We're coming up on the
end of October, and that means another Richmond Zombie Walk has come
and gone. Since we go the same route every year, there's really only
so much I can say without repeating myself, but I will try to focus
on this year's highlights without retreading the past.
First and foremost, I want to point out that we had our biggest
turnout yet this year, with anywhere from 210-230 zombies.
It's hard to count when they won't stop shuffling around, and every
year a few zombies get it in their half-rotted brains that they're
going to skip the initial meet-up and just hook up with us as we
roll through the streets (well, street, anyway) of Carytown.
Also this year, they
were taking donations for the American Cancer Society, and each
zombie was encouraged to donate five dollars. The total donations
collected amounted to $325, so let's do the math here... let's see,
carry the one... divide by pi... y=mx+b... and I am forced to
conclude that zombies are a bunch of cheapass bastards! I
mean, come on, this means on average each zombie donated about a
buck fifty! If I'd known this was going to be the case, I would have
gladly donated more. I don't mean to complain (no wait, yes I do),
but I certainly hope that next year the undead horde can be bothered
to cough up a bit more in the way of donations. Or I might just have
to go next year as a zombie hunter.
This year I decided on
being a Star Trek "red shirt" for my costume theme, because I
figured those guys were getting knocked off so often on the show
there's bound to be zombie versions of them running around. However,
since finding a costume version of the old school series red shirt
under $50 was proving difficult, and I didn't feel like doing any
sewing, I decided to go with the Next Generation style red shirt. My
roommate, who is a far bigger nerd than me, pointed out that in Next
Generation it was the command crew rather than the cannon fodder
that wore red, but I figure that there have to be high ranking
Zombie Santa had to be
one of my favorites, and clearly he was a hit with the organizers
too, as he won the zombie themed costume contest. He carried with
him a big sack full of human body parts, to the delight of all the
zombie girls and boys.
Speaking of our
organizers, here are our two fearless undead leaders: Anthony and
Josh, Anthony sporting his usual "dead mason" look (and you really
can't go wrong with that even though some variety mixed in with the
mason hat each year would be nice), and Josh going for a zombie barber theme,
complete with a victim/customer who stayed close by for most of the
walk. You never know when you're going to need to slice someone's
head open on short notice with your clippers, after all. Anyway,
these are the guys who keep the unruly, bloody mob under control,
and they do a fine job of it.
This guy was
definitely one of the more bloody zombies out there that day. I
tried to bloody up my costume, but wouldn't you know it, the red
blood hardly showed up on the red costume. This guy was smart: he
knew to wear white for maximum gore effect.
This costume was
actually kind of unnerving, looking almost like one of those creepy
nurses from the "Silent Hill" series of games. The bandage covering
most of her face was a very nice touch, and she had one of the
better grey flesh tones going for her as well.
But really, does it
get any scarier than a clown zombie? I mean, aren't clowns scary
enough already? She had a horn she would honk occasionally too, in
between undead wails of agony. Next to her we have a zombie break
dancer, who played a special zombie mix tape on her... well, I
hesitate to call anything with Strawberry Shortcake all over it a "boombox".
Again this year, we
had special "victims" planted in the crowd, who the zombies would
run up and "attack" en masse, quickly slapping makeup and fake blood
all over them. I didn't actually witness this in person, but from
the picture it looks pretty damn good!
And here's our newly
created zombie victim, ready to get up and start walking with the
rest of us.
Some zombies didn't
even need to walk, however. These girls had on roller-skates,
combining the classic style of a Romero zombie with the dangerous
speed of a "28 Days Later" zombie.
This zombie bride had
a great costume, but more important than that: look at her face!
Holy shit! She's the best zombie actor of the bunch! If I didn't
know any better, I'd say a real zombie snuck into the mix!
Seriously, this zombie had some real dedication to staying in
character. Also, longtime readers of the site may be interested to
spot occasional guest I-Mockery writer Jaeger S. Meistersen in the
back, toward the center.
Zombie Pope was also a
favorite of mine. And he looks sort of lost and confused as he
hobbles around, just like our last pope did in his final years!
But the pope wasn't
the only religious icon we had with us! Jesus walked among us as
well, and the best part of it was that he wasn't covered in blood at
all, and didn't lurch and shuffle like the common rank and file
zombies. No, Jesus walked calmly, and with grace, smiling and waving
to the onlookers as if riding a parade float.
There were two
different zombie mothers pushing strollers at the walk. This one had
blood running all down her legs as if the baby was some horrible
Speaking of which, I
never realized a baby doll could be so creepy. But just look
at that thing! LOOK AT IT!!!
Sucker. Now it's going to haunt your dreams tonight.
This guy had some
fantastic face makeup, with exposed skull and flesh dangling off his
Zombie Groucho Marx
had a great dangling eye going for him. I saw one girl lick it.
This guy was so
dedicated to the Zombie Walk, he actually gouged out his eye with a
pencil to make his makeup seem more realistic.
Finally, our Zombie
Walk had the ingredient we've been missing the previous two years: a
zombie gladiator! All we need now is a Viking and I can retire.
Though we did have a girl wearing a Viking helmet this
year... but she was also wearing street clothes, which does not a
true Viking make.
And of course, what
Zombie Walk would be complete without Hunter S. Zombie? He shows up
every year, and I think he'd be missed at this point if he didn't.
We invaded the library
at Virginia Commonwealth University again this year, to be met once
again with angry glares of
far-too-serious-and-important-for-this-nonsense students who
couldn't be bothered with our immature antics. I prefer to
think of it as a room full of mostly boring people got invaded by a
crowd of mostly interesting people and suddenly felt woefully
Truly, our Zombie Walk
organizers know how to ride in style...
After the Walk, my
friends and I went back to the parking lot where the group
originally met up so that we could get our vehicles, and we happened
to notice this car just sitting there, begging for us to pose for a
picture. We later learned that it was Zombie Santa's car, which
seems appropriate, since he was clearly one of the most dedicated
All in all this year's Zombie Walk was another great experience,
though one thing I definitely did miss was the mummies who randomly
appeared last year. Rumor had it they were going to make another
appearance, but I guess they must've been held up in traffic or
something. Anyway, the way this event is growing every year, I'm
confident that it's going to remain a regular Richmond event for
years go come. If you don't have a Zombie Walk in your area, go to
zombiewalk.com and see about setting one up yourself. It's
worth it just for the puzzled, angry, or delighted looks you'll
receive for covering yourself in fake blood, staggering down the
street and groaning like you've got problems.
-Photographs taken by
Scott Tankersley, Tim Rahto, Nell Murphy, and David Bridges. Thanks to
-For more zombie walk
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A workingman's actor, he
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If you enjoyed this
piece, be sure to check out:
The 2006 Richmond Zombie Walk!
The 2005 Richmond Zombie Walk!