Zombies seem to have sunk their rotting teeth into the brains of Hollywood executives because they’re the only thing on their mind these days. Two new projects have been announced that revolve around the undead.
First up is a new film Boy Scouts vs. Zombies with Andy Flickman attached to direct. Flickman’s You Again is being released September 24th and was also recently announced to direct TMI, an Anna Faris comedy. Besides the title and the director, not much else is known about the project. If there isn’t a joke about getting a badge in Zombie killing then I want the money I spent on The Guide To Easy Movie Jokes 101 back.
Second is a new scripted series from MTV, Death Valley. Pitched as a horror-comedy-documentary following the ‘Undead Task Force,’ the series will follow UTF as they battle zombies, vampires, and werewolves in LA. The cast is a promising mix of up comers including Lost’s Alex Rousseau, Tania Raymonde and FunnyorDie’s epic The Big Dog Charlie Sanders. MTV also picked up another series, That Girl, revolving around a teenager who everyone believes tried to kill herself after an accident. It seems MTV is really into death lately. Maybe they should talk to someone about it. I’m sure there’s a hotline.
Back to the zombies! We might be reaching the Zombie Saturation Point soon (need to copyright that) but at least these projects seem to have some thought behind them. Boy Scouts vs. Zombies was an original script penned by College Road Trip’s Carrie Evans and Emi Mochizuki. With the craze of pre-branded material stalling at the box-office this past summer (we're looking at you Jonah Hex), a fresh ideas like this is refreshing. Death Valley could easily become Reno 911 with monsters. I wouldn’t complain about that one. And with The Walking Dead on AMC, Death Valley won’t be the only zombie shuffling crawling around.
Both of these projects are being classified as horror-comedy, a notoriously difficult genre to nail. Too scary and the comedy feels out of place. Not scary enough and it feels cheap. The humor has to be good enough to compete with traditional comedies and going toe to toe with Community and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (among many others) is not easy. But it can be done. Slither and Zombieland are on my list of favorite comedies. And Shaun of the Dead? Classic. They just have to make sure they do it well. Glad I’m here to deliver that profound message.