I don’t remember the first time I watched ROTLD, but what I do remember are the lingering effects its had on me over all these years. The fact that they could talk, pretty scary… I was handed a reason for them eating brains, utterly terrifying… They made me laugh, now hold the phone….. Most of what I had seen as a kid prior to this was pretty solid, run of the mill horror. This was something like I had never seen before and I was in love. Sure I’m saying I’m in love with this movie, but I can’t remember the first time I saw it… Well, thanks to the copious amounts of pop culture I’ve crammed into my brain I can’t remember what happened yesterday, but I promise you it’s a love like no other. Okay, okay, I use the term love loosely but the movie does hold a large part of my heart in it’s zombiefied hands.
Back to what I was saying earlier about having never seen anything like this before, is where my story begins. When I was a kid, I was afraid of everything. I mean everything. I was so scared of the craziest things. I couldn’t even watch the Incredible Hulk television show without hiding behind the couch, every time Bill Bixby got angry. Now I’ve mentioned before that I was raised on horror. This is true, but I wasn’t always a willing participant. My older brother and our not much older cousin, loved to torture me with their latest video rental. There were some I literally cried about to get them to let me leave the room. I saw a lot of movies through my fingers or around a pillow. Then somewhere in all that craziness came Return. A movie that put me on the road to recovery. I’m pretty sure I had no idea what I was watching at the time, but here I was given a great story about some kids that looked like some of my older cousins friends, kids that listened to awesome music and hung out in a cemetery. Going from that to watching Frank explain the job to Freddy was so funny. I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to be afraid of. I mean yeah, the barrel gave me the willies. I was upset by Frank and Freddy getting sick. I WAS pretty scared when the yellow cadaver charged out of the freezer, but it was done in such a fashion that I couldn’t help but laugh. Now, Tarman did scare the shit out of me. I’m not gonna lie. I was not ready for him, but it was great. I still think this movie has all the right elements. Humor, great characters, *coughboobiescough*, talking zombies… My favorite thing about the movie. When the torso is talking about why zombies eat brains, I was mortified and elated to have a great reason why. When they ask for more paramedics and cops, wow… just wow. This movie helped mold me into who I am today. I look for the humor in horror, even if it’s not so quite as out in the open as ROTLD. It’s made me go back and look at other horror films and find the humor I had missed. I try to use elements like this in my art. I love to draw monsters, but not without a tongue slamming through my cheek. I wish I could personally thank Dan O’Bannon for saving my scared little soul. I would thank him for all of the other wonderful things he’s done with his career. I may not be able to do such things, but I can do the next best thing. I can take all of the inspiration I’ve been given and use it towards whatever I create.
So by now you may be asking where the pictures are in this story. Well here you go. I did these painting in one 10 hour session. I chose the most obvious character to paint, but with reason. Of all the things in ROTLD this one stands out in most peoples minds. It was important for me to show him in both forms though, because both weirded me out as a kid. Without further ado, I submit to you “Trioxin Slumber” and “Only the dead can kill Suicide” enjoy.
These paintings are for sale. If you are interested, please contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can give you the price. They are both 8×10’s, acrylic and watercolor on canvas.