Monday, March 24, 2014

Greg Nicotero's Zombie Cameo Tribute on The Walking Dead: A Fan Letter

Nicotero at the Walker Stalker Con via ComicBook.com
ComicBook.com sat down and spoke with "The Walking Dead" producer and makeup guru, Greg Nicotero at the Walker Stalker Con in Chicago. Nicotero, known for his special effects makeup mastery, gave the website some insight on the fun he has behind the scenes when creating certain looks for walkers on the show.

It's no secret that the zombie aficionado will often slip in sly nods to other notable zombie characters, such as the flyboy and plaid shirt zombies from "Dawn of the Dead," saying "I love doing it [...] We’re thinking about all these cool zombies, and they’ll be in there. And none of the producers…no one really knows…I just do it because it’s fun. And I want the fans to be like, ‘Look, look, that was that zombie from that movie.’” He revealed that the most epic nod would be appearing in the season 4 episode, "Us," but refused to give any further details until the episode aired and fans could catch the cameo on their own.

Fast forward to last nights episode, "Us," when Glenn and Tara enter a dark, and seemingly familiar tunnel. A recent cave in has trapped some of the walkers underneath the rubble, but the duo decide to go over and see what lays on the other side. Oh, more walkers, you say? Color me surprised. However, one of them shambles out of the shadows and I find myself ridiculously excited, yelling at my television and scaring the holy hell out of my sister...

"It's BUB! OH MY GOD BUB!" 
In a nod to George A. Romero's "Day of the Dead," Nicotero has inserted perhaps one of the most beloved zombies of the genre. Bub, played brilliantly by Sherman Howard (billed as Howard Sherman), was the first zombie to showcase the ability to recall and relearn basic skills from his living days, as well as the first to show emotion. Nicotero also had a part in the film as "Pvt. Johnson," as well as creating the makeup effects. Personally, "Day of the Dead" is my favorite of the Romero anthology, so seeing the tribute definitely warmed the cockles of my zombie loving heart.

I was not alone in noticing Bub, as I took to Twitter to call upon Paranormal Pop Culture founder and my zombie nerd mentor Aaron Sagers, to validate what I had just seen and that it wasn't my eye playing tricks. My suspicions were then confirmed and validated, earning a Nicotero a "Bub salute" for the appearance from the PPC staff (including our very own Larissa M.) and a slew of other fans. In fact, #DayoftheWalkingDead quickly began trending after the cameo.

Whoever played the Bub walker for this episode, I tip my hat to you. Though your screen-time was brief, you had Howard's "Bub" swagger down pat. To Mr. Nicotero, I see what you did there. I see it and I love it. Thank you.

-Nowal Massari

3 comments:

Jennifer Barker said...

Nicotero is awesome. The actor that paid homage to Bub in "Us" is James Barker.

Nowal Massari said...

Thank you Jennifer! He found me on Twitter last night. Great performance!

Jackie Chin said...

Zombiepalooza Radio happens to think James is pretty cool too.