July 5th, 2010
Saturday, on the third of July, the Center of the Universe (Fremont) was crowded with thousands of zombies as Seattle broke the world record for the zombie walk. According to organizers there were 4900 signed entries and 4233 solid entries.
I had no idea there was a world record for zombies, nor that there was such a zombie following, but I remember seeing zombies last year around Fremont. Then, on Friday, Lu saw the notice for the zombie walk and Saturday morning we made a run to the local thrift store…along with our costumes we scored on a shirt, bathrobe, and tuxedo for T!
Out came the costume makeup kit and in short order we were the zombie family.
According to organizers, Zombies have gathered in Seattle since 2005, and in 2009 set the world record for the largest gathering. In short order, the record was broken in the UK at a rave. Proud of its oddities, Seattle decided to take it back this year.
If you’re into zombies check out the links, photos and video on the jump.
For the uninitiated, zombies are the undead; they are people who’ve been re-animated and seek one thing, the consumption of living beings. The stories vary, but I’m going with zombification resulting from a viral infection that kills a living person, then reanimates their brain so they can relentlessly pursue the living. The only way to kill a zombie is to destroy the brain and, like many viral infections, it can be transferred through bodily fluids (ie. a zombie bite).
My introduction to zombies was at a friend’s house either in elementary school or early junior high when we watched “Return of the Living Dead.” Night fell and I rode my bike home, getting off to walk my parents’ long gravel driveway because it was so dark in the woods I could hardly see. I think that experience, the driveway, might have set the stage for my general dislike of horror films.
I later saw the original black and white film “Night of the Living Dead,” then years later “28 Days Later,” which I thought was creepy-good, and “28 Weeks Later” (not so good). I watched a pirated version of “I am Legend” while in Cambodia (creepy), then “Shaun of the Dead” (absolutely hilarious). And the other night, in celebration of the zombie walk, I managed to finish “Zombieland,” a not-so-great film with a few funny moments. Lu gave up on the movie.
Of all the zombie lore I’ve explored, which decidedly isn’t much, I most enjoyed a book recommended by one of Lu’s co-workers, “World War Z.” It is a post-apocalyptic story posed as a memoir from the fictional author of a United Nations report on the zombie wars (when earth gets overrun by virus-infected zombies). The “author” felt the UN report didn’t encompass the true horror and heroism of the zombie wars, so he published a series of interviews of his subjects from the report. Some of the stories include coldly calculated government retreats to defensible strongholds, at the expense of thousands of people (who would later become zombies). Another was the survival story of a C-130 pilot whose poorly maintained aircraft crashed over the southeastern US, in zombie land. There is a story of patient zero, of Indians taking to the sea as the hordes of undead descend upon them, of the world’s best military discovering its weapons have little effect on zombies; only head shots will stop them. It’s quite the fantasy, but mixed with enough realism and politics to make you wonder just how the world would respond to a major disaster…like being overrun by zombies.
Well, in Fremont on the third of July, the zombies were quite festive.
Scroll to the end for a short clip from the Thriller Dance.
KOMO TV news report:
Shot with the
Canon 5D Mark II, but without an external mic (not advised). Consider it ‘snapshot’ video.
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