"Zombie Eye for the Living Guy Look Undead, Cook Undead, Dress Undead, & Live Undead" Book Review
Written by Jersey John
Published by Marion Street Press
Written by J.M. Hewitt
Photography by Alexander Colby
2012, 192 pages, Satire / Photography
Released on January 1st, 2012
Believe it or not, horror has fads. Yes, I know, most of us would like to think that we're breaking all of these social norms by watching and reading about ghosts, demons, evil cannibals and a multitude of other things that are ill-advised to be showing to a third grader. But the realization of things is that trends come in waves through our awesome community. None of this is anything mind blowing. Ever since the early days of the Universal monsters, bandwagons have been jumped upon to cash in on the latest crazes. This isn't always a bad thing. Different genres are tackled by a wide variety of writers, directors and actors that can do one of two things: keep us craving more or over saturate a particular market until your eyes bleed from frustration. Luckily, Zombie Eye for the Living Guy avoids any worry of being boring and borders on the lines of ridiculous, which horror fans have come to love and expect from time to time.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a zombie, without actually ripping your friends and loved ones in half to dine on their innards? What if being a shambling, tattered clothes wearing hipster became the new trend in every major city in the U.S.? As absurd as this may seem, just look around you in everyday life. How we dress, what we're eating and the music we listen to all define our individual characters. Now, imagine a world overrun with undead cannibals and everyone wants to be like them, minus the "being a corpse" part of the scenario. Zombie Eye for the Living Guy imagines a world where flesh eaters still pose a serious threat to our way of living, but have become such a permanent part of our way of life, there are nut jobs out there that actually want to be like them. Think of any reality television show you've become engrossed with watching. Now, everyone in that particular series is a zombie and you're dying to be one of them (horrible pun).
Click images to enlarge.
Taking what I thought would be a silly and drawn out concept, Zombie Eye for the Living Guy actually does a good job with holding its own when it comes to satire. Split up into four parts, the book lays down some simple, yet ridiculous ways to look, act, think and be perceived as a zombie. Cooking recipes, proper attire and varying outfits and even social skills are discussed in interesting detail, Sure, you;re not supposed to be taking any of this seriously, even though I'm still wondering if any of those recipes are any good, but one thing did make me feel good about the approach to this quick read. With the recent uprising of sparkly tween vampires, it would have been just as easy to write about how to be a trendy blood-sucking high schooler than it would be to shamble around with your best friends. An aspect about horror that has been changing over the years is the fact that movies and literature have been attempting to broaden their audience, which is fine. But when widening a fan base means dumbing down a genre that's supposed to be filled with gore and scares, it's a letdown for those who don't want to deal with an adolescent love story about some pasty-faced chick with the personality of a dried up dog turd, being fought over by werewolves and vampires. So, kudos to Zombie Eye for avoiding all of that and even incorporating some awesomely gory artwork to accompany this paperback.
So, imagine that the time has finally come. Nuclear war, an airborne virus or endlessly watching Teen Mom on MTV has turned the world into zombies (we're already halfway there). Instead of sticking out like a sore thumb, people start to dress and act like the very creatures that threaten their existence on a daily basis. Over the years, this somehow becomes the "cool" thing to do and is now all the rave to dress up in tattered clothes from Urban Outfitters and take to the streets, shambling in style. As ridiculous of an idea this all may seem, its already happening. How people look, act and are thought of is already primary to any sort of practicality, but screw it. When all of this is said and done, at least the world will finally be rid of all these goddamn hipsters. They were acting like zombies before it was cool.