I'm a bit of a zombie geek. In fact, one of the first real stories I wrote was for English class in middle school, called Land of the Zombies. I wrote a little bit about it in Just A Geek:
"You were always such a wonderful writer, Wil." She said, wagging her finger at me. "We all thought that you'd end up as a screenwriter or novelist."
Something started to slowly turn in the back of my mind.
"Yeah, I always enjoyed it."
"Remember your Land of the Zombies story? All the students loved that."
I smiled and nodded. As a creative writing assignment around Halloween in 1985, all the seventh graders wrote horror stories. Inspired by "Night of the Living Dead," D&D, and a family trip to San Francisco, I wrote a story about a man and his wife, fleeing from the terror of zombies who had escaped an army research base, and were slowly taking over the country. They discover that water can force the zombie-causing chemicals out of the living dead, so they end up on Alcatraz island, which I had decided was the only safe place left in America. I remember the story ended with something like, "Alcatraz was once a federal prison for killers. Now it's the prison that's saving our lives. We even sleep in the Birdman's old cell.
"As the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge, I looked out onto America: once, the land of the free. Now, the land of the zombies."
It's not Hemmingway, but it's pretty good for a 12 year old. It was voted scariest and goriest story by the seventh and eighth graders, and I proudly photocopied it, and sent it to all my relatives. They were all horrified and told my parents that I should get professional help.
If I can ever find that story, which I think is somewhere in my mother's Infinite Bag of Childhood Relics, I'll reprint it. Better yet, I'll scan it so you can read it in all its Applewriter glory, complete with judicious use of bolding, outlining, and shadowing. Mmmm yeah. It's good stuff.
As I grew older, so did my fascination with zombies. When I was a teenager, I was a total geek for Dawn of the Dead (not so much, Day of the Dead, though) and rented it regularly on VHS tape from a video rental store (ask your parents, kids.) While I appreciated the humor of Return of the Living Dead, I watched that one less frequently (and then mostly for the boobies) because it just didn't please the purist in me. Because, you know, one is capable of being a zombie purist, especially when one is a huge fucking nerd.
For example, Darin and I saw the remake of Dawn of the Dead when it was in theatres, and we enjoyed it, but I was left a little wanting. There were plenty of scares, and the gore factor was nicely balanced by the suspense factor, but I like my zombies to be slow moving menaces, rather than lightening fast maniacs. It's what separates the Zombies from the Tasmanian Devils. Again, me=zombie purist.
I still haven't seen 28 Days Later, or Land of the Dead (the former because I hear it's not exactly zombies, and they are of the Tasmanian Devil variety, anyway, and the latter just because I haven't had time -- hey, even zombie purists have work to do, you know) but Anne and I finally got around to watching Shaun of the Dead last night.
Holy shit. What a fucking brilliant movie! I kept hearing about how great it was, but I was reluctant to believe all the hype. (Purist, remember? Okay! Fine! Not Purist! Snob! There! I admitted it! Are you happy now? I AM A ZOMBIE SNOB AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!!!!11) Not only is it a brilliant zombie movie, it's a wonderful story about friendship, love, the importance of a good pint, and how there is greatness in just about everyone, even if it takes a zombie invasion to bring it out. I gave it five severed heads and nine out of nine chainsaws, for those of you who like to score this sort of thing.
And though it goes without saying, I'm going to say it anyway: if you have even the tiniest bit of affection for the living dead, you will positively love Twilight Creations' Zombies!!!
Zombies!!! puts you in the middle of the action as you try to escape the ever advancing zombie horde. Players must use a combination of wits and brawn to be the first to the heliport and certain escape. The only problem is, the zombies are everywhere, they appear to be very hungry and your opponents would really prefer if you didn't escape.
The basic set puts you in Small Town USA, and they've got several expansions, which add military bases (complete with glow in the dark zombies! for reals!) shopping malls, and even a cabin which is susipciously similar to Evil Dead 2. It's more fun than eating a skullfull of brains, dontchaknow.