During the ninth annual Denver Zombie Crawl on Saturday, more than 20,000 undead are expected to descend on the 16th Street Mall to strut their decaying stuff. In a crowd like that, it can be hard to stand out; fortunately, there's a near-infinite number of zombie movies from which you can draw inspiration. And I'm here to share the best ones to study, so that when you you walk like a zombie, you do so with style.
Just getting started in the undead lifestyle? There's no better place to begin thanShaun of the Dead
. It's not only anoob-friendly zombie movie that old-timers love
, too, it also contains a scene that literally teaches you to walk like a zombie. If you can follow simple directions and love good movies, this is your one-stop shop to get you ready for your first shambling, decaying trip down the mall.
For the traditional-minded zombie walker If you want to see how the finest in old-school zombies move and look, the film you seek is George A. Romero's Day of the Dead. These are the original zombies that inspired a million knockoff apocalypses in their most refined form. Romero's previous two films -- Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead -- are certainly fine films, but the effects and zombie makeup in both are a little rough by modern-day standards. Not so here! These zombies look fantastic, and for added value, you get all sorts of them, from soldier zombies to clown zombies. For the zombie walker looking for a little '70s style If you want to do something a little different that still shows a ton of style, check out the lost '70s zombie classic Sugar Hill. These zombies are festooned in cobwebs, dusted with what looks like powdered sugar (probably grave dust, though) and sport creepy silver eyes. It's a look that hasn't been replicated elsewhere, but no one will mistake you for anything but a zombie. Spooky stuff, plus you get to enjoy an awesome slice of Blaxploitation zombie nonsense while doing your research.
Continue reading for more great zombie inspiration
For the new-school zombie walker There's some debate whether or not 28 Days Later is a zombie movie, but let's go ahead and settle that now -- it is totally a zombie movie. Not only that, it's one of the most influential of the past twenty years, even if that influence did have to be filtered through Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake to really get traction. These zombies are runners, not walkers, but they have a great look all the same -- red-eyed, leaking blood and fluids everywhere and completely pissed off all the time. If you can manage to capture that, no one will even care that you're walking, not running.For the zombie walker who wants to reference something awesome and terrible
Sure, the zombie make up inNightmare City
is absurdly terrible -- it basically looks like a mix of kitty litter and shoe polish haphazardly smeared on some dudes' faces. On the upside, they're some of the more lively and clever zombies in film history, since they not only run and jump, but drive cars, fly airplanes and use all manner of weapons, from hatchets to machine guns. Best of all, the movie they find themselves in is a psychotic fever dream, full of exploding televisions, a whole studio full of leotard-clad dancers getting murdered and other assorted insanity. In other words, you might look like literal crap, but anyone that recognizes the reference will be a friend for life. (Disclaimer: there's a very real chance I will be the only one to pick up on that reference.)For the zombie walker who wants to do something really weird and creative
Want to get weird? Look no further thanFrankenstein's Army
for inspiration. The movie itself is pretty decent, but the zombie design is unique and freakishly awesome. While those other chumps are walking around looking like a barely animate corpse with some simple neck wounds, think how awesome you'll be in your Steampunk cyborg zombie getup, complete with drill-press arm attachment and Nazi regalia! Okay, maybe cut the Nazi bit out; that's not anything you want to be celebrating.
Wherever you decide to find inspiration, have fun out there. It's not every city that gets to enjoy a world-class gathering of undead each and every year. Don't squander the opportunity the show off your creativity and your zombie pride.
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Find me on Twitter, where I tweet about geeky stuff and waste an inordinate amount of time: @casciato.