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View Full Version : What Makes a Good Zombie??



PumpkinGIRL
05-13-2009, 10:29 AM
What is a Good Zombie? What Makes a Zombie look like a zombie? How do you potray the image as an actor or Actress?

These are a few of the questions I would like answers too.
I'm putting this up because I think zombies are just made to look cool on t-shirts and in movies nowa days. I think there whole ripping guts out and devoring the guts has been lost. What does Every else think? Please put your views on this too thanks. :)

BruiseMuse
05-13-2009, 11:19 AM
I think a good zombie starts with a good costume: something tattered and aged, that simply looks nasty. I really don't like when people do zombies and their attire looks clean.

Makeup: Depending on the "age" of the zombie (freshly turned, decaying, etc) the level of rot and decay in the makeup varies. The makeup needs to cover all skin that is exposed (neck, shoulders, arms, legs, etc) for a consistant look.

Acting: I'm a fan of the slower, classic "Night of the Living Dead" zombie, where they lurch and their limbs don't seem to work well together. I like to get intestines from the grocery store and use those as props for the zombies to fight over and "eat."

damon carson
05-15-2009, 10:39 AM
I like zombies but they really arent scary. They need to run and attack fast in a haunted house. The only way your gonna scare anyone other than that as a zombie is a quick startle scare or sometype of distraction scare. But Im a fan of the slower moving zombies in movies.
Damon

BruiseMuse
05-15-2009, 11:50 AM
I agree that the slower zombies aren't that scary, but they are a great distraction. Having packs ofthem wander around outside a haunt and in the que line really helps set the mood too, since they are a bit creepy.

PumpkinGIRL
05-16-2009, 10:43 PM
I think all of your answers To The questions are good. Please Keep more answers Comming in for this Post and Please Please Vote On The Poll Above The Page So I can make more Posts up Thanks Everyone Happy HAunting

Jim Warfield
05-17-2009, 07:35 AM
Your parents ignoring you and your brother as you both sit in a puddle in the barnyard playing with a hammer, taking turns hitting each other on the head with it. My best friend and neighbor Mike worked for this farmer when he was a kid and that is what he saw happening there.
Well I guess when you have 11 kids you can't watch them all ,all the time?
As far as the speed of a scare, I think some scares are too quick to actually be milked for their full potential. "Anti-ci-pa-tion" Remember that? A very good piece or part of a memorable scare.
I found out one of my best scares was happening too quickly, it was over with and the customer's mind identified it and classified it , regulating it into the memory dump bin before it was a second old.
I think the customer's mind often needs the 2 seconds to wonder, "What the Hell Is THAT?" and time to realse THEY DON"T KNOW!!! Confusion and ignorance lead to fear, now don't they?
"What was that I just saw? Was that a real person or a display dummy? Was that spider real? Did it move or not?" See what I mean?
Of course pnuematics are often very guilty of being too fast for maximum effect, the scare is over before it makes confusion or can begin the process of identifying it so the brain just passes by it.
The whole "Too Quick" thing is like someone standing around a corner and swinging a baseball bat smacking you on the head, you didn't see it coming, versus the person stepping around the corner, you see them, you see the bat in their hand, they call you a nasty name like "Jim", THEN they swing it!

damon carson
05-18-2009, 09:08 AM
Another thing that would make a good zombie is not living on the brains or flesh of the living. Maybe a vegetarian zombie. Or maybe one that would maybe clean up himself and maybe get a fresh change of clothes. Or maybe try to walk or situp straight. Pull your chair up to the table and wipe your chin off while your eating zombie! For Gods Sake!
Damon

actiondeath
06-14-2009, 09:41 PM
In one word... What makes a good zombie?

Irony.

You're welcome.

Badger
06-18-2009, 12:35 PM
Large numbers...

andythecorpse
07-13-2009, 04:34 PM
what makes a good zombie? the understanding of the human anatomy , body language, and most of all? BRAIIINS:confused:

michaeldavy
07-26-2009, 09:09 PM
Makeup wise a good zombie needs to look organic
It shouldn't look "made up"
It skin should be leathery and dirty, like it just climbed out of a grave or something. Real dirt and moss grass cobwebs should be employed as much as possible

wounds can look fresh for effect but remember that zombies are the reanimated dead so an even more effective look is body cavity exposure. Any way to show depth will help

teeth need to be distressed as well as hair matted and mudded. Hair gel can be employed with "zombie dust" mixed in
Contacts are expensive but are effective (and dangerous)

Allen H
07-27-2009, 05:42 AM
A good actor makes a good zombie, I have seen plenty of bad actors in great make-ups and it is not worth the effort.
Im not sure as to the purpose of this poll but a few of your answers do not make any sense.
"what makes a good zombie?"
"outdoor home yard haunting" as an answer??????
Also If someone is not in shape then I would reccommend a zombie as the movement is not as taxing as a faster more animated creature.
Slow moving zombies can be scary as long as they have good timing, Playing a zombie is all about training the audience to think you move at a certain speed and they moving a bit faster right when they think they can get away.
Zombies are great for atmosphere, they have great potential to look awesome and be great comic relief. On the flip side of that they can be truly frightening, The guests are in a room headed twords the exit then zombies appear and start shuffling towards them from the sides, then the lights go out the only light is coming from the exit door. By changing the lighting you have allowed the zombies to change their timing.
Allen H

Phantom Foundry
07-31-2009, 07:24 PM
Since we sell a lot of zombie costumes, I would have to put that near the top ;-)

Movement is just as important, though, and in the "what not to do" category: Actors should remember that zombies don't have to make noise! If an actor can't get a good zombie sound down, then it's much better to keep silent and rely on good movement. Like my mom always said - "if you can't say something scary, don't say anything at all" - which actually goes for ANY character. Nothing ruins a perfect costume and makeup job like a lame monster voice.

PumpkinGIRL
09-06-2009, 12:25 AM
I Agree understaning human anatomy is important to making a good zombe especially when It comes down to the makeup, It's Important to know What is beneath the surface so you can make that appear on the front and make the muscles or wounds look good. Having Your Brains available though is the most important to be a good zombie. HAhA:)

Soul Reaper
02-25-2011, 10:35 AM
What makes a good zombie depends on where the zombie is as far as makeup goes. If the zombie is in good lighting then the makeup job needs to look good. If the zombie is in really low lighting then the makeup does not have the be the best. No since on doing the best most realistice makeup job if it can not be seen. As fast moving zombies have there time and place so do slow moving zombie. They can be play to there full effect in the right spots.
And the most important thing to making a good zombie is the actor. If the actor can not make it believable then you may be wasting time on any makeup job you do. And that is true for any charactor.

Frightener
02-22-2012, 07:28 AM
My wife is terrified of zombies. I think zombies have that effect on a lot of people, just like clowns. Remember those folks? It doesn't make a FLYING FORTICATION WTF HE'S DOING, HE'S THERE AND THEY HATE HIM! lol.

So, my thing is, they kind of have a place no matter what. The people that are really going to be effected by most, don't give a flip if the make up is hot or not. They usually curl up into someone's shoulder and say "GTF away from me" lol.

I think Allen's right. Acting is probably the best. I went to a haunt in missourri one time, some small town haunt, you know, black plastic, the whole 9 yards. Well, the zombie room was TIGHT! I mean, I don't know if they did it on purpose, but when 2 or 3 zombies came from the shadows, there was little light holes in the roof / plastic above that had light shining through them. The zombies walked right through the light, then back out, a few times each. I mean, it was perfect. You could barely see them, then BOOM, light lit up the faces. They had decent make up, for the lighting and the movement was nice. slow and drunk, almost no sounds from them. I think i heard one moan and that was it. The rest was the shuffling of the feet.

The little hottie behind me? Yeah, she was so scared, she didn't let go of me until after we were out, and was still holding onto me. Her boyfriend? He was hanging onto his brother haha. That was a great night. When I got home, I had scratches on my belly and sides from where she was grabbing me and my shirt was gapped. She'd pulled my shirt out, stretched it and she tried hanging onto my pants top...I guess because they didn't move a whole lot lol.

BrotherMysterio
07-11-2012, 01:49 AM
Let's see what these masters have to say about it.

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Darkmaster
07-28-2012, 03:51 PM
My wife is terrified of zombies. I think zombies have that effect on a lot of people, just like clowns. Remember those folks? It doesn't make a FLYING FORTICATION WTF HE'S DOING, HE'S THERE AND THEY HATE HIM! lol.

So, my thing is, they kind of have a place no matter what. The people that are really going to be effected by most, don't give a flip if the make up is hot or not. They usually curl up into someone's shoulder and say "GTF away from me" lol.

I think Allen's right. Acting is probably the best. I went to a haunt in missourri one time, some small town haunt, you know, black plastic, the whole 9 yards. Well, the zombie room was TIGHT! I mean, I don't know if they did it on purpose, but when 2 or 3 zombies came from the shadows, there was little light holes in the roof / plastic above that had light shining through them. The zombies walked right through the light, then back out, a few times each. I mean, it was perfect. You could barely see them, then BOOM, light lit up the faces. They had decent make up, for the lighting and the movement was nice. slow and drunk, almost no sounds from them. I think i heard one moan and that was it. The rest was the shuffling of the feet.

The little hottie behind me? Yeah, she was so scared, she didn't let go of me until after we were out, and was still holding onto me. Her boyfriend? He was hanging onto his brother haha. That was a great night. When I got home, I had scratches on my belly and sides from where she was grabbing me and my shirt was gapped. She'd pulled my shirt out, stretched it and she tried hanging onto my pants top...I guess because they didn't move a whole lot lol.

Nice! Unknown women grabbing you in the dark!

mrfoos
11-09-2012, 06:10 PM
I just ran an all zombie haunted trail for four weekends. We always had about 40 zombies across 1/2 mile of trail. All slow like classic Romero. Not scary? Don't tell that to all the people screaming and wetting themselves. Ok, so you're right... I'm sure zombies aren't the scariest monster. But they can be VERY creepy. Sometimes creepy is all you need for fans hungering for the horror genre.

What made our best zombies? Costume? Acting skills? Hiding spots? Make up? I'd say none of that alone from what I witnessed in my actors. Our best boiled down to one thing: X-factor. They simply were born with "it" whatever "it" is. We were blessed to have a repeat extra from an ultra-popular zombie TV show which I won't name. He wasn't really an actor. He had no training or experience. He really didn't even need a costume or make-up. He turned on his zombie and woo momma was he instantly creepy - like stay-away-from-me-dude creepy. He just had it. Some of the others did too although not as much as him. It was just build into their natural features, posture, eyes and body energy. I don't think the best zombie is something you can build or train. Which is not to say you CAN'T practice or costume your way to a good zombie. But I'm sure you can develop an eye for spotting it in others... maybe before they even know they have it.

God I love talking about zombies. What the hell is wrong with me? lol

Allen H
11-09-2012, 09:10 PM
Mr foos- It is acting skill. You call it X factor-but it boils down to knowing how to move- that is acting. will a differently shaped person need to move in a different way to be scary- absolutely. It is acting skill and it can be trained, refined, and honed. A good acting coach or teacher could make your best zombies better and your bad zombies passable.
Allen H

mrfoos
11-10-2012, 08:24 AM
I think a lot of movie cast directors would disagree. If it was that easy, then more Hollywood actors would just be scooped off the street as nobodies and trained to greatness. Again, not saying you can't teach it... but some people are clearly born with Xfactor you just cant teach. You can only train to move your body to move so much. You can only augment with make up and costume so much (assuming you have a budget). I saw some untrained zombies give a performance that i have never seen in any zombie movie from professional actors.