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It’s been a great year for dead people, especially the sexy ones.

There’s been no end of casting calls thanks to True Blood, The Walking Dead and countless other productions. Zombies are finally breaking through on the literary scene (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, among others). And, as anyone who has seen the new Twilight can tell you, the sex is pretty intense, too.

And now — you knew this was inevitable — comes the first all-zombie swimsuit calendar, with drooling fanbase to match.

The Year of the Dead 2012 Swimsuit Calendar is partly gross, partly funny and — no surprise here — a viral hit among the kind of people who are easily infected. If you have a bikini lover on your Christmas list with a warped sense of what’s sexy, this could be the hit gift of the season.

The TYOTD calendar sprung from the wormy brain of Boston-area photographer Rocky Calsetta last March “while driving around”. Rocky contacted pal Shane Rausch, a makeup artist, and eventually recruited video producer Josh Esan and producer-model Nichelle Hosey to the team. The calendar’s models were mostly friends of the crew with lots of patience and a good sense of humor.

The team eventually worked with half a dozen makeup artists, and the models were required to spend six hours at a time in the makeup chair, covered in latex and fake blood.

The self-financed project also faced some unusual obstacles: during one photo shoot on a residential street, neighbors called the police when they saw Miss September walking around covered in blood and with entrails spilling out.

“The minds behind this calendar are all minds that grew up on a steady diet of horror movies and art,” Rocky told Lingerie Talk. “If anything, we did it for the love of both of those things.

“Before we knew it we had this living, breathing project and then it began to take on a life of its own,” added Rocky (who apparently is also a master of irony).

“My intention from the start was to create something that came with beauty and hideousness and, judging from the reactions we have gotten, I was successful. But it is all in the viewers’ perception.

“This could just be another calendar that exploits women’s bodies, a piece of fantasy horror, a crude joke or just a demented work of art.”

Whatever you think of it, the TYOTD calendar has the makings of a hit. So far, it’s spawned a series of companion posters and T-shirts, a few contests, and some fun behind-the-scenes videos.

Next up for the TYOTD team is production for a 2013 lingerie calendar, which will shoot in January and which promises to include some “guests” from the entertainment industry.

Fans of the underdressed undead can help pay for all this fun by contributing to a Kickstarter project that will finance next year’s production. No word yet on whether any couture lingerie labels have come forward to sponsor the project.

In the meantime, you can pick up a copy of the 2012 calendar here for $20, a discounted price given that the new year is almost upon us and, let’s face it, those girls aren’t getting any fresher.

Now, here’s a few more promo shots from this ghoulish enterpise!

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