Don’t Make Eye Contact Part I: Zombies Go Shopping

Rewind to December 18, 2011.  John and I had decided to make a Christmas video called A Very Zombie Christmas and film ourselves “singing” in zombie makeup and Santa hats.  We set up the green screen in my basement, painstakingly applied latex makeup, grabbed a couple of beers for inspiration and sat in front of a computer and hashed out lyrics to “Jingle Brains”.  A little while and a lot of fiendish giggling later, we were ready.

Time to film!  I went to grab the sleigh bell and brain props, when I heard John say a four letter word.   I looked back and saw him holding the camera and with a helpless look on his face.  “What”, I asked – pretty sure I knew the answer.

“I forgot the memory card”, John replied.


While I had memory cards, none of them were compatible with his camera.  Lesson learned.  Always make sure there’s a card in the camera. 

We could either have someone drive the card over or we could drive out and get the card ourselves.  With a 45 minute travel time between our houses, this would be costing someone an hour and a half.

Double Doh.

I then pointed out, that I had a Best Buy very close to my house and they would probably carry the card.

That seemed the simplest solution.

Of course, we were covered in zombie makeup and had no intention of taking that off.

My wife overheard our plans and said “You’re gonna get arrested”.

She then suggested that we take my daughter along to provide supervision.  My daughter was more than happy to tag along  and watch us make fools of ourselves in public.

The drive there was uneventful.  Nobody noticed the zombies and the little girl making their way through traffic.

Once we got to the store, things got a little more interesting.  It’s one thing to go out on a zombie walk with like-minded people.  It’s entirely another thing for 40 year old men to dress up as zombies and then walk into an electronics store one week before Christmas.  The people in the parking lot studiously avoided looking at us.  It was quite obvious that they wanted absolutely nothing to do with us.

When we made First Aid for Zombies, we decided we wanted to take a guy’s leg off.  This is much easier to say than do, particularly if you don’t want to hurt the guy.  Our friend, Jim, volunteered for the job of zombie lunch.

The day of the shoot, we had some ideas about how we were going to take his leg off, but we weren’t sure if they would work.  For an earlier shot, we showed him with a broken leg, which we shot by having him wear a pair of sweat pants and then cut one of the legs out so he could fold his real leg back out of view from the camera and then stuffing the bottom of his visible “leg” and bending it at an awkward angle.

We applied the same technique when we took his leg off, but dressed the top of his leg and the fake leg with lots of blood and meat jello.  Meat Jello is a particularly noxious looking combination of Jello, food coloring and evaporated milk, which looks absolutely disgusting, and tastes like fruit punch with evaporated milk in it – I’ll let you decide how appetizing it really is;  however, because we care about our zombies,  it is one-hundred percent edible.

When we shot the scene, John and I didn’t pull the leg far enough away from the stump because I think we were too concerned with it falling apart on us – but in hindsight we would have been just fine.

These aren’t the zombies you’re looking for

Inside the store it was no different.  We got to the memory card aisle and I noticed a couple of sales people do double-takes, but that was it.  It was looking like we would have to eat someone if we were going to get a reaction.

Another satisfied undead customer

Memory card in hand we went off to pay for the card at which point (finally) a cashier a couple of counters over said “Hey – nice makeup!”.

Upon leaving the store, we decided this zombies in public thing needed further investigation.  Stay tuned for Part II.

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