Zombies to invade Leeds

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DEAD WEIRD? Dead funny? Dead scary ...?

It’s hard to say which - but it’ll definitely be one of the three when the region’s zombies shuffle and limp their way to Headingley for their very own marathon on Sunday.

Rather than running - hazardous for the average undead who wants to remain in possession of the requisite number of limbs - this macabre crowd will be stumbling their way towards the Cottage Road Cinema and a 12-hour festival of film.

Hosted by Emmerdale’s Mark Charnock and Dominic Brunt - who play the soap’s Marlon Dingle and Paddy Kirk and who are both massive fans of the genre - around 500 are expected to enjoy a half-day of horror.

But, apparently, even zombies have a heart as money raised by the event will go towards the World Society For The Protection of Animals.

“This is the seventh year of our Zombie Film Fest, with more fans attending each year,” said Dominic. “We try to show a selection of films from around the world - some good, some bad and others downright ridiculous - which adds to the fun of the event.

“Anytime a green field or anything to do with farming appears on screen, we have loads of zombies singing the theme from Emmerdale; it’s a brilliant atmosphere.

Films will include Stalled - a story of a janitor locked in a macabre rest room - and Lifeforce, which chronicles the arrival of vampires from space.

However, fans can also look forward to Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead - the story of what happens when an American fast-food giant builds its latest restaurant on the site of an ancient Indian burial ground.

Not all fans dress up for the show but many do, complete with ashen faces, artificial blood and the odd severed limb.

“Don’t be shocked if it looks like a zombie apocalypse has happened on Otley Road on Sunday,“ added Mark. “We just hope they don’t scare any of the runners from the Leeds Half Marathon on their way here.”

Doors open at the Cottage Road Cinema at 11am with the first film to be screened an hour later. The programme then runs until midnight with an after-show party planned until 2am at The New Inn over the road from the cinema.

Tickets for the event cost £15 but are available to over 18s only. A limited number will be available from the box office on the day but they can be purchased in advance by calling 0113 275 1606 or via email at zombie@cottageroad.co.uk. More information can also be found at www.leedszombiefilmfestival.com

fact panel:

What is a Zombie?

There is an argument among fans of the genre as to what actually defines a zombie.

In short, the most popular answer is that a zombie is a being who has died - often from infection - but whose body has regenerated with a taste for human flesh.

Apparently, you can only kill a zombie by destroying the brain.

However, more recent films - often inspired by computer games - have depicted zombies as far more energetic with the ability to move swifly, climb walls or even possessing super powers.

Purists argue these are NOT zombies. They are more acurately described as supernatural beings.

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