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After the first few Town of the Living Dead episodes, no one would have guessed that this crew of misfits would actually finish shooting their no-budget zombie movie. But we've reached the end of our hillbilly horror show and, believe it or not, the gang is actually going to pull it off ... but not before an on-set accident makes for an all-too-real moment of terror.
For a fan of Town of the Living Dead, the finale has everything, including an appearance by every minor character who's stolen a scene at some point over the season. The episode opens in a junkyard where Chance, Jasper's explosives "expert," announces that he wants to "bring a whole new genre to the zombie movie" by delivering a mind-blowing stunt. Everyone agrees that this would be cool ... and then they grab sledgehammers and smash a junked minivan for no reason other than it's probably a lot of fun.
Tina then gathers her team for a production meeting in a laundromat. John says he needs a horde of zombies for the last scene, which prompts an absurd debate over what constitutes a "horde" of zombies: Tina says a minimum of 20 zombies makes up a "horde" while John says 50 or more is a "horde," 20 is a "flock" and 10 or less is a "social gathering" of zombies. Technicalities aside, Tina says she'll get as many zombies as possible because she is, in her words, "the Michael Jordan of zombie recruiting." The crew also discusses the big stunt for the last day of shooting, during which Terry suggests building a giant slingshot to catapult a zombie into the lake.
Tina hits up her church and a bingo hall as she commences with the zombie recruiting. Say what you will about Tina: the woman knows how to turn on the charm and talk random people into playing zombies ... and might be the only person in the history of casting to successfully talk churchgoers into joining a horde of the undead.
Chance and Terry head to the lake to test drive the human slingshot ... which looks insanely dangerous, as it's just a patio chair with bungee cords duct-taped to it. The "experts" test the catapult with foodstuffs but can't shoot them more than a few feet, let alone anywhere near the lake ... but they do manage to bust up a bunch of watermelons. "I love to see the masterpiece of things going to pieces," Chance says, which is better than any recent lyric by Metallica. Chance eventually hops into the slingshot chair himself and Terry blasts him about two feet into the air.
When the final shooting day arrives, tensions are high and everyone is stressed as none of the zombies who were recruited show up to set. Tina tells the crew to bow their heads and pray for "good juju," and after Bryan delivers a surprisingly moving prayer, the zombie extras start showing up by the carload. I'd like to think that God might have better things to do than make zombie extras show up in Jasper, Alabama, but on this particular day, he apparently didn't: there are so many zombie extras on hand that John observes, "When I wrote the word 'horde' in the script, this is what I had in mind."
One of the extras is none other than Master Ferrell, Jasper's resident karate sensei. John is instantly peeved that Master Ferrell is on set because of the martial-arts guru's tendency to start directing the actors himself, much like Robert Englund did but without the, you know, filmmaking skill and years of experience. John casts Master Ferrell as an old man who's mauled by a, uh, "social gathering" of zombies and the sensei winds up doing a terrific job, though Bryan says the casting of Master Ferrell in this role isn't believable because in real life he would've kicked some zombie butt.
Chance shows up on set with the human slingshot, greeting everyone with his trademark "Aloha bro-has," which I genuinely hope becomes a worldwide catchphrase. As the final scene is being prepped, the infamous and villainous Ben Farley crashes the set and infuriates the whole crew, which prompts Tina to suggest that Ben should play the zombie that gets hit by the truck and is catapulted via the human slingshot. Not surprisingly, Ben is too chicken (or perhaps too smart, go figure) to accept the gig, and, equally not surprisingly, Chance volunteers to be the one who's launched into the lake.
The Thr33 Days Dead crew truly saved the best for last as Chance getting shot through the air and crashing into a lake is hands-down the awesomest moment of the season. It looks terrifying and hilarious, though things get actually scary when Chance is motionless after smashing into the water. Chance is pulled ashore looking like a dead fish, where he regains consciousness (somewhat) and is taken to the hospital.
Later on, the whole crew is there to greet Chance as he's released from the hospital, wheelchair-bound with six broken ribs and a neckbrace ... though still the most lovably enthusiastic resident of Jasper. Thr33 Days Dead is now officially wrapped, though much to the annoyance of the crew (except for Chance), John reveals he's at work on a screenplay for a sequel about "a giant fish and a big cobra." I'd definitely see that movie.
I'll give the final words of these Town of the Living Dead recaps to Tina's assistant, Laura, who says in the show's closing moments: "For all the geeks and losers and nerds out there, work as hard as you can, and no matter what happens, Don't Give Up."