Monday, October 15, 2007

My zombies are action zombies

It's been an interesting adventure, this zombie script.

See, I don't actually like horror movies. Last night I watched 28 Weeks Later which ran at a very fast pace and I thought was pretty awesome until about the last fifteen minutes which didn't work for me at all. But anyway , I had to cover my face during the gross zombie-eats-his-wife scene because it was too gory. And as time goes by and special effects get better those kinds of scenes get more and more realistic and harder for Emily to watch.

So here I am, writing a zombie movie. The thing is, I don't think of it as a horror movie. Every time I tell that to somebody I get a triple take and a shake of the head. Oh, Emily, you fool. A zombie movie without horror is just silly.

Well, I defy your rules, judgmental people.

This is no horror story. This is an action story.

I am blowing things up. I am staging kick-ass fight scenes. I am placing romantic couples in situations where they will bicker constantly until they realize they're meant to be together, shooting things into the sunset.

And yes, somewhere in there zombies try to eat people. But really this is about our heroes trying to prevent zombies from eating people, so most of the gruesome deaths happen to the zombies, not to the people.

That doesn't mean everybody lives happily ever after. I've got a few people dying here, one in pretty brutal fashion, but I just don't want a movie where every minute is about shockingly disgusting deaths. This is about character. If a death is gross it should be because it's advantageous to character development to have it be gross. Not because I'm trying to push the envelope on disgusting my audience. At least, that's how I see it because I don't see those torture porn movies.

And maybe if I get this script to a studio they'll say, what? You have to have gross deaths for this to be a zombie movie. Why are people getting shot in the head so much? This ain't The Departed, sweetie. We need more intestines pulled out and eaten.

And I'll sigh and watch as they destroy my vision for an action zombie movie that's not gross.

But right now today at this minute, I love my script. I just got done writing for an hour, immersed in the story, putting people in peril and making them kick ass and I felt for a little while like it was me kicking ass. Writing is fun.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go blow up a gas pump.


  1. There's a torrent of Babylon Fields floating around out there. CBS's unpicked up zombie pilot.

    You should have a look. More of a mystery, crime drama with zombies rather than horror.

  2. A friend of mine sent me the script for that but I haven't read it yet. Guess I'd better get to it.

  3. I'm sure lots of people raised an eyebrow when Alex Garland and Danny Boyle said their zombies were actually infected people. not the undead -- and they moved REALLY FAST.

    Pop the pile, I say. Love the idea.

  4. Anonymous7:53 AM

    " I don't actually like horror movies" I have a similar feeling in that I rarely go see a true horror film (Saw, teen slasher etc) but I enjoyed 1408 type of thriller/horror, and I think I have some neat concepts that would look fabulous on film... I just feel weird writing a story that would scare the shit out of myself, gross myself out a bit and that I'd personally not go see haha

  5. One of the two projects I'm working on now is a supernatural horror.

    It revolves around a dysfunctional family, and it's kind of a Stephen King type thing. That's the best I can describe it.

    Anyway, I'm like you in that I don't really like horror all that much. I don't really think of my story as a "horror story", I think of it as a DRAMA, with horrible things happening.

    The horror comes out of the relationships and what the char's do to each other-- and why.


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