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The living dead haunts Whistler

Heavy Hitting Films producers Feet Banks and Chili Thom host first Zombie Walk for film footage for the B Grade Horrorfest



What: Whistler Zombie Walk

When: Sunday, Oct. 14, 8 p.m.

Where: Garibaldi Lift Company, Tommy Africa’s

Admission: Free

Get ready for one Thriller night with B Grade Horror Fest founders Feet Banks and Chili Thom recruiting all zombies to revive Michael Jackson’s famous ghoulish dance moves at the first annual Whistler Zombie Walk on Sunday, Oct. 14 throughout Whistler.

“They should be walking like no normal human would ever walk,” Thom said.

“People should dress up like zombies, a.k.a. the living dead, with torn half-rotten clothing, grey decomposing skin, hallow eyes and bloody mouths,” Banks said. “Zombies eat the living, so don’t be afraid to pour some blood onto yourself and there will be some feasting on live flesh as well, hopefully.”

The Zombie Walk pre-party will be from 8 to 9 p.m. at the Garibaldi Lift Company then walk through Whistler Village with a few refreshment stops. The ghastly gang will set up camp with DJ Green Jesus (a.k.a. Chili Thom) at Tommy Africa’s, where fiends will dance the night away and learn a few Thriller moves to round out the night.

In addition to zombies, victims willing to be “killed” as well as get covered in blood will be needed. Make up artists will be on hand to help people shapeshift into fiends.

Cameras will be rolling the whole night. Banks and Thom organized the evening to round up some frightening footage for their sixth annual Heavy Hitting B-Grade Horrorfest, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. at MY Millennium Place.

The B-Grade Horrorfest challenges horror fans to delve into the chocolate sauce-blood craze to create five to 15 minute short films produced in the style of the 1950s and ’60s horror film genre made famous by classics such as Devil Girl From Mars and Door to Door Maniac. These horrific flicks are anything but the standard Hollywood blockbusters. B-grades are all about making a film on a nickel and dime budget and packing in as many horror film clichés as possible, including aliens, monsters, murderers, blood, guts, token nudity and, of course, zombies.

“We’ve done vampires, killer pom poms and lake monsters, so zombies seemed like the next logical thing,” Thom said.

More than a dozen filmmaking crews have already signed on to this year’s event and there is still time to sign up for this favourite Halloween pastime. Anything goes for B-grade horror, which may leave audiences with their arm hair standing on end or splitting a gut at lowbrow humour.

“Horror is cool because fear, as an emotion, is somewhat universal,” Banks said. “We’re all so different (in our tastes for comedy and love), but take almost anyone, put them in a dark house with a homicidal maniac wielding a chainsaw and they’ll be shitting themselves. Certain things are scary to almost everyone, and that is why the horror genre is still alive and kicking.”

Laughs, as opposed to screams, generally dominate the festival screenings, but it’s the bone chillers that have taken Best of Show in past years.

The winning filmmaker walks home with bragging rights, cash and the Skull of Horror — the festival’s infamous silver skull trophy that opens to reveal a hidden rye bottle and six shot glasses. Prizes are also awarded for Best Actor and Best Actress.

Tickets for this popular festival usually sell out within hours. Every year organizers up the ante. This year a horror art show will be hosted in the theatre foyer for audiences to browse before heading into the main presentation.

“It’s been building,” Thom said. “We get more sponsors every year. Filmmakers are stepping it up. Teams paying attention to what happened the year before are learning from that and every year the films are stepped up a little, especially for people who keep making them year after year.”

To submit a short fright, contact Banks at feet@heavyhitting.com .

Tickets for the B Grade Horrorfest go on sale Monday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. at MY Millennium Place.

For $15 tickets, call 604-935-8410.

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