Summer of Zombie 2015: Clowns and the apocalypse
How many of you are already cowering under your covers? More than you’d think. People fear clowns. They do. A long time ago, I wrote a play called “The Secret Life Of Clowns” which give an insight into why there is so much hatred for the clown. But that is irrelevant (but fun to mention nonetheless – and one of these days I will publish my plays).
What was I talking about? Oh yes, clowns.
In the second iteration of Zombie Radio (cleverly named “Zombie Radio 2”) there was a short scene that involved an undead clown. The scene was actually an homage to long-time fan Amy Miller (and my attempt at acclimating her to clowns). The reality of that situation was tossing a character into a horrifying situation against a double-whammy of fear.
Clowns and zombies.
Think about it for a moment. Anyone with coulrophobia (fear of clowns) will most like wind up shackled in a straight jacket after having undead Pennywise (or Amy the Clown) chomping for their nom de brain.
For me, as an author, that is where the true horror begins and ends – the point where you can tap into real and tangible fear and layer it with the fantastique. Clowns and zombies.
The same holds true with Clowns and killers. John Wayne Gacy, known as the Clown Killer, cut a swath of terror by donning his Pogo The Clown costume, which allowed him to “regress into childhood”.
The merging of innocence and madness makes for some seriously dark theater. The apocalypse is the perfect backdrop for such juxtaposition. A zombie priest. The undead girl next door. A child moaner or screamer. A husband facing down the act of taking the life of his betrothed, thanks to the virus. But the clown is a special flavor of humanity. No other character is as polarizing. Half the world loves the clown and the other half hates them. An undead clown makes for either serious nightmare or heartache.
Childhood memories or nightmares. Depending on which side you fall, your reaction to the undead clown could easily make or break an experience for you. The fear and hatred for clowns runs deeper than you might think. Google why people hate clowns and you’ll come across a site dedicated specifically to spreading the hatred of clowns – ihateclowns.com – the official anti-clown website since 1996. You can even purchase anti-clown merchandise and show your deep-seeded hatred for the greasepaint smeared entertainers.
But when the greasepaint cracks and the flesh below rots, that’s when the true fear emerges. To Hell with Pennywise, Pogo, or Twisty; once the clown has fallen prey to the undead, the white satin gloves come off and the real party begins.
There was a great moment in Modern Family between Cameron and Phil that went something like this:
Cameron: Hey Phil, are you getting a clown for today?
Phil: Ah … no. Luke’s not much of a clown fan.
Phil: Yeah, he never liked ‘em.
Cameron: Has he ever seen a good one?
Phil: Has anyone? Really?
Phil’s question, though humorous, offers a heavy dose of reality to a lot of people. The fear of clowns is incredibly prevalent … even more so than kinemortophobia (fear of zombies). In fact, the top five phobias are:
- Claustrophobia: fear of being trapped
- Arachnophobia: fear of spiders
- Coulrophobia: <insert Krusty The Clown laugh>
- Acrophobia: fear of heights
- Trypophobia: fear of clustered holes
So imagine if Undead Spiders The Clown trapped you in an elevator and, out of nowhere, the cable holding the elevator aloft splintered and sent you plummeting to the ground floor – all the while Spiders The Clown was crashing your head against the clustered hole floor of the cart to get to the sweetest meat of all.
<insert sound of clown horn>
Find out more about Jack Wallen at the following locations:
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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!
Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!
#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!