Thursday, October 21, 2004
Zombies and ghouls to go Hollywood
Halloween is just around the corner. Second only to Christmas as your humble narrator's favorite holiday, Halloween is the one night a year when you and I can dress up, step out and be anything we want to be. Although I've been Superman a few times and Batman a few more, I'm chiefly a fan of scary costumes - the more horrible the better. Come on, Roanoke, let's see some ghoulish get-ups. I want to see vampires and werewolves and botched surgical experiments. Let's have guys with the hockey mask and chain-saw combo, devils and demons and scores of evil, evil clowns. (We're all scared of clowns, right?) And, of course, zombies.
Too long out of the spotlight, zombies have enjoyed a recent return to form with the success of such films as "28 Days Later" and a new generation's discovery of zombie movie godfather George Romero.
Zombies are the "it" ghouls of the moment. Not only that, but zombies offer endless possibilities for Halloween costume fun. One could, if one were on a budget, just go for the ratty clothes and a bit of blood around the mouth look; we'll call that "zombie light." For the more daring, one could go so far as to wear one of those funeral suits that mortuaries sell (you know, the ones that are split up the back so the deceased can be dressed in a prone position) and experiment with spirit gum, gelatin and/or mortician's wax.
Of course, for the truly hip among the zombie set, there's always the white top hat and tails look, with no shirt, a bone necklace and powdered white face to capture that Baron Samedi voodoo zombie lord chic.
OK, you say, now that I've gotten together my zombie get-up, where can I go to show it off? All dug up and no place to go?
A good zombie need not wander the streets alone - at least not on Halloween weekend. The biggest, bestest and rottenest pack of undead this side of Transylvania is going to be gathered at the Grandin Theatre on the night of Oct. 30, for the second annual Silver Screen Soiree.
The Silver Screen Soiree is one of the Grandin's biggest annual fund-raisers and promises to be an evening's entertainment unlike any other, styled like an old-fashioned Hollywood movie premiere, with a bit of a twist. This year's theme is "Guts or Glam," and guests at the Grandin "are encouraged to let Hollywood (be it glamourish or ghoulish) inspire the evening's attire," said Melany Mullens of the Grandin Theatre Foundation. Translation: Dress up either scary or vintage Hollywood. (Jason's translation: Forget Clark Gable. Zombies, zombies, zombies!)
The evening's events will begin at 8, when guests arrive in front of the Grandin Theatre in limousines and antique cars, "to the fanfare of paparazzi," Mullens told me. From 8 to 10, guests will enjoy live music, gourmet food and drinks, and a silent art auction. At 10, there's to be a live auction. Did I mention gourmet food?
Finally, at midnight, the Grandin Theatre will cap off the evening with a special midnight screening of George Romero's classic zombie film, "Night of the Living Dead." A theater full of dead Hollywood and undead revenants watching the greatest zombie movie ever made is an experience I can't bring myself to miss. Hope to see you there, too.
Tickets for the Silver Screen Soiree are $45 each, and include two drink tickets, food and two tickets to the midnight movie. Tickets to the movie only are $5. To buy tickets or for more information, call 345-6177, visit www.grandintheatre.com, or stop by the Grandin Theatre box office at 1310 Grandin Road, Roanoke.
Jason McNeil's Front Porch column appears regularly in Neighbors.