Columbus Zombie Pub Crawl 10/19/2013

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On Saturday October 19th, an undead horde will converge on the Short North district for the Columbus Zombie Pub Crawl.  This motley crew will shamble from bar to bar, having a grand time in the process.  Best of all, all of this takes place a good week before most of the other Halloween type events occur.

I’ve joined this band of the walking dead for the past couple years and it’s always a good time.  Don’t know anybody else who’s going?  That’s no problem.  Just put on your “dead face” and show up.  You’ll be rubbing elbows with other zombies before you finish your first drink.  You’d be hard pressed to find a more welcoming group of dead people.

The Facebook page for the event is here and you can follow on Twitter @cbuszombiepub.

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Michigan City Zombie Walk 7/27/2012 (Michigan City, IN)

The first annual Michigan City Zombie Walk will be held on Friday July 27, 2012 at Washington Park, in Michigan City, IN.

Zombies are encouraged to congregate at the JC stage in Washington Park at 5pm.  A number of zombie friendly bands will be performing from 5pm-10pm and the walk itself will begin at 6pm.

Following the walk, adult zombies will head over to Ryan’s Irish Pub for an undead after-party with more live bands from 10pm-2am.

In addition to the walk itself, the organizers will be holding a costume contest and dance contest throughout the evening.

The event is free of charge, though everyone is encouraged to please bring along some non-perishable food items for donation to the Northern Indiana Food Bank.

More information may be found on the Facebook page for the Michigan City Zombie Walk.

HUGE zombie movie to be filmed in Columbus, OH

Think you’ve got what it takes to join the ranks of the living dead?  This summer you may have the opportunity to prove yourself.

Arch & Pillar Productions is planning on shooting the most extravagant and largest zombie movie in Ohio.

All of this is to take place over the course of just 48 hours!  The project is being conducted for the 48 Hour Film Festival (July 27-July 29) and their main shooting day will be July 28.  The film will be shot at a location to be announced in or around Columbus.

Their goal is to have the largest collection of zombies in the Mid-West, essentially they want a zombie army.  They are looking for as many people as possible to act as the zombie horde.

In addition, to help “zombify” everyone, they need some talented make-up artists to prep and maintain throughout the day.  Also in need will be volunteers for crew and support roles.

For more information:  zombie48oh@gmail.com 

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Thank you for reading.  If any of you think you might like to take part in this, please drop me a line.  Sounds like fun but I’m down in Athens, all by myself.  I’d gladly drive up if I had some other zombies to hang out with.

ZombieWalk Columbus 2012 Recap

Took my monster out to support the zombies.

There were so many little kids. This little guy was too cute.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending ZombieWalk Columbus 2012.  I have yet to hear a final count but would guess the crowd to have been in the ballpark of 4,000 people. The undead mob met at Goodale park in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Participants were asked to bring along canned food items for donation to to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and indeed, the donations came pouring in.

Shambling sea of zombies

Of all of the Halloween & zombie related events that I’ve ever participated in, I would have to say that the crowd here was the most diverse.  There were people of just about every age, race, and background represented.  It was like a great undead melting pot!

Once the parade began, the mob shambled its way through the streets of downtown Columbus, with the help of the Columbus Police Department (many of whom were smiling from ear to ear at the sight of the undead horde).

No parade is complete without a marching band. These guys were fantastic.

Local business owners and their patrons seemed thoroughly entertained by the procession.  The streets were lined with smiling faces, most of whom were frantically snapping pictures of the zombies.

Returning to Goodale Park, the ghastly parade was met by all manner of zombie fighters, lead by the local S.T.A.R.S. chapter.  This motley crew made short work of the zombies and the day’s event came to a close.

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S.T.A.R.S. members discuss battle plans.

Thank you for reading.  I have posted the rest of my photos from the event here.  In addition, you will find links on my Facebook page to the albums of a number of professional photographers who captured some truly awesome coverage of the day’s events.

Did you take part in ZombieWalk Columbus 2012?  Would you like to join in the fun at some future event?  Leave me a comment below and stay tuned, as I’ve got some more fun events to share with you soon!

Zombissage….Massage with an Undead Flair

Running from the living dead can be tiring work.  Jumping fences, dodging trees, and catching a few winks on a hard floor can leave a survivor feeling pretty stiff and sore.  It’s comforting to know that there’s at least one zombie out there who isn’t looking to eat your brain.  Zombissage offers massage with an undead flair, to customers who are both living and otherwise reanimated!

A couple of weeks ago, while at HorrorHound Weekend in Columbus, I first heard about Zombissage.  It seemed like wherever I went, people kept asking me, “Did you see that there’s a zombie massage therapist in there?”

This all just sounded like too much fun so I had to learn more.  I tracked down Erin Farnlacher, the creator of Zombissage and UMT (Undead Massage Therapist).  She was happy to answer my questions and I thought I’d share her answers with you all.

I think folks will get a big kick out of hearing about your service.  How did you come up with Zombissage?

I’ve been a horror freak all my life, absolutely obsessed with zombies–my younger sister and I ignored every other section of the video rental place we went to as kids.  I’ve been a Licensed Massage Therapist for 5 years, and started Zombissage last year.  My friends had introduced me to Horrorhound the year before; they always go in costume, and I went as Janine Melnitz for their Ghostbusters theme.

After hours of walking around the con in high-heeled boots, my feet and legs were killing me, so I looked around to see if there were any massage therapists with a vendor booth.  There weren’t any, and I figured that I couldn’t be the only one getting sore and tired after all the festivities, so I started working toward combining my passions for massage therapy and the horror genre.

This past Horrorhound Weekend was my first convention as Zombissage; I had a great time and a very encouraging reception, and I’m very excited to see how this goes in the future.

Your service is quite unique, especially considering the “typical” fare for these type of events.  How did you find the reaction of folks during your first time out?  I would imagine they were a bit timid at first and then opened up a bit once they saw you with a customer.

Yep, that’s about how it went; people passing by seemed amused and intrigued, but it took a bit for momentum to build.  For my first con, I thought it went very well.  I was very grateful to the fantastic people at the Troma booth next to me, who helped promote me, and even took some of my business cards to some of the guests.

Your make-up is fantastic (and to be honest, scary as hell).  Do you actually talk with your customers or do you sort of stay in character throughout the process?

Thanks!  I wasn’t sure how I should approach the character, and decided to play it by ear.  I ended up just talking to people more or less like I would in my regular practice; part of that was the giddiness of being at a horror convention (I started grinning even before check-in, as soon as I started seeing familiar faces outside the hotel) and the excitement of being a first-time vendor.  In the future I might play with the character and try making the interaction more zombie-appropriate.  I’ll see how things go and what people seem to enjoy.

Did any of the celebrity guests at HHW happen to stop by your booth, either as a customer or just to see what was going on?

Ken from Fright Night Film Fest (who was a massage therapist for 16 years) brought Tyler Mane to my table, and we worked on him in tandem.  Tyler was super nice, and easily the tallest person ever to be on my table.

So, with HorrorHound under your belt, what’s next?  Do you have any other appearances planned?

I’ll be at Blood on the Beach in Virginia Beach and the Cleveland Zombie Walk in April, Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville, Kentucky in June, Days of the Dead III in Indianapolis in July, hopefully returning to HHW for the Indianapolis show in September, and possibly some other events this year.

If folks want more information or someone would like to book you for an event, where can they find you?

I’m on Twitter and Facebook as Zombissage, most active on FB.
https://www.facebook.com/Zombissage
https://twitter.com/#!/Zombissage

Finally, what’s your favorite horror movie?

It’s always hard to pick one, isn’t it?  Pure cheese, but I always go back to my first zombie love, Return of the Living Dead II.  My little sister and I (we were probably around 8 and 10) discovered it at the local video rental place and became obsessed with it and anything else involving reanimated corpses.  We were… weird kids.  And now we’re happily weird adults, especially with being surrounded by our childhood obsession in popular culture.

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As always, thank you for reading.  For myself, I just love hearing about someone being able to take their hobby and run with it.  Know of any other unique businesses with a spooky twist?  Leave me a comment or drop me a line.  I’d love to help spread the word.

Into the laboratory

With the holidays and the bulk of the winter behind me, I’ve decided that it’s time to head down into the laboratory and start working on my monsters.

Zombie Walk Columbus 2012 is just over 2 months away and there will likely be other zombie walks or “halfway to Halloween” parties which pop-up as well.

My challenge this year is to make a new “friend” for my Frankenstein’s monster costume.  Ideally, I’m looking to design something which will blend more easily with non-Halloween events.

At the moment, I have two particular ideas which are striking my fancy.  I’m hoping that some of you folks will lend me your input as to what you think would be best.

Before starting this process, I determined certain criteria which would guide me in my creations.  First, being a stilt-walker and thoroughly enjoying interacting with folks while wearing stilts, I knew that I would have to incorporate the stilts into the costume.

Despite wearing the stilts and being roughly 9′ tall in them, I also have to make certain that whatever I come up with will allow me to have all of the mobility and functionality of a normal person.  I’ve seen many stilt suits over the years which were more like “constructs” than costumes.  That won’t work for me.

If I encounter stairs, I need to be able to climb them.  If I want a beer, I need to be able to drink it.  Lastly, if I want to dance, I need to be able to dance.  All of this has to be accomplished without having to remove any of the suit.

I also need to focus on looking good in the broad daylight.  My Frankenstein’s monster suit looks fantastic in a dark bar or sauntering down the street at 10pm.  However, it loses some of its mystique on a sunny afternoon.

With these thoughts in mind, I’ll get on to my ideas.

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Zombie Uncle Sam

I’ve been toying with this idea for some time.  I’ve not been able to find any precedent for a stilt-walking zombie.  However, there is a fairly common theme of zombies retaining certain abilities and human traits even after they’ve been turned.

At the same time, Uncle Sam on stilts is arguably the most iconic stilt-walking costume.  As a matter of fact, it’s rare for me to tell someone I’m a stilt-walker without them immediately asking, “do you dress up as Uncle Sam?”

Therefore, I suppose it’s not too far of a stretch to say that his poor fellow was out doing his  Uncle Sam routine, just as the zombie outbreak occurred.  He’s infected and when he turns, he just ends up shambling along on his stilts, much like “regular” zombies retain the ability to walk on their feet.

While not a stilt-walking Uncle Sam, there is also the fact that in 1996, there was an Uncle Sam zombie movie.  While B-grade (even by zombie movie standards), I suspect that there are some diehards out there who will appreciate the connection.

The only minor drawback to this idea is the fact that Uncle Sam’s hat is traditionally rather tall.  Extra height will only make it a bit more challenging to get in and out of buildings.

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Robot/Mechanized Suit

I’ve noticed that it’s quite common for folks at zombie walks to not only dress up as the living dead but also as police & military members who have come to fight off the waves of zombies.

An acquaintance of mine and fellow stilter portrays Iron Techtron.  This fantastic costume is part robot and part Hokie-bird (the mascot for Virginia Tech).  I’ve been following him for years and he really puts on quite a show.

This got me thinking.  If there were to be a zombie outbreak and the infection spread slowly enough, wouldn’t it be feasible to create a robot or mechanized suit to help fight off the zombie menace?

Zombies wouldn’t have any natural attraction to a hunk of moving metal so a mechanized unit could walk among them unmolested.  This would facilitate recon and assault.

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Well, that’s what I’m looking at.  What do you folks think?  In your opinion, which direction do you think I should take?  Please leave a comment below.  I’d appreciate any input that you care to give.  Thank you for reading.

Zombie Walk Columbus 2012 (UPDATED)

Zombie Walk Columbus 2012 will take place in Columbus, OH on Saturday May 12th.  The event will be started at Goodale Park.

Since I’ve received a number of questions regarding the event, I wanted to pass along as much information as I can.  However, please be aware that I am in no way affiliated with the event.  For the most up to date and reliable information, check out the official Zombie Walk Columbus 2012 Facebook Page.

There is no cost to take part in the walk and it is not necessary to register.  However, organizers are requesting that folks bring at least 2 canned food items for donation.  All proceeds from the event will go to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  (Canned goods may also be dropped off at Rendezvous Hair & Evolved BodyArt).

Need a little help getting “zombified”?  Rendezvous Hair will have 5 professional special FX makeup artists on hand for the day of the event.  Stop in from 10am-3pm and get an undead makeover.  No appointment necessary.  Prices start at $10.

I will be on hand, either in my monster suit (“monsters supporting zombies”) or my new “Biohazard Recon Scout” armor.  Either way, if you happen to see me, please introduce yourself.  I love making new zombie friends.

Have a Twitter account and a smart phone?  You can follow me at @monsterforrent.  I will be arriving on scene early and will be tweeting as much information as I can regarding parking, weather, and anything else which may be of use.

I will continue to post updates as I see them.  However, I would encourage anyone interested in the event to forward their questions to the Official Zombie Walk Columbus 2012 Facebook page.

Columbus Zombie Pub Crawl

This past Saturday, I got a little jump on my Halloween activities.  Following some early evening haunting, I joined a great bunch of folks for the Columbus Zombie Pub Crawl.

A shambling horde of zombies descended upon the Short North district of Columbus, OH.  From all appearances, a good time was had by all.

I met some really friendly zombies and had a great time!  My only regret is that between the noise level and being 9′ tall, I wasn’t able to visit with everyone as much as I would have liked.  After all, a bunch of people willing to dress up and party like the living dead are my kind of folks.

Chances are good that my travels will bring me back to Columbus for Halloween week.  I hope to cross paths with some of these fun zombies again.  If you were part of the pub crawl and are planning to take in any events for Halloween, drop me a line and I’ll keep an eye out for ya.  Happy Halloween!

Massillon Zombie Walk 10/15/11 (Massillon, OH)

A schedule has been set for an evening of frightening fun for the whole family on Saturday, Oct. 15.

The annual Massillon Zombie Walk, held by the Ananda Center, will begin at 6 p.m. at Duncan Plaza, where all zombies will perform the “Thriller” dance. They will then trounce through downtown Massillon for the Zombie Walk.

The Thirteenth Floor gallery has also organized a “Trick or Treat” for the kids during the Zombie Walk with many of the local businesses downtown. Look for the “Trick or Treat Stop” signs in the windows of participating shops.

After the walk, participants can partake in the annual Gravediggers Ball7! festivities at the Thirteenth Floor, 28 Charles Ave. SE. The Gravediggers Ball will feature the following:

– Pinata pumpkin patch!

– Beer garden! with food served by Smiley’s

– Featured artist: Shock Studios

– Build-A-Monster workshop with John Pinkerton

– Live performances from StoneSlinger and Steve Trent

– Fire breathers! Thirteenth Floor welcomes back the ladies of Discordia.

– Psychic readings by Debra Robinson

– Massillon Ghost Hunters will have a booth set up to share their research on the paranormal.

– A surprise featured film to be shown at 11:30 p.m.

– MC for the event is Ryan Shane Lynn

Other events taking place throughout the night:

6:45 p.m. –  Scary Snack Workshop at the Massillon Public Library

7:30 p.m. –  Thriller Dance, Massillon Public Library

10 p.m. – Thriller Dance, Lions Lincoln Theater. Night of the Living Dead movie showing immediately after ($3 admission).

Lorain County Food Drive and Zombie Walk

    

     The dead roamed the streets yesterday in northern Ohio.  The Lorain County Food Drive and Zombie Walk was held in Amherst, Ohio and from what I could see, it was a huge success.

     As a big Halloween fan, I’ve been dying to take part in a zombie walk, since the trend began a few years back.  I was a bit concerned, due to the fact that Frankenstein’s monster isn’t a zombie himself.  However, the zombies were incredibly friendly and allowed me to join their ranks for the day.

     Amherst is a pretty small town but they had an amazing turnout for the event (haven’t seen a final count yet but I’m guessing it to be in the hundreds).  Staged at the Church St. Bar & Grille, the organizers obviously did a wonderful job.

     Arriving on the scene about an hour early, there were already zombies milling about everywhere.  The bar was ground zero, with the Lifeshare Bloodmobile and a smattering of vendors set up across the street.

     Nearly constant raffles were held so it sounds like a lot of people got themselves some nice little treats.

     Make-up artist were on hand for those who didn’t come in costume.  These folks were doing amazing work too, not just slapping it on.  There were some seriously creepy looking zombies rolling out of there.

     The walk itself was quite orderly.  Local residents and merchants seemed to be well-aware of the event.  I didn’t see too many shocked faces, which is probably a good thing.  The route ran from the Church Street Bar & Grille, through town and back.  I’d guess that it was around a mile or two. 

     I managed the distance without getting terribly hot in the suit.  Now I’m seriously considering doing the Fright Night 5k in Columbus this Halloween.

     Probably the biggest surprise of the day was the crowd.  Wow!  It was an incredibly diverse group of people.  You’d be hard pressed to find a greater mix of people at the mall. 

     In truth, there was an outbreak in Amherst yesterday.  It was an outbreak of smiles. Seriously, everybody in the damn town was smiling from ear to ear.  Even the few who were not in costume caught the infection.  I couldn’t help thinking, on my long drive home, that perhaps the country should have a mandatory zombie day.  If yesterday was any indication, it would do us all some good.

     All in all, it seemed like a fantastic success.  I’m guessing that this might become an annual event.  If so, the town and merchants of Amherst should really get behind it and support these folks.  These types of events are rare gems!

     As always, thank you for reading.  If you’ve enjoyed these pictures, you can see the rest of my pictures from the event on my Facebook page here:  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.245860568784985.52749.141861909184852 

     Have you ever had a zombie walk in your community?  Did you attend the Zombie Walk yesterday?  If so, please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you.