I’ve been getting more and more “into” zombies lately, for a couple of reasons. Besides the fact that they are way freakin’ cooler than any movie monster and more destructive than a pack of rabid weasels, they provide such wonderful targets for various weapons training. Should you ever find yourself being attacked by zombies, you can take head shots without the guilt that normally comes from putting a pill in someone’s brain base.
Another tantalizing thing about zombies is the great movie material they offer us. Take the quintessential zombie trilogy, George Romero’s Dead series. Without a doubt, the director truly did create the mass-market appeal of zombie films, and moreover, gave them critical backbones, by showing rampant consumerism (as ironically evidenced by the success of the films), commenting on the Vietnam War, or showcasing cultural and racial divides. Even without the subtle commentaries, the films offer plenty of gooey, gory chills and thrills, without losing the human drama and even comedy.
So it was with some interest that I have awaited Mr. Romero’s new zombie film (thanks Steve for reminding me), entitled Land of the Dead, due to be released in theatres July 24. The trailer doesn’t seem to offer much beyond the usual zombie fare, and is even less tantalizing than early 2004′s remake of Romero’s own Dawn of the Dead, a film which, quite frankly, blew the socks off of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake in terms of sheer entertainment value. Sadly, this trailer doesn’t really reveal much about the story, but the look and feel don’t seem to be all that audacious or provocative, and Dennis Hopper in a suit and goatee always makes me nervous, so I am not sure what to expect.
Still, a Brad Pitt-Jude Law mutant zombie might add a bit of spice to an otherwise ponderous and standard zombie flick.
Now, of course, we get to the crux of the matter. I’ve begun planning my fourth “film”. It’s to be a zombie comedy in the vein of Shaun of the Dead–I don’t really have the budget or time for a true zombie horror–tentatively entitled The Lone Zombie: A Texas Story. Think Robert Rodriguez meets Simon Pegg, and you’ll have a bit of an idea of the style and tempo of the short.
This film will be significant for a number of reasons, most notably for the fact that, for the first time, I will be working with, not just one brother, but both of my brothers. Indeed, the project had its genesis with the Snow and Blood photographs I posted back in January. Somehow, the photos keyed my older brother James into asking about making a short zombie movie, and it’s been more talk than action between then and now.
However, progress is being made. I wrote a first draft of the script and between the three of us, it is being revised. Shooting is set for the last weekend of May–in Texas, of course, which will have its own share of intrigue and exotic appeal. It’ll be a rapid shoot–one day if possible, but no more than two max. I’ll release more details as they emerge.
In keeping with my upcoming move to Los Angeles to further invest myself in the ancient and mysterious craft of filmmaking, I’m going to try to shift Fringe into a more “movie oriented” direction. I’ll still keep the current format of small essays every day or so, but I want to include more movie news, Defamer style, though not as bawdy or concerned with piddling matters. I’ve even got a few contacts running movie-related websites who seem interested in a few cross-ties with our respective sites…more on that later.
Anyway, stay tuned for more zombie-related info as the weeks progress.