Friday, February 18, 2011

Dead Island

In case you haven't already seen what many have deemed the best game trailer ever, check out the trailer for Dead Island. The movie rights to the game have already sold,. Doesn't take a genius to figure out why.

Just when you think you know all there is about zombies and zombie fighting games, somebody does something beautiful. I've watched this trailer three times already and am still completely moved. Everybody I've shown it to is blown away.

If only we could all make our screenplays have this kind of emotional impact.


  1. Jordan6:09 PM

    Actually, film rights haven't sold yet:

    I loved the trailer. Tragic and heartbreaking; whoever decided to play the events in reverse was a genius. Mind you it reveals nothing about the game, but I really liked it. I'm not surprised about the attention its getting from Hollywood.

  2. Odd. Tracking Board lists it as sold. I heard the deal was in the works before the trailer even went public.

  3. Anonymous7:36 PM

    Allow me to dissent. The trailer imparts a false sense of gravitas to a fairly mundane genre: zombie movies. Is it moving? Sure, in much the same way adolescents are impressed by the "moments" in an Adam Sandler movie. It's akin to fans of Buffy/Angel/Veronica/Star Trek/Insert Cultie Favourite ranting about the emotional tone/underpinnings of a particular episode. Count me among the underwhelmed.

  4. I'm with Anonymous on this one. Maybe it's just because I resisted watching it until every blog and every facebook account started linking to the trailer. But I was totally underwhelmed when I finally saw the trailer.

    Can we end the zombie faze, please?

  5. Sorry to break the bad news, but zombies aren't a phase. They're a genre.

  6. Which is too bad because for the most part nobody has thought to do anything interesting or original with the genre. We had Shawn of the Dead and Zombieland and maybe a couple of other nice attempts but for the most part...boring.

    The problem is that zombies just aren't that interesting as a bad guy/villain. Typically they always look and act the same and it's just the good guys running from the personality-less walking dead.

    Unless somebody comes along to change the rules of what a zombie can be and how they can act, it's a really limited genre.

    Think about vampires and how they were shown on Buffy. You could have vamps with personalities and motivations as different as Angel and Spike on the same show. You can't really do that with Zombies.

    Another genre to avoid.

  7. Totally disagree. One of the reasons zombies have been so successful is the way they can embody whatever metaphor you choose. Zombies allow us to study our own humanity, or lack thereof.

    Yes, Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. And Fido and 28 Days Later and Zombie Strippers and Dawn of the Dead (both of them). There are still ideas to come. Zombie Baby and World War Z and others. Saying zombies are a genre to be avoided is like saying nobody should write romantic comedies. They may not be for you, but they work well for others.

  8. See, that's where you're wrong. I don't hate or even dislike zombie related fare. I've enjoyed plenty of zombie movies/television shows over the years. I even enjoy The Walking Dead, despite its many flaws.

    And whatever metaphor you want to attach may make it slightly more interesting, but the villains will always be the same.

    For me, that has started to lead to a path of seen one, seen 'em all.

    There will continue to be the rare exception. Maybe 1 out of 10 attempts at the genre will actually succeed at being original and fun and genre busting.

    But that's a poor percentage.

    And by the way, I read your zombie script a few years back and really enjoyed it. You found a way to make it feel fresh and new and exciting.

  9. I see what you're saying, but you could say that about any genre. Is the percentage really that much higher in a rom com or a buddy cop movie?

  10. Well, I know I won't be playing THAT game.

    Watching "The Walking Dead" in small bursts is about all I can do. For whatever reason, I just can't watch zombie people eating other people.

    Just not in my brain repertoire.

    PS: my word verification was "mulato" which I'm pretty sure is highly racist. Bad word verification!

  11. The only thing different with say, a buddy cop movie, is that you can do more with the bad guys. You can have a Hans Gruber bad ass level that you can't really have with a zombie villain.

    And to your point about rom com's, I think the percentage of those working might actually be less than with a zombie movie. Very rarely does a rom com work for me.

  12. Anonymous11:47 PM

    Having a "limited" villain forces you to look harder at your protagonist's flaws.

    I've seen more depth in most Zombie movies than in a boatload of horror movies with villains who could have personalities.

    Of course, I also look at zombies as a force of nature, which makes Zombie movies disaster movies. You can't reason with a zombie anymore than you can with a Volcano or an Asteroid.

  13. I'd argue that if you don't think zombies can have personalities, you haven't watched Fido, or Day of the Dead, or to a lesser extent, Land of the Dead.

    As for the ad itself. Hmmm...

    As a standalone short film, it's not a bad idea. But in a way, it strikes me as "easy."

    You could do a video about a mean man who throws kittens off of buildings, put it in slo-mo, and throw some Coldplay under there, and get the same reaction.

    As an ad for a game, however, I seriously doubt it shows off the game itself, unless you, the player, spend the entire game an emotional wreck as you (very sadly) try to escape the island (of sadness).


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