Monday, June 09, 2008

Monday Is For Zombies

I love zombies. I love their shambling gait, incoherent groans, single-minded hunger for human flesh, and ability to become walking metaphors for almost any modern, mass-produced social ill. As archetypes go, they're handy. Years ago I got to play a zombie in my friend Bill Gridley's super-8 film (which I have yet to see). We car-pooled to various locations around San Francisco and Bill drew circles around our eyes with burnt cork (he prided himself on being super low-budget). Then we we were instructed to shuffle around en masse with our arms sticking out in front of us. No other motivation was given. One thing about being a zombie--you never walk alone. It's a social monster movement.

Shaun of the Deadtrailer. This is one of the best zombie films ever. Definitely in the top two. It's got the zombie social commentary: is your modern existance turning you into an unthinking automaton? But it's also very funny and is a love story. It's British and it's perfect.

Zombies Doing Yoga. Zen of Zombie sent out a bunch of Internet e-vites to do zombie yoga in the park. Here is the result. Apparently zombies and yoga go together really well. Much better, than say, zombie rugby, where heads and limbs might not remain intact.

Butthole Surfers - Graveyard. Saved by death edited the 1932 Bela Lugosi film, White Zombie with 1987-era Butthole Surfers--genius. Paul Leary plays one of my favorite guitar leads ever in this song. It's the only lead I ever attempted to master on my student-grade acoustic guitar. I got it about half down--I'm half rockin'.

The Zombies- Tell Her No (1965). 60s pop with exquisitely haunting qualities.

Classic Zombie Film Trailer Links:

- I Walked With A Zombie (1943) - Moody, atmospheric, beautiful film with a Caribbean-island zombie theme and love story. Directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by Val Lewton, partners in classic B-movie psychological horror films.

- Dawn Of The Dead (1978). George Romero's long-awaited sequel to Night Of The Living Dead. This time the heroes barricade themselves inside a 70s-era shopping mall (always the cost-cutter, he used a mall that was slated for demolition as his main set piece). The living dead as a symbol for rampant consumerism? Why not! Excellent dark satire. I haven't seen the 2004 remake--the original is great so why bother?

- Night Of The Living Dead (1968). Shot outside of Pittsburgh, PA for about $14.78 (actually just over $100,000), this film scared the bejeebers out of us with nothing more than a bunch of unknown actors, an abandoned farmhouse and copious amounts of raw meat and Bosco chocolate syrup. Racism is more destructive and devastating than zombie-ism and it's still scary. Remade twice--a zombie cash cow.

- Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) - Bela Lugosi died before finishing the film so Ed Wood's chiropractor doubled for him (with a cape across his face). Tor Johnson could barely haul himself out of his grave to walk the Earth. That's about all you need to know going into this $1.98 bargain-basement special. Some choice lines are featured here.

More Zombie News:
R.E.M. covers Roky Erickson's I Walked With A Zombie.
Zombies invade San Francisco--what else is new?
Toronto has an Annual Zombie Walk. The photo gallery is amazing. There's just something about zombies...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

to quote that slim whitman look-a-like who shoots bela lugosi in Plan 9,'what do you make of that?'