The Art of the Zombie Walk

April 18, 2009

Scroll down below for some thoughts and information about Zombie Walks. Here, a collection of posters announcing Zombie Walks held across the nation and abroad.


Pretty impressive for a recent ‘underground’ phenomenon.

I especially like the range of approaches shown here. You can see how this act of street theater can be pitched to all slices of the target audience: Shaun of the Dead fans, the Romero Purists, the Resident Evil T-virus bio-plague Umbrella Company conspiracy franchise, the Robert Kirkman Walking Dead comic book zombie apocalypse, the not-dead-so-technically-not-zombies-rage-virus unfortunates in the 28 Days and Weeks mythos.

Zombies—and the people who love them and wanna be just like them— seem to be everywhere these days. One of the reasons may be that the contemporary zombie fan has more and better zombie-related entertainment — in more formats — than ever before.

Comic books: The Walking Dead, just past its 5 year mark and issue number 60, by creator & writer Robert Kirkman, art by Charlie Adlard.

Video Games & Films: Resident Evil, three films starring the luscious Milla Jovovich; the video game has just released its 5th edition. Plus, a mention must be made of Aspyr’s Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (2005) and its kick-ass soundtrack album. The soundtrack to this video game is one you won’t be a shamed to own, I swear!stubbs_zombie_videogame

It features an eclectic range of 50s and 60s covers  like Oranger’s  eerie electronica version of Mr. Sandman, Ben Kweller’s Lollipop, Death Cab for Cutie’s Earth Angel, Clem Snide’s Tears on My Pillow, an explosive take on Shaking All Over by Rose Hill Drive, the Ravonette’s My Boyfriend’s Back, a mechanical pop-clock work stroll through All I Have to Do is Dream (filled with discordant sound effects) by the Dandy Warhols and the one original cut by Phantom Planet, The Living Dead:

It’s no use
Go run and hide
You can’t escape this
Sea of sunken eyes
You know
We got the look
We got the push
We got the pull
Who do you think
Is gonna rise when
Hell is full?stubbs-the-zombie-soundtrack

Films: Dawn of the Dead (re-make in 2004 by Zach Snyder); Shaun of the Dead (the classic rom-zom-com from 2004); Land of the Dead (2005)  and Diary of the Dead (2007) both from George Romero, Fido (2006)  a charming, little seen comedy with Billy Connelly as a domesticated zombie and Carrie-Ann Moss as the mom of the family who owns him.

Books: Until very recently this field was owned by Max Brook with his The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, coming to the big screen in 2010, directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Monster’s Ball) with a screenplay by J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, 2008).

There is surprising  competition from Jane Austen and her new collaborator Seth Grahame-Smith with their best-selling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Grahame-Smith has signed a deal for two more period horror humor pieces in a deal that could be worth as much as $575,000. Next up: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

If you’re not familiar with the term, a Zombie Walk is an organized event where people gather to roam a section of a city dressed as and behaving like Zombies.

It’s a public celebration of the rising popularity of the Zombie amongst today’s thrill crazed youth.

I blame Television and Neglectful Parenting for this.

Constant text-messaging and also the Interwebs and Twitter have left  today’s thrill crazed youth particularly susceptible to the Walking Sickness, it seems.

Some Zombie Walks are more like pub crawls in tattered costume; others are organized enough that they have ‘victims’ pretending to be ordinary citizens along their route. The taking of a ‘random’ passerby, mobbing them with a small horde of Zombie-enactors and having them emerge with clothes torn, bloodied and now staggering to join the Slackjaw side must provoke at least a few anxious looks.

Zombie Walks take place through out the year, though, of course, Fall is the most active season in America given the association with the coming of Winter and traditional Halloween celebrations.

A television program airing weekly in Pittsburg, PA called The It’s Alive Show has been organizing World Zombie Days, at which participants arrive in Zombie regalia with canned goods and non-perishable food items to donate to local food banks. World Zombie Day 2009 will take place on Sunday, October 11World Zombie Day 2008, held on October 26, had close to 50 cities participating with more than 7,500 zombies shambling along with dead eyes and a hunger for. . .brains!

In Pittsburgh they hold their Zombie Fest at the Monroeville Mall, the site where George Romero’s classic Dawn of the Dead (with its nun zombies, cheerleader zombies and football helmeted zombies) was filmed in 1977. 1,341 people participated in 2008 and they are awaiting  Guinness certification as an official world record.

But later that month on October 30, Grand Rapids, Michigan experienced a record-breaking Zombie outbreak with an official tally of 3,370 participants. Over three thousand people in one place, getting their slack jaw zombie groove on. And friends, they might think it’s a movement. Source.

For info on the New York City Zombie Crawl, whose motto is “When there’s no more Booze in Hell, the Dead will walk the Earth,” go here.

nyz_subway_posterGet your official NYC Zombie Crawl T-shirt, designed by E. J. Matos here. Click on image for larger size.


Just so long as no one starts discussing implementation of the Redeker Plan.

At some point in the coming zombie apocalypse it becomes clear that only a portion of the civilian population can be saved. What to do?

Pull back your armed forces and that portion of the population that posesses the vital skills society will need for rebuilding. Retreat to a location that can be fortified and has natural obstacles to recommend it; mountains, rivers, deep gorges and canyons, islands.

The remaining refugees, the bulk of the population, are to be herded into special isolated zones. They must be kept alive, well defended and even resupplied, if possible. You see, these survivors are deliberately left behind to slow and absorb the flow of zombie hordes trailing the armies’ withdrawal into ‘safe zones.’ Grim stuff, this zombie renaissance.

Ha, ha! How silly it all is—there’s no such thing as zombies. Still, the Redeker Plan gives me the creeps (from Brook’s World War Z).

A pattern is emerging.

First, a few small isolated incidents. Then larger and larger occurences, expanding geometrically.

Soon these will grow to form a chain of outbreaks until
no one,
is safe!

Aldous Huxley video interview by Mike Wallace, 5/18/58

April 7, 2009

aldous_huxley_interviewThanks to the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, there’s a wonderful segment from the ABC program The Mike Wallace Interview featuring Aldous Huxley speaking on May 18, 1958.

Regular visitors to this site know that, in my opinion, the two greatest writers of the past century were Aldous Huxley and A.J. Liebling. So far I’ve yet to discover any audio or video featuring Liebling (if any exists I invite my readers to share that with us all). But there are a few recorded lectures and programs like this one that give you a sense of Huxley as a personlaity and a speaker.

Click on the image above or here to view this piece of television history. Topics covered include over-population, birth control, drugs, television, advertising, the rise of ever more efficient bureaucracies and threats to human freedom.

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