July 12th, 2006

Roland, The Gunslinger

Unliving Will

I'm reading I Am Legend, a book about the last human in a world overrun by vampires. And I'm thinking as I'm reading about how he had to deal with the deaths of his wife and daughter, that I really really really need an Unliving Will. How will my friends and loved ones know what my wishes are should I become undead?

"In the event that I become a vampire, zombie, or other undead, I decree that parties acting in accordance with my wishes, shall, with my full blessing..."

I should probably make out separate clauses for burning, staking, shooting through the head, etc. But what it comes down to, and I know this is hard to think about, but if it comes down to it, you need to unkill* me to save yourself. Because that's not me in there anymore. I'm already dead.

I'm just worried that in that scenario, Becca won't be able to do What Must Be Done. I think we may need to run drills with unsharpened dowels and Nerf shotguns. "Shoot me, dammit. SHOOT ME!"

Seriously, though, I Am Legend is a good book, so far. It's lived up to its recommendations. It takes a very serious, straightforward approach to dealing with a horde of vampires when you have no one to turn to for help. The nonscientist protagonist tries, very gradually and methodically, to figure out what has caused this vampire "plague." This is the genesis of all those "How to deal with a zombie threat" mock-nonfiction books out there now. And it reads as smooth as buttah. I feel like I've barely started it but I'm already halfway done.

I understand the screenplay has been in limbo forever, and I can sorta see why, but I can also see it being an awesome movie—if you can get it past the no dialogue thing (aside from the occasional vampire taunting him before he soundproofs the house). It's probably best handled by an indie filmmaker, once the rights expire, because you can't get away with long silences or excessive voiceover narration in a mainstream high budget film. I can just see Hollywood adding a young waifish romantic interest, totally crushing the whole theme of loneliness that is at the core of the story. "But we need her for expositional dialogue!"

"What are you doing?"
"I'm prepping these dowels with a lathe."
"Why is that?"
"WTF? Haven't you ever read a vampire story? You have to put a stake through their hearts."
"And it has to be wood?"
"Yes, definitely. The ones I tried metal stakes on... let's just say it wasn't pretty."
"So you said before you think it's a virus or something that's causing this."
"That's one theory, yes. As soon as I get some free time, I hope to get around to testing it."
"Well, what—"
"You know, I'm actually really busy here. I've got a generator to repair, a car that won't start, garlic to hang, boards to replace... It would be much easier if you just read this book." *hands her a copy of I Am Legend* "Try and stay out from underfoot until you're at least caught up to whatever page we're on in the story. And sit over here so the audience can read over your shoulder while I work."

This post brought to you, it would seem, by the blockquote tag.

*Alison's term
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