Article and Photos by: Scott Feinblatt
Wouldn't Ya Like To Be A Zombie Too?
Undead of All Ages Mill About in Downtown Long Beach
|To see MANY additional photos of Long Beach
Zombie Walk, visit the Horror Works Facebook page.
As I continued to recover from the
most extreme and adult haunt I had
visited this Halloween season, Alone, I
found myself surrounded by the
friendliest zombies one could imagine.
Whereas the event features ghouls
with hideous wounds and demented
attitudes, the Long Beach Zombie
Walk is a great excuse for a family
Whereas zombie walks have basically
been around since the year 2000, this
year is the sixth annual Long Beach
event. The Long Beach Zombie Walk
started off as a humble 15 minute walk
along 4th Street; by the year 2011, it
had gained global attention and had
attracted somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 participants. However, despite the name of the event – and
perhaps as a result of the high turnout – it is currently not so much a walk as a block party. From 2 p.m. until
midnight, three city blocks in Downtown Long Beach were sectioned off for the exclusive use of event ticket buyers.
Official attendees were allowed into the three zones, where they
could enjoy live music, wrestling, film screenings, and they
could patronize the event's vendors. Proceeds from the ticket
sales went to Long Beach Cinematheque, a non-profit
organization that holds free outdoor screenings, film festivals
and other events.
What is most interesting about this event is its ironic nature.
Filmmaker George Romero, whose iconic zombie films (two of
which – Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead –
screened at this event) essentially created zombie culture, had
originally envisioned zombies as a metaphor for a society of
“brain dead” automatons. You know...us. People whose lives
rely on what the media tells them and whose identities are
defined by their choices as consumers. Excusing the fact that
many of the vendors were selling zombie and horror themed
products, this was, essentially, a charity event that fostered a
The abundance of children at this event – donning their own
grotesque designs – sets an interesting precedent in
legitimizing horror imagery as a harmless art form in an
otherwise fairly repressive society. I suppose it makes sense
that the event happens in Long Beach, where numerous
tolerant and loving subcultures thrive. It would be lovely to
witness a correlation between the rise in popularity of horrific,
decaying walking corpses and the decline in mindless mob
mentalities. One can always dream, but in the meantime, as long as one can dress up as “one of them”, one can
avoid being singled out and eaten alive.