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Zombies A-Z: Your brainy guide

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On Friday, Oct. 2, the cast and crew of Zombieland theater-hopped across Los Angeles to find out who, if anyone, was seeing their horror comedy on opening night. ”Is this going to be a disaster?” wondered Woody Harrelson. Hardly. By the end of its first weekend, Zombieland had sunk its teeth into $24.7 million — a bloody box office feast…and perhaps a turning point for zombie movies. What was once little more than an entrail-strewn footnote to the horror genre with a hardcore fan base of convention-attending, Fangoria-reading, and, yes, mostly male devotees seems to have officially gone mainstream. But whether Harrelson’s movie is your first juicy taste of zombie mayhem or your hundredth, you’ll want to devour our encyclopedia of all things undead. Read on…if you dare!

A IS FOR ANDREW,
the disappointingly mundane middle name of George A. Romero, the mad maestro behind 1968’s Night of the Living Dead and its five (so far!) sequels.

B IS FOR BRAINS
While your average zombie will happily nosh on arms, legs, or intestines (be they upper or lower), 1985’s Return of the Living Dead singled out this sweetmeat as their repast of choice.

C IS FOR COMIC BOOKS
AMC is developing a show based on the comic The Walking Dead. The giddy, gory Marvel Zombies has proven that even superheroes get cravings. Hulk…eat…brains!

D IS FOR DEAD
If it’s a zombie movie, there’s a good chance it has this word in the title. See: Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, and…

E IS FOR EROTIC NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD
Think you can’t mix ’80s soft-core porn and zombies? Think again.

F IS FOR FULCI
As in Lucio Fulci, Italian gore-teur whose infamous 1980 epic Zombie, a.k.a. Zombie Flesh Eaters, a.k.a. Zombi 2, featured an unforgettably awesome underwater smackdown between a pasty-faced zombie and a real live shark.

G IS FOR GOBLIN,
the colorfully named prog-rock band who performed the doom-drenched soundtrack to the European version of the 1978 classic Dawn of the Dead.

H IS FOR HEAD SHOT
How do you kill a zombie? Well, you can try kindness. But we’d suggest shooting it in the head.

I IS FOR iPHONE
Can you really put a price on preparedness for the inevitable zombie apocalypse? Of course not! So why not cough up 99 cents for the Zombie Survival Kit iPhone app?

J IS FOR JACKSON, PETER
Sure, we all think of the hirsute Kiwi director as the visionary behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But before he got rich and respectable, he was a zombie nerd. Exhibit A: his gooey 1993 cheapie Dead Alive, a.k.a. Braindead.

K IS FOR KARO SYRUP,
the key ingredient in fake movie blood for any makeup F/X artist (see ”S is for Savini”). Essential for splatter and viscosity.

L IS FOR LAND OF THE DEAD
Usually a ghetto for no-name actors, the zombie genre got a dose of A-list (okay, maybe B-list) cachet with 2005’s Land of the Dead, which starred Dennis Hopper, John Leguizamo, and the dude from The Mentalist.

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