Monday, October 20, 2008

A Craving for Latex and Brains - The Denver Zombie Crawl

We had a crazy, busy weekend. It was a bit much, but also a lot of fun. I thought I would feature one event at a time. Today the topic is the Denver Zombie Crawl. I thought it sounded rather odd, but my kids and their friends, were totally jazzed.

On Saturday we had a race, a party and the Zombie Crawl. Here's how it goes. You meet at the east end of the 16th Street Mall (an outdoor mall in the heart of down town) and "zombie" your way to the other end. You could come dressed for the event or you could get help becoming zombiefied. (We had some good instruction and a bit of theater make up background, so we did our own at home.) If you wanted to be "attacked" you placed a duct table "x" on your chest. Groups of zombies were then free to launch themselves at you, seeking to take your "tape brains." Thankfully my kiddos did not hanker for the group grope that occurred during an attack, though the girls did plenty of attacking. At the west end of the mall you could have "pizza brains" at Two Daughters Pizza, a truly grungy fun, heavy metal hole-in-the-wall of a restaurant with great pizza. The fun of the event was seeing all of the other people lurching down the mall. They were expecting about 700 people to show up for the event. I would not be surprised if there were even more. It was quite a spectacle. There were tons of people standing on tables and light poles snapping photos. At one point we passed a wedding party just out of their reception. What an odd turn of events that must have been, going from a class restaurant to gawk at a horde of theater zombies, many of whom were spewing fake blood.

There were a number of corpse brides. One woman had a fun do with plastic spiders and a plastic snake in her up swept hair. There were also a number of doctors and nurses turned zombies, complete with fake blood on their face masks.

A few girls were REALLY creepy! One set of twins went all out and wore contacts that made their eyes look green and murky. Another one had expertly painted eyes on her eye lids. The result is that she always looked like she was looking at you. Another girl had figured out how to create fake drewl. You can kind of see her in the photo where Ethan is lurching down the mall. We also really enjoyed the movie character zombies. A fun one was the Jack Sparrow fellow who was ahead of us in the line for pizza. So of the people gave out gummy body parts. The girls thought that was great.

So, you say this sounds fun and that you want to become a zombie, too. It is easy. I will tell you how. First, you get some old clothes that you can tear up. We distressed ours using mud, dirt, garden shears and a bench grinder. Then you do the hair. We mixed conditioner with hair gel to get a "lovely" grimy effect. We then matted it with a combo of dirt, corn starch and flour. After all, what self respecting zombie washes its hair?!

Next comes the liquid latex. This part was kind of stinky. The kids said it smelled like kitty litter and made their eyes sting. But, they forged on. Oh the things we do in the name of beauty! Okay, so you paint on a base of the latex. Before it dries you lay on bits of toilet paper. Once this is done you add another layer of latex and let it dry for about 15 minutes. Next we begin paining. We started with a light grey base applied with a large sponge. Then we added highlights of green and pink. Next we did the eyes. We started with wet red that I smeared with my finger and dapped at to remove some of the color. Then we did a ring of black and repeated the process. It also got a touch of green. It took a lot of fiddling to get it right. Once that was done we did the ears, neck, arms, any flesh that was exposed, making sure to accent the veins. The last step, once we had actually arrived, was to apply the "blood." I made stuff that was actually tasty enough that I had to keep them from eating it. It was made of 2/3 c. Corn Syrup, 1/3 c. Water 1/3 c. Chocolate Sauce, A lot of Red food coloring, 10 drops of green food coloring and a touch of orange extract. We dribbled this from their ears, their noses and so one.

It was a night to remember!

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