Show Reviews > PDX Zombie Prom

PDX ZOMBIE PROM 2009
Bossonova Ballroom, Portland Oregon
By Sonya Brown
Photos courtesy of Circle23

The undead really know how to throw a party! This year’s annual PDX Zombie Prom “Enchantment Under The Dead Sea” unearthed the delightful macabre, including zombies, zombie hunters, and barnacled sea creatures; each dressed to kill and shuffling about the dancefloor.

Portland Oregon’s Bossonova Ballroom filled with zombies looking for braaaiiiinnns, while the Zombie Squad (“the nation’s premiere non-stationary cadaver suppression task force”) were preparing for “the zombocalypse”. Undead sailors, gruesome prom victims, rotting corpses, and even a giant undead jellyfish ventured out amongst the nearly 700 prom attendees & staff.

Emcee Baron Von Goolo (Fright Town) captains this doomed ship. The Zombie Prom Organizer (“Head Zombie Wrangler”) is Heather Erickson (aka BellaBoo), along with a ghastly crew of volunteers. New World Industries aims for the head while shooting Zombie Prom photos. DJs include DJ Skittish, DJ PrettyElectric, and DJ Apocalypse. Heather informs me that PDX radio station KUFO was a sponsor this year, “They did a zombie countdown on air every morning the week before the prom.”

Toxic Zombie (musical guest) starts off the night with theatrical psychobilly punk rock. Super sexy go-go dancing green she-creatures (Kelly Sparks & Robyn Graves) lend backup vocals to Grimm Dizaster (lead vocals, guitar), and are joined by Sam "Damn" Dietz (lead guitar), and Rich aka Lord de Crypto (drums). Kory Cutlip (upright bass) rounds out the group, dressed as the opposite of a beach life-guard -- a zombie “death-guard.”

“Zombie Prom was an awesome event, seeing everyone all dressed up and dancing...” states Grimm. Toxic Zombie rocks the house with a few of their own songs, as well as some old favorites, such as Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” and Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild”. Robyn Graves adds, “Usually, we're the only zombified folks in the room. It was such a rush to play for an entire zombie crowd.”

Headlining the event is Writhe In Agony, the zombie alter-ego of one of my long-time favorite bands, Written In Ashes. Kevyn Agony, the “Braaaains of the operation” (zombie alter-ego of Kevyn Hay) is joined by R.A. Hyde (“Catguts), Shambyls (“Braaaains! and bass and backing vocals”, aka T.J. Hamilton), Craig Chryst (“Zombi Jesus' kid brother”), and KY (“Recently Turned”).

Writhe In Agony is joined on-stage by the “Stitches” girls, a collaboration of “Gore Girls” from Portland’s underground scene. Dressed as some very sexy Zombie Wranglers, Ms. Mindy, Sarah Star, and Erika were on hand to keep the Writhe In Agony zombies on task (sometimes this requires a volt of electricity from the zombie-prods!); and to avoid the spread of further infection by making sure the audience zombies did not make their way on-stage for any unscheduled brain-eating!

“The Zombie Prom make-up team did a fabulous job on our make-up. [it was] a total blast to look out over 600 zombies and listen to them all singing along,” states Kevyn. The WIA zombies performed covers including “Head Like a Hole” (NIN), “Blitzkrieg Bop” (Ramones), “Skull” (Misfits), “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” (Simple Minds), and zombie crowd pleaser, “Nice Shot” (Filter).

Another treat, a surprise performance by former Zombie Prom Production Manager (currently of “The Divine Assassin Productions”) Mikhail White, who joins WIA on-stage with a fabulous cover of Blondie’s “Call Me.”

Should you find yourself shuffling up to the third floor of the Bossonova Ballroom on this warm Spring evening, the vendor room features such fine retailers as Creepy Cult, Gorey Details, and Gifts for Feaks-n-Geeks. Pick out some ghoulish “dark fashions” for your pets at the Gothic Beagle booth (where owner Marie really “lost her head” -- well, at least the top part of it!). Another favorite booth was the Zombie Squad table, where I purchased a “We Make Dead Things Deader” t-shirt. The Zombie Squad members meet regularly and “get together and donate personal time to a variety of disaster relief charities” -- that is when they aren’t fighting zombies or organizing zombie pub crawls (visit zombiehunters.org for more info!)

Near the end of the evening, the prom King and Queen, Dan and Erin Enquist, were crowned with custom made crowns made by BellaBoo, and given sceptors made by last year’s Prom King, Paul Smith. Other prizes featured DVDs, CDs, free Prom Photos from New World Industries, passes for Glowing Greens, Zombie Energy drinks, and more!

The ultimate star of the PDX Zombie Prom is the audience. Such amazing creativity and imagination! I loved the Undead Spongebob Squarepants, the very authentic Simon Pegg look-alike (“Shaun of the Dead”) and his adorable undead prom date, along with all of the hapless prom victims. This being my very first prom (like, ever!), I opted to wear the black ripped tulle prom dress with the blood-splattered corsage. Braaaaaaiiiins!!!!