Zombie Book Club

28 Days Later (Movie Review) | Zombie Book Club Podcast Episode 34

March 03, 2024 Zombie Book Club Season 2 Episode 34
28 Days Later (Movie Review) | Zombie Book Club Podcast Episode 34
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Zombie Book Club
28 Days Later (Movie Review) | Zombie Book Club Podcast Episode 34
Mar 03, 2024 Season 2 Episode 34
Zombie Book Club

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In this thrilling episode of the Zombie Book Club, hosts Dan and Leah take a nostalgic trip back to 2003 to revisit "28 Days Later," the film that redefined the zombie genre for both of them. As they lament the current impossibility of screening the movie due to Sony's rights acquisition for the upcoming sequel, "28 Years Later," they also celebrate the unexpected hero of the day: the librarian who ensures this cinematic gem remains accessible through interlibrary loans. Dan and Leah delve into the enduring debate over whether the film's infected are truly zombies, reflecting on writer Alex Garland's acceptance of the term despite initial hesitations, and dissect the movie's exploration of themes such as animal rights, the necessity of human connection for survival, mental health, and the realization that money loses all meaning in the face of an apocalypse.

We critique and admire various aspects of the movie, from its groundbreaking portrayal of fast zombies and the gritty realism of a post-apocalyptic Britain, to its more questionable artistic choices and the problematic depiction of gender and race. Leah shares her frustration over a friend's refusal to watch the movie despite Cillian Murphy's full frontal scene, and highlights the film's failure to pass several representation tests including the Bechdel, DuVernay, Vito Russo, and Fries tests. Despite these criticisms, Dan and Leah rate it from their 2003, as well as current perspectives, appreciating its impact while acknowledging its flaws. Tune in for a deep dive into "28 Days Later," a film that continues to provoke thought, debate, and a deep appreciation for the complexities of surviving a zombie apocalypse.


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(614) 699-0006‬

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

In this thrilling episode of the Zombie Book Club, hosts Dan and Leah take a nostalgic trip back to 2003 to revisit "28 Days Later," the film that redefined the zombie genre for both of them. As they lament the current impossibility of screening the movie due to Sony's rights acquisition for the upcoming sequel, "28 Years Later," they also celebrate the unexpected hero of the day: the librarian who ensures this cinematic gem remains accessible through interlibrary loans. Dan and Leah delve into the enduring debate over whether the film's infected are truly zombies, reflecting on writer Alex Garland's acceptance of the term despite initial hesitations, and dissect the movie's exploration of themes such as animal rights, the necessity of human connection for survival, mental health, and the realization that money loses all meaning in the face of an apocalypse.

We critique and admire various aspects of the movie, from its groundbreaking portrayal of fast zombies and the gritty realism of a post-apocalyptic Britain, to its more questionable artistic choices and the problematic depiction of gender and race. Leah shares her frustration over a friend's refusal to watch the movie despite Cillian Murphy's full frontal scene, and highlights the film's failure to pass several representation tests including the Bechdel, DuVernay, Vito Russo, and Fries tests. Despite these criticisms, Dan and Leah rate it from their 2003, as well as current perspectives, appreciating its impact while acknowledging its flaws. Tune in for a deep dive into "28 Days Later," a film that continues to provoke thought, debate, and a deep appreciation for the complexities of surviving a zombie apocalypse.


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

Zombie Book Club Voicemail
(614) 699-0006‬

Zombie Book Club Email
ZombieBookClubPodcast@gmail.com

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

ZBC Discord Server
https://discord.com/invite/8hCSb4eg

Zombie Book Club Voicemail
(614) 699-0006‬

Zombie Book Club Email
ZombieBookClubPodcast@gmail.com

Our Secret Website That Isn't Finished
https://zombiebookclub.io

Our Merchandise Store (Where you can find our Evil Magic Chicken Zombie Shirts)
https://zombie-book-club.myspreadshop.com

Speaker 1:

Hi everybody. This is Leah. Halfway through recording the episode, we realized we probably should have a trigger warning because there is definitely sexual assault and threats of sexual assault, false imprisonment not false imprisonment, but definitely folks being imprisoned when they shouldn't be and obviously violence. I feel like folks expect the violence of the other parts I just wanted to name here because some of those things definitely show up in the 28 Days Later movie. So if you're not down for listening to those, feel free to skip this one. ["dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"].

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the Zombie Book Club, the only book club where the book is a movie. But you didn't know, the movie had zombies until they were right on your heels, howling like wild animals. That was my experience when I first watched it in 2003. Anyways, I'm Dan, and when I'm not driving a London taxi cab over a pile of wrecked cars in an underground tunnel, I'm writing a book about a zombie outbreak in New York City that's heavily inspired by. 28 Days Later.

Speaker 1:

And I'm Leah and I thought today was Friday, but it's actually Tuesday when we're recording this and I am really trying to be at peace with that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Leah, today's it was like I'm so happy that it's Friday, it's not.

Speaker 1:

I think I got it in my head because we were recording tonight that that method was freedom on the other side. But that's okay, because today, on a Tuesday, we are talking about 28 Days Later, the first decent apoc宏 movie either of us saw that came out in the United States in 2003. Today we are spending the first 15 minutes of this recording trying to get our dog to stop barking, which we finally did. So now we can talk about 28 Days Later. Are you excited, dan? I'm so excited.

Speaker 2:

It was like a drag down knockout fight between us and Nero.

Speaker 1:

It was Basically. What you don't know because it's getting cut out, is that between me introducing myself and then anything else I was about to say, there was like four or five attempts at quelling Nero's indignation at being required to be quiet for one whole hour.

Speaker 2:

You know, to be fair, he probably has a lot to say about 28 Days Later.

Speaker 1:

He probably does, because it's the first decent apoc宏 movie. I think either of us saw that came out in the United.

Speaker 2:

States? Yeah, definitely. What did we have before? That like deep impact? I?

Speaker 1:

don't remember that one Men in Black. It was Men in Black a zombie movie. Is it an apocalypse movie? I don't think so.

Speaker 2:

It's an almost apoclips movie. What about Armageddon? When did that come out? Oh same time as Deep Impact.

Speaker 1:

OK, so it gets those. There were a couple, but this was the first legit zombie apocalypse and I think it's still even almost, I guess 21 years later, arguably one of the most popular zombie movies of all time. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I mean we had the Romero movies before that, but they like it's a very different thing.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and yet, even despite his popularity, it is literally basically impossible to stream right now on any platform. And I don't know about y'all, but I haven't used my DVD player in a very long time and finding and watching 28 Days Later was basically a test of us still knowing how to use a DVD player and Dan having to steal batteries from another remote to the.

Speaker 2:

DVD remote. And these the remote. Yeah, you can't just press the button.

Speaker 1:

So basically, I did a lot of digging to give you all the T on this. Sony bought the rights as a package for making the upcoming sequel 28 years later. For some reason, you can still get, 28 weeks later, yeah, the streaming, but not 28 Days Later. It is sealed. Maybe, maybe, maybe it will come out as like a package, updated, upgraded thing when they come out with 28 years later, because I learned that the I think you told me, dan, that the, the this is like the first digital film.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, well, I think we read that, because I actually didn't know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but I think you don't know. Told me about it, but apparently it's the first digital film ever and so it's just shot on shitty the shitty first version of a digital camera you could have.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, which explains why in standard definition it looks like it was shot on like a potato.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it was a little bit rough to watch, but still worth it. And I would just like to say all hail the library, all hail Liz the librarian, for hooking us up with an interdepartmental library loan to get this DVD that was not scratched, and she even told the library system to never get rid of the two DVDs in the entirety of Vermont. For this there's only two only to because of how rare it is now.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So I want to know, Dan, before we went to the library to get 28 days later, when was the last time you went to the library to actually get something out?

Speaker 2:

Oh, I don't know, like 2015.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's been, it's been a while.

Speaker 2:

And that was, and that's only because I went with my mom to the Fort Drum Library system and we got like some. We rented some movies. Again, we rented movies. We didn't take out any books from the library.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there seems to be a trend there. There were some books I might want to go back and read, but I think I'm realizing is that I think a survival tip in the apocalypse is actually going to your library before the apocalypse. So you get to know your neighbors. Yeah, get used to sharing things with them Also.

Speaker 2:

That's like libraries after the apocalypse are going to be how you get information, yeah, like they're still going to have the books that they have there and you're going to want to go there and find like the back to basics books, the joy of cooking books.

Speaker 1:

We have the back to basics books.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's going to be like a lot of information there that's going to help you survive. So like the library is a really good stop on your survival list.

Speaker 1:

And also, if you need to watch something, that's because you can't stream anything anymore. Yeah, go to the library. I mean, I can't guarantee that one of the two DVDs of 28 days later will be there.

Speaker 2:

The most helpful of all the DVDs.

Speaker 1:

So we release episodes every Sunday, so hit that subscribe button. Dan, can you give us a, a summer eye, a summary of 28 days later for those people who have maybe not watched it or not watched it in a really long time and just need, like a little refresher.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, 28 days later. It's a British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle and released in 2002, in the UK in 2003 and the US. The film explores the catastrophic breakdown of society following the accidental release of a highly contagious virus known as the rage virus Great name for a virus, definitely Once. The last time we had a virus that sounded like an emotion, which turns infected humans into aggressive, mindless zombies. The story begins with a group of animal activists breaking into a research facility and unwittingly releasing a chimpanzee infected with the rage virus, which quickly spreads across Britain. 28 days later surprisingly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, 28 whole days later, Jim wakes up. He wakes up. He was a bicycle courier and he awakens from a coma and he deserved at hospital in London and he finds the city empty and in ruins, with signs of chaos and violence everywhere.

Speaker 1:

He just said London, london.

Speaker 2:

That's how they pronounce it there London, london, london, united Kingdom.

Speaker 2:

I am so curious if people will be able to hear our dog barking, even though he is an entire story away from us right now as he explores the desolate landscape, he encounters a few other survivors, including Selena and Mark, who inform him about the virus and its effects. That's convenient. The group decides to stick together for safety. Navigating through the dangerous streets filled with infected people, they pick up another survivor, frank, and his daughter Hannah, but together they hear a broadcast promising a cure at a military blockade in Manchester. The film follows their perilous journey to the blockade, which leads to a series of harrowing encounters with both the infected and the uninfected, challenging their hopes for safety and humanity's survival 28 days later. Is acclaimed for its gritty, realist, atmospheric tension and innovative portrayal of zombie genre, setting a new standard for horror films dealing with pandemics and societal collapses A new standard from 21 years ago.

Speaker 1:

What Well it says you wrote we're setting a new standard for horror films dealing with pandemics and societal collapse, but it's 21 years old. Oh yeah, yeah it's set a new standard?

Speaker 2:

Yes, but now we have a lot of other really innovative films.

Speaker 1:

Now we have a lot of other really innovative stuff, yeah, but I still think it holds up. So my first question is why is our dog stop barking? I don't know. And is our dog a zombie?

Speaker 2:

Our dog is a zombie.

Speaker 1:

So I have a question Dan.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Are the humans infected with the rage virus zombies?

Speaker 2:

Well, it's funny that you ask that, leah, because people have been arguing about it for 20 years, including my friend, james, who owns a pizza place. Hi, james, I know you disagree with me, but you're wrong. So this is a 20-year-old debate. That began when the writer and director said in 2003 that they were very worried about people thinking it was a zombie movie. Then why did they make a zombie movie? You know, I think this is just one of those Britishisms where they tried to sound polite about what they were trying to communicate and Americans took it to mean oh, it does not a zombie movie, they're not zombies. So I think that also stems from the cultural depiction of zombie films at the time, which were all slow, shambling corpses hungry for brains all of them. This was the first highly motivated, fast zombie.

Speaker 1:

The walking dead wasn't even a blink in anybody's eye.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, except for Robert Kirkman who around that time was beginning to draft the very early ideas of the walking dead. So in his eyes, in his eyes, but we had no idea what was coming first, he wouldn't share that with us. Yet so recently as 2022, there's still a lot of debate about whether or not the movie is a zombie movie, but Alex Garland, the writer of the movie, said it is a zombie movie, so he waited 20 years to admit it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, 20 year anniversary. He'll admit that the movie was about zombies Wild. Whatever the technical discrepancies may or may not exist, they're pretty much zombies. So that's what he said Definitive, yes. So I think I read in another place where he said it's a zombie movie, even if there aren't really technically any zombies in it.

Speaker 1:

I feel like there are so many very definitions of zombie and I'm just going to go with the one where an organism is taken over another organism, or you've been zombie, you know you have a zombie, cossus.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think it's important to remember that the origins of the zombie is from Haiti and they're magical zombies Magic chicken zombies.

Speaker 2:

That they create in real life are not undead brain eating creatures. That is true. They are people who are under the influence of psychedelic drugs. Good times they're deprived of oxygen by being buried underground Not good times and, in their weakened mental states, after those types of traumas occur, are then enslaved by the priest or priestess who did the zombification ritual. So these zombies are as much zombies as any Haitian voodoo zombie. That is true.

Speaker 1:

OK, so what kind of zombie are they then? If you and I believe they're zombies, and if you don't think they're zombies, get out of here.

Speaker 2:

So I would say that these are pathogenic zombies. It's a virus, the rage virus, if you will. I wonder if that's an acronym for something.

Speaker 1:

Rage virus.

Speaker 2:

Anyways, there is a oh.

Speaker 1:

I get it now Like R-A-G-E. Yeah, ok, sorry, a little slow.

Speaker 2:

So they are infected with a virus which makes them basically just go insane and want to spread the virus more. The virus is controlling their will, so in that sense they are zombies because they're being controlled by another organism, that being the virus.

Speaker 1:

They are fast, terrifyingly fast, first fast zombies I ever saw.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and they. I would say that they hibernate during the day, but they are also. They're attracted by a variety of stimuli. So sound, light, movement.

Speaker 1:

Because they're still alive. They have all the senses, the word hello.

Speaker 2:

The infection is really fast. This is very much like World War Z, like they're infected in 10 to 20 seconds.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's pretty terrifying because you don't have a choice. You don't have. There's no like waiting in mourning period before you got to kill somebody if they're infected.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's also very important to note that these are not dead zombies. They're fully alive, infected humans that are zombified, so they can starve to death and they're vulnerable to normal methods of attack, so, like you, could shoot them in the chest and they'll die. If they bleed out, they'll die.

Speaker 1:

They'll die of regular disease or nerve gases.

Speaker 2:

Fire anything that would kill a normal human being will kill these zombies.

Speaker 1:

I appreciate you that pointing that out, because I knew that they were alive and they could starve to death. But in my there's like such a strong instinct that if they're undead, kill the head. Yeah, from dead, don't die. That is just. I didn't even notice that. That's a really good point.

Speaker 2:

Well, you know spoiler alert, but when Frank dies, the soldiers just reddle him with bullet holes. He's not shot in the head, that's true. He's just peppered with bullets and he dies, it's kind of convenient. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

They're not like some zombies that we encounter in the media, are like eternal zombies, like they just seem to never go away, never stop, unless you hit him in the head.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like the walking dead zombies who just like get smarter the longer they've been dead.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's one thing that I'm curious of. Maybe this is why some people think that they're not zombies, james. I haven't met you, james, but we should meet. I want to eat your pizza.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's great pizza.

Speaker 1:

That there's some level of sentience still in these folks.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

There's a chained up army zombie we'll talk more about later and he very clearly makes a choice when he is released free by Jimmy. Do not kill Jimmy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean Jimmy was kind of out of his range of reach because he was up on a wall. But if this was a normal zombie, that would have been the only stimuli and he would have just kept on jumping at the wall until Jimmy went away.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, he wouldn't have had the problem solving to make a decision.

Speaker 2:

Instead it was kind of like the zombie almost winked Like I get it, buddy, I'll go kill everyone else. I know what we're up to here. This is a coup, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, that chained up zombie had a vendetta, which we'll talk more about, but I think there's some sense of very minimal reasoning power, but some reasoning power still within these zombies, which I think is not too common.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it seems to be Also. They can open doors.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

The priest zombie opens a door. So let's talk about some existential themes and questions.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so one of the ones that I really wanted to touch base with you on because we haven't talked about it much, but you mentioned it is that when you first watched this in 2003, you thought the animal rights activists that freed the chimpanzees were idiots.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was like look at these dumb idiots, stupid animal rights guys, coming in and they're like don't let them out because they're infected, they'll kill everyone. They're like I don't care, get rid of this, but let them out. Which, to be fair, releasing infectious animals into the population is not a good idea, even if it does appear that they're being tortured. You're not doing anybody any favors by releasing highly infectious, possibly violent animals back into the wild, like if they were just infected with rabies, like that would have been a really bad idea. Just be like let's let all these rabies dogs out into the street.

Speaker 1:

Well, they're clearly testing this disease on them because the scientist person says like well, in order to understand this disease, we have to test it on them. Because one of the animal rights activists is upset.

Speaker 2:

To understand it, you must study it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but yeah, back then I was like I hate these guys for doing it.

Speaker 1:

But now I kind of understand, but at the same time I'm like I still think they're idiots, but I think they should just take in the pictures of the chimpanzee that was chained up and being forced to watch violent things. Yeah, just really weird. Were they trying to make people? I don't understand the virus.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I guess because it's a rage virus triggers all of your hate emotions, so maybe they were trying to study how the chimpanzee reacted to violent images.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Well, either way, it wasn't very nice to the chimps, I will say that. And actually I have to just say that some of the chimps were not real in the movie, but some of them were and it was kind of fucked up. I don't really like people using animals in that way for a movie.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they were in some really weird, weird cages. Yeah, I'm pretty sure in the credits it says that they are. They're from a zoo in Denmark.

Speaker 1:

Oh great.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Love that for them.

Speaker 2:

Which they. I guess they put chimpanzees in movies. There's their whole business model right there, so I'm sure everything's above board, yeah just our closest relative in a cage.

Speaker 1:

It's cool. It's cool. We love that breath. I think they're probably so happy being on TV.

Speaker 2:

They're probably famous.

Speaker 1:

So well, you never know, because they live just as long as us almost.

Speaker 2:

Well, some of them do.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to just Google this. Well, yeah, I'm not serving test. How long does a chimp live? I lied, they have half our lifespan, 32 and 39 years, so pretty good. But yeah, a long time.

Speaker 2:

Watching it now I'm like I don't know if necessarily shackling a chimpanzee to a bed and making them watch a whole bunch of TVs of violent things happening is the nicest thing to do to a chimpanzee. So I'm kind of on their side a little bit, but even still they should have listened when the doctor said these apes are infected and they can't be let out because they will spread this range virus.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, it was a really interesting way to have a virus be spread. I don't think we've ever seen anything like that in movies, even though that's typically how viruses spread in real life. Is animal transmission of some way? Yeah, namesubtle examples, Particularly from animals that are put in crowded and really fucked up environments who then develop all these really weird viruses that are antibiotic resistant because we see them in antibiotics. Anyways, yeah, I think I agree with you. It was interesting because I feel like it was more of a device than an express theme of the movie to talk about animal rights or animal testing. But you know what I feel like karmically, in this universe, humans go. It was coming to them because at this point and I don't know about 2003,. So, OK, I will acknowledge that, but I know at this point we have no reason to be testing on animals anymore. There's plenty of other options that are just as accurate.

Speaker 2:

How are we supposed to know if lipstick looks good if we don't put it on a rabbit?

Speaker 1:

Well, I mean, we could always go back to the old ways and just use, like blueberries and raspberries to stain our lips.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we shouldn't test blueberries on rabbits.

Speaker 1:

Well, you could feed them to them. They probably would like it. That's cruel. I don't know where you're going with this, but I think it's interesting that you have evolved in your impression around animals since the first time you watched it. Because I agree with you, probably the most humane thing to do to those chimpanzees was to put them down, because if they're already infected with this really messed up virus, they're suffering immensely anyways. But the other issue I have with the film was just that the chimpanzees were like. Some of them were fake, some of them were what's the word for it?

Speaker 2:

CG. No, they were not.

Speaker 1:

No, the one that was tied down had to be fake.

Speaker 2:

They did not have, they really tied down a 2002.

Speaker 1:

That's messed up. I'm not OK with animals being used in a film.

Speaker 2:

I mean it could have been like an animatronic puppet, but I highly doubt that they used CG. They wouldn't have been able to calculate all the hair.

Speaker 1:

OK, Well, regardless, I hope that they weren't all real because they were put into really messed up situations. So let's just believe that they're all animatronic chimpanzees. Yeah, let's just go with that.

Speaker 2:

Choose to believe that yeah, let's move on to another existential theme Our need to come together and survive.

Speaker 1:

You know this is one of my favorites because I hate how there's this trope in the zombie apocalypse. It's like the solo survival survivor and like every society crumbles because there's always selfish people who are terrible and and the weak people who slow us down.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, those, those, those weak people that just you know. You know the ones they can't climb stairs.

Speaker 1:

Oh me, I really feel like that trope is definitely an example of human zombie cossus. Or maybe we can start calling the wolf effect the alpha wolf, where we've been in captivity for too long and in capitalism and a colonialist extractive economy world that we live in, that's led us to believe that we're all individual actors with no consequence, and what we do to each other, yeah, that's probably like the biggest lie that we tell ourselves is that we survive on our own.

Speaker 2:

That's a complete lie, that we are responsible for our own existence in this world. Meanwhile, you're surrounded by an entire house of things that does shit for you, that other people have to provide the electricity for or the propane for, or you have to go buy from the store, like your, your refrigerator and your food that comes from everywhere except where you live.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're internetly connected to every aspect of life, even parts of life, but we don't want to think about, like all of our what's the word. I'm looking for All of our bacteria buddies. We have so many bacteria and, I think, more bacteria than there are human cells.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the bacteria on me is the reason I weigh so much.

Speaker 1:

Really yeah, this is going down a strange rabbit hole.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they say that like two thirds of your body weight is bacteria.

Speaker 1:

Wild. Well, I guess they need you to survive, which is the point of this existential question, which there's a big theme in this movie of is it best to sort of go on your own and be ruthless and leave people behind to survive, or do you think from a communal aspect and acknowledge that you actually need each other to be successful? And I think they let. I think that they lean in the direction of we need each other to survive, which I really appreciate it, because I don't see that in a lot of situations.

Speaker 2:

Oh, Selena's definitely the far of one side of that, where she'll leave anyone behind.

Speaker 1:

At first.

Speaker 2:

She'll machete her best friend to death. She'll leave them when she's running up the stairs. And then Frank and his daughter are like the far other side of that, where it's like, no, we need each other, we need to come together and we'll do whatever it takes to protect each other.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Hannah's speech on the balcony was there making the decision to actually go and try and find safety from that radio transmission they were hearing. It was really compelling. I forget what she said, but I loved when she said of course we need you, but you need us. And that seemed to transform Selena a little bit. I think, and I would almost say, that her hyper-individuality was a trauma response to zombie causes of the real world before the apocalypse started, plus then the apocalypse.

Speaker 2:

I think it had a lot to do with like, how she managed to survive the following 28 days after the apocalypse, because she very much like is like if you don't do this this way, you will die.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, she had a formula.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like she had. Her and her friends had to figure it out and, one by one, her friends were disappearing.

Speaker 1:

Which I think really brings us to the next major theme for me of the movie, which is mental health. Where did you see mental health show up in this movie?

Speaker 2:

Oh boy, I mean Jim right away had a lot of depression on account of his entire world going away in the blink of an eye.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, according to him, he was in a coma, and then he wakes up and yeah, his parents are dead, Just nobody around except for zombies. Everybody wants to kill him. Yeah, and he really appears to have like. There's definitely a point where I think he's questioning whether it's worth living, and it's demonstrated in his willingness to go into a building for absolutely no reason.

Speaker 1:

No reason they did not need to go, that they had plenty of food because they just raided the grocery store. And yet he was like you know what I'm gonna go in here? I feel like you had a death wish in that moment.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, or something to prove. I think he also struggled a lot with the fact that Selena was a hardened survivor and he was just tagging along yeah. So I think he felt like he had something to prove by going in and trying to find trouble.

Speaker 1:

Either way, somebody who was fully mentally sound in that moment would not have made the choice to go into a building for no reason, knowing that there are zombies literally everywhere, you can't even let a candle at night time to like watch some old movies of your family, like you did before zombies come. So that was a death wish to me.

Speaker 2:

Well, those movies weren't like real movies, those were like his memories, but they did it like filmic style, so that it looked like he was watching like an eight millimeter film.

Speaker 1:

I totally did not catch that. I thought he was actually watching films.

Speaker 2:

Well, you know what? There's a lot of creative decisions in this movie there are, we'll get into that later he was remembering it and like instead of like, having the same as if it was a home movie. Yeah, instead of the same filmic quality that you saw in the movie that you shot. It like an eight millimeter film. Also, another place that we see mental health issues is with the soldiers.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, are they army guys okay. I don't think that they're okay.

Speaker 2:

One of them I forget. I forget his name. The officer in charge said that that guy had a gun in his mouth a few days ago and that's because they lost hope. There's no women left in the world, which means there's no children anymore, which means that they're the end of civilization. And what's the point in fighting the zombies when there's nothing to be fighting them for?

Speaker 1:

I weirdly feel like you and I would be celebrating this moment Like everybody's dead.

Speaker 2:

Everybody's dead and other creatures take it back.

Speaker 1:

I'm kidding folks, but, like I do think, are we near reset.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the people listening. I would be very upset if they were gone.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and your kids are cool.

Speaker 2:

Everybody else, though. And then you know. They show their lack of mental health in a variety of ways, from toxic masculinity to reverting back to like very childish mannerisms, to suicidal tendencies. And then the sergeant who was just having a complete existential meltdown half the time and just like screaming into the darkness about how everything's crazy and that the officer is crazy for not thinking it's as crazy as he thinks it is.

Speaker 1:

Hmm, yeah, he was definitely unhinged.

Speaker 2:

I think like, but he was also kind of the most sane of them all that's really sad.

Speaker 1:

When you were talking, maybe you think like maybe toxic masculinity should be in the DSM along with Zambicosis, because the combination of toxic masculinity combined with an apocalyptic scenario where you don't know your purpose for living equals really fucked up thinking around your right to basically enslave women, to have sex with them and reproduce with, and that was the thing that joined them all together. That was when they then feel community again, which I think is a good point that like just community. If it's the wrong community, this kind of like lending towards culty sort of community, maybe not so good. Better to go on your own.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and in their own weird fucked up way, they were seeking out community. It's just that they seek out community in the form of sex slaves.

Speaker 1:

Speaking of sexual assault, I think we should talk about the interesting use of mental health medications.

Speaker 2:

I don't know what they're called psycho Beta blockers.

Speaker 1:

Beta blockers. Yeah, because they multiple times take Valium one to just sleep and that was really interesting I don't think I've ever seen I'm trying to think of. There's another time where I've seen an intentional use of drugs like that to help you get through the apocalypse. But honestly, that's a great survival tip. If you can get your hands on some Valium in the apocalypse, I think it's worth having as a backup tool. What was disturbing was the thought that Hannah and Selena had to use it in order to feel less caring about the fact that they were about to be sexually assaulted.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, selena has a background in being a qualified chemist, which way back in the day I didn't know what that meant, because in the US a chemist means that you're like a scientist that does things with chemicals.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But in the UK it means that you're a pharmacist.

Speaker 1:

I didn't realize that detail about her, Dan, actually.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, she says it at some point. I think it's when they take out the Valium to go to sleep and Jim's like whoa because she pulls out a whole bunch of drugs and she says I'm a qualified chemist.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I gotta say there's plenty of people who need those drugs today, and for good reason, regardless of what society they lived in, because there are things that happen in your brain, chemistry, that can make it hard for you to feel okay in this world, and I think that our overreliance in this society on a lot of those drugs is because our society is set up to not meet any of our homo sapien needs. I'm just gonna keep bringing the zombie cossus up here because I think that it's an example and also a metaphor for how hard life is that you gotta take a Valium to get to sleep, because, frankly, I take sleeping aids sometimes because of the society and how stressed that I feel about it, and there's no zombies as far as I know out there.

Speaker 2:

While we're on the topic of sexual assault in this movie, when I first watched this in 2003, I was watching it with the woman that I was dating while I was in the Army.

Speaker 2:

She got very, very upset at the scene and stormed out of the room. That's fair, and I don't know if I was the most supportive of things like this back then. I definitely didn't know these things, so I guess I probably thought that was weird. But that's when I learned that she had been molested by her stepfather, who was currently in prison, and she was afraid that when he got out of prison she would be murdered by him. Wow, that's really horrible.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, like I've talked to people about stuff like this before when it comes to the zombie apocalypse, especially like on threads, we've had full discussions about how sexual assault is depicted in apocalyptic media and how it does affect people, cause I don't think I understood back then. But, like now, I've had a lot of time to think about that moment and moments since then and heard people's stories about how they view these things. And while I agree with the fact that you want to depict a realistic scenario in your gritty, apocalyptic world, there isn't really any need to like retraumatize people by like getting as far into it as this movie got. Like it wasn't the theme of the movie.

Speaker 1:

It was a large chunk though.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like it-.

Speaker 1:

Or at least it felt that way to me.

Speaker 2:

It could have been there, but like, straight up there is there, like if you didn't know, you'd think that you were about to watch something that was full on just going to be a sexual assault in a movie.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, cause it doesn't actually get to that point, but you think it's going to, which is intentional. Obviously, they want you to feel it, but I think the reality is that you might not know this if you're a man is that, like, one in three women have been sexually assaulted. So, yeah, it's real. For people it's not a thing that is for entertainment value, and I really appreciated what Sylvester Barzee has to say about it, which you'll hear in the next episode. Yeah, next episode.

Speaker 1:

I'm not going to spoil it, but I'll just say I really appreciate Sylvester's take on whether or not we really need to include sexual assault of women specifically in apocalypse writing and literature.

Speaker 2:

And like when it comes to, when it comes to my writing and my book, you know to focus on me for a little bit, like that is a threat in my world, but it's not something that I want to be happening like as a narrative.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I will say there was a Stephen King book I'm trying to remember which one it was that I read that had sexual assault of a man in it and it was, like I think, the first and possibly only time in a book that I've read that I did watch the TV show Oz, the prison show that was. There was a lot, a lot of sexual assault in that show. I had to stop watching it, but it was. It shows you how you can become callous to these things, because I was really deeply disturbed by that depiction because it was not something that we expected or I expected to really see or read about.

Speaker 2:

So let's let's talk about another mental health theme of this movie, ptsd. You know this was written kind of like before PTSD was really taken seriously. This is like the time that I was getting PTSD.

Speaker 1:

Literally 2003. Yeah, I don't even think I knew the term PTSD in 2003. Like I'm thinking back, I really don't think it was a term that was talked about ever where I grew up.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, jimmy, he's, he's having nightmares and I actually really like how nightmares are depicted in this movie because, like so often, there's like a nightmare sequence and it's like you know, when you look at it you're like, oh OK, that was just like a way to tell a story within a story, but actually what we see is that it's it's it's highlighting his worst fear and this is like such a great way to narrate what how he feels in the situation because he has a nightmare that he wakes up and he's all alone, his friends left.

Speaker 1:

Which is what happened. You woke up alone. That's literally what happened to him 28 days later and couldn't find anybody. So that's why I think it's PTSD.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but it's also the anxiety that he faces is that, like the world disappeared around him and all he's got left are these three people, and they could die at any minute. He could be all alone again.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, speaking of, we need each other to survive, like that's his worst fear is to be left alone, not to be eaten by zombies, but to be left alone, which I think feeds into this other theme that I appreciated being a big part of it, which is like the loss of loved ones and the reality that, in the apocalypse or not, everyone we love will die Some or many before us.

Speaker 1:

And I appreciate when movies tackle this thing, because I think we live in a death phobic culture. Weirdly like it's like we love apocalypse genre stuff but at the same time, when it comes to our own lives, we don't like talking or thinking about death, our own or other people's. I've had a lot of folks in my family die. I mean, everybody will, but I have a little bit earlier in life, I think, than like most of my friends and peers, and I can tell you the amount of crickets that I received when somebody passed away. I know it was because people didn't, not that people didn't care, but it's the fear of even talking about it. So whenever it's a part of a film, I really appreciate it. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, I have a theory about this which is like I actually think that people who enjoy this type of media, like people who are, like, obsessed with the zombie apocalypse specifically, but also just like apocalyptic stuff in general I think that we're, in a way, we're trying to explore our understanding of mortality and in a way, that's a little bit more fun than just being like I wonder what happens when you die. Do worms eat me?

Speaker 1:

I'm doubted being eaten by worms for what it's worth.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but like I ran this poll, it's a common question that we ask people when we interview them which is 40 hour work week for zombie apocalypse, and I actually found a surprising number of people who were fans of zombie apocalypses but also chose 40 hour work week, and really their reasonings were that they didn't think that they could survive in the zombie apocalypse.

Speaker 1:

Well, people they love won't survive yeah.

Speaker 2:

And my answer is that I don't think I can survive the 40 hour work week.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I know you're making me laugh, but also I think that that's not many of us can't and I think many of us are led to believe that if we can't it means something's wrong with us. No, it's zombie cossus. We are not given a conducive environment for our species specific needs.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we need enrichment in our habitats.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the 40 hour work week, ain't it babies? But yeah, I mean, I hear what you're saying. I think that people are definitely watch and read this kind of fiction for those reasons, but that doesn't make them equipped enough to actually deal with it in real life, unfortunately. But at least it's like a dress, Like I appreciated that he wanted to see his family and he wanted to like literally look at their bodies, like they Selena and what was the other guy's name that got Mark he didn't to death, mark.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're like, don't go up there. And he wanted, he just needed to see them. And then there's another moment where, after Frank dies, hannah's dad Hannah is, I'm pretty sure, on Valium at this point with the soldiers and she just says all I want to do is bury my dad. I just want to bury my dad, yeah Well, let's talk about one theme that I really enjoyed and actually to me is an upper opposite of Valium, more like an amphetamine, which is this theme that money is not real. I love the way money was depicted in this movie and talked about in this movie. The first time it comes up is when Jimmy wakes up and gets out of the hospital and it's like desolate Nothing is going on. His first impulse when he sees money all over the ground is to run around and pick it up. That is the first thing he goes to do.

Speaker 2:

It's not a bad idea if you don't know the full extent of what's going on, because maybe everybody just evacuated it right.

Speaker 1:

They're just somewhere else, but why would they leave their money behind? I think they thought that there's money everywhere kind of indicates that it no longer has value.

Speaker 2:

I mean, there's a lot of reasons that that could happen, but I think that it doesn't take up a lot of space and if it's just sitting there, you might as well grab a handful of it until you learn more about the world, because the best survival tool you can have is a lot of cash, unless it's worthless. But if it's worthless, you find out later.

Speaker 1:

It'll be worthless pretty quickly and you can start a fire with it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think what's interesting about it is like OK, I can see your point that it would make sense. Maybe I don't know that it would be what I would do, but it would make sense for somebody who is accustomed to money being the way they get what they need, to do that as the first impulse. But in reality that money is useless and in actual fact, in real life, money is only valuable because we've all agreed that it has value. It is completely a fiction of our imagination.

Speaker 2:

Well, you could use it if you powered up vending machines. What If you power up vending machines and can't?

Speaker 1:

actually get inside of them. The survival tool, yeah, but he's not thinking that far.

Speaker 2:

You could feed money into it. I'm just saying that there are reasons that you could have money and have it be valuable in the immediate aftermath of the apocalypse.

Speaker 1:

Are you trying to shit on my theme here, dan? Yes, I don't appreciate this. I shit upon your theme. I still think money's not real.

Speaker 2:

It is not real. It is made of paper.

Speaker 1:

It is Paper. Still, sometimes it's not even made of paper, sometimes it's an imaginary number that we look at sometimes.

Speaker 2:

Now it's a piece of paper and we are like what does that even mean?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's a piece of plastic in my purse.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

With some numbers. I press them buttons and things and then stuff happens and I get food or whatever I want. But I think the other thing that was like a really glorious moment around this theme was when they went grocery shopping. It was one of the most lighthearted moments of the film. They actually had like happy music playing. They're running around getting all the things that they like. I thought it was really lovely. It was kind of a nice idea.

Speaker 2:

All of the cabbages were rotten but the apples were fine. Those are radiated apples. Yeah, yeah, that was. I think that marks one of people's like happiest moments in the movie. Everybody remembers the store, Everybody remembers the intro and everybody remembers the tunnel scene.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the almost sexual assault, the almost sexual assault. But I think that if you don't get this theme right from the beginning, I feel like the writers of the movie really shove it in your face. When Mark the army person, I don't know what it's like.

Speaker 2:

Oh, he's not an army guy.

Speaker 1:

He wasn't no.

Speaker 2:

Mark is just the guy that was surviving with Selena. He tells a story about what the first days were like and he says that, you know, at first it was just happening out in the rural areas and then it came into the cities and everybody panicked and him and his father and his mother and his sister went to the airport with a suitcase full of money because they thought that they could buy their way onto a plane. And everybody else in London had the same idea and he said that when he looked down or he was, as he was walking, he's like, you know, the ground felt soft. You look down and you saw all these faces of people. It's fucked up. And there's just a point where, like he couldn't walk anymore. He was just climbing over top of people and, like some of like, he couldn't tell who was infected and who wasn't, so he just climbed up on top of like I think he said, like a carousel of some kind or something. He climbed up on top of something. That's how he survived.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so again, right in the beginning of the apocalypse money meaningless it made.

Speaker 2:

Within hours. Money was worthless.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, because it is worthless, because it's a joke, it's a ridiculous concept and it's very young. Did you know that money is only like 500 years old, maybe 600 years old, is it? Yeah, it's a very young. There was like bartering and there were some early examples of it, but money as we understand it today is about 600 years old.

Speaker 2:

Leah. What did we love about this movie?

Speaker 1:

Well, let's talk about that. For me, it was the first real apocalypse movie I remember watching, and when I first watched it I found it utterly horrifying. When I watched it again with you, I think I've watched it a couple of times, but like probably even before 2010 when I rewatched it, watching it again in 2024 was like feeling the ghost of the memory of being horrified.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

But I think it was pretty much the first one and I think it was possibly what got me really interested in the genre of film.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, same. You know this leads into the thing. One of the things that I loved about this movie it's the first zombie movie, besides Romero films, of course, that took the idea seriously and painted this picture more than just just flesh eating corpse fest. You know, zombie movies were always treated like a B horror, like Gore Gore movie, you know, like it was never. It was always campy, it was never like taken seriously.

Speaker 2:

Even the George Romero films, like, even though they were serious, there was still quite a bit of camp there, and like it's hard to be scared of George Romero zombies because they're just, they're just so fucking goofy and slow. Like you know, like the in in the dawn of the dead, there was like a Hari Krishna zombie and it's like how are you going to be afraid of the Hari Krishna zombie that's coming at you? Like it's, it is weird, but it's like you're not terrified of that. And this was the first movie where it's like. It's like the scene in the church when he says hello and three zombies just whip their heads around and stare right at him like, like he was, like like there was a lobster crawling out of his ears, like that was a scary moment and fun fact, when I first watched this movie in 2003, I didn't know what was a zombie movie.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing.

Speaker 2:

I hadn't seen any trailers. I was just told that this is going to be a really good movie and the cover of it's just like it's the biohazard tri-foil it's just red. I think it's like a depiction of like London. Maybe it doesn't say a whole lot about, like what to expect from the movie. So I'm like. So I'm like, oh OK. So like some type of biohazard situation happened and like I just I just came back from combat. So like you know I was already. You know I'm afraid of people in gas masks because I had to wear gas masks so often. Like it freaks me out seeing somebody wearing a gas mask because I'm terribly petrified of a chemical attack. I don't like the idea of breathing in a gas that melts my skin, makes me vomit my lungs out of my mouth and then spasm until my back breaks.

Speaker 1:

I think I lost the plot here because I have drank half a cider with not very much food in my stomach. Are you saying that you thought that this movie was going to be about a chemical warfare?

Speaker 2:

Right, like like some type of biohazard situation, like a contagion, like some kind of disease or something. I did not know that there were going to be zombies. So, as he's walking around an empty city and he's saying hello all the time, I'm like, oh yeah, I guess everybody died or something. And then he goes to the, then he goes to the church. I'm like, yeah, that's where the dead people are. And he says hello and like three of them whipped their heads around. I'm like, oh shit.

Speaker 1:

That part was still genuinely scary to me in 2024.

Speaker 2:

And then the priest starts stomping his way up the stairs. I didn't know what was going on. I'm like like the hairs on my arm were standing up. Like what's happening.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, because you don't know what's going on, which is is like the feeling of the character of Jimmy. I loved how Jimmy was like I'm so sorry, priest, whatever, whatever.

Speaker 2:

He had some of the bag full of pepsis.

Speaker 1:

I think it's a good depiction of how like because I want to be like dude it's a fucking zombie. Why are you like? Apologizing. But then I had to remember that probably in that context you would still think these people are people, which they are there because they're not dead. So it is confusing that way. But still, I don't know if I'd be hitting anybody with a thing of pepsis, though.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was a good weapon, but then he took off and they're like running right on his heels and I'm like this is like anybody who's like who, who wasn't around at that time like probably wouldn't understand, because they're like, yes, zombies are fast sometimes you know, fucking it's not weird. But back then it was really weird. That's not the behavior of zombies. Zombies are slow and they grown and and you can easily outrun them.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they're not fast and can open doors. It was very scary and I will say, even if there weren't zombies in that moment, the scene of all the dead people in the church was terrifying enough, like it was so disturbing, the scenes of the dead babies and the and the parents bodies on the bed, like I feel like it was a really gritty depiction, and realistic depiction, of what an apocalypse might look like and feel like. Yeah, another thing I really loved that felt very realistic was the scene of after Jimmy, of course, has to go get his money and his pepsis.

Speaker 1:

He sees a billboard with people's handwritten letters and photos of their loved ones saying like meet me here, or have you seen this person? And it was interesting. I'm not sure when it was filmed I know it came out in 2003 because I think the first time again that I had seen something like that was depictions of the 9-11 wall where people were still trying to figure out where people were and like that immediate chaos after, and I'm sure that this is probably something that's happened in disaster situations many times. But at that point I was a very, very young I mean I don't want to say an adult although technically I could vote at that point or wait, could I? Yes, I could vote, but I would not call myself an adult in my maturity levels.

Speaker 1:

Me either, but that felt very real and I think, demonstrated the scale of the disaster and also that a lot of time had gone by because of how empty the streets were, in contrast with all of these letters looking for people. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Also just great world building Like that it just added so much value to the storytelling of that world. Like it wasn't enough just to show some empty streets, but like to tell this story of like people were here and they were looking for each other.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then you add on the music. Dan, talk about the music, because isn't that the music that?

Speaker 2:

you listen to when you write your book, so that one is Godspeed you, black Emperor. I forget the name of the song, but that is part of my desolate writing playlist.

Speaker 1:

You should share that with the world. The world needs more desolate writing playlists.

Speaker 2:

So whenever I really need to like get focused on writing, I listen to. Godspeed you, black Emperor. I start at the beginning and I go straight to the end. It's an experience. We also did it on mushrooms.

Speaker 1:

That was very beautiful actually.

Speaker 2:

You know, I was just like I was just letting Spotify play and we were high on mushrooms just watching laser light show. So far it'd been all like this happy music or powerful fun music. And then all of a sudden I hear Godspeed, you Come On. And I was like, oh, we better skip this. And Leah's like, no, what is it? I want to hear it and I'm like, are you sure? Because this is going to be a fucking experience.

Speaker 1:

And it was. But I think that there's some beauty in quote unquote negative emotions, like letting yourself embrace and feel sadness, which I would say that that song is just really sad yeah.

Speaker 2:

Godspeed you. Black Emperor does a really great job of taking you on a whole ride of emotion, starting from like very, very bleak through to really empty and alone territory and then coming out in this like kind of beautiful place.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's lovely. I'd actually I'd listen to it again. Let's do that. Yeah, the album was called F-Sharp, a-sharp I want to listen to the whole album now, maybe on a road trip sometime.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Since I made you listen to every single metric song, I think it's time for you to play that for an extra trip.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we'll listen to all of their albums.

Speaker 1:

Well, last but not least, I think we cannot complete this list of things we love without talking about the badass that is Selena.

Speaker 2:

Yeah yeah, selena is a genuine, a genuine badass and she, like, unlike a lot of characters in apocalyptic fiction, she earns the credit credibility that goes with her character and in one way that she does that is, she brutally fucking annihilates Mark.

Speaker 1:

Without a shaggy breath.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Like Mark has like a cut on his arm. We don't know if he's infected or not, but Selena doesn't care because she knows that if he's covered in blood he has a cut. That's all you need.

Speaker 1:

She said she could see it in his eyes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, she could see in his eyes that he knew he was infected and without a second's notice, like she attacks him, gets over top of him, just starts, like over the head, two-handed style, coming down at him with a machete, chops off his arm because he's trying to defend himself and splits him right down the middle.

Speaker 1:

Well, we don't know if he's split down the middle, because we can't see the actual violence.

Speaker 2:

There's, like, conveniently, a different kind of she was going for the head, though that head split wide open.

Speaker 1:

I love that you can picture it. It is very visceral moment.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was brutal. And then she's like we got to go now. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

It's just like unfazed, which again probably dissociating at this point because of whatever she's been through in the first 28 days. Let's talk about the things that everybody gets really mad at in this movie. I would like to start because I'm not sure that I was mad about it the first time I watched it, but this time I was like what is no, this is bad. Which is the weird artistic choices, and I didn't realize that the memories that it actually I thought was a film, but it's only a memory was included in this. But I consider that a weird artistic choice. It was not clear to me that he wasn't watching a film. In fact, I was quite convinced he was.

Speaker 2:

Oh, when he was in his house. Yes, when he was like having memories of his family. His memories were an eight millimeter film.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then there's this moment where there's like this beautiful city, sunrise, skyline, with like half of somebody's face in a living room in the top left corner of the screen and I was like is something wrong with the DVD?

Speaker 2:

That was my first thought.

Speaker 1:

And then it pans into the living room, which is in the suburbs, not in a high rise, so like nothing about that scene makes any fucking sense, yeah. And then on top of that they have weird moments of tulip fields that are speaking of Van Gogh like a Van Gogh painting. It makes no sense.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like they added like a digital filter over it. And what I'm thinking is I think they just got experimental with some of these things because it was the first digital film, you know. They were like we can just put a filter on this. This is going to be crazy. People are going to be like are we watching a painting? But it comes off like looking like a fucking, not even as good as a filter you would download for your phone.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I feel like I probably enjoyed it for the first time around because it was novel. But now that I have 21 years of movies past that, I'm like this is just amateur and terrible and like not clearly thought out at all.

Speaker 2:

And also pointless. I remember just being confused by it. Like I remember looking at a feeling like why does it look like this? Is it blurry, Is it out of focus? Like I don't understand what's happening Intentionally. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Dan, we should talk about this next one that you hate, because I feel like you'd have a lot to say about it.

Speaker 2:

Oh, the army guy's trope. Yes, what about it?

Speaker 1:

Maybe I wrote this one. Yeah, I probably did I know like I'm going to say it. I know that one of the main characters in your book is an army person.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I love how I say army person, because I know nothing about the right lingo An army dude.

Speaker 2:

A soldier, a soldier. Yeah, it's one of those.

Speaker 1:

And there's probably some others in there, and I got to say I'm a little tired of army people being in these movies. I think again, I'm not sure I can't I call it an army trope and now that I think about it, it couldn't be a trope when there weren't a lot of apocalyptic films at the time. Yeah, it's interesting when I think about like probably didn't even phase me, but I just feel like I've seen this of like a bunch of shitty army dudes together who do shitty things and abuse their power so many times now in the zombie apocalypse. So I can't I can't actually blend them for it being one of the first movies like this, but at this point watching it I was like I've just seen this too many times.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't mind it because I do think that this is realistic that you would have like a like a small survival unit of soldiers that survived because they were well armed.

Speaker 2:

That's it. Yeah, but what I did like about the army guys trope was actually that they I felt like they were actually accurately depicted, like there's a scene where they're looking down into the courtyard watching the soldiers unload the taxi cab and they're like one of them's on top and they're like they're driving the car around in circles and they're like pranking each other. And I feel like I remember him saying this the officer, he's like they're not soldiers, they're boys, they're scared boys with guns. Yeah, that's true. And like I feel like so many movies that do the soldier trope they depict like these gnarly badass dudes, when the reality that anybody could tell you who's been in the army is that it's just a bunch of 18 year old fuckheads that have a minimal amount of training and they just want to do their job well enough so that they can go home and visit mom and dad for Christmas.

Speaker 1:

And that's about it. So interesting to think about the calm. It was bringing me back a memory of when we were getting ready to fly our first flight from Boston to Jamaica and there was somebody who had just completed basic training and he was telling everybody about him and everybody about it in the line and I could feel you being like shut the fuck up.

Speaker 2:

I was like I bet you were like this one supply and you're like maybe you know there's a voice that comes through my head when people are just started start talking about their basic training. When I was an AIT, advanced individual training comes after basic training. You know I was. I was taking my advanced training with some people who were reclassifying. So they were Sergeant First Class E-5s, e-6s, e-7s that they had a job before, but they want to reclassify and do something different. So they're coming into my MOS, my job, and it's kind of starting over. So a bunch of us people just straight out of basic training and we can't stop fucking talking about basic training and how our drill sergeant did this and we went to this course and did that and I was climbing this thing and fell off and I feel like it was like two months into this training Sergeant Bertuca, he just had enough and he threw up his hands. He's like everybody shut up. Nobody gives a fuck about basic training. Stop talking about basic training, just shut the fuck up.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, he was tired of the Army guy trope. Yeah. So I will say to be fair, I think if you've just completed basic training that's a pretty big life milestone. I understand why the technically an adult was excited about it in the line to get on the plane.

Speaker 2:

It was the only thing that he had to talk about.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you have limited life experience and it's a big moment. I can't deny that it's a big moment.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, while he was talking, I definitely heard Sergeant Bertuca in my head being like nobody gives a fuck about basic training.

Speaker 1:

I could feel the rage wafting off of you. Honestly, I knew you weren't going to say anything but I could feel it.

Speaker 2:

Oh no, I was going to let him have his moment because I know that joy of just talking somebody's fucking ear off about shit they don't care about, but thinking you're so self-important yeah, so self-important because I just finished basic training, but again, we've all been there.

Speaker 1:

Another thing that really I think it was absolute stupidity, and Jimmy himself said this was a dumb idea was choosing to go through the tunnel when there was an alternative route out of the city and then, making it worse after you do a thing that is literally impossible to do, which is drive a cab over a bunch of cars. I don't understand how there was even an entry point that made any sense for him to do that.

Speaker 2:

You just rammed the shit out of it.

Speaker 1:

Yes, suddenly it got over it that you have a flat tire that you then choose to stop and change in the tunnel when you hear zombies running at you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, very upsetting. I would have driven all the fucking way to Manchester on a steel rim.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's what you said in the moment we were watching it. It's like it is tense.

Speaker 2:

I've driven further than that on a steel rim, without zombies chasing me. Just because I'm like I don't want to change a tire here.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I guess that's fair, but I really just think it was one of those choices. That was clearly for the drama of the movie, but it took me out of my suspended disbelief because I was like this is such a set of stupid decisions. And then to add on top of that, jimmy, as they're driving away because they miraculously get the wheel on time back on on time it's like has his whole torso out the window and is going woohoo as they're driving away from the zombies, I just it's like a very unbelievable scene.

Speaker 2:

I think everybody saw the Jimmy hanging out of the car and everybody was like get in the car, asshole. That's everybody watching the movie. Every single person watching that movie thought Jimmy, you're an asshole, get in the car.

Speaker 1:

Especially on the inside. It was a stupid idea.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and like let's back up a bit, because the whole like driving over a pile of wrecked cars is the dumbest fucking thing I could imagine doing. It's literally impossible. From a person who, literally earlier that day, was saying I can't leave the city on my own because if something were to happen, hannah would be stuck on her own and I couldn't. I wouldn't want to have that happen. My character was saying I'm going at this from the angle of caution exercised zero fucking caution and turning this fucking black cab into a goddamn monster truck. It's the dumbest shit I've ever seen and I would. I would have, I would have, I would have shot him.

Speaker 1:

I would have shot him yeah.

Speaker 2:

After we got a tunnel. I'd be like Frank I'm shooting you. You're gonna die anyways. You just don't know. I wouldn't kill him, I just shoot him. I shoot him in the foot and I'd be like Frank, you're not driving.

Speaker 1:

You're losing points. For me, as a potential zombie survival crew member of mine, I don't want you to shoot anybody in the foot, but also we would never. My point is that, like why it's stupid is that nobody would ever make this decision if there's an alternative. If there's no alternative, fine, but in a world where there is an alternative, what the fuck are you doing?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, also, I want to point out another thing that's not on our list that involves Frank, and that's that when they stop to camp for the night, everybody takes a valiant, they go to sleep and have a nice restful sleep, leaving Frank to be the only person that has to stay up all night and wash over them.

Speaker 2:

He's got to drive, he's the person driving the car. And not only that and this is my fan theory right here is that when they get to the blockade and they all get out of the car, frank is a little upset because there's no soldiers there. Why is he upset? Because he's grumpy, because he hasn't slept any. And he gets there and he starts huffing and puffing. He's like I'm going to go check over here. And then he sees a crow picking out a corpse and he gets mad at the crow because he's grumpy, because he hasn't had his sleep, because there's no soldiers there. Everything's going bad for Frank and he scares the crow away, gets a drop of blood in his eye Zombie. If they let Frank sleep, none of that would have happened. He would have lived.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, frank would have lived. But if you are sleeping out in the open, take fucking turns. Everybody gets some sleep. I can't even believe that they didn't suggest this.

Speaker 2:

And the driver gets sleep priority. Frank should have been the only person who slept all night, true Frank and Hannah, because Hannah was young, so like I wouldn't trust her to do that, stay awake.

Speaker 1:

I wouldn't trust myself to stay awake. That's the thing, but I mean you should at least try. Can we talk about the choice when they finally escaped all of the zombies and they're living in a cute little farm waiting for some help and they've been seeing some plane flying overhead apparently that they choose to stitch fabric together in a giant set of letters and they pick a long word? There's a universal. I believe it's universal. Actually I don't know, but I would assume that SOS, save Our Souls, is one of those things that, at this point, is pretty universal knowledge, that if you're trying to get attention, you SOS.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, even dot dot, dot, dash dash dot, dot, dot dot.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's. You can do that with rocks. They could have just painted rocks.

Speaker 1:

They could have painted rocks. Instead they made a huge fabric thing that said hello. That is three letters more than they needed. They doubled their letters.

Speaker 2:

It was a little bit of an interesting thing when they were doing the montage before where they rushed Jim to an ER room to do emergency surgery on him.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

They were like these, like these, like fever dream moments. And then there's an image of white letters on a green hillside that said hell.

Speaker 1:

Yeah it was. It was kind of a cool ending. I'll give it that.

Speaker 2:

But and I think they could have made it say help, true, help still one letter too many also like, also hi hi, if you're going for a basic greeting, you could do the one.

Speaker 1:

That's two fucking letters.

Speaker 2:

You know, I think I think it was family guy that did like a play on this where, like I think I think it was actually Peter was doing a cast away thing, like is like cut away jokes, and and he's putting rocks on on the beach and he puts the last s on SOS, but then it zooms out, it pans out and it's like the whole beach is covered in rocks. That spells out this whole message. That says, like, to whom it may concern, I'm stranded on a desert island, you see, but you know enough about me because I could go on and on for days. Anyways, the point of this message is please send help SOS oh, my goodness.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's amazing, dan, I think you've got one more, and I've got one more things that we don't like from this film, so why don't you wrap yours up and then I get to go on the ramp?

Speaker 2:

I really want to go on so you know this is also a weird, a weird trope, the whole, the whole mighty whitey we've talked about mighty whitey Brad Pitt, some mighty whitey is you know from from World War Z, where it's like guys, we need to save the day in this, in this movie, we got to figure out an end to it, so we'll just have a white guy save us and Jim kind of was that at the end. And I feel like this is where the writing kind of plummeted a little bit, where it went from this area where it was like hyper realistic, gritty and like this exploration of loneliness and emotions, to Jim goes from being a hapless idiot who took unnecessary risks and has a kill count of one child to wiping out an entire unit of hardened soldiers using some like deep stride strategic thinking to like, yeah, he's not about it he's climbing around on roofs, he's going full ninja.

Speaker 2:

Like I understand that he is maybe an unconventional thinker, so I give him how, how he like escaped execution from the soldiers where he hid in under a whole bunch of bodies and then they thought that he ran off. So like they, they, they run off after him and then he like goes the other way, jumps over a wall, loses his shoes and he's basically naked in the rain. Like I give him that, like that's like accidental survival luck. Yeah, like anyone can do that, you don't need to be special to do that. But when suddenly you're going against like eight or nine soldiers who are trained to fight and like honestly, sometimes the only reason that he survives is because they're too busy firing at the ceiling, because they can't control the recoil of their weapon yeah, they don't know how to be soldiers, even though they're scared and crying and being like I don't have any bullets, please save me.

Speaker 1:

And it's like who are these guys, and let's add to this that he's I feel like he's like super charged into mighty whitey because of his love of Selena and his desire to be the hero. I don't know, it's just.

Speaker 2:

I agree it's very unrealistic can we talk about the very end, where he's like in shadow and he just killed the toxic masculinity dude, that like that's? Let's not even mention the fact that, while everybody is dying around him because infected zombies are running through this mansion, he's like I gotta grab the woman who I'm still going to threaten all the way up to the bedroom because I just want to really double down on the sexual assault thing that I got going for me. And then he kills that guy by gouging his eyeballs out, which is cool, it was gross. But then he stands in the darkness, says nothing to Selena, selena's got her machete and then he runs at her yeah, that doesn't make a lot of sense.

Speaker 1:

And then when? She sees them, she holds back and doesn't kill him even though she had clearly not held back in the future and and he and he's, and he says the corneous fucking thing.

Speaker 2:

That's more than a heart, more than a heartbeat, which is the name of the song that is playing at the time. More than a heartbeat, but because she said that she would kill him in a heartbeat, and it's just like. This is not the time to play coy, this is not the time to prank somebody.

Speaker 1:

You know what you just gouge somebody's eyes out, you know it comes. Here's where I give credit to zombie land.

Speaker 2:

This is where I give credit to zombie land, because in zombie land, bill Murray tries to prank what's his face, the main character, by sneaking up on him in a movie theater and pretending that he's a zombie. And and Jesse Eisenberg spins around, sees zombie Bill Murray who he did not know was alive and shoots him, blows his fucking organs out of the back of his body yeah and kills him and yeah, like like that. That needed to happen in this movie, where Jim is the biggest fucking idiot by just pranking Selena, I guess so you're saying we're in a more satisfying ending of Jim died?

Speaker 2:

yeah, selena's hands or if you just like was, like, hey, I'm a lot, don't, don't kill me, cuz I'm alive, I'm real, I'm not a zombie yeah, something realistic, but they want the effect and just fucking. It's bad writing, it's just bad. It's true.

Speaker 1:

Let's you know, we got a West 28 weeks later and then eventually 28 years later to see if the writing improves. But can I please cap out this things we hate about the movie. One more thing, we. One more thing which occurred to me right before we went to record this. So one of my bestest friends in the whole world loves silly and Murphy, who is the person who plays Jimmy. For those who don't know, she's obsessed with him. She's told me many times that she has sex dreams about him. Okay, that's why I'm not naming her name. She fucking loves this guy, talks about him endlessly, and so I texted her and said, hey, would you watch 28 years or 28 days later? Because guess whose penis is in it? Silly and Murphy. And she laughed and said she would not watch it even if his penis was in it. That's how much she doesn't like zombie apocalypse stuff and why I know that 33 or 34 episodes in now she still has. No, I don't think she ever will if silly and Murphy's dick won't, won't bring her to the end.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's, there's no there's no hope for us to listen to our podcast yeah, I have one more thing that I hate about this movie okay, we love and I think that you'll agree with me, because we previously mentioned how we love how Selena is a super badass that earns the respect of the viewer every step of the way. Yeah, but as soon as they decided to go the mighty whitey route and and make the whole movie about sexual assault, suddenly she needs to be saved by Jim of course, because she's only as badass as the white guy next to her yeah, and and I think that really did a huge disservice to her character, because her character was badass especially at the end when things were going haywire.

Speaker 2:

She could have easily spun that situation around and saved herself, while while Jim was also battling the other people. This could have been a to versus everyone situation and they could just meet in the middle and be like, hey, I guess we killed everyone that would have been a really cool alternative ending.

Speaker 1:

I like that. Hannah was too fucked up on Valium, so that's fine yeah, I enjoyed Hannah on Valium. She did a great job acting.

Speaker 2:

Hannah did a had a really good moment, a really good survival moment, where where a zombie came into the room that she was in and she had behind a mirror oh yeah, that's right and she pulled her feet up and the and and the zombie was like looking directly at the mirror, like trying to figure out like what was going on with it, because he could I guess he couldn't recognize his own reflection. He was confused by it. It wasn't until, like she almost got had, until somebody like made noise and he ran out of the room yeah, I think Hannah is a an unappreciated badass in this movie.

Speaker 1:

One, she points out that it's important to have community. And two, she does a good job of surviving when she needs to. And three, her spiel to the soldiers when she was on Valium was excellent. Oh yeah, worth listening to, just cuz she was like she didn't give a shit.

Speaker 2:

So she's just saying whatever and freaking in the fuck out she's like I, they're not, they're not coming back, they're dead, yeah, and they're like what happens if the officer dies? Do you guys become the officer in charge? Is that how it works?

Speaker 1:

yeah, and that is like really upset them for some reason. Let's talk about the racist, sexist, capitalist, colonial, ableist misogyny of the living dead. Yeah, let's talk about that. So, in short I think you've already said it this film is still a bit of a mighty whitey film, even though it does have two interesting female characters in it, and so we're gonna go through our usual tests again. I want to point out that all of these tests are the basement for of equitable representation and not in any way actually that great.

Speaker 1:

It just means that there's like people that are not white dudes they did the bare minimum yeah, that are sort of depicted as people in the film. So Bechtel test. So the Bechtel test, as a reminder, is basically evaluating representation of women in fiction and to pass it you have to have two women, who are named, talking to each other about something other than a man, which does happen twice, but very briefly. Very briefly. What are the two times that they talk to each other, dan?

Speaker 2:

the first time is when Hannah and Selena are talking in the grocery store about chocolate.

Speaker 1:

I mean of course women talk about chocolate. Were they about to get their period?

Speaker 2:

I think so. They were probably getting feminine supplies and eating chocolate that's what we do and also when Selena and Hannah are going to take Valium before being sexually assaulted. But I would argue that this might have been a discussion about a man, because they were talking about the men who are about to sexually assault them that is true.

Speaker 1:

They were preparing for sexual assault from dudes yeah, so does that count as feminism? Definitely not, definitely not, although I will say it's bleak realism in the sense of like. Sometimes all you, all you can do to survive is to just like, leave your body temporarily is a really sad truth. I want to know, dan, how realistic do you think it is that men in the military, under extreme circumstances, would hatch a plan to capture and rape women?

Speaker 2:

I think it would be unrealistic, but only a little bit. I think that people that join the military have a weird sense of justice, like they join because they believe in this version of justice. They believe that they are the protectors. So I think it'd be more likely that they would want to save women but then would, depending on their level of toxic masculinity, would then believe that maybe they were owed sexual favors and return for the safety that they provide that makes sense, you know, as I was asking you that, I mean, maybe that's the case.

Speaker 1:

But also then I start thinking about how many wars there have been and are currently ongoing where sexual assault is used as a weapon of war. Yeah, by men, I think depends on the army unfortunately, it's more common than what. I would like to believe it, but at the same time still don't think it was necessary in this film there aren't a lot of armies that use it as a weapon yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So like I feel like for 2003 there's two women out of like I don't know four main characters yeah five main characters all right, but they were also basically still very much props of masculine ideas around what it means to be a woman Like. One is the daughter. One eventually becomes the girlfriend because he falls in love with Selena. And they don't really have a ton of purpose outside of playing those roles of like their purpose for men, including the explicit purpose of men for men to sexually assault.

Speaker 2:

Oh my God, this is an. Enemies become lovers. Oh my God, it is.

Speaker 1:

It is. Let's talk about the race test, which I recently learned is called the DuVernay test. This one was an epic fail and I'm particularly irritated by it. I will give this, this movie, one win, which is that it has an interracial love story, which I think was probably relatively rare in 2003.

Speaker 2:

Also a black female main character? Yes, how would you define the DuVernay test?

Speaker 1:

All of these tests are very similar, so basically you need to have at least two characters of color. Can be any race that's not white, because we live in a false dichotomy invented by white people who decided that they were white one day and called everybody else something else Sort of that sidebar who have to talk to each other or something other than white people and have like names and be meaningfully represented and not just present to push a white character's story forward, which is why this epically fails.

Speaker 2:

There are Selena definitely pushes Jim's yes.

Speaker 1:

She's also the only meaningful character of color. She's a black woman. There is a black man who is a zombie, who's chained up, which also feels like a very overt metaphor for slavery, because they're testing on slavery and just racism in general, because they're using him as a test subject to see how long it takes for him to starve, which, like, really gave me Tuskegee vibes. And if you don't know about the Tuskegee studies and other ways that black people have been utilized and abused for scientific experiments, google it. I'm not going to take time to describe that to you here, but my point is is that was like a choice that I don't think needed to be made, that it had to be a black man that was in chains, but yeah, that's true.

Speaker 1:

She's really it and she's really there to push the story forward for Jim.

Speaker 2:

There's another black soldier, but he doesn't talk too much, except for at the end. He's the soldier that doesn't have any bullets and is just kind of like cowering in a room when Jim runs through and Jim leaves him behind and gets eaten.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and here's what really bothers me about this is I was like my understanding of London, which is where most of this film is set, in the beginning. London, united Kingdom, is a very diverse place, very, very, very diverse. So I looked it up 63.2% of residents in 2021 identified as an ethnic minority in London. So, ok, we can maybe assume that's a little bit less in 2003. I don't know, I couldn't find statistics, but let's say it's at least like 30, 40%. To have only one main character, that's black, is wildly misrepresentative of what actually it would be like in the UK and in London particularly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, or at least you're going to have a character that's Muslim, a character that's Asian. Yeah, like it's not all. It's not. It's not specifically that it's 63% black and no ethnic minority but it's.

Speaker 1:

There's going to be more diversity which let's talk about how weird the concept of minority is when it's 63.2% of residents. It shows you that the term minority is all about power and access to power and power over, than it is about the number of people. Yeah, it's a ridiculous thing. So, ok, it's 2003. I don't ever want to make an excuse for a film, just because it's old, that it doesn't do a basic job of representing the society that it's supposedly trying to talk about. So yeah, the really massive fail on the race test.

Speaker 2:

But also because of its age. It's better than a large portion of everything that was out there. It's a little weird, yeah, but it's like it's the best example we have, but it still sucks the worst.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, I don't know, I don't know a ton, I can't be like. These are all the films I watched in 2003. So I can't really compare them. Shaun of the Dead White people.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, donna, the Dead White people.

Speaker 1:

Wait, no, donna, the Dead was also 2003. I thought it was a little later. Oh, it was 2004. That was a better one. Yeah, actually, you know what? It was only a year later. It was way better than this. Yeah, way better.

Speaker 2:

It was also in the US too.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it doesn't matter. Like what? The heck UK? I know there's some UK folks on here. Come on now. Yeah, come on now. I'm blaming you for the failure of 28 days later we're blaming you for colonialism. I mean, it's true, even though I'm basically one of you ancestrally, so I'm not sure how much I can blame you.

Speaker 2:

I have to look at myself in the mirror for that Are like one UK listener is just like how long am I going to have to take the slings and arrows of colonialism?

Speaker 1:

For as long as you still bear the benefits. Sorry, I do too. That's what it means to be somebody with white privilege.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, we're assuming too, because it's 63%.

Speaker 1:

That's true. Oh my God. What if we're assuming that we're we are?

Speaker 2:

doing the. Thing.

Speaker 1:

We are assuming that the people from the UK that are listening are white, wow.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, how does that make you?

Speaker 1:

feel, leah, like I have white supremacy internalized inside of me that I'm constantly trying to get a hold of.

Speaker 2:

I knowed you because I wasn't the one who said it. It's true.

Speaker 1:

The other day I had a doctor. I went with a new doctor and I absolutely thought that it was a man. And then it's not a man and I was just like I cannot believe this that after all of the years that I have been trying to like un-indulterate myself but I'm still fucking indoctrinated. It's exhausting and really annoying, but worth still trying to not be an asshole. So I'm just going to keep trying.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, see you're doing our best, you're putting me on air epically failing. Yeah, I'll edit it so that you sound better.

Speaker 1:

No, don't Just leave it in. Let people know that I'm real and I mess up.

Speaker 2:

So if Leah still sounds offensive, just know that I edit it in a way that she sounds 90% less offensive.

Speaker 1:

Fine, you know what? Fine, but thank you for calling me out on that Dan Vito Russo test. What is the test of a representation of LGBT plus characters? Sorry, I like to put a French accent on that. I like that LGBTQ plus characters.

Speaker 2:

I think the community should adopt that.

Speaker 1:

LGBT? I don't know, I just do it because of my Frenchness as a Canadian.

Speaker 2:

I mean, this is the Vito Russo test. That sounds very French.

Speaker 1:

I mean maybe, or maybe Italian, french Vito, maybe, who knows? Again, we're making assumptions about identities that we shouldn't. What? I do know is that they're queer. I'm not sure exactly who Vito Russo is.

Speaker 1:

I did read a little bit about it. I think he was like a queer rights activist actually. But basically you have to have a character in the film who is not predominantly defined by their sexual orientation or gender identity and they have to tie into the plot in a way such that their removal would have a significant effect. I think it's obvious that this fails. I'm not even sure that almost anywhere in the United States or Canada had same-sex marriage legalized at this point. There's certainly very little representation. This was the timeline where Ellen DeGeneres was maybe doing a little bit better, but still highly controversial.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I remember Ellen DeGeneres in the 90s when she came out. That was a huge thing. It was In 2002, 2003,. I don't think it was very much better. No, in the US we were coming very close to, if not already, george Bush denouncing gay marriage.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the Devenson Marriage Act was actually signed into law by Bill Clinton in the mid-90s. Oh really yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, fuck.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, anybody who tells you the Democrats are the better ones, slightly.

Speaker 2:

Are you telling me that Bill Clinton is not the gold standard of moral integrity? Unfortunately, no, weird no, all right. Well, so there's no representation at all in this movement. No, and honestly, most don't have any so far, that's true, especially around this era. Especially around this era, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And then, last but not least, I remember we were talking about, there's got to be a test around representation of disabled people on the media, and there is, it's called the fries test.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I love fries.

Speaker 1:

I feel like the only way that this could count is not a fail of the fries test. If you extrapolate yourself that Jim has to have a TBI, meaning a traumatic brain injury, because he was in a coma anti-SVTSD, that's true and, like both of those would be considered disabilities, but I feel like that's a real stretch to say that it passes.

Speaker 2:

Considering he came out of a coma, he should have had a far greater, greater sense of greater physical disability walking around London on his first day. Don't most people coming out of comas need months of physical?

Speaker 1:

rehabilitation, Physical therapy. If they've been out for that long, I can say for myself, as someone who is not walking very much, that my ability to do anything is so much less than it was when I could walk. Just walking out the stairs I'm out of breath and I'm like what is this? I've never had this. So yeah, but to just describe this test, since the first time that we are using it, it evaluates media representation of people with disabilities by checking for one characters with disabilities portrayed as complex individuals beyond their disabilities, and two narratives that are not solely about overcoming disability and three, ideally, actors with disabilities playing these roles to ensure authentic representation.

Speaker 1:

So I don't think we've seen that in anything we've reviewed so far, I feel like it's just going to be a consistent fail on the fries test, but maybe some writers on this podcast that listened to us slash our co-hosts could change that in their presentation.

Speaker 2:

You know our wheelchair episode. What was that episode? I forget what it's called the Disabilities episode that we did a few episodes back. That's one of the ones that I would like to revisit the most, because I really want to discover the experience of what it's like for somebody in a wheelchair specifically to navigate the zombie apocalypse. But I'd also like to know about people who are blind or deaf, who have to navigate these worlds Like. What would that be like?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's a really good point. We had some close friends of ours over who, I believe, are moving to Vermont to co-prepare for the end of the world with us. If you're listening, I'm so excited you're coming. But they were talking about in their job. Part of it was understanding accessibility of websites government websites and what they learned was that most government websites don't have these things called screen readers, which makes it possible for somebody who is blind to understand what is on the page and interact with government services. And I was like holy shit, like I would never have thought about that. And this is why things like having descriptions of your images in Instagram or anywhere where you're having a picture, you should describe the picture, because otherwise somebody who's using a screen reader will never understand what is going. That's completely inaccessible to them. So there's so many blind spots which I'm also starting to wonder. Is the term blind spot offensive? Have?

Speaker 2:

I just said an offensive thing.

Speaker 1:

Probably. There's so many things in our culture that are ableist that I feel like I'm just starting to unpack it now and, frankly, selfishly, because I am disabled.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm trying my best not to be ableist, but it is like this area that's kind of like a new idea for me. I'm sure it's not a new idea for people who are dealing with disabilities, but you know, we've had all the isms up to this point and like ableism it's just like the rest of the words in our English language are the ableist ones.

Speaker 1:

Pretty much. I mean the English language I have discovered is full of really discriminatory terms and violent metaphors. We love a violent metaphor in English, love it, which just shows you what our cultural history is of English, which is war, war and domination and colonialism, imperialism, all those things, oh and toxic masculinity. Yeah, I mean, they definitely. How can you have war without toxic masculinity? You can't. But yeah, I think that these are things that are interesting to learn. Let's talk about whether or not you could do it better.

Speaker 2:

Oh, could we do it better. Oh, the tunnel scene especially. We would take the bridge. Yeah, the bridge was an option we would take the bridge. You know, the tunnel scene would have been so much more acceptable if they said bridge is out, yes, can't go the bridge. Why?

Speaker 1:

This is the only way for Jimmy to be like. This is really stupid. And then still have them do it. Yeah, they could have made it the only option.

Speaker 2:

I do. I do love what Jimmy says before they go in. He's like no, this is a shit idea. And it's a shit idea because it's the. It's obviously a shit idea.

Speaker 1:

And they're like let's do it anyway. It was odd, Gotta get it done. There's no way around it it was like there is, it's called the bridge. The other thing we know we could do better is sleeping in shifts. I'm trying to do this. Anything else that we could do I would have slept in a fucking farmhouse.

Speaker 2:

Maybe they didn't want to go inside, because you don't have to kill somebody. Yeah, the zombies might be in there. I guess they go inside, so maybe they are safer outside.

Speaker 1:

You know what else I could do better. I think this is probably a privilege of having watched so much zombie films at this point, but I think I would not have immediately trusted any group that is saying they're here to save us. I mean, we have seen this. Yeah, this has now become a trope, like with the walking dead and the cannibals and walking dead I forget they were called oh and terminus. So many examples of where you think these people are good and they're going to save you and they're actually evil. I think you should always stake them out and watch them first and see what's going on, although I say that I don't think they'd be able to know that they were bad, actually, until they interacted with them. But at least get a sense of their MO.

Speaker 2:

They found a lot of food. I think that they had the right idea at the end of the movie let's go find the cottage in Wales. I would have kept driving right straight past Manchester, which was on fire. I didn't know that every time I watched this movie before. I never saw that because the visual effects are so muddy and hard to understand that, like when they pull up to the sign that says you're in Manchester, in the far distance you see fireballs because the city's on fire. Yeah, and that's the reason why all the zombies are causing disruptions at the mansion that they go to with the soldiers.

Speaker 1:

I mean honestly. I think another thing that could do better was when I got to the grocery store and I realized there was literally no one in it. I would have boarded that shit up and lived there.

Speaker 2:

Why leave? It's not a bad idea, but I think they really wanted to leave the city and I don't think that that's a bad idea.

Speaker 1:

It was basically empty, except for nighttime. Yeah, when the zombies come out.

Speaker 2:

But you see how like, how adamant the zombies were to get inside, like they were just running through glass windows and stuff. If they knew that they were in there they would have been a bad situation. But they could have gone back, they could have made multiple runs, they could have found a nice place in the countryside holed up, inside of a little farmhouse.

Speaker 1:

But they had to go back to the tunnel down because they were dumb and they just kept doing it. No, it was on the other side of the tunnel, it was on the other side of the tunnel.

Speaker 2:

Oh my God. They left their apartment, went through the tunnel and then on the other side. They went to the grocery store.

Speaker 1:

I love your memory for detail, since I don't have any.

Speaker 2:

I always remembered it the other way and I was like when we got to the tunnel scene, when we were watching it, this time I'm like, did they cut the grocery store scene? Because I don't remember the grocery store scene. I thought it happened before and it didn't. It was after.

Speaker 1:

Well, I still live at the grocery store. Yeah, I would do a study of how long those apples stayed shelf stable, because it's a little disturbing. So we've got three survival tips we're going to round up before we give our zeds the first one, I'm just going to read them. They're real simple. The first one if you're infected or somebody you love is infected, get it over with. Don't draw it out, just kill them or kill yourself.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, just do it. I think that's a good tip. Mark tried to put up his arms to defend himself. Don't even bother, because Mark had to live with having his arms severed before he got split open.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, just accept your fate, especially if it's a fast virus like this. On that note, don't get blood in your eyes. Don't get blood in your eyes. Yeah, you're going to be a zombie. Where are goggles? Yeah, that's a great. I mean, goggles are cool. Steampunk hello.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, where are goggles?

Speaker 1:

Yep. And then, last but not least, listen to more experienced survivors and they tell you not to do something.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like Selena, every time Jim did something stupid.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, until he became Mighty Whitey at the end.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, until he somehow had superpowers.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It was able to take out an entire squad of soldiers by himself.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so Dan how many Zeds would you give this?

Speaker 2:

Oh boy, you know what? We're dividing this up into our two experiences when we first watched it in 2003 and when we watched it in 2024. Got it In 2003,. I'll give it a nine because of that third act being hard to believe. Even back then I was like I don't know about this Jim character taking out this entire squad of soldiers.

Speaker 1:

This is unrealistic.

Speaker 2:

I don't know where this came from. It doesn't seem like he earned it, so one Zed word off or that shitty ending.

Speaker 1:

Okay, let me share my 2003 and then we'll do 2004. I would say I am less critical than you in 2003 because I am 18 or 19 years old, 18. Yeah, no, hot, yeah, ew. My point is in 2003, I would have given it a 10. I love this movie. I thought it was amazing. I had no critical thoughts about it whatsoever. I was terrified. I wanted more. I was so excited when I heard 28 weeks later was going to be a thing. But 2024, what would you give it?

Speaker 2:

I'd give it an eight Eight still great, but showing its age and could use an update. I did some alliteration there.

Speaker 1:

You did. I'm very proud of you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's my haiku. It's a good rhyme.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'd give it a seven because of the sexual assault piece, the lack of representation, the very weird artistic choices, the lack of a better term all the things we talked about why it was bad. I think that it was. It was like nostalgically enjoyable, but I will literally never watch that film again.

Speaker 2:

Really.

Speaker 1:

Even though I'm still glad the librarian is saving it for history purposes, I don't ever want to watch it again.

Speaker 2:

No, I want to watch it again.

Speaker 1:

You can do that.

Speaker 2:

Okay, on your own I will.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I'll watch Love is Blind. You watched 28 Days Later. It's like taste measurer here. Okay, I watch crap television. I just don't want to watch this again. Yeah, and as for my attention span test, I'll give it an eight or a nine. It did still keep my attention for the whole film, mostly because fast zombies are always scary.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and you know I will say that, like, I very much enjoyed like two thirds of this movie and the last act is where it really loses me the sexual assault, the unbelievable, mighty, mighty situation at the end. While I'm like it's, you know, whatever it happened and it was 2003. We were all young and we didn't know any better. But you know, two thirds of this movie I am 100%, fully on board for and I just kind of I now wish that they'd put more thought into the ending.

Speaker 1:

I mean, that's 41 year old Dan. I'm not sure if 19 year old Dan have that level of thoughtfulness. Well, folks, we did it. We got 28 days later done. We watched it. Thank you, liz the librarian. We appreciate you and if you have a copy, don't scratch it. Yeah, that's the moral of this story. It still has historical value.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, these things actually might become rare.

Speaker 1:

They might have some value one day. Oddly enough, I don't know. So next week we have the one, the only Sylvester Barzee in the house.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we already recorded it. We did so. Technically it was last week, but for you it's next week.

Speaker 1:

Do I get to be a voiceover artist with that intro now?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that was really great.

Speaker 1:

Could I do like a WWE, like MC job?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

In the left corner.

Speaker 2:

This is morally boxing. Are you going to tell them to get ready to rumble?

Speaker 1:

Get ready to rumble Sylvester Barzee's in the house.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we're talking to Sylvester Barzee, the one and only. We're going to do things a little bit differently than we've done previous books. Everything's different, because before we were like talking about books that were like New York Times bestsellers, and this time we're talking to somebody who's an indie author. Yeah, so we talked to him and it's a good episode. He'll tell you all about his book.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I feel like that almost sounds like a burn, like not a New York Times bestseller. But Sylvester Barzee is a bestseller and incredibly successful as an indie author, I think and has a great series of books. Planet Dead is the very first book he ever wrote, which was really cool, yeah To read it and enjoy it so much. And it made me really excited to read the book that just came out called Youngblood, which is a zombie and vampire mashup. So very excited to read that.

Speaker 2:

I didn't know. I actually didn't know that there were zombies in it until we talked to him.

Speaker 1:

I know, but now we know so we can read it. Anyhow, it was a really lovely conversation, so definitely check that one out and go ahead and check out his books, if you haven't already. But like, really we've been talking about this for 10 weeks now, so what have you been doing?

Speaker 1:

Where have you been yeah, and again, we interview people, we talk to people we like, we read books, we want to and, frankly, when we started reading this book, we had no idea we'd get the chance to talk to him. So it's a dream come true. It was one of my goals for 2024 was to talk to the investor and we did it. I hope he's now. He's our friend.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, he made time for us. He's a busy guy.

Speaker 1:

He is. It was a lovely conversation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, don't forget to call into our burner phone. We have a burner phone like we deal drugs in the 90s.

Speaker 1:

Zombie drugs.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, come get your zombie drugs. We got all seven. Yeah, call us, give us a survival story. We want to talk about survival stories. So if you give us your survival story, we might talk about it if it's a good one. But also give us your best evil, magic, chicken, zombie clock. We've, we are collecting clocks. We're trying to get 100.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we've got not 10 so far. So I only need 90 more.

Speaker 2:

I only need 90 more, but we're giving a t-shirt away to the best clucker.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we might do a couple of competitions because Dan told me that people might not have the attention span to make it through 100 clocks. But I believe you're better than that. I do, listeners. I think you have an attention span, even though it's 2024.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we still got to finish that shirt too.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yes, we also need to make a t-shirt.

Speaker 2:

Look, what we have so far is amazing.

Speaker 1:

So this is our hobby, y'all.

Speaker 2:

But the the phone number it's. It's in our description, but it's also 614-699-0006. And you can leave a message up to three minutes long, or you can email us at zombiebookclubpodcasts at gmailcom.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, either one. You could also actually like try and write out what you think a zombie chicken clock should sound like and we'll read it on there.

Speaker 2:

You can send us an email that just says clock.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, mother cluckers. So don't forget to subscribe, rate review, do all those things. It helps us spread the virus.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it helps us grow. It really does it's. The only way we can grow is if people like what we do.

Speaker 1:

And, like a virus, we want to grow.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we want to get inside your ear holes and manifest in there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I just want to say one more note before we finally end this episode, which is that this episode to create was probably the most grueling one we've ever made.

Speaker 2:

There was so many interruptions from our doggy in Europe.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I feel like actually I should make an intro before this, like at the beginning, to explain this to our listeners of what they're about to experience, and maybe they just I, just this was I hope it's good.

Speaker 2:

I don't think they'll ever know, but you know, what we should do is at the end editing at the end I'll I'll just include a whole bunch of our outtakes. We try. This episode took two days to record.

Speaker 1:

Yes, multiple attempts, because our dog, nero, has officially decided he doesn't like us making this podcast because we're not paying attention to him for one hour.

Speaker 2:

It's the only time he ever barks. Like he really doesn't bark any other time unless there's somebody at the door, but like he just he just started going off, Yep it was, it was, it was tough, but we did it, so I hope that's so mad at him and I feel bad about it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this is why we don't have human children.

Speaker 2:

We're just trying to do our best with dogs.

Speaker 1:

Anyhow, please forgive us. I'm limping Nero on my racist and sexist ways that I shared in this Nero podcast. Yeah, it's Nero's fault, although I think that me. That's me being speciesist. So we're just going to end it on. I'm an imperfect human and we're imperfect podcasters, but we hope you still love us because we love you. See you later. Have a great day.

Speaker 2:

Have a good night. Thanks for listening.

Speaker 1:

Take some valium and have a lovely sleep.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the end is real fucking night. It is Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye.

Speaker 1:

Grunning in the background. Who escaped?

Speaker 2:

He escaped containment.

Speaker 1:

Oh no, he figured it out too.

Speaker 2:

Wow yeah, he gets thirsty yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I'm we.

Speaker 2:

Nero, nero stop.

Speaker 1:

The only book club that involves throwing treats at dogs into the living room and is arguably one of the most popular zombie movies of all time. Nero, I think we have to put them away. Give them dentists six and put them in my office. Oh my God, today we are talking about 28 days later, which makes this Tuesday up.

Speaker 2:

What is with him? It's like he wants to fuck this up. Yes, nero, stop.

Speaker 1:

That won't make him stop.

Speaker 2:

Stop barking.

Speaker 1:

Like, are we just not doing this tonight?

Speaker 2:

But I forgot what I was talking about. It seemed like a very short-sighted way to Nero. You know what I think? Nero, can you go lay down?

Speaker 1:

Go lay down Nero.

Speaker 2:

Nero lay down.

Speaker 1:

Lay down. Nero Go lay down.

Speaker 2:

Oh, what a good boy.

28 Days Later
Debate on Zombie Classifications and Themes
Themes of Mental Health and Survival
Depiction of Trauma in Media
Survival and Humanity in Film
Appreciating the Realism in Zombie Movies
Critique of Movie Decisions
Critique of Film's Ending and Tropes
Critique of 28 Days Later
Evaluating Representation of Women in Fiction
Representation in 28 Days Later
Media Representation and Disability Exploration
Survival Tips and Movie Review
Chaos During Movie Discussion With Dog