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TV Wasteland: Zombie Stomp
BBC America delivers In the Flesh
By Rob Vaux
June 03, 2013
There’s a lot of beginnings and endings this week. Revolution, Da Vinci’s Demons and Game of Thrones are all signing off (with all three to return next year), while Burn Notice, Continuum and Falling Skies start new seasons. Syfy unveils a new series based on the adventures of Sinbad, along with a new game show, Exit. However, we’re going to focus on something else: the BBC’s three-part miniseries In the Flesh, which graces our fair shores starting this Thursday.
It posits an update of the zombie apocalypse scenario, in which the living dead have been partially cured and now struggle to integrate back into society. It’s notable first in its continuation of the zombie genre, which has rapidly succeeded vampires as the go-to subject of pop culture horror. The Walking Dead pretty much has the straight angle covered, leaving In the Flesh to explore alternate options. Along with movies like Warm Bodies and World War Z, its unique look at zombie-dom bodes extremely well for the sub-genre going forward. We're no longer limited to regurgitating George A. Romero’s shtick, and the creativity on display suggests that zombie stories have far more depth and range than we could have expected. All of that spells good news for horror fans, even if In the Flesh doesn’t meet its promising expectations. We’ll have a chance to see for ourselves starting this Thursday at 10:00 PM EDT on BBC America.
Revolution (NBC, 10:00 PM EDT)
The season comes to an end as the rebels finally infiltrate the tower. NBC, ever desperate for anything resembling a hit, has already renewed it for next year.
Defiance (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
The Razor Rain hits, which we’re guessing pretty much sucks for everyone.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
HG Wells is back, this time helping the gang find an artifact that scares people to death.
Teen Wolf (MTV, 10:00 PM EDT)
There’s a new alpha pack in town and Scott no like-y.
Shrek Forever After (FMC, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
Shrek bows out, hopefully for good, in the fair-to-middling fourth entry in the franchise.
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (Spike, 8:00 PM EDT)
30 years on, and it still looks pretty good.
Knight and Day (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz have a grand time in an upbeat spy romp that consistently puts a smile on my face.
Teeth (IFC, 10:00 PM EDT)
The vagina dentada myth comes to life with a good Christian girl whose naughty bits come equipped with razor-sharp teeth.
The Rock (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Glad to know that Nicolas Cage could make movies this fun once upon a time.
Exit (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Syfy premieres a new game show, in which contestants have to escape a series of “trapped” rooms in order to win a cash prize.
John Carpenter’s Vampires (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EDT)
It has little to do with the pulpy novel on which it’s based, but this story of a crack squad of vampire killers is tons of B-movie fun.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Repeat after me Hollywood: thou shalt not take less than three years to put a sequel into theaters. Otherwise, this happens.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Jack Sparrow was never quite as charming as he was in his first outing: the film that made Johnny Depp a major movie star.
District 9 (IFC, 10:30 PM EDT)
South Africa produces a modern masterpiece of sci-fi about what happens when alien refugees arrive on our planet.
Haunted Collector (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
Not much on this week’s episode; only that it involves creepy objects.
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
We head to Long Island to hear stories of people who have experienced the supernatural, Or something.
Snakes on a Plane (Spike, 6:10 PM EDT)
Remember when this film was a big deal? Turns out it wasn’t, though it makes for mildly goofy fun regardless.
Piranha (Spike, 9:00 PM EDT)
Alexandre Aja’s remake of the 70s drive-in classic turns out to be pretty good fun as well.
Salt (FX, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
There’s not much fun here, mostly because star Angelina Jolie looks ready to collapse.
RoboCop (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
Let’s all remember how great this was before the remake ruins it.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Jack Sparrow’s third or fourth adventure, depending on how you count, isn’t nearly as bad as its reputation suggests.
The Last Legion (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
They really like screening this, don’t they? I still can’t figure out why.
Collateral Damage (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
Schwarzenegger’s career had been declining for years before this inept little adventure film sends into a full-bore nose dive.
In the Flesh (BBC America, 7:00 PM EDT)
The BBC unveils a new spin on the zombie genre. See the top of the article for more.
Hannibal (NBC, 10:00 PM EDT)
Dr. Gideon escapes and Hannibal conspires to get him within stabbing distance of Will. Because Hannibal may not be entirely sane.
Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
A new season begins with a terrorist approaching Michael with a dangerous new job.
Turner Classic Monster Movies (TCM, 5:00 PM EDT)
Nothing makes my heart gladder than seeing one of TCM’s monster mashes on the schedule. This is a good one, starting with Bride of Frankenstein at 8:00 PM EDT, followed by Godzilla, King of the Monsters at 9:30 PM EDT, Creature from the Black Lagoon at 11:00 PM EDT, It Came from Beneath the Sea at 12:30 AM EDT, the immortal King Kong at 1:00 AM EDT and The Cyclops at 3:00 AM EDT.
Outlander (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Jesus – or the guy who played him anyway – is a space alien helping Vikings. I’d love to see a religious studies paper covering that little tidbit.
The Sixth Sense (FMC, 10:00 PM EDT)
Remember when M. Night Shyamalan wasn’t incompetent?
The Happening (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Yeah, me neither.
X2: X-Men United (BBC America, 7:30 PM EDT)
Here’s hoping The Wolverine is at least as good as this entry.
Madagascar 3 (HBO, 7:45 PM EDT)
I’m still kind of surprised at how well this entry does, as Alex the lion and his buddies join the circus.
Final Destination 5 (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Multiple screenings might be asking too much, but it does the job its sets out to do.
The Crow (Showtime, 9:00 PM EDT)
Rest in peace, Brandon Lee. Your presence in this comic book revenge fantasy speaks volumes about the star you should have become.
Misery (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
Kathy Bates scores one of the few acting Oscars ever awarded to a horror movie in a taut adaptation of the Stephen King novel.
Da Vinci’s Demons (Starz, 8:15 PM EDT)
The first season comes to an end with Leonardo attempting to save the Medicis. Starz has already renewed the series for a second season.
Continuum (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
A new season begins (in the States anyway) with Kiera following up on the assassination of the mayor.
In the Flesh (BBC America, 10:00 PM EDT)
Kieren gets back to his grave and his hunting partner as the BBC miniseries continues.
28 Days Later (BBC America, 7:30 PM EDT)
Nice scheduling, BBC America: a reminder that In the Flesh wasn’t the first intriguing British entry in the zombie apocalypse genre.
Saw (Showtime, 8:15 PM EDT)
There was once a decent premise to this horror franchise that nonetheless wore out its welcome in a big hurry.
The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (Sundance, 8:00 PM EDT, 11:15 PM EDT and 2:30 AM EDT)
Sundance airs all three chapters of the original Scandinavian version of the celebrated cyber thriller. For better or worse.
In the Flesh (BBC America, 10:00 PM EDT)
Kieren visits a few of his old haunts.
Sinbad (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Syfy unveils a new series based on the celebrated Arabian hero.
Primeval: New World (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
A new spin-off of the British series Primeval finds dinosaurs appearing in modern British Columbia.
The Exorcist (BBC America, 7:30 PM EDT)
If you have to ask…
Kick-Ass (Spike, 6:05 PM EDT)
Spike devotes the evening to two of the best comic book adaptations from the last decade, starting with this gleeful deconstruction of superheroes. Repeats on Sunday at 5:30 PM EDT.
Batman Begins (Spike, 9:00 PM EDT)
Christian Bale reinvents the Caped Crusader in incredible fashion, the first of his three terrific outings in the role. Repeats on Sunday at 8:30 PM EDT.
Land of the Lost (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Then someone said, “Hey let’s put Will Ferrell in it!” *Shudder.*
The Green Hornet (FX, 10:30 PM EDT)
Replace “Will Ferrell” with “Seth Rogen” in that last sentence.
The Book of Eli (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
Don’t fuck with Denzel Washington… even when he’s blind.
Clash of the Titans (TNT, 10:30 PM EDT)
It was in 3D too, and we all saw how well that worked.
King Kong (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Peter Jackson spent all that Lord of the Rings currency with an ambitious, but bloated and ultimately unnecessary update of the giant-monkey classic.
Snow White and the Huntsman (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
Kristen Stewart should probably save some money. Repeats on Sunday at the same time.
The Fugitive (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Harrison Ford outruns Tommy Lee Jones in one of the best movie versions of a TV show ever made.
Falling Skies (TNT, 9:00 PM EDT)
The new season begins with Tom taking political office in Charleston. It’s a double episode tonight, so set your DVRs for a 10:00 PM EDT screening as well.
Game of Thrones (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
The third season ends with Joffrey challenging Tywin and Daenerys trying to decide what kind of leader she wants to be.
Rise of the Dinosaurs (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
A squad of soldiers battles giant reptiles in the jungle. I’m thinking Jurassic Park did it better.
Godzilla (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Roland Emmerich managed to screw this one up royally, didn’t he?
Transformers (TNT, 6:00 PM EDT)
Okay, it’s not bad. Are you happy now, Michael Bay?!
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Brad Pitt wanted an Oscar just a little too hard for this one.
Hook (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
Steven Spielberg’s worst film? I say yes.
Scary Movie 2 (IFC, 7:15 PM EDT)
Hook is still better than this one though.
Have a great week everyone!