Fast food Lititz awakens to zombie chase scene
STEPHEN SEEBER Record Express Staff
, Staff Writer
Brian Shaughnessy looked delicious.
The young sales rep for Atomic Design was out for an innocent Sunday drive in his sporty green station wagon when everything familiar became anything but.
Four zombies entered the striped Main Street crosswalk at Sturgis Lane, like a gruesome version of the Beatles "Abbey Road" album cover. Only this time, it wasn’t just Paul who was dead.
Shaughnessy stopped his car in disbelief. Big mistake.
"My mind went numb when I first saw the zombies," he said as he recalled his harried ordeal. "It was surreal. I wanted to slap myself, but basically a zombie did it for me. I didn’t have time to think. Next thing I know I’m being pulled from the car and struggling with this thing that has maggots coming out of his eye socket. I turn around in a frenzy and two more are on top of me. My fight or flight instinct took over. Facing walking corpses coming at me, I did what I thought was my only option to survive – I ran like there was no tomorrow. At one point, I turned my head to look back, and almost fell to my knees. What I saw can only be described as a horde of death. There must have been 50 zombies eye-balling me like a prime cut of meat."
This was the walking dead-genre movie scene set up on East Main Street early Sunday morning, as Chetroy Productions was in Lititz to shoot a promotional video for the upcoming Dawn of the Lititz Dead zombie run later this year.
The run is being billed as a family fun fundraiser for Lititz Springs Park, a zombie obstacle 5K planned for Oct. 19, starting at the Warwick Township municipal building and ending at the square in downtown Lititz.
The family fun got an early start, as about 50 volunteers dressed as zombies showed up for the 6 a.m. video shoot. The cast included quite a few children eager to "play dead" alongside their parents and grandparents.
"We love zombie stuff, and Halloween," Lisa Brummell said following take three of the chase scene. She was there with her grandson Tyson Harper, costumed and ready to hunt brains.
"I like it too," young Tyson said as he moved into position for another run.
Larry and Reece Gassert made a formidable father-son zombie team. They found out about the video on Facebook.
"He talks about zombies all the time, so we thought it was a good time to be one," Larry said after take four.
There were even expectant zombies in the cast. "I have a little reserve if I’m really hungry," said Karen Crafton regarding the advantage of being a pregnant flesh-craver.
East Main Street was already closed down for the Rock Lititz Tour bike races later that day, and the dawn lighting was perfect as directors Chet Roy and Garrity Powers set the scenes.
The script has Shaughnessy screeching to a halt in the middle of the block as the core group of zombies, a crew of six that gathered at Atomic at 4 a.m. for a more professional make-up detail, converge. Our hero, his shirt ripped from his back in the scuffle, manages to escape the initial barrage of rotting fiends. As he sprints for his life toward the square, dozens of volunteer zombies emerge from storefronts and side alleys, making his peril seem inevitable.
Prior to Sunday, Shaughnessy’s life was relatively normal. He lives in Lititz with his wife Neva and their three kids – Finn, Adelei and Beckett. When he’s not working at Atomic, he keeps busy with his metal detectors, fishing, kayaking, model trains, hiking, mountain biking and birding. If anyone is equipped to survive a zombie apocalypse, it might be this guy.
"It’s time for Lititz to unite the living and take our town back," he said, in character. "Oh, and Maggot Face, you owe me a new shirt."
The video is expected to be on the event website – dawnofthelititzdead.com – in the near future, but an exact date has not been determined. However, anyone interested in participating in the 5K in October can register on the site now. Registration fee for runners is $45, and $20 to be a zombie in the race. There is a discount for early registration, and all proceeds benefit Lititz Springs Park.
More ZOMBIES, page A14