Exclusive: Jesse Dayton Talks Zombex; Production Stills Debut!
Musician Jesse Dayton may be best known to genre fans as “Captain Clegg,” the front man to the psychobilly band seen in Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, as he not only performed under the moniker in the film but also was the opening act on Zombie’s music tour that kicked off later that year as well.
Now Dayton is gearing up to show his fans out there another side of himself as the writer/director just wrapped production on his first feature film entitled Zombex, a zombie flick that explores the concept that maybe pharmaceutical companies could actually be dastardly enough to be responsible for creating a zombie apocalypse through the distribution of their medicinal products.
Starring Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys), Lew Temple (The Devil’s Rejects), Sid Haig (House of 1000 Corpses), David Christopher (The Sinner), Slayer lead singer Tom Araya, Emily Kaye (The Sinner), and Desiree McKinney (“Friday Night Lights”), Zombex is centered around Charlie Thibideaux (Christopher), a New Orleans Zydeco player who slowly begins uncover the sinister reason why seemingly normal people are starting to turn into the undead, with all signs pointing to a new experimental drug given to post-Katrina survivors.
Recently Dread Central had the opportunity to chat with the multi-faceted Dayton to discuss what inspired the musician to make the career leap into filmmaking, how listening to the radio one night served as the inspiration behind the Zombex script, and what he’s looking to do differently in his zombie movie.
Music has always been a passion of Dayton’s, but he said he’s always known deep down that he’d somehow get behind the camera at some point in his career. After Dayton enjoyed some success with penning and creating a theatrical play alongside best friend genre favorite Lew Temple, he knew it was time to take it to the next level and was ready to start making movies.
“I’ve always been a closet film geek,” said Dayton. “I actually watch about eight to twelve movies a week, which I know is a lot, but I just love the art of movies. I was born into music so it will always be a huge part of my life- It’s definitely just as important to me as filmmaking. What I can say about making movies is that I believe it is one of the last true vestiges where you can truly show your artistic vision uncut, and I think that’s the biggest appeal for me as a storyteller.”
Dayton went on to discuss how listening to a Libertarian radio show one night about the back-door dealings between health care companies and pharmaceutical companies served as a catalyst in creating the backbone of the Zombex story. “The inspiration behind Zombex came from me listening to a radio program about pharmaceutical companies being in bed with healthcare providers, and they likened the way these companies are putting people on Xanax to turning them into mindless zombies. I actually pulled over my car right then and there and wrote an outline for the movie in five minutes. Listening to that show made me realize we live in dangerous times and how exploring that idea would make for a great horror movie.”