KEENE EATS GOGO's BRAIN : NEWS AT ELEVEN
It’s Saturday and it’s lovely. Most Saturday’s
at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, California you can find someone
or another of the genre reading, signing, promoting and
just generally out to meet and greet the fans. This is a
place where horror celebrities go visit their other horror
celebrity friends to say hello while they work. I guess
it’s the same as when your friend stops by on your
lunch break and makes you late going back…only I don’t
think these people have to deal with quite that.
Today’s special zombie guest: Brian Keene. He is signing
with author Karen Taylor, promoting vamp fiction Fangs
and Angel Wings, and author J. Knight, sporting horror
fiction Risen, which smells suspiciously like zombie
On the way to Burbank, my boyfriend’s phone rings
and it’s something to do with work/school. Dang.
There will be no beers after the signing as was planned,
as he must take care of some kind of editing thing. Note
to self: Take separate cars. Oh well, I think. A few words
in my recorder, and signed book, and my work will be done
for the day and I can go home content at a job well done.
We arrive and I promptly accost Keene, wishing I had
some sort of laminated card, or gold badge, so that I
could “flash my credentials.” We shook hands
and then I dragged him outside, along with Del (of Del
and Sue Howison, owners and operators of Dark Delicacies)
to take pictures with Frank (the Frankenstein’s
Monster that greets you outside.) Then, back inside for
my exclusive scoop, asking all the hard-hitting questions
that Dead Kev just plain forgot to ask (editor’s
note – Hey now, I had to leave something for you
to talk to him about).
ZAGG: Top three zombie films.
BK: Top Three zombie films. Number
one: Dawn of the Dead. Return of the Living
Dead. 28 Days Later.
ZAGG: I can’t even harass you…
BK: (laughs) Would you concur?
ZAGG: I do. Okay, top three zombies.
BK: Bub. Got much love for Bub.
I’ve got a soft spot for the Skipp & Spector
zombies in the Night of the Living Dead remake,
but only because they’re Skipp & Spector. And,
the zombie in 28 Days Later, the first one you
see when he goes into the church…
ZAGG: The Priest?
BK: No, before the priest…all
ZAGG: The one with the open mouth?
BK: Yeah! That’s great. He
made me jump out of my chair.
ZAGG: I concur.
BK: She concurs!
ZAGG: Okay, what’s the worst zombie movie you’ve
BK: Oh god, what was the name of
it? (pauses) Darkness.
ZAGG: I’ve never seen it.
BK: It’s horrible. I rented
it with fellow author Geoff Cooper and Mike Oliveri…just
something to do on a Saturday night…
ZAGG: Which is what you do every Saturday night.
BK: Yeah, you know…six-pack
and a zombie movie. And we made it about fifteen minutes
through it, it was that horrible.
ZAGG: I’m sorry. Have you seen House of the
BK: That would be a close second.
ZAGG: We watched that last night…
BK: (laughs) Oh god…
ZAGG: …did you notice there was a springboard as
the zombie was launched into the air…?
ZAGG: …it was so blatant…the springboard
was waving at you as the zombie went by…
BK: I didn’t see that!
ZAGG: It was bad…anyway…onward…what
do you prefer, the zombie as entertainment or the zombie
as social commentary?
BK: Always as entertainment first,
however, if there’s social commentary underlying,
I don’t mind it at all.
ZAGG: Do you think the zombie is a good vehicle for social
BK: Oh, I think the zombie’s
a great vehicle. Well, Romero’s done it three times,
and each time he’s used the zombie to represent something
different. More recently, 28 Days Later the zombie
was used to represent the rage that all of us have, you
know, in our modern, SUV-driving, self-owned society. I
don’t think you should set out to have it represent
that though. With The Rising, people have told me
there’s some socio-political underlying themes. And
there probably are, but I did it subconsciously. All I did
was set out to tell a kick-ass tale.
ZAGG: Which I enjoyed very much.
BK: Thank you.
ZAGG: What are your plans for a zombie outbreak?
BK: (laughs) I’ve got a little
cabin in West Virginia, so the first thing I would do
is load up the truck, the dog, the guns, groceries, the
ZAGG: Your wife is down here on the list, I see…
BK: (laughs) I gotta make sure the
dog, the guns and the groceries fit first! Honey, I’m
kidding! You know I love you! I would head to the cabin
and I would barricade ourselves inside, and I would make
sure there was enough ammunition for me and the wife and
the dog just in case.
ZAGG: As in your book, are you expecting some zombie
animals as well?
BK: Oh yeah. I think it’ll
be everybody, including zombie animals.
ZAGG: What would you do if somebody close to you turned
into a zombie, not close as in I am close to you right
now, but close as in…your dog, is close to you?
BK: A Romero zombie or a 28 Days
ZAGG: You know, any kind of zombie…whatever zombie
you imagine first.
BK: Romero zombie…I’d
put them out of their misery. 28 Days Later zombie,
I’d go with the original ending to the movie that
never got filmed. In the storyboards, they were going
to give him a blood transfusion, turn him back to normal.
Probably wouldn’t work though, so I’d end
up shooting them, too.
ZAGG: So, what’s scarier? A zombie modeled after
Michael Jackson, or one modeled after Lou Reed?
BK: Oh god! Well, Lou Reed is a
zombie, isn’t he?
BK: A zombie modeled after Michael
ZAGG: We’ll have to suggest that to someone for
BK: (laughs) Yeah!
ZAGG: Okay, now, if you had a “Bub” of your
very own, what would you teach him?
BK: To eat with a napkin on his
lap. Proper use of the salad fork over the dinner fork.
ZAGG: Anything else?
BK: (thinks) To chew with his mouth
ZAGG: That, I think, would be most important.
ZAGG: Now, this is most important to me…
ZAGG: Would you really run over a zombie kitty with an
BK: Oh hell yes!
ZAGG: **stares in shock**
BK: If it was a zombie kitty! (pauses)
If it was a kitty kitty.
BK: No, I own three cats.
ZAGG: By the way, that was my favorite part of the book,
as, I love kitties and I love zombies…
BK: Zombie kitties!
ZAGG: Exactly. Where else would I find zombie kitties?
Okay, now the Zombie Top Five Quick Questions.
1. Fast or slow zombies. Your preference?
2. Fresh or rotting zombies?
3. Eating flesh, or just brains?
4. Voodoo, or virus, etc?
5. Smart or dumb?
ZAGG: That’s it! Thank you very much!
BK: Awesome! Quick and painless!
Then there were more photos taken. A “nice”
shot, but then he tried to eat my brain and before I could
flail and sissy slap him away…Click! Flash! Frozen
forever in time.
After the informal interview, I skulked around the store,
half looking for people to harass, half shopping. I spotted
a toy hearse that when you pressed the skull down on the
hood, a casket popped out of the back. In the casket, you
either found a vampire, a mummy, a skeleton, or a zombie.
I used to have the whole set. As I sighed nostalgically,
I heard Keene goading a friend into talking to me, and despite
what you may have heard, Brian Keene is nice and as gentle
as a lamb (expect when he’s trying to eat your brain,
and if that’s the case, he’s vicious, like a
wild dog). After another second or two of standing around
like an idiot, I approached Weston Ochse, horror writer
(co-authoring Scary Rednecks and Other Inbred Horrors
with David Whitman, also the sequel Appalachian Galapagos:
A Scary Rednecks Collection), husband of Yvonne Navarro
(author of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the upcoming
novelization of Hellboy) and friend of Keene. He
was kind enough to throw the following my way.
“Brian Keene has written the
quintessential zombie novel. This is what happens when
somebody’s able to put on paper what they see on
television with the best of Dawn of the Dead, everything
George Romero, etc. It’s a very visual novel. What
he does, more than all of us, is that he knows ways to
promote himself, ways to do things that I would never
think of. You know, we just follow along behind him.”
He asked me what I liked about The Rising, to
which I replied, well, the action. The hot zombie action.
It was unrelenting. He went on to tell the following story.
“Brian got a fan letter the
other day, from a good ol’ boy, someone who doesn’t
read much. Somebody who, when they saw the book was about
zombies, it was enough to get them to read the book. The
guy said he read the book in 36 hours. He missed his Friday
night poker game. He missed his time out with the boys
and he said when he finally finished it, he went outside,
smoked a cigarette and he noticed a rabbit sittin’
in the yard lookin’ at him. And he couldn’t
help but wonder if that rabbit was alive or if that rabbit
I asked if the man stomped the suspected zombie bunny,
but he said no. The way the man ended the letter, it seemed
he was too afraid. I expressed how impressive that really
is, as I am from South Western Pennsylvania, and I probably
know that man. A man like that is hard to put the heebie-jeebies
into. I pried Ochse further, who claimed to know the entire
history of Brian Keene, but when pressed for stalking
tips, he wouldn’t budge. Not even for a dollar.
Not even for the chance to run down a zombie kitty.
For Brian Keene, please visit: www.briankeene.com
For more Weston Ochse, please visit: www.westonochse.com
For more Yvonne Navarro, please stop by: www.yvonnenavarro.com
Dark Delicacies info: www.darkdel.com
Copyright © 2002-03 - All Things Zombie.com
Best viewed with IE 6 at 1024x768
Trademarks belong to their respective owners.
All Rights Reserved.
|CHECK THIS OUT!