There’s a wee bit of an in-joke in the latest page, concerning the ‘tracking number’ of the zombie. In the interest of letting other geeks like myself feel special I won’t explain it until next time, although I confess the title of this post all but gives it away.

I was having a conversation with my dad the other day and he mentioned that he tried watching a zombie movie, but was finding it somewhat ridiculous; in particular, the notion of a creature of ostensibly human anatomy being able to bite through another human’s skull with no more trouble than we might sink our teeth into an apple.

I admit, I’ve had these thoughts myself. Even if your given zombie is super strong and feels no pain, it seems like teeth (particularly rotten zombie teeth) are far more likely to break before a skull does. But zombies these days are often associated with brain-eating, and so the skulls of their victims must conveniently have the durability of eggshells.

As zombie genre fans we often are asked to take a lot for granted along these lines. Night of the Living Dead is played straight and serious, and in my opinion works just fine, but it’s as soon as the original Dawn of the Dead that we’re asked to believe that a biker dude with a horde of undead moaning at his heels would decide that’s a fantastic time to sit down, stick his arm in a cuff and check his blood pressure.

It’s not a huge deal I suppose, especially if a movie’s obviously meant to be over-the-top. Complaining about inconsistencies and impossibilities in a film like Dead Alive is entirely missing the point (and quite possibly bordering on being a douchebag). But if you’re going to make a “serious” zombie flick, I do like to see some sort of consistency. If in one scene a zombie can’t bash through a window and can be pushed off by a 90-pound woman, please don’t follow it up with scenes where they break down solid doors with a single shove or rip arms out of sockets. Otherwise I may start laughing instead of feeling terrified.

I know, I know, ripping arms out of sockets is cool. Wookiees have known this for many years. Arguably a whole point of film, or comics, or any kind of storytelling really, is to Present Stuff That Is Cool.  Perhaps I ask too much. And no doubt I’ll be committing the same sins with my own zombies down the road and will cry myself to sleep wondering what became of that man who once had standards… standards for his zombies.

I’ll close out my weekly wall o’ text with another hearty Western recommendation: El Dorado. This is another John Wayne movie, and one where The Duke is in full effect with those trademark… pauses in the middle of his sentences if ya… know what I mean, pilgrim.

(Odd observation: Is William Shatner’s speech pattern similar to John Wayne’s, only stuck on fast forward?)

But anyhow, the movie also stars Robert Mitchum and a James Caan I’d never experienced before, which is to say a young James Caan. He looked way different.

It’s directed by the legendary Howard Hawks and quite well-written, even if sometimes the women and music seem more appropriate to a spy movie of the era.

There you have it, your weekly quota of cowboy and zombie talk. And for those of you observing it, have a good Veteran’s/Armistice/Remembrance Day!