Being first doesn’t necessarily mean being the best, but there was something completely unforgettable about seeing an unkempt child in bunny slippers on the hunt for blood. To many WalkingDead fans, the particularly gruesome corpse that Rick encountered in the pilot episode, “Days Gone By,” remained nameless.
In The WalkingDead‘s Season 2 episode “Cherokee Rose,” Glenn, Maggie, Dale, and the rest of the crew had to tackle that very issue when they found a walker in the farm’s well. But, of course, the story ended with the team failing to account for the pliability of undead flesh in their “get the gross dude out of the well” plan.
But his death and subsequent reanimation in “Better Angels” certainly shook fans to their core, because it confirmed a long-held theory: that everyone turns, even if they aren’t bit. For fans that were firmly on Team Rick in Season 2, seeing Shane die felt like justice long overdue.
That Shane came back from the dead so soon after his violent and tragic confrontation with Rick made his vacant-eyed ambling toward his former adversary all the more chilling. After two seasons of watching The WalkingDead‘s walkers amble aimlessly, the series’ creators decided to inject a little of creativity into the mix.
Despite her hated status on the series, it was difficult to watch Rick go a bit off the rails as he grieved for her. And when he tracked a trail of her blood to an almost-comatose-because-she-was-so-full zombie in “Say the Word,” her death took on an even more brutal and macabre quality.
That’s what made Daryl finding him in “This Sorrowful Life,” combined and chowing down on a corpse, all the more tragic. Merles weaponized artificial limb didn’t make Daryl’s attempts any easier, and served as a sobering reminder of whom he’d been before the walker instincts took over.
We saw an unforgettable example of that in the Season 5 episode, “Strangers,” which found Father Gabriel, Bob, and a few other survivors hunting for supplies in a nearby store. Rick Grimes and his crew have clearly learned that, because they’ve come up with some pretty impressive kill methods over the series’ seven seasons.
We had a dummy head that we filled with a bunch of gore so when they smashed it with the pipe it just exploded, and I remember Iron Singleton almost vomiting. We were going for the idea that if you throw a hot dog on the grill for too long the skin turns black, but then as soon as the skin starts to split, you actually have that sort of gross pink uncooked meat underneath.
“I remember being on the phone with Scott Simple and talking about the gag where Norman sticks his fingers into the eyes and pulls the skull and the spine out. That was a little nod to Predator in terms of keeping the spinal cord attached to the skull, and it was just a fun gag.
So it was an instance where we were raising the bar by giving us a visual walker that we had never seen before, but then also amping it up by having multiples of them.” “Kevin Galbraith played that particular walker and really showed how it’s not just about the makeup, but it’s also about the performer.
We had a zombie that not only was terrifying to Carl but then did some significant damage to Dale, and we really got a chance to study him.” “This was something that we felt would benefit from the idea of a tree falling on top of it and not allowing that zombie to ever get up.
So we dug a hole in a ground and hid the performer’s legs in the ground, and then we sculpted the lower legs and the chest and the rib cage, and we wanted it so that the whole rib cage hollowed out as if all the guts basically just poured out of the chest upon impact and just dissolved into the earth. Once they did, it created some fertilizer around the zombie, so we were able to utilize that to manufacture moss that just covered that walker from head to toe.
So the helmet is a motorcycle gas tank and a lot of the spikes that were coming out of it were rebar and circular saw blades, scissors and nails and all kinds of different things, but they all had to be applied in a way that had purpose to it. “Gino Cognate, who’s one of my permanent makeup effects artists on my team, played that zombie.
That was probably one of the most grueling applications that we ever had done, because it was an entire day of shooting in August in the summer heat, and he was completely covered. “I loved that zombie because the idea was that his entrails got tangled into the tree, and he never got loose.
The one thing that I feel like I’m constantly pushing on the show is to make sure that the zombies don’t just look like they’re wandering aimlessly, but that they are ticking time bombs and if you get too close to them, they will do some damage. “Because a lot of times the walkers are easily dispatched, every once in a while we need to remind the audience how dangerous these creatures are and in that episode, the walker that bites Carter, I thought they really did a great job of kind of conveying that.
Of course the funny thing was when we did do it, we had a blood tube in Ethan Embryo’s cheek and at one point when the walker bit into his cheek, there was a little of a fire extinguisher effect with the guys that were pumping the blood, and it just coated the guy’s face for about 20 seconds. Everywhere else, every other location we’ve been to there’s been a lot of zombies around and now all of a sudden there aren’t.’ And as a result of a lot of those conversations, this idea came up of the walkers would be attracted to the sound of the other zombies and fall and tumble into this quarry, and then they couldn’t get out.
So as the zombie walked forward the trip wire would pull the entrails out and dislocate the rib cage. That was, to me, a great compliment to have something that they get so immersed in it, and then they start scratching their heads trying to figure out how we did it.
Zombies were the hottest craze of the 2000s and 2010s, and fans received many great movies and TV shows throughout that time. Few people will remember the characters of Dead Set, aside from maybe Kelly and Patrick.
Meanwhile, The WalkingDead contains many thrilling, likable, and iconic characters, including Rick, Carl, Glenn & Maggie, Daryl, Carol, Morgan, The Governor, and Began, to name but a few. However, Dead Set's zombies are fast, screeching, white-eyed beasts that will instill fear in any viewer.
This one is incredibly close, as Dead Set also contains some horrific and grotesque gore. Nicole is a world-renowned make-up effects artist and has worked on many notable movies and television shows.
The thing with Dead Set is that it mocks Big Brother and reality TV. The more diverse locations found throughout The WalkingDead help the show come across as more of a country-spanning, end of the world apocalypse.
Con in that said story has since dragged out long past the point of decomposition. The WalkingDead was once a TV powerhouse, but almost everyone will agree that it has long past its prime and cultural relevance.
Another pro of The WalkingDead's length is that it's accrued more time for memorable, show-defining moments. These include the initial hospital scene, finding zombie Sofia in the barn, The Governor's attack on the prison, and Began killing both Abraham and Glenn.
Dead Set took an enormous risk in its closing moments by having the zombies invade the house and kill everyone inside. Not a single character survives the onslaught, and the show ends with a combined Kelly staring into the camera.
It's one of the bleakest endings in zombie fiction, and there's simply no way The WalkingDead's will compare. But, to go alongside The WalkingDead's ambition, its production values are simply superior.
Not only is the gore and make-up effects better, but the show also portrays larger, more destructive scenarios. For example, The Governor's attack on the prison made for spectacular television, and it would have never been found on Dead Set.
Not only does the entire thing take place in the Big Brother house, the story often satirizes aspects of that specific show, reality TV in general, and the public's infatuation with shallow TV and celebrity.