The other day my Darlings, sad news spread across the horror community. One of the coolest people I, and many others, had the privilege of meeting passed away. Most know him as the first zombie in George Romero’s 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead. I and many on the convention circuit knew him as a fine example of a human being. It was a great loss to us all, but I know he is in a better place. If there ever was a good place to go when we die, this man surely is allowed in. I could go on forever with how important his role was, what a great person he was, so on and so forth…instead I have a few words from people who met him…people that sat next to him…and people that partied with him.
Dustin F.- Fan and Con Goer
“I’m not going to pretend that Bill Hinzman and I were best friends. We didn’t spend Thanksgiving together. I wasn’t a set designer for “The Majorettes”. All I am is someone who had the opportunity to meet the man and I am grateful that I did. Some might only know Bill Hinzman as the “graveyard zombie” from Night of the Living Dead. There are many who didn’t know his name. They have never seen “Flesheater” or “Children of the Living Dead”. And that is fair since, let’s be honest, neither one of those 2 films are going to win any Oscars. So, why are so many feeling the loss of this man?
Simply put, Bill was the perfect example of what horror fans (and all movie fans) want their icons to be. He appreciated his fans just as much as his fans appreciated him. You always felt that he was just as happy to meet you as you were to meet him. He made it feel more than just a photo-op. When in his zombie make-up, he WAS the “graveyard zombie”. It was as if he stopped chasing Barbara through the headstones, stepped off of the black & white screen, and now he was in the viewfinder of your camera “coming to get you”. Isn’t that why we watch these films? To become just a small part of it, if even for just a moment.
Under that make-up was a different story. Under that make-up was Bill. The perfect gentleman. Always with a smile. None of that “I’m a star” mentality. He was always amongst the fans. He would talk to you like you had known him for years. And you would wish that you had. So, why is he going to be missed? He will be missed because he is why we make people “stars”. And this one will continue to shine.”
Melissa Cowan- Actress
“My thoughts and prayers go out to Bill Hinzman’s family and friends!! I had the pleasure of meeting him and getting to know him very well, we often joked between is that he was my zombie godfather!!! I will miss you Bill! May you rest in peace!! The entertainment industry and horror community has truly lost a legend today, glad I got the chance to know you both professionally and personally!! I will miss you !”
Primal Root- Trash Cinema Collective
“The very first time I laid eyes on Bill Hinzman it was the middle of the night. I was about 8 years old as he shambled through my living room, attacked a young woman by the name of Barbara and killed her brother in a scuffle that unfolded before my eyes. My life…would never be the same. Bill Hinzman changed made an immeasurable impact on me that night. He terrified me, he intimidated me, his living dead personae fascinated me. No other living dead descendant of Hinzman’s Ghoul #1 is etched into my memory the way his is. Sure, George Romero and John Russo wrote the modern zombie, but it was Hinzman, who truly pioneered and crafted it onscreen in his now legendary performance in Night of the Living Dead.
Fast forward over a decade and I am in line to finally meet the ghoul who rattled me through my television set as a youngster. My stomach is in knots, I’m getting anxious. Bill is now amongst my very first horror film celebrities I was to meet. My turn comes up, I step forward, and there before me is the smiling, sweet face of Bill Hinzman. I reached out my hand to shake his and introduced myself, “Oh man, hey, eh, my name’s Kevin. It’s a real honor to meet you, Mr. Hinzman!” In return, Bill shakes my hand and says, “Good to know you, Kevin. You can just call me Bill.” And that’s how I first got to know Bill.
Over the years as a convention goer I had the opportunity to hang out and chat with Bill on many occasions. Ever gracious, always sweet and eternal humble, Bill was hands down one of the most genuine and open people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I didn’t know him nearly as well as so many others of you out there who frequented the convention circuit but every time I spent time in the man’s presence he always made me feel at home. Like an equal. Like a friend. He had an undeniable charm and youthfulness to him that I hadn’t expected. Always there staying up late with his fans, laughing, telling stories and carrying on. He had the uncanny ability to make even his most recent acquaintance feel right at home and at ease around him. Bill managed to make us all feel like we were part of the family. The man’s heart, his warmth, were as well-known to us as his iconic characters. Bill is irreplaceable and has left a pair of shoes that cannot ever be filled. A friend and father figure to all of us, Bill will live on in the film he made, in our hearts and in our retelling of the times we were blessed enough to have spent with him. We will forever miss and love you, Bill.”
Tons more can be seen on various Horror sites…there is no doubt he will be missed and the convention circuit won’t be the same without him…In closing I would like to say a few words…
I would like to tell you a story about Bill… Back in 2008, that was a rough year for the Psychotik family. I lost two people very dear to my heart, I lost my car, I lost my job, lost my home….It was a rough time to bring a child into the world. We had just started pulling things back together, and decided to take a trip to Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend. We had went the two years prior, and it was always good seeing friends and hanging out. That Friday night, I had a bit too much to drink and had a seat in one of the pool chairs. The man who sat next to me was none other than Bill Hinzman. I talked to him for a good little bit, telling him all sorts of things you never tell strangers…and he listened. I told him how i didn’t know where I was going in life…that I put everything on “Have to get to the Con” and now I’m here and don’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do with my life. You know what he told me? He said, “Sometimes it’s not important to know where your going. Sometimes you just have to do what you think is right and see where it takes you. Either way, I’m sure you’ll end up right where you need to be.” I’ll never forget those words.
He was the nicest celebrity I ever had the pleasure of meeting, and we will all miss him dearly. Goodnight Graveyard Ghoul…the next con party is for you…
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
I really had to think on this one before I posted something about it. I didn’t want to run right out and go with my gut. My original instinct was just to post something short sweet and to the point. Just something to help continue the word out there that this floater known as Bin Laden was finally flushed. No, I feel this deserves a little more thought than that. It seems so far the people who have posted their thanks for the end of this bastard have been met with a sort of childish argument. It seems there are some people in this world that have forgotten what this jack hole did to us as a country. So before I post my peace on the end of this man…if you can call him that…let’s go back a ways.
The Day a Country Stood Still…
Everybody that has the capacity to, remembers where they were, what they were doing, and what happened on September 11th, 2001. It was terrifying seeing our country, the great beast of America under attack. So much confusion, so much pain, and above all…fear. In one day so many things were changed. Everybody remained in a constant state of fear. All of this because of actions led by one man, Osama Bin Laden. This man became the poster child for terrorism. I don’t even remember hearing about the Taliban or Al-Qaeda before him, but after he hit the news that’s all you heard about. People started to distrust people from the middle-east more. It became almost a taboo to say you were muslim around others. The world was a much different place, and it wasn’t for the better.
It was then that America lashed back at terrorism. We took the war back to them, or so it would seem…this brings me to the next section….
Cause and Effect
It is amazing how the actions of one person can change things in sort of Domino effect. Now before I get to far into this, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m not one of those that believes that America was behind it all, that it was all just a plot to invade the East for oil. No I don’t think that. Do I think that it was a real life tragedy that unfortunately was used to meet someone elses ends, oh yeah that’s possible. Leaving that behind let’s see what we have. The cause in this case is 9/11….let’s see if we can get through a small portion of the effects shall we: Muslims and Middle Easterners everywhere stigmatized, Thousands of Families without there loved ones, The War on Terrorism is started, The war with Iraq, More lives lost…on and on and on it seems this Cause and Effect cycle of death starts to take shape and it all leads back to the events of 9/11. The things I’ve listed don’t even touch the amounts of freedom that we have lost. The dollars in debt that we are in, or the financial problems this country has had since then. This brings me to my conclusion.
Out of nowhere comes the headline “Osama Bin Laden is Dead.” We got him after nearly 10 years our vengeance is absolved. Now I agree with most, I wish it could have been sooner. Fact is folks, tracking down somebody like that takes time. It also helps when you are looking in the right county. It was rather funny how one minute we are fighting Al-Qaeda, we are totally going to hunt them down and screw their little world right up. Then POOF just like that we are side tracked and in Iraq fighting to liberate all that Oil…er…Uhh… I mean Iraqi people! Yeah we are going to rescue them from Saddam Hussain…and we can do this because he has weapons of mass distruction….Yeah…thats it! He could be supplying the terrorists of Al-Qaeda!! We got kind of side tracked people. Now I’m not a Obama nut. He has made some decisions that I don’t really agree with. That’s fine, most presidents won’t agree with you all the time. I will give the man props though and say as badly as we were screwed up, the man has done a lot to try to keep us from backsliding. He has also done his best to clean up the wars and fires the previous fellow started. And yes damn it…he did what we set out to do almost 10 years ago….KILL BIN LADEN!!! He got us back on track to what our goal was. The main reason we were over there in the first place was to kill Osama. I don’t get what is wrong with all the nay sayers out there. Have they forgotten what this man did? I don’t really feel he deserved a trial…his verdict was decided when he plead guilty and accepted responsibility for 9/11.
Really, this is all the time I want to devote to this in particular. I just felt I needed to say something on the subject (especially since I will probably be making plenty of jokes at the dead jack asses expense). I think I will leave this by saying, many warm felt regards to all that were affected on September 11, 2001. I hope you may all rest a little easier knowing that your grievance has been avenged.
Now my freaky darlings I’m off to cause some more mayhem for you all. I have dug up some rather nice interviews and I have some pretty cool things to come. So…
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
* Editor Note: The reason I have not posted a single serious picture of Osama is this…He dosen’t deserve to be remembered as a man or a person…not even a monster…he deserves to be remembered as the caricature of hate…a passing joke in the history of the world…Oh and P.S