Combining the Fantastic and the Hyper-Real: Stylistic and Thematic Influences on the Dead and the Desert

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Combining the Fantastic and the Hyper-Real: Stylistic and Thematic Influences on the Dead and the Desert

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Title: Combining the Fantastic and the Hyper-Real: Stylistic and Thematic Influences on the Dead and the Desert
Author: Cannon, John
Citation: Cannon, John. 2016. Combining the Fantastic and the Hyper-Real: Stylistic and Thematic Influences on the Dead and the Desert. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
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Abstract: This critical essay looks at the influences on and inspiration for the original feature-length screenplay The Dead and the Desert. Specifically, it explores George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones as a model for developing characters with complexity through moral ambiguity as well as contributing to a literary environment where death is seemingly random. It also examines how military non-fiction such as Andy McNabb’s Bravo Two Zero contributed to the chase-thriller aspect of the plot. Ill-fated decisions are linked to the film Tears of the Sun, and finally the essay examines, through discussion of Jonathan Maberry’s Patient Zero and Max Brook’s World War Z, the decision to include zombies in what is otherwise a conventional military-themed action thriller.

The Dead and the Desert is a military action thriller/zombie horror crossover screenplay. It is a feature-length script wherein a team of American Green Berets on a mission in remote Iraq find themselves short on supplies and being pursued across the open desert by an undead enemy that they only begin to understand after the loss of several team members. Meanwhile, at a classified facility back in the US, a team of military researchers race to figure out the nature and origins of the zombie contagion. Their mission: stop the outbreak from spreading out of control by any means necessary, up to and including killing the potentially infected Green Berets on the ground in Iraq. The chase culminates in a heroic last-stand by the Green Berets that is almost certain to fail…if the bombers sent by the research facility don’t kill the team first.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33797265
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