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The Walking Dead / Zombie Panels at the Alabama Phoenix Festival


This year at the Alabama Phoenix Festival, there was no shortage of guests and panels from The Walking Dead and zombies!  Guests Savana Wehunt, Tony Gowell, and Alex Wayne provided guests with a great time!  All three guests have ties to The Walking Dead on AMC.  All three guests were zombie walkers on the show!  By the way, here is a Geek Alabama interview with Savana Wehunt at the Alabama Phoenix Festival!

So, as each season of The Walking Dead comes along, what happens to the zombies?  The guests have theories that the zombies will continue to get more hungry and starve even more as fewer people, or food to them is available.  The zombie bodies are decaying with each passing day and soon, the zombie’s bodies will just give out.  The humans could easily kill a zombie by just touching them as the seasons go forward.  There is just so much walking a zombie can do!

Everyone knows that zombies loves to eat humans!  Zombies still have some brain function so they can walk and do their growls.  Eating humans and their brains is just like us humans eating meat for protein.  Yes, zombies consider brains as a meat source!  Another consideration, what drives the zombies toward people or objects?  The guests think their scent is what drives them to wherever they want to go.

The zombie guests also talked about what if the zombie apocalypse actually happened?  The worst case scenario, the zombie apocalypse starts in a rural area with few people around.  If this happens, it could spread out of control before it is contained.  If it started in a city like in the movie I Am Legend, it could be controlled more quickly.  So if the zombie apocalypse tries to start, let’s hope it starts in a city!

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Here is something interesting!  It’s very hard for overweight people to become zombies!  On average, it takes a person 1-5 hours to be transformed into a zombie by the makeup crew.  The makeup crew wants you to look your best so you can shine in front of the camera!  One secret from the guests, if you show up early to the makeup room, you will get a better makeup job than showing up later!  Yes, some people have asked for fat zombies on The Walking Dead, and yes, this is something Tony Gowell would love to have!  Some show secrets, in season 3 of the show, the prison is not real.  The prison is just props and was built around a studio lot.  And at the end of season 2 when we got to see Michonne, the person playing her was just a background actor.  Bet yea you didn’t know that!

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Yes, with season four of The Walking Dead being made in Georgia.  Some people have to criticize the show over something.  Some people have complained that The Walking Dead has become too soap operaish.  I don’t believe this is the case!  The guests also gave some theories about the show.  Yes, could Michonne and Andrea have a lesbian relationship?  There are also rumors of time jumping on The Walking Dead.  The guests did not confirm or deny this is coming in future episodes.

So, what do the zombies eat when they are eating someone alive?  The zombie walker guests talked about what they are eating!  The zombie walkers do eat real meat and the catering team does know what the zombie walkers prefer to eat!  Most of the time, the zombies eat a variety of different meats including BBQ.  All of the meat is coated in fake blood.  And the intestines are actually nylon stockings filled with jelly.  Savana said eating Otis was a good experience and it was BBQ she was eating!  All of the zombie guests said the stand in work is boring but it paid well and the eating was good!

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Tony Gowell talked about the time he was a zombie walker in season one.  During the scenes at the CDC.  He had to lay on the very hot pavement in the July sun during filming. He did this for hours at a time.  Pavement gets very hot during the Summertime in the south.  Tony did say all the blood, sweat. and tears was worth it in making a top TV show!  Tony also gave some advice to anyone who is wanting to act on TV or in the movies.  He said “leave all the s**t at the door when the time comes to perform and be on camera.”  Another tip, dress up and be creative!  That is some good advice!

The zombie guests also talked about their time in zombie school, yes there is such a thing!  Zombie school basically teaches you how to walk and act as a zombie!  While getting the zombie makeup, there is actually three different types of zombie makeup you could get.  The hero zombies get the full treatment as they will be in front of the camera.  Midground zombies get the full makeup but with no contacts for their eyes.  Background zombies get light makeup.  And mask zombies only get a mask to put over their face.

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The guests also talked about a potential episode that could do well.  What if there was an episode where a character wakes up in the zombie apocalypse and was trying to say “help me!”  At the end of the episode, the camera turns around and it shows the viewers that she is a zombie!  The zombies are trying to say they want help but they can’t do anything about it.  Remember, zombies do have some brain function and might have some knowledge on who they are before they became a zombie.  This type of episode would do well in my opinion!

The Walking Dead has brought all the actors and actresses out of their shells.  And yes, the guests said the zombie culture will never die!  The show is getting more separated from the comic book and I know some people hates that, but it’s good to have two different story-lines in my opinion!  One interesting thought, will The Walking Dead ever reveal how the zombie apocalypse got started and how people actually became zombies?  And you can be sure about this, the show will never introduce special zombies who can run fast like you see in other movies and TV shows.  That’s too cheesy!

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Savana Wehunt actually liked being the governor’s daughter in season three.  The governor is actually a very nice person and he was caring on set.  Savana had a harness around her back and a truck necklace around her neck during filming.  Yes, Savana has had times where she has worn the clothes from Carl on the show.  Sometimes, Savana and Carl are seen next to each other on set.  No, they are not dating as Carl already has a girlfriend.  Sometimes, Carl and Savana looks identical and it can be hard to tell which is which.  One secret about Carl, he loves his Skittles!

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Savana Wehunt is helping to develop a mobile game called We Hunt Zombies.  To learn more go to: or @WeHuntZombies

Tony Gowell still helps out at Dragon Con and you will see him there on Labor Day Weekend!  By the way, I would love to see all three guests appear on The Walking Dead again as zombies, who’s with me!

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