At first I figured zombies were going to be a trend in horror, they’d have their time, then go away, but it looks like zombies are indeed here to stay as the monster of the new millennium.
Horror filmmakers will often tell you that people really like to put on make-up, run around and die in movies, perhaps it’s like reliving Halloween as a kid, and apparently people especially enjoy being undead in films as well.
For Dawn of the Dead, there was an open call for zombies, which brought out 1,600 people. The rule was come as you are, which is why there was such a big variety of zombies in the film, and Romero let everyone interpret their inner zombies however they liked. (Romero recalled on VanityFair telling people to do their best dead).
And again, as make-up master Tom Savini recalled, “We were havin’ a ball, it was Halloween every day.”
And of course, as all self-respecting metal heads know, there’s a strong correlation between metal and horror. I loved the story in the death metal / grindcore history Choosing Death, where Will Rahmer from the band Mortician once looked upon his collection of horror flicks, about 600 or so, and was relieved because he realized he’d never run out of lyric ideas.
Bringing metal and horror together even further, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian recently fulfilled a dream of becoming a zombie himself on The Walking Dead series. As reported on Ian’s website, and Blabbermouth.net, when he got the call to be on the show, “I couldn’t say yes fast enough… Truly my Make-A-Wish moment!” (Ian also had a tiny role on Deadwood as well.)
Zombies can often be very intensive in the make-up chair, but Ian’s make-up, which is pretty hideous, only took ninety minutes. “I would have sat for five hours, I was so stoked. Ian told his make-up man, Garrett Immel, to go full throttle, and make the make-up as sick as he wanted.
“I kept the makeup on after the shoot and headed home. I got some great looks from people in other cars. I wanted to keep the makeup on all week! I followed Garrett’s instructions on how to take the makeup off by getting in a hot shower and scrubbing with some towels until finally an hour later I was dezombified.”
Of course this isn’t Anthrax’s first connection to the world of horror. As big fans of Stephen King, they’ve written several songs based on his stories, and as a hard rocker / metal head himself, King is also a fan of Antrhax and Metallica, and likes to blast their music as the signal that he’s working and is not to be disturbed.
In addition to playing dead, Ian also fulfilled another lifelong dream with the Big Four tour, playing Yankee Stadium, where he saw many greats of baseball make sports history, and he also wrote on his website about fulfilling yet another dream, meeting Stan “The Man” Lee.
“I started reading Marvel Comics when I was 7 years old,” Ian writes. “it was the gateway for me into everything else. If it wasn’t for Stan Lee I may have never opened my mind up to the possibilities of the seemingly impossible.”