God and cinema

I am a movie buff. Not that I’m versed in arcane knowledge where films and movies are concerned. I’m simply one who enjoys the films I am willing to watch. The television I watch is chosen because of the writing and, if I’m lucky, the acting. Most films have great intentions. They have people behind them who had a dream and maybe a little money. Maybe not. But the creators and the dreamers found someone who believed in them and their vision. Believed that what they had to say mattered. Was important or humorous or had a socially redeeming quality that must be shared. Felt that this is a story that must be told and cannot be allowed to die with the one who came up with the tale.

Noble, really.

So when I watch a film, I choose to honor those storytellers by looking for the reason they wrote the story to begin with. What motivated or caused them to want to place pen to paper or finger to keypad. I watch for the Easter eggs that the writers and directors and vision keepers put in the images that dance and stroll across my screen. I believe they place those eggs in there because some folk believe in things other than the ones who hold the vision. The story that must be told. Many times I agree with the editors or censors or whatever titles they go by now. I agree that gratuitous violence, blood, and gore for the sake of violence, blood, and gore is unnecessary and irritating. Very few films do I watch where I feel those extras are needed to further the plot or characters being portrayed.

Enter The Walking Dead.

Normally I am not the kind to cotton to gore filled media couched as “entertainment”. I find the idea of zombies a contrived one attempting, with varying degrees of success, to supplant sparkly vampires and dystopian future flicks. In general I am not impressed. But then I saw an episode that made me wonder why I didn’t see the eggs before. Maybe I wasn’t giving the show credit for making an effort to be different. To be a cut above. Something more than just a creature feature. Good for entertainment. But not for redeeming values. Hardly.

I hope I am wrong.

I watched an episode recently, that made me ask the question: is there a deeper message that the writers wanted to convey, but time and sponsorships made them compromise? In this episode the living characters were in an Episcopal church with a fallen priest carrying a catholic rosary. I’m still trying to understand that juxtaposition. But as I said before, I saw Easter eggs. Those are little stage props or hidden images that fit, and yet don’t. I saw a guilty priest. A group of folk held together by circumstance and a group of others pursuing them who chose to become cannibals to survive.

In this church, as in many folks churches, there was posted several bible verses. I haven’t read them before writing this so let’s look together and see if there was an egg there. One that furthered the plot.

Numbers 6:4 all the days of his separation shall be eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.
Ezekiel 37:7 so I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
Mathew 27:52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
Revelations 9:6 and in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from him
Luke 24:5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them,Why seek ye the living among the dead?

Numbers is focused on how one should prepare themselves to separate from the world and become avowed to God physically both by diet and physical appearance. Abstinence from razors and certain foods are called out. It’s interesting I think to see how the characters in the walking dead haven’t really changed their hair but one character has recently in another episode been poked at about his mullet. This passage may simply be interesting but not specific to the show. I’ll write about that later.

Ezekiel is very ominous when viewed through a Walking Dead lens. A valley of dead bones that are brought to life with fresh and sinew but having no breath expect by the breathe of God Himself. Can yet these bones live? Shiver.

Mathew is very applicable except that in this show, the cries of Jesus are only uttered by the dying beseech in his help. The dead saints being raised up and the living witnessing them. Clearly this is a vision I am sure Matthew didn’t intend.

Revelations seems to be a foretelling or retelling. For Five months they are to endure insect born torments. Those who were to suffer it would have no relief. Even seeking death, but still no relief. These Walkers are very insect like. They horde and surround even in their plodding walk. And they are ever present and appear when you least expect. Very frightening.

Luke is the most interesting. To me this is the one that is prophetic and maybe even foreshadowing. In this biblical passage, the women came to Jesus’ tomb seeking to apply spices to his body. But an angel was upon the tomb and expressed confusion at their mission. Asking why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here. He is in Galilee as He said He would be. This moves me because in the context of The Walking Dead, they are all looking for salvation in Washington, D.C. which is in and of itself crazy considering how that towns politics are today. But I shall not digress here.

They are looking for something or someone to save them from this Hell they are living through. Fighting through so many terrors. Death is a daily thing for them. Like taking lunch with coworkers. So it seems to me that if this verse is fulfilled in the television show, they will reach Washington, D.C. But they are not likely to find anything there but the dead. The living will have already gone. Not a spoiler. Just a guess.

This is why I watch well written shows. Zombies are boring, usually. Zombie killers, if that oxymoron makes sense, are usually one dimensional. But here, the writers have made an effort to be better. To do better. And I am glad I found that out. I suppose that means I am a fan now. Uh oh…

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