Halloween Weekend TV Stalked By Zombies: What Are You Gonna Watch?

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This year's Halloween weekend's television is the stuff of a horror fan's dreams as scores of zombies prepare to invade our sets from ABC to NBC. Breaking Bad might have given us the year's most popular party outfits but the weekend's TV listings are peppered with the ever-popular presence of the shuffling undead.

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From a zombie-themed wedding on SyFy's Naked Vegas (Oct. 29, 10 pm) to the haunting presence of the French dead on The Returned (Oct. 31, 9 pm), the resurrected corpses are out in full force this year. Syfy's scary movie will be Zombie Night, aired on Saturday at 9pm whilst The Walking Dead will continue on Sunday at 9pm on AMC.

Wednesday's American Horror Story: Coven, 10 pm, focuses on the voodoo which means we could see some undead action if anyone decides to perform a little resurrection. So why are zombies infesting our screens nowadays?

On the back of a more sophisticated breed of zombie films, such as the 28 Days movies and I Am Legend, as well as the popularity of TV show The Walking Dead and the recent World Ward Z Brad Pitt blockbuster, zombies have been given a new lease of live, manifested in endlessly creative and gory Halloween costumes.

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Zombies rose to a peak in 2011 and have held on as a top-10 seller, says Dana Palzkill, vice president of merchandising for online retailerBuyCostumes.com, via USA Today. Though 2011 may have been the monster's peak, The Walking Dead executive producer Greg Nicotero looks much further back when looking for the roots of the current undead trend.

He notes that 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead, and 1978's Dawn of the Dead with their special-effects and make-up are responsible for sparking and maintaining interest among viewers and budding filmmakers to come up with more and more evil strains of zombie. "George [Romero, director] came up with the idea of reanimated corpses eating other people, and (having) to shoot them in the head," he says.

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' video may have seen traditional resurrected zombies climb out of their graves, but the term zombie now extends to those inflicted by diseases that deprive them of their humanity. Zombie Night director John Gulager guesses that part of a zombie's charm may be that we all want to kill each other secretly.

"It's just that whole idea of being overwhelmed, of being in a situation you can't control," he said, adding "I think people also like to see the makeup effects, arms and fingers falling off. Because they're already dead, you don't have to feel guilt about just pummelling them."

Television may be a mindless activity but don't forget to lock your doors and board up your windows as some truly spectacular Halloween TV swings into force this weekend.


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