Zombies are everywhere: dead eyes, slack jaws and a complete lack of response to any stimuli that is not living flesh ….
My regular reader will be aware of my interest in the rites of Voodoo and it is from this rich tradition that the legend of Ti-Jean-Zombie springs. In the Haitian version of the mysteries the graveyard is a busy place by night. All manner of dark Loa make their arcane transactions ‘down there’ in order to heat up the action for those of us ‘above’. Baron Samedi will mix venomous potions (for a price) while faithless Erzulie-Scorpion minxes offer lusty satisfactions to the faithful. There are ‘shadow’ births, weddings, and sometimes even funerals.
Someone has to keep the place in order.
It was always TJZ who organised the work teams to care for the grounds of Baron Cimitiere (before the vicious hurricanes came), cut the cane for the sweet-toothed Loa (before the IMF destroyed the entire Haitian sugar cane industry), or keep grave robbers at bay (before the blundering UN troops brought a devastating outbreak of typhoid).
As the West has severely limited the nocturnal activities of TJZ he has, in the noble spirit of revenge, cast his patent spell on their own cultural domain of movies, novels, comics, music and television. All of this has been done in broad daylight and under our very noses over a very long period of time.
From Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead in the nineteen-seventies, right up to the forthcoming multi-million dollar epic World War Z starring Brad Pitt , the walking dead have been constantly adapting their tactics in order to widen their sphere of influence. These canny mother-eaters can now run faster than greyhounds, communicate with each other, and, in some rare cases, absorb information from the brains they eat.
WARNING: the following material includes flagrant namedropping and a shameless plug.
All of which brings me to my involvement with the Zombie Apocalypse project. You just don’t say no to its creator Stephen Jones. He has been for decades the dreadful light burning at the heart of British horror with an uncanny ability to attract world class talent to his literary projects. When he asked me to compose music and effect the sound design for a short animated film written and narrated by Sandman author Neil Gaiman I offered up my services with a black and joyous heart. The result can be seen below:
Zombie Apocalypse was released to great acclaim in 2011 and the short film is being used to promote the second volume in the series Zombie Apocalypse Fightback, which adds an even heftier dose of HP Lovecraft to the zombie mythos and, for my money, knocks the first volume into a cocked hat.
The tale is told through eyewitness reports, text messages, e-mails, blogs, letters, diaries and transcripts. All are written by different genre specialists and woven together by the firm hand of Mr. Jones. I particularly enjoyed the bizarre communication from a feckless community of fashion journalists trapped by revenants in the centre of Paris, which is claustrophobic, disturbing and highly amusing.
It’s always a pleasure to put on the ‘dark suit’, work with talented people, and channel the ancient music from beneath So three weird cheers and a round of Scorpion cocktails for TJZ and his local representative Stephen Jones.More Info