There are few shows in television history which are as wildly popular and talked about a AMC's apocalyptic drama The Walking Dead. Almost everyone seems to be tuning in on Sundays to see Rick and his group attempt survival, kill zombies, and grapple with morality in a world that has gone to shit. Of course, this type of show isn't for everyone, and there are a fair amount of naysayers out there. One of these non-believers has just spoken up against The Walking Dead, and it's someone who knows the genre very well. Legendary horror director John Carpenter is not a fan of the show. At all.
John Carpenter recently did an episode of the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, where he discussed the horror genre an his future projects. But during his interview, Carpenter managed to squeeze in some jabs about AMC's The Walking Dead.
[The Walking Dead] was a movie that George Romero made back in 1968. And they have milked that, and they are still milking it.
Shots fired. John Carpenter doesn't seem to be a fan of imitation, and thinks The Walking Dead is just milking the zombie genre for the money and adoration that the show has accrued over the years.
While I love John Carpenter and his work as much as the next horror buff, I'm not sure I'm buying his assessment of The Walking Dead. George Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead was certainly the start of the zombie genre, so Carpenter is spot on regarding the history of undead in film and TV. But he seems to believe that because Romero's film was the blueprint for every zombie movie that came out after, that somehow means that TWD and the like are ripping it off. If this rule stands, then all slasher movies that came out after John Carpenter's Halloween are "milking it" as well.
I'm going to assume that John Carpenter hasn't actually seen The Walking Dead. Both the AMC drama and Night of the Living Dead have zombies coming to eat the flesh of the living, but the comparisons pretty much stop there. Sure, Season 2 had the cast in a farm house, but they weren't trying to defend the house from zombies until the finale of that Season. The Walking Dead isn't like a zombie horror movie, really. Instead, we see much of the drama focused on morality. And the fellow survivors are actually the scariest part of the show, rather than the zombies themselves. It's really quite different from George Romero's movie.
What do you think of John Carpenter's assessment of The Walking Dead? Is the apocalyptic drama "milking it" and ripping off Night of the Living Dead, or has it created a genre of its own? Sound off in the comments below.