While some zombies drunkenly pass out on the train and cause onlookers to think them dead (like, really dead), others are more health-conscious. Take the hundred or so reanimated corpses who did yoga at Williamsburg State Park a couple of weeks ago, all assembled for filmmaker Jason Wishnow’s trailer for Scott Kenemore's satirical self-help book The Zen of Zombie: Better Living Through the Undead (Skyhorse Publishing). That trailer has just this second hit the Net, and since it raises certain questions — for example, why would zombies do yoga in the park rather than eating the brains of those rangers who are always telling us to dismount our bikes? — we chatted with the director.
How do you feel about book trailers? This is your second one.
When I first heard people were making them, my reaction was, “That’s retarded. There could not be a worse idea.” Then we had that long pause followed by, “Should we make one?” After this, I retire.
What’s the connection between zombies and yoga?
They’re both really trendy right now, but in bastardized form. Zombies aren’t appreciated as they should be — in their purest sense — and same with yoga.
So how does one portray zombies in their truest sense?
I showed them respect. I didn’t show fear because they can smell fear and brains. But sometimes the brains go to your thighs and you want to do a workout to stay in shape.
You had a yoga instructor on set. Is it hard for zombies to do yoga?
They can’t move the way we do. They’re brittle — their bodies might buckle under pressure. You’d hate to have someone lose a jawbone while bending over backwards for you. My biggest fantasy would be someone would be doing the downward dog and his intestines would fall out of his abdomen.
By the looks of the documentary that went up on Boing Boing yesterday, you were playing around with a cow heart at the shoot. Why didn’t that make the cut?
Zombies aren’t really clowns. They’re a sad lot who are full of undying anguish. If you ask a zombie to joke around, he’ll probably eat your brain.
Did certain zombies have more personality than others?
The night before the shoot I got an e-mail signed Catholic School Girl Zombie. You can’t miss her.
You were working on a tight budget. What would be in the book trailer if you had $1 million?
I might have the Empire State Building bleed.