Monthly Archives: August 2014

Zombie Run Escape in Perry, GA

zombue run guardian perry gaDown here in our neck of the woods, and in the same neck that TV’s The Walking Dead films in, we’re going to have a Zombie Run on October 25, 2014.

The event is being held at the Guardian Center in Perry, GA. It’s a former cold-war nuclear missile plant that has been “converted into the nation’s premier disaster preparation and validation center.” There’s a modern city-scape, a bunch of cars, a highway built to D.O.T. specs, and even a working subway, all of which will be utilized for the event! It’s basically everything you were pretending to do in your back yard when you were a kid, only way more real.

Because of all the tunnels, rubble, vehicles and roadways, it’s really the perfect place to host this thing. I may have to get out there myself, at least to spectate. Much as I hate to sit out a zombie run that’s so close to my home, I haven’t fully healed from tendon surgery I had on my foot a couple months ago. Maybe by October I’ll be up to snuff, but if not, it could still be fun to watch!

The whole thing is set up as a 5K obstacle course, with prizes awarded to the winner or team of winners. To succeed, you must run the course without getting taken down by the zombies. From the look of the video below, a flag-in-the-pocket, flag football system will stand in for zombie scratches and bites. So while it isn’t exactly full contact, expect to have the zombies reaching at you and making minor contact with you.

Minimum age to be a runner is 11, and 14 to be a zombie. It’s a little cheaper to be a zombie than a runner, too, so if you want to save a few bucks but still be part of it (and do some fun makeup stuff) you might consider zedding it out for the day.

Here’s a promo video for the event set to some very enthusiastic house music.

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Watch: “Cargo” from Tropfest 2013

“Stranded in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, a man sets in motion an unlikely plan to protect the precious cargo he carries: his infant daughter. “

This zombie short film is creative and beautiful. A friend suggested it to me, and I was glad I spent the few minutes it took to watch it. Short films can be a great way to ingest some brief bursts of entertainment, but I find that those in the horror genre tend to be of very low quality. This is an exception for sure.

It’s from the 2013 Tropfest, which is an international short film festival that’s grown tremendously in popularity over the last decade and a half or so. Tropfest takes place all over the world each  year (there are technically multiple “fests”) and this film showed at the Australian fest. Cargo was a finalist, but it does not appear to have won.

The film was made by Ben Howling with Dreaming Tree Productions, something he refers to as a “filmmaking collective” on his website. It’s gotten quite a few YouTube views, and has also shown at the Northside Festival in Brooklyn, and the Las Vegas Film Festival, among others. It starts Andy Rodoreda.

Video: Top 5 Zombie Films

Here are the top 5 zombie films of all time, at least according to AngryTechGuy. Personally, I don’t think a list like this could be complete without The Dead Undead.

Kidding! It’s a good list. I’d probably add Return of the Living Dead, and probably subtract 28 Days Later. In fact, I should probably make my own list. And my own video!

Video: Walking Dead Escape Zombie Run (Comic Con 2013)

It’s become an annual thing now at Comic Con. There are zombie obstacle course fun runs all over the country (and even in other countries) but the one at Comic Con is the official Walking Dead run. This video from the 2013 does a great job of showing what exactly the zombie OCR runs are all about. The runner behind the camera stops here and there to show us some of the sights, and if I understand the ending, still ends up winning. So good for him!

Warning: If you’re sensitive (as I am) to shaky, first person videos, be careful with this one. It’s a fun video, but I did get a little motion sick watching it.

 

Great Moments in Zombie Comedy

5. Return of the Living Dead

Holy crap is it hard to pick a favorite moment in Return of the Living Dead, especially when it comes to comedy. That’s why this list is going to include this movie twice. First is this scene that I totally love from Return of the Living Dead. Some of the funniest parts of this movie are the most horrific, because of how the characters react with an almost cartoonish terror. The way these people react to this unkillable dead man could best be described as OMGWTFBBQSAUCE. And it’s hilarious.

4. Shaun of the Dead

After exhausting their basket of junk by throwing it at the zombies’ heads, the heroes of Shaun of the Dead ascertain that vinyl records, when thrown correctly, can do some damage. In this scene, they go through Shaun’s record collection, deciding which ones are bad enough to be used as ammunition.

3. Dawn of the Dead (remake)

Living your life holed up in a mall can get a little boring. For entertainment, the characters in this movie take a little break to blow off some steam by heading to the roof and playing a game. The game? Tell the guy across the street a celebrity, and watch him shoot the zombie that most resembles that celebrity with his sniper rifle.

2. Return of the Living Dead

Another one from Return of the Living Dead. This whole sequence is great – characters run around freaking out as they try to make the funeral home safe, while a very 80’s movie song about the living dead plays. The bit I’m showing in the video above is where we see a zombie snacking on the EMT’s who showed up a few minutes before, who famously requests via the ambulance radio “send…more…paramedics!”

1. Braindead (aka Dead Alive)

Any time zombie comedy is mentioned (which, okay, probably isn’t that often), this movie has to come up. It’s a dark comedy, sort of in the vein of Rami’s Evil Dead flicks. And this is the most famous scene. In it, the hero has a lawnmower strapped to his chest, which he uses to walk through a room of zombies and literally “mow” them down. It’s gruesome, but manages to make that rare and difficult transition from gruesome to hilarious.

Schwarzenegger Zombie Flick Maggie Picked Up by Lionsgate

maggie filmThe Schwarzenegger zombie flick Maggie has been picked up by Lionsgate for American distribution, and pulled from showing at the Toronto International Film Festival. While it’s probably fine that they pulled

The movie has been praised for bending and transcending genres. It’s set in an apocalyptic world overrun by a zombie virus, but rather than the usual plot we see in zombie movies of late (in which “plot” is substituted for “shotgun”), it’s about he drama that unfolds between a father and his daughter when the daughter is bitten and begins to slowly transform into a monster.

Maggie has all the ingredients that spell commercial excitement—a compelling script and an ‘A’ list superstar surrounded by a world-class cast,” said Lionsgate’s Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President Steve Beeks. “We’re delighted to continue our relationship with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who turns in a performance that marks a dramatic departure from his action persona, and partner with our friends at Lotus Entertainment on a film that will resonate with thriller aficionados everywhere.”

There’s no official release date for it yet, but they’re saying we should see it by early 2015.

Being pulled from the festival is probably fine. But it does make one wonder. While the official word on why they did it is that, having been picked up now, it doesn’t need the buzz from the festival. But isn’t buzz always good? One might wonder if they moved it out because now that it’s picked up, there’s no reason to risk a poor reception that might sour the deal with Lionsgate. But I’m staying optimistic – it really is a great concept.

Zombie Wine Bottle Holder

zombie hand wine bottle holder

If you like to enjoy a glass of fine wine while watching the Walking Dead, there’s a sweet new product that you’ve got to see.

It’s known simply as the Zombie Hand Wine Bottle Holder, and it’s just what it sounds like. A resin wine caddy shaped like an undead hand bursting out of the ground. When you put your wine bottle in it, it looks like the monster is holding it as he emerges from the grave.

Would you drink a bottle of wine that was offered up in a walker hand? Maybe not…but since it’s fake, you should be safe. It makes a great decoration for the kitchen of any horror buff. I for one will be using mine to display bottles of Jameson at my Halloween party, which I think will look even more awesome than a wine bottle.

They’re $39.95 on Amazon with free shipping. Check out this sweet picture of the holder in use, sitting on my kitchen counter. For fun, I posed it next to my bobblehead zombie! If you’re like me and have a ton of zombie toys and decor, this thing will work great in your house, too!

zombie hand wine bottle holder

 

The Zombie Apocalypse Starts Small – With Ants

cordyceps zombie antOphiocordyceps camponoti-rufipedis is a parasitic fungus that infects carpenter ants with deadly spores. Under the influence of the fungus, the ants become mindless zombies driven to climb plants, latch onto the undersides of leaves, and die. Then the fungus sprouts a long stalk from the ant corpse, which then rains new spores down onto the ant colony, creating an ant zombie outbreak.

A recent study has shown that the ants are generally directed to create this death grip on leaves around the colony the edges of the colony, where they will and begin to grow the fungus, putting at risk the other ants coming and going from the colony. According to researchers, the fungus uses this tactic to create a sort of “sniper’s alley” that forces ants to pass through infected areas, greatly increasing risk of infection.

Gamer fans may recognize the cordyceps from the recent video game hit The Last of Us, in which a species of cordyceps jumps from its traditional host to human. In the game, the parasitic fungus becomes the cause of a zombie outbreak that wipes out a large portion of the human population. But don’t worry – scientists have discovered no such species in reality. Still, it’s worrying even to know that such a fungus exists. And with the speed of evolution in short-lived species, who knows whether the fungus might make a jump to humans in the future?

Zombie Highway 2: Run Over More Zombies This Fall!

zombie highway 2Auxbrain’s hit mobile zombie game Zombie Highway is getting a sequel this fall. Appropriately titled Zombie Highway 2, it will feature the same core mechanic: hit zombies with a car.

Fans of the game may know that Zombie Highway: Driver’s Ed came out last year, but this was more an update than a true sequel (even though some people refer to it as such). Zombie Highway 2 will be a whole new game, although maintaining that same vehicular zombie homicide edge.

The sequel will feature a few new features. Nitro boosts that increase speed and damage, plenty of new weapons, a Prince of Persia rewind feature after death (that will of course cost in-game gold, or a view of a video ad), and a new expert difficulty. There will also be daily challenges, and a new feature allowing you to kill zombie versions of your Game Center friends!

The game is still in development, but expected this fall.

This video is a one hour live demo of the game by the developers.

Z Nation: Syfy’s New Zombie Show Seeks Walking Dead Audience

Harold Perrineau Z nationSyfy (the silly name the SciFi Channel adopted a few years ago) has a new zombie show called Z Nation in the works. There’s a lot of walk about whether it can rival the Walking Dead.

Well, it probably can’t. But I don’t think that’s the point. The point is we’re about to get a second zombie show on basic cable, and that’s pretty legit.

The series stars Harold Perrineau, Tom Everett Scott, DJ Qualls, Michael Welch, Kellita Smith, Anastasia Baranova, Russell Hodgkinson, and Keith Allan. It’s set to premier Friday, Sept. 12 at 10 p.m. Friday, a.k.a. TV’s big night other than Sunday (a.k.a. the Walking Dead night).

The show starts three years after a virus has turned the country into zombies. A group of survivors is escorting a guy who survived a zombie bite from New York to California, where a lab of epidemiologists is waiting to test his blood. The official description states: “Although the antibodies he carries are the world’s last, best hope for a vaccine, he hides a dark secret that threatens them all.With humankind’s survival at stake, the ragtag band embarks on a journey of survival across three thousand miles of rusted-out post-apocalyptic America.”

From the look of the trailer, it’s not the same high quality stuff as The Walking Dead, and might even focus a little more on horror. In the zombie genre, horror is becoming something of a novelty, with the focus generally being on shotguns and crossbows. So that could definitely be a fresh angle, particularly on TV.

As long as the quality is at least passable – which the trailer reveals it to be – it should bring some much-needed numbers for Syfy. The zombie genre is low-hanging fruit right now. People are hungry for more, and anything decent is bound to scoop up some ratings. The Walking Dead owns Sunday nights, averaging 15.6 million viewers. The second rated show Sunday night is Talking Dead – a show where people talk about the number one show – which brings in 7.3 million viewers. I’m sure Syfy would be thrilled with even a quarter of that average.