7th Oct 2012 3:03pm | By Alasdair Morton
You can do many things for charity – run a marathon, bungee jump or, as hundreds are expected to do in London this weekend, dress up like a zombie and partake in a pub crawl of the undead variety along with hundreds of other flesh-hungry monsters.
Since it’s 2006 birth in Pittsburgh – fittingly the college town of zombie movie master George A Romero and where he filmed his classic Dawn Of The Dead – World Zombie Day has taken over the world: this year zombie fans in more than 50 cities, from New York to Paris to Hong Kong, will take to the streets in honour of the brain-eating beasts.
World Zombie Day: London will mark the event with a plethora of monstrous goings on, most notably a gory pub crawl around the city, plus film screenings, live bands and even a sexy zombie burlesque show.
This year, too, sees a change to the programme, with the 2012 London version promising to be bigger and bloodier than ever before.
The traditional zombie pub crawl shuffles off on Saturday at 1pm with a new route to allow those somewhere between alive and dead to menace a host of London landmarks.
“We wanted to revamp the route,” says Stephen Uden, one of five co-organisers. “It had been the same for the last four years or so – it’s always started at Marble Arch, gone down Oxford Street and ended up at Piccadilly Circus.
This time it’s totally different.”
The new route kicks off at Tate Modern and moves, slowly, along the South Bank, before crossing Waterloo Bridge, passing Charing Cross and Piccadilly’s Statue of Eros.
“The change was inspired by trying to combine some of the best sights of London with all the fun of World Zombie Day,” co-organiser Lauren Saunders says.
“Some people travel here just for the day so it’s nice to have the whole London experience. It also mixes things up and provides something new for our seasoned attendees, too.”
After winding its way across town the zombie crawl ends up at The Intrepid Fox pub near Tottenham Court Road for a night of drunken debauchery, but not before a number of hour-long pub pit-stops along the way.
For those with the stamina, the undead antics carry on into the night with performances by steampunk band The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing (which includes stand-up comic Andrew O’Neill as a member), burlesque stars Kitty Minx and Ruby Fortune, as well as comics Tiernan Douieb and Danielle Ward.
Before you think it’s all blood, beer and brain skittles, though, there are rules governing this day for the dead.
“We’ve always known that organising the public and keeping them under control is very important [more so when the public is dressed like the worst horror film frightmare you can imagine], so every year we wait until we have the majority of the masses gathered and then we go through the zombie rules,” Uden says.
These rules include: using the ‘haunted house rule’ – don’t touch anyone; don’t attempt to frighten anyone who is not part of the procession; and no trashing the place. In other words, don’t go scaring the shite out of some poor kids, and bang on some unsuspecting sod’s house, leaving bloody trail marks down their living room window.
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