AMC's The Walking Dead continues its Season 8 run, with next week's episode Some Guy representing the one-quarter mark of the season. Executive producer/director/makeup effects supervisor Greg Nicotero clued fans in on an amazing Easter Egg many missed this past Sunday. The makeup effects wizard sent out a photo on Instagram that featured one of the walkers from the October 29 episode, Monsters, which was an homage to a character named Emil from the 1987 action classic RoboCop. Here's what Greg Nicotero had to say about this Emil tribute walker.
"Robocop "Emil" tribute walker from last weeks episode honoring the amazing work of Rob Bottin."
Rob Bottin served as the special makeup effects supervisor on RoboCop, whose work was most prominently on display during a scene with a character named Emil M. Antonowsky, played by Paul McCrane. The scene in question, which you can see below, shows Emil driving a large truck towards RoboCop (Peter Weller), trying to run him down. But after RoboCop fires a few shots into the windshield, Emil instead crashes into a conveniently-placed tank of lethal toxic waste, which transforms Emil from a nefarious villain to a hideous creature, whose flesh is melting off before his very eyes, not too dissimilar from the Walking Dead zombies fans see every week. The scene ends on a rather humorous note, with Emil running into Leon C. Nash (Ray Wise), asking him for help, with Nash responding, "Don't touch me, man!" Emil's life comes to an end shortly thereafter, when he essentially explodes after being run over by Clarence J. Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith).
As you can see in the photo below, this new zombie's flesh is basically melting off as well, just like Emil's, with his black shirt torn open to see the flesh from his torso melting off. This isn't the first time that Greg Nicotero has paid tribute to a classic film. Back in February, during the Season 7 mid-season premiere, Nicotero brought back the iconic Day of the Dead zombie known as Dr. Tongue, as a tribute to the first feature film he ever worked on, when he was serving as an assistant to legendary makeup effects guru Tom Savini.
While the "walkers" will always be part of The Walking Dead, this season is following the All Out War volumes from the comics, where Rick (Andrew Grimes) leads his army comprised of the Alexandrians, Hilltop Colony, lead by Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and The Kingdom, lead by the enigmatic King Ezekiel (Khary Payton). In the comics, this All Out War story was the first to be told in a two-part volume, and it is expected that the entirety of Season 8 will follow the All Out War story. Still, it remains to be seen how closely it will stick to the original comics.
The show also made headlines last week when AMC CEO Josh Sapan hinted on a corporate conference call that The Walking Dead could last for decades, while referencing other franchises that have been around for 50 years. Whether or not the show will get that far remains uncertain, but even with a sizable ratings dip, the show keeps pulling in huge numbers, with over 15 million viewers tuning in for the Season 8 premiere last month. While we wait for more on this hit series, take a look at the photo below from Greg Nicotero's Instagram, featuring his RoboCop tribute zombie from last week's episode of The Walking Dead.