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By Steve Anderson | April 25, 2006

When you put nuclear power in the same movie as zombies and then add RuPaul to the mix, you’ve got something that makes you wonder if the indies hate us as much as Hollywood, but in a different direction.

But watching “Zombie Prom” will prove out that this isn’t the case.

This is a thirty six minute musical about love, death, nuclear power, the undead, civil rights, lost loves and found loves. In that order.

What it all amounts to is recent transfer student Jonny Warner (who raises a stir by refusing to spell his name the more classical way, earning him a small musical number entitled “Rebel Without an H”) falls in love with the breathlessly comically named Toffee, a classic fifties-esque good girl who raises a stir of her own by actually dating such a rebellious young man who refuses to spell his name with an H like it SHOULD be.

This of course proves that, in the 1950s, people had way too much time on their hands.

But of course it doesn’t work out…the good girl buckles to the pressure she’s getting from her parents, and from her principal, and breaks up with Jonny. Jonny, in a fit of teenage angst unparalled by anything else I’ve ever seen, tosses himself headlong into the cooling tower of the Francis Gary Powers Nuclear Plant.

And then comes back.

As a zombie.

To take Toffee to the prom.

Vince Marcello, who must have an absolutely pathological love of the old EC comics line, especially “The Haunt of Fear”, managed to incorporate really killer comic book art into the movie itself, giving it that extra punch of fifties retro.

In fact, the second I got through watching this, I had the realization that what they managed to do here was make a version of “Grease,” only removing the huge amounts of suck that movie contained and instead replacing it with zombies.

Okay, maybe just ONE zombie, but dammit, that one zombie would have made “Grease” a dozen times better! Like YOU didn’t want to see John Travolta get his face ripped off in the middle of “Summer Lovin’”. I know you did.

And by the time you add RUPAUL to the proceedings, you’ve got a recipe for thirty six minutes of madness and mayhem. No, I’m not kidding, either. RuPaul actually showed up in this. I’m as amazed as you are!

For those of you who weren’t around in the late eighties and early nineties, (or just don’t remember it too well) RuPaul was a character who did some music-related stuff including the song “Supermodel of the World” in which he screamed at his listeners about the necessity of working, and spent most of his time in drag. Including in a video he did with Elton John for the remix of “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart”.

Which makes it really rather amazing that he (yes, you can call RuPaul he—Wikipedia SAYS so!) showed up as the principal in this one.

The ending, meanwhile, features one of the funniest twists I’ve seen in quite some time. A joke at the end goes a long way.

All in all, “Zombie Prom” probably should have been longer. I welcome any movie that can prove the viability of the zombie musical, and though I do wish there had been more zombies, and more flesh-eating, I can definitely throw a vote to the zombie to make prom king.

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  1. Steve Chisnall says:

    My high school did the stage version of this musical (which is how it originated: as an Off-Broadway production) in my senior year. I wasn’t in it but I went to see it and have loved it ever since. It’s a delightful romp through the cliches of the 1950s.

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