Dread Central has teamed up with Ruthless Pictures and Image Entertainment to bring Zombieworld, a grab bag of zombie-themed mayhem, to the masses on February 24th; and to give you an idea of the madness that awaits, we spent a few minutes chatting with the film’s producer/director Jesse Baget.
Dread Central: Zombieworld is an unusual anthology film in that most of its content was pre-existing, and you crafted a film around those themes. Did you know what you were getting into before you undertook this huge endeavor, and what’s the best, most rewarding thing about it now that it’s all done and ready for primetime?
Jesse Baget: There’s so many talented filmmakers out there and I love watching short films so it was a very enjoyable process to find and pick some of my favorites and string them together with a wraparound story. Screening the film after the final edit, I had a total blast, which is rare after I finish a project; usually I hate the movie at that point!
DC: I know there is some original content–namely, the news anchor footage with Bill Oberst, Jr. I’d love to know what it was like to work with him, what he brought to the table (watching him disintegrate both mentally and physically is really something – not any old actor could have done what he did).
JB: I think I’ve done seven films with Bill now. He’s absolutely a thrill to work with and write for. Besides having an innate talent for acting, he has no fear, is always a team player, and puts his heart into every take. It’s a trifecta of awesomeness and certainly why he deserves all the success he’s getting and more.
DC: What is it about zombies that “just won’t die” in the genre? Our own Uncle Creepy is a, er, diehard fan! But we’d like to hear from you about why zombies are so enduring as favorite movie monsters…
JB: Good question! I thought about this a bit actually. On the surface a bunch of living corpses devouring people seems like it wouldn’t have legs, but clearly it taps into a deeper issue of our humanity. I’m sure there’s many reasons for this. I think we are fascinated with the idea of what “being human” means. Without our consciousness are we just wild beasts (or worse)? Zombies seem to give us the idea that we are more than our physical bodies. I think the line that separates what is human and what is monster can be such a thin one sometimes. With zombies we watch it happen. And it never ceases to be unsettling.
DC: How many different stories and segments are there, and which ones are your favorites?
JB: The way we split it up, there are (I believe) 12 segments which are intercut with our wraparound story. I truly think all the filmmakers involved are supremely talented and have great careers ahead of them. If I had to pick, “Brutal Relax” by David Muñoz, Adrián Cardona, and Rafa Dengrá really hits my sweet spot of mixing comedy with horror. It’s a very creative and elaborate short film, and I find myself laughing at something new every time I watch.
DC: This is an international collection of stories… tell us what the different countries brought to the genre and how they differ from, say, the U.S. point of view.
JB: One of the most exciting parts of this project was to approach directors from all over the world. Zombies have been portrayed in so many ways at this point that I do think it helps to broaden our horizon and check out other countries’ take on the genre. So many international filmmakers absolutely venerate the zombie genre. And because of their varied backgrounds they are able to bring a new approach to zombie films. I find that the international filmmakers tend to often have a sharp eye for finding the humor and irony in the subject matter.
Zombieworld Release Details:
Image Entertainment, in association with Dread Central, announces the DVD and digital download release of Zombieworld. The no-holds-barred, post-apocalyptic film will be available on DVD for an SRP of $27.97 on February 24, 2015.
Zombieworld is a collection of short films focusing on survivors across the world as they struggle to overcome horrifying circumstances when a pandemic brings forth a zombie apocalypse. The collection of blood and guts is brought to life by a group of new and up-and-coming directors from around the world, including Adam Myette O’Brien, Adriàn Cardona, Cameron McCulloch, David Muñoz, Rafa Dengrá, Jared Marshall, Jesse Baget, Jonathan Brown, Luke Giudici, Paul Shrimpton, Peter Horn, Tomy Woodard, Vedran Marjanovic, and Zach Ramelan.
Each director brings his or her take to a world of mayhem now populated with flesh-eating corpses. Among the brilliant shorts to be included in Zombieworld is Peter Horn and Jared Marshall’s “Dark Times,” a blood-splattered scamper through the woods shot entirely in POV, where zombies, aliens, and even Santa Claus make an appearance.
In Zombieworld there is nowhere to hide…nowhere to run. The zombie apocalypse has come, and our world now belongs to the dead! From Ireland, Canada, Australia, Europe, and all over the U.S., the bone-chilling news reports tell the same gruesome tale: Walking corpses terrorize and devour the living. Only a few desperate humans find the courage to stand and fight for their last chance at survival. But the hordes of undead keep coming, and there’s only one thing on the menu – us.
The DVD will also include the bonus short film “Marathon Apocalypse.”