Hey, Meat-Heads! While Eric really puts his mind to improving his swing, we're going to talk about...
RAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!! (It's amazing how many appropriate clips this movie provides!)
So, violence. Violence, more specifically ultra-violence, has been associated with the the living impaired ever since George Romero fired off the (head)shot heard round the world:
(Warning, not really suitable for work or kids)
This was essentially the beginning of the modern marriage of the undead monster and large caliber firearms, which have lived happily ever since. Along the way, the happy couple gave birth to buckets and buckets of gore glowing in all shades of red to the delight of audiences around the world. The Italians upped the ante with eyeball punctures and brain squishing, a bearded, hobbit-like man from New Zealand showed us the best use for a chest mounted lawn mower, and most recently, the Norwegians painted the mountains red with a snowmobile-mounted WWII-era machine gun. I can assure you all that Dead Meat follows right along in that fine tradition.
However, violence is tricky. I don't think I really need to state that I hate violence, which I do, but at the same time, artistically I do find it effective and actually quite aesthetically pleasing and cathartic in some cases. I think my perception and respect for violence has changed a lot in the past 10 years or so, and as that has changed, so has my approach to how I deal with it in the story. Make no mistake, Dead Meat is violent. It's very violent. It deals with violent people doing violent things to other people and undead alike. Initially, in the first drafts of the story, the violence was a lot lighter in tone, a little more carefree, but as it evolved, I realized that it needed a much harder edge. To tell the story I wanted to tell, I needed it to be clear that a. the world is a DANGEROUS one, and b. my main group of characters are just as dangerous and just as hard as the world they live in. I actually realized that my main group of characters' point of view toward the violence they commit IS actually pretty light and carefree--they kill people who get in the way of their goals as quickly as you'd kill a fly--and I realized that was a very important character trait.
Violence can be scary, violence can be funny, violence can be inappropriate, violence can be cathartic. As you go through your own stories, if they include violence, don't be afraid to really think about what purpose violence serves, and the approach with which you depict it.
With that in mind:
Until next time,
Eat Dead Meat!
p.s. This is another multi-faceted topic, so I encourage discussion in the comments section!