2013 Brooklyn Zombie Crawl: Bloody hell!
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Zombies are returning to Williamsburg on June 2 for another Zombie Apocalypse and it’s not gonna be pretty.
Hoards of Zombie-wannabes will meet at the Knitting Factory, a Williamsburg bar, to get bloody. Professional zombie technicians -- for a fee -- will make participants’ eyeballs appear to leak out of their heads and cut their hearts out.
Then the apocalypse begins as the zombies surge onto Bedford Avenue and stagger to McCarren Park for a photo op and, as the organizers put it, “zombie fun and games.” This will be followed by bar-hopping and a Zombie Crawl after-party, with ghoulish musical groups and “flesh pulls from DisGraCeLand Hook Squad.”
A very quick glance at DisGraCeLand Family Freakshow’s website reveals, “The DisGraceLanD Hook Squad is committed to presenting modern day flesh suspensions in the rawest, most primal way possible.” In other words, they hang themselves from (real) hooks stuck through their flesh. Other dangerous and painful events are promised.
The organizers of the NYC Zombie Crawl (tagline: “When there is no more booze in Hell, the Dead will walk the Earth…”) say their group is “an organization concerned primarily with the rejuvenation of the living dead by means of feasting upon human flesh.”
Two questions: Why zombies? Why now?
For the past five years or so zombies have been freakishly popular – beating out even elegant vampires and huggable werewolves. Zombie crawls, zombie costumes and zombie-themed movies and literature infuse the culture. Even Sportsman’s Warehouse markets an entire line of “zombie survival gear” – including weapons, first aid and zombie-ready ammo.
What’s going on?
Do the living dead resonate with today’s culture of war, pandemics and constant crises? Or are zombies just more hipster nonsense -– like building forts out of couch cushions.
We asked Doug Sakmann, ringleader of the NYC Zombie Crawl, for his opinion. The answer, he told the Brooklyn Eagle, is “multifaceted.”
“We at the NYC Zombie Crawl feel that zombies have always been in the back of the public consciousness. It seems they are everywhere now because Hollywood has picked up on the next big thing, but out of all the horror creations, zombies are something that humans can relate to the closest,” Sakmann explained.
“What happens when we die? Is there hope for life after death? There are zombie parasites in nature that control their host after death; could it perhaps evolve to control humans? These are all questions that could be answered by a zombie apocalypse,” he said.
While zombie crawls may look like beer-fueled tomfoolery, Sakmann says there’s a greater meaning to the madness.
“Zombies as a whole are sort of a social commentary on the way people are controlled by through the mindless masses. There are six major media conglomerates that control everything we see and hear through mass media, and the majority of us follow along blindly, in essence becoming zombies.
“By hosting these zombie crawls,” he said, “we aim to snap the general public out of their brainwashed state by giving them something that does not conform to the status quo.”