Here's how 18 sand zombies were brought to life on Sunday's episode of 'The Walking Dead'

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for “The Walking Dead.”

Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead” introduced viewers to a new community of women living by the sea. But before Tara came face to face with the Oceanside crew, she squared off against a horde of sand walkers with Heath. 

An eager-to-scavange Tara unveiled a bunch of zombies after trying to pry a bag loose from a massive pile of sand. 

Executive producer Greg Nicotero oversaw the creation of the 18 mummified sand walkers in Sunday’s episode. 

“We wanted them to appear sort of monochromatic, like they have been under the sand for a long time,” said Nicotero in a behind-the-scenes featurette for the episode. “We dust them down and then we put sand on top of them.”

Walking dead dust zombieAMCOne of the stuntmen getting dusted down for Sunday’s episode.
Walking dead zombie AMC‘One of the things that I’ve always wanted to do was something where we had walkers that were completely devoid of any liquid,’ said Nicotero on the series’ aftershow, ‘The Talking Dead.’

Stunt coordinator Monty Simons says four stuntmen and woman were buried underneath about six to eight inches of sand for the scene. Breathing tubes were given to the men and women being buried that stuck out of the sand ever so slightly.

Walking dead tube sand zombieAMCThis stuntman holds his breathing tube.

On the series’ aftershow, “The Talking Dead,” Nicotero said the crew was inspired by 1979’s “Zombie” for the look of the walkers. 

“It was the Italian sequel to ‘Dawn of the Dead.’ That was our inspiration,” said Nicotero. “We were like, ‘Let’s do zombies that look like old Italian horror movies. It would be really, really fun.’ So we bleached all the wardrobe. We made full bodysuits that had rib cages and shoulder blades, and backbones.”

Sand walkerAMCThis is our favourite sand walker.

“We got a chance to do what every zombie movie does — that great sort of ‘Night of the Living of the Dead’ moment of zombies coming out of the ground,” he added. “It was very different.”

You can watch some of the making of the sand walkers below:

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