Fear the Walking Dead, News, TV Shows

Did Cargo Influence Fear the Walking Dead’s Season 6 Finale?

Cargo vs Fear the Walking Dead

Fear the Walking Dead‘s Season 6 finale was book-ended by the story of a young mom trying to help her baby survive. But many viewers pointed out that elements of this story really seemed to resemble a short film called Cargo, which later turned into a longer film by the same name starring Martin Freeman on Netflix. What do you think? You can watch the short film below and learn more about what people are saying.

This article will have MAJOR spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead’s Season 6 finale, along with the short film Cargo.


Watch Cargo & FTWD’s Opening Below

Here’s the opening scene of Fear the Walking Dead’s Season 6 finale, featuring Rachel and her baby Morgan. We later see her again closer to the end of the episode.

And here is the short film Cargo. The film is only about seven minutes long, and it was first released eight years ago. The short film was produced and directed by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke, and also produced by Marcus Newman and Daniel Foeldes.

Many fans can’t help but point out the significant similarities between the two storylines. They aren’t scene-for-scene identical, but there are certainly quite a few overlaps. With both FTWD and Cargo, the lead characters get into car wrecks in a zombie apocalypse, while transporting their baby. With Cargo, the man is bitten by his wife after she turned into a zombie, so he only has a limited amount of time to try to find help for his baby. With FTWD, Rachel injures her leg badly and due to a dropping bomb, she also has only limited time to find help for her baby. But then things take a closer turn when Rachel decides that she can actually travel better and be more likely to get her baby help if she is a walker, so she stabs herself so she will die and turn into one. (I’m still doubting the logic of that decision, but let’s move on past that for the sake of this article.)

The two storylines significantly overlap after this point, however. In the short film, the man realizes that he’s going to die before he can get help. So he gets entrails that a zombie will want to eat, puts them in a bag, and then attaches the bag to the end of a stick so his zombie form will always move forward, trying to reach the stick but never succeeding. In the end, a group of strangers find his zombie form, kill him, and then find the baby with a note on the baby’s stomach.

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In Fear the Walking Dead (here is your 2nd spoiler warning), something similar happens. Rachel ties her mouth shut so she won’t be able to bite anything as a zombie, and carries the baby in a backpack just like the man did in Cargo. In her case, she has a dog on a leash that her zombie form is following (I guess that was part of the plan. Maybe she expected the dog to lead her zombie form to people more likely than her zombie-self would just do on its own.) In some ways her plan is better because at least she tied her mouth shut, which the Cargo man did not. Ultimately, both plans saved their babies (whether or not it’s believable.)

Martin Freeman made a movie that’s on Netflix that was inspired by the short film Cargo. I haven’t been able to watch the movie yet at the time of writing this, so I’m not sure how much it veered from the storyline or if the ending was the same. But here’s the trailer.

Meanwhile, the Netflix film was nominated for the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts’ Byron Kennedy Award.

On Reddit, some people feel pretty certain that the idea used in FTWD came from Cargo. I wonder if they were paying homage to the film?

What do you think? Were they paying homage to Cargo? Was it too similar?

Want to chat about all things post-apocalyptic? Join our Discord server here and our Walking Dead Fanatics Facebook page. And check out our Post-Apocalyptic Calendar, which we will keep updated with confirmed premiere dates.

Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. Her favorite shows of all-time are Battlestar Galactica and Lost, and she's always happy to talk about her cats. 🙂

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