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'Town of the Living Dead' recap: Robert Englund saves the day

Season 1 | Episodes 9 & 10 | “Zombie Fun Run” & “Nightmare in Jasper” | Aired Nov 5, 2014

In light of the infamous burning barn incident, Tina, John, and Laura decide to take a gander at the film’s finances. After shuffling through receipts for lubricant and sex toys, it’s determined that the film is broke. They have nothing, and it’s going to take some creative thinking to finish the movie.

At the next production meeting, Tina tells the rest of the crew about the state of their funds. They have about 16 scenes left to film, and they need money now. Ideas? Gary suggests a yard sale, Laura suggests a bake sale, Chase suggests donating sperm, and Bryan suggests a bikini car wash. But leave it to quiet lead actress Catie to suggest a zombie fun run. Not bad. The registration fees will go back to filming Thr33 Days Dead (remember, that’s the name of the movie—not Town of the Living Dead).

Master Ferrell returns!

Master Ferrell returns!

Later, we see a different side to Chase. It turns out he’s a professional photographer mainly shooting cosplayers (am I seeing things or is that a female, anime-ish Buzz Lightyear?). Photography is great, but Chase finds himself eating a lot during these shoots and now he wants to drop some weight. Who does he turn to for help? Karate Master Ferrell! Chase heads to Master Ferrell’s studio. After Master Ferrell tests Chase’s knowledge by demonstrating a few quick (and awesome) moves, it’s clear that Chase belongs in the beginner class (aka the kids’ class).

Tina heads to City Hall to get permission for the fun run. The city council doesn’t meet any time soon, so Tina heads straight to the mayor. She bribes him with some homemade chicken and biscuits–and it works! The race is on.

Over at Chase’s martial arts class, he refers to himself as the “karate version of Rocky.” Chase oohs and ahhs over Master Ferrell’s expertise, praising him as the toughest guy he’s ever met and even though he’s old, he’s still a “sea turtle that knows kung fu.” Chase finally joins the kids’ class and one of his fellow students calls Chase a Ninja Turtle (Michelangelo because he likes pizza).

Tina, John, and Laura go on the radio to hype up their zombie fun run. They do a great job and even skirt a caller who is concerned about seeing zombies after leaving church. Elsewhere, Bryan and Chase go on a mission to find some sponsors. After a bunch of no’s, they finally get a yes from a tobacco and tanning shop.

Zombie Fun Run!

Zombie fun run!

It’s fun run time, and there’s actually a pretty decent turnout! Tina is hoping to make a couple thousand dollars to wrap up filming. Folks can register as either a runner or zombie. There’s only one rule of the run: Get through the course without zombies taking your flags (like flag football). Another important bit of interest: Jasper has a whole bunch of artsy donkey … er … I mean, mule statues throughout town. The race course is set up around these mules.

The race begins and Gary takes off running hard, while Bryan jogs along. Soon after, we see Gary gasping for air (as he was a little too ambitious) while Bryan still jogs along at his own pace. Tina and John ride along in a golf cart filming the zombies for extra footage for the movie. Who else do we see? Ben Farley! He’s one of the race zombies, and he’s NOT wearing his cat shirt. Sad face.

totld - ben farley

Never trust Ben Farley. Ever.

Everyone’s having a great time, except for the Sunday drivers trying to get somewhere. Laura’s directing traffic, but nature calls and she needs to pop away for a second. Who does she get to take over? Ben Farley. BIG mistake, Laura. Ben Farley expectedly does a horrible job and upsets a driver who then proceeds to crash into another car and one of the town’s precious art mules. The cops arrive. This isn’t going well.

The next day, the group heads to the river to film their next scene. Jasper’s government is not too happy with them, so they’re trying to keep a low profile. The scene they’re filming: the guys (Chase, Bryan and John) return from fishing, discover the apocalypse and then decide to sleep it off in their boat. They wake the next morning and–for comic relief–Chase strips down to his underwear, getting a little too comfortable with Bryan’s character. The crew can’t keep it together. Apparently, Chase’s junk is just a little too distracting.

They begin filming, but things just keep going wrong—little things, like John’s sunglasses fall off into the water. Everyone seems a little frustrated, and then the police show up to serve a Cease and Desist order. The crew went too far with the mule incident, and they are no longer allowed to film in Jasper.

Now the crew is in a bind.

The group tries to horribly fix the mule, but it’s just not working. Someone gets the brilliant idea to just paint the town on large backdrops. Gary, the apparent famous graffiti artist, does so. John thinks it just looks ridiculous and likens it to working in a surreal Sesame Street dream sequence (I want to see that).

John quits the movie.

John quits the movie.

The crew later sits down to dinner at a local restaurant, and everyone is just plain glum. John is over it and reaches his tipping point when the joint serves the wrong food—potatoes, NOT grits. He trashes his plate and quits the movie.

The next day, Tina tries calling John to no avail. She meets with the crew at her house to film a scene. Tina directs while Michael (Catie’s baby daddy) steps in for John’s on-screen role. The scene is just a fantasy scene, but nothing is going well and it’s clear that John is the missing piece. They need him back.

Elsewhere, John appears to be doing quite well. We get a little getting-to-know-you montage of John, the non-director. He works at Radio Shack; he does yoga; he plays video games; he cooks; he takes his first swimming lesson!

At the next production meeting, the group devises a semi-plan to get John back. So, what are John’s interests exactly? “Wrestling, women, and gore,” says FX guy Terry.  Great. They’re going to use those to their advantage. Operation John commences!

First up, Gary takes John to a civic center for a local wrestling event. The crew prepped a few of the wrestlers beforehand, so when John and Gary meet the guys backstage, they pepper John with questions and praise regarding Thr33 Days Dead. John is visibly embarrassed. But it turns out wrestling was John’s first love as he used to train to be a professional wrestler! His love for the sport renewed, he heads back to his house to don some wrestling gear including what appears to be Mexican wrestling mask (?).  His mom, Pearl, comes for a visit and intentionally grills him about the movie. Knowing it will push his buttons, she says he’ll have more time for family now!John's new passion.


It’s time for the second part of the plan. A cute extra from the film (someone John had previously expressed an interest in) is set up to visit John at Radio Shack in full zombie make-up. Unfortunately, this just makes John painfully aware of what the crew is trying to do.

Pearl later takes John shopping for clothes. The sales guy asks about the movie (as everyone is basically doing), and John says that he’s moved on. He then proceeds to buy a pretty terrible blazer.

That evening, the depressed movie crew hangs out at a bar. It appears their plans just aren’t working to get John back. To make matters worse, the root of all problems—Ben Farley—does a little stand-up comedy at this bar. On the plus side, he’s wearing the cat shirt again (phew). In a moment of pure genius, Chase, who rarely has a good idea, suggests getting someone famous to help them. And guess what? Nearby there’s a horror convention–ripe for the picking! But who will they get?

One, two … Freddy’s coming for you! YOU, John!

Freddy selfies!

Freddy selfies!

Okay, it’s time to ambush Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), and Tina, Chase, Bryan, and Laura are ready! Keep in mind, in the world of horror, this man is a god. They stake out his hotel, waiting for him to arrive. The car pulls up and off they go! Tina rushes into a little nonsensical spiel about what they need Mr. Englund to do: Convince John to come back to the movie. At first, Englund is quite hesitant (shocker!), but in the end, he agrees to help–yea! But first, a flurry of Freddy selfies must take place.

Later, the group and Robert Englund head to John’s house. They knock; he answers. Of course he’s not very welcoming at first until he sees his special guest. He’s super dumbfounded–and giddy.


It was quite a coup to get Robert Englund on the show–congrats! And I’m sure he’ll be able to convince John to return to the movie. Come on, the man is an icon. Oh, and be aware: The final episodes air next week followed by the world premiere of their movie, Thr33 Days Dead. Set the DVRs now! View the sneak peek/trailer. (“Yeah, 1 a.m.!”)

Memorable Quotes

Laura: “I will make blood out of spit and food coloring, if that’s what I’ve got to do.”

Ben Farley: “I got one job today and that’s to chase people, scare them, and make little kids cry.”

Bryan, to Chase: “How’d you manage to take your pants off and keep your shoes on?”

Tina, on seeing Chase in his underwear: “I’ve just seen the end of the earth … I can’t help it, he’s pulling his socks off and it winked at me.”

Bryan, on hearing Ben Farley’s comedy routine: “I’d rather cuddle with a clown.”

Robert Englund: “Tina kidnapped me.”


Town of the Living Dead airs Tuesdays at midnight/11C on Syfy. (This is a new time!)

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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