My Grizzly Wife


I love zombies! In movies, books and television shows just give me the undead snarling, biting, gulping victims’ guts and flapping intestines side-to-side in their mouths, and eating off the juicy exposed bones of their prey. I love the blood and the killings and I especially love when a zombie gets his or hers by having his or her head blown up, shot, stabbed or crushed with a giant stone.

Let me watch Dawn of the Dead and Shaun of the Dead over and over; and the Night of the Living Dead even in the early mornings. The zombie is a genre that I love.

But I am normal; please keep that in mind.

My wife, the Beautiful AP, is the truly grizzly one in our home. She makes me look like a calm and rational lover of fine fiction. There are no zombies in the real world. None of the stuff in those books, movies or television shows is real. I even know how all the special effects are done.

So, as I said, I am normal.

But the Beautiful AP watches shows that could make me ill and one of them almost did—a show called My 600-lb Life about immensely fat people who have operations (by this really weird dyed-haired doctor) to do something gory to their stomachs so they can lose weight.

I was dozing in my comfortable armchair after watching a rewarding Walking Dead episode, and my eyes opened. There on our 65-inch screen, in living color, I saw the weird doctor carving up a monstrously fat woman and digging around in the blubber looking for her stomach.

“Oh, God! Oh, God!” I said. “Shut that off. I’m about to throw up.”

“This is so fascinating,” said AP as she ate her buttered popcorn. (Point of fact: the Beautiful AP is thin and in amazing shape.)

I kept my eyes closed until a commercial for chocolate cake came on.

“How can you watch that?” I asked.

“The world of the morbidly obese is really interesting. They sometimes have to lose a hundred or more pounds just to get down to six-hundred pounds,” she said.

“Those operations,” I said.

“I know. The doctor…”

“Who is weird,” I said.

“Who is weird,” she agreed. “He goes right into them and has to move their blubber and organs to get at the stomach. Everything is crushed in there.”

She is also now watching a New Zealand show about immensely blubbery New Zealanders titled Big Ward. Evidently New Zealand has a huge fat problem; maybe New Zealanders are worried that with the increasing number of obese people trudging around that their island nation will sink into the sea.

If I nod off in my chair, she will immediately put on those shows or others such as Hoarders: Buried Alive and Hoarders: Family Secrets about people who keep disgustingly filthy clogged homes. She also likes Tiny House Nation about seriously whacked people who have teeny-tiny houses built for them, houses no bigger than my living room. Some of these people have crammed their fat children into these houses!

Okay, I give you My 600-lb Life, Big Ward, Hoarders; Buried Alive, Hoarders: Family Secrets and Tiny House Nation – or zombies? That’s right, which is the worst addiction? Vote!

But no matter what, I am going to hide the remote from her. I want to be able to keep my food down.

Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic; I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books and at bookstores.


The Top 10 Zombie Movies

  1. Shaun of the Dead (2004): Simon Pegg (co-writer and star), Nick Frost, and co-written by Edgar Wright (writers deserve credit on this baby). Not only is this a great zombie movie, it is a great movie. The story of a near-do-well loser, his estranged girlfriend, her friends, his one friend, his mother and stepfather surrounded by zombies shuffling to take over England. It is a funny exploration of just how “off” the world of man can be with or without zombies. Just terrific and with each viewing you will see more and more that you missed previously.
  2. Dawn of the Dead (2004): I hate fast-moving zombies. Depending on when a person died the body is in some state of rigor mortis. Even freshly dead zombies can’t have fast-twitch muscles. With that said, this reboot of the original “Dawn of the Dead” has everything a zombie movie needs, a cast of great characters who don’t always get along; a great hideout that is surrounded by zombies and an innovative way to get away – if they can actually get away. Humor and horror equal a great mix.
  3. Night of the Living Dead (1968): The first of the modern zombie genre from George A. Romero. The zombies were not called zombies in this film but ghouls. A ghoul is a human creature that eats disgusting things such as, well, other humans. Scary as all get out and the black and white adds to the terror. A classic that still holds up.
  4. Night of the Living Dead (1990): Some weird thing happened with the original “Night of the Living Dead.” Romero lost the rights to it and the film became public domain. So Romero decided to redo the film, in color, and succeeded in making another great zombie movie. It is faithful to the original and almost as good. Who said you can never go home again?
  5. Dawn of the Dead (1978): George A. Romero. First movie that made me almost throw up in the theater. The scene where a man sees his sister? God was that disgusting. Tense, tightly written, well performed and a totally gross-out sequel to the original movie. The use of a shopping mall as the main location was a brilliant idea. Enjoy (and get a barf bag just in case).
  6. 28 Days Later (2002): The creatures in this film are filled with “rage,” which is a new virus that kills the victim and then reanimates him in a really pissed off mood. To make matters worse, the virus was made by man as a weapon and, as always, we screw up and it gets released. Don’t these stupid scientists learn from all the movies where their creations wind up killing the rest of us? Geez!) These zombies are fast moving but it seems appropriate for this movie since they are zombies filled with rage and not just hunger.
  7. 28 Weeks Later (2007): Might be better than the first movie. Hard to tell. This is a terrific story of where the world winds up a half year after the “rage” virus has devastated the land. The army is in control and as you know, in movies, they screw up just as bad as the scientists who invent the damn weapon.
  8. World War Z (2013): I didn’t think I’d like this but I was totally wrong. Brad Pitt stars in a movie with a heavyweight script and enough suspense to keep you guessing. Can mankind overcome a worldwide and devastating zombie apocalypse?
  9. Diary of the Dead (2008): George A. Romero. I don’t usually like the hand-held character-is-making-the-movie type of movie but this one works. A group of college kids, who are (thankfully) portrayed not as the typical idiot kids of the typical teenage movies, must flee an invasion of the zombies. Taut and suspenseful.
  10. Land of the Dead (2005): George A. Romero. The zombies have won and one city remains unplagued. It is surrounded on three sides by rivers which the zombies don’t seem able to cross and the fourth side is walled and guarded. The zombies seem to be incapable of breaching this Troy. But you know what happened to the original Troy, right? While the citizens of this city try to duplicate the lives they lived before the zombie apocalypse, the devastation comes.

Honorable Mention (not in any order): “Zombieland” (2009): Fast zombies again but still an adventurous movie of some individuals trying to make a go of it in a world gone mad. “Fido” (2006) my zombie, my pet; “Flight of the Living Dead” (2007) even first class can’t save you; “I Am Legend” (2007), the book was about vampires but I am not sure what the heck these things are; and “Juan of the Dead” (2010) – Spanish with subtitles – a real hoot!

Forget About: The “Resident Evil” franchise. Waste of time. “Warm Bodies” an awful movie. All the other George A. Romero films, no spark to them. Sadly, most zombie movies do stink but the above should satisfy your craving for the flesh-eating horrors. New zombie movies might make this list when I watch them after they come out on Blu-Ray.