d./w. various; p. Tony Newton; cast: Mhairi Calvey, Nathan Head and many, many more
Virus of the Dead could very well be the ultimate found footage zombie film. The 102 minutes is split into 30-odd fragments telling 22 nihilistic stories, all of which start out unhappy and conclude not much later bleakly and/or suddenly. There’s no first act of scene-setting normality, no strained “let’s film everything” justification. Everyone is either vainly filming their life when the undead attack or making a video message for posterity as ghoulish hordes scratch at the door. As a representation of a global society suddenly splintering into chaos and the immediate, arbitrary destruction of people’s lives, this is bang on the money. Though most of the segments are American, the project was conceived, curated, edited and produced by prolific anthologiser Newton, creator of Troma’s Grindsploitation series and co-creator of much of Trash Arts’ output. British contributors are Christopher Jolley (Whisper), Keiron Hollett (director of the unreleased Blood Curse), Dan Brownlie (Serial Kaller) and Newton himself. Return of the Living Dead 3 scripter John Penney and German trash legend Timo Rose also contribute segments.
- Available now on Vimeo on Demand via Wild Eye Releasing.