The wait between the first and second episodes of any season of The Walking Dead is the hardest, aside from the time between the last and second-to-last instalments, that is. We had just gotten used to not seeing Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) every week, but now that we've tasted blood, we're not sure we can wait until October 20 for more.
Thankfully, the Internet is a wild and wonderful place full of perfectly acceptable options to distract us while we wait for Sunday to come around.
1. Classic Zombie Survival Films
One thing that Walking Dead does well that some modern zombie flicks don't quite catch is exploring the effect of a horrific apocalypse on the human psyche — it explores what we're capable of as human beings when pushed, and it forces alliances that would never happen otherwise. Not to mention the whole idea of killing something living inside the shell of your loved ones.
Our favorite zombie movies that are also survival tales:
- All-time classic Night of the Living Dead is, of course, a given, but its sequel, Dawn of the Dead could even be Walking Dead's direct prequel. Like its 2004 remake, Dawn of the Dead follows a team of survivors camped out in a shopping mall. It's available as a digital rental on iTunes, YouTube, and more.
- Danny Boyle's epic tale of sort-of-zombies 28 Days Later, is also available as a digital rental on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, and more.
- The Evil Dead — the 1981 original — has all the general horror tropes in place while hitting a ton of zombie survival points. It's streaming on both Netflix and Hulu Plus, or it's available as a digital rental.
2. Zombie Comedy
Because we're able to get so close to the survivors on The Walking Dead, some endearing and big-laugh moments are inevitable. Plus, maybe you want to save your tears and fears for Sunday night now that TWD is back on.
Get some laughs, undead-style, with these flicks:
- Evil Dead 2 is the horror-comedy revision of The Evil Dead, so choose accordingly based on your mood. Watch it for free (with ads) on Crackle, or stream it with an Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus subscription.
- Horror-comedy hybrid series Re-Animator, based on H.P. Lovecraft stories. It's streaming with a Netflix or Amazon Prime membership, or available as a digital rental.
- The Horror of Party Beach brings zombies into the Beach Party genre, with predictably appalling results. Watch it on YouTube.
- Shaun of the Dead is 100% comedy, but could legitimately find its way to the "survival films" list, too. It's available as a digital rental on iTunes.
3. The Boondock Saints
If you're just in it for Norman Reedus's badassery, you might as well just watch The Boondock Saints, if you haven't already seen it. Norman stars alongside Sean Patrick Flanery as Murphy MacManus, one of two twin brothers killing off mafia members in Boston. It's streaming on Netflix, or available as a digital rental.
4. Walking Dead Webisodes
So you need The Walking Dead and you need it now? The latest series of AMC's TWD webisodes, The Oath, follows survivors Karina and Paul in a different camp surrounded by walkers. Watch all of TWD's webisodes on AMC's website.
If, like most of us, you love The Walking Dead because it's a well-made show with some genius creative minds behind it, you should check out the other work of Robert Kirkman. The intrepid creator of The Walking Dead comics is also the man behind Invincible, a popular, albeit relatively new, comic book series. If reading comix isn't your thing (Easter egg: it's definitely Carl Grimes's thing!), you can watch the motion comics, which aired as a series on MTV2. All the episodes are archived on MTV's website.
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.