It was a night of spectacular horror when Superkick’d had their annual “Zombie Wrestling” extravaganza. Having walked into The Great Hall on Queen Street West, smoke machines plumed vapour, catching the light streaming through the air, holding it captive. The ring in the centre of the room, planted like a set of gallows, gives the space a claustrophobic mood, as if all were trapped in a basement awaiting the onslaught of zombies down the stairwell, choking the room’s only exit. It was a night of high-flying, apocalyptic melodrama. Characters from home, abroad, and ancient history made their way through the Superkick’d ring.
The theme of the night, broadly speaking, was Zombies vs Clowns. Zombies, known for their rigor mortic lack of athleticism, are the stubborn subconscious anxieties we try to push from our mind. They defend the spectator from the psychological blitzkrieg of North America’s stalking Clowns. The real fear of the Clowns stems from their apparent lack of purpose or motivation. What do they want? Why now? What is the ultimate goal of emerging from the wood and ominously, passively, watching from afar just within sight, the reds of their eyes only faintly obvious?
If Zombies represent the undying subconscious, the anxieties we just can’t let go of, then maybe Clowns are the eyes through which we view them. Adorned in colour-blocked, oil-based make up, the minions of the dark carnival show us the silent yet spectacular forces that control our lives. The statistical formulas that determine our fates of which we have no access of understanding -- credit scores, insurance schemes, admission rubrics.
Who will come out the victor? Our undying subconscious obsessions? Or the vacant awareness of a world rife with chaos?
The Gallows in frame | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
The ring awaits its first victims while the crowd chants for the spectacle to begin. The anticipation is like a virus, a fever thickening the air.
A crowd awaiting simulated violence | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
There was nothing left to do but wait. The apocalyptical question: When the world as we know it has ended, what is worth waiting for?
Zombie splits introducing the spectacular | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
The Zombie spectacle comes out in a roar. A flashy move, the septic splits, wows the crowd and buys them in. The rules of this universe are being set.
Bring me the Clown | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
When the history is written, this will become known as the March of the Clowns. The day they appeared, spread fear, never to be forgotten. Their masks betray only unhinged chaos.
Trading masks | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
More rules. Nothing is sacred. No mask has a single owner.
Cleveland comes to town | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
Cleveland, the team that dashed the baseballic hopes of an entire city, comes to watch it lie in ruins. In this post-civilized nightmare it's impossible to remain a spectator for long.
José Bautista facsimile | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
A heroic defender steps up to the plate, but the rules of the game have changed. What does one play for when trophies have been buried?
The struggle to arms | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
The melodrama of city vs city is nowhere more apparent than The Great Hall this night. Cleveland versus Toronto. Canada Versus the good 'ole USA. Us versus Them.
A second resurrection | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
Jesus, history's most notorious Zombie, makes his way to the ring, still carrying the sins of mankind on his shoulder. People pose with the cross as he fights for our souls.
Tools of the trade | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
The Dark Carnival reaches his apex, with a tool of the trade raised to the sky: a symbol of unadulterated carnage. The crowd wavers in who to give their cheers. The victor go the spoils, and the spoils want their love.
Carrying the weight | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
Longtime enemies find common ground in suppressing the Clown insurgence. They've come to save what they each believe to be rightly theirs. This world is for good and evil to fight over, not Zombies and Clowns.
Glory in victory | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
What does it mean to be saved? Is it a blessing or a curse? Humanity survives to fight another day, but the story has only just begun.
We'll have to find out what happens next year.
A scratch on the psyche | Photo Credit: Robyn Simon (c) 2016
Many thanks to Superkick'd for having us and putting on such a great event, and to Robyn Simon for capturing the horror with her camera.