Saturday was quite the trek! Not only did I work on a music video from sunup to sundown complete with four different set-ups and come in under time, but… I was also on Chris Gore's PodCRASH later that night. Talk about a red letter day (and that is not a euphemism).
When I said yes to Chris, I had no idea what I was in for (again: not a euphemism). I figured PodCRASH would be a fun little tete-a-tete debate with some fellow geeks, just talking off the cuff about zombie flicks. But, about an hour before I had to get changed and ready to drive out to Hollywood, I saw the War & Peace of instructions via email, as well as physical comedy and props being required!
But I knew my partner in crime, Matt Raub (we used to host a weekly chat show, This Week In Horror, together) would be there and he'd have my back. He did. But even Matt couldn't save me from the zombie apocalypse.
Upon arrival at IO West in Hollywood (on Hollywood… oh, so meta), Matt and I were labeled with our names in huge print (which would later be replaced onstage with our zombie movie cliché characters — Matt was "Guy You Hate" and I was "Hot Chick"… we were joined by "Black Guy", "Coward", and "First To Die").
As I hobbled onstage (did I mention? I'd busted my toe a few days before and regardless of the zombie cocktail specials at the bar, I was feelin' the pain), I was slammed with the first question: What makes you such a big zombie fan?" Welllll… you know what? In spite of my background in horror, and the fact that I have, indeed, worn George A. Romero's eyeglasses, I am not a zombie fan.
I got booed, right off the bat. So much for honest answers. Brutal, I tell you! Brutal! (I chose not to mention the fact I have never seen The Walking Dead, either… which just so happened to be the theme of PodCRASH that night… shhhhh.)
One by one, we were asked the questions by a bloodied-up, chainsaw wielding Chris Gore (yep: more meta!).
Most folks chose Night of the Living Dead. Ho-hum. My boy Matt chose Fulci's ZOMBI 2. Sweet! My answer was, of course, 1932's WHITE ZOMBIE, starring Bela Lugosi as Murder Legendre.
I had somewhat redeemed myself by that unexpected, quirky old-school reply of mine — someone else was voted off via audience reaction — but I soon fell another notch after the "Do your best zombie walk" demo. For one thing, I don't have a zombie walk, let alone a "best" one. For another… while I am perfectly comfy onstage, I'm not a ham. No karaoke for me, no beat poetry on open mic night, and certainly no zombie shambles. But, I'm a trooper. I thought my ouchy foot might actually help me out here, but I came off looking more like I was channeling Jessica Tandy on a slow day than 28 Days Later.
Still, somehow, I maintained my "Hot Chick" status for just a little longer. What came next was my downfall… In the PodCRASH email, the question said, "What's the BEST ZOMBIE in a movie, tv show or in fiction that is never actually called a zombie?" Easy, I thought: Rufus the cat in Re-Animator. But no. Chris put a twist in the question, and my reply no longer applied. Matt had my back, whispered, "Captain America." My stolen answer was acceptable, but… not good enough. (Thanks anyway, Matty... luv uuu!)
I was, (secretly thankfully) voted off.
Since I was unable to answer the rest of the questions live, here's what I would have said, had I survived….
Your zombie defense WEAPON of choice?
Vinyl records, ala Shaun of the Dead.
Best ZOMBIE KILL of all time.
Zombie vs. Shark in Lucio Fulci's ZOMBI 2
Walking Dead - we need to know your favorite character and why you stand with them.... Is is Andrea? Rick? Daryl?
Uh-oh. Never watched the show.
Your DESERT ISLAND zombie movie list - pick up to 5 movies to take with you into your shelter:
I Walked With a Zombie
The Serpent and the Rainbow
Shaun of the Dead
If you could SAVE ANYONE on this panel other than yourself, who would you save?
Matt Raub because he is my favorite "Final Boy"!
If zombies break in that door in the back right now, what is your PLAN?
I will cue up the Thomas Dolby and blind them with science!
Bring in your most prized zombie COLLECTIBLE and you will be asked to argue why it is the best.
T-Virus from Resident Evil 3
So, I may not have survived the zombie apocalypse, but I've lived to blog another day!