Alright, it’s getting a little bit over-zombied around here, we’ll admit.
But, that does not apply to the charming, campy Ms. Living Dead pageant, creeping out audiences and raising cash for charity since 2014.
We sat down with (well, really it was on the other side of the room), with 2016 winner Mama Rose from the Dead (once the living Stephanie Winters), who wowed the judges with her special talent for cooking last year.
First off, you look great. How do you stay looking so dead?
Thank you! What a dreadfully delightful compliment! My daily diet of human brains keeps me fit and fleshy. I keep my portions to about one brain per meal, or 1,900 calories, give or take a bite. If you’ve seen my cooking show (don’t miss the reprise at this year’s pageant), you know I can get creatively creepy in the kitchen and whip up an award-winning brain cream stew.
Can you take us through your beauty regimen?
Bathing in the blood of innocents is so last century. I’ve found that an overnight spinal fluid tap keeps me looking royally rotten in just the right places. In the a.m., I apply my signature lip color (Milk-Man at Midnight Red) and tousle my curls with a little Cobweb crème before lurching out of the grave.
Wearing the crown is a lot of responsibility. Can you tell us what you do to relieve stress and relax?
Sipping an afternoon latte was always my favorite way to relax. After the Milk Man disappeared I had to find other, more eerie ingredients to experiment with. That’s when I found my true love—creating my signature Viscera Venison. There’s just something about jamming my fingers into lifeless meat that really calms my nerves.
What pressures do you feel to keep up appearances?
It can be tough competing with the living—their beating hearts and warm parts are a bit intimidating. Being the Queen of the Living Dead is a pretty grave job, but somebody’s gotta do it!
Is there a Mr. Living Dead?
While a queen needs no man to reign—there just might be a special guy at this year’s pageant that I’ve been dying to sink my teeth into…
What’s the perfect date night in Columbus for an undead pageant queen?
I prefer long walks… in an old cemetery… under the full moon light—or stopping for a drink and horror flick at Studio 35 in Clintonville.
What advice do you have for this year’s contestants?
Just be your ghoulish, gruesome, brain-biting selves and the judges will fall in love! Oh, and stock up on sinister snacks beforehand—you don’t want to show up to a theater full of the living while hungry.
And finally, the question all pageant winners must answer: how do you plan to change the world–for zombies and for the living?
I’m going to change the world one squeamish stomach at a time, by continuing to share my love of frightfully fine-dining with the pets at Cause for Canines. Unfortunately they don’t eat brains… yet. So we’re going to start with raising funds at this year’s event! I’m cooking up something wicked and can’t wait to see you there!
Ms. Living Dead Columbus 2017
8.25 @ Studio 35 Cinema & Drafthouse
All proceeds benefit Cause for Canines
Tickets: $15 presale, $20 door