Sunday, May 25, 2008

Photos: Zombie Crawl 2008

I walked in the 2008 Zombie Crawl in Williamsburg, and it was everything I had hoped it would be. And what I hoped it would be was an excuse to walk around slowly with my arms outstretched and move threateningly towards cars and people. Fun! While I enjoyed the experience from a zombie-eye view, Gnerd operatives Bishop and Johnny covered the event as humans; check out some of our photo coverage after the jump, and check out our video highlights!

Photos and write-up after the jump...

This being a 21 and over event, participants met up at Duff's, a bar which I was assured was the heavy metal bar in Brooklyn. Those shadowy figures on the roof are probably FBI agents making sure there's nothing actually supernatural going on.

A couple hours before the walk began, the event organizers had set up a make-up area on the bar's front porch where walkers could get bloodied up and rotted for the low low cost of nothing.

The woman who did my make-up had worked on the awesome ThrillerFest zombies a few months ago. I went with traditional grey, though other people were getting a more colorful dark green look, and some went with a more ghoulish white. Zombies come in a beautiful rainbow of colors, just like you and me.

A close up of my "killer" neck scar (stop me).

Me in full zombie documentarian regalia. I was going for a film student who decided it would be a good idea to get footage of the zombie invasion. Wap wap waaa! You can't see it here but there's fake blood on my camera and lanyard/shooting permit as well.

At about six o'clock, Organizer Zombie announced it was time to get moving through the streets of Williamsburg.

Just before we left Duff's, a photographer got in his car and asked the zombies to attack him while he shot from the inside. The zombies were all to eager to oblige, and I swear that bumper damage was there before we started.

Our hunting instincts now fully charged, the walk began west through the warehouse lined streets North 3rd towards the main artery of Brooklyn hipsterdom, Bedford Ave. Our final destination was Passout Records, where zomb-friendly rap artist MC Chris would perform a free set.

Some zombies declined to get into character, but a good chunk really went for it, groaning, stumbling, and most importantly, walking towards any sign of fresh brains. This improvisatory aspect of the walk (the RPG aspect, if you will) was the real draw for me; being given an excuse to act out all the horror conventions you've ever seen on screen in real life, and on unsuspecting bystanders, is a very surreal and engrossing experience.

The mob's first big civilian encounters was this SUV as it drove down North 3rd, alone and helpless.

My favorite moment of the whole day was when we passed Radegast Hall & Biergarten, a huge restaurant with rusty iron bars on the window. The mob got one look at those gothic, presumably sturdy bars and attacked the facade in what must have seemed like a scene from Night of the Living Dead to the diners inside. Most of those inside looked amused at this impromptu attack, some slightly less so (hipster hate, or more likely hipster self-hate sometimes provokes extreme eye-rolling towards these kind of goofy events).

After about 20 seconds of mobbing the exterior and doorway, Redegast's black-aproned host ran out with a menu in hand and beat the zombies back, obviously willing to sacrifice his life for his customers. He even closed the wrought iron front gates in order to keep the undead out, and the horde moved on, defeated. I'd expect he got some serious tips.

Zombies continued to gravitate towards cars all the way to Passout Records. Since zombies move slowly and don't pay attention to cross walks any more than other New Yorkers, we clogged up traffic a bit and at least one humorless and hurried citizen lay on his horn, to little avail. That was actually the only person I saw all day that seemed to be genuinely annoyed with the display, pretty much everyone else we passed in a car or on the street responded with positive or at least passive attention, and usually with cell-phone camera in hand.

Walking through Brooklyn brownstones...

It took less than ten minutes to make it to Passout Records, where a band was wrapping up their set. There a grill setup outside with free hotdogs and burgers, which made for a lot of freeform eating by the zombies. At that point some of the mob went back to Duff's to drink and get ready for the spooky cabaret/burlesque show later that night, and some elected to stay for the MC Chris show.

The Gnerd crew had to cut out at that point, but we got a few more pics of the horde outside Passout. One of my favorite things about photo coverage of these events is seeing the different spins on the "zombie look" that people come up with. As with my own costume, I love it when people create outfits that indicate where they were and what they were doing when they got zombified. With that in mind, here is our Zombie Look Book.

Satan Worshipper Zombie.

Armless Cowboy Zombie. Rodeo accident, maybe?

Doctor Zombie, aka Jay, who's an actual medical professional who made his outfit with actual scrubs. Zombie doctors are great; as anyone who read the first issue of The Walking Dead knows, hospitals are zombie hot zones; people come in who've been bit, then they turn into zombies and bite the doctors...let's just say it goes from bad to worse.

Wedding Party Zombies. Poster Tagline: Till Death DON'T They Part!

A literal take on the iPod Zombie stereotype.

Geek cred alert! "Trogdor's the man! Actually he's the dragon-man!"

Milkman Zombie out of character on Bedford Ave.

And finally, because Star Wars cosplayers will use literally any event as an excuse to break out the costume, and who can blame them, we got to see some awesome Jango Fett on Zombie action.

After posing for the picture, I asked her (it's a girl in there if you can't tell) if she was there to hunt zombies, and she responded by shooting me. I really walked into that one.

Even zombie teeth can't penetrate Mandalorian armor.

Jango says something cool before blasting the zombie horde.

That does it for our photo coverage of the Zombie con. There's a little bonus material Geekanerd's Flickr account, if you absolutely cannot get enough of this stuff.


Lena said...

That's so freaky. If I was driving in my car and a bunch of zombies mobbed it, I would FREAK out.

Just another reason not to go to Williamsburg. Damn hipsters.

Eric said...

This, was by far one of the most amazing events I've ever been to.

Much blood, much chaos, much fun.

Somehow missed Jango Fett running around.

And I didn't lost the arm in a Rodeo accident zombie attack, sadly, it was bad circulation from smoking that did me in.

; ^ )>