A Little Bit Zombie adds a new angle to the zom-com genre
SinceNight of the Living Dead introduced us to the modern zombie almost 45 years ago, we’ve had a veritable buffet of cinema undead: shufflers and sprinters; those steeped in allegory as well as those built to scare; and, of course, some that are just downright funny.
A Little Bit Zombie, a self-described rom-zom-com, definitely falls into the funny category.
The Canadian comedy follows a group of friends vacationing in a remote cabin. Two of them, control freak Tina (Crystal Lowe) and easygoing Steve (Kristopher Turner), are engaged to be married, but their plans hit a snag when Steve is bitten by a zombie mosquito and develops, well, a hunger for human brains. Complicating matters are a couple of zombie hunters, Max (Stephen McHattie) and Penelope (Emilie Ullerup), who are hot on Steve’s trail.
Already a bridezilla, Tina is determined to make sure the wedding goes off as planned—by any means necessary.
“I like playing this sort of character,” says Vancouver native Lowe in a telephone interview. “You might hate her and think that her ways are ridiculous, but she loves him. She really does.”
Shot near Sudbury, Ontario, A Little Bit Zombie was funded through director Casey Walker’s crowdfunding website, mymilliondollarmovie.com/, where, for as little as $10, anyone could earn producer status by purchasing individual frames of the film. Within five years, Walker had his funding, along with a hugely enthusiastic cast and crew.
“The thing about this project is that everyone wanted to be there,” Lowe recalls. “We all came out to do this, and we all loved the script. [Casey is] a regular dude, but he’s also the most dedicated person I’ve worked with in a really long time. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
On the line from her home, Ullerup, a Vancouver-based Leo Award winner and VFS grad, is equally impressed. “Usually, a first-time filmmaker winds up giving his movie away to get it made. I think it would have been a completely different movie if other people had gotten their fingers in there. Casey had such a vision and was able to follow right through on his own path, and that’s pretty cool.”
The film, which premieres at 9:30 p.m. on Friday (May 18) at the Vancity Theatre (with a 9 p.m. showing on Saturday night) offers plenty of zombie action—and laughs—but also adds a new angle to the age-old battle between the sexes. One of the running gags in the film is the alleged parallel between zombieism and the loss of self after marriage.
Is it a valid point? “I think there’s a fear for men when they’re going to get married,” Lowe reflects. “And then it happens and you think, ‘Hey, this is pretty good, actually. I like the person I’m marrying, and they’re my best friend. That’s the reason I married them.’ ”
Ullerup, however, is more matter-of-fact when asked if there’s a correlation: “Heck, no!” she says, laughing uproariously. “We as women only make the men better, and more available, and better people!”
Watch the trailer for A Little Bit Zombie.