Monday, September 20, 2010

ZomBlog Interview: Chad Dukes, D.C. radio personality, zombie fan

This is a very, very special entry for me.
Like the subject of this interview, I spent many of my formative years listening to his inspirations: The Greaseman, Don and Mike, Howard Stern, and, more recently, Opie and Anthony.
And he is living his dream. He has (and now does again) hosted his own rather successful radio show, Big O and Dukes, and I currently spend my weekday afternoons listening to him and former Redskin LaVar Arrington on the LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes.
Chad Dukes is more to me than just simple radio host. Anyone who knows me knows I have had a virtual man-crush on Chad for a variety of reasons. He is open, honest, and, on the couple occasions I have met him, a humble and appreciative guy, happy to have the job he does and loving of his fans.
One night, listening to one of his many radio shows (Red Ring of Death radio, which has triumphantly returned), I heard him talk about zombies in video games and popular culture. I called in and flubbed my answer, on-air, as to why zombies are suddenly popular in our current culture (I have that podcast, and, if enough people want to hear me fuck up a chance to explain why zombies are popular, I will post it).
Anyhow, Chad recently readily agreed to do an interview for this skimpy blog. I did not have to beg, plead, stalk, or harass him. In fact, when I first talked to him, he said, “Absolutely, that is one of my favorite subjects.”
And, hell, it should be. He actually fought the undead hand-to-hand himself: The Main Event Mafia Vs. The Undead World Order

Anyways, enough ass-kissing. I present to you an interview I conducted with Chad a few months back. Feel free to leave your responses below and, always, please check out Chad on 106.7 The Fan,, and, in the reincarnation of the funniest/most entertaining show on the interwebs, I promise you, there is no way in hell you will be disappointed.

I have written about my own ideas as to why zombies are so appealing to the mass audience, men and women both, but I know I haven’t even scratched the surface. Why do you think, after more than 40 years since the modern zombie concept was conceived with “Night of the Living Dead,” are the undead flesheaters more popular than ever?

“I think it's because most people don't think they could kill a vampire or a werewolf or an alien. Most anyone could cave a zombie’s head in. Also, zombies are us. They are people. They can be your friends & family members. There is something very human about that.”

Where and how did you first realize you had become a fan of zombies?

“I honestly don't remember the first one. The one that left the most impact on me was '28 Weeks Later.' I hate people that quibble over fast/slow zombies. If it it’s trying to eat me and it can’t talk, it’s a zombie. “Weeks” was so much more intense than 'Days' and I LOVED '28 Days.' [I] think it’s an underrated sequel.”

What is the first zombie film you sat down and watched are were enthralled with?

“I have always enjoyed zombies and discussing how to survive them. My interest in them was rekindled when the Nazi zombie mode of 'Call of Duty' emerged. It was around the same time I saw 'Dead Snow.' The concept of an undead army of Nazis is very appealing to me.”

What do you attribute to the popularity of the “Nazi Zombie” phenomenon? Why Nazi zombies?

“Ha. Funny. I already addressed this without seeing this question. Nazis are comically, over-the-top evil. It is difficult to imagine they actually existed. They were this vast, swarming menace that nearly ruined the world. Sounds similar to a zombie outbreak. You have the greatest villain in reality coupled with the greatest in fiction. [It’s a] match made in heaven.”

As an avid gamer, you have played many a first-person shooter and several zombie-themed games, ranging from Resident Evil to Plants Vs. Zombies. What do you prefer and why?

“I love ‘Plants Vs. Zombies.’ Zombies really seem to lend themselves to a tower defense. I just wish people would stop fucking with the creatures themselves. Zombies are already pretty flawless as an antagonist. We don't need giant zombie dogs and shit like in “Resident Evil.” I would love to see the people at Treyarch tackle a Nazi Zombie full scale FPS [First-Person Shooter]. They seem to really get the concept.”

You have interviewed a handful of authors that have jumped into the zombie genre, authors whom have found a certain level of success. Recently, it has been announced that “World War Z” will be made into a film, possibly starring Brad Pitt, along with the announcement that the comics “The Walking Dead” are currently being shot to become a show on cable. With this great news for zombie fans, what bothers you about Hollywood? Also, having talked to the authors, why do you think the zombie-themed books have become so elevated in a genre that was once a small niche?

“Most of the books are shit. The reason for this is zombie fans will buy most anything that is characterized as a zombie novel. I started the Zombie Book Club and have learned the hard way. I really enjoy J.L. Bourne's books because he looks at the genre as a soldier, not as a fanboy. It makes for a very believable read.”

Have you gone back to check out movies before your time that feature zombies? If so, what would you recommend and what would you tell zombie-fans to stay the hell away from?

“I have not done my due diligence here. Dated gore really turns me off. I have a hard time suspending my disbelief when the blood looks unrealistic. It's why I have so much respect for the movie 'The Thing.' It’s 30 years old and manages to look better than most of the shitty CGI saturated crap that pollutes our theaters.”

This is the first interview for the blog, and, I am sure, if I Facebooked the hell out of Chad, he would agree to further explore the phenomena further. Please do check out his endeavors, linked above. And, if you are a Redskins fan in the D.C. area, as I am, enjoy your drive home with the radio set to 106.7.

1 comment:

  1. Chad Dukes... gay aristocrat and poor zombie genre reviewer