Grr! Aarrr!

I have a feeling the annual Zombie walk is a peculiarly Brisvegas thing. (It was inspired, I think, by 4zzz which has probably less of a cultural profile than it did in the 70s and 80s but still brings something distinctive and valuable to Brisbania.) Go round to David Jackmanson’s Brisbane is Home blog to see what it’s all about. And check the Zombiewalk pool at Flickr.

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photo courtesy of d70dug

Posted in Brisbane, culture
26 comments on “Grr! Aarrr!
  1. The Editor says:

    Only Bris Vegas.

  2. Mark says:

    Yep, aren’t we lucky! It’s great fun, actually – I didn’t see it this year except on the news last night, but very much enjoyed casually avoiding zombies in the Queen Street mall last year. And zzz had some evil zombie music for me to listen to on my mp3 player.

  3. Katz says:

    Hate to bring you Brisbane boosters down, but the claim for the first Zombie Walk was in Toronto, Canada in 2003.

    I’ll rise above the temptation to speculate whether Toronto deserves that honour more than Brisbane.

  4. Adam Gall says:

    Is this political? Zombies have always seemed political to me, ever since I saw this:

  5. Mark says:

    Well, well, Katz, it says “one of the first Zombie walks”, not the first. Looks like Brisvegas is the only Australian zombie walk city, though.

    Adam, there was a reanimated soldier on the news last night who felt free as a zombie to criticise Bush and Iraq.

  6. steve says:

    Speaking of zzzish things, I noticed in the Courious snail on Saturday that a top ranking cop was threatened with contempt of court proceedings if he doesn’t lift his game. Turns out the Magistrate ordered someone in a witness protection scheme not to leave the Gold Coast and the cop chose to ignore the magistrate.

    Nice to see the Magistrate put the cop back in his box.

    Good to see ZZZ out and about and still active.

  7. VisualSweep says:

    Only Bris Vegas? I remember last year the Sydney Zombie Walk managed national press coverage despite happening a month later than the Brisbane one.

    Last year’s was organised by a high school kid called Max Cowen who’d seen the Toronto Zombie Walk and thought the idea would fly down here. He said at the time that it was the first Zombie Walk in Australia.

    Whether it was or not, the walk was wonderful anyway – squealing terrorised folk in the Queen Street Mall, zombie clans and families, blood stains on 7-11 windows, gutteral moaning echoing through the streets – so much was so great.

    I love Brisbane.

  8. Mark says:

    Geez, don’t the kids these days read the Intertubes? Brisvegas certainly had one in 2006 – evidence on the flickr pool – same time of year. 🙂

  9. Mark says:

    Anyway, wherever it’s been held before, (and there’s no doubt I’m proved wrong!), I still think it’s particularly suited to Brisvegas! 🙂

  10. Katz says:

    it says “one of the first Zombie walksâ€?, not the first.

    I didn’t say that Toronto’s was the first. Rather, I cited the earliest claimed date for a zombie walk.

    If Brisbane, or any other city, can verify a claim to an earlier date, then those uppity Torontans would be put in their place.

    Strictly speaking, zombies do very little else but walk and consume human flesh. Thus, a zombie walk counts as a notable event if and only if at least one of the purported zombies isn’t actually a zombie.

    Are there any earlier recorded instances of persons masquerading as the perambulatory undead?

  11. Nabakov says:

    They were doing the whole zombie walk (well OK, run) thing in London in the early sixties.

  12. Mark says:

    I entirely retract my claims about originality, but reassert my claim that Brisvegas has the greatest historic claim to embrace and celebrate the quality of being a zombie!

  13. Alex on the Bus says:

    And to think it was just another typical Saturday afternoon in the Queen Street Mall…

  14. Nabakov says:

    Speaking of unco-ordinated, shambling cannibals Brett, that thing we discussed will be wrapped up over the coming long weekend when we celebrate yet another bloke rising from the dead by sleeping in.

  15. Nabakov says:

    Brisvegas has the greatest historic claim to embrace and celebrate the quality of being a zombie!

    Well it’s true the city’s inhabitants have had decades and decades of practice in just going through the motions.

  16. Alex on the Bus says:

    Actually, on closer inspection of the photo, it looks more Shaun of the Dead than Dawn of the Dead.

    All together now, “White lines, running through my mind…”

  17. Nabakov says:

    Hmm…never mind chocolate Jesus, what about zombie Jesus?

    “He is risen! And you’re going down!”
    “The man they couldn’t kill is back! But this time you get to eat him.”
    “When Heaven is full, prophets will walk the earth.”
    “I worship dead people. Why don’t you?”
    “Death is only the beginning!”
    “Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Golgotha!”

  18. Mark says:

    Ah, Shaun of the Dead, now there was a date movie…

  19. Nabakov says:

    The team behind “Shaun” is getting rave reviews for their latest, “Hot Fuzz” which is apparently best described as Midsomer Murders meets Lethal Weapon 2.

    They ascribe their success to treating genre conventions with respect while ensuring the humour arises naturally out of the inherent absurdities behind the genres. Not a bad way to treat life generally. I’m sure Jesus would have got it.

  20. Thanks for the plug, Mark 🙂

    There’s also a flickr pool especially for Sunday’s zombiewalk

    I have to admit I’ve not thought of zombies as particularly scary monsters until Sunday’s walk. The photo at the top of this article is from just before the march shambled off from Roma St. The photographers were on the amphitheatre stage, and the zombies were pressing against it, arms raised, demanding ‘BRAINS’!

    There was quite a surge going on, and what with the photogs jostling for position, I actually got a sense of what it might be like to be over-run by a Zombie horde. Quite un-nerving.

    I just got an email back from the organiser saying there were something like 480-500 zombies (not counting spectators).

    Is this political? Zombies have always seemed political to me, ever since I saw this:

    Adam, I don’t think it’s political for most participants as such, apart from being affirming of a non-mainstream lifestyle. It seems to be mainly a fun thing to do.

    But I think bloke with a $20 note on his forehead is getting his ideas from the same place as you.

  21. j_p_z says:

    DJ: “the zombies were pressing against it, arms raised, demanding ‘BRAINS’!”

    Oh, then that’s a horse of a different color! That means they were Dan O’Bannon zombies, not George Romero zombies. The taxonomy is altogether different; O’Bannon zombies can speak, and more importantly, they can RUN. Zack Snyder zombies on the other hand can run, but they can’t talk.

    Zombie multiculturalism! Ain’t life grand!

  22. FDB says:

    Jape-easy – being a septic you may not have seen the early(ish) Peter Jackson masterpiece Brain Dead. If so (or is that not?) get it and watch it post-haste.

  23. j_p_z says:

    FDB — Do you mean “Dead Alive”? Or, did they maybe give the same movie a different title over here? (or maybe PJ did two?)

    Yeah, I once tried watching Dead Alive a long time ago, and it was so fucking disturbing I didn’t last more than the first twenty or so minutes. Maybe some time I’ll try again. I’ve heard people say it’s incredible. I also have at least one friend who has a cast-iron stomach for that sort of movie gore, who said even *he* couldn’t bear to watch. On the more intellectual side, there’s the proto-zombie flick “Carnival of Souls,” which is much more of a think-piece, but very moody and disturbing, and a big influence on Romero…

  24. D70doug says:

    Grrr Arrr!!! Zombies brisbane was not the original zombie walk but it is one of the best attended in the world. Nothing really unusual there sleepy old quiet reserved Brisvagas has always had a darker underside.

    There were 2 cities in the world that embraced the film Rocky Horror Picture Show before it became a cult film one was New York the other was Brisbane with midnight screenings running for several years.

    As for the Zombie walk it is interesting to see people who would normally be a minority and marginalized in our society taking over the streets and being the center of attention. I find it a wonderful and empowering sight.

    I also love the watching the reactions from the living as the undead shuffle past

    Many thanks to max the organizer and all who turn out and make it such a peaceful fun day.

  25. D70doug says:

    Brain dead also known as Dead or alive.

    Zombies are as a whole non political but I don’t think you would see many of the living dead supporting Howard or Bush.

    The Zombies who support them are REALLY SCARY PEOPLE!!!!!!

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