A refreshingly gritty, beautifully bleak look at Scotland after a zombie apocalypse.
I have always been a fan of zombie films. From everything from I Eat Your Skin to I Sell the Dead....with all your Raimi, Romero and Zombie Flesh Eaters in between. They can be overly brutal and bloody to downright quirky fun and I truly believe that in spite of the blood and gore...they can be exceptional character pieces in their own right. Hell, I think The Walking Dead alone has proved the latter point repeatedly!
(Stuart Brennan as Craig)
Plan Z is the latest effort from writer, director, actor and producer Stuart Brennan and his incredible frequent collaborators David Izatt, Mark Paul Wake and Eugene Horan. The film follows photographer Craig and his friend Bill through their plan to survive the zombie apocalypse, leading them to leave their hometown of Dunfermline and head up to the remote, yet utterly stunning Isle of Skye on the west coast of Scotland. (Right from the get go, I am onboard with this plan....Skye would totally be my number one choice to flee to as well.)
(Mark Paul Wake as Bill)
With a small, yet exceptional cast (and lots of zombies), Plan Z feels a lot more personable than many other zombie films, something which I feel adds to its humanity and in that respect, the believability as well. Coupled with Brennan's direction and Izatt's wonderful cinematography, the situation seems like it could actually happen! It's a shite state of affairs to be in at the end of the day...as cool as we'd all like to think it would be, haha.
What I love about this film, and what is incredibly refreshing to see in a zombie film, is that despite the fact we all love to think we'd totally be Daryl Dixon or Tom Savini...ya know...a total bad ass, just splitting heads, left, right and centre, it just doesn't happen that way! The reality...especially in the early times...is that we are human. This level of brutality doesn't come easy to most, and let's face it, survival of the fittest more often than not comes down to being smart in dangerous and volatile situations. This makes the kills so much more believable and realistic, at the same time retaining our human connection with the characters.
In so many ways, the film totally reminded me of recent personal favourites such as Stake Land and The Day in how utterly bleak and beautifully depressing it is. I adore these kinds of films and it is always refreshing to find shit like this done so well. We totally need more films like this dammit!
Also starring Victoria Morrison, Brooke Burfitt and Terry Deary, the whole cast are excellent and genuinely likeable as well. David Izatt even sneaks in as a zombie! Stuart Brennan took home the Best Actor award at the Horrorhound Film Festival for his portrayal of Craig and was also nominated for Best Director as well as the film being nominated for Best Film as well. The film also picked up Best International Film at the Canada International Film Festival.
You can check out the trailer HERE!
Random facts -
*When the guys were filming, they freaked people out and the cops got called out....and they got THIS reaction from a Beagle....a photo that has always cracked me up, haha. You know there was a big ARRROOOOO there! Mwahahaha. :)
*Stuart Brennan, also co-wrote, starred in and produced frequent Scorsese collaborator Martha Pinson’s new film Tomorrow, which was also produced by Scorsese. Eugene Horan also starred in the film, Mark Paul Wake was an assistant editor and David Izatt the photographer on the film. Pretty freakin' cool right!? :)
*Actor Eugene Horan won this year's Budweiser Ireland's Dream Big competition for a chance to head to the States to pursue his acting dream! (Pictured below with Dream Big Ambassador Rosario Dawson)
*If we WERE actually in a zombie apocalypse, I would soooo want these guys on my side! They're not just actors....they can actually fight! David and Mark are trained sword fighters as well! Yup....trained by Seoras Wallace, the very man who trained Mel Gibson for Braveheart and Russell Crow for Gladiator. He also trained that boy Craig McGinlay who I kinda like! He's a'ight! The three of them are SO good! :)
Check the film out for yourself when it comes out later this month, and to keep up with all the Plan Z goodness, be sure to LIKE the Official Facebook page.