The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Dark Carnival Memories, 2007-2015

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.

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


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