How a Movie Won Over The Highway Men on ‘The Walking Dead’

I originally posted this article on a different site two years ago, on March 26, 2019.

Every week at least two to three big releases reach our local theaters. This fact does not include the various independent films that arrive at some of our local theaters, or outlying theaters, for us to choose and pick from every week. Most of the time, we enjoy having choices, and sometimes we see more than one feature a week. Sometimes we even see more than one feature in a day. What if we did not have these options, though? While we have read articles speaking of the decline of movie theaters over the years, they remain operational. In a zombie apocalypse, no one is waiting inside of a ticket booth so a group of friends can purchase their tickets. No one is there to scan one’s phone as they enter the theater. No new releases exist.

Could you imagine a world where movies weren’t so readily available? Think of the last film or show you watched and imagine watching that for the rest of your life—no more new choices to make on Fridays. Now imagine not having the option at all. That thought is horrific for some of us without the inclusion of zombies. Not to mention that this would not be the only form of entertainment to fall victim to no new releases. What about television? The new Fall lineup would not grace the pages of Entertainment Weekly. The shows we once loved suddenly canceled, and no new shows are available to watch either. In many ways, there’s no such thing as a lazy day. Our music or the option to read anything new stripped away.

Entertainment is something in the apocalypse that seems like a foreign language. After all, I cannot imagine someone writing the next Harry Potter series yet alone getting it published. Every form of entertainment in the world of The Walking Dead had to happen before the zombies took over the world. Lydia seemed shocked to hear about a movie because watching a movie does seem frivolous after everything that has occurred in this world. The truth is we need that outlet in our lives. We need to sit in a room with other people and partake in the twenty minutes’ worth of previews. We want to indulge in popcorn and candy. We need that large Coke because it’s part of the experience.

I never imagined we would get to a point on a show about a zombie apocalypse where characters would barter services for a chance to view a movie. After viewing Carol’s smile and the debate written all over Ozzy’s face, I understood it. The Highway Men are like most others in the world today and found comfort in something forgotten long ago. All these reboots and revivals speak volumes about our society right now. We want that nostalgia. We want to go back to a simpler time in our lives. Although nothing is indeed the same in these various universes, they ultimately are the same. These characters provide us comfort in a time that confuses us, infuriates us, and makes us wonder what the future holds.

With so many people finally believing that they can survive and thrive in a world with a zombie, they yearn for the same. They want to sit back. They want us to know we do not have to worry about anything other than the movie on the screen before them. No matter what emotion the movie or show evokes, we get to feel something. We get to let out our feelings, whether by crying, laughing, or jumping from a fright. Knowing what these characters have been through, it only makes sense that the first movie shown to these kids is a cartoon. By doing so, not only are the kids appeased, but the adults also need reminding that joy still exists. Even though we are dealing with a zombie apocalypse, characters and audiences need hope more than ever.

What’s a recent movie you’ve watched that you cannot imagine not viewing? What television show could you not live with ending abruptly that you would not have closure? What other movies do you think The Kingdom has up their sleeves? Let me know your answers in the comments below.

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