Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sex and zombies

I have this scene in the Not Dead Yet where a dude has to kill his woman. It's a zombie script so of course somebody has to kill somebody else they love because that's what you do when people you love become the enemy - you shoot them in the head.

Anyway, I never really thought the scene had enough impact and neither did people who read it. It was an okay scene as scenes go, but it wasn't jerking any tears or really knocking anybody out. Like that scene in the original Dawn of the Dead where they have to kill the soldier guy and you're all "Man, I liked that guy, dammit." In my story you're more like "Oh well, good riddance to that bitch anyway." And that's not really what I'm going for.

I was discussing the script with someone and the subject of sex came up. As in, I don't have any. I have this big old actiony script with not a single sex scene, even though the plot hinges a bit on a love triangle. I am American. I consider violence more appealing than sex.

I thought briefly about making two zombies have sex but then decided against it because tha is an entirely different kind of zombie film.

So I got to thinking about it, and it occurred to me that I had no one scene of the man and his wife alone together. Sure I had a bunch of scenes with them in a group but no moments for them to share what makes them truly love each other. Of course the solution to this is to create a sex scene around the man and his wife.

Much of the time I think sex in film is gratuitous. It's like hey, our actress has nice tits and we want boys to see our movie so let's make some people get naked for a ridiculously long time!

You know that scene where there's an orgy while Neo and Trinity have sex in Zion? Yeah, that scene takes up an entire chapter on the DVD.

But if you can use sex to show character - now you've got something. How does the woman react to her husband's touch? What kind of problems are they having that I can show through the way they approach sex? You can often tell how someone feels about a relationship when you see how they respond to the other person's touch. It's hard to hide the attraction factor.

I still don't think I'm making anyone cry, but I do think it makes my death scene more memorable and worth something now that I added just one little scene between husband and wife. And I definitely think it make the overall script much, much stronger to the point where I feel like this is the one thing I've been missing the whole time.

And I didn't even have to make an actor get naked.


  1. sex scenes are kind of hard to write. you want to make it intimate and sexy, but not sleazy and fake (unless that's the tone you're going for). have you seen "Zombie Honeymoon"? Pretty romantic, gory and hilarious. maybe that'll give you some inspiration?

  2. That's fantastic! I love those moments in writing, when something just is. not. working... and then you figure out what it needs. Magic!

  3. I have to say I love the idea of a zombie sex scene. Or a scene where someone transforms into a zombie during sex. Obviously this depends entirely on the transformation process (as well as a lot of other stuff) and won't be possible in most instances, but it's a pretty sweet image.


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