I grew up in the Pittsburgh area and still have family there--and I truthfully believe that one of the reasons I'm the horror nerd that I am is because I was raised The 'Burgh. I have fond memories of shopping at Monroeville Square Mall back in the Dawn of the Dead days and I love that the city has never shied away from its ties to horror cinema (embodied primarily through guys like George Romero and Tom Savini).

So, it brings great joy to my black heart when I see stories like this one in yesterday's Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

The gist of the story revolves around UPMC's plan to close a hospital in Braddock, Pennsylvania. This didn't sit well with Braddock residents, but rather than voice their displeasure through the usual (boring) channels, filmmaker Tony Buba (who worked on Romero's Night and Dawn of the Dead) gathered up a dozen or so protesters, dressed them up in elaborate zombie make-up, and set them off marching for the UPMC headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh.

When asked about the motivations for his piece of performance protest, Buba had this to say: "We wanted to do this street theater to energize people. The zombie link works because zombies have an insatiable appetite for human flesh and UPMC seems to have an insatiable appetite for chewing up our communities."

It remains to be seen if UPMC will be swayed from their decision with the potential threat of the zombie apocalypse looming on the horizon, but Buba and company deserve credit not only for being social activists, but cool social activists at that. Zombies as social commentators--I bet Romero loves it.

You can learn more about the movement to save Braddock's hospital by pointing your browser to their official site.
categories Features, Horror