Zombie Western Takes the Stage

Well, this sounds completely awesome, Death Valley: A Zombie Western, playing off-Broadway. The excerpts below come from a review in The Brooklyn Paper (click on the excerpt to go to the article):

It was only meant as a joke. Williamsburg roommates Dan Rogers and Adam Scott Mazer were brainstorming a serial to do for the genre-bending theater group Vampire Cowboys when Rogers threw out the words “zombie Western.”

“Once you get into it, there’s a lot in common between the Western genre and the horror zombie genre,” said Mazer. “It’s all about freedom and justice, and what happens in a world where there are no real rules, and laws aren’t binding.”

The dark comedy, which was written before this summer’s anticipated blockbuster, “Cowboys and Aliens,” is set in 1880 on the Texas-New Mexico border and follows Lawrence, a smooth-talking cowboy, and his occasional lady friend, Adele, who soon find themselves in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

“Dan coined the term ‘The Walking Deadwood’ to describe the tone and general idea of the show,’ ” said Mazer. “That’s pretty accurate.”

“Death Valley” at the Bushwick Starr (207 Starr Street between Irving and Wyckoff Avenues in Bushwick, no phone), June 23-July 10. Tickets $15. For info, visit www.thebushwickstarr.org.

The Spirit of John Wayne

It’s not unusual for presidential candidates to evoke iconic cowboy John Wayne, but I wonder if the current generation of candidates should recondsider that strategy, as today’s candidates don’t seem to have the same grasp of the Wayne facts and essentials: case in point, Michelle Bachmann:

The presidential hopeful — who was born and grew up in Waterloo as a child before moving to Minnesota — said, “Well, what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.”

The Washington Times points out one slight problem with the Tea Party favorite’s remarks: The John Wayne with roots in Waterloo is John Wayne Gacy, a serial killer who was executed by lethal injection in 1994 after being convicted of 33 murders.

John Wayne — the late movie star, director and producer — was born in Winterset, Iowa, but appears to have no specific connection to Waterloo.

Wrapping up The Killing

Day 13 (and episode 13, “Orpheus Descending”) of The Killing finally wrapped everything up into a neat bow, revealing the murderer of Rosie Larsen, allowing Mitch and Stan Larsen a sense of closure so that they can begin the healing process, and sending Detective Linden out to San Francisco to reconcile with her fiance. The final shot of the season shows Linden and Rick Felder standing with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop as the soon-to-be-married couple exchange their wedding vows.

I am, of course, joking. The Killing, throughout the series, has consciously evoked the conventions of the police procedural in order to depart from them, and the final episode from season one is no different.  If you haven’t seen the episode yet, read no further, as SPOILERS follow.

For those of us who have seen the British series State of Play, the increasing investigative focus on mayoral candidate Darren Richmond has felt a little too obvious. We’ve seen this twist before. Certainly, by the end of season one, Richmond has been arrested for the murder of Rosie Larsen. But did he actually kill her? All we know for certain is that Det. Holder falsified evidence, supplying a security camera photograph  (“I’ve got the nail,” for Richmond’s coffin,  “if you’ve got the hammer”) from a camera that turns out to have been out of operation for 6 months.  Det. Linden discovers this when she receives a phone call while sitting on the airplane getting ready to taxi out for the flight to Oakland.

Is Richmond guilty? Will he actually live to go to trial? Who exactly has Holder been meeting with? He told Linden it was his AA sponsor, who, he said, was keeping Holder’s paycheck and doling out the money slowly to prevent Holder from giving into the temptation to buy drugs. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Was Holder supplying false evidence in order to frame Richmond (at the behest, perhaps, of a political rival)? or because he indeed thinks Richmond is guilty?

The Killing has been renewed for a second season, so I guess we’ll see (eventually) how the answers to these questions play out.

The Killing: Beau Soleil

As The Killing moves toward its conclusion (assuming, of course, that the final episode of the season will be conclusive), the penultimate episode, “Beau Soleil,’ provides several revelations. I will mention only a few of them here, as the episode is still airing on AMC. Most importantly, we learn more about the secretive life or Rosie Larsen, which, it is revealed, is a shadow of her aunt Terry Marek’s own secret life.  Terry, Mitch Larsen’s sister, has been working for an escort agency known as Beau Soleil, and, ATM photos and records suggest that Rosie has been following in her aunt’s (expensive) high-heeled footsteps.

A client going by the code name of Orpheus has been acting in a particularly creepy manner, including asking one woman if she ever wondered what it would feel like to drown.  Detectives Linden and Holder suspect that Orpheus is one of Rosie’s clients, and that he is her killer. The question, which seems to have been answered at the end of the episode (and which I won’t spoil her), is who is Orpheus?