Zombies In Your Home
One of the most feared creatures of modern horror has to be the zombie - lumbering around in his or her tragic trance with no soul and - more terrifying - no way to die (well he's already dead). All he wants is human meat, more specifically live, jelly-like brains. His pale pallor and torn-away flesh make him hideous to look at - This uncoordinated and soulless creature appears unstoppable. No stake (vampires) or endless cups of caffeine (Freddy Krueger) will help you here.
So how do you become a zombie? And, more usefully, learn to kill one (actually make that more than one as they tend to lumber around in groups). It’s easy to buy a zombie costume for Halloween by searching on-line. In the meantime we'll give you a quick potted history here of the creature which worryingly has its roots in real life West African mythology.
The first zombies were believed to be Haitian slave plantation workers. The only way to prevent the dead body becoming a zombie at that time apparently was to remain at the unfortunate corpse’s graveside watching over it until its flesh began to rot. Legend has it only those who’d recently passed over were targeted and used as obedient, unquestioning servants (i.e. zombies).
Another recorded zombie emergence was in Hierakonpolis in Egypt during a British dig where an explorer happened upon a tomb containing a partially decomposed body. The brain had been infected with a virus and the tomb was covered in scratch marks where the body had attempted to claw its way out.
Being buried alive and re-emerging would also count as being a tad zombie-like. This would happen in past times when medicine was not as advanced. Catatonia - a particular affliction of schizophrenia - has also been attributed to the zombie legend.
We've famous film director Bela Lugosi to thank for the entrance into popular culture of this creature in the early 1930s in his film White Zombie. The zombies lay passive for decades until 1968 when George Romero revived them for Night of the Living Dead. And they’ve been around as a Halloween Fancy Dress Costume ever since. Their emergence was - scarily for us today - the result of a nuclear spill.
So how do you kill a zombie? Well, getting back to their origins, West African legend says if you feed a zombie salt it will return to the grave - all very neat and tidy with not too much exertion involved for us living beings. By far the most successful method is by destroying the brain first, usually with a sharp instrument (this can prove tricky!). Once achieved you should then burn the body to prevent any resurrection, or should that be re-resurrection…
Scream: A Celebration of Slashers Fancy Dress
With the new film due out could we see a return Scream or has it never gone away, what ever you do don't answer the phone.
The horror film Scream premiered in 1996. The flick featured a star studded cast, including Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Courteney Cox, and Matthew Lillard, but Scream was more than run of the mill slasher fare. The plot followed mysterious murderers wearing eerie Halloween costumes, as they stalked high school students. However, the film offered a post modern twist: these characters were not merely pretty faces in fancy dress. They were familiar with the unwritten rules for surviving horror movies. They responded to their stalking killers with intelligence.
Scream avoided the idiot plot failings of similar pictures. Instead of one dimensional victims waiting for their turn under the knife, the writing and performances took pains to make these characters feel like actual people trapped in danger. The result was a surprising film that worked on two levels. On the surface, it succeeded as a suspense-filled shocker. Underneath, it played as an effective satire, taking several pointed jabs at the genre's tropes. The film was a hit at the box office. Unsurprisingly, the signature robe-and-mask outfit was among that year's most popular costumes
The film's success was due in no small part to the dynamic team behind the cameras. Direction came from Wes Craven, of A Nightmare on Elm Street fame, while newcomer Kevin Williamson penned the brilliant script.
Scream 2 (1997) once again saw Craven and Williamson united behind the camera. It continued the story at college, skewering both its characters and campus life. Armed with the same witty dialogue and subversive playfulness, this sequel was as smart and scary as the original.
Scream 3, however, was a stumble. Still showcasing Craven's strong direction, the script (not by Williamson) played up the satire and lost the suspense. Set in Hollywood, it offered a savvy look at filmmaking, but the characters were too wooden to care about. When killings occurred, accompanied by the expected Halloween costumes, they lacked resonance.
Despite the series' ups and downs, the Scream costume has remained popular among the ever changing catalog of Halloween outfits. It might not be found in fancy dress masquerades; however, more relaxed shindigs often see a Scream costume or two mingling with other classic Halloween outfits.
After an 11 year hiatus, Scream 4 will see release this April. Once more reuniting director Craven with scenarist Williamson, the film promises new twists to old formulae. In the intervening years, horror films have changed, often in response to the Scream series. This fourth film will undoubtedly be more than an advertisement for Costumes For Halloween. Fans are speculating what the new franchise installment will be like. With such high expectations, the new film must work hard to find approval.