I missed the 2008 Richmond Zombie Walk, because it was raining. It was raining at my home, but not at the location for the Zombie Walk, a few mere miles away, but how could I know this? Zombies cannot operate phone technology—it requires too much manual finger dexterity, and smashing phones against solid objects (the extent of their phone skills) rarely results in the desired effect.
Zombies don't look very convincing when their makeup starts running, so I opted to stay at home, as did several of my other zombie friends. We naturally assumed that if it was raining on us, it was raining everywhere, because zombies are an abomination against God and surely he was "going to flood this bitch". Turns out they had their largest Zombie Walk to date last year! Curses! Well, I wasn't going to miss this year, even though it looked like it was going to rain all morning. And this time I even had a couple friends from out of town to join in the fun.
One witness in the crowd told me that she knew the Walk had begun when she saw a man frantically limping down the street, hacking and coughing like he had been infected with something (swine flu!). He was followed by several people with fake guns, rushing down the street and warning everyone that WE. WERE. COMING.
There was an impending rainstorm again on the day of this Zombie Walk, and I have to say that is definitely the best kind of weather you can hope to have for a zombtastic event such as this. Just take a look at how dark and foreboding these ominous clouds make the whole thing appear—that thin line between wet and dry adds immensely to the atmosphere.
So let's go ahead and look at some pictures, shall we? I pulled all these fantastic photos off the RVA Zombie Walk flicker page --if you are a photographer or zombie who would rather not have their photo posted, let me know and I will remove it (photo credits at end of article). It's always interesting to me to see how different people express their zombie look. Some people go for the more recent "I've only been a zombie for twenty minutes" look, while others go for a "my limbs are so rotted through they're about to fall off" sort of thing. Most people seem to fall somewhere in the middle, and you get all kinds of theme costumes and creative injuries that are a lot of fun to see.
Here are the two fearless leaders of the Richmond Zombie Walk,
Dead Mason and Gray Matter, ready to collect donations to benefit the American Cancer Society:
Just look at that sky! Doesn't that just scream "apocalypse"? And if that doesn't, the sudden appearance of Jesus should. He was back again this year, with his winning smile and Buddy Christ finger cannons as he boldly yet calmly strolled through crowds of human and zombie alike.
This disemboweled construction worker won a prize for "Goriest Zombie".
I also like the guy next to him being mauled by the tiny stuffed tiger.
This year the Zombie Walk was covered by Richmond's Channel 6 News Team! Unfortunately they were sort of zombies themselves, and forgot how to operate all of their equipment. But they tried, and once you are overcome by a crippling hunger for tasty brainmeats it's understandably difficult to concern yourself with much else. (They also won a prize, for Best Group or Best Theme, I can't recall which.)
This soldier had a gas mask to protect him from the zombie infection. Unfortunately I don't think it worked too well for him.
I'm pretty sure this guy won a prize too, for "Most Iconic" zombie or something like that. And a well deserved prize too, because he totally looks like he should be on the cover of zombie-related DVDs, comics, coloring books, cereal boxes, stickers on bananas--you name it. This guy encompasses all things zombie.
These two looked fantastic as well, but this photo is downright amazing.
Those clouds, the way they're leaning forward menacingly--just about perfect if you ask me!
Can you find Waldo in this next picture?
It's pretty typical these days to have other flavors of undead crash the party (the second year we had a mummy attack!) This time we had a great Frankenstein's monster with bride (who had wonderful stick-straight-up hair).
Here are a couple familiar zombies most of you should recognize. I guess they tried to bust one myth too many.
If this Mexican zombie looks happy, it's no doubt because in his country they have a whole holiday just for him (which is actually named after George A. Romero's Day of the Dead--yeah, most people think it's the other way around, but no).
Golf Zombie was awesome. I'll bet his name was Chet, and right after this photo he probably called out for his darling Buffy to bring him another glass of that rather splendid brain juice.
I don't know who the "Green Man" is or what he's from, but lots of people were excited to see him and were calling out his name. He had a very bizarre, comical way of moving (not captured in this photo) where he would wiggle his arms around like snakes and twirl around. It looked pretty funny next to the stiffly shuffling undead next to him.
I've seen several zombie mothers before, but I don't believe I've seen one like this.
She actually dragged her dead baby zombie fetus behind her as she went! Badass!
It's got to be pretty frustrating to be the zombie in boxing gloves. You probably don't have the dexterity to actually punch someone or take your gloves off, so you're reduced to swiping at potential food with bit leathery mitts that aren't going to do much damage that way. But I'm sure he went down fighting! It'd be pretty awesome to see somebody boxing zombies, actually.
The Channel 6 News Team again. I love how sad and confused they all look in this one.
Child zombies still need to behave themselves, or they get punished with The Chains again.
Longtime readers of the site might recognize Military Messiah in this photo. We'd heard that there was going to be a Global Warming protest in Carytown that day as well (we didn't see them, so the rain must have scared them off), so he decided to make his own sign to tie into that. I thought it was a clever pun, but sadly a lot of people there probably didn't even catch it.
And here's me, swiping at the photographer in this photo. This year I decided to be a zombie doctor.
My favorite unexpected event from this year's walk was that we actually had anti-zombie protesters show up, with signs like "I'm Not a Snack" and "Burgers Not Brains". As you can see, they were armed and ready to fend off the horde as well.
Obviously the zombies had a little fun going after the protesters.
These protesters really did get into it, convincingly shouting things like "Zombies go home!" in anger. Of course, they were just playing around and it was all in good fun, but they did their best to stay in character just like the zombies.
I have to hand it to this topless zombie. She had a lot of nerve to walk around like that, even though she was fairly well covered by latex. But the dead do not care about their hygiene or state of dress. That's why I'm still waiting for the one year we have a naked zombie show up, just like in some of the movies. You know it'll happen.
These parents are obviously so proud of their little bundle of joy. For a while I was walking near them and their...let's call it "baby" fell out of the stroller, prompting them to lunge toward it while growling and thrashing around. It was a pretty good in-character response to a little accident. Also note the "Give Brains a Chance" sign in the background carried by one of my out of town friends.
OMG! IT'S A ZOM-BEE!!!!!
This construction worker had a really impressive look to him.
I love how somebody changed the sign for the deli to read "OMG Brunch is to die for". Clearly one of the shop owners had a really good sense of humor about the whole thing, and if I hadn't already eaten at Waffle House (that's how I became a zombie, obviously), I certainly would have had lunch there.
No amount of protective magic spells will protect you from becoming a zombie should you fall before the shuffling horde (unless you're Doctor Strange, of course--everyone knows he would kick some zombie ass).
Can it be? The Gorton's Fisherman!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
There were lots of fantastic zombies this year, but I think this little guy was my favorite. His parents were just pulling him behind them in a little red wagon, and he just calmly sat there covered in fake blood eating his candy apple (covered in something red and yummy). I love how in this pictures you can almost imagine him saying "Braaaaiiiins!" as he points. Now that is just awesome.
This impressive shot is from one of the moments where the zombies swarmed one of our predetermined "victims" planted throughout the walk. While they surround the victim and "claw and bite" at him or her, they're busy applying fake blood and tearing their clothes up behind the wall of zombies. Of course, some spectators probably don't know that, and it probably freaks them out a little. Yes, that's right spectators. Next year we may choose YOU! Don't wear nice clothes!
And of course I had to get a few photos with my friends from out of town for posterity before washing all the blood and makeup off. This was their first Zombie Walk, and they seemed to get into the spirit of things rather well and had a fun time.
This was the biggest Richmond Zombie Walk to date. We had over 400 zombies in the final tally, which is pretty impressive considering that a mere five years ago we only had 80-some zombies and we thought that was a shitload. This thing is growing by leaps and bounds every year, and despite the fact that it's become a fairly predictable, well-known institution over the past several years, there are always people who see us on the street who are surprised, who you can tell have never heard of this before. And hopefully some of them will be back next year, but next time they'll be on the zombie side of the crowd.
All photos by Christ-o-phile (the vast majority), Kozmicdogz2, VA Crew, Hankins, and David Meacham. Thanks to all for posting such great pictures in the Flicker group for all to enjoy!
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