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Famous Zombies

Michael Rooker Brings in the Hordes at Vancouver Fan Expo

Famous Zombies By April 22, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Zombies lined up Saturday hoping to pick Michael Rooker’s brain, as the star of the hit series The Walking Dead talked to fans and signed autographs in Vancouver.

Rooker, who played bad boy Merle on the zombie apocalypse drama, is just one of more than a dozen celebrities at Fan Expo 2013, being held Saturday and Sunday at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Others include Nichelle Nichols, of Star Trek fame and Lord of the Rings star Sean Astin.

Merle was killed on the show last season, and although sad to leave the show Rooker took a lighthearted approach to his character’s early demise.

“People shouldn’t grieve too much for Merle,” he said, laughing. “Merle is in a better place.”

Rooker, who is also known for his roles in Days of Thunder and Cliffhanger, described working on The Walking Dead as “awesome,” most notably because of the excellent writers on the show, and, of course, the zombies.

“That’s the fun stuff, watching zombies be ripped apart, you know that’s just all in a day’s job.”

Some of The Walking Dead fans waiting to talk to Rooker were dressed in elaborate costumes dripping with blood, complete with creepy contact lenses.

Friends from Chilliwack Ray Verner and Dan Hoskins wore eerily realistic zombie costumes made by CFX, a company that makes movie-quality silicone masks.

Asked what they thought of Merle’s departure, Hoskins said: “Boo it’s disappointing,”

But you know at least he got to go out in a good way, and turn into a zombie so that was pretty cool, but his brother Daryl finishing him off that was pretty sad.”

Like San Diego’s Comic-Con, Vancouver’s annual Fan Expo brings together fans from the holy trinity of geek culture: Science fiction, gaming and comics.

Many of the fanboys and fangirls dress up as their favourite characters — also known as cosplay — from books, games and films from popular culture.

“I love being a geek,” said Victoria resident Selena Lupkoski, 32, clad in a white Princess Leia outfit.

“You can be anyone you want to be and just have some fun.”

There were costumes that paid homage to old school films like Ghostbusters and original series Star Trek, as well as newer films like Batman, Superman and of course the whole gambit of Marvel characters.

Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, and just about every X-Men character you can think of from Wolverine to Storm wandered through the centre clamouring for a few minutes with some of their idols.

The daddy of baddies Darth Vader was also on hand to chat with fans, though the actor Dave Prowse, from the original Star Wars trilogy, didn’t wear his helmet and black cape.

He said it was his first time to Vancouver and hoped that he would get to see a bit of the city before he left.

Rachel Nichols, the star of the new sci-fi television series Continuum, which is set in Vancouver, said at the expo that she planned to buy a home in Vancouver.

“It rained quite a bit last year, but you know I loved the city and this year it has been so much nicer. I’m actually going to buy an apartment out here. I’m not even kidding, that’s how much I like it.”

For many the greatest thrill was catching site of Mr. Marvel Stan Lee, who earlier Saturday delighted fans with funny anecdotes about some of his comic book characters at a meet and greet at the Fairmont hotel.

Sporting Star Trek uniforms, Brent and Donna Goodrich, who travelled form Ferndale, Wash., said the highlight was meeting Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek series.

Nichols’ Star Trek character was radical for the time, as it was unheard of to have a black woman as a bridge officer during a time when there was still much segregation and racism.

She’s also famous for the first interracial kiss on American television, when in the episode Plato’s Stepchildren she smooched William Shatner, playing Captain James T. Kirk.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/movie-guide/Walking+Dead+Michael+Rooker+draws+crowd+zombie+fans+Expo/8272520/story.html#ixzz2RDTg4qBS

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Billy Connolly – Fido

Famous Zombies By February 28, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

When I first heard of Fido, I was skeptical. I think I was worried it would be terrible, cheezy or just a sad result of the Shaun of the Dead frenzy that was still going at the time. I love Zombie comedies, but of course, too much of anything is bad.

When I finally saw it, I realized I had been an ass, especially when I realized that Billy Connolly, an actor I respect greatly, was in fact Fido!

I honestly didn’t even recognize him, and still barely do, even knowing for a fact that he’s the star. Yet more proof of his quality acting and superb character immersion, as with all his roles, Billy Connolly really portrays his characters in a relaxed and natural way.

He’s in countless big name films, though not often in the lead, but will soon be in the much awaited for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again due for release this year and 2013 (he plays Dain Ironfoot, once again not a huge roll, but King Under the Mountain isn’t a bad title to hold).

Billy Conolly in Fido

In Fido, Connolly portrays an clumsy, somewhat affectionate and free thinking zombie. A character unlike any other I can think of -Fido is the perfect Zombie to change the way people think about the undead in this “post event world”.

The comedy in the film is rich with satire and references to characters like Lassie, though is mainly filled with new and interesting characters of its own, like the Zombie loving neighbor Mr. Theopolis, who owns but is ultimately in love with his Zombie female Tammy.

The film works to remind the human characters that these Zombie servants that have become nothing more than slaves and status symbols (to most), were in fact someone’s husband, daughter or lover before they “changed”, and although they can still contribute to society, they may also deserve a place in it and have a brighter future themselves.

Of course this passive and helpful behavior portrayed by Fido,  Tammy and other Zombie slaves is only possible because of their constantly attached control collars. Invented by ZomCom, a company directly responsible for the Zombies existence within the walls of safety, the collars suppress what comes “naturally” to a zombie. Appetite and behavior suppression allows the Zombies to do menial tasks and forget about flesh long enough to form relationships with their living owners, but without they are little more than undead flesh eaters.

Is being a Zombie in this world more like being seizure prone in ours? Where medications (the collar) can “fix” the fits as long as well maintained? Their brains are still mush but maybe not so much as we would normally believe of Zombies portrayed in most Z-films. Underneath all that killing is a friendly, devoted, formerly living human being . They fear, love, have jealousy and dislike  – just as any human (or dog in the obvious metaphor here)

ZomCom may be responsible for revealing this and offering Zombie services to the living characters in the first place, but they are also (inadvertently?)  responsible for making them slaves. Is it like the day we discover out Roomba vacuums are making decisions on their own (see STNG S6E8)? and while the company who invented them denies it fervently, who will be fighting for Roomba rights?

Well, since I can’t answer that, I will tell you who fights for Zombie rights, The Zombie Rights Campaign for one.

I would be interested to see a sequel to Fido where Zombie rights came more even into play.

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George A. Romero – Birthday of the Father of the Zombie Film

Famous Zombies By February 4, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Today – 62 years ago a genius was born. I had to take a break from my regimen of pain killers for a recent neck injury to share this special day on Zombie Freakfest. It’s probably the most important Zombie related birthday of the year:  The birth of George A. Romero – The Father of the Zombie Film.

George Romero's Birthday, February 4th! I’d call it a coincidence for the sake of unbiased journalism but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t believe that Romero and I have some sort of connection. You see, my birthday is tomorrow and if I had been born in the Philippines we might have actually been born on the same day at the same time. Unfortunately I wasn’t born in the Philippines so I’ll have to share my “actual” birthday with H.R. Giger, which isn’t bad either really.

I don’t believe in astrology (especially after finding out about the dumped and reissued star sign, meaning everyones predictions for the last 200 years have been as bunk as I imagined) but I will admit that Aquarians have awesome taste and twisted minds, given a chance of course.

Everyone who loves Zombie movies loves Romero and for most of use, one of his movies was probably our first and therefore likely the entire reason we got into the whole Zombie phenomenon. So credit to the man is undoubtedly deserved… and in a way, if loving Zombies was some kind of crazy cult, he would be our head prophet (or is he already?).

 

 

Romero on Land of the Dead

Romero on Land of the Dead

The first Romero film I ever saw was at a very young age, thanks to my sadistic brother. It was Night of the Living Dead and it both fascinated and scared the shit out of me but it has remained one of my favorite Zombie/horror flicks ever since. Anyone I meet who hasn’t watched it, but has seen many of the films inspired by Romero, I tie down and force them to watch (not really, I’d be typing from prison.. but I do some great convincing).

I’ve always been into Hitchcock, murder mystery films as well and what I liked the most about Night of the Living Dead and all Romero movies is that the over complicated relationships with the characters was thrown out for the sake of the fear factor of the film. You were given the chance to have a closer relationship with your own fear, anxiety and excitement during the film, rather than the meaningless characters themselves. Romero gets us in touch with out inner Zombies, Zombie victims and Zombie sympathizers and helps us grow our Zombie obsessions in a “healthy” and fulfilling way.

Now that I’ve doted all over the guy I’ll get a little more into his life and times… by sending you to Wikipedia where non opinion based pining belongs – Wiki Romero. – and of course, his IMDB, here RomeroIMDB.

Have a shot* for Romero tonight if you get the chance!

 

*That’s a shot of liquor by the way, not a shot of a gun at a suspected zombie. Zombie Freakfest is not liable for any “shot” related accidents. 

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Zombie Love: Above Ground?

Famous Zombies, Zombie lols By January 24, 2012 Tags: , , No Comments

It’s happening all over the place, not just zombie love but full on zombie weddings, some even officiated by Bruce Campbell himself (don’t expect that for your own wedding though). Zombie walks are a common place to see them in action but so far, I’ve only caught a pirate wedding at a pirate festival in Florida. If only someone would combine the 2.. hmm. In the meantime, check out these zombie wedding pics.


Super Zombies!


Hallowedding Toronto Zombie Walk

Bruce Campbell Wedding!
Bruce Campbell Wedding!

Zombie Horde Wedding Cake
Zombie horde Wedding Cake

Zombie Wedding in Russia
Zombie Wedding in Russia

Zombie Cake Toppers
Zombie Cake Toppers
Check out more sculptures fron this artist on etsy

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Robert Carlyle – 28 Weeks Later 2007

Famous Zombies By January 17, 2012 Tags: , , , , No Comments
Robert Carlyle in 28 Weeks Later

Robert Carlyle in 28 Weeks Later

When I saw 28 Days Later I was scared half to death and liked it, but my whole basis for “zombies” was awry and I couldn’t decide if I liked it of not. My favorite part was after the credits, for those who stuck around, when the fate of the supposed escapees becomes “grim” to put it lightly but I still couldn’t accept that zombies could run fast or perform tasks. I grew up watching Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead types movies and thinking of zombies in a sort of supernatural yet somehow scientifically accurate way. My mind was hooked on the idea that once a body has been dead for any amount of time, the lack of blood flow to the brain means brain damage, and of course the longer it’s been dead the worse the brain damage – so zombies should be slow and stupid. 28 Days Later turned zombies into dangerous, rabid, running faster than you hell freaks, which was.. hard for me to accept.

By the time I saw 28 Weeks Later, and all the zombie movies in between (especially the comedies) I had loosened my definition of “Zombie” quite a bit, especially since, who the hell really knows exactly how it would go down if it were even possible. There are so many damn scenarios.. it’s really all just fun right (or is it!). Well anyway, I pulled the stick out of my..ahem, fingernail, and 28 Weeks Later is now one of my favorite ‘serious’ zombie movies and Robert Carlyle is probably one of the biggest reasons.

I’ve always been a fan of his movies, even if I had to explain to people “you know, the guy from The Full Monty” or, “The guy who busts a pint over a guys head in Train Spotting“, because he’s never had all that huge of parts in main stream movies until the last few years (some lesser known movies like Formula 51 and Plunkett & Macleane ), and if you’re not into british movies (which I am) you might not know him that well. Robert Carlyle helped me accept that which I cannot change, gave me the Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference – about Zombies. Thanks Robert.

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Celebrities, Dead and Walking

Famous Zombies By January 16, 2012 Tags: , , No Comments

I’m not really into celebrities but I LOVE movies and music.. if that makes any sense. The art over the artist I guess… usually, although I can admit I’ll watch any movie with certain actors in them, like Peter Lorre and Ron Perlman, and I’ll listen to anything by Tom Waits, David Bowie, Iggy Pop and a few other musicians. Sometimes I get a laugh out of famous people looking like crap, even ones I like, since media’s big ruse is to tell us they can’t and shouldn’t look like the rest of us on any given hangover morning. Crappy photos of famous people give me hope that fanatics will realize they’re human too, and can most certainly be zombies when/if the time comes.

Here’s some of my favorite famous and potentially (or maybe actually) walking dead.

Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

Courtney Love

Courtney Love

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Pete Doherty of The Libertines

Pete Doherty of The Libertines

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Tor Johnson – Plan 9 From Outer Space 1959

Famous Zombies By January 3, 2012 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Tor Johnson in Plan 9 From Outer SpaceTor was a big guy, with a big heart. Tor Johnson (born Karl Oscar Tore Johansson) was born October 19, 1903, in Sweden. Most of his adult life, he was a professional wrestler. Tor started appearing (uncredited, or bit parts) in movies as early as 1934. He was in 31 movies, usually as “Weightlifter” or “Strongman.” Later, he got larger roles with character names. Tor was in the Bing Crosby – Bob Hope movie Road to Rio (1947) as Samson; and had a part in Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950) as Abou Ben. Contrary to how it was depicted in the semi-documentary “Ed Wood,” that Ed approached Tor and asked him if he ever fancied the notion of becoming an actor (and starting his film career), Ed worked with Tor towards the end of his movie career. Ed Wood got Tor to portray Lobo in Bride of the Monster (1956). After appearing in 3 other movies, Ed Wood cast Tor in Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959). Then Ed had Tor reprise his role of Lobo for Night of the Ghouls (1959) — in that movie, Paul Marco (Kelton the Cop) had a full load in the prop gun he fired at Tor, sparks hit Tor’s arms, which by reflex hit Paul, knocking him unconscious in real life; Tor felt bad about that, but everybody knew it was just a case of the big guy not knowing his own strength. A friend and cohort of Ed’s (and also a writer, director and producer in his own right), was Anthony Cardoza. Ed lived in an apartment on Yucca Street (nicknamed “Yucca Flats”), and in 1961, Anthony cast Tor Johnson in a starring role in his low budget movie The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961). This movie was filmed silent, had dubbed-in sound effects, voiced-over narration, and killed off Tor’s movie career once and for all (and Tor was only paid $300). However, Tor had somewhat of a TV career in the 1960s, appearing on “You Bet Your Life” with Groucho Marx, several appearances on “The Red Skelton Show,” and even doing a number of TV commercials. Costars spoke fondly of Tor, remembering, “Tor had such warmth! He was so cooperative– just a lovely man. As you know, he was a former wrestler … he would go and have drinks with his opponents after a wrestling match.” And, he lived large. Friends spoke of his gracious wife Greta who made great Swedish dinners, along with desserts consisting of her homemade ice cream with strawberries, bananas, coconuts and whip cream.Tor was 6’3″ tall and rumored to be about 385lbs.  Little wonder that his son, Karl, grew up to be big and strong, and became a Lieutenant with the San Fernando police. And, some friends would chuckle as they recalled that, as big as he was, Tor drove a midget foreign car which was “not much bigger than he was.” Tor died on May 12, 1971, in San Fernando, CA, of a heart ailment; he was 67.

The Tor Johnson Mask is the best selling mask of all time.

IMDb Mini Biography By: kdhaisch@aol.com

Plan 9 From Outer Space

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