One of the most popular entries in the history of the zombie horror genre, The Walking Dead has a lot of reference points to draw from in the years since George Romero basically jump-started things almost 50 years ago. Last season, for instance, the show paid homage to one of the greatest zombie works in pop culture, Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, but it did so in a way that you probably weren’t even aware of. Which is fine, since a blatantly obvious comedy gag might have taken audiences out of the seriousness at hand.
The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-and-you-probably-will-even-if-you-don’t-blink moment happens in the Season 5 episode “Remember” during the opening sequence, where the particularly memorable piece of Shaun of the Dead wardrobe pops up. Here’s how producer and special effects wizard Greg Nicotero put it in the episode commentary on Walking Dead Season 5 Blu-ray, out later this month.
In this particular scene we did a tribute walker that you only see for a split second. It was another one of my little things that I like to do on the show. So, [our] Shaun of The Dead tribute—and you only see him for a second, but I used the “I Got Wood” t-shirt that Nick [Frost] wore as Ed, so that’s our little tribute!
Perhaps not so coincidentally, Nicotero was interviewed by Huffington Post last year at some point, where he was asked if he’d ever thought about throwing a Shaun of the Dead Easter egg in the show, and he brought up the fact that he has an I Got Wood t-shirt. So that’s proof that it sometimes doesn’t take much at all to inspire someone creatively.
Are you ready to see that walker in the t-shirt? Here you go.
Yeah, it’s damned near impossible to recognize it, and I’d never have guessed it had anything to do with one of my favorite flicks. Thankfully, episode commentaries exist and Nicotero was able to share this excellent little detail with the world at large, though it would have been better to hear it over a couple of pints at the Winchester. Now here’s a shot of Nick Frost in the actual shirt, to refresh your memory.
The Walking Dead Season 5 Blu-ray is set to hit stores on Tuesday, August 25, and the show will deliver massive amounts of new violence and zombified terror when Season 6 premieres this fall on Sunday, October 11. We’re hoping for a Return of the Living Dead reference next.