Episode 12 of The Walking Dead was directed by executive producer and special effects master Greg Nicotero, and — as with most Nicotero-directed episodes — it was both amazing and contained what is known as a "tribute zombie."
A tribute zombie is a walker in the show that is made up to look like another famous zombie or character from horror movies, including ones that have inspired Nicotero or that he has worked on in the past. It's a nice sort of tip of the hat, if you will.
In the past we've had tribute zombies to Day Of The Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, Jaws, Black Sabbath, Tales From The Crypt (take a look over here to check them out), and last night we got a tribute to the 1981 film Ghost Story. Remember this walker:
This little beauty was the walker that Carol killed outside of Alexandria as she foraged for ingredients to make her cookies:
Pretty gnarly looking, right?! Well, it turns out she was a tribute to Dick Smith's work in Ghost Story, and judging by this side-by-side it was one hell of a tribute:
Smith was a special effects and makeup artist who worked on classic films such as The Exorcist, Taxi Driver, The Godfather, and Amadeus, among many others. Nicotero and Smith actually worked together twice in their careers, firstly on Tales From The Darkside: The Movie in 1990 and again on House On Haunted Hill in 1999. Smith sadly passed away in 2014 at the age of 92.
Ghost Story was released way back in 1981 and was the last film for Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks, and Melvyn Douglas. The film centered around "two generations of men [who] find themselves haunted by the presence of a spectral woman. When the son of one of the elderly men returns to his hometown after his brother's mysterious death, they attempt to unravel her story."