Throughout its seven seasons (so far), "The Walking Dead" has gone out of its way to pay tribute to horror movie history, both mainstream and obscure. Most of that is thanks to executive producer Greg Nicotero, who also happens to be head of the special effects makeup department.
With a long history in horror himself, Nicotero loves throwing in visual cues for fans of the genre -- whether it's taking zombie design inspiration from famed horror director Lucio Fulci, or including familiar faces from the films in George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" franchise.
Luckily, Nicotero isn't running out of inspiration yet. Speaking to Screener at "The Walking Dead's" Paley Fest event, he recalls, "In episode 12 there was a 'Creep Show' tribute, and a Rick Baker 'Incredible Melting Man.' But the camera passed so fast you didn't really get the chance to see it."
Luckily, thanks to the magic of Nicotero's Instagram account, fans can still get a look at what those zombies ended up looking like, regardless of how fast the cameras moved by them.
This walker from this weeks episode was an hommage to Rick Baker's work in The Incredible Melting Man and unfortunately you didn't really get a chance to see it in the episode but Kerrin Jackson and Kevin Wasner did a great job on this I believe the sculpture was done by Norman Cabrera. I loved the thick layer of ultra ice that was added to make the veins look deep under the skin @therickbaker @somemonsterism
What's next, though?
"There's [a George Romero tribute] in episode 15," the executive producer teases. "You may have to look a little hard to spot it."
That particular episode, "Something They Need," is the penultimate installment for Season 7. An episode description reads: "A group of Alexandrians embark on a journey to a distant community; and one group member must make a heartbreaking decision." Something tells us this journey is going to take the group to the Oceanside Community in an effort to enlist their help in the coming war against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
It also happens to be penultimate episode of Season 7, leading into what will most likely be a very brutal war with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). With a trip that far, there will be plenty of chances to drop is something inspired by Romero.
What's more, the Season 7 finale is directed by Nicotero himself. If he doesn't load that episode up with tributes, we'd be very surprised.
In the meantime, take a look at some of his other tribute designs below...
Tonight's Carol kill in the teaser! Tribute to the one and only Dick Smith and the film Ghost Story. Dick was the brilliant make up mind behind The Exorcist, Taxi Driver and Amadeus to name a few. Influenced us all and beyond. Sculpture by Norman Cabrera and applied by Kerrin Wasner @somemonsterism #dicksmith @amcthewalkingdead
"The Walking Dead" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.