Fri, 11/30/2007 - 18:44 — JBolyard
They’re Coming to Get You Barbara…
But Not Really.
Joel R Bolyard
One of the most interesting things I had the pleasure of watching, at ICFLM, was the Night of the Living Dead Puppet Show. It was presented by The Angry Young Men; which is kind of funny, considering there are two women in the crew, but I digress. This was not your traditional puppet show, mind you. There was no little box or stage with hidden puppeteers. The puppets were on sticks and only head, arm and torso. The zombiteers were clearly visible, so you had to use a bit of imagination.
Stay with me readers, I’m not done yet. Now that I’ve explained how it was done, let me tell you what I saw. The room where I watched the show was the same room used for the gala party. I sat down in the second row. I spent a few minutes before the show started listening to the odd pair in front of me. For the life I me I don’t remember their names, but they were very friendly…. and a little hyper. I’m not going to tell you the story of Night of the Living Dead, it’s a damn classic now. If you haven’t seen it, SHAME ON YOU!
The puppet show did an abbreviated version of the film and took a few small liberties as well. No, nothing drastic you bastard purists. There were a few modern references made and that’s about it. I really loved the puppet design. The generic zombies were done using the paper-mache and balloon trick. Zombie brains are delicious by the way. Well at least these zombies were, their brains were a variety of Brach’s candies. I have to imagine smashing props is kind of fun, especially when you spray the audience with candy. The rest of the puppets that “died” had tear away limbs or pop out head pieces with red streamers attached. The puppets that were “zombified” had eye coverings to white out their eye. There is certain elegance in simplicity and this certainly exemplifies that idea.
I can’t even begin to tell you how enjoyable this show was to watch. There was nothing scary about the show; it did have its humorous moments though. The group that put this on looked like they had as much fun doing as I did watching. My words are wholly inadequate when it comes to what I saw. I can only tell you to find a showing and see it for yourself. Perhaps after we post this and send an email to the gentlemen in charge, we can get some dates and times. (hint hint)
After the show was over, I had a chance to talk to the crew and ask some questions. Here’s what I learned. As of right now, they had no plans to create any other puppet shows based on any other films. I imagine this is partially due to the lack of public domain films. The group hasn’t been together that long but has good chemistry from what I saw. They chose this particular puppet design as opposed to “traditional” puppets because set up, and clean up, was much easier. I can only imagine setting up and breaking down a puppet stage. I’m apt to agree with this decision as it was amusing to have the zombiteers moving through the audience. Someone asked about the “brain candy” (rim shot) during the Q&A; it was more about why not gore instead. The answer to that: it’s too damn messy otherwise, and definitely not as tasty.
I’d love to say more but there’s nothing else to say that I haven’t already said. I can only tell you so many times to go see the show (when we find out where). So here goes the thanks portion. Thank you too Billy Ray Olsen, Derek Castor, Darrin Alston Jr., Alice Hammers, Michael Weber, Elizabeth Ahlstrom, Josh Perkins, Joe Janswig, Ally Kavanaugh, Steve Cook, and Mike Tindall.
Until next time faithful readers,
Editor’s note: We apologize that this is up a month after ICFLM, the author wanted to write it sooner but was a bit stressed by a load of unexpected bills. We promise the rest of the ICFLM coverage this week, even if we have to beat it out of them.