Wednesday, November 28, 2012
This week my colleague Al Hoff reports on a book that is the alleged authority on zombie films.
To put that claim to the test, I grabbed her copy of Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide (Chicago Review Press, $24.95), flipped to the index and searched for The Resurrection Game. Sure enough, there is was on page 359 under the heading “Rare, Obscure and Less Important Titles.”
I was overjoyed to see this film included in this book — although just by title — but a little bit offended by the “less important” part of the headline. And I don’t just say this because I made my motion picture debut in this film.
Everyone knows Pittsburgh’s important place in zombie movie history. But in 2000, there weren’t any zombie movies coming out of this city and the zombie apocalypse craze that we know now was still several years off. I was a writer at the former In Pittsburgh News Weekly when I got a call from the film’s director Mike Watt.
Basically the film’s plot involved a world infested by zombies but the undead were more of an annoyance that were dealt with by calling an exterminator like you would for rats or cockroaches. Except a new breed of zombies were being created by a shadowy company and the world’s domination by the zombie race was going to be inevitable.
Watt was making the movie on a shoestring with his wife, Amy Lynn Best and good friend, special effects wizard and fellow Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ alum Bill Homan. Watt invited me out for a day of shooting in a huge space above the American Buyers Discount Mattress store in Homestead.
Homan put me in makeup and I hung out all day talking with the actors and the group from Watt’s production company Happy Cloud Pictures. I found they were a great bunch of folks who really cared about the film they were making even if it would eventually be labeled as allegedly “less important.” For all we know this film may have helped re-energize the zombie genre. At least that's what I like to think.
You can still buy the film along with all of the films Watt has done since Resurrection Game by visiting Happy Cloud’s website.
If you buy the movie, look for me in one of the movie’s final scenes — I’ll be the big zombie in the green plaid shirt eating a security guard.