Problems with World War Z Movie

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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby jollyreaper » 2012-11-09 08:10am

FaxModem1 wrote:My problem with this trailer is that it looks rather...confined. Unless most of the scenes from the teaser are the opening 15 minutes, it seems the entire movie is about Brad Pitt's character getting his family evacuated out of the city. So instead of an international drama or epic about zombies sweeping the globe, it's a standard zombie movie limited to one family.


It looks like Pitt is some UN mucky muck? It feels like 2012 with zombies, Pitt and his family taking the place of Cussack.

Frankly, wwz would work better as a 13 episode cable series. You just can't do it justice in a single movie. The audiobook was amazing and even it had to cut a bunch of material.

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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Guardsman Bass » 2012-11-09 12:20pm

It'd be a very expensive mini-series, at least for a few of the episodes. The book has a lot of battle and "swarm" scenes in the accounts of the survivors. Realistically, you'd have to cut a lot and change things - I'd probably cut it down to four narratives.

jollyreaper wrote:Either way, I think panic would cause more deaths than zombies. If you've never lived through a natural disaster, take my word for it -- losing power makes you aware of how tenuous normalcy is. I've been through Florida hurricanes. Even when my power was down, I could drive to a restaurant with power for a hot meal. Biking is also an option. And I knew normal would be back in a week or two.


That's more or less what happened in World War Z. One of the characters mentions at one point that the Great Panic, with tens of millions of internally displaced refugees and general chaos, probably killed more people than the zombies while it the Panic was on-going. Areas that generally kept their shit together - like Jesika Hendricks' neighborhood in Wisconsin - didn't seem too bad off (and that was 2-3 months into the Great Panic).

If you really wanted to make it more difficult to control, you'd have the spread of zombies riding on the coattails of a dangerous disease, like with the 2007 I Am Legend movie. A contagious disease that makes a significant number of people sick and kills a few hundred million people outright (followed by them rising up from the dead a couple of days afterwards) would be a significant shock that could cause massive panic, leading to a "Great Panic" style scenario. You wouldn't even have to resort to the Romero rule zombies where everyone who dies comes back.

Vendetta wrote:That does deal with the paranoia of anyone being able to reanimate and how that would affect society.


I think people would eventually settle into a new normality about it. People at risk of dying would be monitored closely by their families, you might see stuff like Neighborhood Morning Check-ins to see if anyone didn't wake up from last night, and people who just passed away would have someone come up and destroy the relevant parts of the brain with as little damage to the face or skull as possible (I'm thinking some type of pneumatic bolt gun that could punch a hole in the skull).

Any other diseases would be taken very seriously, since an outbreak that kills a bunch of people could lead to new zombie swarms.
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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby jollyreaper » 2012-11-09 12:33pm

The scenario I find horrible is a mass casualty event like that India accident with Union Carbide, 20k asphyxiated and oh shit, now zombies. Or a mass slaughter of gunmen in an office and as you cower waiting for them to leave the corpses begin to reanimate. Could you imagine the aftermath of a tsunami where the drowned corpses are coming up out of the water? Ocean liner sinks offshore and now the zombies are washing up in the surf?

I agree that wwz the show would need less stories per season but I think the framing story could remain the same. You can have the government guys available each season as the civilians and soldiers on the ground rotate.

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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Flagg » 2012-11-09 03:17pm

You know, I have mixed feelings here. Sure I love the book, but I don't know that you could really have all of the epicness and believability without faster zombies. And I like the almost African Driver Ant like quality of the way the swarms move. My biggest concern is really the rating. PG-13 for a zombie movie is kinda outrageous.
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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby FSTargetDrone » 2012-11-09 05:27pm

In a fantasy setting, magically animated undead are fine and interesting. But as much as I try to cling to the suspension of disbelief, it's starting to get old. There are just too many problems with the dead rising in a story that's "realistically" set. Why aren't they simply falling apart after a few days, especially in hot weather (like the walkers in The Walking Dead should be, a series set in Atlanta). And so on. No need to rehash all that. I much prefer the idea of infected people turning sick and becoming rabid instead of the undead "coming back to life" because it's just getting silly. Left 4 Dead does what I prefer pretty well and even has some of the afflicted attacking each other, which is cool. On the other hand, the "evolution" of the Infected or whatever is happening in I Am Legend isn't very good, but at least it isn't walking corpses. You can do everything you do with undead by substitution of dangerously sick and still be somewhat plausible. I asked in TWD thread where people think the series is going if everyone is just going to end up undead or with their brains spread all over the pavement or nearest wall. Because if that's all it's going to be, it's going to be boring. Anyway, I don't really see anything in this trailer that makes me want to catch this in the theater. The dodgy-looking CGI isn't helping. But evidently some sort of government survives, which is something. Total collapse of society in the face of unarmed beings who run around pretty fast but don't use any sort of strategy or thinking...I don't like that so much.
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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Flagg » 2012-11-09 05:33pm

In the book, [spoiler=]the Government shifted to Hawaii and everything west of the Rockies was essentially preserved with as many uninfected civilians as possible migrating there, and then they began the march East to retake the country after changing their tactics and strtegems. If they keep that aspect it could be pretty fucking cool.[/spoiler]
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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Flagg » 2012-11-09 05:35pm

FSTargetDrone wrote:In a fantasy setting, magically animated undead are fine and interesting. But as much as I try to cling to the suspension of disbelief, it's starting to get old. There are just too many problems with the dead rising in a story that's "realistically" set. Why aren't they simply falling apart after a few days, especially in hot weather (like the walkers in The Walking Dead should be, a series set in Atlanta). And so on. No need to rehash all that. I much prefer the idea of infected people turning sick and becoming rabid instead of the undead "coming back to life" because it's just getting silly. Left 4 Dead does what I prefer pretty well and even has some of the afflicted attacking each other, which is cool. On the other hand, the "evolution" of the Infected or whatever is happening in I Am Legend isn't very good, but at least it isn't walking corpses. You can do everything you do with undead by substitution of dangerously sick and still be somewhat plausible. I asked in TWD thread where people think the series is going if everyone is just going to end up undead or with their brains spread all over the pavement or nearest wall. Because if that's all it's going to be, it's going to be boring. Anyway, I don't really see anything in this trailer that makes me want to catch this in the theater. The dodgy-looking CGI isn't helping. But evidently some sort of government survives, which is something. Total collapse of society in the face of unarmed beings who run around pretty fast but don't use any sort of strategy or thinking...I don't like that so much.

The problems you run into with infected rather than undead is the fact that unless they had enough of their faculties left they would all die off after a month or so. In that way undead that have magically slower decomposition as part of the infection is somewhat scarier and more formidable. But it requires alot of SoD.
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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Grumman » 2012-11-09 05:43pm

FSTargetDrone wrote:Total collapse of society in the face of unarmed beings who run around pretty fast but don't use any sort of strategy or thinking...I don't like that so much.

Neither do I. There have been a couple of sci-fi tabletop games recently that try to sell glorified animals as this sort of threat, but I find the concept rather insulting at this point.

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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby CaptainChewbacca » 2012-11-09 08:05pm

I hate fast zombies, I call them zoombies.
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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Guardsman Bass » 2012-11-09 08:54pm

I'm not sure how well living "infected" zombies would work in the Brooksverse story, particularly since it takes place over years. The "infected" that managed to avoid starvation would probably freeze to death during the winters in more northerly areas, unless they gain some kind of zombie hibernation ability. The undead zombies are more or less magic anyways, so it's not a horrible stretch from that to have the mysterious black fluid that replaces their blood serve as a preservative/anti-freeze that keeps them from turning into hamburger after going through successive freeze/re-thaw cycles.

FSTargetdrone wrote: I asked in TWD thread where people think the series is going if everyone is just going to end up undead or with their brains spread all over the pavement or nearest wall. Because if that's all it's going to be, it's going to be boring.


They usually have to either end with the group finding a secure place to hunker down, or with other humans becoming the real danger (at which point, it turns into a more generic post-apocalyptic drama). I think the latter would be better in some stories if they didn't fall back on the "Gang of Psychopaths" plot element so often.
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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Minischoles » 2012-11-09 10:57pm

As a zombie movie, it doesn't look entirely terrible. Kind of dumb, and the Zoombies (especially the CGI) look fairly bad, but i'd probably still watch it.

As a World War Z movie though, it looks like a completely failure. I just don't think the book can be covered in a single movie, an expensive mini series would really be the only way. Just think of some of the things that are likely being cut out

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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby jollyreaper » 2012-11-10 05:43am

I can buy magic zombies on a twilight zone level. Zero explanation, frank acknowledgment that this is impossible, people who know better are freaking out because they know exactly why it can't happen. Because shit, everyone is afraid of the living dead. Fear doesn't have to make sense, it just is. But trying to make them science zombies and undead ruins everything. Virus? No way.

Rage zombies are actually doable. They would be dead after a month with the caveat that its possible for some infected to possibly retain enough brainpower to feed themselves as hunter-gatherers while still insanely attacking any uninflected human. That's essentially what happened in the Crossed comic. The infected weren't even presented as zombies, just sadistically homicidal crazy fucks. That was a goddamn bleak and miserable book.

The version of the rage zombie I would find the most amusing is a researcher actually tried developing it for the pentagon and there's no oversight to realize how terrible an idea this is. It's modified rabies. Brain damage causes rabid violence, check. Constricted blood flow to extremities causes gangrene and rotting, check. Infected slow to a shuffle with moaning, check. Highly infectious? Check. Infected don't attack each other? Check. Virus escapes lab and is in the wild? Check.

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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Stark » 2012-11-10 06:10am

You know, some zombie media actually openly mocks the kind of rationale generally presented, because they're stupid and also usually dramatically meaningless. Its just the setup for events. Surely real problems would be 'character reverses itself by writers fiat' and 'deus ex machina' and 'chain of events poorly connected'.

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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby weemadando » 2012-11-10 06:46am

Remember when zombie fiction were all about how the biggest enemy was other people?
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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Guardsman Bass » 2012-11-10 12:52pm

More that other people were often a bigger problem than the zombies, since when people got organized and together they tended to mop the floor with zombies shambling around (as with the ending to the original "Night of the Living Dead"). It can work, provided they don't just fall back on the usual post-apocalyptic tropes like the Gang of Psychopaths over and over again. That's a big aspect of what I liked about WWZ.
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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Stark » 2012-11-10 05:05pm

Even if you are honestly incapable of buying in to non-boring zombie fiction, anyone with a fence is safe. Zombies are just weather, its just a situation that creates tensions and reduces options. In other words, it drives drama. There's a reason why good zombie games and media retain that idea of low threat, but strong consequences for failure.

Unless people want glorified timelines of ZOMBIE SURVIVAL SUGGESTIONS. :lol:

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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Flagg » 2012-11-11 01:56am

Stark wrote:Even if you are honestly incapable of buying in to non-boring zombie fiction, anyone with a fence is safe. Zombies are just weather, its just a situation that creates tensions and reduces options. In other words, it drives drama. There's a reason why good zombie games and media retain that idea of low threat, but strong consequences for failure.

Unless people want glorified timelines of ZOMBIE SURVIVAL SUGGESTIONS. :lol:

I liked WWZ because it was an attempt at a realistic "after action" type of report. So you strive for numbers and technical shit no one watching a movie cares about. So I don't really have an issue with them shredding whole portions of the plot, but I want them to keep the "we can overcome this shit/ realistic disaster reaction scenarior" themes and it looks like they have done that.
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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby AniThyng » 2012-11-11 04:18am

Would it have been better done in the style of a discovery channel docudrama?
Then you can have tons of interviews with survivors and tell it in a retrospective way with a variety of self contained shots.
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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby jollyreaper » 2012-11-11 07:25am

AniThyng wrote:Would it have been better done in the style of a discovery channel docudrama?
Then you can have tons of interviews with survivors and tell it in a retrospective way with a variety of self contained shots.


That's one approach. Art Bell did a radio show along those lines in tribute to wwz, was in character as himself and this was his first time back on the air after six months.

I always thought it would be cool to do a Halloween stunt on the news networks, war of the worlds scenario. CNN, msnbc, Fox, they all break into live coverage of something ridiculous and fantastic. You hop from one to the other and they are all reporting the same thing. War of the Worlds, something good. Of course, the fox watchers might be convinced so maybe we should skip them.

If not a live event, it would be cool to get famous names and faces to go along with the Everyman characters. Get reporters, politicians, officials, Bill Nye, etc.

Confederate States of America was really good like that. It's set in the now of an alternate timeline where the South won the Civil War. The documentary is in-universe and coming from the bbc.

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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby Grumman » 2012-11-11 02:37pm

jollyreaper wrote:I always thought it would be cool to do a Halloween stunt on the news networks, war of the worlds scenario. CNN, msnbc, Fox, they all break into live coverage of something ridiculous and fantastic. You hop from one to the other and they are all reporting the same thing. War of the Worlds, something good. Of course, the fox watchers might be convinced so maybe we should skip them.

Every year just after April Fools Day I think this is stupid. Any joke whose only punchline is "You trust us and we exploited that!" is a shit joke, and no practical joke should come at the expense of actually doing your fucking job.

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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby jollyreaper » 2012-11-11 03:20pm

"I just got a call, your mother died. Ha! April Fools!" That is dumb. Or doing a fake news story about a nuclear attack on NYC. That could happen! But a fake Martian invasion? That is awesome.

What I hate are April Fools jokes that are too plausible to dismiss out of hand. Microsoft releasing a terrible operating system is not funny, it's reality. Microsoft apologizing for releasing a terrible operating system is comedy because they so would never do that. Or the Catholic Church announcing it is disbanding and selling off all assets to pay for victims of sex abuse because with a breach of trust like this, they could never regain a shred of moral authority. That's comedy.

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Re: Problems with World War Z Movie

Postby General Schatten » 2012-11-11 10:15pm

evilsoup wrote:It's almost as if the military didn't want to flatten New York with artillery.

It'd take a lot more than a couple barrages of a mere couple hundred thousand M85 to even start making an attempt at leveling NYC. You're talking like four inches of steel penetration and a lot less on concrete.
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