FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Feb 19, 2010

Bloggenaire: Zach Shildwachter, Z for Zombies

Y'all, please give a warm welcome to Mr. Zach Shildwachter, proprietor of Z for Zombies! He was born in 1981, which makes me feel incredibly old.

1) What's the key moment that led you to click that "Start Your Blog" button?

I always have these things I find on the Internet, videos, pictures, and links, that I feel compelled to share with family and friends. I would always include my own brand of humor and thoughts to go along with this, kinda just to twist the knife. My girlfriend said that I should start my own blog, since it was easier than learning HTML to build a website. I guess the Interweb should do what I do; thank her, daily.

2) Please describe your blog in no more than 3 sentences. You must include the words / phrases "morbid", "aesthetic", and "electromagnetic".

Z for Zombies is a morbid timewaster of unparalleled fun for the whole family. Awkward Creations is where I try to share the aesthetic of my brain for the rest of the world to appreciate and judge. Both are powered by the Internet which is a series of electromagnetic tubes.

3) Bearing in mind that opinions are subjective (except mine because I'm always right), do you enjoy movies that are generally considered "bad"? Why or why not?

I’ve been told countless times by my parents and family that I have THEE worst taste in film. I love a bad film. I consider cinema like people; no matter how bad they are, there is some good within them if only you’ll take the time to look. I grew up on spaghetti westerns, monster movies with men in rubber suits, foreign cartoons that used to be called “Japanimation”, poorly dubbed kung fu flicks, action adventures where things blow up for no reason and you never have to reload, and all the cheesy horror flicks I could get away with hiding. I wholeheartedly believe that this is larger what warped my fragile little brain into the state it is now and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

4) Did you know that there exists one variety of carnivorous parrot? It's true. They live in the mountains of New Zealand, and they eat the fat surrounding the kidneys of sheep- WHILE THE SHEEP ARE ALIVE. It's horrible.

That’s pretty nutso. I had a venus fly trap as a kid. It would never eat the flies I caught for it. I thought I could grow my own Audrey II like Seymour.

5) What's the one- ONE- horror movie you love so much you want to stick it down your pants?

Clive Barker’s Night Breed. Why it hasn’t received a Director’s Cut release is beyond my comprehension. I can watch it over and over again. David Cronenberg as a serial killer/psychoanalyst is one of my favorite all time slashers. Rewatch his introduction with the surburban family and you’ll know terror. The world of escape offered within Midian is one that hasn’t been explored since. A Never Never Land for Monsters.

6) Adrienne Barbeau. Discuss.

Adrienne Barbeau was the first pair of exposed breasts I ever saw in a movie. The film Swamp Thing was and always will be close to the heart, even its sequel, largely based on that fact alone. Besides becoming an icon in Escape from New York, and The Fog, I had the great opportunity to work with her as a production assistant on the Daryl Goldberg directed film Unholy. Fresh off her amazing turn on HBO’s Carnivale, she was a constant beam of professionalism. It was the first feature film I ever worked on when I moved to New York City and I lucked out to have her in the cast alongside Nicolas Brendon, more notable as Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She was always sweet and cheerful, and never complained, despite that we were shooting in one of the coldest winters that had hit New York in ten years. She performs all her stunts and yes, still looks absolutely amazing.

7) Why should people bother to read your blog?

My blog(s) offer a peek into the very core of who I am. The things I want to share, I do so as if we were sitting at a bar, sharing a beer. There’s no disconnect with who I am personally and what you read on my sites. I feel that they are both filled with a needed sense of slanted humor and demented beauty in these sad, unfunny times. I strive to present a voice to indie filmmakers, cult fans, and jaded time wasters to unite and share a moment of unrivaled absurdity through my offerings to the Interwebs.

8) Where does Jigsaw get all the money he needs to build all those traps and buy all that warehouse space? Better yet, does he have some sort of engineering background? He must, right, if he designs all that crap?

You would think he would spend his money on a better health plan, but then again he’s dead. Or is he??

9) Several theories regarding the reasons why people would subject themselves to watching horror films (when they're so, you know, traumatic) exist. Which is closest in line with your feelings on and reactions to the genre? Feel free to elaborate. Or don't, see if I care.

a) RELIEF THEORY: The unpleasant feelings of distress cause more stimulating feelings of relief when the unpleasantness passes- the stressed arousal caused by fear becomes pleasurable arousal later on.

b) CONTINUOUS REWARD: The excitement felt during the film is the appeal in and of itself.


1) Stereotypical gender roles are reinforced: men act as protectors, women need protection.

2) Violating social norms- watching "deviant" entertainment- is exciting.

3) Experiencing heightened emotions with others makes us feel like we "belong" and we're truly part of a group.

I would agree more so with the Continuous Reward theory. There are those that like to be scared, those that get scared, and those that laugh at it all. I guess I fall in the last category.

10) Which year produced better horror movies: 1977 or 1981? Why?

I’d go with 1981 because that’s when I was born. Every horror film that echoed through that epoch I’ve gobbled up as best as I can find. There seems to be a more invested sense of filmmaking and reckless abandon in the stories presented, and especially with their marketing and advertising. Here the icons of all horror fans grew and matured only to be revisited again.

11) What the eff is up with those French and their crazy horror flicks?

Sadly most folks won’t watch films with subtitles or in black and white. I say what the eff is up with them?

12) What's your favorite Animals Run Amok movie?

From my childhood I’d have to say Harry and the Hendersons. Now I’d probably go with Black Sheep or Critters.

13) If Jason Voorhees is on a train heading east at 80mph and Leatherface is on a train heading west at 65mph…why the hell would anyone ever watch Rob Zombie's Halloween?

I think that a lot of people come down pretty hard on the guy that really has no formal training as a filmmaker. He’s a musician that actually survived the days of Grunge. To take the Halloween franchise and generate any interest in it all after both Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J skid-marked it, is a testament to his fan boy prowess. I think that as a fan boy turned director his heart is in the right spot, though he has trouble getting his cameras there.

14) What are your funereal wishes?

I want to have a metal rod inserted into my penis and be buried in a Speed-o. Of course I will also have a custom made clear acrylic coffin that you can see me through. My plans are to be buried vertically, with the top half of my coffin sticking out of the ground. Across the lid, that doubles as my tombstone, will be inscribed with my epitaph that shall read as follows; Here is Zach Shildwachter. Funny Guy.

15) Why do I have such a fondness for Shelley Hack? It's not like she's really done much to deserve it, but there it is.

Well, she was in Troll.

16) You're on a sinking ghost ship that's being piloted by a witch. What are your last words?

I tried.

17) Asking about your funereal wishes and your last words means nothing, I swear.

Don’t steal my idea. I bet you’re gonna try to die before me on purpose.

18) Do you know where I can get some lye?

You used to be able to find most of the ingredients used by Tyler Durden and his space monkeys at your local grocery store/drug store. I guess we’re the reason they keep the cold medicine locked up now too.

19) Weren't you glad when THAT JERK in THAT HORROR MOVIE got what was coming to him?

Actually, not really. The jerk usually makes the most sense. Stay in the cellar.

20) Overall, what’s your favorite era of horror films?

I really dig that time of late 80s, early 90s, when the Mom & Pop Video Shops still flourished. Back when VHS had just won dominion over Beta, and Laser Discs were around the corner. Cover art was exactly that, art, drawn by a human being. Where posters determined if you rented one movie or two.

21) Would you rather be:
1) a vampire

2) a witch/warlock
3) a werewolf
4) a Frankenstein (and yes, I know technically it’s “Frankenstein’s monster” but “a Frankenstein” sounds better)
5) a Jaws

I am a listed organ donor on my driver’s license, so I would go with “a Frankenstein”. I’d like to think if I never helped anyone in real life, at least I could do so in death. I’m surprised that most people aren’t, you can’t take it with you. Anytime anyone asks me for identification and I had them my ID, that’s the first thing I say. “I’m an organ donor.”

22) If you could turn back time- if you could find a way- would you take back those words that hurt me, so I’d stay?

Pride's like a knife it can cut deep inside / Words are like weapons they wound sometimes

23) What's something you want people to know about you or your blog that I didn't ask?

I am the only son, born with 3 sisters. I need your validation through comments and lots of them.
Big thanks to Zach! Kids, if you're a horror blogger and you want to be featured here, then read and find out how. Meanwhile, keep your dial set to Final Girl for another exciting episode of...THE BLOGGENAIRES!


Zach S. said...

Thanks so so very much for the shout out! I really appreciate it.

Timmy Crabcakes said...

Glad to see someone standing up for Rob Zombie... kind of... a bit.


spazmo said...

Damn, Stacie, now I need to start reading this guy's stuff too!

Zach's philosophy is great, but his professional self-control is frankly superhuman. If I found myself on a movie set with the likes of Stevie Wayne and Xander Harris...oh shit, forget it. The legal fallout from my slavering fanboy behavior would have been catastrophic.

Stacie Ponder said...

Mua ha ha! Introducing myself and my readers to new blogs! Getting cheeky answers from familiar blogs! AT LAST my infernal plans are coming together...

oducerproducer said...

Dude i mentioned Tyler in my bloggenaire;s LYE question too.

Zach S. said...

If this is your plan for world domination Stacie, I dig it.

Arbogast said...

Born in 1981? Your milk money is so mine.

Zach S. said...

If you want what's mine Arbo, you gotta bleed for it first.

Kudos on one more follower; Me.

I'll be watching...