I’ve taken a bit of a break from zombie fiction for a few weeks in favor of participating in Script Frenzy, a month-long script-writing social event that encourages people to get out and write for a month. Having just finished, my thoughts have turned back to zombies.
Last weekend, my journalist girlfriend Caitlin M. Foyt and I decided to go check out the So.Cal Zombie Walk, a gathering for charity that had participants covered in makeup and stumbling down Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame. Caitlin was searching for a stranger to interview for her blog project, BeautifulStrangerLA.com, which documents her meetings with various interesting people throughout Los Angeles. (As it turned out, she found Chanel Jensen, who was dressed as a zombie Marilyn Monroe.)
At first, I wondered if the walk would be a bust. We came across four young people in full zombie getups, but like us, they were lost. There were quite a few pedestrians around, but none decked out like the living dead. So following the wayward shamblers, we headed back in the direction we’d come.
Then, soon, we stumbled across the full event – more than 100 zombies, slowly shuffling toward us, stopped at a traffic crossing and waiting for the white walking human sign to beckon them to the other side.
There were so many zombies wandering down Hollywood that it took three crossings to get them all across the road. The pedestrians in the area, fairly packed around the corner of Hollywood and Highland, were in a sort of awe. Pictures were snapped in rapid succession from all around the horde, and many of the befuddled humans in the area wondered aloud what was happening.
I didn’t participate in the walk this time, which was a disappointment – but as it turns out, such walks come up every few months, so I’ll probably attempt to take part at a later time. What was cooler than checking out the walk, however, was that it was so big and so prolific – a veritable crowd of zombies wandering down the very tourist-heavy Hollywood Boulevard.
Often I’m made to argue with people the worth of the zombie genre as a facet of horror. People I’ve spoken with about the culture of the zombie are always quick to point at passing pop culture fads – of which the zombie, undoubtedly, is one, just like vampires and Miley Cyrus are as well. But the fact that the undead are in vogue doesn’t detract from their influence and impact they have on our psyches.
There are no “vampire walks” or “Miley Cyrus walks,” because the appeal of vampires isn’t the same as that of the zombie. Not everyone can be a vampire. Not anyone can be a vampire. But zombies by their nature are everyone.
It gets tiresome arguing the point of the worth of zombies. Just attend a zombie walk and talk to me afterward.