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AI Creates A 1950s The Walking Dead TV Series Trailer & It's Unsettling

There are genuine monstrosities out there — horrific beasts that look almost human, but there's something dead behind the eyes. You may think one is your friend, but that's an error that could prove dead-wrong. The YouTube channel Abandoned Films has uploaded a trailer featuring hordes of these existential nightmares, namely AI-generated characters, for a 1950s version of "The Walking Dead." What? Did you think we were talking about zombies?

There's definitely quite a bit more blood in the AI trailer than one would typically find in mainstream fare from the 1950s. Although, "The Walking Dead" getting a retro makeover makes sense to a degree. Westerns were all the rage at the time, and the show could be seen as a modern Western with the remnants of humanity looking to conquer nature and rebuild civilization. In fact, one chase scene from "Fear the Walking Dead" drew inspiration from classic stagecoach heists from older Westerns. 

Aside from that, the AI-generated zombies are truly unsettling. The humans, like Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), look fairly accurate to their real-life counterparts. But there are strange, gruesome moments, like when a zombie tries to bite down on a human, only to merge into their body. It's more like something out of "The Thing" than "The Walking Dead," but it could serve as suitable inspiration for someone to make a body horror zombie flick at some point. 

Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has expressed his thoughts on AI

A zombie project in the 1950s wouldn't entirely be out of the question. While 1968's "Night of the Living Dead" is often credited as the first zombie movie, that honor actually belongs to 1932's "White Zombie." Suffice it to say, the "Walking Dead" show in the modern era is far grislier than what would've been suitable for 1950s sensibilities. It's apparently even more intense than Runway AI was comfortable with, as YouTuber Abandoned Films explained in the caption: "This one was [a lot] harder to do as [R]unway doesn't allow gore, blood or horror. Had to use Pika and Haiper."

What are the odds AI could be incorporated into future Walking Dead projects? Creator Robert Kirkman tentatively discussed the topic while speaking with Marcus Graham in a conversation published by VentureBeat. It's noted how Kirkman joked about being "pro-AI," but he tried to focus on the nuances. He asserted how it could put "[writers] out of business" if it gets good enough while admitting it could be advantageous in coming up with ideas. He concluded, "It's such a touchy subject."

The "Walking Dead" AI trailer may be uncanny, but nothing could ever match the sheer terror of seeing real people scared out of their minds confronting the undead. Fans have pointed to the creepiest moments on "The Walking Dead," which certainly contain more visceral terror than what AI can manage. Even if Kirkman thinks AI could be incorporated in some way to the writing process, it better get comfortable with gore before that time comes.