Announced at the annual American Film Market (AFM) conference (where movies find distribution), held in Santa Monica last week were not one but two movies about Ebola and zombies. Yes, more fuel to be added to the already bubbling hysteria that is the very real epidemic threatening Africa and the rest of the world.
I think Rob Hauschild of Wild Eye Releasing knew this more than anyone when he told buyers “Is it too soon? I’m sorry.” Of course he isn’t sorry. It was a well-calculated strategy to garner attention, which appeared to work, as attested by the interest in his film Ebola Zombies at the event. Hauschild sold Ebola Zombies to Germany and is closing a deal with a Japanese distributor. Not bad for a movie that two weeks ago was called SARS Zombies.
I heard people walking by say, ‘Oh no they didn’t!’ but they’re used to the outrageous at AFM. I think we defused a little of the seriousness of the subject matter with the fact that it’s a zombie film. There were two African gentlemen who stopped at the poster and had a conversation in their language. They didn’t look so happy.
Another movie announced at AFM, this one about an Ebola plague that mutates into a zombie apocalypse, is in post production right now. Plan Z is produced and stars British Stuart Brennan, who is also starring in an upcoming Martin Scorsese film Tomorrow.
“It is a sensitive subject matter, so we’ve been delicate with it – we don’t pitch it as an Ebola zombie movie,” said Carnaby’s Director of International Sales Tania Sarra. Plan Z is expected to debut in the Berlin market.
Is it too soon? With the Ebola epidemic far from over, and with all of the misinformation surrounding Ebola, I think the motivation behind these films is pretty self evident.