'Walking Dead,' legless teen pull off zombie prank

The world of zombie pranks will never be the same again after a one-armed, legless teen gives actor Norman Reedus a great fright.

Nick Santonastasso as a zombie
Nick Santonastasso prepares to scare Norman Reedus. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

One of the most memorable zombies to ever scare the bejeezus out of audiences on "The Walking Dead" showed up in the very first episode of the series. The decomposing, legless female zombie pulled herself over the ground and forever crawled into the popular zombie imagination.

High school student Nick Santonastasso has just entered the pantheon of great zombies with an assist from cast and crew members of the "The Walking Dead."

Santonastasso was born with one arm and no legs as a result of the rare genetic disorder Hanhart syndrome. He is also a massive fan of "The Walking Dead." He had already parlayed his appearance into a series of extremely effective zombie pranks where he freaked out unsuspecting people in the aisles of a store.

"The Walking Dead" took some time off from creating zombies for the small screen to fly Santonastasso to Tokyo to spook actor Norman Reedus, who plays the archery-loving tough guy Daryl Dixon on the series. Zombie designer Frank Nicotero and star Andrew Lincoln show up for the production, helping the teen get completely transformed into a screen-ready zombie.

The actual prank is pulled off with aplomb as Santonastasso emerges with a growl from under a cart as Reedus prepares to film an interview. There was a $20 bet on whether Reedus would scream. You'll have to watch the video to find out if he did.

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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