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Over Memorial Day weekend, some plan a family outing to the beach, while others invite friends over for a backyard barbeque. Then there are those who want nothing more than to turn their lazy Sunday into a marathon of the undead—descending upon the unsuspecting residents of Brooklyn to participate in the annual bloodsoaked celebration known as the Williamsburg Zombie Crawl.
Staged by producer and ringleader Doug Sakmann, the event had its biggest turnout to date this year. And the sports theme to promote Ryan Brown's novel PLAY DEAD (see previous item here), and the premiere of the red-band trailer based on it, led to some inspired costume choices last weekend.
The line to get into makeup at the Charleston Bar almost stretched out the door and onto Bedford Street, where hundreds loomed and lurked at unsuspecting bystanders as they waited for the Crawl to officially begin. Romero fans and graveyard ghouls alike enjoyed each other’s company, talking horror and swilling spirits, until finally taking to the streets for the roamer riot.
Zombie Crawl carries a real sense of community, serving as a strong reminder of the positive vibe the horror genre can elicit at times; these Crawls take place worldwide, bringing together people from all walks of life. Seeing fans of all shapes and sizes come out of their shells and ham it up for the cameras and each other helped transform a muggy Sunday afternoon into something special and memorable for everyone involved.
Once the festivities reached McCarren Park, things got even more intense: the living-vs.-the-dead tug-o’-war was suddenly about to begin. Put on by Disgraceland Hook Squad, it involved two women this year—one zombie and one human—who were tethered to each other by deep hooks in their shoulder blades. They fought back and forth, pushing and pulling as blood began to stream down their backs. The crowd even joined in at one point, and not surprisingly, most sided with Team Zombie. It should be said that everyone affiliated with Disgraceland Hook Squad acted very professionally again this year, and the group has definitely become a staple of the event.
After some impromptu zombie football, the caravan of carcasses picked up and moved on to The Knitting Factory, where the red-band PLAY DEAD trailer was shown, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. The Raspberry Brothers, a New York City-based comedy team, then took to the stage to lovingly mock trailers from Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE and Romero’s THE CRAZIES. The event ended with a ghoul-themed dance party, complete with undead go-go performers and a bloody burlesque contest. If that doesn’t get you ready and willing for next year’s Crawl, we here at Fango aren’t sure what will! You can find out more about the Crawl here and PLAY DEAD here.
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