Zombies are horrifying. I've always thought that. Perhaps its because I;m afraid of death. Who knows. In any-case, it would appear that zombies have taken over the conscious mind of society, and its not just me that's noticed that. Director Alexandre O. Philippe has not only noticed it, but he is documenting it. We talk about that, horror movies in general and George Lucas with 13 Question Marks of Horror!
What is it about the zombie that makes you a fan?
That's a great question. That's just one of those things that goes back to my childhood. Ever nce I can remember, I was really hooked on horror films. The zombies were always really part of that. For me there was Star Wars, and zombies. The idea that it's slowly and deliberately coming for you, there's something riveting about it.
2. Zombies have been quite the hot monster recently. What made you want to create a documentary excluvely about them?
As a documentary filmmaker I'm very interested in cultural trends and elements of pop culture that suddenly take on a life of their own, go viral or just kind of reach a tipping point in pop culture. I like to say why is this happening, and why is this happening now? With zombies I've been really interested in making a doc for some time now. But in recent years as use have said, they've become the hot monster so I thought that this is the right time to do this.
3. Response wise, have you met with any oppotion from either the studios, directors or actors?
So far people have been really open. The fact that we got to interview George Romero, and mon Pegg, right off the bat certainly open some doors for and was a very good gn for us that there was some interest there. We had this amazing zombie town hall meeting in Denver that we shot with four cameras, and that included George Romero, and Max Brooks, we were all together on stage, it was a pretty special event.
4. Though Romero zombies are condered the birth of the monster, there were many films before his. How incluve the documentary be?
We are definitely going to be touching upon the history of zombie films, pre -George Romero for sure. It's going to be as incluve as an 80 minute film can be. I want to make sure it focuses just as much on zombie culture as it does zombie films, because the two go hand-in-hand.
5. What has been the most challenging aspect of putting such an exhaustive documentary together?
It's always the grind. It's always difficult to make any kind of film, because, the most challenging aspect is always funding, the funding you need at the right time.
6. Other than George Romero, will you be talking to other clasc masters of the genre?
We want to try and cast the net is wide as we can. It's always gonna have to be a balance between clasc genre masters, zombie expert to contemporary masters, people who not only changed the genre, but the culture as well. Max Brooks, and Robert Kirkman, is a very important icon for us to talk to.
7. Other than Night of the Living Dead, return of the living dead would be the second most influential zombie film of all time, having given birth to the need for brains and running zombies. What are your thoughts on why this film was treated like the redheaded stepchild?
Not quite sure about that actually, that's an interesting question. I love it too, I think there's just something about zombie culture that certain rules are laid down it becomes almost like gospel. While I respect that and understand that, I think that the culture can only be vibrant if you can look at it from a lot of different perspectives. Otherwise treated like the redheaded stepchild. It's almost as if you have to de with Romero, or de with Russo, and I'm like why? It doesn't have to be that way. George Romero's the creator of the modern zombie but it doesn't mean that we can expand our horizons.
8. Why do you think zombies are condered such a real fear?
I think they're doing a lot to make you think that they're serious within a world where there's lots here is about a lot of things. Something viral that could decimate a lot of people. That can ealy be transposed to a zombie apocalypse because it's something that we're familiar with. But I think it's also fun that it has become, this tipping point is reached and culture recently, the zombies have become a participatory culture. We see that with the zombie walks, the zombie runs, zombie carwashes, what have you. It's a natural extenon for me that there would be zombie survival stores, and if people would enact the posbility that this could happen. Zombie culture is having so much fun speculating about it that they are starting to act up a scenario that would if this really could happen? It's difficult to say that are there really people out there or absolutely convinced that the zombie apocalypse as posble? I don't know? But there are certainly a lot of people out there who are having fun speculating about it. And just the fact that there is an extremely remote posbility that a zombie like pandemic could happen just opens the floodgates. So have the zombie shooting ranges and have a whole thing in their basement in case this happens, if you want to have fun with it that's great, but just realized it is still very unlikely.
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9. Do you have a plan just in case there's a zombie outbreak?
No, not tell you why. Zombie survivalist and may kill me there but, this is just my personal opinion. I feel that if this happened, it can be so completely different that we can posbly imagine that all bets are off. I personally don't want to spend time thinking about this because I know that when it happens it's gonna have to be a reaction, reaction, reaction. I know that we need to supplies like water. That's how people are gonna die right away, they’re gonna need water. I think my plan will be to try somehow to get my car and go to a more isolated area and can go from there. That would be my number one thing, get out of the city.
You previously helmed the excellent documentary the people versus George Lucas. As a lifelong Star Wars fan did the making of that documentary change your opinion of the franchise?
It probably made it more of a mystery I think. It was cathartic for me in the sense that it enabled me to deal with my issues that I think a lot of original Star Wars fans have. Especially with all the things were going down around 2010 with three releases and everything. I found a really profound sense of disappointment. The recent developments are interesting. The big announcement that he sold everything to Disney, that's not really the big announcement. It's what everybody is talking about but the biggest thing is what he did to follow day. It’s that the $4.5 billion that he made his going back to education. It's a reversal that is absolutely fabulous to me. It's almost as if George Lucas has reclaimed the coolness that he's lost. What it's like wow he has become a Jedi again. Maybe he is going to go make his personal, experimental movie that he’s always wanted to make. I think that there is hope for George Lucas to go back to something that feels like the George Lucas of old.11.
As a documentarian, how do you feel about the onslaught of film footage horror features to come out constantly?
It one of those things that's you think would die after a while but it just keeps going. So good luck. We live in the YouTube age so, not sure what that means for the future but I just don't think that stuff will be going away anytime soon. It's like anything, any craze, is going to spark a lot of mediocre films. You don't have to see them all. I'm not one of those guys. I certainly have not seen every zombie movie out there, or every horror movie out there. I try as much as I can to inform myself and try and always spend my time watching movies that I think are going to be worthwhile. Hamid Western fans to, when you open that can worms, there's just so much to watch. Culture would change and evolve in ways that you can never predict, and you just have to kind of go with the flow. When I t culture, I mean film as well.
I have a straight forward question for you. Fast zombies or slow zombies?
You would if I love the slow-moving zombie it does mean that I can't appreciate the fast moving zombies well. I'm apparently one of the few people that excited about world war Z. People were just an outrage over how the zombies are moving. If you're gonna spend $150 million and I want to see what you can do it be something different. I want to see the same old slow-moving zombie. This and like the zombie horde, though it may not work, is an interesting new take for me. At least I'm open enough to the new idea. I want to pass judgment, until I actually see what they've done with it.
You know there's a documentary filmmaker. Have you ever condered doing a horror feature?
Absolutely. As a psychological thriller that didn't allow been for a while that I'm set on making one day. Eventually that's what I want to do. I've been working on a comic book company. We got one ongoing series and one graphic novel currently in production. And we should be launching our webte in about four months. I'm very very excited about that. We’ve been working on this for about 10 years and we have some amazing artist and a number of star artists submitting covers for us. It should be very sweet.
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