Just as the VHS revolution of the ’80s allowed the little guys to make their own movies and have them inhabit the same space on video store shelves as the high budget movies being made by the big guys, what we’re experiencing nowadays could be considered quite the same sort of revolution, only of the digital kind.
Incredible advances in modern technology are currently allowing for anyone who wants to make a movie to get out there and make one that looks just as legit as the ones the pros are making, and the internet has provided those same budding filmmakers with many outlets through which to get their work out there, even on a minimum wage budget.
There’s perhaps no greater example at the moment of this so-called revolution than Jordan Rubin, a 41-year-old former stand-up comedian who just wrote and directed his very first movie, a horror comedy called Zombeavers. Here on Dread Central we typically include a plot synopsis with articles about new and upcoming movies, but in the case of this one, I don’t think it’s necessary. The movie’s about undead beavers, and they’re hell-bent on chewing their way through the corpses of a bunch of hot and horny young friends. Sound good? We think so too.
Such a silly idea for a film is typically the kind of thing that comes to mind when you’re about 10 beers deep and you’ve just watched the latest Syfy Original with some friends, the kind of idea you’d blurt out, get some laughs and promptly forget about in the morning. But Rubin decided to get a little more ambitious than that with his zombie beaver idea. Armed with an app he downloaded on his iPad, Rubin spliced together BBC nature footage with snippets from a couple different horror films, including 2009’s Last House on the Left remake, using the Frankensteined results to form a Zombeavers concept trailer…before a second of actual footage was even shot. It’s a similar thing to what Adam Green did several years back with Hatchet, and Rubin was hopeful that the trailer would have Hollywood gnawing at his behind, the way he knew a mere script never would.
Sure enough, the concept trailer did in fact get Hollywood’s attention, and it wasn’t long before some pretty big time producers fell in love with Zombeavers. You may not know their names, but the team of producers who jumped on board the Zombeavers train previously produced films like The Hangover, The Ring and Cabin Fever. And with that, a silly little idea became a full fledged movie, and a whole slew of deceased beavers were given a second chance to make something of themselves.
As was pointed out the other day in the entertainment section of Time Magazine’s website, this victory for Rubin and his Beaver pals represents something bigger than just one silly little horror movie. The fact that a movie about zombie beavers was financed by big name Hollywood producers says a whole lot about where the movie business is headed, a path that has been blazed by low budget, high grossing recent films like Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring. With mega budget films having a harder and harder time making back their money at the box office, it seems we’re primed and ready for more low budget films to invade our multiplexes, movies that don’t need to cater to the masses or make hundreds of millions of dollars in order to turn a profit. And if the early works of filmmakers like George Romero and John Carpenter have taught us anything, it’s that this return of the DIY spirit would be one trend that would benefit horror fans, in a big way.
But all that seriousness aside, I think it’s time to cuddle up with some brain-hungry beavers. So check out the Zombeavers concept trailer and some behind-the-scenes footage below, and expect to hear more as we learn more!
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