Tag Archives: zombies

World War Z – Not a Review

I saw World War Z on Saturday night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. But, I have done way too much writing today to feel like putting together a proper review, so the following is really just me jotting down some meandering thoughts.

Before I get to the sort of thing that might be considered spoiler-y, if you are trying to decide whether you should go see it here is my simple answer. Yes. Expanded a little? It’s a very well put together, action packed movie and if you are looking for 116min of escapism (plus the usual drawn out “pre movie entertainment package” – which in fairness has a trailer for Man of Steel that knocked my socks off) then this is money well spent.

But, if you are going expecting even a loose adaptation of the book, you will be disappointed. There really is very little of the novel in the movie.I spotted a few references here and there, but you would definitely say it is “inspired by” not “based on” the book..However, I loved the book (I have read it multiple times and it is one of the reasons I fell in love with the zombie genre), and I managed to see past that to really enjoy this film – and if I can, most people should be able to.

It’s a very well put together and polished movie, with a great atmosphere to it, and some stunning action sequences. The dialogue is brisk, there are some nice emotional moments and the supporting cast do a wonderful job. So, I feel I got way more than my money’s worth and I am more than happy to say – go see it. But, if you haven’t – read the book!



  • I am not sure that I am sold on the idea of fast zombies. I really can’t imagine anyone surviving more than 5min in a world of zombies that move this fast!
  • In my panel at Continuum we were using this as proof that zombies have gone mainstream, and after seeing it I am even more convinced. Aside from the fact that Brad Pitt is in it, it makes no apologies for being the movie it is. There is no deliberate B-grade movie apologism, or tongue in cheek poking fun at the genre or self referential humour.. They are treated as seriously as any other threat in any other Hollywood blockbuster.
  • And, really, it is a standard Hollywood disaster movie. For tornadoes, or a super virus, or volcanoes, or a new Ice Age, they have just inserted zombies. It’s not a “zombie movie” in the same way that “Day of the Dead” or “Zombieland” or even “Shaun of the Dead” are.
  • It’s interesting that they don’t try and explain the cause beyond it being Mother Nature striking back.
  • I choose to believe that it is Torchwood that Brad Pitt ends up at in Cardiff, and they play a major part in saving the world.
  • When he is trying to work out what killer bug to inject himself with and can’t communicate with the control room, why doesn’t he write “Two shakes of the camera for yes, three for no” instead of “Tell my family I love them”? Seemed obvious to me. He is lucky he didn’t end up giving everyone Ebola.
  • The level of gore is extremely subdued, especially if you compare it to “The Walking Dead”. There is excellent and gruesome make-up, and lots of things jumping out to scare the crap out of you in your seat, but I don’t think there was any intestines being feasted on or the like.
  • The thing that I find hardest to believe is that a UN official would have any say on board an American military craft. PItt’s boss seems to be treated with much more respect!


Just a reminder that truth is always stranger and that Nature is capable of horror far beyond our imagination.

The oldest evidence of a fungus that turns ants into zombies and makes them stagger to their death has been uncovered by scientists.

The gruesome hallmark of the fungus’s handiwork was found on the leaves of plants that grew in Messel, near Darmstadt in Germany, 48m years ago.

The finding shows that parasitic fungi evolved the ability to control the creatures they infect in the distant past, even before the rise of the Himalayas.

Doesn’t this sound like a great plot for a novel?

The fungus, which is alive and well in forests today, latches on to carpenter ants as they cross the forest floor before returning to their nests high in the canopy.

The fungus grows inside the ants and releases chemicals that affect their behaviour. Some ants leave the colony and wander off to find fresh leaves on their own, while others fall from their tree-top havens on to leaves nearer the ground.

The final stage of the parasitic death sentence is the most macabre. In their last hours, infected ants move towards the underside of the leaf they are on and lock their mandibles in a “death grip” around the central vein, immobilising themselves and locking the fungus in position.


EX-HEROES – by Peter Clines

When I read the blurb for this book and saw it was super heroes vs zombies, I have to admit that I didn’t expect much in terms of quality. I thought I would read the sample chapter and then forget about it. Never have I been happier to be proven wrong. Not only did I buy the full copy and devour it, I have read again since and it is one of my favourite books.

Most zombie novels tend to dwell on the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse and with the day to day life of those who survived, but the author cleverly uses flashback chapters to illustrate the extent of upheaval of society, without letting it bog down the main story. It also fleshes out the characters, so instead of two dimensional comic book heroes you get a real sense of personality and of strengths and flaws.

While the heroes do echo some of the more famous ones you would have been brought up on they are not just fascimiles slightly modified to avoid copyright infringement. They are cleverly constructed and would be worth a comic book of their own.

There is definitely no shortage of action, and not just fights with standard zombies, it is more than just a splatter fest. You really get a sense of their rising despair as the heroes fought to stop the zombie plague and save the world, their regrets at failing, the cost to them as heroes and as people. But, you also will end filled with what super heroes are all about, hope.

I will be going into this further in a future post, but there is one speech which really shows that the author understands what a hero is, and what they symbolise.

The book features some clever twists in the plot, the origin of the virus for one, and some bits that will make you laugh and some that nearly made me cry.

If you love super heroes and zombie novels and well written books…buy this book. I really want to read more set in this world, so hopefully there will be a sequel soon forthcoming.

The author, Peter Clines, also has an excellent blog on writing that is well worth checking out.