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Exclusive Set Coverage and Photos – Dread Central Visits a Zombie Family



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Arriving to a postcard perfect California bungalow in West Hollywood this past Monday, April 16th, I was already privy to the undead horrors I’d find inside, although I doubt the surrounding neighbors were aware that courtesy of filmmaker Joseph Weisman a Zombie Family had moved in.

Shooting day four of six of the intended horror/comedy web series Zombie Family, writer and director Weisman took time between filming a scene (in which a pubescent zombie finds some ‘alone time’ in the home’s bathroom to peruse the ‘Kill of the Month’ centerfold in Homicide Girl Magazine) to chat with us regarding the project, as did associate producer and makeup effects lead Frank Ippolito, actress Cerina Vincent, and more.

“I wrote a feature screenplay called Zombie Family about seven years ago,” filmmaker Weisman stated of the evolution of the project, which would go on to attract the talents of producers Justin Kommann and Brian Rowe and director of photography Brian Mulchy, “and in 2008 it placed in the Horror Screenplay contest and received ‘Honorable Mention.’ I guess it made the judges’ table there, which I thought was funny because it’s a comedy and not a scary movie, although it does have gore and zombies.”

“I kind of saw an opportunity once web entities like FEARnet started producing their own content to take the material that I really loved and wanted to make, and to do it in a format that could really exploit it the most,” he continued. “I want to give an audience the most comedy for the concept.”

Zombie Family features Mike Apple as ‘Bill’ (the zombie patriarch), actress Laura Napoli as ‘Betty’ (the unit’s undead matriarch) and Chuck Lines as ‘Erwin’ and Allison Sharpe as ‘Amanda’ as the pair’s teenage, zombie offspring. Actors Kerry O’Quinn, Doug Jones, Reggie Bannister (Phantasm), Tony Todd (Candyman) and Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever) round out the cast.

Chatting with Apple, who at the time was in full zombie regalia, the actor stated of the lure of Zombie Family, “Combining the genres of science fiction, horror and comedy appealed to me. So did the concept of having a family of zombies trying to co-exist in the normal world with normal people, people who seemingly don’t notice that they are zombies, which is just a very funny concept, and it’s been fun to play around with.”

“I’ve definitely been a fan of the zombie genre,” Napoli chimed in. “I actually did a zombie video game before, so I have had the opportunity to be zombiefied, but not with full-on makeup, which has been absolutely awesome. To have the fuzzy contacts and the prosthetics, it’s a whole other experience, and that’s been fun to add that dynamic to it. The whole effects team has been awesome.”

Of the effects, we took a moment to speak with Ippolito, whose practical work has been seen in the short films Dracula’s Daughter vs. Space Brains and The Night of the Little Dead (both of which he directed), among others, as they were in season one of the Syfy reality series “Face Off”.

“A friend of mine (Komman) and I worked on The ABC’s of Death, where we did (the segment) ‘T is for Tranny’, and I did his makeup for it,” said Ippolito of how he became involved with Zombie Family. “We ended up getting along really well, and he was like, ‘Hey, I might be working on this web series. Want to come meet the director?’ So I met Joseph at Screamfest and we hit it off, and he asked me to do the makeup effects. Before you knew it, I was also an associate producer because I pulled in most of the rest of the crew: the vanity department, the line producer, etc. So I became a little bit pivotal on this one, and it worked out really nice.”

In creating the character make-ups for the titular family, “I brought in Ian Cromer from the second season of ‘Face Off’ and his girlfriend Alana Schiro to help with the builds,” continued Ippolito, “and they worked with me pretty much for about a month working on all of the sculptures and molds and everything, and here we are.”

Of the look of his zombies, “I don’t view it as redefining anything, just more what the zombie needs to be in this story,” Ippolito offered. “I didn’t want to make them too gory because they are supposed to be a family, and I made the prosthetics really thin so that they can still emote through them, and I gave each of the sculptures a little bit of a character. I made the mom and the son look a little similar, and the same with the dad and the daughter. The daughter’s makeup is the most subtle. We wanted to keep her cute and attractive and her little ‘punk rock’ self. So it was about doing it well because there are a lot of bad zombie make-ups out there, and I wanted to do it competently.”

Exclusive Set Coverage and Photos -  Dread Central Visits a Zombie Family

Art Director Mike Cavanaugh joined the fold at that moment and offered us a look at not only the previously mentioned Homicide Girl Magazine, which he’d created with Nick Bonamy, but also at ‘Scrahhhhble,’ the board game he’d commissioned artist Dave Leamon to create, which the zombie family plays in a scene or two in the series.

“He’s been pulling it off!” gushed Ippolito of Cavanaugh’s art direction. “He came up with the concept of that game, where all of the letters are r’s and a’s, as in, ‘Aaarrr’!’ The zombies also had to fry up some brains in the kitchen so I made a silicone brain, and we covered it with slime and stuff and they put it in the pan, and then Mike got tripe and cut it up, and we were cooking it in soy so they could actually eat it.”

Catching up with actress Sharpe, who had nabbed the role following a traditional audition, she stated of her character in Zombie Family, “Amanda is a little lost. She’s trying to blend in with the rest of the non-zombie world the best she possibly can, which, to be honest, isn’t very good. She’s a punk rock princess just trying to be cute, and she’s dying literally to fit in at school. She’s just kid a kid though, you know? Acting out, making friends, being a little rebel. But she’s also a big family girl.”

“At home they’re just like any ordinary family,” Sharpe stated of the family’s dynamic. “They sit down at the dinner table together, get into little riffs and play board games together. We’re all on the same page and we know that we have to protect our identity as zombies so we support each other on that.”

Does Sharpe find it difficult balancing the comedy and horror of Zombie Family?

“Not at all, actually,” she replied. “I’m a huge fan of dark comedy and of slapstick comedy, and this whole series is basically a chaotic mixture of the two. Comedy and horror are such opposites when it comes to genre, that when one moment of horror is altered with a comedic intention, it can make practically anything transform from scary to silly.”

A zombie needs a foil, however, and in this case they come in the form of actors Todd (who portrays ‘Principal McGuffy), Bannister (the neighborhood cop), Jones (the unlucky salesman) and Vincent, who appears as ‘Cindy Apple,’ the annoying next-door neighbor.

“Think saccharin-sweet Stepford wife meets a nosy neighbor,” said actress Vincent of her character. “It’s a really funny role, and I’m really getting into it.”

Complimenting Vincent on her knack for comedy (her turns in that genre include roles in the series “Mike & Molly” and the feature Not Another Teen Movie, among others), she said humbly, “Thank you! Yes, I do feel like comedy is my strength, and I’m absolutely using that in Zombie Family. I’ve had a blast being over-the-top and annoying. I gave Cindy Apple a really obnoxious voice and mannerisms, and Joey wrote a great role and it’s a joy to play. I’m looking forward to doing more with this crazy character, that is, if Cindy Apple doesn’t end up dinner for the zombie family. She’s so annoying, if I were a zombie, I’d eat me too.”

So when can we expect to see Zombie Family?

“We are looking at probably two to three weeks to edit and to do sound,” concluded director Weisman of post-production, “so we should have everything together by the end of May, hopefully. It’s exciting. And we are in negotiations right now for distribution.”

Stay tuned for more on Zombie Family, and in the interim stay up-to-date by checking them out on Facebook here and Frank Ippolito here.

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Exclusive: Rocky Gray Talks Halloween Horror Anthology 10/31



The last time we gave you guys word on the upcoming Halloween horror anthology 10/31 was to bring you the knock-out exclusive official poster, which you can peep to your left (click for a higher-res version).

The new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S and Creepshow joins an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is executive produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

The film’s stories are directed by the likes of Justin M. Seaman (The Barn), Zane Hershberger (Devilution), John William Holt (The Dooms Chapel Horror), Brett DeJager (Bonejangles) and Rocky Gray making his directing debut.

This past weekend we were able to catch up with producer-director Rocky Gray and ask him a few choice questions about the anticipated upcoming anthology film.

You can check out our quick interview below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are to check out 10/31 in the comments below!

Dread Central: How is the film coming along?

Rocky Gray: The film is now completed and we are getting the perks out to our Indiegogo backers. The backers and Death By Festival got to see the first cut of the film in October and they loved it so we’re very excited to get the film out to everyone else very soon.

DC: What can expect from this anthology?

RG: Expect to have a lot of Halloween themed fun. Each segment has its own flavor so the pacing and the look change throughout the film. With masked killers, vampires, scarecrows, tricksters and old hags there’s something for everyone.

DC: Will there be a sequel?

RG: If there was a demand for it we would make it happen!

Sounds good to us. Thanks for chatting with us, Rocky!

You can become a fan of the film on Facebook HERE.

A Halloween treat bag of all the things that go bump in the night. From masked killers to scarecrows, witches, and tricksters. There’s a scare for everyone in this anthology of horror and the macabre from the creators of The Barn and Volumes of Blood.

Red Letter Entertainment, Inc. brings you the directorial debut from Rocky Gray (composer of The Barn, Killing Floor 2), two-time Grammy-winning musician and former drummer for Evanescence. A new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S/ and Creepshow brings an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is Executive Produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

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The Duffer Brothers Have Begun Working on Stranger Things 3



I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of the first season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things” to tell you the truth. That said, I absolutely loved the second season (read our reviews HERE).

It is with this in mind that we are all looking forward to “Stranger Things 3”.

Recently Deadline reported that at Vulture Festival LA the Duffer Brothers, producer Shawn Levy, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Reiser, and Linnea Berthelsen talked about season two and teased season three.

“We are [in] very early days on season three, and we’re still figuring it out,” Ross Duffer said, before taking a beat, then adding: “I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. That’s not official; that wasn’t an official announcement — we’re just working on it, just for our own amusement… for fun!”


We all know at this point that there is going to be a “Stranger Things 3” and that The Duffer Brothers will one day begin working on it. Don’t worry so much, Ross Duffer.

After all, your brother already let us know that season three will begin after a time jump:

“Even if we wanted to hop into the action faster, we couldn’t,” says Matt Duffer. “Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They’re going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can’t start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. It’s a long way of saying that yeah, we’re going to do a time jump.”

What did you think of “Stranger Things 2”? Did you dig it more (or less) than season one? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

“Stranger Things 2” is currently streaming on Netflix.

It’s 1984, and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana, are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down, but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

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James Cameron’s Terminator Reboot/Sequel Hires Screenwriter



The last word we brought you guys on producer James Cameron and Deadpool-director Tim Miller’s new Terminator film was when we let you know that Paramount had set the film’s release date for July 26, 2019.

Today we have news via The Wrap that the studio is bringing in screenwriter Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) to pen the movie’s script based on a story crafted by Cameron.

You may remember that Cameron and Miller created a writers room a while back to plan out an all-new trilogy of films, but while that writer’s room included David Goyer, Charles Eglee, and Josh Friedman, it seems like Ray will be the first film’s sole writer. For now.

Story details are, of course, being kept under wraps, but Cameron and Miller are treating the new movie as a direct sequel to Cameron’s T2: Judgment Day.

“This is a continuation of the story from ‘Terminator 1’ and ‘Terminator 2.’ And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream,” Cameron told THR. “Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”

We also know that Cameron plans to center the new film/trilogy around a new group of younger characters, who will eventually carry on the baton as it were.

“A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters,” Cameron said. “We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories. And then a number of other characters around her and characters from the future. We still fold time in the story in intriguing ways. But we have Arnold’s character and Linda’s character to anchor it.”

How excited are you for James Cameron’s new Terminator flick? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social mdeia!

The new Terminator film is produced by James Cameron and will be directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool). The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.

Terminator 2.5 is expected to hit July 26, 2019.

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