NE resurrects the dead with Halloween event

Dancers dressed as zombies perform a choreographed number to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” during Zombiefest. KJ Means/The Collegian
Dancers dressed as zombies perform a choreographed number to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” during Zombiefest.
KJ Means/The Collegian

campus editor

Outside and between the NFAB and NCAB buildings, shouting and screams could be heard as roaming “zombies” scared students and staff all night long during the Zombiefest event. 

On Oct. 27, NE Campus hosted Zombiefest, an event TCC has held before. They had a prize table and a zombie makeup station, as well as snacks, treats and a trebuchet catapult. 

Though the weather was chilly, the event was filled with people and some gathered around a fire, holding marshmallows over it. The table supplying candy and marshmallows had NE students Elizabeth Jones and Liana Flores helping out. 

The event was advertised throughout campus, and Flores and Jones were there to volunteer from the theater department. Some zombies roamed in packs, some in doubles, and they continued their work of spooking while the night went on. Flores complimented their devotion to the role. 

“I think they’re brave to want to do that, like dress up as zombies and want to go after random people,” she said.

Those who volunteered as zombies were both high school and college students, decked out in zombie attire complete with special effects makeup. 

The high schoolers were supervised by Andres Rizo from Treetops School International, a private school in Euless, to enjoy the festivities and partake in the zombie experience. 

 “We’ve had a good partnership with the college for many years,” he explained. “I like to bring high schoolers to a college, because they can say, ‘Oh, I can be here one day, it looks fun!’’ 

In the grass next to NFAB, a trebuchet shot all sorts of objects into the set-out and blocked-off path for flinging at a pair of zombie volunteers. 

NE art department chair Susan Perez, who was monitoring the experiment, was one of the faculty members who helped bring the event to life. 

“Our professors have hosted and created this event in the past, and coming off the pandemic, professor Andrew Stalder and professor Scott Parker inquired if we could host this event again and we said ‘Sure, let’s do it,’ so that’s how it got started for this year,” Perez said. 

Alongside Perez was Parker, who explained why he was happy with the student turnout at the event. 

“It’s a great event to bring students out,” Parker said. “There’s a lot of statistics that show that engaged students are better students.”

NE math co-chairs Tamara Fuenzalida and Thomas Kinzeler were manning the trebuchet, and Fuenzalida explained the mechanics. 

“Mathematically, the very specific thing is the angle of the release pin,” Fuenzalida said. “So, depending on the different weights, you need a very specific release angle.”

The trebuchet was tested by flinging round objects and pumpkins at varied distances. 

“I think my favorite part of this whole thing is asking, ‘How far do we need to rope off the designated area?’ Because we didn’t want to launch it anywhere that would hit someone,” Kinzeler joked. 

As the night went on, a zombie flash mob made their way into the scene. Some crawling and others growling, they broke into a performance dance to the song “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. 

Dance faculty Hyun Jung Chang and Najwa Seyedmorteza helped create the flash mob, which was a five-week process in their Jazz Dance and Modern Dance classes. 

Seyedmorteza commented on the end results and how the dancers performed, delighted that they were so involved. 

“My favorite part of the process was seeing how they all reacted and felt after they had performed!” she said. “The energy was electrical and I could tell that they had so much fun with the performance.”

At the end of the night, student-led and produced zombie films were broadcast on a screen for everyone to watch. These films were entered into the film fest contest for NE, and the winner would receive a prize. 

In the end, the winner of the film fest was NE student Rachael Adams. Her film was called “Descent,” and was a collaboration of various other students to help make the film.

“I say it was stressful, but any filming process is stressful,” Adams said. “But I had a good group and that made that really easy. We all pitched in together and did everything together, so it was really a group effort.”

The film itself was set under a small room with eerie lighting, and Adams explained that it was actually filmed under the NE stage. 

“There is a little location under the stage called the ‘dungeon,’ and we got access to it from the theater head,” she said. “Without her, we would have never been able to do that.”