A short while ago I noticed a strange fellow with a passion for Star Trek and Zombies appearing here and there on FaceBook. His photos both horrified and intrigued me. I instantly felt a bizarre kindship with this unique genre mash-up fan and wanted to know more about him and his undead Starfleet persona, Zombie Riker. Recently, I got the opportunity to ask a few questions of this interesting fellow from across the pond, and here is what he had to say.
Five Questions for ZOMBIE RIKER
1) Do you need fresh Starfleet brains and Federation flesh, or can you survive on replicated brains and replicated flesh?
I mostly live off the synthetic stuff. The infection that causes my body to decay for some reason doesn’t affect my ability to think which allows me to keep many of my human faculties such as speech, rational thought and some degree of compassion. So, I’m mostly harmless and rarely chomp on a genuine cerebrum – but that’s not to say I don’t occasionally get an uncontrollable urge. If worse comes to worse they usually feed me a stray Romulan.
2) Is there a taste difference between human brains and say Vulcans, Klingons, Andorians or Gorns? Follow up: Are Gorns as chewy as they look, and which alien race is the spiciest?
There are noticeable differences between each of these species’ brains and they usually reflect the personalities and cultures of each race. For example, the Vulcan brain has quite complex and rich taste and leaves you feeling quite enlightened. Klingon brains are the spiciest, this due to their fiery temper which has the tendency to repeat itself with the same aggression. As for the Gorns, their brains are indeed chewy. Like a piece of bubble gum – and about the same size but without the fruity flavor! And Humans are usually rather dull and tasteless as you could imagine.
3) Do you consider the Borg to be a relative, maybe an interstellar cousin species?
I’ve actually met a Borg, and we seem to have an unspoken respect for one another’s kind. That said, they’re still pretty unpleasant and if one of them was a relative of mine, I’d probably disown them! Obvious similarities can be drawn between Zombies and the Borg. One of which would be that we both create more like ourselves virally, although the Borg has taken generations and has the technology to perfect its methods. And without a hive mind we undead generally lack the direction and cohesion that someone like the Borg Queen would bring to our kind. Maybe I could apply for the role? Zombie King Riker has a nice ring to it, right?
4) Commander Riker has quite the reputation as a ladies man. How is Zombie Riker doing with the ladies?
Ladies seem to love Zombie Riker – almost as much as his human counterpart! Whenever I beam down to a convention or club for a little shore leave there’s often a number of female fans who want to party with the festering First Officer! But alas, the search continues for his true Zombie Troi.
5) Lastly, which Starfleet Captain would you most like to have for lunch?
There would be no greater honour for me than to consume the brain of our dear Captain Picard. As far as living humans go, he’s experienced a lot of things, has a great tactical mind and a wealth of cultural, general and historical knowledge. I think above all my fellow crewmen Jean Luc’s mind would make the most satisfying meal!
Five Questions for Jay Curd, the man behind Zombie Riker
1)So what is the inspiration for Zombie Riker, and why Riker?
Commander Riker has always been my favourite Next Generation character. He just had it all. He was the cool charismatic type, the action guy, the lady’s man and was not afraid to speak up - even to his Captain when situation required. I’ve also always enjoyed zombie movies and the classic schlock horror style make-ups of George Romero films. Combining the love of Star Trek and the undead was inevitable, and highly logical. Also I have a similar beard, which was a good place to start.
2) Zombie Riker’s makeup looks very professional, are you in the biz or is makeup just a hobby?
That’s a real compliment, as I’ve actually had no real makeup training. My Zombie Riker looks so far have mostly been comprised of tissue paper and latex with a lot of time, attention and fake blood poured in! A friend of mine did my first make-up for me at Halloween in 2011 and by myself I’ve resurrected and reimagined Zombie Riker a number of times since. People just take to the character with great enthusiasm and it’s a fantastic buzz getting praise and making an impression with something I’ve created.
It’s that encouragement and some good advice from pros which has pushed me to want to try out new things. I’ve recently been experimenting with different materials to add to my arsenal and currently working on some prosthetic pieces using silicone in hope of creating a more out of this world and alien looking infection for future appearances. But that’s enough with the spoilers!
3) I’ve noticed pictures of you at some conventions. Which Cons has Zombie Riker gone to this year and which ones are you planning on attending in 2013?
The U.K convention season tends to pick up as we head towards summer, so I’ve only done one appearance as Zombie Riker so far this year which was a nightclub zombie night. But when the cons start I hope to attend at least a couple of them as Zombie Riker.
Most notable as a Trek fan will be the London Film and Comic Con which runs from July 5th – 7th where there will be a reunion of Deep Space Nine cast members including Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko), Nicole DeBoer (Ezri Dax), Armin Shimerman (Quark) and a number of others from that show. They also have Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori) from The Walking Dead appearing as a guest, so it’s the perfect occasion for a Zombie Riker away mission!
4) While dressing up as Zombie Riker, what would you say has been the highlight of appearing as one of Starfleet’s highest ranking undead?
My greatest moment as Zombie Riker, and possibly in my life as we know it, was meeting Jonathan Frakes, ‘actual’ Commander Riker, while I was in character. This was at the Entertainment and Media Show in
London last year and we
got a professional photo taken together and he even asked me if he could take a
picture of me on his iPhone! That was certainly a highlight that will be hard
5) When not bringing Zombie Riker to life or undeath , what are you doing?
When I am forced reluctantly to face the ‘real life’ stuff I work in technical support and also write for a tech news and reviews blog called Gadget Helpline in which I try to drop a Star Trek reference whenever possible! Outside of work and aside from Star Trek fandom I’m also a horror movie enthusiast and run a successful social page called Krueger Kollectables. I also try to attend as many movie events and horror themed nights as possible and enjoy mingling with fellow gorehounds and meeting the talented filmmakers that inspire my dark and twisted imagination.
Another unusual public persona of mine is the M.C and ‘Commissioner’ for the British based Extreme World Wrestling. I host around 2-3 shows a year for their unique and alternative brand of pro wrestling and appear as a storyline character. It’s another perfect pairing for me, as I’ve been a fan of wrestling since childhood and there’s generally a dark and macabre tone which suits me perfectly. And co-incidentally our next show in
Hastings on Saturday 26th October is called
‘Invasion of the Bodyslammers’ and it will carry a zombie theme. So expect me
to come dressed appropriately!
- end of interview-
Special thank you to Ritch Simpkins of Discord for some of the photos, and to Jay Curd for being strange enough, and weird enough to create ZOMBIE RIKER! Never change Jay!