Last year I nearly drove my car off the side of a highway in Louisiana when the call came through informing me the Centers for Disease Control had issued a zombie apocalypse preparedness guide. Here was not only confirmation of everything I had been saying for a year about disaster preparedness and survival, but the first admission by a U.S. government agency that zombies pose a real threat.
Then this past week media reports surfaced that the private security firm HALO Corp. will be providing the U.S. military training on how to manage a zombie apocalypse. Yep, you read it right. Our men and women in uniform will get zombie apocalypse training as part of this year’s counter-terrorism summit.
All the government agencies and bodies listed above have taken great pains to point out that the zombies they are preparing for are only metaphors, and that the advice and skills they’re developing are actually intended for use in cases of real world natural or mad-made disasters.
But we here at Zombie Survival Crew can’t help but wonder if the government knows something we don’t. We’ve asked all our Commanders to adopt a hyper-vigilant stance and keep their eyes open for suspicious activities. We urge you all to do the same…
From the mobile unit of ZSC Commander-in-Chief, Juliette Terzieff, with special guest Gary Streiner:
When we think of iconic horror movie moments it isn’t long before visions of Bill Hinzman lurching through the Evans City Cemetery towards unsuspecting siblings Barbra and Johnny in the 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead float to the top. Like the gruesome murder of Janet Leigh in the infamous Psycho shower scene, or Linda Blair’s impossible head gymnastics in The Exorcist, the image of that first modern-era zombie seeking out a meal remains a favorite of horror fans around the globe.
George Romero’s black and white masterpiece is legend. A singular piece of filmmaking that has inspired generations of writers, artists, musicians, actors and filmmakers to probe through decaying flesh in search of the monster inside us all.
Night of the Living Dead fans and members of the movie’s production crew have joined forces in a labor of love to save the chapel featured in the movie’s opening sequence—which happens to be the last original building from the movie that still stands. The Evans City Chapel hasn’t been in use for decades, except as a storage shed, and is facing the wrecking ball.
Over the last year my guest today, Gary Streiner, NOTLD’s sound engineer and brother of Russ Streiner who played Johnny, has been helping drive a campaign to save the chapel. In that time Fix the Chapel has raised almost $50,000, inspired videos and given birth to an anthology Stories from the Chapel.
But the battle is not won yet. Even if the campaign successfully raises the fund’s required by the cemetery association to prevent a demolition, campaigners will be in place to help oversee the repairs.
Able to leap a convenience store counter in a single bound, more powerful than a Zombie Energizer Bunny on a double-shot espresso, our Commander-in-Chief and Red Brigade Commander Juliette Terzieff weaves the perfect balance of sass and class, compassion and humor, gentleness and strength. Most importantly, she never leaves home without a crossbow somewhere in the back seat, and usually knows where to find a roll of duct tape. A former foreign war correspondent with combat training, journalist, fiction and non-fiction writer, public speaker, and self-described “avid monster freak from birth,” Juliette is a force to be reckoned with, and there is not a single person on the planet better suited to lead us forward in the coming days.
Juliette with Sgt at Arms Lora Lapoint
Before the formation of the Zombie Survival Crew, Juliette could be found in various locations all over the world, including war zones in the Balkan, South Asian, and Middle East regions, flexing her journalist muscle to cover complex political, globalization and human rights issues. Her website will tell you that she is a public speaker who has covered a wide range of topics from human trafficking and child labor to American politics and international relations. We’ve read her in Newsweek and the San Francisco Chronicle, heard her live on CNN International and All American Talk Radio. Recently she was interviewed by Alternative Revolt (page 60-62), Dark Media City and The Throw Down with JB Maddawg. Juliette writes and edits newsletters for Smartbrief on development, humanitarian aid, public health concerns and international policy; and heads up the communications team for the Future 500, headquartered out of San Fransisco and Tokyo. Most importantly, she works tirelessly to organize and lead fellow ZSC Commanders Michael Rooker, IronE Singleton, Neil Brown, Jr and dozens of other actors, writers and musicians in preparation for the dark days to come.
With Green Brigade Commander IronE Singleton
Our fearless leader has been busy lately. Over the last year her travels have carried her North, South, East and West on missions too numerous to count. From Canada to Texas, Kentucky, Florida, Virginia and Philadelphia, Juliette has scouted new recruits far and wide. She participated in the Run for Your Lives 5K race with Green Brigade Commander Irone Singleton in March of 2012, and more recently completed a mission in Cherry Hill, New Jersey despite numerous failed attempts by the UGA to place tracking devices on her vehicle. Fortunately, Juliette was not alone in this particular mission, and her loyal recruits foiled the UGA’s plot by relocating the vehicle at twice a day.
Juliette is currently on a very special mission in the South. While we are not able to divulge the exact nature of this mission (she forgot to tell us), we have learned that she has successfully tracked and located a rarely-seen wild rooker in the Atlanta area, and was able to secure a steady southern-style food supply while away from ZSC Command. Whatever her goal on this mission, we are confident that she will succeed and remain watchful for her next update.
If you are just now joining us for this series, please check out our other Commander Monday reports!
A shambling horde descended on Dallas, Texas early Friday morning. They moaned, groaned, and went in search of the nearest source of caffeine. Then the fans started pouring in. Your brave commanders roused from their jet lag and sprang into action.
Texas Frightmare Weekend brought us face to face with a lot of die-hard horror fans—many of who came up to the tables and wowed us with their amazing costumes. I will admit to jumping any time a zombie shuffled by or stopped to speak with commanders IronE Singleton and Michael Rooker. However, we were assured that these particular zombies were more interested in speaking with us than eating us. (Juliette cuddled her trusty crossbow in preparation for an attack, nonetheless. My plan involved ducking behind our Special Forces commander. Have you seen the way he fights? Dang!)
Friday night we met with potential ZSC recruits until horses turned back into mice and our coach became a pumpkin. Everyone seemed very eager to chat about proper zombie-slaying etiquette (Always double-tap!) and we even learned a few new techniques. Color this commander impressed. Texas breeds good recruits, folks. Though I must say the funniest part of the night came after we said goodbye to everyone and settled down to eat a late dinner. Juliette flipped through her photos to see what she got and realized that Tom Towles photobombed IronE. He is an outstanding individual…with great comic timing. We’re still giggling.
The following morning, we were back in the swing of things. More jaw-dropping costumes came in through the doors. By the time we got over the shock of how cool they were and how kind the fans were, it was time for the Walking Dead panel. I’ve never in my life seen so many people cram into a room to sit through a panel. Every seat was filled and folks lined up three-deep along the walls. Rooker, IronE, Reedus, Madison, and Chandler fed off of the energy coming from eager fans and gave them a lot of insight into the show. That was after Rooker hosted an impromptu fight demo backstage, teaching us how to use our elbows for defense and attack. See guys, we never stop learning new things to keep you all safe during the Zombiepocalypse.
Our Saturday ended with hula-hoops, terrifying folks in elevators, and exhaustion nipping at our heels, but it was worth it to see so many smiling faces during the day.
I like to imagine Sunday mornings at all cons are what would happen if someone yanked the rings out of a circus in the middle of all the nifty animal tricks. Tigers, elephants, and zebras run amok in a mass of confusion. Inevitably one or two get lost in the panicked crowd. Yeah, you guessed it. We managed to “misplace” some of the commanders. No, they weren’t hiding in the coffee shop on the lobby floor. They were recovered later in the day with no explanation, nor recollection about where they’d been. Possible UGA interference? I think so. This served as a stark reminder that while things have been quiet, never drop your guard.
Parting from our fellow ZSC commanders is never easy, but we made sure everyone arrived safely to their various modes of transport to [classified locations].
We would like to extend a huge amount of gratitude to the folks running Texas Frightmare Weekend and their staff, who worked tirelessly to make sure we had everything we needed. Special thanks to Nic and James (Cowboy) for being by our sides the entire weekend without running scared. And of course, our last thank you goes to the ZSC brigadiers and potential recruits that we saw over the weekend. You were all so wonderful. We can’t wait to visit Dallas again.
Our next Zombie Survival Crew event is Spooky Empire’s May-Hem May 25th – 27th in Orlando, FL.
Bonus! I asked a few people what is in their go bag. Nic, one of our volunteers, told me what his wife, Kim, wanted in hers. It made me laugh so hard, I just had to add it to the con rundown.
Hang on to your hats! Convention season is in full swing for your Zombie Survival Crew commanders. So far we’ve scouted new troops in Albuquerque, New Jersey, Virginia Beach, and Calgary. Our next stop puts us in Dallas, TX for Texas Frightmare Weekend. How many loyal brigadiers will we see there?
The brave Commanders attending Texas Frightmare are:
We’ll be holding a brand new Con-test during the Saturday and Sunday of Texas Frightmare! The zombie bunnies RC keeps as pets in the Command Center have escaped and we think some of them stowed away in her luggage. Find the zombie bunny hiding on the ZSC table and win something special from us!
One prize per day, so you better be quick! Never know where the zombie bunnies will show up…
If you are following us on Twitter (@TheZSC) you’ve probably noticed that we’re creeping up on 2,000 followers over there. Pass the word along to your friends, family—anyone you want to be safe and secure when the Zombiepocalypse begins. When we reach 2,000 Twitter followers, we’ll pick a random follower to win a signed copy of our first anthology, Undead is Not an Option!
From Alternative Revolt: The Zombie Survival Crew is much more than a fan site for fans of the undead. Oh no, it is much more than that. This site provides an organized disaster response plan, strategy, and communication network for times of crisis.
To read more, go to the link below. Note the ZSC mention on the front page. To navigate to the article, click the Go To Page button at the bottom of the widget, type the number 60 in the red-ringed box to the right of the button, and click the Go To Page button again. Above the article page, the left-hand icon will zoom the page to actual size to make reading easier.
Albuquerque Comic Con set the bar pretty high for our 2012 convention season. Before I forget, we have to thank Jim, Cody, Alfred, and the small army of volunteers that took care of us during three very, very crazy days (and one very special 11-year-old girl who was Jinxie’s helper throughout the weekend). Without them, your brave commanders would’ve ended up hiding under a table or trying to melt snow to obtain drinking water.
Wait . . . snow?
Yes, you read that right. When Juliette, Jinxie, and I got to town, we were greeted by a sight very few of your commanders have seen lately—snow on the ground. There wasn’t much—or we’d probably have snowball fight pictures for the gallery—but there was enough to make it really cold. Thankfully, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino stayed toasty warm over the course of the con.
On to the fun parts!
We invaded the Hard Rock Friday morning with Neil, Anthony, Noel G., and Madison Lintz. As soon as the tables were set, a sea of folks swept over the convention center. I’m not even sure how many people we talked to that day. There were a lot of them and they were all So Friggin’ Nice. The highlight of that afternoon came when Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation) paid us a surprise visit. I’ll tell you right now, it is nearly impossible to render Jinxie and me speechless. He managed to do so by saying, “Hi.” Before you all groan and disown us, we did rally and had a nice little chat with him.
Friday night we learned the secret to turning Juliette into a giddy little girl (Jinxie side note: which was hysterical). No, I won’t divulge what did the trick. (Did you really think I would? She travels with a crossbow!) After we calmed her down, we hung out and met even more new folks including Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries) and Rachael Leigh Cook (She’s All That). It seemed to be the theme for the weekend—meeting really awesome people. The secondary theme was not being able to keep Juliette in one spot for more than ten seconds.
What do you mean that’s normal? No one can have that much energy!
Saturday, the floodgates opened in the Hard Rock Hotel. You think I’m kidding, but at one point we couldn’t see anything across the hall from the ZSC/Walking Dead table. Except Waldo. He’s getting really bad at hiding these days. Juliette, however, is a pro at hiding and somehow managed to disappear before Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk) paid us a visit. No cha-cha this year.
When we weren’t communicating with potential ZSC members, we ambushed cosplayers. Twice on Saturday the tables were turned, forcing Jinxie and I to save Anthony from having his face chewed off by the undead. His survival training needs to be refreshed. Obviously he’s forgotten the difference between fans, crewmembers, and friggin’ zombies! The smell is the key, dude. Just sayin’.
On Sunday, it became impossible to tell which of us at the table were walkers, and which were zombie slayers. The general consensus was the universe didn’t contain enough coffee to keep us going. Then a strange thing happened, once the fans started coming in, their energy gave us a kick in the backside. If we haven’t said it before, I’m saying it now: we could not continue to survive long convention weekends without you, the fans and crewmembers that stop by to visit with us. Thank you!
The hardest part of any con weekend is saying goodbye. We saw Neil and Noel G. off on a safe flight back home. The rest of us stayed another night and had a nice, calm, quiet dinner . . . okay, I can’t keep a straight face on that one. We weren’t quiet at all as we shared funny stories around the table. It made for an awesome way to wrap up the chaos in Albuquerque.
The story doesn’t end there. Keep an eye out for my travel post. You’ll learn what happens when two of your commanders take a road trip through the desert.
Missed out on the action in Albuquerque? Our next live appearance will be at Monster Mania 21 on March 9-11th in Cherry Hill, NJ.
We’ve been lost in a fog of The Walking Dead withdrawal since the mid-season break began in November. With weeks still ahead of us until episodes resume on AMC February 12th, hope seemed impossible. That was until we received a coded message offering support during these tough times.
Last October, Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansigna released the novel, The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor. And now we’ve been given a chance to share a clip of the audiobook, read by Fred Berman.
“Following in the footsteps of the New York Times bestselling graphic novels and the record-breaking new television show, this debut novel in a trilogy of original Walking Dead books chronicles the back story of the comic book series greatest villain, The Governor.
In The Walking Dead universe, there is no greater villain than The Governor. The despot who runs the walled-off town of Woodbury, he has his own sick sense of justice: whether it’s forcing prisoners to battle zombies in an arena for the townspeople’s amusement, or chopping off the appendages of those who cross him. The Governor was voted “Villain of the Year” by Wizard Magazine the year he debuted, and his story arc was the most controversial arc in the history of The Walking Dead comic book series. Now, for the first time, fans of The Walking Dead will discover how The Governor became the man he is, and what drove him to such extremes.”
Hopefully this clip will tide us all over until the mid-season premiere. Enjoy!
Crafting preparation plans for the onset of the zombiepocalypse or global cataclysmic event requires the assembly of a top notch team of capable minds and bodies. So when Light Blue Brigade Commander Anthony Guajardo approached your Commander-in-chief with the possibility of a keen investigator and strategic thinker famous for taking on thing that go bump in the night, I jumped at the chance.
As a paranormal investigator for Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International, Britt Griffith is a perfect addition to our Zombie Survival Crew Special Forces team. His years of investigative endeavors give Britt a unique skill set that is integral to facing a cataclysmic event with the tools needed to survive!
Zombie Survival Crew please raise your weapons and welcome our newest commander BRITT GRIFFITH!!!!!
On a recent foray into the Atlanta area, Commander Todd took time out from battle to deliver a PSA chock full of zombie killing tips. Pay close attention troops, Tony has come face-to-face with the shambling hordes and he knows exactly what it takes to survive.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an uncontrollable craving for candy I need to address….