What a Splendid Morning for Zombie Stroll

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What Sunday street spectacle would creep out a Salt Lake City residentmore than any other? If you said "a gay pride parade" then you probably think that a gun rack is an essential car accessory and you're voting for McCain. Speaking of pasty-faced people who speak incoherently and walk stiffly, want to know what would really freak me out? Hordes of zombies stumbling down the street. The 1st Annual SLC Zombie Walk is coming August 10th and it will devour you.

Photo: Mitch Allen

A list of qualities for a good zombie walk orchestrator might include childhood dreams of the dead walking and a genuine belief that the Zombacolypse will happen. Enter Sarvas, a man who needs only one name, like Prince or Madonnaa man haunted by visions of zombies since youth. "Zombies were and still are the most frightening thing on earth," Sarvas says. When he's not busy surface piercing a tramp stamp on your girlfriend's back or poking your lip with a shiny stud at the new Blue Boutique in Sugarhouse, Sarvas is training for a zombie war...or planning a zombie walk. The virus-like idea was born after he attended his first walk in Portland one year ago. He looked up other walks and said, "Fuck, if Boise, Idaho has one we better have one."

Sarvas had to answer some of the mysteries in his dreams and eventually turned to the most reliable source: zombie movies. "My favorite zombie movies of all time are the Return of the Living Dead I and II. Return of the Living Dead is a spoof of a zombie movie spoof. The zombies talk, and that's where the 'brains' phrase came from." Sarvas found that "in the original zombie movies, zombies really didn't ever eat brains, but those spoofs are where it originated."

Sarvas hopes that the walk will freak out a few Salt Lake City residents. "If anyone can do anything in Salt Lake to make people go 'WTF?' that's all I really care about," Sarvas says, "I definitely want people to be like 'AAAARGHH! Zombies!'" But the devilish Sarvas has a smirk lurking behind his smile and eventually he gives up his real motive. "If a bystander falls down and cries. If I can catch that person with my camera as they're crying." Sarvas gets misty-eyed for a second and looks into the distance with longing and says, "That would be AWESOME." This is a man you can trust to deliver a quality zombie experience.

Zombies also need to know how to be convincing and intimidating. The web is the best resource for a zombie trying to claw its way out of your mortal body. Sarvas suggests the D.I. as an awesome place to find gear to assist in its emergence. Just rip and splatter your second hand duds. I was wondering what makes for a nice splatter batter and Sarvas, as usual, had the answer: "Two bottles of chocolate syrup and one bottle of strawberry [will give] a sweet blood." Avoid the eyes though. Apparently fake blood burns like a mother.

The guest list for this event is huge and stands welcoming. Anyone is invited to participate in the festivities as long as they are "respectful to everyone else and dress like a zombie," Sarvas says. The on-walk transformation is key for a realistic zombie walk. Plan to meet up with friends mid-walk and "turn" them by adding fake blood and raw meat accessories.

Walk participants should meet at 10 a.m. at a specific spot TBA. By 10:30, the walk will commence. Sarvas is hesitant to release to many details out of fear that authorities might get involved. "Anywhere there's fun... cops will be. Maps won't come out until a week before," Sarvas says. For more information about the walk route and the meeting place email slczombiewalk@gmail.com or add them on myspace (www.myspace.com/zombiesinslc).

In preparation for the event Sarvas suggests watching zombie movies and drinking alcoholic or highly caffeinated beverages for 72 hours straight. "Me? Oh, I won't drink water all weekend long and I'll get cramps," he says. To demonstrate, Sarvas channels his inner zombie for 5 seconds and begins to growl.

He definitely knows his material. And he's willing to sacrifice his body. Can you handle it? Do you think you have what it takes to be the walking dead? Know this: if you don't have raw meat hanging out of your pants and you're not smothered in fruity sauce, well, you just aren't zombie material and you can go be lame somewhere else August 10th. BRAINSSSS!