On Saturday night, October 22 starting at 7 p.m., Saugerties will be overtaken by zombies. Perhaps as many as a thousand bruised and bloody humanoids in various dress, from elegant evening dresses to tattered rags, will stroll along Market and Partition Streets, popping into Dave’s Wine & Coffee House to hear Voodelic, the Kingston-based funk rock band, then heading to the Donlon Auditorium to experience Zomstock, a parody of the famous 1969 festival hosted by Tyrannosaurus Rocks. A performance by Zombie Gaga will be followed by a costume contest at the Donlon at 10 p.m., with awards going to the Most Gruesome Zombie as well as the Best Celebrity Zombie.
If you’re not in costume, you can join the crowd and fantasize that you’re the Vincent Price character in The Last Man on Earth, a scientist who miraculously escaped the deadly plague that wiped out all humans only to be beset by ghouls. The film, in fact, will be shown at the Reis parking lot, at the corner of Market and Main, with artworks and specially designed tee-shirts by Peter Smith on display. Last Man, which was shot in Italy in 1964, was the more original predecessor of George Romero’s cult classic Night of the Living Dead, which put zombiehood on the map.
Many Saugerties businesses will accommodate the parallel universe of the zombies, who will be flocking to the village from near and far (at presstime bookings were brisk at area hotels). Sugartown Vintage Boutique will present another cult classic, The Evil Dead, hosted by Brian Solomon, blogger at thevaultofhorror.net. Special zombie cocktails will be concocted at local bars, and the Village Apothecary will be handing out prescriptions for the “zombie cure.”
Organizer Cruella Moxham (in normal life, she goes by Jamie), who launched the first Saugerties zombie invasion last year, said that this year’s zombies can contribute to a good cause beyond simply boosting local business and scaring the daylights out of small children: Drop boxes will be distributed at various locations for donations to help Hurricane Irene victims. The boxes will list items that are most needed and other information on how to donate.
The Saugerties invasion is part of a worldwide trend of zombie walks, boosted by numerous films featuring the ghouls and even a TV show, The Walking Dead, whose season premiere just aired on AMC. On Saturday night, maybe the best way to escape the gruesome horrors of the national political scene briefly is to put on your ghoulish best and head to Saugerties. Visit cruellascrypt.blogspot.com for more information.