Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

It’s the Redneck Zombie Movie Hour!

Written By: Tracy - Jul• 26•09

My best friend works with a talent agency in Fayetteville, Arkansas to find acting, singing and modeling jobs.  She’s been working on a low-budget, direct-to-video zombie move for most of the last week.  On saturday, she invited me to come help her with doing zombie movie makeup.  Since she is my best friend, I figured: why not?

The movie’s working title is called "Experiment 319" (I think).  It’s about a government experiment to create zombies that gets out of hand when a drug from the experiment winds up in a drug dealer’s methamphetamines.  The scene that I did makeup for involved zombies attacking a country church.  For that scene, we drove out to Huntsville arkansas, to find a one-room schoolhouse on a dirt road. 

Most of the film crew was a bit worried that there wouldn’t be enough extras, but I actually expected that there would be too many.  Mostly because I’ve watched film crews come into northwest Arkansas for filming movies before.  When you’re fliming in a rural area it’s big news, and everyone and their dog shows up to watch.  You can pretty much pick and choose your extras from the crowd.

True to my prediction, there were about 40 people, and one stray dog  there. One of them even brought his own Ninja sword because he though it would be neat if they filmed him as a cool ninja zombie.  At one point we had to make him put the sword back in it’s sheath and put it away.

I worked from about 10:00 to 12:00 making folks up to look like Zombies.  

First you put pale base makeup on as primer.  Then you cover it with white talc powder as a fixative.  Then you fill in the creases and hollows  of the face using browns, blacks and purples.  There wasn’t a lot of time to do more than that, but if we had had more time, we could have drawn in veins using black eyeliner, and made the lips look cracked by filling in the cracks with red lipstick.  Then you powder everything off again, which is what I’m doing here. 

My favroite zombie of the day was an old man who had a really long yellow and white beard.  He already had a weathered face, which was a great guide for me just to fill in what was already there. 

And another guy who was there used to live in Eureka Springs and was hired on as a set carpenter when they were doing the movie "Pass the Ammo" with Bill Paxton, Tim Curry and Annie Potts.  It was interesting to hear his stories. 

We set up to make people up in the one room schoolhouse, which wasn’t as impressive to us as it probably should have been, since many of the extras were from that community, and many of the rest of us were from other communities with one room schoolhouses in them.  Although the actors and director did seem to like ringing the bell in the steeple. 

About 12:00, it started to get hot in the schoolhouse, and the director started using it for filming.  So we would hear banging on the door when the Zombies were trying to get in as we were making up the last of the zombie extras.

Zombie massacre, taken from the inside of the schoolhouse.  The director is filming on the far right of the photo next to the car.  

Once we finished up with the zombies, we cleaned up the makeup and packed up.  We hung around for another hour watching them film the zombie attack scenes, then we left.  I’ve been told that I’ll be invited to the watch party when it’s all over.  And that the movie will be distributed direct-to-video in Hastings.  My friend may be a zombie in yet more scenes, as her monster hasn’t been killed off yet.  I’ll report more as this happens. 


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  1. muses_circle says:

    Oh man, that old guy looks creepy!

  2. Oh man thats so cool. I really think its great to see people in rural areas get in to a film. Where my Grandpa Fire egle lived in Lacompton Kansas a small movie was partly made there. He mentioned all the names of the people that was neibors that had been in the film. The bridge that was up the road from him was in the “big scene” he never thought much of it till he started seeing the movie title every where. Carnival of Souls was the name of the show……

    Oh and i really like the old man, thats great….

    • Tracy says:

      We’ve had quite a few films around here. Mostly because we have the WWII era barraks still standing out in Fort Smith, lots of Victorian houses and Western-era stores that can work as western sets, and the pretty mountains. They filmed a couple of western movies where all they had to do was dump dirt over the streets and take the power lines out in post production.

  3. jongibbs says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun 🙂