The grey sky and drizzly, muddy day were especially suitable for a zombie walk.
The scene was surreal: about 70 injured-looking people were laughing and milling about in a park. There were goth zombies, preppy zombies, zombies in bathrobes and zombies in suits. Faces were covered in peeling, blistered skin; one zombie’s guts were spilling out of her dress; and there was blood everywhere.
Blood leaked out of corners of mouths or poured down the fronts of shirts. Faces, hands and clothing were drenched in the sticky red stuff.
“As long as you’re soaked in blood and everything you’re wearing is bloody, I think you’ve done a good enough job,” said organizer Scott Jamison on how to dress like a zombie. He also encourages wearing clothes you’re not afraid to ruin.
The second annual Saskatoon Zombie Walk took place on Aug. 15. The zombies gathered at the Vimy Memorial downtown, then walked to the Broadway Theatre to watch a zombie flick.
The meeting time was set for 10 p.m. but the group must have been running on zombie time; the walk didn’t start until 10:30 p.m. No one seemed to mind. Socializing and taking pictures of other zombies’ costumes seemed as much a part of the event as the walk itself.
As the group of zombies at Vimy Memorial in Kiwanis Park grew, so did the crowd of spectators. I was one of the spectators, and truthfully, it was kind of frightening being one of the few people left with any brains, especially when one group of zombies started calling out “Brains!” and walking in my direction.
From the Vimy Memorial, the zombie mob walked down 20th Street, then turned at the blood bank, heading down 4th Avenue to the Broadway Bridge and then on to the Broadway Theatre.
The decision to walk by the blood bank got quite a few laughs, but one bystander noted that “Zombies don’t drink blood, vampires do.”
There are many disagreements of this nature. Do they need brains or can they subsist on living flesh? Would they drink blood? Can they say “brains” or is it only kosher for them to grunt?
Zombie walks are a creative interpretation of hundreds of zombie stories and movies. Trying to come up with the single “true” zombie would be an act of futility, as the conversations at the walk proved. The argument gets even more heated when you bring up the lurching versus running argument.
Zombie fans true to the original movies will say it’s impossible for zombies to run, while fans of the new movies will disagree.
“It’s a mix of both; it’s personal preference,” said Jamison. “The idea is that we’re all having our own fun.”
Some of the arguments about zombie heritage may seem serious, but Jamison stresses the walks are all about having a good time.
Jamison plans on continuing the tradition. He hopes that as attendance increases over several years, they will be able to organize a film festival in Kiwanis Park, like a zombie night out in the park.
“It’s mainly the fun of it, getting to dick around with people doing something normally you wouldn’t do.”