Zombie is the new black | PostIndependent.com

Zombie is the new black

April E. Clark
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April in Glenwood

There’s nothing loveable about them. They stink. They lack manners. And they eat brains.

No Dad, I’m not talking about my ex-boyfriends.

It’s that time of year again, Halloween, when the fun of dressing up as the latest pop culture icon or scary monster is as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids. Actually, I think I’ve had more fun dressing up as a grown-up because of the attention to detail adult costumes often entail. Especially when going as a zombie version of “Toddlers and Tiaras” this year.

The green sequin dress really made the costume.

Zombies may smell bad and can be real jerks at the dinner table, but that doesn’t mean America doesn’t love them. They are running rampant through city streets nationwide these days. Over the pre-Halloween weekend, even little Carbondale experienced a walking dead invasion with a zombie-themed concert and party.

And just last week, Denver hosted a Guinness Book of World Records-breaking zombie crawl with somewhere between 14,000 and 16,000 dead men, women and children lethargically stumbling down the 16th Street Mall.

Now that’s scary.

Zombies are all the rage, starring in TV shows such as “The Walking Dead” on AMC and countless big-screen features. Many zombie experts warn of an apocalypse where the walking dead outnumber the living and take over the world.

It could happen.

The zombie-centric genre really got its start in 1968 with George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead,” a movie I remember watching as a kid. My dad’s a huge horror-flick fan so I’ve had an appreciation of scary movies for as long as I can remember. As a kid growing up near Indianapolis, my family and I would watch horror flicks on Friday nights on Channel 4.

The host of Friday night’s “Nightmare Theater” was Sammy Terry. He looked sort of like a cross between a creepy vampire and the Wicked Witch of the West (at least the green face part) and he scared the living daylights out of me, as the saying goes.

“Scared the dead daylights out of me” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Each Friday, Sammy Terry would come out of his coffin, which I apparently called his toy box – to the amusement of my parents – and would announce old-school horror movies such as “Night of the Living Dead” and “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” He had a sinister laugh and a pet spider named George who also scared the living daylights out of me, even though the spider was obviously not real.

Never mind that string hanging from the ceiling.

We would stay up late watching Sammy Terry, George, and black-and-white movies that probably gave me nightmares about zombies, ghosts, goblins and vampires. But I didn’t mind. Being scared is the fun part.

I’ve always loved the fright even though, ironically, I’m a big scaredy cat. Ghosts freak me out, especially the kind that live in old Colorado hotels. I often find myself scared in the shower thanks to the classic thriller “Psycho.” And, like Rockwell, anytime I’m in a cemetery I feel like somebody’s watching me.

Especially Sammy Terry.

The Wicked Witch and her creepy flying monkeys did a number on my psyche in “The Wizard of Oz.” In high school, my best friend Misty and I had a “Friday the 13th” marathon at her house that was more traumatizing than we expected. Jason sans hockey mask, with just a sack over his head, is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.

OK, second to Sammy Terry.

I remember seeing one of “Alien” movies in the theatre, and being scared out of my wits the first time I ever watched Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. I’ve always believed the plot to “Poltergeist” could really happen and that the twin girls in the “The Shining” are more than just made-up characters in a movie.

That is what is fun about Halloween, dressing up like a zombie, and watching scary movie marathons. Who really knows what hides in the darkness? Let’s hope it’s not hungry zombies.

Or Sammy Terry.

April E. Clark will pass on the sexy Halloween costume. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter at @aprilinglenwood.

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