The dead will rise up and walk the Earth once again when the 13- hour UK Festival of Zombie Culture returns to Leicester at the weekend.
More than 500 zombie enthusiasts and horror film buffs will descend on Phoenix Square on Saturday for their annual fix of gory fun and mayhem.
There is a treat in store for living dead fans with the world premiere of Wasteland, a film produced in the East Midlands about a group of survivors trying to escape a zombie virus and its carnivorous victims.
It will be the seventh time the event has been staged by its s founder and principal organiser Ed Thurlow - aka Zombie Ed.
We have the same mix of classic, new, contemporary and foreign zombie feature films, said the 43-year-old, who is acclaimed as the country's leading zombie expert. Once again, we will be proud to promote British zombie films, with Wasteland one of three films produced in the UK.
For the first time, we will be hosting the Ultimate Zombie Short Film Competition, with the audience invited to vote for the best film made in 2013.
Other films include Battle of the Damned, starring Dolph Lundgren, of Rocky IV fame, and Russian offering, Winter of the Dead.
Along with zombie cinema, the festival will feature the Arcade of the Dead, showcasing some of the latest zombie console games.
There will be book signings from zombie survival specialist Sean T Page and fellow horror authors Adam Millard and David Moody, while gruesomelooking traders will man The Zombie Shop and Ed's Terror4fun. Make-up artists will be on hand to make sure festival- goers look their worst, with prizes available in a Best Dressed Zombie competition.
Ed held his first event in 2004, at the old Phoenix Arts Centre, off Newarke Street, when he created a zombie murder mystery weekend.
In the same year, he launched The Zombie Times, which now has a readership of 14,000.
When Ed is not in zombiemode, he works as a learning management systems trainer for the NHS, where he also puts his self-taught prosthetic make-up skills to use as a casualty simulation artist.
Ed said he was proud of how the festival has developed.
He said: This year promises to be another crazy event and we're hoping to stage a summer event from next year. Zombie-themed ales will be on sale, with proceeds from the event going to soldiers' charity Help for Heroes.
Jake Harvey, film programme coordinator at the Phoenix cinema, said: We are very excited to welcome back the UK Festival of Zombie Culture . It's everyone's favourite event here at Phoenix.
Festival day passes cost Pounds 25, with individual film tickets available from The Phoenix.
It starts at noon, finishing at 3am. For details, visit: www.terror4fun.com ZOMBIE NATION WILL YOU BE GOING TO THE FESTIVAL? TELL US...
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