The Walking Dead head zombie killer, Frank Darabont, reportedly just fired all of the show’s writers. But you know who deserves to get raises? His effects crew: Even when the show’s dialogue seemed a little inhuman, these gore artists tirelessly and inventively brought us endless variations on spilled guts, head-splitting crack-ups, flesh-devouring bites, and the show’s very own version of Lady Gaga’s meat dress. Whether the violence was human-on-zombie, zombie-on-human, or human-on-human, and whether inflicted by ax, arrow, teeth, gun, or fist, it raised the stakes on gruesome TV murders in a way that has to make the guys over at CSI HQ jealous. With the first season of Walking Dead ending Sunday night — and our lunches safely digested — we thought it was time for a comprehensive look back at our favorite bone-crunching, flesh-eating moments.
Why take all the time to brew up some southern Brunswick stew when you can join the raw foodies? Think about this the next time you eat steak tartare with a fork.
Darryl’s brother Merle is a despicable redneck bigot. But Darryl is a lovable redneck. What’s the difference? Darryl shoots crossbow arrows with the unerring accuracy of pointy-eared Legolas Greenleaf, and that’s just adorable.
Shane administers his own Scared Straight program for domestic abusers, beating Ed until his face looks like zombie dessert.
Merle didn’t wait a whole 127 hours up on that roof to start sawing off his own body parts, but it was just a hand, not a whole arm. Maybe we’ll get the whole Oscar-caliber story of his hours on the roof in an extra DVD feature.
Wait, is that the old lady
from Drag Me to Hell
supping on tendons? (Stoner question of the day: How would you tell if she’s a zombie or not?)
After a few brief appearances, Morales at least got in a few good swings, and a lot of splatter, before he and his family left the camp and the show.
For a show filled with portents of doom, no characters with a regular role got killed until this zombie stopped by on Amy’s birthday, shortly after her first significant chunk of dialogue. Apparently shoulder meat is the zombie equivalent of cake.
After zombies eat Ed, his abused wife, Carol, takes the opportunity to work out some issues on his chowed face. It’s not just emotionally cathartic; vigorous physical exercise really staves off depression.
This girl, upset that she’ll never be able to see Hannah Montana again, runs after Rick, who shoots her in the forehead. Thankfully, he does not use the opportunity for a one-liner like “You get a timeout,” “Sit on the naughty step,” or “Sleep tight, sweetheart.”
Rick’s dippity deputy was a dummy to whom he had to explain the mechanics of a gun’s safety switch. Too bad this ultimate lesson on firearms was lost on the now-undead deputy.
Taking his inspiration from either Luke Skywalker’s tauntaun sleeping bag or Gaga’s meat dress, Rick and his new pal Glenn chop up zombie guts and hang entrails over their shoulders like scarves to fool the zombies into thinking they’re part of the group. The over-the-top sound effects alone were disgusting. Thankfully, Smell-o-Vision technology is still years away.
When the camouflaging qualities of a guts-draped overcoat start to wear off and the zombies take notice, Rick stops trying to blend in and splits open a zombie’s head. Who wants braaaaiiiinnnns?