One of the most unique elements of The Walking Dead Season 7 was the introduction of The Junkyard People, aka The Heapsters, aka The Garbage Pail Kids, aka the characters who talk like cavemen. While they certainly ratcheted up the tension, especially by turning Benedict Arnold during the season’s riveting, violent finale, fans are still uncertain what to make of the weirdoes who live in trash, wear trash, cover themselves in grease, and talk like, well, frankly, idiots.
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Huffpost caught up with The Walking Dead producer David Alpert and Jadis actress Pollyanna McIntosh at New York Comic-Con this weekend; as if asking the burning question on all fans’ minds, they tried to get a meaningful explanation for “Heapster-Speak”; like, seriously, what’s the deal?
Alpert: “Sometimes in different groups, people develop their own speech patterns and habits, and once you’re sort of cut off from pop culture, radio, television, etc., and you’re not hearing other people talk that way, I think you would find—the way that there used to be much more local accents—the same thing would happen in the apocalypse. It’s like our Cockney slang. That’s what happens.”
McIntosh, for her part, hypothesized it has something to do with Jadis’s powers of manipulation and ability to intimidate.
McIntosh: “It’s a bit unnerving, you know, which seems to be very much her game. Her manipulation is strong and that’s always a really solid place to start as an actor, you know. Not how it’s delivered but what is being delivered and what you want from the other person.”
I get it; I mean, it gives every word the Heapsters speak relevance—like, there’s nothing wasted on conjecture or entendre. At the same time, I always felt like their stunted, staccato speech patterns indicated a devolution, a return to a more primal state triggered (of course) by the zombie apocalypse. Even with that explanation, though, it feels kind of silly. Ultimately, I think the Heapsters would have more of a mysterious appeal if there were fewer explicit differences. What do you guys think?
The Walking Dead returns to AMC for Season 8 with its 100th Episode on Sunday, October 22nd. Check out the trailer and synopsis below.
Official Synopsis: Last season, Rick Grimes [Andrew Lincoln] and his group of survivors were confronted with their deadliest challenge yet. With the comfort of Alexandria, they let their guard down, only to be reminded how brutal the world they live in can be.
Feeling powerless under Negan’s [Jeffery Dean Morgan] rules and demands, Rick advocated the group play along. But seeing that Negan couldn’t be reasoned with, Rick began rallying together with other communities affected by the Saviors. And with the support of the Hilltop and Kingdom, they finally have enough firepower to contest the Saviors.
This season, Rick brings “All Out War” to Negan and his forces. The Saviors are larger, better-equipped, and ruthless — but Rick and the unified communities are fighting for the promise of a brighter future. The battle lines are drawn as they launch into a kinetic, action-packed offensive.
Up until now, survival has been the focus of Rick and our group, but it’s not enough. They have to fight to take back their freedom so that they can live. So that they can rebuild. As with any battle, there will be losses. Casualties. But with Rick leading the Alexandrian forces, Maggie [Lauren Cohan] leading the Hilltop, and King Ezekiel [Khary Payton] leading the Kingdom — Negan and the Saviors’ grip on this world may finally be coming to an end.