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Nightmare Fuel: The Walking Dead
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The worst part in the Apocalypse shown in these comics is this horrible fact: everyone will eventually become a Zombie. The bite isnít needed. If you die, you turn, thatís all. Imagine living with this fear of becoming one these creatures, no matter what. Or watching your loved ones dying and coming back as monsters. The only way out is to get killed twice. Youíll see many characters shooting their dead friends or family to save them from this fate. This simple idea is not only heartbreaking, itís sickening.
While the zombies are bad, theyíre nothing compared to the human antagonists. In this hellish world, the idea that Humans Are the Real Monsters has never been so true.
The Governor. He feeds humans to the zombies. Keeps his zombified daughter as a pet (implying pedophile interactions between the two). Enjoys rape and torture. And this guy rules a city with these principles! The worst part is, unlike most villains, his actions are not justified at all. Heís simply a sadistic murderous psychopath. By himself, he killed more than a third of the protagonists, raped Michonne and amputated Rick's hand.
Thomas Richards. He is in a freaking Zombie world, and what does he do to pass time? Decapitating children!
The Hunters. They casually eat human flesh, even in front of their victims. They went as far to eat their own children! They feel guilty about this, but ignore the guilt. Also, if you think about it, they are realistic villains. In a Post-Apocalyptic world, where food becomes scarce, some people will be weak enough to resort to cannibalism. Yes, they eat humans, in a world where dead monsters eat humans. This makes the Hunters worse than the Zombies, because they choose to be this way.
At one point, a group including Rick and Carl have to make it through a horde of zombies. The hold onto each other's hands and walk through in a straight chain. It goes well at first, then the other child of the group makes too much noise out of fear, and is grabbed by zombies who chow down (while screaming for his mother the entire time). The mother tries to pull him out, but only gets set on herself. She is still holding onto Carl and begs Rick to not leave them, but Carl is about to be grabbed next, so Rick has to cut off her hand at the wrist with a hatchet. As Rick and Carl run, we can see the jutting stump of her arm still sticking out of the mass of zombies tearing her and her son to shreds. It doesn't help that the woman happened to be someone who Rick was starting a relationship with. Not only that, when they clean up the bodies in the aftermath, they come upon her remains, which prompts Abraham to tells the workers to get rid of the body before Rick sees it. In a series full of gore, this scene stands as a shining example of how it doesn't discriminate with who dies and to what degree of painful a death.
Glenn's death. Being beaten to death with a baseball bat while the rest of the group is forced to watch. The art does not help, especially a shot where ''his fucking eye gets knocked out''!
The TV show
The Paranoia Fuel all over the place. When you are scared, homeless, starving and surrounded by monsters and psychopaths, itís easy to feel paranoia, and to become violent. In each group, any argument can lead to tragedy, anyone can become a threat, alive or dead. The world they knew is dead, and this brings the worst into the protagonists and antagonists alike.
One of the most fundamentally disturbing aspects of the walkers is how they remember their past lives. A walker is just another zombie to be shot in the head, right up until it walks home and tries to go back into its house, or it picks up a stuffed animal and carries it around. Then it becomes....something a hell of a lot harder to shoot.
Even more disturbing if you wonder if some of them know what they became.
Rick's awakening at the very start of the series. Imagine you wake up in a hospital, no idea what happened, and then you venture out of your room to find someone. What do you find? The place is in ruins, some stairwells have been padlocked with cryptic warnings painted on them and strange noises coming from within, and piles and piles of dead bodies all over the place. Best case scenario: you've woken up to an extreme epidemic in progress. Really though, it's enough to make a person think that they may very well have woken up in hell.
The well zombie.
After Lori can't feel her baby kicking for a while, she worries that it might have died, and will soon be clawing its way out of her.
Season 2 episode 2: T-Dog finding the empty, baby car seat splattered with blood and bits of flesh. Dear God. Infant Immortality averted.
In season 3, Hershel grabbing Lori when they're being given mouth-to-mouth after a bite. He's not a zombie, but it gave this troper a heart attack.
The Governor's collection of severed heads.
Lori's difficult birth. Not just the terror of a complication when there's an airborne zombie infection, but what Carl has to go through.
Rick's breakdown after Lori dies. He rampages through the prison, almost kills Glenn when he tries to calm Rick down, and finally repeatedly stabs the stomach of a zombie who ate Lori's corpse.
The gladiator games in Woodsbury, where two men beat the crap out of each other while surrounded by restrained walkers. The zombies have had their teeth removed so the combatants are in minimum danger (although they could still be scratched), but it's still sick. As Andrea points out, the games make people think walkers aren't dangerous.
Merle, infuriated when Glenn refuses to tell him where the prison is, unleashes a walker in the room and closes the door. Glenn is tied up in a chair.
And in the next room, the Governor forces Maggie to take off her shirt and lean over the table while he stands behind her. He doesn't rape her, but he just psychologically tortures her with the threat of it.
Whenever Judith is placed in Rick's arms, and that echoing starts to surface. It really gives the impression that Rick is going to snap and drop her or throw her at a wall.
Rick's Freak Out upon hallucinating Lori in a white dress watching him kicking Tyreese's group out, waving a gun around and sending everyone else the hell out as fast as they can. And remember that this is Tyreese and the others' first impression of him.
Even worse, it's just possible to discern through the darkness that Lori's face is bloodied.
In "Home", seeing the mother and baby stuck inside a car crying while walkers press around them, with one breaking through the back window and crawling towards them. Thank God Daryl saves them.
Also from "Home", the walker bomb, a van full of walkers sent crashing through the gates of the prison courtesy of the Governor. The characters, as well as the audience, collectively went "Oh Crap"
In "Clear" we discover the fate of the Jones family. Duane was bitten by his zombified mother, forcing Morgan to put her down, and it's implied he did the same to Duane. Morgan is now completely nuts and suicidal, holing himself up in King County to rot.
The barbecued zombies from "Prey". They're cooked, blackened and stuck together, and some still try to reach the Governor's men. Not recommended viewing while eating.
The torture room that the Governor has prepared for Michonne is shown in "Prey". At the centre is a dentist's chair with handcuffs, while at the side is a table with various tools on it, including knives, scalpels, dentist's tools, a fish hook with thread and a speculum. The latter is what most fans found particularly disturbing, for obvious reasons.
Particularly disturbing is the way he contemplatively taps the speculum with a dentist's pick.
The Governor stalking Andrea through the warehouse, dragging a piece of metal across the floor so she can hear death approaching, and whistling for her to come out.
The Governor trying to mow her down in an open field in a jeep.
The Governor biting off two of Merle's fingers when fighting him.
Andrea tied to a chair with plastic handcuffs, trying to grab pliers off the floor with their feet to untie themselves, while across the room their friend Milton is slowly dying and about to reanimate.
The Governor massacring his own men with a rifle.
Starting with Season 4, walkers are now constantly shoving against certain spots on the prison fence. The inhabitants get to gradually watch their greatest defences get worn away, with no easy way to fix the problem.
The disease in Season 4, which causes victims to cough, bleed from the eyes and mouth, then collapse.
In the supermarket fight, several zombies' heads simply fall apart due to decomposition.
Rick snapping when punched by Tyreese, and beating the latter into a pulp and screaming at Daryl to let him go.
In "Isolation", the herd: walkers, stretching as far as the eye can see over the road ahead, marching towards the cast's car.
The reveal that Carol had murdered Karen and David. Of course, it was to prevent the virus from spreading any further, but the way she casually answers when Rick questions her is chilling.
As if "Interment" wasn't bad enough with the plague hitting an all time high, it ends with an odd figure looking at the prison. At first, it looks like a random survivor but then ominous music builds and as the camera lowers down, we see who it is: The Governor.
In "Live Bait", when The Governor lets the rage within him reveal itself, even when it's for good reasons. He brutally bludgeons a walker in front of its daughters, and beats another walker to death with his bare hands.
The Governor's final attack on the prison. He does this by nearly decapitating Herchel, then finishing the job and does a brutal, No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Rick and nearly strangles him to death.
The video game
Lee's nightmare of Clementine as a zombie and biting him can freak a few players out.
In the game, when either Carley or Doug is shot by Lily, everyone stands in stunned silence for about a second during which a shuddering breath can be heard. This is Carley/Doug's death rattle.
The music that plays when you have to save either Carley or Doug. It is just so ominous and pressures you to Choose QUICKLY.
The player can choose to threaten Ben when he reveals he was the cause of the bandit raid in episode 3, and thus the cause of Duck, Katjaa, and Carley/Doug's deaths. Said threat is arguably the most uncharacteristically antagonistic thing Lee can say to one individual.
Lee: Nobody can see us. I could toss you over right now, and be done with it.
All the while, Ben is absolutely terrified.
In the game, having to Mercy KillDuck because he was bitten. Not only does it ramp up the Adult Fear to the nth degree with the prospect of a parent having to shoot their own child, but if you picked the option to do it yourself, the game doesn't go the easy route and make you watch Lee kill him. Oh no, the game makes you, the player, take control and put down a ten-year-old boy. And you can't get out of it until you pull the trigger. Happy dreams.
Another case of Adult Fear is at the end of the episode when Lee and the others find out that a mysterious man has been talking to Clementine the whole time, secretly telling her what to do and to come to him. While his intentions are not clear yet, it still is easy to draw parallels to a child molester.
And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...Clementine is kidnapped by the end of Episode 4, and Lee is bitten by a walker. The Adult Fear has just gone through the roof.
In Episode 4, when Lee and the group get into a house after making it to Savvannah, Kenny discovers a starved zombie boy that looks exactly like Duck no less in the attic. It's implied that this boy starved to death and became a weakened zombie. Though a zombie, you can't help but feel bad for it as Lee puts it out of its misery. Oh, and to make it worse? Lee is reminded of how he first met Clementine and says, "This could've been Clementine had I not found her...". The idea of a zombified, starved Clementine wandering her backyard sends shudders.
Not only did we witness two children dying, one being a zombie child, and Clementine being taken., the group learns of a settlement called Crawford that kills children and other undesireables because they're considered dead weight.
In Episode 4, Brie dies a shockingly gruesome death. Normally when a group of zombies eat someone, they're usually dead or if they're alive, the camera usually is far away or cuts away from them. Brie however, get's eaten alive surprisingly quick and we even see close up of a zombie ripping out her intestines right before the camera cuts away.
On the bright side, the contest winner whom Brie is based on was probably delighted at being a notable death in the game.
Lee and Clementine walking through a horde of walkers, with only the bleak hope that the zombified blood on their clothes will prevent the walkers from smelling them.
When Lee gets his infected left arm amputated. The game does not treat you to just a cutscene and poof! Lee has a stump for a left arm, oh no! It treats you to a brutal, graphic scene of Christa having to saw through his Goddamned arm with a saw all while he's screaming in pain. If there was any consolation, it's that Christa and the others do not take pleasure in having to put Lee through this.
Speaking of amputating, the second episode starts with Lee and Mark meeting a teacher and his two students, with the former caught in a bear trap. They can't get it open as it's been modified without a release switch. With a horde of zombies bearing down on them. The player has to choose to either leave the teacher behind (complete with a cutscene to really drive the guilt home) or chop the man's leg off..which makes you do every...single...blow in graphic detail.
If Ben was actually meant to look and act like Shaggy from Scooby Doo then it is a very dark and sad version of him.
When Lee finds Mark in the hidden room, or any time Mark shows up after that. The whole last half of Episode 2 borders on the high octane fuel thanks to a good dose of humans are the real monsters.
In Episode 3, Lee enters the RV in a search of a pencil with Lily tied up after she murders Carley/Doug. Just as he takes the pencil and turns around, he finds Lily up on her feet with a lifeless expression on her face. Thankfully, she had no intention to hurt Lee and only planned on leaving, but the fact that she just freed herself out of nowhere gave a bit of a shock.
Ben falling from the balcony and impaled. And he was still ALIVE. just imagine that, falling from a high balcony into a dark alley and impaled while hoping that anyone but a walker comes around.
In 400 Days, during Russell's story you can choose to hide from an approaching truck in the beginning. Russell will then look to his side as he lie down to hide, and the player is greeted with a full-view of Doug/Carley's corpse, complete with maggots crawling over his/her face.
The sadistic games Nate plays with Russell, including stopping the car next to a female walker and opening the window just enough for her to get her hand in until he rates her on a scale of one to ten in terms of sex appeal.
During Bonnie's story, she is cornered by a bandit. She attacks in self-defense and finds out too late that she had attacked Dee by mistake. Dee's skull has been smashed by the impact, rendering her right eyeball useless and exposing part of her brain. She manages to stay alive for another minute and mutter how Bonnie has killed her.
And if you recognize Dee's silhouette and not attack then Dee will kill you. Just the sight of her silhouette beating you with her flashlight is terrifying, much like the way Lee can die in first person in Episode 2's finale at the hands of a shotgun.
During Vince's story he and two other convicts end up facing down another zombiefied convict. Should be no problem, right? Unfortunately, there are two problems. All three of the men are chained together and that one zombie quickly becomes dozens as the prison bus is slowly surrounded. The only way to get out alive is to blow off one of the men's feet with a shotgun and then run for it while the zombies close in on him. It does a great job of making the player feel helpless and sets the grim tone for the rest of the game.