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Toronto Zombie Walk 2009

Posted by Roger Cullman / October 26, 2009

Toronto Zombie Walk 2009The Toronto Zombie Walk was pretty dead this year. The annual pre-Halloween zombie walk, which began in 2003, continues to draw large crowds. Well over 1,000 undead took to the streets on Saturday afternoon, starting at Trinity Bellwoods Park and swaggering east along Dundas St. W. to Kensington Market, up to College St. and then towards Bloor and Bathurst (where zombie films were being screened at the Bloor Cinema).

Compared to last year's zombie walk, there were more beautiful zombie brides, grooms, hockey players, Siamese twins, aerobics instructors, army officers, schoolgirls, nurses, nuns, beauty pageants, bakers, peaceniks, and Trekkies. And there were appearances by Batman and Robin, Santa Claus, Harry Potter, Beetlejuice and even a zombie Sarah Palin.

Continue reading for all the gruesome photos and an interview with Toronto Zombie Walk founder Thea Munster.

Toronto Zombie Walk 2009When I got to Trinity Bellwoods Park, there were many more unusual creatures than the odd white squirrel scurrying about.

Toronto Zombie Walk 2009I didn't want to get in the way of these flesh-eating girls. I was outnumbered and they looked like they meant business.

Toronto Zombie Walk 2009I was amazed at the extent to which the zombies took pride in their appearance. The elaborate Siamese twin zombie was really hard to tell which of the two was really male.

Toronto Zombie Walk 2009There were plenty of eye-catching outfits, and it was a real thrill to see how animated these corpses became when found in large numbers.

Toronto Zombie Walk 2009Some zombies were drop-dead gorgeous.

Toronto Zombie Walk 2009It looked like this aerobic workout crew awoke from the '80s with a start.

Toronto Zombie Walk 2009Robin seemed to have lost her Batman. And this jester didn't seem to mind filling in for The Joker.

Toronto Zombie Walk 2009The parasol pirate zombie greeted the TTC bus with glee. It must've given those commuters something to talk about the rest of their trip.

Toronto Zombie Walk 2009

A surprise appearance by Palin made this year's Toronto Zombie Walk special.Sarah Palin at the 2009 Toronto Zombie Walk12

Perhaps the coolest looking dude was this peacenik hippie zombie, clearly in his element among the walking dead.Toronto Zombie Walk 2009The walk culminated in a dance party at the Annex WreckRoom and cinema of the dead, a screening of two zombie cult classics at The Bloor Cinema: Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 and Night of the Comet.

Even if you're not usually into the whole zombie dress-up thing, perhaps some of these outfits will inspire your Halloween costume. More gruesome photos in this slideshow:

Photos by Roger Cullman.

blogTO's Robin Sharp also got the chance to talk to Thea Munster, founder of the Toronto Zombie Walk, about all things ZombieTO.

blogTO: How did the Zombie Walk get started in the first place?

Thea: I believe that zombies have been gathering and walking in groups for eternity. And I am sure many groups have gotten together and roamed the streets as zombies over the last 50 years. But, the first public event entitled The Zombie Walk was held in Toronto in October 2003.

Not having many friends who would join me and wander the streets as zombies, I put flyers up everywhere and held the first one with a mere seven participants. One of the people on the first walk, Heather McDermitt, moved to Vancouver and started a zombie walk there. After that was San Francisco and then it spread like the plague across the globe.

Have you been surprised by the growth of the event over the years?

I have been astounded. I guess being a zombie is infectious! When we got 600 people out, I thought that was the height of it, but then the following year attendance was 1,200 and last year the police say they lost count at 2,500.

Are there similar events going on in other cities around the world as well?

There are zombie walks all over the world now. Glasgow is holding their first one on Halloween this year. I've seen footage of zombie walks all over the United States and Canada, and even in Prague, Helsinki and Brazil.

Tell me about the Zombie films that followed the walk this year?

I was so excited about the zombie double feature that was put on by Cinema of the Dead. For one, it's rare to see an actual film print of a classic zombie flick. Nonetheless, two zombie film classics in one night... it was to DIE for. I think many zombies agreed: the films were great!

Night of the Comet was so much fun. I say this film was in TASTYCOLOUR since valley girls are delicious to watch, especially while being terrorized by zombies. And Fulci... well, you can't go wrong with Fulci -- a true horror and gore master who always delivers thrills.

What's your favourite zombie movie and why?

I'm one of these people that always says "This film is my FAVORITE movie," about hundreds of different films. But as far as atmosphere, story and zombies go, I'd have to say George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead is my very favorite zombie movie. This film scared me very badly when I was young, and after seeing it I was addicted to being scared. It's how my obsession with zombies began. And I can't really say there'd be a Toronto Zombie Walk if this movie had never existed.

I also have to add Return of the Living Dead and Invisible Invaders as very close running seconds.

Discussion

23 Comments

Cristine / October 26, 2009 at 10:26 am
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Oh man! This was an amazing event, I can't wait for next year!
Saikit / October 26, 2009 at 10:35 am
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Great job, Roger. Love the pictures.

Especially the one where the zombies invade the TTC bus. lol.
Iluvzombies / October 26, 2009 at 10:45 am
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i had so much fun and made so many new friends, already planning for next year.
thatguy / October 26, 2009 at 10:57 am
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As fun and harmless as these zombie walks seem. I think they are rather thoughtless and dangerous.

As you should well know sooner or latter the real zombie outbreak will occur. Rather than start beating down zombies, every one will pull out their camera and congratulate them on their outfits. We are desensitized to the real danger, this is possibly part of the Zombie agenda.

Next time you see a costumed freak, keep your distance, you never know.

handfed / October 26, 2009 at 11:50 am
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what is this obsession with zombies? can someone explain this ?
Mike W / October 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm
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I always thought there were a great literary device. Human-like but easily demonizable, you can even use it to turn and kill former antagonist humans (come-uppance). Slow and both hard and easy to kill, but unrelenting and seemingly unlimited. Scary.

In film and story it makes for a good generic enemy to include when focusing on another theme (survival, sacrafic, self discovery under stress, teamwork/social issues, etc).

Also easy to make a fun march out of, and not something stupid like vampires.
Mar / October 26, 2009 at 12:40 pm
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Oh man, I went to this year's zombie walk and it was amazing. It kind of took me by surprise, mainly because we took a different route than last year. It all worked out for the best though, because the reaction we got in the neighborhood we were walking in was great.

If anyone would like to watch, I filmed and produced a short comedy video of many different interviews I did with fellow zombie walkers and pedestrians: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-cLySc-Cb8 Any feedback would be great, but first and most of all, I just want to entertain you guys!

Zombie walk 2010: I'll be there, for sure!
sniderscion / October 26, 2009 at 12:53 pm
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Plenty more shots in the BlogTo Flickr pool; as well as here:
www.flickr.com/sniderscion
Lu Galasso replying to a comment from thatguy / October 26, 2009 at 01:32 pm
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Yes, it's true. You never know when the real zombie outbreak will occur. If it does, it'll look a lot like this and we'll try to take picture with them and have a nice little interview. Before we can get our cameras out, though, we'll be eaten alive.
A|Layton / October 26, 2009 at 01:36 pm
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I'm pretty sure the 'jester' is supposed to be Harley Quinn - the jokers gf/accomplice/victim from the animated series.
Hamish Grant / October 26, 2009 at 01:59 pm
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slideshow of my photos of the zombie walk here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigdaddyhame/sets/72157622656076542/show/

Had a lot of fun this year. So many awesome zombies! So many photographers. Seriously.

I had the pleasure of walking the route with Miles Storey (who was shooting for Torontoist) and Sam "Daily Dose" Javanrouh (strapped to his beautiful new baby daughter Lilia!). I think my favourites were the Star Trek Red Shirts and the many variations of Jesus (the original zombie saviour!). It was fun to see the Wreck Room have an outdoor DJ booth setup at Bloor/Bathurst where an mini zombie rave erupted.
parkadlian / October 26, 2009 at 03:57 pm
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Now this is a T.O. event people should be proud of. Fun, social, interactive and FREE!

*Where were THE SOCIETY girls here? ;)
Roger replying to a comment from parkadlian / October 26, 2009 at 04:18 pm
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Hey, great idea. Let's make sure they get an invite next year. Better yet, let's impersonate them as zombies.
conscious / October 26, 2009 at 05:25 pm
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In parts of the US this is known as the Meth Walk.
Roger replying to a comment from thatguy / October 26, 2009 at 05:33 pm
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Indeed, this was probably the most documented zombie walk in history. Literally, there were hundreds of cameras present. If ever a real zombie outbreak occurred, we'd be doomed. Or at least have some good footage for future archaeologists.
Roger replying to a comment from conscious / October 26, 2009 at 05:40 pm
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How did it get that name?
conscious replying to a comment from Roger / October 26, 2009 at 06:17 pm
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By being completely fictitious and a joke in poor taste. Wokka wokka.
Jeff Higgins / October 26, 2009 at 06:40 pm
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Some great shots here. I've posted up my Zombie Walk photos on Flickr too:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jefe46/sets/72157622655373776/detail/
Jeff Higgins / October 26, 2009 at 06:51 pm
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BTW I'm trying to track down the zombies in my shots - I'd be happy to send over the full-size photos for their own use. If you know any of them, send me a message or post a comment. I've already gotten in touch with the Ghostbusters and few others.
mc / October 26, 2009 at 08:14 pm
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I love these events where the community gets together to do something fun!!
But be courteous, please! There was a messy trail of fake blood all over the city left in public bathrooms, windows, park benches that day. Keep the brains in your mouth and not on the subway seats please and thanks!!!!
Razvan / October 26, 2009 at 10:57 pm
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A selection of portrait and action photos is available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/atstreetlevel/sets/72157622656799914/detail/. Enjoy!
leah / January 14, 2010 at 04:26 pm
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when is the 2010 when?
Roger replying to a comment from leah / January 14, 2010 at 04:32 pm
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Details are still being worked out, but usually it's within a week or two of Halloween.

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