JW: One of my favorite zombie films was given birth in your home land of Australia. Undead. It’s a great mixture of sci-fi and horror and very Raimi-esque. But let’s not dive too deep into Australian cinema. I want to discuss politics and equality.
Oh wait, wrong metaphor.
Let’s chat about the other white meat – Zombies. One of my favorite aspects of the genre is the idea that it serves as a perfect metaphor for the human condition – especially corporate culture. That, of course, might be painfully unique to the United States – where corporate is King. Does that beautiful metaphor hold true in your lovely country? Could I walk into any given Fortune 500 company in Australia and behold a cubical landscape of zombies?
JD: G’day. To be fair, mate, I don’t know if any Fortune 500 companies would let either of us walk in. But, if they did, I’m quite sure you’d see the corporate zombies in suits and ties. It’s not too bad here, more in pockets of society. Scary thing is though, that’s how they start isn’t it? Then they recruit, gather, next minute, you’re shuffling right up beside them. Here’s a metaphor…ish. If you point one finger at a zombie, four fingers are pointing back at you.
The simplicity of the beast is what draws me in. Its pure instinct driven desire to feed. Just one unrelenting thought, and it can deconstruct humanity.
RD: Hello. My favourite (<- not a typo ?) zombie stories are the ones that have less to do with the flesh eating monsters and more to do with the monsters in society. Good zombie tales are the ones where the zombie is the least of the problems. That’s the beauty of this genre, you can make up whatever heart wrenching, thrilling, comedic story you like and make it better by sprinkling it with zombies. If you want to make a comment on slaves to the cubicle, who look forward to the time outs by the water cooler, or the ants on the freeway with all the other ants trying to get into work and you’re afraid people won’t read it. Sprinkle it with Zombies and people will eat it up.
JW: That’s the funny thing … we – the human creature – are the ugliest of monsters. You can look at every creature created by the imagination of man and the machinations of Mother Nature and you won’t find a more sinister beast than the mass consumer that is man. We’re horrific. For me, that’s when horror is at its best – when the story holds the mirror up to the viewer or the reader to let them know who’s truly to be feared, who’s honestly the most guilty of perpetrating the most heinous of acts. It certainly isn’t Frankenstein’s Monster, it isn’t Dracula, it isn’t Xenomorphs, The Creatures From the Black Lagoon, or zombies – it’s mankind.
But, hey, somebody has to be the villain in the story, right?
And where does one get Zombie-flavored (flavoured?) sprinkles? Thanks to the likes of The Walking Dead, you can find zombie-centric EVERYTHING. I want my sprinkles! On second thought, they probably taste like rot.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much okay with that. This is, after all, the genre in which I have staked my claim. I’ve been a stark raving horror fan since I was a child and that has not, nor will change. That love of horror started with the film The Gorgon and snatched up the zombie sub-genre the second I watched Return Of The Living Dead.
The graveyard scene!!!! Need I say more?
JD: Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, ey?
Something we tried to do in our story was focus on the positive by over exaggerating the negative. You hear all the time, Life Sucks, but really, it beats the alternative. I think that’s a part of the draw to horror. The..wow, glad that’s not me, thought. And that ‘good’, which I think most of us strive to be, will conquer all. Humanity, or people as a whole, are the worst, but one person, an individual, they can rock on.
If we are talking scary, take a human, the most innocent of our kind, a child. Get one that is stereotypical and everyday common. Blonde hair, blue eyes, white teethed smile. Now make it evil. Nothing is sweeter than a child’s laughter…unless it’s the middle of the night and you don’t have kids.
I have a theory that adults that have a love for horror, in most cases, had irresponsible baby sitters. That’s when my addiction started, as a youngster. Nightmare on Elm Street kept me up at night for weeks.
RD: For Sale: 1x VHS copy of Return Of The Living Dead. Graveyard scene is a little fuzzy. $1.00 ONO. Actually, while I’m at it, I also have 1x copy of Underseige, cake scene is a little fuzzy. $1.00 ONO.
I think the collective noun for Humans should be a Jerkwadd. Look over there; it’s a jerkwadd of humans. Don’t get me wrong, I, like Justin, believe that a person is unique, intelligent and compassionate, but a jerkwadd of humans can be dangerous. When we write we try to show both sides.
One of the main reasons a zombie apocalypse could happen (is inevitable), is because of the wide variety of peoples varying religions, values and political views don’t align and most of the time we have our heads looking into screens and are to preoccupied to see what is actually going on around us. However, it would be that same human spirit, that same individuality that I think would ultimately triumph and get the Humans back on top.
We have tried to write something that shows humans’ questioning all life’s little ponders and ultimately struggling to get through some pretty hairy situations. We have HOPEFULLY come up with something different to most others in the genre, especially because we have managed to intertwine a little supernatural themes in their as well. We are hoping our story really gets you questioning things and makes you think.
N.B: I wouldn’t be too keen on the zombie flavoured sprinkles. I’d imagine they would taste like the bit under the tail of a dead horse… And our babysitter was awesome! She was also the one that taught us how to light our own farts at the tender age of eight.
JW: Wow, I wish I had your babysitter. Actually, if I could handpick my own babysitter it would have been a grown up Wednesday Adams. Oh wait, here she is!
The human creature is a fantastic exploration on polarity and how easy it is to get ones head so far up ones ass (arse?) that one can’t possibly realize how far their own nose is stuck in the air. At the same time, the nature of humanity is to survive. Even through the ignorance, the bigotry, hate, and vitriol, we always seem to surprise ourselves by coming together and surviving.
But – and this is a big but (one that makes me look fat) – can we do so when the apocalypse hits? At first, I would imagine, everyone will be out for themselves. Once the detritus settles, however, the “jerkwad” of humanity will quickly realize it cannot survive without setting aside the religio-politico differences and working together.
And now … I feel a strong desire to watch Return of the Living Dead – at least one scene. 😉
RD: I like big buts and I cannot lie!
It’s all about the juxtapositions. Pure Evil driven for a compassionate reason makes a truly intriguing bad guy. Darth Vader and Dracula were both driven by love, or the loss of love. Frankenstein’s Monster just wanted to be loved. The best villains are the ones that you can relate to the most and still hate and fear at the same time.
There are some of us that need glass belly buttons because our heads are so far up our arses it’s the only way we can see. A lot of us don’t even realize there might be other people in the world with different opinions and values. Like the old saying goes – opinions are like arse holes, everybody has one and everybody thinks yours stinks!
JD: You other brothers can’t deny. That when a girl walks in…(there, that should be enough to start an ear worm.)
Monsters are awesome because they are not people, we don’t like people, but the depth of our love of monsters is that they represent the best of people. It’s not all about blood and cemetery scenes; at the crux of it horror is a very complicated genre.
I just found two dollars behind a couch cushion…I wonder if my old VCR still works.
Justin and Robert Dunne are fathers, family men and twins that live in Perth Western Australia. Tales of The Nothing Man, a book born out of deep thoughts, boredom and rum, is soon to be released through ATZ publishing. For updates, find them on Facebook and give them a ‘Like’.