The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Welcome to the ZRC Blog

We hope you'll find this blog an educational, entertaining, and inspiring source of information, whether you're recently undead, a long-time member of the differently animated, or a still-living friend of your fallen, yet risen again, brethren. Everyone with an interest in zombie rights is welcome!

November 2015
« Oct    

ZRC Reviews: Marvel Zombies vs. Age of Ultron

Posted By on November 3, 2015

Believe it or not, there is more than one Battleworld event comic featuring the oppression of the Differently Animated. This time the ZRC is looking at Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies.


You may recall from our last review that the Marvel Comics Multiverse is now collapsed into one giant, expansive world full of dangerous and mysterious regions. Feels a bit like early 20th century fantasy; Robert E. Howard or Jack Vance. In fact, Battleworld has its own explicitly similar region to those stories, entitled ‘Weirdworld‘, so I know it’s not just me thinking this.

But back to the Zombies. As previously discussed, the Marvel Zombies are cruelly being held behind The Shield, a massive stone fortification to the South of Battleworld.

It has yet to be discussed how this functions in a world where so many of the Zombies can fly, but…

At any rate, to the South of the wall, it’s not just Zombies. There’s a whole world’s worth of killer androids made by Ultron, who you may remember from a recent summer blockbuster.

They dislike organic life. Naturally they do not get along with the Undead. Tragic, really, given their shared oppressors.


Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies is very much a first issue, briefly sketching out the world and telling us how two Living characters end up exiled south of the Shield for Zombies to eat or robots to vaporize. Cue complaints about how there always has to be a Living character or the audience cannot empathize…


But the comic is over almost as soon as it begun.

A few things can be observed, between this first issue and the first issue of Marvel Zombies Battleworld we looked at last time. One is that this is not a very heroic world at all, despite all the alleged heroes! Apparently they routinely ‘exile’ their dissidents, even children if Elsa is to be believed, beyond the Shield to be killed.

But the ZOMBIES are the bad guys. Supposedly.

Hmm. Somehow, we don’t buy it.

The Zombie Rights Campaign rates Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #1 as Living Supremacist.

ZRC Reviews: Marvel Zombies Battleworld #1

Posted By on November 3, 2015

We’ve had a long and troubled history with Marvel Zombies here at The Zombie Rights Campaign. As one might expect from a phenomenon shepherded toward mass popularity in part by none other than Robert Kirkman of Walking Dead infamy.

Marvel Comics isn’t about to let a little thing like a grand reshuffle of their entire line of sequential art stop them from pushing some graphically violent Anti-Zombie stories, however, and so they present to us…

Marvel Zombies Battleworld.


For those not in the know, Marvel, at least in their dead tree and not-cinematic universe, has a long history of alternate worlds. So many, in fact, that they are referred to with multi-digit designations; the one you’re most familiar with, complete with the iconic versions of Thor, Spiderman, the X-Men and the like, is Earth-616, but there are numerous others.

Well, there were. Now they are all smashed together in one enormous quasi-planet, ruled, apparently, by Doctor Doom.

But what of the universes overrun by people (allegedly) hostile to all other forms of life? Like the Marvel Zombies?

Well, they get exiled to the giant global south, behind an enormous wall called The Shield.

And some really unpleasant sorts guard that wall. Like Elsa Bloodstone, the alleged heroine of this comic.


Elsa gets overconfident while fighting a Zombie revolutionary and ends up far South of the Shield. She teams up with a human child and sets off, first to try and reach her posting, but then on a grander adventure to find out what lies at the edge of the world, in Here be Dragons territory.

All the while verbally savaging anyone vulnerable enough to be in her path, whether they be dying subordinates, wayward human waifs, or of course, the Undead.

And being Marvel Zombies, she just HAS to slaugther a lot of the Undead after demeaning them.

It’s not a promising start, and one The Zombie Rights Campaign rates as thoroughly Living Supremacist.

ZRC Review: Zombie Dice from Steve Jackson Games

Posted By on October 18, 2015

The ZRC likes games you can play on a convention floor, and so we had ‘Zombie Dice’ from Steve Jackson Games recommended to us at many a convention.


Well, now we’ve tried it!

It’s not kind to Zombies.

The rules are simple enough. You have 13 total dice, and a dice cup. You pick 3 out of the cup at random, and roll those. You keep the brains and shotgun blasts you get, but get to roll the ‘feet’ dice again, along with however many random dice you need to get to 3 each time. This iterates until you accumulate 3 shotgun blasts or quit. Unless someone reaches 13 brains, at which point you finish the round, tally up scores, and highest brains count wins.

Meanwhile as one might expect, 3 shotgun blasts is bad. You lose all your brains if you get there.

The dice come in three colors, green, yellow, and red, with a progressively higher shotgun-to-delicious brains ratio in that order.

So a roll could go something like this, for one player. I rolled my first 3 dice and got a shotgun blast, a brain and a foot.


I foolishly decided to roll again, using that foot and two new dice…


Oops. My character, a poor, defenseless, hungry Zombie, is now deceased. Again.

So how is this game in terms of Zombie Rights? Honestly it’s a bit disturbing how abstract it makes the experience of surviving rampant Anti-Zombie violence in society. The Unlives of the hungry Undead searching for sustenance in a hostile world is reduced to pure mechanics, simulating the probability that they will meet a tragic end.

Mere gambling with virtual Zombie unlife, if you will.

Meanwhile of course the best outcome the Zombies can hope for is another day of toil, struggle, and desperate attempt to obtain food while avoiding gunfire.

That’s no way to Un-Live, and it’s not the sort of escapist fun the Zombie Rights Campaign can endorse.

The Zombie Rights Campaign therefore rates ‘Zombie Dice’ from Steve Jackson Games as Anti-Zombie.

Random Items from the ZRC Files

Posted By on October 18, 2015

Over the years I was in law school the ZRC acquired, or was given, a wide range of Zombie merchandise and memorabilia, not all of which was usefully reviewed. Oops.

But there’s no time like the present to delve into the archives/clear out my desk drawers and see some of the odder things our culture is making about Zombies lately!

A Soft, Yarny Zombie Keychain!


This jolly fellow appears to be a rare two-headed Undead individual. Which we support.

Not so sure about this negative copy on the back of the box though.


Zombies are a ‘mindless’ bunch? We hardly think so.

Moving on…

Zombie Lip Balm! Or as the label describes it, ‘Lip Embalm’


The ZRC approves of this product. As we all should be aware, Zombie skincare is crucial, and hydration is essential to keep one’s Undead self preserved.

Zombie Stickers!!




Some of these are witty, but many promote unfortunate Living-Dead divisions. Eating Honor Students is hardly model behavior, nor is running pell-mell from the Differently Animated. And a blanket distrust of the Living, while understandable, is not a viable long-term solution either. Allies are essential!

As is housecleaning, we suppose.

Zombie Playing Cards

Posted By on October 9, 2015

The Zombie Rights Campaign’s art director has to take a trip to Las Vegas this November for her day job, and so your ZRC President knew he had to acquire two things.

The first was a copy of ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’.

The second? A deck of playing cards, naturally.

But not just ANY cards:


Yes, we need some gambling practice before heading into the desert’s shrine to sin and excess, so naturally I found a deck of Zombie playing cards.

Too bad they’re not Zombie FRIENDLY playing cards. In fact, each one has an Anti-Zombie ‘tip’ on the player facing side.


These tips are… not kind, to say the least.


Strangely enough, our eternal adversaries over at the Zombie Research Society would also be displeased by some of them, as it’s clear the cardmakers haven’t been following the Max Brooks school of Anti-Zombie strategy.


Most harmful though, in the ZRC’s opinion, is the series of emotional attacks on Zombiedom. Contained, as they are, in what is normally a tool for harmless diversion (or in my near future, losing a few bucks at the blackjack table), these slights are especially vicious.


Zombie kids, a parent’s worst nightmare? What an unfortunate sentiment.

The Zombie Rights Campaign rates this deck of playing cards by Bicycle as Living Supremacist.

For shame.

ZRC Review: ‘Empire of the Dead’ Volume 1

Posted By on October 9, 2015


George Romero, longtime foe and occasionally sympathetic voice of Zombies both, is at it again with a comic series from Marvel.

Entitled ‘Empire of the Dead’, it features, well, Romero Zombies, more or less, in a post-apocalyptic world very similar to Romero’s more recent films like ‘Land of the Dead’ or ‘Diary of the Dead’. This means the Living walling themselves away from, and then opportunistically exploiting, the Differently Animated.

Which of course we resent, here at The Zombie Rights Campaign.

Consistent with ‘Land’, ‘Diary’, and events going all the way back to ‘Day of the Dead’, however, the Romero Zombie population isn’t content to stand still or merely lurch about aimlessly; they’re looking to get their Lives (or Unlives) back on track, at least to some degree.

Set in what’s left of Manhattan after the tragic.. unpleasantness… that sometimes accompanies a Global Reanimation Block Party, ‘Empire of the Dead’ sets the stage for a conflict between the Living humans who research, or cruelly abuse, the Zombie population, and a shadowy group of individuals who the book takes little time (as in, it’s on the back cover) in revealing are… Vampires.

You may recall a similar theme from Max Brooks’ ‘The Extinction Parade’, which coincidentally, is also now available in comic book form.

Our principal Zombie protagonist in this story is Xavier, an Undead former police officer striving to promote coexistence between Zombies and the Living, as well as regain her place in society.


This is a theme the ZRC can get behind, and Xavier’s relationship with the Living, and her steadfast disinterest in, say, devouring them mercilessly, makes her an excellent comic book role model for today’s Zombie readership.


However, not everything is roses and Zombies in this book; it deals with difficult themes, like the gruesome Anti-Zombie gladiatorial fights staged by New Yorks’ new, ahem, shadowy ruling faction, to keep the Living population docile.


The Zombie Rights Campaign of course does not promote or condone unnecessary conflict between the Zombie and Vampire citizenry, let alone staging pit fights between the Undead to distract Living people from the dapper, unchanging folks who happen to rule from the shadows.

Still, it is too early after evaluating only one volume to condemn or praise ‘Empire of the Dead’. There is a chance for a story from the more progressive, less shotgun-happy side of George Romero, and we hope to see he found it in the next two volumes.

The Zombie Rights Campaign Visits the Last Dark Carnival Film Festival

Posted By on October 2, 2015

With somewhat heavy hearts, the Zombie Rights Campaign paid our visit to the last Dark Carnival/Diabolique International Film Festival in Bloomington, Indiana last weekend, to see if the horror film world had made any progress toward greater Undead Acceptance.

We were pleasantly surprised by a few of the films on offer, and of course, grossly offended by some of the rest.

And of course, we got some good picketing in:

(The end of an era in sign-making)

Film Highlights from This Year’s Festival:

(minor spoilers follow)

First, I will admit my cultural ignorance here and say that I was not aware what a ‘boniato’ was. Apparently it’s a variety of sweet potato, but not the kind grown in most of the United States.

Which does not actually appear to be the crop harvested in the film, but that’s another matter.

Boniato is on the surface a story about an undocumented migrant farm worker who is betrayed by her boss and left to face a population of apparently feral Differently Animated folks. But the ZRC chooses to look a little deeper, and wonders about the plight of the Undead in this film as well. Who are they? How did they end up in this predicament? Who supplies them with all the little plastic baggies they use?

Despite this complexity it would be hard to call ‘Boniato’ anything but Anti-Zombie, and so we rated it thus.

“Larry Gone Demon”
We’ve written before about the overlap between demonic possession and Zombification, so the ZRC feels entitled to slip in a few comments about this short film. The titular character, Larry, may be going through a… spiritual crisis, but that is no excuse for his rampant poor roommate behavior and shocking lack of hygiene.

I think we’ve all had *that* roommate, flatmate, or dormmate though. So it’s a theme that the Living, Undead, and Demonically Augmented can all understand, and laugh along with.

This doesn’t involve Zombies at all, but it’s very funny and quite short, so see it if you get a chance.

“The Looking Planet”
Again, a film that doesn’t involve the Undead in any way. But The Looking Planet does promote empathy for very different forms of life, which, at least broadly, is the sort of message we look for here at the ZRC.

It concerns a family of aliens tasked with building our universe at the dawn of time, who are up against a tight deadline finishing our solar system. Lufo, one of their children (a scant 14 billion years old), is rebelling against his tedious workload. All they ever let him do is rings, apparently. So he sets off on an astronomical project that would be instantly familiar to all of us living on Earth these many millions of years later.

The Looking Planet is reminiscent of the best in Pixar, so the ZRC heartily endorses catching it sometime.

The Looking Planet [trailer] from Eric Law Anderson on Vimeo.

“Black Eyes”
One of the most on-point films for a Zombie Rights activist at this year’s festival, Black Eyes stars two kids going through a rough adolescence who question whether the answer to their difficult lives is suicide, followed, of course, by reanimation as Zombies.

A very pleasant counterpoint to ‘Dead Friends’ a few years back, ‘Black Eyes’ works well as a Living-Undead conversation piece. Even if, as the art director points out, it is a teensy bit appropriative of Zombie Culture along the way.

The Zombie Rights Campaign nevertheless rates it as Zombie Friendly.

Sadly, due to an oversight we missed ‘What’s Eating Dad?’ this year, which our ZRC Ally Michelle Hartz assures us is a must-catch at the first future opportunity.

But overall, the trend in independent cinema is, somewhat, toward greater tolerance, whether it be of kids who want to be Zombies, aliens who want to be artists, or Undead agricultural workers. Also distinctly toward Things-Living-in-Walls, what with ‘Deep Dark’ this year, ‘Motivational Growth’ last year, and the like.

Mostly though, the ZRC focuses on the tolerance.

Thanks for a great run, Dark Carnival/Diabolique International Film Festival, and hopefully we’ll get the chance to picket some of you in the future.

Dark Carnival Memories, 2007-2015

Posted By on September 24, 2015

The Zombie Rights Campaign has been attending the Dark Carnival (and, for the last couple of years, Diabolique International) Film Festival since before there was a Zombie Rights Campaign as such. Founded in 2007, Dark Carnival/Diabolique has been bringing horror movies of all varieties, including many Zombie films, to southern Indiana for 8 glorious, messy years.

Sadly, that comes to an end in 2015, with their very last festival. But the ZRC will be there, as it always is, to document any atrocities, as well as positive developments.

Highlights from past years:

2007: The very first Dark Carnival brought us ‘Dead and Breakfast’, a rare musical early Zombie musical, and ‘Cannibal Flesh Riot’, a film about he problems in the life of, well, ghouls.

2008: The festival’s second year featured a truly standout Zombie short film, ‘A Break in the Monotony’. This one holds a special place in our hearts, as it helped inspire the ZRC’s activism in the first place. Update: You can still watch it, here!

2009: The Dark Carnival held a free outdoor screening of seminal and tragically Anti-Zombie film ‘Night of the Living Dead’, with live horror host accompaniment. The ZRC was there to protest, of course.


2010: This year we were privileged to grace Baron Mardi, one of the long-running hosts of the Dark Carnival, with our Zombie of the Year award, for his noble attempts to enlighten the horror film community about Zombiism.


In 2011 the ZRC eagerly anticipated, and was in turnheartbroken by, a short film entitled ‘Dead Friends’, which still managed to illustrate well the tragedy of irresponsible parenting/necromancy.


For 2012, The Dark Carnival brought circus acts galore and interesting horror movies alike back to Bloomington. ‘Mother Died’ was the film with the greatest impact on the Zombie Rights Movement, but it was more than a little Anti-Zombie, so we won’t dwell on it here. Bad memories.

The squid-like host/abomination of The Dark Carnival known as ‘Doctor Calimari also reached new heights of depravity in 2012, but we’ve never given him any awards, so the ZRC is probably safe from scandal.


In 2013 the film festival moved to a historic theatre in Columbus, Indiana, and showed no Anti-Zombie films! Of course it showed no Zombie films either. We were a tad disappointed.


2014 brought new energy, sponsorship, and a return to Bloomington, rechristened (if anything about the Dark Carnival can be… christened) as the Diabolique International Film Festival.

There was a full slate of fascinating and Zombie-filled movies, many of which the ZRC enjoyed, or at least, analyzed intently.

‘Dead Hearts’ was a real highlight.

Which brings us to this year, and the final Dark Carnival/Diabolique International Film Festival. There’s more than a little sadness here at ZRC headquarters as we pack our bags. What will we do with our fall schedule now? Where will we find out about the coming trends in Zombie cinema, both pro and con?

Stay tuned for reports of our activism.

Halloween Everywhere, Zombie Friendliness Harder to Find

Posted By on September 24, 2015

We are now roughly one month from Halloween, the Zombiest time of the year, and the ZRC is noticing the signs everywhere – candy on the shelves, decorations on the walls, and of course, merchandising, merchandising, merchandising.

spaceballs the flamethrower
(Yogurt’s not a Zombie, but he is green, work with me here)

It’s amazing how much of this merchandise is Zombie-related. And, tragically, how much of it is obviously influenced by the Anti-Zombie elements of our culture.

Cases in point from a recent excursion to various fabric and craft supply stores in town. Yes, craft stores seem to be a real hotbed of a certain sort of halloween decor. Namely, the kind that you slap up in a hurry, for a gathering, perhaps. It seems odd to me that stores catering to people who make their own pillows sell so many pre-made decorative items, but that’s a mystery for another day.

Observe. Many of them seem to reference, with varying levels of specificity, The Walking Dead, or perhaps some of the Romero zombie films:


Not quite ‘Don’t Open, Dead Inside’, but pretty close. And why shouldn’t we feed the Zombies?! Zombies get hungry too you know.

It’s not all bad though. Frankenstein Creations (we discourage the use of the term ‘monster’) get some positive attention.


And we’re especially encouraged by the potentially Undead Friendly hiring practices this store mascot indicates:


The ZRC will keep our eyes collectively peeled for new capitalism to evaluate as we head further into the Zombie Season.

Fear the Walking Dead: The Dinner

Posted By on August 30, 2015

One week ago saw the premiere of the second Kirkman Zombiephobic media-extravaganza, ‘Fear the Walking Dead’, and the ZRC is still sorting through how to respond in the aftermath.

Also, our computing infrastructure had a part blow out on Monday, so we had to get that nailed down. I think it died of grief.

But there was a brighter side to last Sunday’s gory and unfortunate TV spectacle, and that was a delightfully Zombie-inclusive themed dinner the ZRC got to attend here in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Vintage Brewing Company held an ‘Undead Dinner’ with a fixed menu of completely legal food items designed to allow the Living to experience a bit of Zombie culture, so to speak, before the unfortunate televisual premiere.


Just look at this happy little Zombie guy. Very inviting.


The actual menu was very impressive, and the ZRC appreciates that the Vintage found a way to point out that it isn’t only Undead humans who eat raw flesh with their tasteful, and tasty, beef carpaccio main course.



However, the clear standout of the evening was the very thematically appropriate dessert, with the classiest pudding-out-of-a-can that you’ll ever get the chance to consume.


Yes, even your stalwart ZRC staff were amused by this take on one of the internet’s favorite Walking Dead scenes.

Credit to.. whoever originally made this. Let us know!

We found this meal very fortifying as the ZRC heads into a grim fall full of Zombiesploitation.

Great and Zombie Friendly job, Vintage Brewing Company.