Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Halloween and zombies...

So I did the zombie walk and it was ace.

I didn't need to worry that no one would turn up - there were apparently around 2500 zombies there in the end and bringing Brighton to an apocalyptic standstill for a good couple of hours.

Andrea was an awesome zombie and seemed to enjoy staring at random members of the public like she was going to eat them. I was not so great, and just about managed a zombie walk until I saw someone I knew and then I'd say 'hello' and wave, which I'm pretty sure isn't correct zombie behaviour.

Look, I totally made a video:

Someone else made a way better video:

The zombies were still out in force later that night, when we were walking around town trying to take in some of Brighton's White Night exhibitions. Which was pretty much impossible. I like art, but it's pretty hard to take anything in when you're crammed into a gallery with about a hundred other people, most of them now rather drunk zombies. I feel like I missed out on loads of cool stuff, but then I think had I spent the whole evening wandering around Brighton I imagine I would have perpetually felt like I was missing something cool elsewhere anyway.

Instead we went to the Duke of Yorks for the guaranteed awesomeness of 5 back-to-back zombie films. It occasionally felt like an endurance test but it certainly felt like an achievement for the handful of us that made it through to 9am the next morning.

There is a problem, however, with all this fun with zombies and it quickly became apparent when we were watching Dawn of the Dead. A good proportion of the audience were laughing or talking through it. I get it, I know some of the effects don't hold up like they used to and I know it's been spoofed to death, but for me George Romero's fuck you to a consumer-obsessed society has more relevence now than it ever did. The zombies are still us, more so now, and that's what's always been scary about it. But I guess that doesn't bother anyone anymore. I would like to intellectualise it, and say that this is perhaps a consequence of making the zombie a figure of fun, and that having people parade through town dressed up takes the edge off it. But I don't think that is the problem. I think the problem is that Romero's zombies have infiltrated our cinemas too now, mindlessly watching the pretty pictures and getting frustrated with anything that involves actual thought.

This perhaps ties in to why I've struggled to marry up the concept of Halloween with my love of horror films. I remember as a teenager I arranged a horror film marathon for a group of friends. I showed them Halloween, The Wicker Man and Night of the Living Dead - three of the scariest films I'd ever seen at the time. And they laughed through most of them and complained they were bored through the rest. The point is, I'm not sure Halloween is meant for horror film fans. It feels like it should be, but really it's for everyone else. It's for the people who laugh at Dawn of the Dead. For the rest of us it's Halloween every day.

Sorry, rant over, mostly it was an awesome night and the other films went down really well, particularly Evil Dead 2 which hadn't seen for years. I'd forgotten how much fun and how inventive that film is.

Last night was Son of Moviebar where I watched some fantastic short horror films, chatted to lots of awesome people, and drank far too much, mostly on purpose to make the most of the fact that I probably won't be able to be quite so inebriated once I'm running it next year. Which I don't think I've mentioned yet, but that is the idea. I have assembled a team, I have some vague plans and I will post more about it here once I get my head round actually doing it.

I also met Scare Sarah and Cyberschizoid who ruined my theory that all film blogs are written by the same Gibson-esque artificial intelligence by turning out to be actual real-life people. They also politely listened to me rant about evil twins and didn't run away. They are currently running a campaign to bring classic horror back to our TV screens, which you can find out about here and sign the petition here.


Jinx said...

Marvellous. Controversially I like the smiling zombie picture best.

Chris Regan said...

There are loads more smiling zombie photos where that came from. I figure I'm allowed to be a smiling zombie though - maybe I just died with a smile on my face.

cyberschizoid said...

Thanks for promoting the Classic Horror Campaign! You must be the nice twin, not the evil one!