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Talking With Director James Plumb
Written by Lori Bowland
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 18:00
Speaking with James Plumb Director
of Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection
A conversation with the director/writer of Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection.
LDM: Would you give us an idea about what Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection is about?
James Plumb: NOTLDR is a remake of the 1968 classic, but the audience shouldn't expect as straight retelling of the original classic film. What's the point when you can't improve on the original? Our producer, Andrew Jones, calls it a "companion piece".
LDM: What actors are in starring roles in this film?
James Plumb: We've got a great mix of fresh talent and some regulars of Welsh TV. I'm thrilled that we have Sule Rimi playing the iconic role of Ben. Sule is an amazing actor, who went through hell and back on our low budget shoot. Lots of cold, long nights covered in mud, Sule was a total pro the whole time. I predict that in a few years Sule will become a household name. Rose Granger is a person I’ve been lucky enough to work with on almost every project since moving to South Wales, so it was great to cast her in my first feature. She is such a hard working, dedicated actress a director’s dream. I worked with Mel Stevens on “Final Girl” and noticed during that shoot that she understood how to work with the camera and was very focussed in her performance. So of course I dragged her back for NOTLDR.
LDM:What roles will each of them play?
James Plumb: As I stated above Sule is playing the role of Ben, made famous by Duane Jones and played by Tony Todd in the 1990 version. Sule is a real horror fan, so he was well aware how important Jones' performance was in horror history.
Rose and Mel play sisters in this film, having worked together of my previous short film "Final Girl", it was great bringing them both back as family members who love and care for each other. All too often in horror films, its a group of strangers thrown together in a confined space and they spend 90 minutes bickering and fitting in dull backstory before being killed off one by one. With NOTLDR we have a family unit who are working together to protect each other from an outside threat. That way we can avoid that awkward "My name is---, and I'm from---" dialogue that a lot films try to fit in. In our film we have a Mum, Dad and kids, something the audeince will be immediately familiar with.
LDM:What will be the major differences between your film and the original, "Night of the Living Dead" and the 1990 remake?
James Plumb: I don't want to give too much away. All too often, the audience know far too much about a film before going to see it. I miss the pre-internet days where you went in not knowing too much about a film. But unlike a lot of the modern horror remakes, ours isn't a straight shot-for-shot retelling. NOTLDR takes the core concept and the themes from the original, updates it to a modern British setting and then goes off it its own direction. For how remakes can be done well, we need to look back to the 80s with Carpenter's "The Thing" and Cronenberg's "The Fly". These films have very little in common with the originals beyond the concept and the themes.
LDM:Zombie films are becoming fairly ubiquitous; what will make this one stand out from the rest?
James Plumb: Again, I'm limited by what I can say, without giving the game away, but I do feel that our characters react more realistically to the zombie menace than other films of its ilk. Our characters behave as you or I might, rather than what the plan demands of them.
LDM:What level of gore will viewers experience with this motion picture?
James Plumb: In this film, there's only gore when the story calls for it. But when there is gore... fans will be satisfied.
LDM:What sort of locations are going to be seen in this film?
James Plumb: We've got a nice mix of urban settings for parts of the film, and then going back to the traditional farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere.
LDM:What are your thoughts on zombies as a sub-genre?
James Plumb: I think like most horror sub-genres, there are plenty of interesting stories still to be told. The problem is that often filmmakers or studios don't want to tell new or interesting stories, but rather familiar retreads with the same old plot points played out ad infinitum.
LDM:Are your zombies going to fast or slow?
James Plumb:Slow zombies. When so many other movie monsters can run (werevolves, vampires, demons), its good to have variety with the slow, shuffling zombie. Their strength is in numbers, not their sprinting speed. Off the top of my head, I can only think of mummies as the other slow-moving movie monster. (Unless we count the vampires in Hong Kong movies which hop!)
LDM:When will your film be available or premiere in the UK and the US?
James Plumb: At this stage we're still negotiating deals in those territories, but we hope to announce the global release dates soon!
Sule Rimi as Ben
Mel Stevens as Mandy
A glimpse of special effects
Trailer from Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection