The wraparound present day scenes in which Kolchak narrates his latest combat against the forces of the living dead distinguish the title from other faux zombie affairs. While I meant no offense to Chris Mills, I saw bits and pieces of this latest Kolchak tape in such films as Resident Evil, The Grapes of Death and Planet of Terror. Mr. Mills informed me that he never saw Resident Evil and I merely mention his innocence here to clean the slate.
Perhaps, there's simply limited material spewing forth from shambling victims that exposed to virus or disease turn cannibal. Perhaps, any writer who has the skill and talent will naturally expose tropes that he or she may never have heard of simply because they're present for the observant.
Kolchak in this final issue of Living Dead faces infected pigs. Pigs aren't a common threat. They have appeared as disposal units for corpses in Millennium and in the form of Mr. Sin's cerebral cortex in Doctor Who. So though I wrongly assumed Mills had simply twisted Resident Evil's "zombie" Dobermans, which I feel are some of the best monsters created in the 20th century, he deserves credit for including the other white meat.
Mills employs the pork with gruesome efficiency pictured by Hamilton's grotesque splatter and Sokoliwski's atmospheric colors. The pigs catalyze an important downfall and set up the cynical denouement.
Despite the downbeat, apocryphal tone, Kolchak is still a bright ray of hope and truth, and it's in the wraparound narration with the power of Kolchak's words that move his fellow passengers on the flight home. It would seem that the government is incorrect, and more people are now willing to doubt the official story and believe the shabby reporter who doggedly peels back the layers.
This finale of Kolchak the Night Stalker of the Living Dead ties up the story with a sad, yet satisfactory thud. Mills never falters in his mimicry of Darren McGavin's delivery, and Hamilton and Sokoliwski draw curtains of darkness and spray a judicious amount of gore to make The Living Dead an impressive Kolchak mini-series.
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