National Geographic’s DEAD BY DAWN
Remember TRIALS OF LIFE, the series of videotapes you could order through the mail showcasing nature in its raw, unedited, and most horrific forms? I remember the commercials showing a pack of wolves munching on the carcass of a deer or moose or some such animal, and a killer whale swinging around some poor seal clamped in its jaws. The commercials were deliberately titillating, trying to cash-in on the FACES OF DEATH vibe while still straddling the line of propriety, death-porn for the intellectual, the thinking man’s blood-and-guts cerebral get-off. In actuality, what the makers of these tapes had done was crib footage from the legitimate nature series of the same name, compiling all the clips of animals being killed and eaten, to pander to a specific audience.
The new National Geographic Channel series DEAD BY DAWN, set to debut early next year, claims to be the first-ever “Horror/Nature series” but it isn’t really, if we count those TRIALS OF LIFE tapes. It looks more legit, though, or better to say its presentation is more legit.
From the press release: “This genre-bending series showcases the horror that is reality in the wild when the sun goes down. Each episode offers its own unique twist on horror, inspired by classic, modern and cult classic films, and uses innovative storytelling techniques to infuse suspense, tension and eeriness into the terrifyingly real stories of life in the wild [and] delivers captivating and excellent visuals and storytelling while audaciously leaning into classic horror folly and memorable, distinctive soundtracks alongside suspenseful nature stories that begin just before sunset and end just after sunrise.”
Sounds like they’re going for a more fun, less shocking approach. It’s from the folks who created THE WALKING DEAD, though, so it might should come with a warning for the squeamish. We shall see.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!