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'The Walking Dead' Season 5 Zombies Are 'More Rotted And Decomposed Looking Than Ever,' Says Special Effects Makeup Guru Greg Nicotero

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Showrunner Scott Gimple and executive producers Greg Nicotero and Gale Anne Hurd said that viewers can expect more decayed-looking walkers on "The Walking Dead" when it returns for its fifth season on AMC Sunday, Oct. 12.

"The walkers who came around patient zero, which is over two years, their systems aren't working quite so well. They're more and more decayed. That's what we're seeing [in Season 5]," Hurd recently told The Wall Street Journal.

And in order to give walkers a more decomposed look in the upcoming season, Gimple revealed last July that Nicotero, the show's special effects makeup guru, would introduce a new state of decay to the zombies.

"Greg is introducing a new state of decay to the walkers," Gimple told Cinemablend. "He does walkers without noses and it doesn't look fake."  

In an interview with Moviepilot early last month, Nicotero explained in detail how he and his makeup team manage to make more rotted-looking walkers.

"Makeup is an additive process, so finding faces that we can build upon so that it can actually look like we're subtracting mass is very tricky and very challenging," he said. "So, we built up the area of the cheeks around the noses to make the noses feel smaller. To make the teeth feel inset, we build out the lower jaw, and even by just building prosthetics that simulate the nose being gone and a lot of exposed teeth and bone."

"In Season 5, we've done a lot of that in terms of being able to see zombies that are even more rotted and decomposed looking than ever before," he explained. "Even breaking out some teeth here and there; the teeth being less perfect makes them feel older, like they've been wandering around and rotting for a lot longer."

"We're a year and a half into the zombie apocalypse, so imagine what a pumpkin looks like after just 2 weeks in the sun...[laughs] we wanted to make these things look as putrefied and disgusting as possible," he said.

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