Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
Roughly 300 people gathered in the parking lot behind the old Alabama Bookstop in their finest zombie attire and Hair Balls was there to take it all in. To their credit, we were surprised to see only one Zombie Michael Jackson and exactly no Slutty Zombies. Instead, we were greeted with some of the most realistic, original and entertaining costumes this side of a George Romero movie.
Chris and Jen Mathis only spent an hour getting their zombie attire ready, but the results were both hilarious and terrifying: a Snuggie Zombie with her partner, who had eaten the head off the baby that occupied his Baby Bjorn.
Some participants had clearly put a little more effort into their costumes (witness the gruesome head injury above) while others brought props to share amongst their fellow zombies. The fake blood below was an amazingly realistic-looking blend of corn syrup, soap and red dye.
One of our favorite zombies was Zombie Billy Mays (too soon?) while others went for less flagrantly shocking outfits.
Some participants went as zombie groups, such as these Zombie Frat Boys, while others went for a solo look, like the Zombie Librarian (complete with book imbedded in her head) below.
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The zombies lurched along a two-mile path that ran from West Alabama and Shepherd to Westheimer and Waugh. Participants were encouraged to remain "in character" during the route, and in character they remained. Chanting "What do we want? Brains! When do we want 'em? BRAINS!" as they staggered down the sidewalk, diners in restaurants came to the patios and windows to witness the zombie horde.
Some restaurants' diners, like Firkin and Phoenix (above) and Brasil, brought out their cameras and enjoyed the sight. Other restaurants' patrons, like the ritzy Hugo's, patently ignored the zombies despite the loud moans and cries outside the windows and the sheer spectacle of 300 people staggering down the street, covered in blood.
Being a family event, even the kids got in on the act. Zombie Mario was one of our favorites (complete with hammer from Donkey Kong, this kid was our hero), while we were less partial to the creepy zombie babies carried by some participants. (We still have nightmares about the zombie baby in Dawn of the Dead.) But we overcame our revulsion long enough to snap a disturbing family portrait of the three zombie babies, which will probably haunt your dreams too.
The walk lasted two hours -- pretty quick when you consider the amount of shuffling and the zombie attacks on any cars that drove by blasting "Thriller" -- before the zombies reconvened in the parking lot to fix their makeup and decide where to go to feast on the flesh of the living. And by that, we mean eat dinner at a place that wouldn't care if they looked like movie extras from a Beetlejuice sequel (which someone really needs to make, stat).
And don't think we forgot about Zombie Billy Mays. We don't think OxiClean is going to get those blood stains out, though...
For more photos from the Zombie Walk, check out our slideshow.