Film4 Frightfest in London is just around the corner. From Aug. 26 through Aug. 30 in the heart of London’s West End at the Empire Cinema, fantasy and horror fans will gather to view premieres, previews, personal signings and, I’m sure, surprises. One film premiering at the FrightFest on Aug. 30, is “The Dead,” written and directed by Howard J. Ford and Jonathan Ford. The film is already getting tons of hype and attention and is marked as a front runner at this year’s horror fests. The North American premiere of “The Dead” will take place Sept. 24 in Austin at the Fantastic Fest. “The Last Excorcism” is the most anticipated film at these horror festivals, but critics and fans are anxious to see “The Dead” and advise not to write it off on account of Eli Roth, the sure to be scary Asian platter, or even “Rubber,” the film centering around a disgruntled psychokinetic automobile tire.
Zombie films are an intricate part of the horror industry and a staple for make-up artists. “The Dead” takes place off the coast of Africa where LT. Brian Murphy has crash landed. It is the near future and the world has been victim to a living dead virus. Brian must battle for survival and his mission is to get home to his family in America. The terrain is rough and mean. A local military man, Sgt. Daniel Dembele, teams up with Brian and it just so happens he is on a similar mission; he is searching for his son. The two men fight the flesh-eating threat which is stalking them from the bush.
The photo stills and trailers for “The Dead” look fantastic. The make-up department looks like it was on its A-game during production. Filming took place on location in Africa and according to director Howard Ford, it was no picnic and during a making-of featurette he stated, “Hopefully, it gives people an insight on what a f@!&*@g nightmare it was trying to get even one shot of ‘The Dead’ in the can out there in Africa, let alone an entire movie!” The film is said to have some stunning shots showcasing burnished landscapes. It sounds like this horror flick is going to be sweet on the eyes.
Starring in the picture is African superstar Prince David Osei as Sgt. Daniel Dembele and as Lt. Brian Murphy is Rob Freeman of “Saving Private Ryan.” My speculation is that the acting is going to be spot on and not as corny as some may suspect in a flick such as this. I also speculate that the writing and storyline are not going to be too shabby either. Any time a director/writer sounds as passionate as Ford, I tend to believe that they put a lot into the project and it’s not going to be done half assed.
Zombie films are certainly fan favorites and I hope “The Dead” is as scary and as juicy as the trailers and stills portray it to be. Keep an eye and ear out for the book that Howard J. Ford is writing, in which he documents the painful incidents during filming. With the tales of horror in making this film, including tales of real voodoo and the directors’ encounter with cannibals — who, by the way, loved what was being used for the film– I can’t wait to take a bite out of “The Dead.”
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