Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Photo Essay / Commentary: Zombie Walk, Saskatoon, September 25, 2016

Zombie Walk, Saskatoon, September 25, 2016
Text and images © Robert Barry Francos / FFanzeen 2016
Images can be enlarged by clicking on them

If you have ever been to a Zombie Walk, you know they are fun. People dress up like some form of zombie (or zombie hunter) and flock together – often in a park – and then stumble off to some pre-set location. In Saskatoon, they gather near the Vimy Memorial (a gazebo named for an infamous battle in the First World War), and the final goal is to reach the Broadway Theatre (on Broadway Avenue) on the other side of the South Saskatchewan River for the start of the Fantastic Film Festival. Most new and exciting genre releases fill the bill, but this year the opening salvo is original 1968 Night of the Living Dead (free to those costume). Also joining the crowd is a cluster of Lookie Lous and photographers, to which I fall into both categories.

While I don’t dress up, per se, I am a fan of independent horror films, so I wore my official and bright yellow Day of the Dead sweatshirt; it was given out to the cast and crew of the 1985 release, and was subsequently gifted to me by the girlfriend of one said member after she moved into the “ex-“ phase. That was how I represented.

This is the third (see my photos from previous Zombie Walks HERE and HERE) one I have attended, and it was a blast, but there were some major and noticeable differences. For example, this year was a bit more subtle and event than previous ones I have been to, as far as organizational settings go. For example, one year it was sponsored by a group promoting (ironically?) CPR, with the slogan “CPR makes you undead,” who had a tent pitched to teach people how to do it on practice “bodies.” There was also a make-up pavilion. This year, there were no tents whatsoever.

Another is the sheer number of kids attending. There were always families, but the vast majority of attendees had been young adults, with kinder being in the minority; this year, it was about even.

Then there was the level of make-up. There is one theater group that shows up every year in a “theme” (a chain-gang or summer camp counselors, for example); this year they were the Zombini Circus. They always stay in character, even as they pose for pictures, and are always impressive. Not counting them and a few others, the level of make-up was markedly down and, may I say, amateurish. There was some great costumes, don’t get me wrong, but many also just wore torn shirts and whatever red make-up they had laying around to look like blood. Much less effort on many parts (said the man who just wore a sweatshirt and no make-up). Still, there were still pockets of marvelous imagination.

oHoHwdjfpwoijwojWhoww However, what I noticed most prevalent, and I supposed this is hardly surprising as we go deeper into the 21 Century, is the presence of cellphones. Of the 88 photos here, 36 have cell phones in them. I’m beginning to wonder if the cellphone is the new metaphor for the zombie apocalypse, as I actually saw some people stumbling through the park, in costume, because they were looking down at the phone as they moved along. Something to mull.

As a reminder, all photos can be enlarged by clicking on them. Commentary will be in some of the captions.

First arrivals

"I wasn't there unless I'm in the picture!" picnic family

Seemed kind of cool for these two kids to be dressed like this...just sayin'...

Okay, not a participant, but I took it because of the shirt;
one of two Brooklyn shirts I saw there

Manic Panic Zombie?

Perhaps just a full mask, but looked great

Manga zombie

"Play dead! Good zombie!"

Employee of Persephone Theatre, giving out flyers for new upcoming play about zombies!

"I'm just a lonely zombie / Lonely and blu-ue."

"Dooode, I just wanna skate, doooode!"

Impressive, and kept in character the whole time.

Sometimes photographer = timing.

Start 'em when they\re young!

Arrival of the Zombini Circuis

My friend, the zombie

"Well, if that don't beat all!"

Local news coverage

"Get yer body parts while they're still warm!"

"I'm too sexy for my zombie / Too sexy for my zombie..."

I thought, "Hmm, wonder if she knows she's dressed like Patti Smith?"

Brooklyn shirt No. 2

Now this is a scary-ass clown!

"Stop playing with it! Let it scab!"

"Hey kid, how about lunch..."

Awww, zombies in love

I like the headshot makeup.

Event organizer gathers to remind all about the rules of the walk:
such as "don't reach out to the cars in traffic as you cross the bridge."

The walk / stumble begins

Lagging behind...the zombie hunter (great look, kid!).