How to Throw a Walking Dead Party

We admit, even though we will end up saying goodbye to several more characters during Sunday's season finale of The Walking Dead, we could not be more excited to see how things shake down. After all, the already-small group has lost two of its strongest people during the past two weeks (RIP Dale and Shane), and hundreds of zombies are descending upon the farm where our sole survivors have gotten used to feeling (relatively) safe.

Of the finale, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman told the New York Daily News to expect "complete and utter chaos. ... The cast we begin the episode with is radically altered by the end."

Uh, later T-Dog. We knew it was only a matter of time, since you've barely had any speaking parts this entire season.

Anyhow, it seems like a viewing party is in order, right? Because this is a simple show with a simple premise, you could easily throw together a fun gathering with minimal preparation -- and we're here to offer some suggestions. I mean, it's always more fun to dish about death with friends as it happens, than waiting for the boss to catch you responding to Facebook statuses and tweeting with fellow fans on Monday.

Here are some tips for pulling together your party in two days:

SOUNDTRACK: Invite people over for cocktail hour, and compile a playlist of songs that hint at end times. (Think: "It's The End of the World As We Know It" by R.E.M.; "1999" by Prince; "99 Luftballons" by Nena; "London Calling" by The Clash; "Countdown to Armegeddon" by Public Enemy; "Rapture" by Blondie,"Judgment Day" by Method Man.) Bonus: You can use this mix again for your End of Times party on December 21 this year.

DRINKS: Opt for one or more killer beverage options: Rogue Dead Guy Ale, a Bloody Mary, or there's even a cocktail recipe called the Zombie. Besides being topical, the drink menu will also make your party guests feel like the walking dead come 8 a.m. Monday morning. (You should probably set out some Tylenol, too.)

DECOR: If you have any severed body parts, detached eyeballs, skulls, machetes, etc., that you use around Halloween, scatter them about the house. Otherwise, setting out some camping items -- a small tent, a clothesline, a makeshift bonfire -- should get your point across. If you can do both, then you're a rock star. Weapons would be a realistic touch as well, but considering the flow of alcohol, you should probably just keep those tucked away if you have them.

FOOD: It's not like The Walking Dead crew is doing any gourmet dining, so opt for a simple menu based on the things found on Hershel's (Scott Wilson) farm. Create a simple veggie tray with dip; make some deviled eggs; and maybe some kind of basted, grilled meats.

To add the gore factor, simply pick up a couple dozen jelly-filled Munchkins (tiny, sphere-shaped pastries) from Dunkin' Donuts. Slice them all in half, so the red jelly oozes out -- just like when you chop a zombie's skull in two with a machete. For the finishing touch, spear the opened Munchkins with those tiny plastic swords they use to skewer olives in martinis. Viola! Bite-sized zombie brains!

ACTIVITY: Consider assigning each guest a Walking Dead character when they arrive. They have to behave like that person during cocktail hour, then people vote on who was the best actor. (Hints: Rick (Andrew Lincoln) might exit important discussions with friends to help someone random get a drink. T-Dog (IronE Singleton) should say no more than three words per hour. Carl (Chandler Riggs) should wander off and do dangerous things like juggle knives or dangle from the balcony when nobody is watching.)

Or, keep it simple. Cover a dartboard with a zombie head drawing and have a contest to see who has the best aim.

The prize for the winner: Hey man, they're leaving your house in one piece. Isn't that enough? (But you could throw in a sixer of the Dead Guy Ale, just for good measure. If their dartboard aim is that good, you don't really need the person irritated at you.)