As reported earlier in the week, real-life couple Jenny Jones and Rob Blackmore joined in unholy matrimony at the 'UK's first zombie wedding' on Tuesday evening to become the undead wedded Mr and Mrs Blackmore. To celebrate the release of the second instalment of the Dead Island franchise, Dead Island Riptide, the game's publishers Deep Silver launched a Facebook competition in pursuit of the most fanatic Dead Island duo and horror-obsessed enthusiasts to be married in zombie-themed matrimony. Jenny and Rob were the lucky Liverpudlian winners and the couple took to the altar in their most monstrous attire and were hitched with their faces stitched.
Publicity stunts come in all shapes and sizes, but this extravagant ghoulish lovers affair, which attracted widespread appeal among gamers and horror genre lovers alike, will be a tough act to follow. Having gained national recognition and even further widespread coverage in the wake of Liverpool's Suarez' chomping behaviour, over 250 people flocked to One Mayfair for the uniquely entertaining event. Family and friends from Liverpool crawled down to London for the wedding and a number of press were added to the deadlist to make up the numbers for a truly monumental Mayfair apocalypse.
This wasn't a reimagining of the ceremonial acts in [Rec]3. People didn't turn up to wish the bride and groom a 'happy' orthodox wedding, and the infectious party didn't start with a dodgy soup. Upon walking into the tall standing open doors of the impressive historic venue, the familiar Caribbean beach theme of the Dead Island games provided an instant reminder of why this occasion was so highly anticipated. Deep Silver went all out with Hawaiin-style furnishings, biter-size beach-style canapés and 'Riptide' cocktails to keep the ravenous flesheaters at bay. The free bar may not have cost a dime at the time, but the consumption of those deadly concoctions was a costly price to pay the following morning. You could say that I didn't leave my zombie act in Soho.
Guests threw themselves into the theme with zombified costumes and you'd sometimes stumble upon the odd figure in a Hawaiian shirt who resembled the poor animated holiday-goer that you hit around the head with a wooden plank only nights before on the Xbox. The venue may not have mirrored the eerie feeling of isolation and helplessness that the game envisages, and you certainly didn't feel the need to pick up cautionary shock mod machetes and nailed baseball bats, but the walking dead were certainly present. With professional make-up artists turning fresh faces into torn up wrecks worthy of Romero replicas, a distant call loomed for a scouser version sequel to Cockneys vs Zombies. Meh, who knows.
The focal part of the evening was, of course, the ceremony. Presenter Sarah Chapman readied the rowdy crowd and introduced the vicar, dead dressed to impress. Zombie bride Jenny stole the show and shuffled down the aisle to the sorrowful music composition played over the new game's trailer. After some twisted nuptials, in which the couple agreed to love each other "in sickness and in rotting" and to "grab and to hold" one another, and which was entertainingly read by Rob in his well practised demonic voice, the night erupted into the normal trappings of a traditional wedding with a zombie twist. Hordes drooled over the blood-dripping, brain-topped tower cake and the live music from the Mariachi Mexteca Mexican band (who entranced with an appropriate rendition of 'Monster') crowded the dance floor with the congregating corpses until little before midnight. The party never suffered from soullessness and the deadly trappings of well-rehearsed family dances sequences to 'Thriller' kept the necrotic living dead flailing their arms rather than baring their teeth.
Congratulations to the happy couple- til' death do them part.
Dead Island Riptide is out to buy today for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.
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