Jake Kennedy, director of the FANGORIA BLOOD DRIVE II short WE ALL FALL DOWN, has begun shooting his first feature film, DAYS OF DARKNESS: RISE OF THE FLESHEATERS, in LA. The movie stars soap actor Tom (AS THE WORLD TURNS) Eplin and Brian (MIRACLE) Rasmussen and concerns a mass zombie plague. The ghoul masters at Robert Hall’s Almost Human company (HOUSE OF THE DEAD II, ALL SOUL’S DAY, ANGEL) are handling the film’s extensive makeup FX.
“As a direct result of my [BLOOD DRIVE] award, two producers looked at my work, loved it and commissioned me to write DAYS OF DARKNESS, which I am now directing,” Kennedy tells Fango. “We are now four days into shooting. It’s being shot on Super 16, with the same DP [Brandon Trost] and sound designer [Mark Binder] as I had on my short.
“DAYS OF DARKNESS: RISE OF THE FLESHEATERS is essentially a zombie film, but I am trying to re-invent the genre,” Kennedy continues. “After a comet slams into Earth and the fallout settles, everyone turns into zombies—except a small group of survivors who make it to an old abandoned nuclear bunker in the Topanga hills. There’s great conflict and tension between them as they try and work out why they are the only people to have survived.”
With no shortage of low-budget living-dead flicks making the rounds, Fango asks Kennedy how RISE OF THE FLESHEATERS will stand out from pack. “What makes this film unique is the fact that my zombies are zombies because the comet that hit Earth was laden with microscopic parasites frozen in the comet’s ice,” he says. “They are then distributed throughout the world in the fallout and breathed in by everyone. The parasite takes root in human heads and eats away at the brain, making people vegetables/zombies. The victim is then castrated by the parasite, and his dick and balls drop off and are replaced with an embryonic sack that grows a new alien/human hybrid that will now survive in this new atmosphere. And the zombie has to eat what he can—human flesh—to nurture his new life growing where his testicles once were. And the reason our group/heroes survived was because they were all drunk the time the comet hit. So eventually our hero couple discover this and realize they have to get drunk and kick zombie/alien ass.”
Kennedy enjoys cataloging RISE OF THE FLESHEATERS’ gruesome gags. “We have great hybrid alien/human creature effects,” he says, “including huge maggots that spring forth from women’s wombs. In women, the parasite takes hold in the womb and uses a protruding proboscis to mate with male zombies. Also testicle sacks, missing dick and balls, zombies galore, etc., etc. We also have several large zombie battle scenes.”
You can find out more about Kennedy’s gory opus at its official site. His short film is chronicled at www.weallfalldownthemovie.com; go here for info on BLOOD DRIVE.