Director Justin (RAISING THE STAKES) Channell got in touch with Fango with the heads-up that a trailer for his new zombie opus DIE AND LET LIVE recently went on-line at the movie’s MySpace page.
Channell describes his new project as “a satire on high-school relationships combined with RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and THE SANDLOT. For the most part, the comedy comes before the horror elements, though there’s a lot of good gory stuff, as you can see in the trailer.”
The synopsis goes like this: “Hopeless romantic Benny Rodriguez [Josh Lively] throws a party with the help of his friend Smalls [Zane Crosby] to help woo his crush [Sarah Bauer], who is fresh out of a bad relationship with the town sexual conquistador, Andrew Kaegan [Jonas Dixon]. However, a breakout of test subjects at a nearby medical testing facility who have been exposed to an experimental virus that kills and revives the living soon leads into the party, leaving Benny, Smalls and their friends struggling to escape with their lives.” Also appearing are Troma veterans Trent (TERROR FIRMER) Haaga and the company’s president Lloyd Kaufman.
“Production began in May and the film is almost wrapped up, with only various pickups left,” Channell tells Fango. “We actually started to film an earlier version of the script last summer, but after one shoot, I decided it just wasn’t working out, so we scrapped it and rewrote the whole thing over the course of a year. For the most part, it has involved a lot of planning out things and then realizing they won’t work and having to improvise something else that ended up looking way better than what we had expected. Everything from building a zombie cage to finding out how to make good-looking bites to using animal intestines—despite my plan to avoid using them at all costs—ended up being done differently than we planned, but worked out great in hindsight.
“I also discovered that people should never make suggestions near Zane Crosby, who was also the makeup artist, and I,” Channell continues. “When we were shooting the death of one of lead actresses, Ashley Goddard, she made the mistake of asking, ‘Hey, could he bite my ear off?’ We had been waiting for an excuse to use the can of Ultra Slime we bought, and she gave it to us. I'm sure that, after she had a big pool of red goop seeping into her eardrum, she regretted it.
“DIE AND LET LIVE really doesn’t tie into my other films,” he notes, “with the exception of Lloyd Kaufman playing the same newscaster from RAISING THE STAKES and the use of the same locations, including the comic shop and various houses from STAKES and the coffee shop and animal control office from [his previous] FACES OF SCHLOCK.”