“Why do you have blood all over your face?” The tourist asks me this with a detached calmness that seems awkward, given the question.
“I’m here for the zombie thing,” I respond, waving my hand about the Royal Resort’s pool area, where this poor traveler is about to get a lot more than the quiet nighttime pool dip he expected.
Finally, he is starting to notice—the “Royal High” prom welcome sign more fitting for a cemetery than a school gymnasium, the bloody rubber foot sitting atop a nearby amp, the small collective of people donning ripped clothes and gloomy makeup. This is how the real zombie takeover will happen, I think to myself, it will seem like there’s one weirdo with human remains all over her face, then there’ll be a swarm of them. It will be unstoppable.
No better place for this apocalypse to happen than the Royal, a place still primarily known—if it’s known for anything, that is—as the starting-off point for the Haunted Vegas Tour. Tonight is part of a conscious effort to cool the place up, mostly by booking hip local music acts. A quick glance around the lobby after the poolside concert concludes the plan is working. Zombie shuffleboard, zombie pool, zombie chugging free Sailor Jerry, zombie mean-mugging on the red carpet: The party is doing just fine for a Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
Saint Motel, the LA-based band that expanded upon two years of successful zombie proms in its hometown by bringing it here, should be proud. It should be noted that the indie rockers are solid enough they shouldn’t need a gimmick party to turn out three-dozen listeners, but hey, no one’s complaining.