We're super excited to be hosting Ty Drago today as part of the blog tour for the fourth book in his Undertakers series, The Last Siege of Haven! Ty stopped by to give us a list of his Top Ten Zombies, and we've also got a giveaway for you. Be sure to enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post, and visit the rest of the fabulous tour stops by clicking the banner above!
About the Book
Publication date: May 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Ty Drago
Synopsis: While away on an undercover mission, Undertaker Will Ritter has made an unthinkable alliance...with a Corpse! But though Robert Dillin (aka 'The Zombie Prince') is indeed one of those alien invaders who animate and possess the bodies of the dead -- unlike the rest of his kind, Dillin isn't evil. In fact, he wants to help. And Will needs that help, because the Queen of the Dead has learned the location of Haven, the Undertakers' secret HQ, and is planning a massive and deadly assault.
With the last day of the Corpse War finally upon them, Will and his friends find themselves in a desperate race to close the Rift between worlds and forever kill the Corpses. But can they do before Haven is overrun?
For that matter, can they do it at all?
About the Author
Ty Drago does his writing just across the river from Philadelphia, where the Undertakers novels take place. In addition to The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses,The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead, and The Undertakers: Secret of the Corpse Eater, he is the author of The Franklin Affair and Phobos, as well as short stories and articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including Writer’s Digest. He currently lives in southern New Jersey with his wife and best friend, the real Helene Drago née Boettcher.
Ty's Top Ten Zombies
I’ve been a zombie fan all my life. Seriously, I can’t remember a time when the concept of hungry, animated cadavers didn’t fascinate me. I’ve often argued that Frankenstein’s Monster was the first zombie, though not everyone agrees with me.
The original concept of the zombie, of course, didn’t involve eating brains or – really –anything else. The word is believed to be originally West African, coming to this continent in the 18th century along with the slave trade. Later, as part of Haitian Voodoo lore, a zombie is the mindless, undead servant of an evil magician. But even in this context, they don’t eat people.
The cinematic modern “zombie” was introduced by George Romero is in 1968 classic “Night of the Living Dead.” Interestingly, the word “zombie” isn’t used in the movie; the characters describe the creatures hunting them as “ghouls.” It was only later, in an interview, that Romaro dubbed them “zombies.” And it stuck.
So, when I was asked to provide a top ten list of zombies in popular media, I decided to interpret that using the modern definition. So here, in a list that mixes movies, books, and television, are my favorite zombies in countdown format!
10) “R” – The unlikely hero of Isaac Marion’s wonderful novel “Warm Bodies” (later a feature film), R is a zombie who falls in love with a living girl, an act that gradually restores his humanity. I love it because it’s a wonderfully original take on the zombie mythos.
9) “World War Z” – I’m referring to the book by Max Brooks (Mel Brooks’ son, by the way), not the movie with Brad Pitt. The book is a masterful chronicle of a worldwide zombie war, told through interviews with many different people. It’s really amazing.
8) “Zombieland” – Now here is a solid zombie film! Unlike most recent efforts, this movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, and yet still manages to be genuinely scary. Bill Murray steals it about halfway through, playing … wait for it … Bill Murray!
7) “Rot and Ruin” - Jonathan Maberry’s four-book YA zombie masterpiece is perhaps the finest and most frightening portrayal of post-Zombie America ever written. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
6) “The Night Stalker: The Zombie” - Admittedly, the classic 70’s show starring Darren McGavin wasn’t great. But this early episode was fantastic. It presents a more traditional zombie as servant to an evil Haitian necromancer. The scene at the end, as Kolchak tries to destroy the “sleeping” zombie by filling its mouth with salt and sewing its lips shut, is genuinely scary.
5) “28 Days Later”- Okay, technically this isn’t a zombie movie. After all, the mindless killers in this particular movie aren’t dead. They’re just crazy. But given the tone and edge that the film generates, I can overlook that quibble. This is a very effective story about a world being overrun by “infected.”
4) “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”-Oh, Jane Austin must have rolled over in her grave when Seth Grahame-Smith’s masterful parody was published. It actually follows the plot of the original novel fairly faithfully, except for the Regency period “unmentionables” running around.
3) “Return of the Living Dead” – In 1985, Dan O’Bannon directed this first great spoof of “Night of the Living Dead.” It’s the first film to give zombies the capability of speech and, as far as I’m aware, the first to describe them as brain (rather than just people) eaters. The classic zombie line, “Braaaaaiiinnsss!” originated in this one. A true classic.
2) “The Walking Dead”-This insanely successful television show, based on an insanely successful series of graphic novels, works because it keeps its focus narrow: a group of people struggling to survive the zombie apocalypse. The word “zombie” is never used. Instead, the “walkers” are only one threat in a world where, really, living men and women are the real danger.
1) “Night of the Living Dead”-Top of the list. End of the countdown. George Romero’s immortal horror story started it all!
What are some of your favorite zombies in popular media? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks to Ty for taking the time to give us his Top Ten Zombies, and thanks to your for stopping by and supporting Ty!
--Ashley & Paul