The bar is full of zombies. They shuffle around bewildered patrons, slowly dragging extremities that refuse to cooperate. Some drool. A few stare off with glassy expressions while blood drips from their teeth. Shards of plastic protrude from one re-animated corpse’s head and rebar has impaled the skull of another. The moving cadavers approach the door of the bar, carrying canned goods and opening their wallets to show their IDs and offer up donations … Wait a second. These are charitable zombies?
For “St. Patrick’s Day Revivicated” at McMullan’s Irish Pub on Wednesday, the Las Vegas Zombie Squad took over the bar in the name of charity. And partying. Besides getting decked out as the undead—or the people who hunt them—the Zombie Squad actually is quickly establishing themselves as helpful force in the community.
“If you can survive a zombie apocalypse, you can survive anything,” said Eerie. As the founder of the Vegas chapter/comic relief/skirt chasing degenerate/drunk (his words and those of the Squad, not ours) Eerie established ZS 009 in January as a way for more colorful members of our community to get involved in activism. For example, he mentions many organizations tend to be wary of a guy with a blue Mohawk or a chick with tattoos trying to volunteer at a blood bank or school.
“The cool thing is the philosophy behind it,” said Julie Starr of ZS. “Zombie Squad people that are drawn to [the group] are not the average people who volunteer. It’s a way to bringing in a whole new set of people to helping the community.” Added ZS chapter head Sandy Burris (who’s looking a bit undead at the moment), “And we get to get covered in blood all year long!”
Though makeup and costumes are not required, it certainly makes charity work more entertaining. For the St. Pat’s Revivicated event on April 29, ZS thought it’d be a perfect time to resurrect the Irish holiday in case people didn’t party enough in March or missed the festivities. For attendees, ZS asked for a suggested donation of three canned goods or $5 to benefit the Three Square Food Bank.
And for those folks that didn’t attempt the undead look before leaving their house, Richard Rasner and Jenna Black from Nakayama Photography Studios volunteered to create movie-caliber zombie makeovers for additional donations (Rasner gave me the “freshly dead” look for the night). “I heard about the event from the band,” said Brittany Houston. She and two friends also underwent a zombie transformation for a good cause.
With a round of free drinks for the costumed, it became difficult to tell who was really into playing the zombie role and who was just plain drunk. Irish cover band staple, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, got in on the formerly deceased look and even attempted a few zombie-esque tunes for the night. “Some people from Tao are going to come in here for blood sausage and be like, ‘Why is this zombie guy with rebar in his head playing guitar?’” quipped Darby, AKA Andy Morris, then added, “I look like Rihanna!”
Joking and antics aside, the St. Pat’s event is only one of many organized by the The Zombie Squad. Last month at the Erotic Heritage Museum, ZS put on a zombie burlesque showcase to benefit the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation and will likely be coordinating another event at the venue in the future. New members are always welcome and a meeting open to the public is typically held on the third Thursday of the month at Black Label.
It isn’t all work and no play for ZS, and they have a zombie makeup workshop on May 14, plus hope to make a short film, “Man vs… Zombie,” the following Sunday at the Ghost Town in Nelson, Nev.
The night winds down and participants shuffle out of the bar, feeling a bit more like zombies than when they came in (I blame the Blue Moons for my sluggishness). Keep an eye out for ZS 009’s mobile cadaver removal unit at events in town, or visit the Zombie Squad Vegas Chapter MySpace page for more info and upcoming events.