Monday, January 20, 2014

Zombies: A TVCU Quickie

What's a quickie?  See this blog.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the Vodou religion, zombie (Haitian Creolezonbi) is an animated corpse raised by magical means, such as witchcraft.[1]

Zombies are fictional undead creatures regularly encountered in horror and fantasy themed works. They are typically depicted as mindless, reanimated corpses with a hunger for human flesh, and particularly for human brains in some depictions. Although they share their name and some superficial similarities with the zombie from Haitian Vodun, their links to such folklore are unclear. Many consider George A. Romero's seminal film Night of the Living Dead to be the progenitor of these creatures.[1][2] Zombies have a complex literary heritage, with antecedents ranging from Richard Matheson and H. P. Lovecraft to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, all drawing on European folklore of the undead. The popularity of zombies in movies has led to them sometimes having been taken out of their usual element of horror and thrown into other genres, for example the comedy film Shaun of the Dead. The "zombie apocalypse" concept, in which the civilized world is brought low by a global zombie infestation, has become a staple of modern popular art. By 2011 the influence of zombies in popular consciousness had reached far enough that the United States government's Center for Disease Control used the idea as a theme to promote disaster preparedness.[3]

From me:

Since I've been working on the book, I've intentionally avoided covering  specific horror series, because I want you to buy the book and give me your money.  But today, I'll be talking about zombies as a general concept in the TVCU.

There are several zombie stories that have been crossed into the Television Crossover Universe, and I tend to see three possibilities for including them.  First would be if we consider that the zombie outbreak was a local event, that was contained, and covered up, so that the general population never became aware.  Those could stay within the main TVCU timeline. 

Second would be a break from the main timeline, into a divergent timeline.  That means that the story begins just at a point where the the divergent timeline begins.  Before that point, the main TVCU and the history of the characters of the story were exactly the same.  

The third would be a combination of the first two, in which we consider that the majority of the story did happen in the TVCU, but the ending, usually leading to a more global outbreak, is the divergence, whereas an unseen alternate ending would be the TVCU version, in which things were contained.  

In regards to the divergent timeline theory, it's possible that many of the zombie stories are all part of the same divergent timeline, but that can't be true of all of them, mainly because a lot of these stories are contemporary, and begin with the initial outbreak, so that we end up with several timelines where zombie outbreaks have begun and become global between the 1960s to the present.  To steal a name, I suppose we could call these the Zombielands.

Come join the discussion about zombies or other TVCU related topics here.

And now, a mini-chron:  (And please not that mini-chrons are not all-inclusive.  They are a brief glimpse.  The point of quickies is not thoroughness like the regular blogs, but something quickly knocked out for your entertainment and education.)

1863—The Amazing Screw-On Head; Mike Mignola
From Wikipedia: “Screw-On Head is an agent for President Abraham Lincoln. He is summoned by Lincoln to track down Emperor Zombie, an undead occultist and originally a groundskeeper at Hyde Park. Zombie and his henchmen, the vampire Madam and scientist Dr. Snap, have stolen an ancient manuscript. This will allow him access to the temple of Gung, a warlord who nearly conquered the world over ten thousand years ago with supernatural power gained from "a fabulous melon-sized jewel", which Zombie obviously plans to use for himself.”

At the end of the story, Screw-On is given orders to take care of anything supernatural lurking in the western territories.

1889—When the deadite infected Sentry escaped the Marvel Zombies universe, he split into a string of possibilities where versions of him ended up in many different universes. One of these deadite Sentrys ended up in Wonderland. At this moment two futures existed, one in which the infection took hold over the whole of wonderland, and one in which the infection was quickly stopped. During this moment of wavering reality, Ashley Williams briefly engaged in battle against the zombie future, before moving on. The clean universal future, however, won out and the Sentry was destroyed moments after entering Wonderland by the roaming Jabberwock.

This is based on information presented in Army of Darkness vs. The Re-Animator.

1957--OUTER SPACE JITTERS--The trio reveal to their sons a tale from when they actually did go to another planet themselves (which must have happened after they won the Liars Award.)  The planet is called Venus, but not likely.  It's also not likely Mongo.  Perhaps they actually traveled to another universe.  In the tale, the bad guys plan to invade Earth with zombies, and indeed try to turn the trio into zombies.  The invasion was thwarted and the trio escaped.  However, when they think the babysitter has arrived at the end of the tale, it's actually a zombie, which surely they killed.  It must have been sent as revenge.

June 1982--EVIL DEAD--A group of teenagers go out to a cabin in the woods and uncover the Necronomicon Ex Mortis.  Thinking it's not real, they incite incantations that raise the dead and turn everyone into zombies except Ash who is forced to kill his girlfriend and other friends.  The events seem to drive him mad, altering his personality. 

1982--Charmed establishes that real zombies were used for Thriller, manipulated by a demon.  Wizards of Waverly Place also alludes to this as being fact!!!

1989--THE RESURRECTION OF MICHAEL MYERS PART 2--At a wild party at a hospital, Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface, and a zombie all show up to cause mayhem.

1990—Bill and Ted’s Excellent Comic Book #2
In the wake of the vow renewal, Death has retired and ran off with a second-generation TARDIS for a much needed vacation. This would be bad enough, but Hell is giving up its dead and zombies are wondering about Bill and Ted’s house, making a mess of things. Lincoln, Billy the Kid, and Napoleon battle the zombies back—then, later, force them to clean up the mess they’ve made.

Death running off would be bad enough, but this storyline must occur at the same time as Sandman: Season of Mists. Satan has abandoned Hell (for a time, at least) and all of the damned souls are forced back to walk the worlds they left at death, which explains the zombies surrounding Bill, Ted, and Lincoln.

At this time the exact relation between Bill and Ted’s Death and Sandman’s sister, Death, has not yet been fully determined.

Early 21st Century--WORKS OF BRIAN KEENE--From John D Lindsey Jr:  Over the last few years I’ve gotten into the works of horror author Brian Keene. Keene’s works are interconnected, and take place across a number of different realities, all connected by The Labyrinth, which is a short of “shortcut” that connects all the different parallel realities and even different times and places within them, very much like The Dark Tower in Stephen King’s work.

The main antagonists of Keene’s work are a group of beings called The Thirteen, who are the only survivors from the previous reality, which was leveled when the being we know as God, Yahweh, or Allah destroyed it to use the energy and raw materials to create the present multiverse. Now, they’ve got a serious hate-on for God, and especially the human race, and travel from dimension to dimension destroying worlds out of spite. God, for his part, seems to be absent, as one character in A Gathering of Crows looks beyond the veil and comes away crazy, babbling about how God has been split into three parts, and one of them is caught in a cycle, reborn over and over and over again.

Among the Thirteen are: Behemoth (basically a giant worm, who in A Gathering of Crows is revealed to dwell on Yuggoth), Ob (who leads the Siqqusim, a race of beings with no bodies who causes zombie apocalypses on different Earths by possessing the dead), Ab and Api (brothers of Ob), Nodens, who is the most powerful of the Thirteen and destroys worlds by plunging them into darkness and killing entire populations by manifesting as things they fear (this name does contradict the Mythos version of Nodens, but it's also mentioned that the creature has many different names, most of which are not it's true one), Meeble (the smallest of the Thirteen, who destroys civilizations one town at a time, instead of on a global scale; one of his other names is Croatoan, and he is credited with the destruction of Roanoake, though so are plenty of other demons and monsters; musta been quite a party), and Leviathan (who is very like Cthulhu, but probably isn't actually him). Others mentioned but not yet seen are Kandara (clearly named for the Kandarian demons in The Evil Dead movies), Purturabo, Shtar, Kat, and Apu. This leaves one unnamed, and I like to think it’s the First Evil, which also claimed a pre-Universal origin. The Nef-Lords from Hack/Slash have pretty much the same origin.

Most of Keene’s works take place on a world a lot like ours. These stories include:

“Tequila's Sunrise”, a short story in which a young Aztec boy is given access to the Labyrinth so that he can try to change history; of course, it doesn't work. This story gives us the most information we've yet had on the Labyrinth, and passes through all of Keene's disparate works, with the character catching glimpses into the events of Terminal, The Rising, The Conqueror Worms, and others. It also includes a brief appearance by the hog-men from William Hope
Hodgson's novel The House on the Borderland.

Terminal - A poor factory worker in rural Pennsylvania discovers that he has terminal cancer, and decides to rob a bank with two of his buddies so that his wife and son will be taken care of when he's gone. Things go wrong, and get really weird when they discover that one of their hostages, a six year old boy, has supernatural powers, because he’s the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.

Ghoul - Rural PA again, this time in the summer of 1984, when a group of young boys find themselves facing off against a killer ghoul who has been released from the local cemetery.

Kill Whitey – The villain of this one is an unkillable Russian mobster, “Whitey” Putin, who is descended from Grigori Rasputin and now operates in Pennsylvania. Ob is mentioned, and there is a reference to the events of Terminal.

Dark Hollow - A satyr is summoned up, again in rural PA, and starts murdering men and having his way with the local women; some fairly disturbing sexual imagery. Satyrs in this reality worship the Thirteen.

Ghost Walk - This one is a sequel of sorts to Dark Hollow. It also introduces Levi Stoltzfus, one of my current favorite fictional characters, often referred to by fans as “the Amish Repairman Jack”. Levi, with the help of a character from Dark Hollow, defeats Nodens, the most powerful of The Thirteen, and casts him out of this reality. There are references to Shub-Niggurath, Nug and Yeb, and a number of other Mythos beings and places.

Castaways - A group of reality show contestants on a desert island are massacred by a tribe of killer mutant ape-thingies. A statue of Cthulhu or Leviathan appears, and Hodgson's hog-men are depicted in the cave paintings of the monsters.

Urban Gothic - Think The Hills Have Eyes if it happened in the Philadelphia ghetto. A group of kids wander into an old house, which turns out to be the gateway to an underground cave system filled with mutants and cannibals, at least one of whom swears by Ob.

A Gathering of Crows - Levi Stoltzfus returns, this time in a small West Virginia town, where agents of Meeble, one of The Thirteen, have cut the whole town off from the rest of the world and begun devouring the souls of the citizenry one at a time. Levi has access to pages from the Necronomicon, and is familiar with Nyarlathotep and the Cthulhu cult. Levi at one point uses the Labyrinth to travel to Yuggoth, domain of Behemoth.

“I Am an Exit” and “This is Not an Exit”, two short stories featuring a serial killer who sacrifices people to close “doors” that allow things in from beyond, possibly connected to the Closers from A Night in the Lonesome October. This character was set to be in A Gathering of Crows, but Keene felt he was stealing the spotlight, but has confirmed he will be back for a later novel.

The parallel worlds that are established by Keene run thusly:

The Rising and City of the Dead – These two novels are an apocalyptic zombie story. Scientists at a research lab in PA use a thinly disguised version of the Large Hadron Collider, accidentally opening a doorway to the Void, and allowing in one of The Thirteen, Ob, and his followers, the Siqqusim. These beings have no bodies, since their original bodies were destroyed by God when He cast them into the Void, so they manifest by possessing the bodies of the dead: all of the dead, human, animal, it doesn't matter, and set out to wipe humanity off the face of the Earth. And they WIN.

The Conqueror Worms - Human followers of The Thirteen summon Leviathan and Behemoth, who destroy civilization. The cities are flooded by never-ending rain, which also has the side effect of driving enormous, skyscraper sized worms, the children of Behemoth, up out of the deep Earth.

Dead Sea - A plague called Hamelin's Revenge, spread by rats, causes widespread zombification and death. Despite some misunderstanding, this is NOT set in the same world as The Rising.

Darkness on the Edge of Town - This one is set in a world where Levi Stoltzfus died fighting Meeble of the Thirteen years earlier, and so was not around to save the world in Ghost Walk. Nodens takes over the Earth and wipes out everyone, with the exception of the people of Walden, Virginia, who are protected by a magus named Dez, who knows the proper spells to keep Nodens out...but isn't able to stop the newly isolated people from going crazy on each other.

Take the Long Way Home – This one is set on a world where the Christian Rapture happens, and tells the story of a handful of people left on Earth; not nearly as lame as some other works that have used this as a storyline. It’s briefly mentioned that this world is “Level Six, if you come through the Labyrinth”.

2001--THE JASON STRAIN--From Wikipedia:  The Jason Strain places Jason on an island with a group of death row convicts—placed there by television executives running a reality game show—while a scientist attempts to create an age-retarding "super drug" from Jason's DNA. Instead, she creates a virus that reanimates the dead into zombies.[102] 

Fall 2002--FREDDY VS. JASON--While in Hell, Fred Krueger finds Jason Vorhees.  Jason is a type of zombie.  He cannot be killed.  He continuously reanimates his body.  Freddy can't return because the people of Springwood have eliminated all knowledge of him, and he had lost all the souls he had collected.  He plans on sending Jason to Springwood to kill, figuring the people there would think that Freddy returned.  This fear would actually resurrect Freddy.  As is typical, many teens die, but a couple of them survive to kill both slashers.  They use the old trick of pulling Freddy into the real world, then pit the two against each other.  In the end, it appears they both died at Crystal Lake, but as usual, we learn at the end that both have survived.

Summer 2005--GRINDHOUSE--"Planet Terror"--Sheriff McGraw appears again, this time with wife and daughter.  Red Apples appear.  The recent death of Jungle Janice (from Death Proof) is mentioned.  The doctor seen in Death Proof is a central character in Planet Terror.  Note that many zombie films are in the TVCU, thanks to crossovers, and most of those films end with the world being overrun with zombies.  However, for TVCU purposes, we must adjust the endings so that just a town was overrun, before being contained by the military and covered up by the government.


September 2006--MARVEL ZOMBIES VS. ARMY OF DARKNESS # 1 - 5--Earth 2149 is an alternate realities where the entire world that was once similar to the MARVEL UNIVERSE but now most of the world, including its super-heroes, have become Zombies.  Ash is pulled into this world, where is counterpart, Ashley G. Williams, has been turned into a zombie.  The Doctor Doom of this world has a copy of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis.  It should also be noted that MARVEL COMICS considers Ash to be from Earth 818793.  We can assume that the Television Crossover Universe is Earth 818793.  At the very end, Ash leaves this world and is transported to Earth 7085 where the Marvel Universe has instead by infected by lycanthropy and everyone is a werewolf like Man-Wolf.

September 2006--ARMY OF DARKNESS:  FROM THE ASHES--After leaving Earth 7085, Ash ends up in the ZOMBIE UNIVERSE.  This is the reality where most zombie films, books, and tv shows occur.  At this point, he ends up in a place where it is overrun with deadites raised by the Necronomicon Ex Mortis.

February 2008--ZOMBIE KILLER--Elvira adds her vocals to this song performed by Leslie and the Ly's, who would later perform to an audience of zombies in a stadium named after the Mistress of the Dark.

Summer 2008--PHINEAS AND FERB (Episodes 105 - on)--Another summer of adventures.  
  • Ozzy Osborne - One of the zombies in the Russell's underground river has the appearance of a zombie Ozzy.

2008--MY NAME IS BRUCE--Bruce Campbell is the star of films that had been based on Ash's stories, leaked from the asylum.  It has made him a cult genre hero.  So when zombies overrun a real small town, a boy calls upon Bruce Campbell, confusing him with Ash.  Bruce thinks it's a gig, and comes along, only to face a real zombie and flees.  However, he summons the courage to return and vanquish the monster.  In the end, he tells the town to next time call on that BUFFY chick.

2008--CABIN IN THE WOODS--Wolfram and Hart are responsible for keeping the old ones from rising and destroying the Earth by making regular ritual sacrifices.  Basically, every few years they lure teens to a rural setting and set up a situation for them to become victims of some sort of slasher.  This film crosses BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, FIREFLY, EVIL DEAD I and II, HELLRAISER, ANGEL, CLOVERFIELD, GRUDGE, MUMMY, FRIDAY THE 13TH, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, THE SHINING, ROMERO ZOMBIE FILMS, RE-ANIMATOR, LEFT 4 DEAD, FRANKENSTEIN, HALLOWEEN, RESIDENT EVIL, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, and DOC SAVAGE.  James and I also infer a link to SCOOBY-DOO, but that link is harder to prove.  Note these aren't the only crossovers, but the only ones that James and I caught on our first viewings.  Once we have it on video, I'm sure we'll find more.  The results of the end of the movie lead to two alternate events.  In the TVCU, Gort comes to Earth to reclaim the Earth, but in the end, chooses to give humans another chance.  But in the TVCU2, Gort allows for the release of giant monster, as seen in the film Cloverfield.  2008 is a key year for divergence between the TVCU and TVCU2.  This is also the year vampires and mutants go public.  I can only imagine that four men's trip in time via a hot tub during this year (with one of them staying behind to intentionally alter history has some major effect.)

2008--THE MONSTER SQUAD 2--Ivan Ronald Schablotski says:  Gotta be honest, the story of IT using the grown up kids from MONSTER SQUAD fighting Freddy, Jason, Michael, and Chucky, in Amityville, with Ash from Housewares thrown in... plus Romero zombies; I could totally see that happening. One of the rare fan-made movies I'd actually want to watch.

2008--JASON X--Ivan Ronald Schablotski says:  Scranton has zombies, as evidenced in DIARY OF THE DEAD (speaking of, today's George Romero's birthday). There was also a secret government installation in Scranton in 2008 to immobilize and study the undying slasher Jason Voorhees, as per JASON X.

October 2010 (Episode dated 10/28/2010)--COMMUNITY SEASON 2 EP 6--"Epidemiology"--When a zombie outbreak occurs at the GCC Halloween dance, the Men in Black show up to erase everyone's memories.

2455--JASON X--Jason is found floating in space by a ship full of teenagers on a field trip.  He is resurrected and merges with the ship to become a cyborg zombie.

December 3009--FUTURAMA--"Attack of the Killer App"--In zombie parade there is a clown who bears similarities with Krusty from The Simpsons. Also, the goat(Mr. Chunks) from this episode also appeared in The Simpsons as statue.

And here's Toby's take on Inner Toob zombies.

And from Wikipedia:


Here are some of the more recent posts regarding zombies in the TVCU discussion forum.

a walk though of the Cabin in the woods house at Halloween Horror in the basment with all the Monster items is Billy Mary Shaw's Puppet in the The Facility itself is a Thing Mutated human and Jack the Clown one of Halloween horror nights own icons this oplus the fact that Left for dead Zombies show up in the actual Movie would imply that the Facility actually captures the monsters and uses them for they're rituals has opposed to every horror Movie ever being some big lie

So during San Diego comic con there was out break of Walkersttp:// appetally Juliet Starling form Lollipop Chainsaw was on hand

a Zombie, Dracula, , a mummy,an undead pirate big foot, an alien a yeti, the loc ness monster,one of the Frankenstein monsters, a member of the Dr. Jekyll clan, a robot, a a human fly hybrid,an Evil Clown,a Slasher,a monster baby, the hunch back of Notre dame, a mutant alligator, a werewolf, a Deep one an a monster Shark all Have races after a Zombie apocalypse

I know that Scranton is a real place, I don't don't usually use real places to link, but in case of Scranton I've tended to make an exception for no really excusable reason. Scranton of course is the home of the office and a zombie outbreak, and has been visited by monster hunter Ivan Ronald Schablotski, and now I have noticed for the first time that it's also the setting of the film Kingpin.


Bonus.  Horror Crossover Universe! 

Release Date;  July 28, 1932 (Contemporary Setting)
Series:  White Zombie
The Story:  In Haiti, a plantation owner wants another man’s fiance to marry him, and so enlists the assistance of voodoo master Murder Legendre, who turns the girl into a zombie.
HCU Comments:  Many writers seem to love using Murder Legendre as the villain in their stories.  I wonder what kind of mother names her child “Murder”, though.  Note that the zombies in this story are the traditional voodoo type zombies.  These are people placed into a drug induced trance who appear to have died and been resurrected to become obedient slaves.  This shouldn’t be confused with the type of zombie made famous by George Romero in fiction in which a deceased person is resurrected by some means (comet, radiation, gas, etc.) to become a flesh or brain eating monster.

Release Date:  1941 (Contemporary Setting)
Series:  Man Made Monster
The Story:  A man finds he has a higher than normal tolerance to electricity.  This gets him a gig as a side show freak, but two scientists wish to study him, and he agrees.  But of course one scientist is evil and wants to rule the world, and so plans to create an army of electrically controlled zombie soldiers, with the lead as the prototype.
HCU Comments:  Like most Universal horror, this film is brought in via Jeff Rovin’s novel Return of the Wolf Man.

Release Date:  December 1975 (Contemporary Setting)
Series:  The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor
Horror Crosses:  Donald F. Glut’s interconnected works; Dracula (novel); Frankenstein (Donald F. Glut); Count Wulfstein; The Lurker; Purple Zombie; Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde (novel); Simbar; Phantom Stranger; Deadman; Dr. 13 (See Comments)
Non-Horror Crosses:  Batman; Justice League of America; Avengers (Marvel); Freedom Fighters; Thor (Marvel); Defenders; Beast; Thunderbunny; Animal Man; Generation X; Superboy (Modern Age); The Ravers  (See Comments)
The Story:  Spektor is in Rutland, Vermont for the annual Masque Macabre Halloween parade when the Dark Gods bring several statues to life.
HCU Comments:  The Statues brought to life are Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, Count Wulfstein, the Lurker, the Purple Zombie, Mr. Hyde, Simbar, and Ra-Ka-Tep.  Though these are all statues brought to life, most are characters met by Spektor already, so the presumption is that the others are also in the same reality as Spektor as well.  This parade is a real annual event, but it appears often in comics.  It’s considered one of the first intercompany crossovers because multiple comic book companies use it as a setting.  This was an intentional attempt by comics writers to get past legalities and present that all the comics co-exist in the same reality.  Because of writer’s intent, I’m inclined to allow the crossovers, even though I really hate to make the HCU into a superhero universe.  The compromise is to say that the above crosses are all in, but superheroes in the HCU were more or less not as public as in their main comic book universes, and their careers only lasted from the 1960s to the mid 1980s at most.  It was a weird quirky phenomenon in the HCU and most people today have no recollection that super-heroes ever existed.


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