Now that the ghouls of public disorder at the Halloween revelry on State Street look to be departing thanks to the tuneful sounds of pop-punk and college-jam bands at Freakfest, a new menace is rising in Madison to disturb the scary season. These would be zombies, of course, creatures of ill repute that have enjoyed an increasing number of outbreaks in print and on screen recently, and have been spotted lurching around the isthmus over the last few years. At least two infestations are projected for October, the first for a music video shoot by The Zombeatles at The Frequency on Sunday, and the second being the annual lurch from the Capitol to Memorial Union at the end of the month.
Reanimating for the first time four years ago, The Zombeatles are the seasonal alter-ego of longtime Madison faves The Gomers, who don the rotting personas of Jaw Lennon, Pall IcKartney, Gorge Harryson and Dingo Scarr each Halloween for live performances as the undead Liverpudlian superstars known as the Fab Gore. Back in 2006, created a music video for their monster single "A Hard's Day Night of the Living Dead," and was selected last year by Rob Zombie as part of an online video collection to Halloween. With Zombeatlemania growing, the group is surfacing early this season for a video shoot at The Frequency on Sunday, October 5.
Aspiring undead are encouraged to stop by the music venue just off Capitol Square around noon to appear the zombie mockumentary, The Zombeatles: All You Need is Brains As declared in an announcement seeking extras for z-roll: "This is your chance to have your most ragged clothing and your most ghoulish, undead makeup immortalized in the film that is being described as Night of the Living Dead meets This Is Spinal Tap."
The shoot will be hosted by Angus MacAbre, a zombie comedian from Scotland who shambled into Madison last year. This character is the creation of WPR producer Doug Gordon, who has performed stand-up in the guise of the undead wag, and has since been busy working on a book proposal for Angus MacAbre's Zomnibus, which features books-within-a-book such as To Serve Man: The Zombie Gourmet Cookbook and Eat Prey, Love: One Zombie's Search for Every Body Across Ireland, Iceland and the International House of Pancakes.
Back in May, Gordon cooked up an idea with The Gomers to revive The Zombeatles once again for the silver screen. "It builds upon the Gomers/Zombeatles video by further developing the same kind of parallel universe that I've created for Angus MacAbre," he explains about the mockumentary, "in which zombies have now taken over the world and evolved in a Darwinian fashion to the point that they can think, talk and have their own zombified world of popular culture."
A clash of cultures can still be found every autumn during the zombie lurch down State Street, when Wisconsin Badgers football fans and evangelizing Christian fundamentalists encounter scores of undead making their way from the Wisconsin Capitol to the Memorial Union Terrace on the UW campus. First emerging in 2005 and then reanimated in 2007, this fad turned annual event finds fans of zombie culture donning rotting duds and plenty of make-up for a bit of pre-Halloween street theater.
Like last year, the Madison Halloween zombie lurch is being organized under the guise of COLD, or Coalition of the Living Dead, as a protest for undead rights. Supporters are encouraged to bring signs and slogans to the Capitol for the march, starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 25. "We will raise our voices and we will not be ignored," declare organizers in an announcement about the lurch, which they hope will outdo the infestation seen last year. Perhaps if the shoot for The Zombeatles doc takes off, the invasion will grow from there.
Now all Madison needs is a zombie prom.