Thursday, October 27, 2011
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.)
Zombie mashup/video by Eclectic Method.
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.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 facebook.com/zombiecensus!
About REANIMATED AMERICANS
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)
About PRINT IS DEAD
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
It's on Sunday. I think there's some other zombie show on Sunday, too.
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
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.
ALBUQUERQUE Guild Cinema (Oct. 28 & 29)ATLANTA Plaza TheatreAUSTIN Alamo The Ritz (Oct. 24 & 31)AUSTIN Alamo S. Lamar (Oct. 30)BOSTON Coolidge Corner TheatreCHICAGO Music Box Theatre (also Oct. 28 & 29)CLEVELAND Capitol Theatre (Oct. 15)DALLAS Landmark Inwood TheatreDENVER Landmark EsquireDETROIT Landmark Main ArtHOUSTON Landmark River OaksJACKSONVILLE, FL 5 Points TheatreKANSAS CITY Tivoli CinemasLAS VEGAS Theatre 7 (Oct. 31)LAWRENCE, KS Liberty Hall (Oct. 21 only)LOS ANGELES New Beverly CinemaMESA, AZ The RoyaleMINNEAPOLIS Landmark Uptown (Nov. 4 & 5)NEW YORK CITY Landmark’s SunshineOTTAWA, ONTARIO Mayfair TheatrePHILADELPHIA Landmark RitzPITTSBURGH The Oaks TheaterPORTLAND, OR Hollywood TheatreSACRAMENTO Crest TheatreSAN ANTONIO Alamo WestlakesSAN DIEGO Landmark Ken CinemaSAN FRANCISCO Roxie Theater (Oct. 29 – 31)SEATTLE Landmark EgyptianST. LOUIS Hi-Pointe TheatreST. PETE BEACH, FL The Beach TheatreTORONTO The Revue Cinema (Oct. 22 & Oct. 31)TUCSON, AZ The Loft CinemaWASHINGTON, D.C. Landmark E Street CinemaWICHITA, KS Warren Old Town Theater (Oct. 24 & 25)WINCHESTER, VA Alamo Drafthouse WinchesterWINNIPEG, MANITOBA Park Theatre Café (Oct. 13)YELLOW SPRINGS, OH Little Art Theatre (Oct. 22)
Saturday, October 15, 2011
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.