… and our new Editor-at-Large, Hadley Tomicki is there. Hadley’s distinguished career has lead him around the world, from photographing ocelots in Mexico to draining the wine cellars of the world’s finest 3 star hotels. Dividing his time between Los Angeles and New York, Hadley writes for Black Book, Entree, Knife Collector, and other fine publications.
“Go ahead and touch me. It all feels real.”
Hearing these words in your ear at a Hollywood party is typically cause for arousal, but Rob Zombie’s 40th birthday party was far from typical. The speaker in this case was a dead man who opted to skip the plates of spring rolls and sushi in hopes of finding some fresh brains on Wilshire Blvd. Afterlife in L.A. must lead to malnourishment for the brain-starved. With make-up effects provided by House of 1,000 Corpses’ Wayne Toth, roughly 200 party guests intermingled with a cast of ghouls that included beyond frightening living dead, the Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein and funnily enough, a shabby Teen Wolf impersonator (has reality TV pushed actors to this?).
The real-life party guests seemed less than ghoulish in comparison, one of many killer tricks and treats pulled off by Zombie’s darling wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, star slayer of his upcoming film, The Devil’s Rejects. The Zephyr Club was packed with the musician-cum-illustrator-cum-filmmakers’ partners in crime. Porn starlets and celebs giggled with film crew members, artists, family and industry bloodsuckers alike.
Nicholas Cage held an imposing court with sharp-pointed boots and badass actor Danny Trejo, a man so tough even the devil himself wouldn’t mess with him. Rosario Dawson attacked a plate of passing hors d’oeuvres like Vampirella on a fat man’s neck while providing beautiful smiles and giggles all around. Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Veddar put care of his beautiful baby girl in the elegant hands of Johnny Ramone’s widow, Linda, while Alice Cooper chatted sweetly with guests, happy to have passed the haunted mantle to the next generation’s rock banshee. Anthrax’s Ian Scott made nice with friends while a bearded Vincent Gallo surveyed the room with intensity. The Shield’s Walt Goggins showed respect to the director who had him brutally shot in 1,000 Corpses with one box in a monster-size stack of gifts. From a black and white photo booth to secret magic shows, the crowd raged politely in a carnival atmosphere decorated with cartoon skulls and blood red velvet curtains.
Whatever pact Zombie made with the devil seems to be paying off in ways that would make Dorian Gray jealous. Fit with long, blond dreads, glowing skin and an abundance of spirit, Zombie danced and caroused with his many fiends, showing energy rare for a man hitting forty. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Zombie, you know he is practically the nicest guy on Earth, the occasional Satan-worship notwithstanding. A disco funk band banged away without a much-needed stomp through The Cramps’ oeuvre, repeatedly promising to get the crowd naked by the end of the evening. A few starlets were ahead of the musicians however, with eye-rupturing cleavage and no lack of tattooed flesh revealed.
Though there was cake and singing, the birthday bash had more in common with Halloween than your ordinary “Over The Hill” party; A perfect gift for the man who delivers the October holiday to us horror-hounds everyday. There inevitably came a time when dawn loomed, forcing the dead to return to their graves with only a cookie bearing Rob’s image through the four decades of his life. Guests departed and the incredibly real-looking zombies broke character, telling of their ordinary lives through hollow eyes.
“I’m a human resources director,” said one gray skinned woman, brain matter practically hanging off her stained dress, “I’m really not cute, I think I look better this way!” It was then, before passing an oversized Phantom of the Opera (think Lon Chaney, not Michael Crawford) to get to the valet, that I experienced my first touch of latex zombie skin. Though it did feel real, it was far from the plastic fake parts most Lost Angels come seeking on a Saturday night. But it’s true what they say: Once you go gray, you never stray.