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Episode Recap: A Zombie Baby is Born


Ah, there's love in the air in Jasper, Alabama ... zombie love, that is! This episode features our merry band of redneck zombie filmmakers shooting a scene that features a kiss between lead actors Bryan and Catie. The anxiety level of some of the crew members due to this kiss is so high, you'd think they were doing a full-frontal nude scene; in reality, it's supposed to be just a little smooch.

Bryan, who's been morphing into a total prima donna since the beginning of Town of the Living Dead, is visibly stressed at the prospect of kissing Catie. Gary (brother of John, the director) takes Bryan to a shooting range, thinking that blasting some AK-47s will alleviate the actor's anxiety. It does not. Later, Bryan gets a facial treatment from his wife, Bennett, who is an esthetician. Bennett calls her own husband a diva as she puts a cucumber mask on his face. She also makes it clear that she's not cool with the upcoming kissing scene, saying that she'll be praying that "[Catie's] breath stinks real bad."

Meanwhile, Tina, the executive producer, is building a zombie baby prop that Catie will horrifically give birth to in the kissing scene (leave it to the creative team behind Thr33 Days Dead to interrupt the only romantic moment in the movie by having an undead baby pop out of a woman). Tina takes a baby doll, gleefully smashes it with a hammer and spray-paints it grey to make it as grotesque as possible. It's one of the more disturbing moments in the series because as Tina pounds the baby doll with the hammer, Catie stands a few feet away holding her actual baby, who happens to look a lot like the doll. The real baby, who is also Tina's granddaughter, is going to need a lot of therapy later in life (or may just become a horror filmmaker herself -- either seems to work).

The Thr33 Days Dead crew requires a full day to prepare for the kissing/zombie baby birth scene. A plaster cast was made of Catie's belly when she was fully pregnant a few weeks earlier, and from this very fake-looking apparatus the zombie baby will bloodily burst. Bryan's jitters are on full blast, so to soothe his jangled nerves, Terry (the FX "expert") and Laura (Tina's assistant) make out to show him that kissing's not a big deal. Terry, who is a large gay man, plants a sloppy wet smooch on the diminutive Laura ... long enough to make everyone uncomfortable.

Bryan is not the only person feeling uneasy about the big kiss. Catie takes Michael, her pizza-delivering boyfriend/baby daddy, out to his favorite sushi restaurant to assure him that the kiss is not a big deal. It's hard to focus on what Catie says to Michael in this scene as you try to wrap your head around the fact that the best sushi restaurant in Jasper, Alabama is also a gas station.

The episode takes a quick detour when Gary accompanies Ben Farley (who's always referred to by both his first and last name) to Jasper's cable access channel, TV16. If Ben Farley, who is described as "the local crazy guy," and Gary can successfully volunteer at TV16, the station manager will let Thr33 Days Dead shoot in his studio for a day. Predictably, Ben Farley ruins their chances by walking onto the set of an interview show called Coffee Time as it's shooting. The station manager concludes, "There's no way I'd let these idiots use the studio. They'd burn it to the ground."

When we finally get to Bryan and Catie's kissing scene, it's one of the most anticlimactic moments so far on Town of the Living Dead. The "big kiss" is done in one take and lasts for less than a second. Afterwards, Bryan crows that he "nailed it" and that they should "bring on Rachel McAdams" as he's a kissing scene pro now.

Even though the kissing scene went off without a hitch, everything manages to go off the rails in true Thr33 Days Dead style by the end. The zombie baby doesn't come out of Catie's fake belly properly, which inspires Tina to compare their prop problems to Spielberg's woes with the mechanical shark on the set of Jaws (if you've noticed, Tina likes to compare their plight to that of big-name filmmakers, which is both endearing and delusional). The episode ends with Bryan going into full diva mode, whining that he got fake blood in his eyes. Bryan can be relatively charming, but I'd bet it's only a matter of time before his movie-star antics cause someone on the Thr33 Days Dead set to snap.