Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Episode 43 - Suspiciously Sadistic Sadists

This episode of the podcast focuses on the 8th episode of Season 3 of AMC's The Walking Dead.  This is the mid-season finale so now we are forced to wait two months for the next installment of our favorite TV show.  This week we finally meet the legendary Tyreese who swings a hammer with great vengeance and furious anger.  Michonne gets a few quiet moments alone with the Governor and they try to see things eye to eye.  The conversation wraps up with other things we've seen and done that aren't zombie-related.  We would love to hear what you thought of this first half of season three of the Walking Dead, and, even more than that, we'd love to hear what you think about the podcast. Please send us emails at or by leaving us a message on our Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Episode 42 - Queer, Undead, Sociopathic Love

Episode 42 is a twofer, so it goes just a bit longer than normal ( though it's not the podcastical equivalent of War and Peace ).  In this show we look at the 6th and 7th episodes from the third season of AMC's The Walking Dead.  These two episodes are leading us into the mid-season finale and the inevitable collision of the residents of Woodbury and the Prison.  Maggie and Glenn are held hostage by the Governor and Merle and we see Rick and his commando team leaving their concrete-walled safety in hopes of saving them both.  The tension mounts as we examine the events of these two fine episodes and we ponder what might be on the horizon.  Join us as the talk to turns to videogames, philosophy, and the magical power invested in Andrea's backside...
Let us know what you think by writing to us at  or by leaving a note on the Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Episode 41 - Like a Loaded Shotgun

Episode 41 of the Z-Realm returns to AMC's The Walking Dead for the 5th chapter of Season 3, titled "Say the Word".  Rick is on revenge spree, Maggie and Darryl are searching for Huggies and formula, and Axel and Oscar have found themselves given a shot at inclusion. Meanwhile, at Woodbury, Michonne goes creepin' and the Governor practices his stroke technique on someone near and dear to him.  We also turn to the recent release of the World War Z trailer and eventually end up at everyone's favorite simple-minded hero.  Please let us know what you thought by writing to us at or by leaving a post on the Facebook page.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Episode 40 - The End of Smiles

Episode 40 of the Podcast focuses on Episode 4 of Season 3 of AMC's The Walking Dead.  Perhaps the most sombre episode so far in a show that has had no shortage of soul-crushing moments, this episode, titled "Killer Within" covers significant moments in the lives of our protagonists.The plot is completely revealed in the podcast, so make sure you've seen the episode before listening.  We also speak briefly of the election, Superstorm Sandy, and Mitt Zomney.  Put on your magic underwear,  pour a tall glass of liquid courage, and brace yourself for some devastating twists and turns.  Write to us at or leave a message on our Facebook page to let us know what you thought of this chapter of the Walking Dead saga and what you think of the podcast too.
Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Episode 39 - Storm on the Horizon

Episode 39 focuses on the Third Episode of Season Three ( a lot of threes and numbers divisible by threes there, that has to be important numberologically ) of AMCs The Walking Dead.  This will always be the episode where we finally meet The Governor!  Played brilliantly by David Morrissey who's girlfriend is NOT in a coma.  KMO and Olga were huddling in their home in Brooklyn New York, awaiting Hurricane Sandy so the conversation turns frequently to this real-life subject as we mull the fictional one brought to us by the fine folks at AMC.  We ramble a bit, but we hope you like it. Please let us know what you thought by writing to us at or by posting a message on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Episode 38 - Sh*t Happens

Episode 38 of the podcast is consumed with the second episode of season 3 of AMC's The Walking Dead.  This episode extends the brilliance of the premiere and continues to explore how the characters have changed since season 2.  Young Carl is a competent explorer, Lori shows her life-saving prowess, and Rick demonstrates what the term "head trauma" means.  Lauren Cohan turns in a heart wrenching performance and T-Dog seems to have fully emerged onto the world stage as a fully-formed badass.  This is good stuff and we do not hesitate to say so.  Write to us at and let us know what YOU thought of the TV show and of this episode of the podcast. Heck let us know your thoughts on zombies in general, and join us next week as we all keep our fingers crossed that season 3 stays on this stellar trajectory.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Episode 37 - Starting with a BANG!

After a lengthy hiatus, KMO, Olga and Marty are back to ruminate on the amazing premiere episode of the third season of AMC's The Walking Dead.  Did we love it? YES!  Were there zombies? YES! Was there lengthy exposition and superficial dramatic moments? NO!  The third season started off in style, with incredible action and dialogue that was direct and to the point, and yet it still took time for a truly beautiful campfire moment.  Listen to the episode to see what we thought, and let us know your own thoughts by writing to us at

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

36 - Too Clever for Our Own Good

Episode 36 of the Z-Realm is finally here. The crew turn towards the current film The Cabin in the Woods from producer and co-writer Joss Whedon. We do spoil the film completely, so stay away if you have not seen it yet. The film contains zombies, and deals with them in a totally new and unique way. The underpinnings of the horror genre as a whole are turned on their heads as a matter of fact in this fantastic movie. The talk, as usual, strays to a selection of other topics and hopefully, by the end, you will be illuminated, informed and smiling. Please let us know what you think of the show by writing us at or by posting a message on our Facebook page.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Episode 35 - 28 Time Units Later

Episode 35 turns towards two landmark films in the zombie genre, 2002's 28 Days Later and 2007's 28 Weeks Later. These two films are where we all were first confronted with running zombies. Actually both movies use the term "infected" to describe the marauding groups of baddies. Set in Europe, these two films tell an ongoing story of a rapidly spreading infection that almost instantly transforms its victims into crazed and vicious attackers. This "Rage Virus" is highly virulent and spreads exponentially. The sights of an almost empty London and a burning countryside are haunting images that stuck with us all. Are these stories that show a glimpse into what could happen following any large-scale collapse of the status quo? Listen to this epically long conversation as we dig into both of these wonderful movies and then continue on into a range of other topics. Let us know what you think by writing to us at
The beginning of the show features an amazing audio introduction that comes to us courtesy of Mushroom Mike. It is a great new opening and we want to thank him very much for taking the time to put it all together.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

34 - They WENT There

Marty, Olga, and KMO take on the season two finale of The Walking Dead: Beside the Dying Fire. After a long detour from the narrative of the comic, it looks like the show might be getting back on track for season three. With Shane finally out of the picture, Rick gets to embody some darkness of his own and wear every shade of crazy. Glenn and Maggie hold zombies at bay with a bubble of warm, fuzzy love, and T-Dog has enough lines strung together to approximate a conversational exchange with Lori. Oh, Lori, you propel so many sub-plots with your cluelessness and self absorption. Still, lots of zombies in this episode, and the gang has finally left the farm!
Write to us at and let us know what YOU thought of the season finale, and let us know what you think of the podcast too. If you know of some wonderful zombie media, please let us know so we can track it down and consume it like a steaming pile freshly-opened brainsssss.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

33 - Penultimate

Episode 33 of the Z-Realm Podcast continues our conversation about AMC's version of The Walking Dead, specifically focusing on episode 12 of season 2 Better Angels. With only one episode remaining in the second season, things have started happening at alarming rate on Hershel's farm. This is a landmark episode in the storyline so far, as some very big events have finally took place that readers of the comics have been waiting a long time for. There are great moments between characters, and some vicious shovel-on-face action with our beloved zombies too. Even T-Dog gets plenty to say in this episode. Listen to Olga, KMO and Marty as they discuss what they liked, disliked, and even hated about this episode ( cough...Lori...cough ) and write to us and let us know what you thought.
Only one episode left, can you guess where the Z-Realm crew is going to be next sunday night!?

Friday, March 9, 2012

32 - Marty's Kryptonite

This week Marty, Olga and KMO gather with the stated purpose of discussing The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 11: Judge, Jury, Executioner, but the real action is in the second half of the show when Marty and Olga recount their recent adventures in New York City. KMO and Olga have just about run out of patience with AMC’s much-hyped and rightly criticized zombie drama, but Marty is still on board with it. Fortunately there are only two more episodes left this season before Rick Grimes and his rag tag (but stiff immaculately coiffed and manicured) band take a long hiatus in which the Z-Realm crew can share some more interesting, gutsy, and varied zombie fare. Hang around for the end of this episode, and hear about encounters with sex workers, burlesque dancers, and Tibetan super heroes.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

31 - Drawing Lines

Marty, Olga and KMO assemble in the Z-Realm to discuss The Walking Dead season 02 episode 10: 18 Miles Out in which Shane and Rick drive a miraculously recovered Randall away from the Farm only to discover that they can’t afford to let him go and possibly can’t even afford to let him live. KMO nitpicks continuity errors and network penny-pinching. Marty praises the inter-character dynamics and subtle subtextual story elements. Olga appreciated the examination of zombie apocalypse gender roles, and everybody was happy to see a healthy does of the living dead, action and gore.
Let us know what you think by emailing us at or by leaving a message on our Facebook page.

Monday, February 20, 2012

30 - Transformations

We are back to AMC's The Walking Dead again for this episode of the Z-Realm podcast. We look at one of the strongest episodes so far from season 2 of this very popular show. The characters were each shown to be at different steps along the path of The Hero's Journey. Rick continues to become more and more of a take-charge guy, Shane slips deeper into the darkness, Glenn questions himself almost existentially, Lori finds her power in the manipulation of others and Daryl and Carol continue to battle with the demons of their pasts. This was a strong, character-driven episode but it also had some spectacularly violent gore scenes. This episode was a total winner. Come listen to us ramble about the show's strengths and let us know what you thought of it by writing to us at or by leaving a message over on the Facebook page.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Episode 29 - The Voice of Reason

Now that the zeitgeist whale of the NFL has left the scene, there is room for the smaller creatures in the sea of culture, like the second half of the second season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, to come out and play. In this episode, most of the characters are floundering in the aftermath of shattered delusions, and some of them finally tune in to the voice of reason. All of Rick’s band confront the fact that their weeks-long search for the missing Sophia was a deluded folly, and Hershel turns to the bottle in the face of the realization that the “walkers” really are dead and that his wife and son will not be getting better. The episode returns us to some exhausted conversations that stand in for the rare and elusive zombies in this zombie apocalypse, and just when it seems like AMC is putting back on the same, way-too-familiar treadmill, new characters show up and give us hope for the series. Did I say, “hope?” We don’t need hope. We need frakking ZOMBIES! ZOMBIES, AMC! We need zombies in our zombie TV show.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Max Brooks Fresh from WWZ Filming Location

Normally I would link to an article like this rather than cut and paste the whole thing to this blog, but I didn't see a way to link to a particular item on the source website:



Q: You just returned from the set of Paramount’s World War Z adaptation starring Brad Pitt. What can you tell us about the movie?

I didn’t get a chance to see much. The scene I witnessed was immense and complicated and there was a lot of prep time between shots. I can say that this movie is truly massive. I witnessed hundreds of extras, civilians, police, and soldiers. As epic as it looked, I was told that similar scenes were already shot in different locations like Cornwall and Malta. I hear they will be shooting more outside of London and somewhere in Eastern Europe. So far it seems to be as large and global as my book. 

Q: World War Z is one of the biggest selling original zombie novels of all time. Talk about its genesis, including your discussions with the publisher over the title. 

I wanted to call it Zombie War. It was a simple title that I thought described the story quite well. I’d written a book on how to survive zombies that I called The Zombie Survival Guide, so when writing a book about a worldwide war against zombies, why not call it Zombie War. The publisher was against the title because, at the time, zombies were seen as too niche and they thought some people might be turned off by that word. My agent, Ed Victor, had once jokingly called it “World War Z” so I thought that might be a good compromise. 

Q: This October a $7.99 mass-market edition of World War Z is being released. To date, there are almost 1 million copies in print of it. How has the reaction differed since the novel first came out in September 2006?

I never, EVER expected this book to do remotely as well as it has. I mean, c’mon! A book about zombies told as a Studs Terkelesque oral history? I’m still convinced that most of the sold copies were bought by my dad. 

Q: There is also a new chapter to your #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks. The new chapter is called “Downtown L.A.” Describe what fans can expect here.

The story comes right out of the back of The Zombie Survival Guide. It was supposed to be in the original recorded attacks, but wasn’t finished in time for the release of the comic. It essentially covers a zombie outbreak right in the heart of downtown L.A. in the early 1990s. Two rival street gangs have to unite against the living dead. In one sense, it’s a microcosm of World War Z. 

Q: Why have zombies become so mainstream? They used to have a slightly strange cult following. Now they’re everywhere in all aspects of pop culture.

I think they reflect our very real anxieties of these crazy scary times. A zombie story gives people a fictional lens to see the real problems of the world. You can deal with societal breakdown, famine, disease, chaos in the streets, but as long as the catalyst for all of them is zombies, you can still sleep.

Friday, February 3, 2012


A Z-Realm listener set me up with an audio book version of Stephen King's 2006 novel, Cell. I'm not a huge Stephen King fan. I have nothing against his work, but I don't seek it out either. I read Firestarter in high school, and I listened to the audio book versions of the first two novels in the Dark Tower series.

Of course, I was interested in Cell because it is a sort of zombie apocalypse story. Here the zombies are not walking corpses. Rather, they are the sort of "zombies" that we see in movies like 28 Days Later, which is to say that they are living human beings who have been driven into a homicidal berserker rage. In 28 Days Later, it was a virus that turned people into rage monsters. In Cell, there is an event that people call the Pulse which has the same effect on anybody who makes or receives a cell phone call. I haven't read much about the book, as I'm looking to avoid spoilers, but what little I have read describes it as deeply technophobic. Certainly Stephen King uses the setup as a tool to skewer the obnoxious behavior which cell phones seem to prompt people to engage in, but I don't get the impression that this is Stephen King's only, or even primary, objective.

What the cell-phone-as-madness-vector does for the story is set up an inventive but plausibly frightening positive feedback loop. At first, when the Pulse turns people who are on their phones into rabid monsters, the effects are obvious and immediate but not all-encompassing. Once the chaos of the zombie apocalypse begins to unfold, however, it picks up speed as people respond to the crisis by pulling out their phones and either calling for help or using their phones to try to find out what's going on. By the time enough people identify their cell phones as the means of infection the chaos has progressed beyond anyone's ability to bring the situation back under control. I don't know if there is any other way by which the infection spreads in the novel. So far, I've seen no indication that zombies can infect their victims with a bite, as is the norm in Romero-style zombie tales.

The novel really delivers in the area in which many zombie apocalypse tales fall short; namely in depicting the actual moment of apocalypse. In 28 Days Later, as well as in The Walking Dead, the main character wakes up to the aftermath of the apocalypse. For me the most fascinating aspect of the zombie apocalypse narrative is the one that, for filmmakers, is the most expensive and difficult to portray. I'm talking about the chaos that ensues in densely populated areas after the spreading panic passes a critical threshold. Regardless of how far it deviates from its source material, I hope that the big-budget Brad Pitt version of World War Z is able to deliver in this respect. From what I've seen of leaked footage on the Internet, I think I have reasons for hope. In the meantime however, it is mainly on the page that this moment of spreading panic and breakdown finds its fullest expression.

I don't know what Stephen King's attitude is toward cell phones (the novel is not such a screed that the author's actual opinions leap off the page), but I do wonder if he realized just how quickly his novel would become a period piece. The novel was published in 2006, and so there are no smart phones. Early in the novel a teenage girl takes her phone off of a belt clip, which struck me as pretty unlikely even for 2006. I remember at that time I was using a Nokia bar phone which I kept in a holster on my belt. I remember a checkout clerk at a nearby grocery store commenting to a coworker about how only middle-aged men wore such things. Wired magazine advised would-be techno-hipsters to ditch the Batman-style utility belt and keep their phones in their pockets. One of Cell's trio of protagonists, a 15-year-old girl, explained that her father was a successful businessman and gadget head, and that he had a super deluxe cell phone that included a camera and Internet access. How quaint this seems in 2012.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Episode 28 - KC and Z-Realm Gang

The Z-Realm is thrilled this week to welcome Kc Wayland, one of the creators of the fantastic Radio Drama Podcast "We're Alive", to the show to discuss this incredible piece of zombie-filled goodness.
If you have not heard of "We're Alive" then we urge you to hurry over and start listening as soon as you are all caught up on every last episode of the Z-Realm. It is a rich, and nuanced story of a band of survivors, making their way in in modern Los Angeles after a zombie outbreak. This may sound like a standard setup, and in some ways it may be, but Mr. Wayland and the rest of his incredible partners have transcended what you may expect from a simple "zombie story" and bring us fully formed characters and some of the most impressive production values that can be found anywhere. This is NOT to be missed.
The podcast opens with a great clip from Adult Swim's series Squidbillies. We round the podcast out by touching on a few non zombie issues and things take a decidedly ribald turn towards the end.
One bit of news that may be of interest to the loyal z-realmers out there, we now have a new email address. You can now email all three hosts by writing to
Please keep the feedback coming in at that address or by leaving a message on our facebook page.
Aim for the Head!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Episode 27 - The Hulking Dead

Your inveterate hosts, Marty, KMO and Olga, traverse a myriad zombie media trails to bring you a zombie cavalcade. We continue to beat the undead horse of the dearth of zombies in the AMC show, The Walking Dead, still on mid-season hiatus until February 12th. We are helped out by KMO's interview with author Paul Gude, who has written a zombie-themed novel called Love in a Time of Zombies. We talk dramatic character development, our appreciation for whatever ethnic diversity AMC deigns to throw our way, the continuing conflict between zombie survival hell and daily banal human interaction and even manage to squeeze in a Star Wars reference from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Taking another tributary along the zombie genre, we begin to dip our toes into the purely addictive joy that is We're Alive, A Story of Survival, The Zombie Survival Podcast, the wonderful audio drama that a Z-Realm Podcast fan tipped us off to (thank you!) We delve into the realm of hulking, super-powerful, unkillable, conniving zombies. This line of inquiry takes us back to re-watch the first 2002 Resident Evil movie and to discuss the Resident Evil video games and subsequent movies in that massively popular franchise. We compare and contrast the shifting zombie memesphere and the tasty melted cheese sauce that makes it so delicious. KMO and Marty provide a delectable historical garnish. We also briefly discuss the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Next episode will include discussions of We're Alive, American Zombie, the new South African flick, The Dead, and anything else that shambles across our path.

Please send us email, follow us on our Facebook page and keep on staying alive in the free world!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Masses are Fantasizing about Death on a Massive Scale

"The thing that's got me thinking hard about vampires and zombies is that they're both ways of romanticizing death, and it's a very curious thing that so many people should be pursuing that right now."

-John Michael Greer