There are horror genre purists who are deadly serious about their interest and then there are Laura Loci and Lindsey Brisbine. The duo are the creative minds behind “My Best Friend is a Zombie.”
The project is a hybrid of art and fantasy that allows the women to express their love of zombies while exploring the nature of friendship.
“Laura and Lindsey are two bad bitches who fought together during the zombie apocalypse, and Lindsey got bit,” Loci explained. “Laura being a bit sensitive, refused to put her best friend down.”
In the scenario, the zombie threat was ended and life has returned to something akin to normal.
“MBFIZ is about their ‘normal’ life together and adventures,” Loci said.
Brisbine’s take on the project is similar.
“It is an original and genuine story about best friends who have let nothing severe their bond, not even death and decay can detach them from each other,” she said. “Their uncommon juxtaposition makes both everyday life and their relationship that much more amusing.”
The project exists on the Internet via a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MyBestFriendIsAZOMBIE. A website is under development and will be located at mybestfriendisazombie.com when it is finished.
Brisbine said the idea for the project actually came about during a conversation she and Loci were having over a cup of coffee about how complicated the relationships between women and their friends can be.
“Somehow the overload of caffeine managed to interject both the apocalypse and zombies into our repartee, and jokingly we began to imagine me as an animated corpse and what it would be like for Laura to still be my friend,” she said. “Immediately little gory light bulbs appeared over our heads, and with the help of my husband Adam we began this quest with a photo shoot that then inspired a full-fledged storyline.”
Having a zombie for a friend was probably not what Laura imagined as a child. In fact, she said it still baffles her family.
“ I grew up uber christian, so zombies and the apocalypse are your little kid reality from birth,” she said. “My family thinks its gross and they have no idea what zombies are. I tried to explain to them but it goes right over their heads. I don’t mind though, I am my own person.”
In Brisbine’s case, she fell for an animated corpse early on, watching the 1931 film adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein staring Boris Karloff and Colin Clive.
“As a child I always sympathized with Frankenstein, and I felt such compassion for him, usually crying while watching the movie feeling that he was just terribly misunderstood,” she said. “With that I was hooked on horror films especially anything involving zombies.”
Brisbine isn’t kidding when she says she was hooked. For Halloween as kid, she was the bride of Frankenstein.
“I even made my mother tease, spray, and color my actual hair just like Elsa Lanchester in the movie,” she said. “Zombies in particular fascinated me, the idea of your neighbors walking around like mindless flesh seeking savages always made me smile.”
In high school she and her friends would play out zombie apocalypse scenario in whatever restaurant, movie theater or park they happened to find themselves in. By the time she made it to college, she was enrolling in courses like “The History of Violence in Literature” and “Cult Films” where students read a variety of horror/violence related books and watched movies like “Blood Feast” and John Carpenter’s “Halloween.”
The fascination continues and she and her husband now own their own professional photography and graphic design businesses Little Fang Photo and Little Fang Media.
Given their backgrounds, one might think meeting Brisbine was Loci’s introduction to horror. This wasn’t the case, however. Loci said despite her Christian upbringing, she did eventually find her way to the gorier side of things.
“When I was living in Seattle they had this amazing small little theater called the Rung Theatre, and played like $5 movies, mostly Troma movies on Mondays. My friends and I would go, everybody would yell and interact with the screen and movies together and they were some of the happiest times in my life,” Loci said. “I loved movies like that because it takes scary or gross things and makes them fun. Life is stupid, hard and scary sometimes, and I think art and laughter is the best way of taking back what trauma takes from you.”
Troma movies proved to be a gateway that opened Loci up to more experiences, some of which were related much more directly to zombies.
“When I lived in New Orleans, my roommates had a bunch of random Walking Dead graphic novels which I poured over and fell in love with our most current understanding of zombies,” she said.
Both women agree that it is these collective, life-time experiences that brought them to where they are now.
“Everything I experience constantly influences each other as a never ending evolution. That is my favorite thing about being a creative human on this life journey,” Loci said.
“All the haunted houses, the horror movies, the scary stories, the Halloweens wearing elaborate costumes, and five years in art school were all just bricks that one by one were building the house that is My Best Friend is a Zombie,” Brisbine added.
My Best Friend is a Zombie has been getting a lot of followers on Facebook and they’ve been openly receptive to the project in its initial stage. Brisbine is hopeful that the support will continue when it moves into its second stage, which adds a philanthropic element.
“Next up is the release of our first t-shirt that will be for sale at our up-and-coming website: mybestfriendisazombie.com. A percentage of each t-shirt sold will go towards sponsoring one pit bull at a time until it finds a forever home,” she explained. “Our hope that our followers and all fans of horror will help our cause by purchasing our first ever t-shirt, and if it does well we hope to expand our apparel line to hoodies, hats, and a variety of My Best Friend is a Zombie graphic tees and tanks.”
Brisbine said the leap from zombies to pit bulls isn’t as far as you might think at first glance.
“Pit bulls like Lindsey the zombie are misunderstood beings. Popular culture, bad publicity, and misrepresentation in various media have painted a malicious picture of both zombies and pit bulls as ‘monsters,’ which in reality they are not,” Brisbine said. “If a zombie or more importantly a pit bull has a responsible owner then they are loyal, loveable, and trustworthy companions, and we hope that Laura being both the owner of a zombie and pit bull can help to alter such uniformed and assuming perspectives about both that particular breed of dog and undead human.”