Thursday, 22 November 2012

Day of the Undead 2012 - 6th Annual Festival of Zombie Culture

Last Saturday I went to Day of the Undead at Leicester. This is a yearly zombie event that has 12 hours of zombies films as well as loads of stalls, and apparently videogames (unconfirmed as could not find them there).

Turning up fashionably late at around 18:30 (it started at 12:00) I was immediately a bit lost, lots of people wondering around, even more zombies, in fact upon entering the place I nearly walked into an awesome looking zombie who had a giant pole going through his chest and sticking out the back. He not only looked the part (even with creepy contact lenses) but also acted the part, lurching around groaning the entire night.

Anyway after some lost wandering I went in to hear a talk from Charlie Higson (of The Fast Show fame). He writes young adult zombie books, I never realised this till recently, and have yet to read them but he was interesting, and it was cool seeing a famous person.

Next was a film called The Eschatrilogy which had a Tales of the Crypt type formula of three different stories tied together by a main storyline. Thoughts here are that despite the low budget (£15,000)  it looked great, and was well shot. The zombies were of the slow walking kind and mostly had a slap dash Romero style look to them (makeup down to the neckline only then just normal under that) I love the rough look in zombie films, who needs vast make up effects. Land of the Dead proved well made up zombies just look terrible. Acting was very bad for the most part but I enjoyed it even if the Blu-Ray the film was being shown on was broken so the last 5 minutes of the film were not shown. Zombie Ed had to sum up the end for the audience who were not impressed. It really did ruin the film a bit to be honest.

Next a whole heap of prize winners were announced (apparently raffle tickets were around, I never saw any of these, maybe due to turning up late but wish I had got some as there were lots and lots of winners of some cool horror prizes). As a side note there were some great horror stands selling lots of zombie books, DVD's and other stuff. Due to having no money I never looked at these stands in too much detail as would have wanted everything! David Moody; my favourite zombie author was there but I was A) too shy to speak to him B) Had no money to buy any of his stuff anyway, and C) Only just realised he was the guy behind the David Moody stall (assumed he was too famous to be hanging there all day!).

The next film on was Gangsters, Guns, and Zombies which was a comedy. I will just say this is one of the funniest zombie films I have ever seen, the whole audience were laughing out loud, it really was hilarious despite a loud mouthed, drunken Welshman sitting behind me angrily complaining all film about how he couldn't understand why people were laughing at it. Maybe a bit over long but a very well made film, acting also of a high standard here to boot.

The final film I planned to see was Cockneys VS Zombies unfortunately it was running late and was not going to start till after midnight, too late for me who was really quite tired by that point and had a drive home to do. I did see two episodes of Bumbloods a short zombie comedy series. It was funny but nowhere near as much as the Gangsters film was. I will doing a post on that soon also as the makers contacted me last month about it.

Next year I plan to actually have money when going, and also to make a day of it rather than just an evening. Photos next year as well! Zombie Ed is so passionate about zombies, he was the glue that held the event together. First saw him at Zombie Fest 2007 (I think) he is a funny and genuinely nice guy. So Day of the Undead seemed to be a resounding success, can't wait till next time! From the few films I saw I was really impressed with the quality of them. Zombie films are so easy to make terrible, these were not remotely that.

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