Zombieworld – Explanations, Eviscerations, and Reflection
Today is a really proud day for us at Dread Central. I’m not gonna bang our drum and say some self-indulgent shit like, “Hey! We have a DVD in stores! Go buy it!” While that is cool, there’s a far bigger picture which has us ecstatic. Beginning today… people will be introduced to a crop of incredible filmmakers who we believe can be the future of our genre; and we, along with Ruthless Pictures and RLJ/Image Entertainment, have the privilege of introducing them.
Dread Central has been fortunate enough to remain one of the only high-profile horror sites that has become relevant on our own terms. We have no parent company. We call our own shots and decide in which directions we want to head. We live and die by the fact that we want indie films to get just as much spotlight as the studio films. Everyone’s on a level playing field with us. As a result there’s been a lot of blood, sweat, and lord… nights, weeks, and months of tears. Just trying to find ways to keep our heads above water has been a monster-sized task, but we sacrificed and managed.
My partners, KW Low and Jon Condit, and I love what we do and love bringing you guys as much cool stuff that you may or may not have heard of as we can, and that’s why we do this. Jesse Baget of Ruthless Pictures was a missing piece of our puzzle. Here’s a guy who knows how to get movies out there… and like us… do so on his own terms with as much of an indie punk rock DIY attitude as you could imagine. We became fast friends, and that has led us all to Zombieworld.
Jesse and I? We see and get sent A LOT of indie flicks… especially short films. Some of them have blown us away. We also agreed that it was a crying shame that hardly anyone would ever get to see these little gems outside of YouTube or wherever they may have existed. Finding them would be akin to looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Then lightning struck. Why not compile them and put them out officially on home video? The idea took off in a flash, and within weeks we launched our Zombieworld call for entries.
Unless you’ve been following us every step of the way, you may have missed exactly what Zombieworld is. None of the short films included within the anthology was shot specifically for it. These are pre-existing short films from some of the most talented indie directors we’ve ever come across. Each one is different, and each holds its own. Given the over-saturation of zombie-themed entertainment, we wanted to offer some diversity to the package instead of the usual paint-by-numbers shit that’s shoved down our throats on a daily basis. There are films in Zombieworld that are funny, some that are sad, some that have that old EC Comics feel, and some that… well… have to be seen to really fully describe. The result is a package that’s as tonally uneven as it gets, but in a lot of respects that’s exactly what we were going for. If you’re not digging one style of short, don’t worry… there will be another flying at you in 5 minutes. One of the greatest joys for us has been listening to people who have seen it talk about which were there favorites. While some are pretty much universally loved by all, others have been rather surprising in their choices for best in show. It’s been a blast for us to hear about, and hopefully you’ll have as much fun deciding what works for you.
With all these great films from around the world, and yes, they really are from around the world, we needed something… some type of wraparound to tie it all together. Enter the always wonderful Bill Oberst, Jr. Like Vincent Price before him, Bill approaches every role with gusto and gives his all. No matter which film we’ve seen him in, he leaves it all on the screen. We’re lucky to have him working in the genre, and we are beyond lucky to have him be a part of this crazy-ass endeavor. Jesse directs Bill’s wraparound with manic sensibilities, and it’s impossible for us not to smile every second he’s on screen. Surrounding Bill is a playground designed by the uber-talented Zebediah De Soto which really brings the segment to life. It’s fun, it’s playful, and it’s as out there as anything you’ve likely ever seen.
That’s nothing though… the real stars and heroes of Zombieworld are the filmmakers who have allowed us to share their remarkable visions with the horror community on the grandest scale possible. Being able to shine the spotlight on these cats has been the greatest gift to us, and we hope that you guys, our readers, and the horror community as a whole will give them a shot to entertain you. We’re pretty damned certain they won’t let you down. Speaking for us, if just one of them, who are so very praise-worthy, goes on to do something really cool down the line and Zombieworld was the impetus for that, then we have done our job. Ten-fold even. In the end that’s what’s important… showing the world that there are filmmakers out there from all walks of life who have the vision to create something good that’s NOT stamped out of the same mold as the millions of other projects that have come and gone that no one cares about because they brought absolutely nothing new to the table.
Those movies thrive by playing it safe, and whether you like it or you don’t, the one thing I can assure you is that the last thing Zombieworld does is play it safe. Not even a little bit. This is a movie to throw on with your buddies while eating pizza and consuming whatever party favors you may have on hand. We sincerely hope that you have as much fun watching it as we did putting it together. The end… is… here. Revel in it!
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