“Walking Dead”… Did you catch the homage to underground cult movie “Killing Spree”?

Greg Nicotero

“The Walking Dead” has been known for its homages to other horror movies, especially those of the beloved zombie trilogy from horror legend George Romero (“Night of the Living Dead”, “Dawn of the Dead”, “Day of the Dead”).  But the show’s FX guru and oft-times director Greg Nicotero has let it slip that there’s other hidden nods that most mainstream horror fans have missed, most notably those to his favorite underground horror movie of all time, “Killing Spree”.

“Killing Spree”, directed by cult filmmaker Tim Ritter, is hardly unknown, especially among b-movie fans.  But general audiences have mostly overlooked this campy gem, which is probably why so many of these nods to it have gone unnoticed… well, until now.  Sub Rosa Studios recently contacted Greg at his FX studio as he was prepping work for the upcoming “Fear the Walking Dead” spinoff series, and he was more than happy to confirm our suspicions.

“Yes, I love ‘Killing Spree,'” Greg enthusiastically admitted.  “We’ve been paying tribute to it since season one.  There’s been so many… severed heads with partial spines still attached, tops of heads chopped off, bone saw to the neck, I could go on and on. I was surprised it had gone unnoticed so long… or at least if anyone had caught these, they hadn’t spoke up.”  Greg went on to detail various moments, starting with the most obvious. “Oh yeah, the burnt zombies, definitely inspired by the delivery zombie in ‘Spree'”.

Burnt Zombies in the “Walking Dead”
Burn zombie in “Killing Spree”

Greg continued, “I thought Andrea plunging that screwdriver in the zombie’s head would be another obvious one, but surprisingly people missed it.”

Screw driver zombie in “The Walking Dead”


Screw driver zombie in “Killing Spree”

“The cowboy hat?” Greg added.  “I mean, that’s so obvious, again inspired from our favorite toxic zombie in the movie (the delivery guy).  I mean, we changed the hat up but it’s pretty apparent I think.”

Cowboy Hat in “Walking Dead”
Zombie Delivery
Cowboy Hat in “Killing Spree”

And the biggest one of all?  “I’d say the very first one we did” Greg noted.  “The crawling ‘Bicycle Girl’ zombie Rick finds in episode one… and yes, we were paying tribute to ‘Spree’ that far back… inspired by the lead actor Asbetos Felt”.

Zombie in “Walking Dead”
Asbestos Felt in “Killing Spree”

Pretty amazing news, especially for such an underground flick! Oh, and April Fool’s Day (to clarify, Greg wasn’t contacted about this article, but he may very well be a fan of “Killing Spree”).  Oh, and watch for “Killing Spree” to get an all new release on Blu-ray soon!

Thanks for reading!





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