London, they see this tower like literally a high rise that is covered by the quote unquote final stage of the fungus, which has these huge pods with spores in them that won't open, and it's explained to them the only way that they will release is if it was got really moist or really hot. But you wouldn't want that to happen because it would basically be the end of the world. Yeah, Because it was so big and there were so many pods. The spores would be and you just inhale them and become a zombie.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, End of the world type situation.

Speaker 2:

Yes, well, end of the end of humans, not the world. The world's clearly going to go on, but it's my human centric. Well explain why a little bit. Here we get to one of the themes or moral elements of the story, but I'll just say that spoiler. Melanie decides, for a good reason, to light the entire fungus thingy on fire and open up all of the pods, thus making all of the humans, except for Ms Justino, who is the only person who stayed in the bunker thing, into a zombie. And there's this like really wonderful scene at the end where Melanie is no longer the prisoner and basically her and her kind are in control of society. And Ms Justino is like locked in this bunker thing with a glass door and teaching all the children the original ones and their orange jumpsuits to the new ones, the feral kids in like a classroom.

Speaker 1:

But she's basically being kept by Melanie. I didn't see the orange jumpsuit ones.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they were all there.

Speaker 1:

Melanie had gathered them all together, so she went back for them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so Melanie is like basically creating a new society. It's the end of human society, but there's this new, evolved, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I love that. This is the direction that Melanie went is like. You know what the humans are done. I've saved Ms Justino, so let's all go to school.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's all. She knows, yeah, and she loves school she does. She likes writing stories, yeah. So this brings us to the themes of the story that were really powerful. The first one is this question like what does it mean to be human? What does you take away from this, dan?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's. I mean, the hybridization of the zombie children is really interesting, because are they different from humans or are they different from zombies? You? Know, they are infected by the cordyceps and they are definitely different. But they also have a human side and in some cases Melanie is more human than like Sergeant Parks or Dr Caldwell.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because she's the innocence and like desire to protect people. Yeah, haven't been silly yet by life's experience.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, it's interesting, because if everybody could be her type of zombie.

Speaker 2:

That's our dog, tippy tapping away. Bye, ziggy. Oh, here comes Nero. We're going to have more tippy tapping interruptions. Tip, tip, tappy, tippy tippy. This is our zombie crew. We got two dogs, and, dan, I love you.

Speaker 1:

So I'm going to start over.

Speaker 2:

Cut that out yeah.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, I don't. I don't know, I don't know if I mean, these kids definitely aren't human anymore, but there's something new. And are they? Are they something different or are they the next stage of human evolution?

Speaker 2:

at this point, Well, I think what's important to remember, because I feel like when we talk about evolution including myself we think of it as this like progress line, like it's always the next stage, but it's actually just like a random. It's random chance combined with environment. Right, like all of a sudden, this version of human, which is a symbiotic version with portiseps, is the best position to survive in this new world. And the version of humans, which I forget what we were called, I don't know what our official name is Homo homo erectus Homo sapien. Homo sapien. I think there was a homo erectus who knows.

Speaker 1:

No, that's me.

Speaker 2:

I was not. I was a cultural anthropologist. For what it's worth. I don't know a lot about our biological anthropology history, but yeah, it's like it's just. They are the most fit to survive the context that now exists, and I think that they're human. They're just a different version of human. There were all kinds of humanoid creatures that weren't homo sapien.

Speaker 1:

And it could also be argued, like Dr Caldwell you know is is she human Like she? She lost her humanity in a way because she was so inhumane.

Speaker 2:

I think the word inhumane is so interesting because it assumes that there's something about humans that makes us like extra compassionate and caring and interested in the well being of others. But pretty much any herd or group oriented mammal has the same qualities. That's true.

Speaker 1:

So I don't know.

Speaker 2:

I don't think humans are special. Yeah, that's my spoiler.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, who is special? Who Elephants?

Speaker 2:

Elephants are amazing, yeah, yeah. Elephants should be taking over the spot of humans.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they should just be the next society, and that's basically what this movie asks is, if there is something that is more deserving than humans and better fit to survive, shouldn't we just let them?

Speaker 2:

Well, that was okay. So this is the moment that comes back to this like decision point that Melanie makes is she's I forget why she's talking about Dr Caldwell still fucked? Dr Caldwell was dying because she got cut when all the shit went down when they're trying to escape. And she's still trying to make a vaccine out of Melanie, like she's just single-minded about it, and she fails because Melanie is relatively immune to the thing that she was sedated by. So she wakes up when Dr Caldwell doesn't expect it. And then, basically, melanie asked Dr Caldwell like after everything, you've seen the fact that I could just kill you right now and I'm not, and that I've done all these things that you've seen where I've cared about the other people around me am I alive? She said am I alive? She didn't say am I sentient? But I feel like that was the underlying thing. So Dr Caldwell was like yes, I have to admit that you're alive. And that's the moment the Melanie's like you know what? Fuck this?

Speaker 1:

I found what you said I don't, I don't recall, but that's the moment where she was like I'm going to go set fire to those pods.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, she just did something like what makes you more deserving than us?

Speaker 1:

then Something like that, something like that.

Speaker 2:

And yeah, she decides to open Pandora's box.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and she was also hoping to save Sergeant Parks too, but Sergeant Parks came out after.

Speaker 2:

I think she kind of wanted to keep people as pets in this little thing.

Speaker 1:

Well, you know she had a group of people that she loved. She loved Sergeant Parks, she loved Mrs Justineau and she loved Kieran, who was a private Gallagher First name is Kieran. She did not love Dr Caldwell.

Speaker 2:

Fair. I mean Dr Caldwell tried to cut her brains out. Yeah, Repeatedly.

Speaker 1:

She was always. Dr Caldwell was always trying to cut open Melanie's head and Melanie did not like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, would you like that?

Speaker 1:

I would not.

Speaker 2:

I would not like that, but yeah, I think it's a fair decision that Melanie makes. What do?

Speaker 1:

you do when Melanie did.

Speaker 2:

What did I do when Melanie did? If I was Melanie, yeah, hmm, probably because I think it's pretty clear, like, while Melanie's a child, she's pretty smart, and I do think it's true that, like the world is no longer made for homo sapiens and it is much better designed for her, and humans are trying to kill her kind.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But she wants to protect a few that aren't bad, but, like she probably sees those kids as more relatable than even though they are grunting and have made their own language, is more relatable than the humans who want to kill her.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you know, when I first read this book, I don't know if I would have came to the same conclusion because I have my human centric universe, but after she did it, I was like you know what? Yeah, that's fair.

Speaker 2:

I mean we're in the era of the Anthropocene where, like because of humanity, the human centric universe, the shocking number of animals are going extinct all around the world and I don't see any of us not being able to get sleep because of that. I mean, maybe some people are occasionally. But think about it makes me really sad, but I'm still sleeping every night. I mean, like I think that's feels a little bit like justice to me as somebody who gets really annoyed by how human centric or what our world is and how we make it hard for literally anything else to survive.

Speaker 1:

So there's some interesting themes in the story and I love the first. The first one that I noticed is like there's this you know, melanie is obsessed with Greek mythology and it's really interesting that when they were in the facility at the very beginning, it's very similar to Plato's cave, which was Plato had this theory about how, if there was a bunch of people that lived in a cave and they could only look straightforward and could only see their shadows, they would think that the shadows were like were like spirits or monsters or gods or something. They wouldn't know anything other than those shadows, so that would be the only thing that they would be subjected to and the only thing that they would start to make up stories about these shadows. So Melanie had her own Plato's Cave and it was called Mrs Justineau's class. That's true. They're all forced to look straightforward and not look at each other.

Speaker 2:

They couldn't move. Abuse was her norm. I'm not even sure she was upset about it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, she was very nice.

Speaker 2:

She was very much to accept this like really fucked up reality that her and all these kids were in.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Sergeant Parks and the other soldiers that wheeled them around. Sergeant Parks calls them friggin abortions. Yeah, it's horrible, and she just thinks that that's what they're called.

Speaker 2:

She's like we're friggin abortions. Yeah, we're abortions.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and also with the whole mythology thing is the Pandora's box connection. So, melanie, she learns that Pandora literally means the one with the gifts.

Speaker 2:

The girl with the gifts.

Speaker 1:

And as many people know maybe not everybody, but Pandora is the story about a girl who is given a box and they're like don't open that box. And she's like I'm going to open the box and she opens it and everything that's bad is inside of the box and she lets it out and you can't close that box. That's what we know about Pandora's box. You can't close it. Once you open it, can't put everything back in the box.

Speaker 2:

So Melanie actually kind of sees herself as Pandora when she's like reading these Greek mythologies. She loves Pandora.

Speaker 1:

She's like I love this girl for some reason, and then she does the thing that Pandora is known for. I mean, she's literally the end of humanity as we know it.

Speaker 2:

but also the hero of the story for the kids and the zombies.

Speaker 1:

She ends humanity, but she saves the kids, yeah, which I think is an interesting thing around.

Speaker 2:

Plato's Cave, here too, with humans, which is like they're not able to see. I don't know if I'm in probably stretching it too much, but I just feel like they're not able to see the humanity of the kids, yeah, or even the zombies, like you even said it yourself that these were like they're just like eating machines, hungry, they don't have any feeling. But there is this really wild moment where they are amongst, amongst zombies that are standing still kind of dormant, hanging out together, being buddies, and you're able to like walk through them if you don't make any sounds and you have like a blocker thing on you to make you not smell like a human. But then this woman comes up, who's a zombie woman, I should say, pushing a carriage with a baby, a dead baby, in it. And why is she doing that? You know, and even Dr Caldwell is like oh wow, I've never seen a zombie present like maternal characteristics before, and it makes me really think that there is still something inside of all those zombies that has some level of sentience or connection of their human selves.

Speaker 1:

Something that I was hoping that they would put in the movie is this moment where, when they're, when they're in the hospital, after they escape from all of these, after Dr Caldwell fucks everything up and looks at the baby in the carriage and it turns out it's a rat eating a dead baby and she screams. And then all the hungries are like, whoa, there's people here, they they escape to like an old hospital. Something that they discover inside the hospital is this old man, zombie, and the old man is his ankles, like chained to the bed so that he can't he can't leave, wow, and because he hasn't been able to move since like 20 years ago when he was infected. When they come in, like he doesn't react to them, oh, wow, and he just keeps on looking at something, and the thing that he has in his hands is a wallet and inside of the wallet are photos, and he's looking at pictures of what we assume were his family.

Speaker 2:

That's so sad, oh my God.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I think that's the one. Like, if you're going to be a zombie, I almost hope they aren't. I almost hope like if that happens to you, you don't feel anything and you don't see anything anymore and you're just gone. But I don't think that's what would happen. I think you're still there a little bit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, he's that, one's definitely that. One was definitely there a little bit and like they realize that like the one pushing the baby carriage and the one looking at the photos are like also a little bit different than your average hungry who's just standing around and mulling about.

Speaker 2:

There's kind of like a slightly third category. It's semi sentient, it's like a.

Speaker 1:

It's like a stepping point between what Melanie is and what the other hungry. Yeah, interesting, leah. Which one was better, the book or the movie?

Speaker 2:

The movie, because I'm a qualified person to answer that, having only watched the movie. Yeah, what do you think, dan?

Speaker 1:

You know, I what I really love about the movie is that it was very accurate to the book. There's very little that was changed. I just mentioned the thing about the hospital zombie that they left out. That's not really a huge detail. There was a lot of stuff that happened at the beginning of the book in the bunker. That gives us a lot more information about Melanie and how she feels about Mrs Justin. What's going on with Mrs Justin new and how she's like on hot water because she keeps on touching the kids.

Speaker 2:

That's really inappropriate she did.

Speaker 1:

It was the one time, leah, oh my God. But then there's some, there's some other things, and there was, there was one moment, and you even noticed it, and it was like the one part of the movie where it's like why the fuck did that happen?

Speaker 2:

What was that?

Speaker 1:

So Private Gallagher goes to the convenience store. He wanders off on his own, goes to convenience store. Melanie goes and finds the feral kids.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, this was another one where I was like I don't believe this.

Speaker 1:

And then the feral kids are like we smell something and then they take off and Melanie goes back to the mobile research lab that they discovered.

Speaker 2:

I keep calling a bunker. Thank you for accurately.

Speaker 1:

They find a mobile research lab, which is a really big part of the story. Yeah, I just thought it would now it's an abandoned research lab, that they found that. Anyways, we'll get on that. Anyways, Melanie comes back to the research lab and tells them we have to go save Private Gallagher. The hungry kids smell him and you asked do you remember?

Speaker 2:

what you asked me I do. I was like why didn't she go and save Private Gallagher and let him know, instead of going back to the lab?

Speaker 1:

So in the book there's actually a lot of time between those events. Melanie goes and discovers the feral kids but hides it. She doesn't tell anybody about the feral kids and said she makes up a story.

Speaker 2:

I mean that's fair. She wouldn't want to tell Dr Caldwell, who will use them in experiments.

Speaker 1:

She makes up a story, like with the story that she, that she made up in class. She's learned how to lie and she tells a story about how this other thing that didn't show up in the movie, the junkers, are after them. The junkers are these humans that live out in the wasteland and not at Beacon, and they found out how to stay hidden from the Hungry's. The junkers are also responsible for the the fences coming down at the research lab.

Speaker 2:

Oh damn.

Speaker 1:

But they don't have any other interactions with the junkers other than that. So I understand why they took that out. Yeah, but Melanie tells Sergeant Parker that she discovered a group of junkers and they're here and they're going to, they're looking for them. So they have to leave. And they don't listen to Melanie. They're like well, we're not leaving, we're in a, perfectly, we're in a tank. We're a tank that's our research thing with lots of weapons that still have lots of ammunition. If they want to come and get us, they can come and get us, because we'll, we'll fuck them up. We'll, we'll get the flamethrowers. We got 50 cows, we're going to mess them up.

Speaker 2:

It makes sense. I would think that too.

Speaker 1:

If I thought it was junkers and there's a point where they are outside trying to find food, but they're just did thearn Bakker class, the ones in the set, the first few of them in that set, that sort of transition.

Speaker 2:

The first few are.

Speaker 1:

Oh, this is where you have to learn to be blind. I'm not trying to make one in a group, because I just say there's this stuff. He doesn't want to não discoursa me though.

Speaker 2:

I just know that he hasn't.

Speaker 1:

And then that this yeah, melanie's at the lab and she's like she hears that that private Gallagher has taken off on his own.

Speaker 2:

That makes so much more sense.

Speaker 1:

And then she's like it wasn't Junkers, it's feral children like me Did she say feral children?

Speaker 2:

Well, I don't know what she said she probably said hundreds. I feel back on them feral because they really aren't. They need a better.

Speaker 1:

yeah, the kids the other kids and she didn't want to tell them that there were feral children out there, because she doesn't want Dr Caldwell to want to capture them. She wants Dr Caldwell to leave them alone. So because she withheld that information, that's why the feral children have the jump on private Gallagher, because they then have to go from the mobile research station to go save private Gallagher, which they don't know where he is, and they have to use Melanie to smell him out.

Speaker 2:

Do you think Melanie feels remorse Like does she don't straight remorse her private Gallagher?

Speaker 1:

It's a very upsetting moment because she's very close with private Gallagher. She calls him Kieran by his first name, that's true. And Kieran tells her stories from books. She had her hands handcuffed behind her back and she wasn't allowed to do anything while everybody was asleep. She was awake and really bored and he was on watch making sure that she didn't eat any of them and he felt really bad for her because she just looked really sad and he's like I could read you this book and she's like I've read better books.

Speaker 2:

Damn.

Speaker 1:

She didn't want at first. She didn't want anything to do with that book. So Kieran's like all right, well, this one's got a princess in it or something you know. He starts. He starts like showing her the pictures and she's like this book has pictures. And then she, they become really close because he shows compassion and starts seeing her as a child instead of just the prisoner.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so there's some things about the book that get, I think, add some layers to it, but I'm perfectly happy that I did not spend how many hours.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I don't 11. Yeah 11 hour audiobook.

Speaker 2:

Listening to it because I don't have that time, but I think the movie's enough. I really enjoyed it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but that's. That is literally the only time where the movie was not as good as the book. Is just that one thing, because they just didn't, they didn't rewrite it in a way that made sense to the viewer.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and the writing style was really good, right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love the writing style. One thing that I specifically love is, you know, because I'm writing a book of my own and my book is in third person. I really wanted, like a good example of somebody who did a third person perspective with multiple characters. And I love the writing style of MR Kerry, because you'll have a chapter that starts with one character and then there will be characters interacting with each other and suddenly you realize that you've switched from one character to the other seamlessly and now you're following that character.

Speaker 2:

That's really good.

Speaker 1:

And that character goes and talks to somebody else and something happens, and then suddenly you're following the third character somewhere else. That's cool, which is really great. Also because I listened to the audiobook. This was the first one that I listened to that actually had like like mood, like a mood backing track, like music. I like that and sound effects, and they did a really good job of it and I thought it was amazing and I'm like you know what, when I have an audiobook one day, I'm doing this I think that's a great idea. You know. One last thing on writing style is that I really loved how well they how well MR Kerry wrote the atmosphere. I remember specifically this one scene in the hospital with Private Gallagher, where he's he's on watch and he goes and wanders off down a hallway and it's just describing the stairwell that he's looking down. It just seems so dark and bleak and you almost feel that like desolation, like coming up from the stairwell and down at the bottom of the stairwell there's Hungryx, got it and and and. When he realizes this he opens fire on them and kills them. It's still like it was just, even though, like, like, nothing big happened from that. like that feeling of desolation was there and I was really I was really impressed by like how well that was portrayed and that is throughout the entirety of the book. Is like atmosphere, all atmosphere, all the time. So it was some good inspiration for you when you're writing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I love reading things that inspire me. In a writing Like I, I want more examples of how to do it well, and this was a perfect example of like how to write a good book.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome. I'm curious if you'll have any different answers to my interpretation of the inclusiveness of this movie versus the book, but I will say like this is probably one of the best zombie movies I've ever seen. Honestly, it was really, really good, and part of it is because it actually had meaningful female characters Definitely passes the Bechtel test. It passes the race test because Melanie in the movie anyways is, I believe, a black girl you believe mixed race. Well, she could be mixed race. Oh, that's a little bit light skinned, so I'm not I'm making an assumption, but she's definitely she's also a, not a white, british kid, yeah. And the only thing that it doesn't really do, which I feel like is fair, because sexuality is almost non existent in the movie. I don't know what the book, except for the one part where Melanie makes fun of. Who was it that she makes fun of? Again the guy who wants Miss Justin, oh, Sergeant Parks. Yeah, but I'm not even sure Melanie knows and that's not, that's like sexual interest, just that she knows that he's jealous of that attention.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, he wants. He wants Mrs Justin's love.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, her love and attention. But I think like and Melanie's got it, but there is definitely no obvious queer, trans character at all. But I will say that, like, sexuality and gender identity didn't have a lot Like it's gender identity. You could have a trans person and have that be like, just seamlessly woven into a story because you don't have to be doing anything, just like a cis man or cis woman, but they could have done that. But, other than that, I thought it was pretty good.

Speaker 1:

There was a guard at the, at the bunker, who didn't didn't appear to present fully female.

Speaker 2:

Oh, interesting.

Speaker 1:

And she was black.

Speaker 2:

Hmm, so maybe a non binary character and then Melanier, so they interacted. I would like to again say all these tests are baselines, not high level, but I it did feel like it was diverse cast. There was not. I didn't really feel like there was a ton of sexism in it, if any, except for that one weird thing that is just to know and just didn't have any representation for disabled folks or queer folks or trans folks or just like you know, like regular able bodied men and women that are cis which I mean.

Speaker 1:

It was a. It was a military base, military outpost in a zombie apocalypse. So I feel like they would probably pick only the most able bodied people to be there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I guess that makes sense, especially in our world.

Speaker 1:

So in the book Private Gallagher does fantasize about Mrs Justin. You see, as her as is an, as an older woman who could teach him, the younger Padawan, the ways.

Speaker 2:

I appreciate the movie where there was so little of that.

Speaker 1:

And Sergeant Parks is actually secretly in love with Mrs Justin now, but in the book he has like a horrible scar over his face and he thinks that he's a hideous person. And that's, that's partially true, because he also murders children and, you know, is cold hearted and cold blooded and all about being a tough military man. And I think that they almost allude to in the in the movie is Mrs Justin, who's past she says it a little bit when they're drinking together in the hospital she says that she's a terrible person.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I didn't really get that scene.

Speaker 1:

Well, she later. She describes later that there was a time before the collapse of civilization that she was driving her car and she was maybe a little bit tipsy. And she was. She was driving and she hits something and it's a child.

Speaker 2:

Oh shit. So there's some like weird guilt there, but but she drove away.

Speaker 1:

She didn't, she didn't save the child, she just drove away. And then, when she came back, nobody, nobody knew anything about it.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's sad. Yeah, but that makes sense, like why she's trying to save Melanie.

Speaker 1:

She asked Sergeant Parks if he's ever killed a kid, and the reason is because she has, and she was hoping to like maybe see eye to eye with somebody. But Sergeant Parks in that moment is like now you're a monster, you're awful, like I. I shoot hungries that look like children, but I know that I'm doing it and I do it on purpose and and I and I think about that all the time, but you, you got a little drunk and you ran over a kid and you didn't help the kid.

Speaker 2:

That's different, that's powerful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I'm very to tell you that it is Miss Justin. You know, as somebody who learns French from a country that is bilingual, it is not missed. I'm imagining you reading the entire. Did they say, miss Justin, you in the yes Audiobook? I just realized you weren't reading it, you were listening to it.

Speaker 1:

Also, it takes place in the UK Lea, not France.

Speaker 2:

Well, yeah, justin knew I don't know how they would say it, but they're also like right literally across the I think in the.

Speaker 1:

UK depending on which part of the UK they might say Miss Justin year.

Speaker 2:

Oh, interesting. Ok, hey, look at it. See, this is like my version.

Speaker 1:

I was. I was muddling it because of the Cockney accent.

Speaker 2:

Oh well, that was horrible of you. We'll just move on. Take that UK. This is just a mess I love. I'm like trying to French explain to you the pronunciation of a name.

Speaker 1:

And I'm making jokes, but remember we say things different in different places.

Speaker 2:

Nothing is technically correct. How many Zeds would you give this book versus the movie?

Speaker 1:

Oh, the book. Wow, I don't know. Like nine and a half out of 10 Zedwards.

Speaker 2:

That's pretty high. And what about the movie?

Speaker 1:

Same. Nine and a half out of 10 Zedwards. It's a. It's a fantastic movie and I feel like if you know, in those posts that people make online, if there are top five zombie movies, this needs to be on it, like right next to World War Z and and Shawn is better than.

Speaker 2:

World War Z and Shawn of the Dead. I don't like. I really literally I watch it and I was like 10, 10s across the board. Even though there are some small problems with it. The test for me is it kept me. I didn't look at my phone Everybody this is the first time I have watched something about zombies and never picked up my phone, not once Didn't play a game of snoots. I was like captured by it and it was such a unique idea and take on zombies like loved it, loved it, loved it. Definitely watch the movie or read the book if you're one of those people who has time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean the audiobook doesn't take too long, like if you have time to put earbuds in and have a story.

Speaker 2:

No, they should be listening to us during that time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, you know in between episodes that's true. You got every other day of the week for two weeks, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Unless you just want to listen to our podcast on repeat.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, why wouldn't you?

Speaker 1:

Actually we did. We did have a comment that suggested that somebody out there uses our podcast to go to sleep.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't think I should take that. But you know, I've actually been told my voice is very soothing, but I don't know that the reason it might just be that we're boring. Yeah, that's it, except to ourselves. Even our dog is actually currently looking at you and is like slowly falling asleep.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this is the podcast equivalent of that. Sleep stories, sleep stories, oh my God.

Speaker 2:

Sleep zombie stories. We could market that shit. Yeah, it actually makes the money.

Speaker 1:

I could just describe what zombies look like in a slow, soothing voice.

Speaker 2:

So, folks, this brings us to very important zombie book club homework, because this is episode 20, episode 25. Like we always do every five episodes, we fully review a book and sometimes also a movie. We are going to do a book from one of my favorite fucking authors of all time that I did not know how to zombie book but recently discovered while looking for zombie books, called Clay's Ark by the amazing, the incredible, the unparalleled Octavia Butler, who was recently deceased, and it is an extraterrestrial zombie story where Butler presents an alternative view of life of people contracted to disease which is called the Clay's Ark disease that made them inhuman but not necessarily superhuman.

Speaker 1:

That sounds familiar.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it's set in a near future dystopia which, like that's a lot of Octavia Butler stuff where most people are living in gated communities or an armed dramatic groups called car families. So I'm super into this because the last book I read by Octavia Butler is the Parable of the Sower, which is the most terrifying apocalyptic book I have ever read, because it's set in 2025 and folks yeah, and a lot of what she said in that book feels very, very real. So I'm super excited to read Clay's Ark. I have not read it before.

Speaker 1:

Octavia Butler is really well known for post apocalyptic fiction.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and science fiction after a futurism, like just an incredible writer and also somebody who has a point of view and a message to share. So I'm very curious what Octavia's message is for us with zombies.

Speaker 1:

I already see some similarities between this and Parable of the Sower from what you described of the book. To me, which is like the gated communities thing that seems to be a theme that she enjoys, is this idea of people living inside of gated committees.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think she's right to predict. Like once gated communities started showing up it, it showed a lot about like, well, who are you keeping out and why do you feel like you need to keep them out? And it's because if you're in a gated community, you got money and access and privilege and resources that the people that you're keeping out don't and you've decided that you're keeping up that don't have it. Or all criminals and bad people but really criminals are usually just people who are desperate or zombies. Well, in this case, yeah, zombies We'll see, don't forget to subscribe.

Speaker 1:

Subscribing is like the best thing you can do for our podcast.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and give us five stars.

Speaker 1:

That's the second best thing you can do is give us five stars.

Speaker 2:

Give us all the stars the third best thing is, give us a review. If you can do that, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

If you are capable of giving a review, then please give us one, because that's really great. Also, we might read your whatever you write as your review, especially if it's a zombie survival tip.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we love interaction on threads for Dan mostly, although I will like your post Kudos to you, if you figure out which one I am and Instagram, so, like, come chat with us. We like to hear your thoughts. A lot of what we've done here is based on people's ideas, so thank you for that and I think that's it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Also. Well, we have a link tree to all of our things in the description of this episode of the podcast.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, dan loves a link tree. And the next episode after this is Zombie Ween Game Show.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're doing Zombie Ween.

Speaker 2:

Save the date October 29th, the most hallowed season of the year.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and some people will reply to their emails and say whether or not they're going to show up.

Speaker 2:

We got a pretty good cast of folks. There's a couple of people that were like hello.

Speaker 1:

They're like, yeah, I want to let me look at my calendar, and then it's like two weeks later, I think we're being posted yeah. I think they're breaking up with us.

Speaker 2:

I think so. They probably listened to it and fell asleep, and then we're like we're not going on the show.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening. Yeah, it's been great. I mean, you know these book episodes. They always feel like they're a long time coming. We're planning multiple episodes ahead to just get to this one, and I'm glad we're moving on to a new book now.

Speaker 2:

I'm super and I will actually read this one, but I might also regret it, like Pride and Prejudice. But I think sometimes there are better episodes of the ones with books that aren't that great. So we'll see.

Speaker 1:

Oh, before we do go, I just want to say that there's a sequel to the Girl With All the Gifts. It's called Boy on the Bridge. If you want to know how all of the whole story ends, read the Boy on the Bridge, which is actually a prequel, but it will tell you what happens after the end of the Girl With All the Gifts, and I think it's really great.

Speaker 2:

Or they should just make a movie for me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they should make a movie. Yeah, a sequel movie.

Speaker 2:

All right, y'all have a beautiful day. Don't get bit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. But, if you do get bit, spread it to your family first, and then your friends, and then go on around in the street and see who else you can bite.

Speaker 2:

In other words, share a podcast. Thank you, share it to strangers. Bye.

Zombie Club and Countertop Heights Debate
Countertop Heights and the Girl's Gifts
"The Last of Us" and "The Last Survivors" Concepts Discussion
Zombie Battles and Survival Stories
Exploring Themes of Humanity and Survival
Greek Mythology and Zombie Humanity
Diversity in Zombie Movie Themes
'Girl With All the Gifts Sequel