Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gourds Gone Gory

Zombie Pumpkins? No, not the website where you can download an array of jack-o-lantern stencils.  I'm talking about pumpkins that emulate the undead.  Here's a horde of fantastic images, showcasing the handiwork of crafty amateurs and highly-skilled sculptors (such as Ray Villafane) alike:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Walker on the Wall

For those of us who happily reside in the Macabre Republic, it's never too early to start thinking about Halloween decorating.  So I just wanted to call everyone's attention to the Wall Monsters project: a series of "limited edition paper art beasts" (including the zombie pictured above) that hearken back to vintage Halloween silhouettes.  For more details about the project (and the treats that can be reaped from the design team Steam Crow's current Kickstarter campaign), click here.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Freaky Physiques

Zombies are so prevalent in pop culture, they have even infiltrated the fitness industry.  There are a slew of videos on YouTube where trainers present zombie-apocalypse-survival workout routines, but I prefer the following satirical skit (courtesy of Ontoe) that features an exercise class for decadents determined to put more pep in their shamble.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Kingly Trivia

In honor of Zombie Awareness Month, here's a little quiz concerning King's most Romero-esque work of fiction, "Home Delivery":

1.Who edited the zombie-themed anthology in which "Home Delivery" first appeared?

2.King's story is set on
(A) Little Tall Island
(B) Staten Island
(C) Gennesault Island
(D) Roanoke Island

3.The source of the zombie plague in "Home Delivery" is identified as Star Wormwood.  True or False?

4.What did Maddie Pace's husband Jack do for a living (before he died and came home zombified)?

Answers appear in the Comments section of this post.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dark Passages: Zone One

Colson Whitehead's Zone One (2011) might be the finest work of post-apocalyptic/literary horror ever written; its extraordinary prose almost makes Cormac McCarthy's The Road read like pulp fiction in comparison.  Whitehead's narrative--which traces an armed "sweeper" unit's efforts to clear a walled-off section of lower Manhattan of its remaining zombie population--works on many levels, variously offering grim realism (the evocation of devastation), sharp satire (of American consumerist culture), and profound philosophical speculation.  Zone One not only delves into the angst and anxiety of the human survivors, but also deliberates upon the existential condition of the plagued (the zombies here come in two types: the nastily cannibalistic "skels" and the catatonic "stragglers" stuck in pathetic pantomime of acts of prior life).  The following passage references the latter type, a grotesque perennially posed as a fortune-teller inside a palmistry shop:
Gary [who fools with the unmoving fortune-teller] could have addressed his brothers, had he been able to evade and outwit his own denial over their deaths. Any séance was doomed, in [POV character] Mark Spitz's estimation, even if the young psychic had functioned properly, if she had still owned her talents.  He'd sifted through the failed proofs of an afterlife many a cold night.  There was a barrier at the end of one's life, yes, but nothing on the other side.  How could there be?  The plague stopped the heart, one's essence sloughed off the pathetic human meat and dog-paddled through the ectoplasm or whatever, and then the plague restarted the heart.  What kind of cruel deity granted a glimpse of the angelic sphere, only to yank it away and condemn you to a monster's vantage?  Sentenced you to observe the world through the sad aperture of the dead, suffer the gross parody of your existence.  Outside Zone One, the souls sat trapped in the bleachers, spectators to the travesties committed by their alienated hands.
Turn randomly to any page in Whitehead's novel, and you are likely to find a stand-out passage like the one above.  Zone One is a national treasure for any inhabitant of the Macabre Republic who values sophisticated American Gothic fiction.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dire Haiku

Some zombie poetry, 5-7-5 style:

Undead and Dentulous

...Could eat you right up,
Gram always used to tell him.
Tonight she proved it.

Crimson Anniversary

Cooing, she tries on
Her husband Don's pricey gift:
Intestine necklace.

Macabre Marathoners

Breathless, staggering,
Striving for the finish line
Of the human race.

The Horror at Asbury Park

Deranged defender:
Sniper at a zombie walk.
Actors get head shots.

Outreaching Indigent

Rank clothes, rheumy gaze.
Mute, beseeching stumblebum.
Can you spare some parts?


Late, neighborhood stroll;
He couldn't catch any ZZZ's.
The restless dead pounce.

With Apologies to Eliot

Wasteland taste-testers.
I had not thought undeath had
Redone so many.