Zombies may finally be a dying breed. According to the National Retail Federations annual list of popular Halloween costumes, the number of adult individuals wearing zombie costumes this year has fallen from 2011’s fourth place to 2012s fifth place, with only 3.6% of the adult population wearing them. Some could interpret this as a sign that zombies are losing their grip on the mainstream masses.
The costumes ranking higher than zombies are witches (ranking #1, with 9.5% of the adult population), vampires (#2, with 5.2%), pirates (#3, 4.6%), and Batman costumes (#4, 3.7%). The Batman costumes come as no surprise, what with The Dark Knight Rises releasing this year, but the fact that one film can carry such pull as to push down a whole genre is surprising. Then again, people may just be getting sick of the undead.
But before we go throwing around assumptions, let’s examine last year’s Halloween trends: Still in first place are witch costumes (with 13.4% of the surveyed adult population), followed by pirates (3.9%), vampires (3.7%), zombies (3%), and Batman costumes (2.2%).
According to rank, yes, zombie costumes have fallen in ranking popularity. But that doesn’t explain how zombie costumes came in at a lower rank while having a higher percentage than the year before. (In 2011, 3% of the adult population wore zombie costumes, while the 2012 survey lists 3.6% of individuals wearing zombie costumes.)
Here’s how it happened: Look no further than the number differences for the other categories. All of the costume genres ahead of zombie costumes fell in percentage between the 2011 and 2012 surveys. Basically, less total individuals were wearing zombie costumes, but more people were also wearing less of the costumes ranking higher than zombie costumes.
A bit complicated, but nothing too crazy.
So what’s the takeaway? Here’s what we think: Zombie costumes continue to be one of the go-to options for Halloween. Why? Well, they represent all of what Halloween has to offer – death, decay, fright, and a limitless ability to blend all of these elements with one’s own creativity. You want to be a burn victim zombie? Do it. Headless zombie? Go ahead.
Halloween is about wearing what you feel best accentuates your personality. If that’s a slobbering undead monstrosity, have a party, and screw what the data says about zombie costumes losing popularity.
On October 1, 1968, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead premiered in Pittsburgh, with a total budget of only $114,000. Although the film originally received mixed reviews from film critics, it eventually was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation within the National Film Registry as a film deemed culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.
After more than forty years of re-releases and international sales, the film has grossed approximately $256,147,434, making it one of the most successful horror films ever created. Since you’re reading this blog, I’m to assume that you 1) have seen this film and 2) absolutely love the hell out of it. Every self-respecting Halloween fan loves it, that’s a universal fact. It’s why we carry so many zombie costumes.
Now, a couple indie filmmakers and screenwriters are looking to turn this iconic classic into a theatrical play, though the idea is currently looking for funding via IndieGoGo.com, a site similar to Kickstarter. The theatrical re-imagining is titled Night of the Living Dead Live, and here’s what the creators have to say about the project:
Night of the Living Dead Live will captivate audiences as they experience this classic told in the intimate setting of a live theater. This will bring the viewer closer to the story than ever before, as they are literally sitting in the house with the characters as they fight and kill their way through the marauding ghouls. At the end of the show everyone in the room will know what it feels like to experience a night with the living dead!
In addition, to ensure the original film’s essence is not lost in translation, the theatrical play will be presented entirely in black and white, from the set design right to the actors. Here’s a short video of the creators discussing their passion for the project:
If the reader is wondering how an indie group found the rights to recreating Romero’s original, the film’s original distributor, the Walter Reade Organization, did not place a copyright indication on the prints. Back in 1968, United States copyright law required proper notice to maintain a copyright, and this never happened. Allegedly, Romero was given the opportunity to rename the film, make a few creative edits, and place a new copyright on the film, ensuring it would remain his, but for whatever reason he never did it, so the film entered public domain status.
But that does not necessarily mean the theatrical play is going behind Romero’s back. Quite the opposite, in fact, as the indie team lists George A. Romero as part of the team, titled an Executive Producer. One may interpret this as his official approval of the theatrical play’s production.
The play is being directed by Christopher Bond, the co-creator and co-director of the play Evil Dead The Musical. If you want to see the theatrical play come to life, chip in at the play’s IndieGoGo page.
The zombie apocalypse is going to happen. Theres no point denying it. To ensure that you’re mentally prepared, we created this trusty list of zombie symptoms.
First, lets look at what is not a zombie: a Wal-Mart shopper.
There he is all of his wide-mouthed glory spewing into the world worse than an open wound. Somewhere inside that tanned, leathery bag of skin, past those fabulously white short-shorts, is a heartbeat that clings to life like a man falling over a cliff.
This, on the other hand, is the undead:
Note: With Halloween being so close, keep an eye on those individuals wearing zombie costumes. Zombies are cunning, mindless creatures, who could easily utilize Halloween’s allowance of undead paraphernalia as an opportunity to strike. One minute you’re handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, then those trick-or-treaters are running off with your hands.
Here are some signs and symptoms one may experience during his or her transformation into an undead abomination:
If you see someone showing any of these signs or symptoms, be careful – you may be dealing with a zombie, or a total douchebag.
Combining the excitement of marathon races and zombies, Run For Your Lives is an intensely unique experience that is sure to get your blood pumping.
At the core of Run For Your Lives are the basic marathon rules. There is a start, a finish, obstacles, multiple routes that you can follow, and competing racers. However, unlike a typical marathon, there are two additional factors: zombies and flag belts.
Every runner is given a flag belt with attached flags, similar to the kind worn during flag football. These flags indicate your health. The job of the individuals dressed in zombie costumes is to snatch away those flags. When all of your flags are gone, you die, and you are disqualified from the race. But fear not there are health packages hidden throughout the course that will help keep you alive.
Completion of the race, including the twelve man-made and natural obstacles, entitles you to the post-race awards, which include:
One free beer.
Admittance into the Apocalypse Party.
Advanced training for the actual Zombie Apocalypse.
Medals signifying your survival of the race (or zombie transformation).
Warwear performance tee.
The race is split between the age categories of 14 to 19, 20 to 29, 30 to 39, and 40 and older. There is also a separate military division for those truly hardcore individuals that want a real challenge. The top three men and top three women of each winning division will be invited back to play parts as the lead zombies for the next obstacle race. You can go from winning the race to destroying those that want to win.
Here are the dates and locations for upcoming events:
Some 50 years after the Cuban Revolution, Cuba comes under a whole new kind of revolution: an undead apocalypse. Welcome to the basic premise of an upcoming zombie comedy, Juan of the Dead. Juan, a 40-year-old nobody that has led a life of doing nothing, sees a way to make money out of this newfound birth of undead abominations. Along with his lazy and idiotic friend Lazaro, Juan sets out to rid Cuba of the infected ones consuming what’s left of the population, as long as someone is ready to pay the cost for Juan’s services.
Similar to the infamous British zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead, Juan of the Dead sets out to entertain, frighten, and enlighten audiences, along with blowing up skyscrapers:
I don’t know about you, but I’m very, very excited for a new zombie comedy, especially one from such an unlikely of places as Cuba. Plus, I hope Juan of the Dead takes a whole new spin on the traditional zombie costumes image. I mean, it’s about time that a new culture came into the zombie genre. Too many American hack-and-slash films have been forced down our throats, and now it’s time to enjoy a – hopefully – successful cult classic. Bring on the Juan!
Before we say our so longs to the sorrowful month of May, we have one day to finalize our zombie lust. I have searched, I have scoured, and I have rummaged through the Internet garbage to bring you some jewels of undead enjoyment. From a zombie beach party to a rudimentary anti-zombie blade-throwing slingshot, here is the last and final day of Zombie Appreciation Month:
Countless individuals have dedicated their lives to creating gruesome machines of death and destruction, but something about this next invention screams accidental decapitation. The video is titled Shooting Circular Sawblades With The Slingshot, and it is absolutely full of amazing. (Skip to 2:20 to see the damage it can cause to a watermelon.)
If you are wondering why this is part of the final goodbyes of Zombie Appreciation Month, let me reiterate the name of the video: Shooting Circular Sawblades With The Slingshot. It is “The Slingshot,” not “A Slingshot.” This is something he is proud of creating, proud of showing off, and proud of wielding like a watermelon mass murderer. When the bullets run out, this guy is fully prepared to launch sawblades into the decaying flesh of the undead. (For the Half-Life fans out there, this guy went to Ravenholm, conquered it, and came back to ready the world.)
However, I thought about something while watching this video: what happens if the slingshot backfires, like the melon incident from the Amazing Race.
(Side Note: I love how the blond lady is initially too stunned to do anything. Did that melon just ruin that lady’s face? Yes, yes it did, and it was hilarious to watch in both slow-mo and regular speed.)
Anyway, let’s move away from homemade death machines and toward a lighter, more joyfully undead time.
On May 28th, Asbury Park, New Jersey, held the first ever zombie beach party, equipped with zombie costumes, games, and make-up. Attending individuals walked up and down the Asbury Boardwalk during the Memorial Day weekend celebrations. If someone arrived at the party without the proper zombie make-up, professional make-up artists were on site to work their zombifying magic. Here are some pictures from the event:
Have you spent hours dreaming about the zombie apocalypse? Do you have a plan ready for when the swarm comes knocking on your door? Wish and plan and dream no more, because Prophecy: Zombie 2011 gives you a chance to live out a simulated zombie apocalypse. Bring your friends, pack up some zombie costumes, and enjoy a weekend of fighting off the undead.
Here’s how it works:
Prophecy: Zombie 2011 is a monstrous gathering of individuals who wish to play a game yes, a game that simulates a realistic zombie apocalypse. But they don’t play a video game or a board game. They play as themselves. This kind of game is known as Live Action Roleplying, or LARPing, and everyone involved is a player. Some play as the zombies, but others play as the survivors. Each player has a personality, desires, motives, skills, and much more, which they are to use to survive for as long as possible. Given that the event takes place over two days, you will have more than enough time to get your fill of zombie apocalypse action.
To give you a quick visualization of what LARPing is like, here’s the LARPing scene from the movie Role Models:
Of course, instead of a quick Medieval battle, Prophecy: Zombie 2011 challenges you to survive for two days. You will be hunted, you will be forced to flee during the night, and you will feel absolute fear. This is not your grandmother’s game of shuffleboard this is a truly horrifying, and absolutely entertaining, experience.
From the Prophecy: Zombie 2011 website: Prophecy: Zombie 2011 is a game designed to get you right into the action and hopefully keep you on your toes throughout the event. In this game, a character’s death is permanent. If your character dies, you are welcome to come cast for us. If your character becomes infected and turns into a zombie, you’re pretty much drafted into the hordes of flesh-eating undead.
If you are still not convinced that this could be an amazing experience, here’s a video of a zombie apocalypse LARP session (Not associated with Prophecy: Zombie 2011):
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, are now trying to help prepare people for the ensuing zombie apocalypse. (Finally, the government is taking this whole zombie crisis seriously!)
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for, says the CDC’s official website. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.
Wait, if the government is publicly informing the masses about realistic zombie apocalypse prevention, does that mean they know something we don’t? Oh my, oh geez, I’ve read about those 2011 theories, and I knew the zombie apocalypse was involved. I think I’m panicking! Yup, I’m seriously panicking over here. CDC, you better start telling me what to do, or I might freak the frig out.
We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over…, but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Through ancient voodoo and folk-lore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born.
What? I already know all about how zombies come about, why they love brains, why zombie costumes are so popular, and why the show The Walking Dead was born. Fast-forward to the good stuff. I want to know about what I’m supposed to do! You’re not helping me quell my anxiety, CDC.
So what do you need to do before zombies or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored).
Wait a minute…hurricanes? Pandemics? What the hell does any of this have to do with a zombie apocalypse? Whatever, let’s see what you want me to include in my anti-zombie kit. I know it’s going to be something amazing, like nukes, guns, cybernetics, and all sorts of explosives, right?
Water (1 gallon per person per day)
Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
Important documents (copies of your drivers license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane.)
A utility knife? What the hell am I going to do with a utility knife during a zombie apocalypse? Whittle something for the zombies? Oh, oh wait! You mean we should rely on nature for our anti-zombie weaponry, like wooden spears and all sorts of Rambo style traps. That makes so much more sense than stupid old guns and explosives. CDC, you’re an anti-zombie genius.
But what about my friends and family? Should I leave them behind, in fear that they may turn undead and consume me while I sleep?
Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. Pick one place right outside your home for sudden emergencies and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to return home right away.
Okay…you’re back to the hurricanes thing. Is this really a statement about a zombie apocalypse, or are you simply riding the undead genre to inform people about really useful information? Because I don’t care for useful information not one bit. Zombies, fictional scenarios, that’s what I’m here for, and that’s what I want to know about.
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). Its likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas.
Now I’m all kinds of confused. This whole thing has been a ploy to get me to read information about hurricanes and other realistic disasters, but now you’re claiming to actually be prepared for a zombie apocalypse. Look, CDC, I can tell you right now, with those items included in your anti-zombie kit, you are far from prepared. You need bullets, guns, explosives, turrets, crowbars, grenades, tanks, nukes, and dragons. Zombies don’t give a flying flip if you’re carrying around bleach and a copy of your passport.
On May 13th, countless individuals swarmed the streets of Moscow, moaning and chanting, searching for the closest source of edible brains. Known as the Moscow Zombie Parade, the event took place on Arbat street, located somewhere in Moscow. (I’ve never been to Moscow, but the pictures make it look like a popular downtown shopping strip perfect for a sudden zombie flashmob.)
As evident by the pictures, everyone dressed in their best zombie costumes, drenched themselves in blood, and had a ghoulishly fun time. From undead nuns to soup-offering zombie cooks, the costumes were highly detailed, morbidly creative, and extremely sickening.
Unfortunately, somewhere near the end of the parade the zombies were raided by the police. Some 30 zombies were dragged off for holding an unauthorized meeting. They most likely were dissected and torn apart, studied for the inevitable outbreak that most certainly will occur from such a gathering of zombies. May their undead souls rest in peace.
Some day I hope to hear about an outstanding American zombie flashmob, yet Paris and Moscow have us beat so far. Come on, America, I know you love zombies! Show your undead love and start shuffling the streets!
While we’re already eleven days into the month of May, we are not too late to start enjoying this month’s dedication: zombies. May is Zombie Appreciation Month (Google it, if you want to check), and I have all of the juicy information you need to properly celebrate your ghoulish love for the undead.
No Zombie Appreciation Month is complete without a bit of Zombie Blood. While the green, oozing liquid may seem disgusting, it actually contains enough energy to keep your running just faster than the person next to you.
Produced by the same company that makes Zombie Blood, Zombie Jerky offers you a nutritious undead snack. Instead of hunting down your own Zombies, skinning them, and drying out their flesh, now you can get it all in one easy package.
If Woody Harrelson in Zombieland taught the world anything, it is that Twinkies are to be the world’s last delicatessen. No matter the amount of zombies, no matter the social degradation, Twinkies will remain, and they will continue to remain. In fact, I don’t think people make Twinkies anymore. They procreate through budding.
You cannot appreciate Zombie Appreciation Month without the proper form of entertainment. Me? I’m reliving the zombie love of my childhood:
There are also countless shows, movies, and comic books set in the undead world. My personal favorites are The Walking Dead series (Read the comic first, then watch the show), Shawn of the Dead, and 28 Days Later. Turn the lights off, then watch or read them alone.
Come on, it’s Zombie Appreciation Month there is absolutely no better excuse to put on a zombie costume and go shuffling the streets of your neighborhood. Since we stock every kind of zombie you could imagine, you can find your perfect undead match. And I do mean every kind of zombie you could imagine. For example, here’s an undead sushi chef. Yeah, go ahead and try to top that one.