About the Zombie Encounter

The Zombie Encounter terror begins at 6p with the film Night
of the Living Dead: Reanimated, introduced by curator Mike
Schneider. The film will be followed by a Q & A session. This
is a rare NY-area premier! Watch if you dare...

Then, walk with us through a zombie encounter (approx.
8p). We've compiled an expert group of Tour Guides: -
Dr.
Kim Paffenroth
, Jonathan Maberry
(
http://jonathanmaberry.com,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Maberry), Peter
Gutiérrez

(
http://firefox.org/news/articlerss/author/14), Rob
Hauschild
(www.wildeyereleasing.com), John Joseph
Adams
www.johnjosephadams.com) and David Barr
Kirtley
(www.davidbarrkirtley.com) acting as the night's
guest moderator. We thought it best to have zombie experts
walk us through the encounter - we want to reach the other
end!

Click to see Mike Schneider's
Face The Fiction Zombie
Encounter: Animated.
Shortly after 6:00 p.m Master Todd officially started the
program by telling us that we were being filmed this evening
and to not say anything that our mothers wouldn't want to
hear! Then he introduced
Mike Schneider who intro'd his
Re-Animated version of the 1968 film
Night Of The Living
Dead
. This version was made up of animated scenes
matched with stills from the original picture. The styles of
animation used were varied and included claymation, barbie
dolls and even legos!! After the film ended we took a
10-minute break then had a Q and A with
Mike before
starting our panel discussion with the Zombie Experts
(
Jonathan Maberry, Dr. Kim Paffenroth, John Joseph
Adams
, Rob Hauschild & Peter Gutiérrez). Guest Moderator
David Barr Kirtley introduced the panel then proceeded
with his list of questions regarding the zombie experience for
all the panelists. There was time for a few questions from
the audience before we closed the discussion at 10:45 so
folks could buy & get books signed from our experts (and
clean-up could begin). By 11:00 everybody was headed for
the Stateline Diner to continue the evening, where a tired
Ann-Marie said "We done good", and Todd replied "We
always do". See y'all next month!!!
(Steve S)

The "Zombie" night was indeed special. After watching the
reanimated version of
Night of the Living Dead and the
question and answer period with filmmaker
Mike Schneider,
which were quite interesting, we then had the Zombie Panel
discuss all things zombie! As mentioned, the speakers were
all passionate about the subject, and when prompted by
David as to their various feelings on the subject, answered
with great knowledge on said subject. They all mentioned
their favorite zombie movies (later on I brought up the great
Carnival of Souls which they all agreed was very
influential), what they liked/disliked about where zombies
have been/will be taken, even discussing a topic of zombie
sex! The whole evening was extremely entertaining because
in large part by the panelists knowledge and fervor for the
subject.
(Chris H)

And Now for a view from the Panel by Panelist Peter
Gutierrez!

Here's my take on things, not that it's that different from
everyone else's. Maybe a bit more behind-the-scenes- ish, if
that's interesting to folks.

Mike Schneider, "curator" of NOTLD:R (http://notldr. com/),
showed up with one or two of the animators (a third, a
talented comic book artist from New York, http://jorellrivera
.blogspot. com/, came with his Mom)and his arrival elicited
mixed emotions in me... glad to see him, of course, and to
screen the movie. But the version he brought with him was
completely new... my fellow producer Rob Hauschild and I
had never seen it. No one had, in fact, except Mike himself. I
wasn't concerned about the quality of the movie but rather
about it screening all right -- Mike hadn't been able to burn it
to DVD b/c of some technical glitch, so we were showing it
directly from a file on his laptop. That made me nervous.

But Todd was matter-of-fact and cool-headed as usual, and
the screening went off without a technical hitch. Todd was
an especially good sport b/c over the previous ten days I'd
been making sure that we shipped him a DVD, that he tried
it out on his laptop, etc. -- and then it was all kind of
pointless b/c we didn't use that DVD or his laptop

I enjoyed Mike's intro, because I'm used to hearing his ideas
about the film and his philosophy of art in general, but I kept
wondering if all his remarks about postmodernity were
leaving the audience mystified. Maybe that helped make the
movie even more of a surprise for folks, I don't know.

We started a few minutes late and Mike's intro went a little
longer than planned, so by the time the movie was over we
were definitely behind schedule. In fact, Todd first asked the
crowd to take a break before the panel started -- until I
pointed out that the Q&A w/ Mike still hadn't taken place. So
that was moved until after the break, and somehow that
made things run longer, so that the panel didn't start until
after 8:30, I think.

Still, everything was going well and people were having fun.
I'd hung little signs about the filming (we're releasing a
"bootleg" in Dec.) and everyone seemed fine with it. People
laughed at all the right places in the movie and seemed to
be interested even in the parts that they didn't quite like, if
that makes sense. Mike's Q&A went well as he fielded
questions about how he organized such a project, with 500
artists responding and about 150 actually contributing to the
final film. In short, the audience asked some smart questions
-- covering the kind of ground that maybe should be covered
in the intro next time. ;-)

Oh, and if anyone is wondering about the differences
between the versions of the film, Mike replaced 5+ minutes
of barely altered '68 footage w/ new animation. There were
still some sections like that that hadn't been replaced -- if
you saw the film you know what I'm talking about, the
sections where there's a cross-hatched "screen" over the
images, or where they appear in negative. The remaining
such passages will be gone by the time of third and final
version of the film next month.

And before I forget, a big thanks to Stephen and the others
who brought such great items for the swap table. I snagged
2 DVDs and a VHS table and contributed nothing at all.
However, I'm busy getting together a stack of DVDs and
comics for the next time I show up...

In case you missed "Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated"
at Face the Fiction or are just a glutton for punishment, it's
screening in NJ again: on December 3 at Clash Bar in Clifton.
http://www.myspace. com/clashbar

And if you yourself would like to screen the movie at a
school, event, club, or other venue, please let me know.
Screening rights are free in almost all cases. Last night the
film screened at NYU and we've gotten a request from Yale,
so it'll be screening there as well.

Meanwhile, we're moving ahead with the "bootleg" version
-- in which some of you may be featured (in the shots of the
audience). Rob and I have also done several radio shows
promoting the film. Oh, and before I forget, the "virtual
premiere" will be on Facebook Comic-Con 11/12-11/15 (and
of course it's free). If you're on Facebook, look it up. Or if
you're "friends" with me or Rob, let us know and we can
send you an invite to join the group. (And if you haven't
friended me, please feel free to.)

As for the rest of that now long ago evening in Ramsey,
here's what I remember. First, Todd was definitely not
blundering around. He ran things both on stage and behind
the scenes patiently and seamlessly -- so what if we almost
forgot the Q&A? It was long enough evening anyway. ;-)

I remember the questions from David Barr Kirtley being
pretty hard and feeling more on the spot than I usually do,
and I do maybe 10 panels a year. Actually, it's not that his
questions were hard per se. In fact, I supplied a couple of
them. So did other panelists, such as Rob. But unlike some
other moderators, David didn't share the list (or a even a
partial list) of the questions with the panelists via e-mail
beforehand. I guess we were considered such "experts"
that we handle anything thrown our way, but I certainly
don't consider myself to be that knowledgeable.

The first question dealt with obscure zombie pop culture
artifacts and what we would recommend. I revealed my
ignorance at not knowing that Marvel's '70s Tales of the
Zombie series had been reprinted/collected . Mr. Maberry
pointed that out. I also cited "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie," a
favorite film of mine from the period between NOTLD and
(Romero's) "Dawn of the Dead." (Later during the panel
Jonathan mentioned "The Living Dead at the Manchester
Morgue" and I pointed out that this was the same film, just
one of its alternate titles.)

I also remember the question about how to survive a zombie
attack and JJ Adams saying that he probably wouldn't make
it. (By the way, if you missed catching this entertaining
editor, or just want to see more of him, there's been some
talk of bringing him to GSHW next year -- events are free to
non-members but I encourage joining.) Jonathan said he'd
use jui-jitsu and that guns were overrated. I said that I'd
survive by hanging out with horror/zombie fans b/c they'd be
the least surprised and therefore the least likely to panic. I
commented that in NOTLD if the three had gone on the
offensive early on, holding periodic raids against the
zombies, then the ranks of the undead wouldn't have
swelled so much. People tend to get emotionally
overwhelmed, which was understandable back in '68, but
today everyone is used to the idea of a zombie apocalypse,
so no one will be too shocked when it happens. ;-)

I remember the zombies-and- sex issue, in particular Mr.
Adams relating some of the criticism his (excellent) anthology
received. He pointed out that there were maybe a couple of
stories with this theme but for some readers this was their
main gripe. I cited "Otto, or Up with Dead People" (which no
one but Mike Schneider had seen) and Michael Simon's short
film "Gay Zombie." Someone else brought up the romantic
element in "Fido." Some panelists (Dr. Paffenroth?) remarked
on the typically non-erotic nature of zombies, especially
when compared with vampires. I tried to make a distinction
between the non-erotic (i.e., there's nothing in these
movies/books to turn us on)and the asexual -- there actually
is an element of sexual rage in some zombie behavior,
particularly with "fast" zombies.

That was another issue we got into: where did we fall on
the "fast vs. slow" question? I was surprised that most of
the panelists were okay with fast zombies -- I thought
they'd be more old school purists. If you read Patient Zero,
the zombies seem somewhere in between fast and slow:
they're not constantly running as in "28 Days/Weeks Later"
or Zack Snyder's "Dawn of the Dead," which I was surprised
that so many panelists liked... I thought I'd be the only one.
(By the way, JJ Adams expressed how much he liked
"Zombieland" and I kind of bit my tongue: thought the
opening act was brilliant fun but in the end it wasn't that
suspenseful and never scary or horrific.)

All right, I guess that's all for now. I'm sure others of you can
recall the other, um, meaty questions we tackled.

Just wanted to close by saying that I had a blast. Would be
honored to return some other October when SFSNNJ is again
spotlighting horror in some way. Thanks to everyone who
made it such a memorable evening.

-Peter