I never, ever, ever thought I’d say this but… I’m getting kind of sick of zombies. Zombies and vampires are the two current horror movie devices that are being mined exhaustively, and it’s getting to be too much, all at once. At least the zombie flicks haven’t been teenybopperified… yet.
But whether they be the living dead, or the virally infected, the zombie genre has been exploding over the past few years. The Brits got in on it with Danny Boyle’s excellent 28 Days Later, then skewered it splendidly with the sublime Shaun of the Dead. Unfortunately, these two things are being swallowed up by copycats and adaptations.
First off, the Shaun of the Dead news. Working Title Television is the new TV production company that comes from a joint venture from Working Title and NBC Universal. They’re planning on doing several adaptations of films from the Working Title repository of films, and one of the first one is, yep, Shaun of the Dead. It’s actually an interesting idea, although how they could maintain it as both a comedy and a horror show, and keep it repeatedly fresh and interesting, is simply beyond me. Also, without the participation of Wright, Pegg, and Frost, it’s almost inevitably doomed. In case anyone cares, other films slated for TV adaptation are Bridget Jones Diary, Billy Elliott, Nanny McPhee, Notting Hill, and Four Weddings and a Funeral. I am mystified by how any of those will work, but whatever. The point is, Shaun of the Dead: The TV Series? In a way, the even more disheartening news is that it will be primarily aimed at US audiences, which is to say, it will be stupider. Swell. Of course, if they can somehow get Bill Nighy, all will be forgiven.
In other British zombie news, here’s the trailer for The Devil’s Playground (not to be confused with the documentary about Amish people of the same name, though I’m sure if you try you can draw some parallels). It’s another virus-makes-people-go-cuckoo, only this time they appear to be somewhat superpowered, which makes it a little more challenging to fend the pesky fuckers off. It focuses on a hitman who is trying to protect the one woman who appears to be immune to the super-zombie-chompy virus (SZCV). Lots of guns and biting ensues. It’s a long trailer, but it’s got some decent moments.