The Walking Dead’s zombie bikini calendar went horribly, horribly wrong

Illustration for article titled The Walking Dead’s zombie bikini calendar went horribly, horribly wrong

The tagline for this season of The Walking Dead has been “Fight the dead, fear the living.” It’s a particularly apt phrase when you see the “zombie bikini calendar” a South African ad agency made to promote TWD, because I genuinely fear whatever human being thought of, approved and then created this disaster.

The problem is that unlike this tongue-in-cheek Zombie Pin-up calendar from 2010, the makers of this TWD calendar are actually trying to produce something sexy. Let me repeat that: The makers of this calendar are trying, on purpose, to make supposedly dead women look genuinely attractive. So they’re fighting an uphill battle to begin with.

Second, they’re clearly working with a tight budget, because the wounds created are entirely superficial. There are no exposed bones, no gaping cuts, no missing limbs - just a few scrapes, bruises and lacerations. They don’t actually look like zombies at all. They look like they’ve been badly beaten.


So this isn’t a “zombie bikini calendar” at all. It’s a “savagely beaten bikini model calendar” that happens to have “The Walking Dead” and its South African premiere date, time and channel at the top of every page. It is completely fucked.

You can download the free calendar here (Editor’s note: The calendar appears to have been removed), although I sincerely hope it will be to look aghast at its contents, and then pass around to your friends so they can see how awful it is. Although I will say to the calendar’s credit that they bothered - barely - to photoshop the models’ eyes so they vaguely look like zombies. Because the models didn’t wear any contacts in the actual photo shoot. How do I know?

BECAUSE OF THE VIDEO. THAT THEY SHOT. ON PURPOSE. OF THEM PHOTOGRAPHING WOMEN COVERED IN FLESH WOUNDS WHILE WEARING BIKINIS. If you think the calendar is disturbing, wait til you watch these girls pout and frolic on the beach, covered in bruises and minor wounds, without the barest semblance of zombie-ness.


I’ll tell you this: I honestly didn’t think the Governor’s near-rape of Maggie on last Sunday’s episode would be the second most misogynistic thing The Walking Dead would do this week.


[Spotted on Blastr]

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Annalee Newitz

I think the video is way more bizarre and disturbing than the calendar. Mostly because it's totally decontextualized. It's like, "Hey we took these ladies to the beach, beat the shit out of them, and then they posed for pictures! Yay!"

That said, the idea of promoting a dark, horrifying show full of death and rape with a sexy bikini calendar . . . is just kind of weird.