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“Zombies are hot,” says photographer Billy Hunt. “Zombies are now. Zombies are fresh. I feel like you throw a rock and you hit a zombie these days in Charlottesville.” While that may be better than throwing a rock and missing a zombie, it goes to show you that the undead are everywhere in Charlottesville. Last month, Hunt shot some production stills for a new film by Brian Wimer called Danger. Zombies. Run, a follow-up to Wimer’s Eat Me: A Zombie Musical, which featured the Falsies as a zombie band. I checked in with the local ghoulie movie community to get their thoughts on the vamp/zomb fad that’s overtaking the nation like—well, the zombie bug.
EAT ME: A ZOMBIE MUSICAL
Why are zombies so popular?
Zombies are, perhaps something psychological. They represent for us our problems, and what always happens in a zombie movie is that you have to outrun the zombies. But whether they’re fast zombies or slow zombies, they always catch up with you and you have to turn around and deal with the issue.
What do zombies represent?
Zombies are the masses, and the survivors are the individuals, and there is a great fear in this country—I believe unfounded—that our individuality is at stake, and that somehow becoming infected is like becoming a socialist. People fear the loss of their freedoms.
(of Shenandoah-based make-up artists Wickadella Creations, billed by the Virginia Production Alliance as “master of creating bruises, bloody lips, bullet holes, brains, scars, torn tissue and impalements on characters…alive, dead or zombie.”)
DANGER. ZOMBIES. RUN.
Is it more difficult to make up zombies or vampires?
I don’t think either one is difficult. The costumes for a zombie are going to be more elaborate. You’re going to have to work more at distressing them and making them look like they came out of the ground.
What are the make-up essentials for zombies?
I like to do a lot of different things, like create different skin layers with latex and a little bit of cotton. Grease make-up, cream make-up, blood, fresh blood, fake blood.
How about vampires?
You just pop in the teeth.
How long does it take you to make up a good zombie?
I would prefer to spend two or three hours making up a good zombie, but a director usually rushes you, tries to get it done as soon as possible.
Where are all the local vampires?
I know they’re around, but I don’t see them that much in my demographic, as a photographer. What if they come out? You can’t see them in the mirror. Who knows if the camera will work?
How would you kill zombies? A vampire?
Beheading is better, because it works for both and you can use what’s around. I’m kind of spontaneous that way. I like to use what’s around.
Which would win in a fight, zombies or vampires?
I think the vampires would win in a fashion show.
Why are vampires so popular?
Who knows? As somebody said, with the Twilight series, the girl has to choose between necrophilia and bestiality. I don’t understand why it’s so popular. It seems pretty gross.