Anthrax Guitarist Scott Ian Picks His Favorite Zombie Movies, Books, and TV Shows
In honor of the hugely anticipated Big Four concert at Yankee Stadium in New York City on September 14, Revolver and Guitar World are celebrating the Big Four Weeks leading up to the show. Our websites will be giving fans eye-popping exclusives, previously unseen backstage video, excerpts from our interviews with the bands—including those in Revolver’s special issue devoted to the Big Four, which you can buy right here—and much, much more. Additionally, Revolver’s September/October issue (available here) features collectible trading cards, which you can view here.
A day before Anthrax join the other members of the Big Four—Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth—onstage at Yankee Stadium on September 14, the group will release its first album in eight years, Worship Music (Megaforce). The first track unleashed online from the record was “Fight’em ‘Til You Can’t,” a song about slaying zombies that represented a chance for Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian to combine his passion for music with his passion for the undead monsters. Ian—who is interviewed in the new issue of Revolver, available on newsstands now and online right here—has long been a zombie enthusiast, and he’s even set to play a one the hit TV show The Walking Dead (he’s pictured above on set with special effects guru Greg Nicotero). Fittingly, then, we got the axman to reveal his favorite zombie everything.
Night of the Living Dead
“I think I first saw it in the early ’70s—I was into horror movies since I was a little kid. You gotta remember, when Night of the Living Dead came out, ’68, you didn’t have special effects like we came to know later, but the subject matter at the time was extremely graphic. Night of the Living Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, that was too much for people to handle—they couldn’t deal with that shit. Looking back now, if you just look at it from a production point of view, yeah, Night of the Living Dead looks extremely tame. But at the same time, think about the subject matter: Here comes the relentless undead who are never gonna stop. That’s it—our way of life is over. Even though it doesn’t look as gory and as bloody as other movies that came after, it was the first film to really explore that subject matter of a future that is nothing but bleak.”
Dawn of the Dead
“I thought the original and the remake were both brilliant. That remake is probably the only remake I’ve ever seen that not only was worthy but as a standalone was amazing. I loved that the zombies just did what they were used to doing, so the zombies just went to the mall. I dig that social commentary, because I’ve never been a mall person.”
The Walking Dead
“The comic and the TV show. It’s the most realistic depiction [of a zombie apocalypse]. The comic book, which I’m a massive fan of, almost moves at a real-life pace. Nobody is safe—there are no real heroes and main characters that just hang around, because it’s reality and people are going to die. That’s what I love so much about Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead: He’s really, really, really put the time and energy and the thought into this. In my mind, it’s a true depiction of what it would be like.”
“It isn’t a zombie movie, per se, but it really is. There’s no undead walking, but it might as well be. That truly is a post-apocalyptic future that I can wrap my brain around, and I feel like that’s probably how it would be. No one would even really know—shit is just going to stop. Just imagine for one second if all the power just went off—if the grid turned off, for whatever reason, and nobody knew why, and they couldn’t get the power back up. How long would it take for society to just devolve into complete and absolute chaos? Less than a week. There would be riots, and the world would be over in a week, if even that long. The book is an amazing depiction of the bleakest, darkest possible future of this planet—and certainly a possible future that I hope I don’t see in my or my child’s lifetime. The movie captured the essence of the book, although the book still for me… I can think about it and I’ll start to freak out a little bit. Cormac McCarthy’s book boiled down to the simplest love between a father and his child and the knowing that this isn’t going to last and what am I going to do? There’s no hope. There’s no happy ending. For me, the book is a masterpiece.”