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Got Brains? They'll Settle For Pie: Hollywood Outdoor Cinema's 'Shaun of the Dead' Night

Stick that in your corpse pipe and smoke it.
Stick that in your corpse pipe and smoke it.
Nicole Campos

There's something about zombies - something innately unifying, a sense of shambling, blood-dribbling community - that brings people together. Especially at a time when the horror genre has turned tide toward mopey emo vampires and the latest bad seed child of the week, those with an affinity for the shuffling undead somehow always find a way to join forces, shred their clothing, greasepaint their faces and practice rolling their eyes back into their sockets for a spontaneous celebration of zombie mayhem. (Who has any doubt that the Halloween-timed "Thriller" zombie walks are going to be extra poignant this year, too? And no, it won't be too soon for a few more zombie Michaels than usual.)

Gruesome twosome.
Gruesome twosome.
Nicole Campos
Miss Shaun is ready for action.
Miss Shaun is ready for action.
Nicole Campos
Cream cheese frosting + brains = crazy delicious!
Cream cheese frosting + brains = crazy delicious!
Nicole Campos

A perfect summertime installment of zombie shenanigans came courtesy of the Hollywood Outdoor Cinema on Saturday, who brought Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's unparalleled rom-zom-com Shaun of the Dead to their big inflatable screen parked on Sunset Blvd. (in the former Circuit City parking lot - good central location, let's hope no one buys the building by next summer!) and coordinated a fab cross-section of reanimate-related activities to go along with the show. Star power - of the undead lit variety - in the form of authors Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and S.G. Browne (Breathers: A Zombie's Lament), both signing for fans while local merch varying from "I (cricket bat) Zombies" tees and gnarly themed cupcakes (the "Reanimated Red Velvet," topped with a blood-spattered edible brain, was our favorite by far) made for excellent pre-show distractions. As did the on-site food vendors for those who didn't pack picnic baskets and coolers full of beer. (A word to the Cinespia folks: on site munchies = a very good thing.)

Seth Grahame-Smith waxes loving desecration of Jane Austen with emcee Jonathan London of Geekscape.
Seth Grahame-Smith waxes loving desecration of Jane Austen with emcee Jonathan London of Geekscape.
Nicole Campos
Zombie Miss Marvel, the undead Safeway worker and the others shuffle for first place
Zombie Miss Marvel, the undead Safeway worker and the others shuffle for first place
Nicole Campos
Right  about now, he's trying not to think of the vomit scene in Stand By Me
Right about now, he's trying not to think of the vomit scene in Stand By Me
Nicole Campos

Meanwhile, the emcees from nerd culture website Geekscape ably kept the crowd entertained until dusk fell with contests that ranged from a pie-eating contest - cherry pie, of course, topped with cream in order to best resemble brain matter when mashed and crammed into gaping maws - to the inevitable "best zombie" fashion show. Our picks, including the inexplicably giggly gal dressed as undead Miss Marvel from the Marvel Zombies comics and the burly, menacing fella they nicknamed "Boomer," ultimately stumbled by the wayside in favor of a lightly gored-up guy who won the crowd over by failing to moan appropriately into the mike and introducing himself as "Randy." Enjoy that Xbox 360, dude, but a little more effort on the costume front next time.

They called him 'Zombie Salvador Dali.'  We call him 'awesome.'
They called him 'Zombie Salvador Dali.' We call him 'awesome.'
Nicole Campos
Geekscape's Brian Gilmore, decked out in his Ed best, keeps the undead from getting in before doors open.
Geekscape's Brian Gilmore, decked out in his Ed best, keeps the undead from getting in before doors open.
The main event!  Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are also trying not to think of the vomit scene in Stand By Me.
The main event! Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are also trying not to think of the vomit scene in Stand By Me.
Nicole Campos

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