Return of Fremont's walking dead

More than 100 people dressed as zombies are expected to wander through Fremont on Saturday, July 22, to celebrate the screening of the film "Shaun of the Dead," a Fremont Outdoor Movies event.

"I was definitely inspired by 'Shaun of the Dead,'" said zombie organizer "Cleo Zombie." "I love the zombie genre in general. I've always been a big horror-movie fan."

All tongue-in-cheek

Produced in 2004, "Shaun of the Dead" was directed by Edgar Wright, from an original screenplay by Wright and Simon Pegg, who plays "Shaun," the title character.

Shaun is a 29-year-old who lacks ambition. He works in a dead-end job as the temporary manager of an appliance store, and his longtime girlfriend is fed up with him.

But when the living dead rise in numbers around modern-day London, Shaun must come to the rescue.

"The movie itself is a sort of tongue-in-cheek zombie movie that plays in modern-day Britain," said Outdoor Movies organizer Andrew McMasters. "We saw the film and thought it was very funny and thought it would make a great event."

Cleo Zombie first heard of a zombie walk, in Vancouver in 2004, that drew about 300 people. Last October, she hosted her first zombie walk in Ballard, then Fremont and Capitol Hill.

Participants have ranged in age from toddlers to people in their 60s, who have either heard about the event through word-of-mouth, the Internet or from a flier.

"It really brings people from all different aspects of life," said Cleo Zombie, who dresses in costume a week before the event and hands out fliers to recruit participants.

'Outrageous' dead

The group of zombies will wander from the Fremont Troll at 7:30 p.m. and stroll to the lot at North 35th Street and Phinney Avenue North, where Outdoor Movies take place, by 8:30 p.m.

Those dressed as zombies can win prizes, such as gift certificates to local restaurants and passes to Jet City Improv.

"I really enjoy getting dressed up and helping people with makeup," said Cleo Zombie, who is also a leather jewelry designer. "A zombie is any dead human reanimated, so you could be a cheerleader, you could be a construction worker, you could be anything. But just be dead."

Those interested in participating who do not want to get dressed up may instead volunteer to get "mauled" and wear stickers that say, "Hello, my name is Victim" or "Hello, my name is Eat Me."

"Nothing actually happens to them," Cleo Zombie assured. "It's just something really fun and outrageous."

Cleo Zombie, a Fremont resident herself, added, "This neighborhood is really open and fun for this sort of thing."

An eventful evening

The lot opens at 7:30 p.m., and pre-show events will start at 8 p.m. Some customized hearses will be parked outside of the lot.

The local independent film "Creatures from the Pink Lagoon," a gay zombie flick, will be shown following the screening of "Shaun of the Dead." "Creatures from the Pink Lagoon" recently premiered at Seattle's True International Film Festival.

This is the Fremont Outdoor Cinema's 14th season and Wing-It Productions' sixth year of hosting the series.

Movies run on Saturday nights through Sept. 2. All of the movies include games, contests and pre-show entertainment courtesy of Wing-It Productions.

Hot dogs, popcorn and other refreshments will be for sale. Movie tickets are sold for a suggested donation of $5 per person.

The remaining films include, "Grease," a sing-along, on July 29; "The Manster" on Aug. 5; "March of the Penguins" on Aug. 12; "Bend It Like Beckham" on Aug. 19; "It! The Terror from Outer Space on Aug. 26; and "King Kong" on Sept. 2.

The films on Aug. 19 and 26 ("Twisted Flicks") are "B" movies overdubbed with live music and comic-improv dialogue drawn from audience suggestions and performed by Jet City Improv players.

For more information about the Fremont Outdoor Movies series, call 781-4230 or visit www.fremontoutdoor For more information about the zombie walk, contact Cleo Zombie at[[In-content Ad]]