Why are vampires always stronger than werewolves in the paranormal romance novels that clutter the minds of our women folk? Let’s look at the facts. A vampire, even with super fast agility and strength, is still only made of human flesh. Dogs can already kill us with their crushing jaws and powerful physiques so if you add super fast agility and strength, the smarts of a human and the ferocious desire to kill everything in its path, it stands to reason that werewolves > vampires.
Yet it’s the ZOMBIES, probably the least likely to survive a vampire / werewolf barfight, that are still the most badass and terrifying of all paranormal killing machines. Perhaps because they’re completely incapable of falling in love with whiney, awkward teenagers which is AS IT SHOULD BE.
Since zombies have thus far managed to escape the wrath of Stephenie Meyer they are highly celebrated the world over with annual zombie walks involving thousands of gore and blood covered folk terrorising the unsuspecting while ambling through the city streets feeding on camera wielding Asian tourists.
For years my friend has hounded me to zombie up for this event but my reserved nature, born out of the shame of practically failing acting at high school, always sounds the alarm at the thought of being publicly on display and so I’ve never succumbed to the call of the zombie (which sounds a lot like BRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS). The only way to solve this problem was by slotting it into the resolution list and with no further option to object, my terror turned to joy at the prospect of playing dress ups.
My first step in ‘transformation zombie’ was to head to the website of the local organisers http://www.brisbanezombiewalk.com/ to register. As you can imagine, there is much complaint by people commonly known as ‘killjoys’ about such an event, so registering on the website allows the organisers to provide numbers to the authorities. There is also the option to give a cash contribution to cover the event costs with any excess being donated to the Brain Foundation of Australia. Depending on how much you contribute this entitles you to a wrist band, after party entry or a T-shirt. As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t contribute you don’t deserve to join the zombie legions.
I then began to assemble an outfit before receiving the heartbreaking email that my zombie lovin’ friend would be out of town come the big event. My balloon of big ideas rapidly deflated as I realised there was only one thing worse than making a spectacle of oneself, and that is of doing it alone, much like tripping in front of a group of school kids.
The only way to remedy this horrific situation was to attend in the guise of a photographer, although the thought of being the non fancy dressed odd-one-out around thousands of brain-sucking undead filled me with such dread that I had zombie nightmares all week leading up to the event. But on arrival in Wickham Park where the shenanigans were to begin I realised there were plenty of other blood-free camera-equipped people with the same idea as me.
At 3PM on Sunday the 24th of October, the city of Brisbane was overrun with zombies.
While many simply wore regular clothes spattered with blood, the majority dressed in zombified themed costume from geriatrics and brides, to Smurfs, Native American Indians, Na’vis from Avatar and SANTA. Naturally swarms of zombies also attract gun-toting zombie fighters who lined the hill out front of the initial assembly point at Albert Street Uniting Church, much to the horror of the minister who was trying to conduct a wedding. At one point I saw her filling buckets of water to throw at the crowd. She was obviously confusing zombies with the Wicked Witch of the West.
For the next couple of hours I was all action, snapping away delightedly as the zombies hammed it up for the camera. Highlights included being hissed and screamed at by small children, almost being barrelled over by roller-skate-wearing Dead Meat and co from the Sun State Roller Girls derby team as they fake-stacked it on the sidewalk around me (brilliant!) and hearing zombie Neytiri from Avatar yelling ‘DON’T TOUCH ME’ at whoever wanted to pose in a photo with her. It was exciting and thrilling and barrels of fun.
Before long the crowd spread out and sped up, most likely picturing the beer at the end of the long, hot walk. Even though I was running to try and reach the front of the horde I kept finding I was still stuck with the same group of people, sort of like that scene from ‘In The Mouth of Madness’ where the same bicycle keeps riding past. The large police presence kept the cars at bay for the entirety of the walk and I couldn’t tell whether their chorus of honking horns was to show support or frustration.
The walk ended in Centenary Place Park where I lurked for awhile before heading to the train station while many others set off to whet their zombie whistle. On the way I spotted The Joker standing precariously atop a van featuring the sign ‘Welcome Zombies’ who was all too happy to pose for snaps. (Mine sucked but you can find some GREAT photos of him HERE.)
While waiting for the train I was bemused by the 40-something woman who admitted her terror at being surrounded by the hordes of blood soaked people and I it made me realise that there probably is nothing scarier than gangs of youths covered in blood. Except maybe tripping in front of them. I will probably never forget the look of horror on her face when I left her alone to walk further down the platform to meet someone.
Tragically, my pain-in-the-arse camera was a real let down, although special mention goes to one of the other photographers for taking a look at it for me. My second (and better) lens refused to work and the majority of my shots are blurry. I’m now questioning whether I should ever pick up a camera again.
Either way, I won’t need my camera next year because nothing will stop me from being one of those looking to snack on your brains. Watch your back.