Thursday, October 27, 2011

Christmas idea: Return of the Living Threads

For the O'Bannon O'Fannon in your life, has a spread of shirts (and other goodies) inspired by Return of the Living Dead.

The pound being what it is, the shirts run about $19 U.S. plus $7 shipping. I have no idea if there is a customs fee that you have to pay on receipt, so caveat emptor on that count.

But come on. Who can resist a mug like this? Plus a good number of ladies' sizes, which I can tell you MATTERS.

Thursday Zombie Roundup, Pt II

Because Halloween is close, and we know you want your zombie...

Pregnant Zombie Costumes to make sure you'll get perma-banned from your church's Trunk-or-Treat

Ray Villafane carves giant pumpkins into zombies at the New York Botanical Gardens. (You know Villafane, he's the mad fiend behind the legendary, viral Predator Jack-o-Lantern.)

Spooky music!
Zombie mashup/video by Eclectic Method.

WWE Zombies

Thursday Zombie Roundup

Missouri Department of Conservation has tips on how to identify zombies!
Did you know that cauliflower is a zombie-attractant due to its visual similarity to brains? It's true! This I know, for the .gov website tells me so.

New York Daily News gallery of zombie celebrities
As a friend of Print Is Dead commented: "Slow news day."

Are either of these great? No. Is it great that stuff like this is in vogue? YES.

The Walken Dead

Making the rounds this week: Get psyched for your Sunday dose of THE WALKING DEAD with Comedy Troupe POYKPAC's spoof short "The Walken Dead".

Off topic from the undead, but worth mentioning: comedywise, POYKPAC may just be one to watch. You might remember their "Mario: Game Over" mature-themes parody from a few years back. Their "Prank My Dad" series is the most committed Tim & Eric aping I've ever seen. I haven't checked out much of the rest - looks hit or miss, but who am I to prejudge? - however, troupe member Jenn Lyon featured in the finale of season 2 of Louie. Good enough for Louis is good enough for me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Creeping Hemlock Press Proudly Presents...


The modern American zombie first shuffled onto the scene in 1968, in George A. Romero’s landmark horror classic, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Over forty years later, the walking dead are everywhere, and we need you to help us keep tabs on this ever-growing pustulent population.

In celebration of the release of the fourth novel from PRINT IS DEAD, Martin Mundt’s REANIMATED AMERICANS, we’re pleased to announce THE ZOMBIE CENSUS.

Are you a zombieholic? A cadaveriffic cadet? An undead aficionado? Have you always wanted to see yourself through milky uncomprehending eyes? Or are you just going as a zombie for Halloween? If you said “Yes” to any of these questions, you should know that speaking responses aloud to internet questionnaires is actually unnecessary! And also that this contest is for you… We want to count you among the living dead!

It’s simple: email us a photo of yourself as a zombie, DMV/photo ID style, just like the pics on this page. You can use make-up or Photoshop or both (but please, none of those silly zombie apps—show some creativity).

All entries will be posted here, and the Grand Prize winner—chosen by none other than the legendary John Skipp (Books of the Dead 1 and 2, Zombies, Mondo Zombie, and the upcoming Bizarro Zombie Musical, ROSE, among a million other awesome things)—will appear in some form on the cover of REANIMATED AMERICANS, to be released December 20, 2011.


Third Place: a signed copy of REANIMATED AMERICANS by Martin Mundt.

Second Place: signed copies of all four current PRINT IS DEAD novels: PRAY TO STAY DEAD by Mason James Cole, WORLD IN RED by John Sebastian Gorumba, SCAVENGERS by Nate Southard, and REANIMATED AMERICANS.

Grand Prize: In addition to an appearance on the cover of REANIMATED AMERICANS, you receive all four signed books and a special zombie surprise pack.


One photo per person, so send us your best (worst) mug. Photos should be in jpg format and should be at least 1200x1800 pixels with a maximum file size of 5mb. We’re looking for simple zombie mug shots against a blank or single-color background—nothing pornographic. No feasting zombies. No photos of actual dead bodies (because at least one of you was thinking about doing that). Email photos to: Include your name (and the name of the photographer if credit is desired) in the body of the email. Submission implies acceptance of these terms: The winning photo and two runners-up become exclusive intellectual property of Creeping Hemlock Productions, LLC. In the case of non-winning/non-placing submissions, Creeping Hemlock Productions, LLC is granted the right so use images for promotional purposes only and all other rights (e.g. reproduction and sale) remain with the author.

Contest ends November 15, 2011.

Need a reminder as we shamble closer to the date? Like THE ZOMBIE CENSUS on Facebook at!


Jett Ahrens has just joined the Zombie Division of the Census Bureau, hoping for a dull, uncomplicated job counting the country’s newest citizens—the Living Dead. Y’know: Zombies, Rotters, Grave Potatoes, but don’t call them any of those names. They’re Reanimated Americans, and they aren’t anything like their cinematic counterparts—they don’t eat your flesh or want your brains. They just… stand around. Loitering. Stinking up the place.

Easy enough, yeah, but one of Jett’s partners might be a little nuts, and then there’s the serial re-killer going around town and setting walking dead folks on fire. Not to mention the Red Death Gang transforming the undead into works of art. Or the pair of psychotic cops tracking the serial re-killer and wreaking havoc of their own.

Or the nasty secret Jett keeps in a rental storage unit…

A biting satire about how civilization might cope with its most popular boogieman, Reanimated Americans by Martin Mundt will send a chill down the spines of zombie-lovers and bureaucracy-fearers everywhere.

Praise For REANIMATED AMERICANS and Martin Mundt

“With REANIMATED AMERICANS, author Martin Mundt has created a malignant masterpiece. Like a literary mad scientist armed with diabolical narrative skill and a mordant sense of humor, Mundt manages to mash-up the zombie mythos with both mayhem and Swiftian satire. REANIMATED AMERICANS is a must-read for undead-heads of all persuasions, slithering from laugh-out-loud sequences to gut-wrenching gore with the greatest of ease. Highly recommended!”

- Jay Bonansinga, National Bestselling author of PERFECT VICTIM, PINKERTON’S WAR, and co-author of THE WALKING DEAD: RISE OF THE GOVERNOR.

“If you are a fan of sardonic wordplay and the macabre; or dare I suggest, macabre sardonic wordplay ... then you, my dear X, must read Martin Mundt.”

-John Everson, author of SIREN and THE PUMPKIN MAN

“Martin Mundt writes like no one on earth, and mankind is much the better

for his efforts.”

-Bill Breedlove, author of HOW TO DIE WELL

“Martin Mundt is a nasty, warped, zero-termperature so-and-so who can't put two words together without first snickering, then slitting their throats. This guy is far too hip for his own good. No wonder reading him is such a pleasure.”

-Peter Straub, author of A DARK MATTER and THE TALISMAN (with Stephen King)


Creeping Hemlock Press was founded in New Orleans by the husband-and-wife creative duo RJ and Julia Sevin. As sometime writers and passionate readers, they found themselves frustrated with the scarcity of generous-paying, atmospheric short story anthologies. They took matters into their own hands in late 2004 when they began to accept submissions for their own anthology. Many months, one baby, two hurricanes, and one soggy home later, Corpse Blossoms was born to critical success and a nomination for the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker award.

As their homeless wanderings carried them to Texas and back, the Sevins also produced an original limited-edition novella by Tom Piccirilli, Frayed, to terrific reviews and enthusiastic reader sentiment. The December 2007 release of Piccirilli's The Fever Kill brought them into an entire new league of publishers. Critically lauded and carried in bookstores nationwide, this popular title has sold far beyond expectations.

Not long after the release of The Fever Kill, the press released two zombie chapbooks – Thin Them Out (a collaboration between the Sevins and zombie lit master Kim Paffenroth) and Flesh Is Fleeting… Art Is Forever! by Gary A. Braunbeck.

The chapbooks were unveiled to much acclaim at Zombie Fest, in the hallowed halls of the Monroeville Mall (the mall location used in George Romero’s classic, DAWN OF THE DEAD). Thin Them Out went on to be reprinted in J.J. Adams’s epic zombie anthology, The Living Dead II, and the Sevins found themselves surrounded by the living dead. The seeds for PRINT IS DEAD were planted…

Even before the disaster and reaction surrounding Katrina demonstrated its true meaning, charity was a pillar of Creeping Hemlock Press's philosophy and business model. The press dedicates 10% of earnings to various charities. Your purchase from Creeping Hemlock Press or any bookseller carrying the press’s titles will help to benefit those in need.

Praise for PRINT IS DEAD

“These guys know more about the undead than I do... and that's saying something, because I've been hanging out with zombies for as long as I can remember."

-George A. Romero

"PRINT IS DEAD is the terrifying new voice of zombie fiction. They're coming to get you..."

-Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of PATIENT ZERO

"This is the best of modern zombie fiction. If you want the best, you need to read the stuff these guys are putting out at PRINT IS DEAD. It doesn't get any better than this."

-Joe McKinney, author of FLESH EATERS and DEAD CITY

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Zombie$: Worth Over Five BILLION Dead Presidents?

That's what this article says, anyway.

I suspect that some of their numbers are off (their Walking Dead numbers certainly are--given how popular the trade-paperbacks are, their total should be significantly higher than 10 million, since the series debut in 2003) and the time period over which this five billion was generated is not always clear, but there's no question about it: the zombie sub-genre has peaked in a way no horror icon born of folklore has done since the vampire. They're huge.

So do your part and buy one of our books today!

If you have eight minutes to watch the best zombie movie of 2011...

...Zombie In a Penguin Suit is that movie.

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: It' Asylum/Syfy zombie movie.

Man, Ving Rhames is making a side career out of iterations of Dawn of the Dead with gently decreasing budgets, isn't he?

It's on Sunday. I think there's some other zombie show on Sunday, too.

Oh, hellz yes, we are all watching ZOMBIES: A LIVING HISTORY

It's so funny, it's not funny anymore: similar to the way MTV hasn't shown music videos since 1987 or so and you can't find any actual news on any of the cable news channels anymore, they're all jam-packed with prescheduled programming...The History Channel ain't so much about history. Not for a good while, now. You used to mock it as the WWII, All the Time channel, now it's the All Antichrist, Bigfoot, and Chariots of the Gods, All the Time channel.

So zombies are popular with the kids these days so, welcome to THAT: PLUS ZOMBIES.

Is the answer to "Can you weaponize a zombie virus?" really "Surprisingly, yes?" No, of course not, what are we, kids? But who cares?

Anyway, Max Brooks and Jonathan Maberry and J.L. Bourne and Kim Paffenroth, among other zombie authors and pro geeks will be represented. And if we're all lucky, they'll trot out the Nostradamus guy from every other History channel show, who has the amazing superpower of being able to make any word in any language ever into "Hitler." Cannot wait.

Monday, October 17, 2011

ZOMBIELAND: The Television Series

Last night's WALKING DEAD premiere was watched by 7.3 million sets of eyes, so it would seem that this sometimes shambling/sometimes sprinting sub-genre still has a little juice left in its creaky, reanimated bones.

Case in point: ZOMBIELAND is coming to television.

The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the highest-grossing zombie film of all time will serve as the springboard for a new half-hour comedy series from producer Gavin Palone. The ZOMBIELAND series will be written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the duo who penned the film.

With a previously-announced 3D sequel to the Atlanta-lensed ZOMBIELAND being dropped in favor of a the television show, there is no word whether or not the series will follow the characters from the film (recast, naturally) or if the focus will instead be on a new group of survivors.

Either way, one can only wonder how they'll emulate ZOMBIELAND's now-classic cameo. If I may, a suggestion:

How To Make A Beautiful Zombie: Restoring Fulci's Classic

ZOMBIE: We Are Going To Eat You At Your Local Cinema!

Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE has become my Halloween closer--for the past few years, I end every Halloween alone on the couch with a beer in my hand and some shark-fightin', eyeball-splinterin' Italian action on the TV.

On October 25th, Blue Underground is releasing ZOMBIE on Blu-Ray. We haven't gotten a review copy yet, but advance word is that the transfer is beautiful. Time to retire the thoroughly awesome Media Blasters DVD from 2004 (still my all-time favorite DVD packaging).

Better yet, some of you lucky slobs are going to get a chance to see the remastered ZOMBIE on the following silver screens:

ALBUQUERQUE Guild Cinema (Oct. 28 & 29)

ATLANTA Plaza Theatre

AUSTIN Alamo The Ritz (Oct. 24 & 31)

AUSTIN Alamo S. Lamar (Oct. 30)

BOSTON Coolidge Corner Theatre

CHICAGO Music Box Theatre (also Oct. 28 & 29)

CLEVELAND Capitol Theatre (Oct. 15)

DALLAS Landmark Inwood Theatre

DENVER Landmark Esquire

DETROIT Landmark Main Art

HOUSTON Landmark River Oaks

JACKSONVILLE, FL 5 Points Theatre

KANSAS CITY Tivoli Cinemas

LAS VEGAS Theatre 7 (Oct. 31)

LAWRENCE, KS Liberty Hall (Oct. 21 only)

LOS ANGELES New Beverly Cinema

MESA, AZ The Royale

MINNEAPOLIS Landmark Uptown (Nov. 4 & 5)

NEW YORK CITY Landmark’s Sunshine

OTTAWA, ONTARIO Mayfair Theatre


PITTSBURGH The Oaks Theater

PORTLAND, OR Hollywood Theatre

SACRAMENTO Crest Theatre

SAN ANTONIO Alamo Westlakes

SAN DIEGO Landmark Ken Cinema

SAN FRANCISCO Roxie Theater (Oct. 29 – 31)

SEATTLE Landmark Egyptian

ST. LOUIS Hi-Pointe Theatre

ST. PETE BEACH, FL The Beach Theatre

TORONTO The Revue Cinema (Oct. 22 & Oct. 31)

TUCSON, AZ The Loft Cinema

WASHINGTON, D.C. Landmark E Street Cinema

WICHITA, KS Warren Old Town Theater (Oct. 24 & 25)

WINCHESTER, VA Alamo Drafthouse Winchester

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA Park Theatre Café (Oct. 13)

YELLOW SPRINGS, OH Little Art Theatre (Oct. 22)

New Orleans isn't on that list, but that's okay--I have a hot date with ZOMBIE, anyway...

Spoiler-iffic WALKING DEAD Review Addendum

I've read THE WALKING DEAD since the very first issue premiered in 2003. Because of this, it's been a long time since I've read the issues from which the television series is currently being drawn.

When I said that the end of the season two premiere was a major departure from the comics, it's because I totally forgot that Carl got shot by Otis in the books. Considering how things panned out in the NO WAY OUT arc, it's becoming clear that Image's top-selling book is spinning its wheels just a bit by this point, and that Carl is well on his way to becoming the Aunt May to Rick's Peter Parker...

And they'll do it all again every eight to ten years...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

REVIEW: The First Two Episodes of THE WALKING DEAD, Season Two

Last week was a good week for zombies here in Casa Zombi: we received DVD screeners of both THE DEAD and the first two episodes of THE WALKING DEAD, Season Two. We’ll cover THE DEAD shortly (see it, see it, see it), but today belongs to THE WALKNG DEAD.

I won’t waste your time: the season premiere of THE WALKING DEAD is the best episode of the series thus far.

This isn’t a great feat, granted, as the first season was hit and miss. It veered wildly from the source material—not a crime at all (the book is hit and miss, too), but it did so in an erratic and inconsistent way. Great moments from the book were jettisoned in favor of oddball diversions, and even Darabont himself didn’t bring his A-game to the pilot, which was as uneven as the season season ended up being. Even at its best (and there are some amazing moments throughout those six episodes), the first season's zombie shenanigans felt a little played out—mostly because zombies have reached a cultural saturation point. It’s getting harder and harder to get them right, make them fresh, and even when you do, you risk contempt-breeding familiarity.

But never mind all of that, because the season opener of THE WALKING DEAD gets just about everything right. Picking up soon after our heroes escaped the CDC –where no answers were given and a few more questions were raised-the premier episode finds our heroes working their cumbersome way down a highway choked with stalled and wrecked vehicles. I suspect that Frank Darabont secretly laments never having gotten to adapt Stephen King’s THE STAND, a work that he once again echoes here (the series premiere was peppered with King references). As they weave between stalled cars and trucks, the tension mounts and thickens—an effect that’s amplified by the simple omission of needless incidental music.

There’s no point in getting too deep into spoiler territory. You can imagine what happens next (herd, herd, herd!), and you’ll be at least partially right. The walking dead show up. The resulting sequence is classic zombie cinema, and our heroes are split up. This diversion takes several unexpected turns, and leads Rick and friends toward an encounter that will make fans of the book very happy. (No—I’m not talking about the business between Shane and Carl—I suspect we’ll get to that mid-season.)

As an FX hound from back in the glory days of FANGORIA, I have to sing the praises of KNB. Their work in George Romero’s LAND OF THE DEAD left much to be desired. There, they were trying in some cases to realize Bernie’s Wrightson’s production design, and the results (Big Daddy, The Butcher) were not always successful. This wasn’t a factor in the first season of THE WALKING DEAD, and with the first two episodes of season two, they have delivered, arguably, the greatest zombie makeup of all time. (Winnebago Zombie—you’ll know him when you see him—is a marvel. It’s the single greatest zombie make-up job since Optic Nerve worked magic in Tom Savini’s 1990 remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Hell, it’s a strong contender for the title of Best Zombie Ever. Damned thing looks like an actual walking corpse, and that’s why you came to this party to begin with, right?)

The first episode is not without its problems. Characters do incredibly stupid things simply for the sake of ratcheting up the tension. This will be a problem for some viewers, but I was able to look past it simply because everything else was so damned good—and besides, idiotically splitting up is a time-honored horror trope. Other quibbles: inconsistent zombie rules--they're mostly slow, but some of them come damned close to running; others seem far too smart, even pausing in their actions, as if thoughtfully considering their best course of action; grinning zombie. Church zombies. (They're video-game-level silly looking, but the scene leads to a clever bit from avowed atheist Robert Kirkman, who penned this episode: Rick spends a few screen minutes talking to Jesus, asking Him for help. The next scene ends in blood, and Kirkman tells us by showing us: Ain't nobody listening.)

The second episode is not as breathlessly awesome as the first, but character development throughout both episodes is strong. Daryl shows his usefulness (in an homage to JAWS that is, in its own way, fairly brilliant), and the relationship between Dale and Andrea grows more complicated (it veers away from their relationship in the comic, but may be heading in that direction after all, and Darabont fav Jeffrey DeMunn continues on his way toward an Emmy.) Andrew Lincoln’s fake Southern accent hasn’t gotten any better, but at least the fake beard from the first season is nowhere to be seen.

The first episode ends on a jaw-dropping note, one that pushes the show even further away from Kirkman’s original narrative*, all the while echoing events that are taking place in the comic right now, as the series approaches issue #100, some eight years since Image released the first issue. The result is almost like (to use comic nerd vernacular) an Elseworlds/Earth 2 take on THE WALKING DEAD, and though the events in the television series continue to deviate from the events in the comic, season two –thus far— tonally feels more in line with the best moments from the comic than anything from season one.

Only time will tell where THE WALKING DEAD is going. With the recent drama surrounding Darabont being removed as showrunner (and the rumors that he will stay on as Executive Producer), it can easily go either way. However, if the first two episodes of this new season are any indicator, THE WALKING DEAD is on the right track.

*I was wrong.