Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Untitled Newfoundland Zombie Project

So with Christmas over but the holidays still in full langor, my mind turns naturally to thoughts of zombies.

Last January, as I mentioned on this blog, I was coming back from the gym on a foggy and wet evening. I paused on the pedway between the Aquarena and the track, arrested by the view—a lot of people moved about in the fog as indeterminate, ghostly forms, lit by the hazy nimbuses surrounding the street lights. It was very eerie and, indeed, haunting, and the seed of a thought took root in my mind. I had recently been making use of the extensive tunnels underneath MUN—themselves quite creepy in places—and I imagined a horror film narrative in which individuals trapped inside barricaded buildings by the requisite zombies are forced to venture into the tunnels to find food and other necessities. Fighting their way through the dark tunnels, they would establish safe zones and routes between buildings by killing the zombies in the tunnels and barricading them … suffering of course casualties along the way, etc etc.

This idea has had a surprisingly vibrant half-life in my imagination and has been a frequent topic of conversation with some friends and colleagues. I once even mentioned it to our new Dean of Arts as a group walked back through the tunnels from a reception for pre-tenure Arts faculty a few weeks ago.

At any rate, the other day for my own amusement I knocked out a sketch of the prologue for the script, in which two graduate students go running around Quidi Vidi Lake on a Saturday morning in October, and are beset by a mob of zombies (inspired by my own eerie run in thick fog this past August after watching 28 Days Later for the first time). This little diversion demonstrated two things to me: (1) I suck at writing dialogue, and (2) this was fun.

So I was thinking this might be entertaining as an ongoing project … the various conversations with friends and colleagues have cemented certain elements in place, the big one being that the story must have a specifically Newfoundland character and take place at (and under) Memorial. The other necessary plot points are as follows:

(1) The prologue takes place at Quidi Vidi Lake, and the protagonist must make her way from there to MUN. She is a biochem grad student. I don’t know why she feels compelled to go to school after suffering zombie attack and losing her boyfriend, but there we are.
(2) The hockey team must be involved, wearing their jerseys and using their sticks as weapons. The obligatory defensive goons will be in the vanguard of the various fights, and if they end up resembling the Hanson brothers, that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
(3) The principals must start out at the Field House, barricaded on the top level with zombies wandering around the track area. From there they will venture out to the Smallwood Center to find food, and the science building to get access to chemicals and stuff for improvised weapons.

So here’s the tentative plan: I will write segments and post them (either here or elsewhere) and solicit comments and suggestions. I have no idea where this story will go, so the plot is very open-ended. Also, I’m still a Newfoundland neophyte and will need advice on the nuances of the various in-jokes and personality conflicts that would make this a uniquely Rock-flavoured zombie film. The last thing I’d want is for it to devolve into an extended Newfie joke …

Also, I can’t promise anything resembling regular installments, especially once the semester gets busy. This well might wither on the vine.

But still—any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

have you considered the possibility of entering it in the nickel film fest??


Anonymous said...

I suck at writing fiction... I won't try to add or give any suggestion of what to write, but it looks like I'll enjoy reading what is wrote! Just one thing though, these zombies should definitely have an around-the-bay dialect! (if there will be any dialogue bits.)I look forward to checking back often to see what's written.

Anonymous said...

haha, good idea, theres been a few jokes about making a zombie movie based around the favorite was when someone suggested they call it 'Residence Evil'
-Jonny Sing

Anonymous said...

residence evil??
i love it!


Anonymous said...

I would pay at least $1 to see this film.

OK, maybe more.

All kidding aside, it sounds fun. Especially adding in the hockey team. Maybe the zombie disease/sickness should originate in Labrador where isolated cases of the zombie disease have gone undetected, well, because its Labrador.

Anonymous said...

Hey, leave Labrador out of this! If the zombies attacked Churchill Falls, the entire eastern seaboard of North America would lose power (including New York). Is that what you really want?

Matthew said...

Residence Evil was always the name of my never started zombies at mun project...

Justin Power said...

This project is brilliant, Chris. Only good can come from this.