My high school buddies were slowly gathering one Saturday afternoon in anticipation of a trip to the movie theater to take in the latest Sci-fi offering when our friend Bill showed up.
Everyone has a friend like Bill. A great person, fun to have around, good sense of humor, but not really given to fits of comic genius. Bill looked awful. Like he hadn’t slept in days. When we asked, he told us he hand’t been able to sleep the previous night because he’d had the most awful dream in his life.
“I was running through a city being chased by zombies. I climbed on a bus and slammed the doors. When I look down the aisle, the bus was full of zombies, and they grabbed me. They pulled me down to the floor, and as they were about to bite me, one turns to the other and says, “Get…the…mustard”.
Everyone has also had one of those nightmares that wakes you from a dead sleep in absolute terror. Screaming, sweating, heart pounding, ready to run over anything or anyone to escape.
Bill’s dream had been one of THOSE dreams, and he was quite put out when his closest friends exploded into hysterical laughter not realizing the deep emotional trauma he had suffered.
Once we could breathe again, we realized our mistake, and apologized vigorously. Bill eventually forgave us, and after a while he even came to see the funny side of it all.
That was over 30 years ago.
The current zombie craze really came home to me when my daughter began watching “The Walking Dead” TV series, “Zombieland”, “World War Z”, and “Shawn of the Dead”.
Fans of the recent flood of zombie material often know nothing about the vast hordes of zombies that came many years earlier. The great George Romero really wasn’t breaking new ground in 1968 with “Night of the Living Dead” or the various sequels that ranged from scary to the truly comical.
Zombies have been shuffling around Hollywood since the 1930s. The great masters of the Horror film genre were right in the middle of the action. While not as “drippy” and splatter-iffic as the modern offerings, the films starring Karloff and Lugosi are still good creepy fun worthy of an evening’s attention and a huge bowl of popcorn.
Boris Karloff in “The Walking Dead”
Bela Lugosi in “White Zombie”
“During the zombie apocalypse, it is important to remember, as soon as someone dies, tie their shoe laces together. It won’t stop their undead transformation, but the end result will be hilarious.” ~ Anonymous quote from the interwebs