We–myself and my super helpful photographic assistant, Joel Eigsti–had the recent opportunity to photograph the Cincinatti Zombie Walk, an event designed to raise food and funds for the Cincinatti Freestore Foodbank. The combined brainchild of Rocky Doll II and Mortified Zombabe, the Cincinatti Zombie Walk reached its sixth year on September 27th, generating more participation and donations than any of the events in the past have been able to.
The after party at Fountain Square was MC’d by Scotty “D” Dowers, who kept the crowds entertained throughout the night. The featured entertainment kicked off with DJ STEPHEN29 and DJ SIDESHOW, who had some pretty thumping mixes of darkwave and industrial to move to, while Elixir TheEnigma entranced the crowds with her exotic LED hula hoop gyration and dancing.
Then the Zombies swarmed the scene–with all ages, genders, and ethnicities equally represented by the undead–forcing humanity’s few surviving zombie slayers, the S.T.A.R.S. Team, to pull their guns and kill as many as they could. (Somehow, they were not over-run. Probably due to the use of special ammo they used to ship to old Western movies that allowed those spectacular 20 shot bursts out of a six-shooter!)
The Zombies who were not killed were lured into learning Michael Jackson’s Thriller choreography by Rose Jackson and furry MJ-performer, Jack Ryan (sometimes known as Squirrelly Jack). Afterwards, Ryan and Jackson took to the main stage to show us all how well they could recreate the Gloved One’s signature moves!
As they left the stage, Scotty D alerted everyone that the event had already yielded more contributions and turnout than any ZombieWalk to date! (In the midst of that, a few large contributions of more than a thousand dollars were announced!)
Then the Cincinnati Dayton Taiko Drum Troupe took center stage to show their amazing skills. Wearing the Kabuki makeup that is often adopted by Taiko players, due to its origin in Japanese theater, their whiteface caused them to blend in rather well with the hordes of undead packing their audience.
As the last bass thump concluded, the smoke billowed out and industrial macabre band Hematosis took the stage. Lead singer, Omen, was joined by Nekrodancers, NekroNikki and NekroJenna, in the front, while Rev-D hidden in the back (ala the Wizard of Oz) running keyboards and synths.
With a sound that reminds many of Nine Inch Nails meets Skinny Puppy, Hematosis kept the crowds engaged with their neo-religistic lyrics and ornate choreography.
After Hematosis, the New Wave-touched post-punk band, The New Void, took the stage. Don brought out his heavy guitar-chords and gritty lyrics, while Gerald lost himself to the beat as his fingers danced across the keyboards.
When the night finally wrapped, everyone was exhausted but exhilarated! Throughout the night I’d met people who stumbled across the event by accident, parents who’d dressed their children up like corpses, people who’d come in full Batman paraphernalia, and everything in between. (The little kid dressed as Zombie Mario might’ve been one of my favorites, although the little Living Dead girl was pretty amazing, too!)