In 2008, we started shooting a movie. It was long and frustrating and far more expensive than it should have been. It was stressful and didn’t turn out how we wanted it to. It fell victim to the budget and to a small timeframe to shoot the film in and every other worry that low budget films have.
But we made it through it. We made a feature film. It’s won dozens of awards at festivals from here to Germany. Fans have sent us artist renderings and t-shirt designs. We’ve gotten some great reviews. People like the movie. No matter what pitfalls we had or how many film snobs can point out that we rushed a shot, at the end of the day the fact that it’s enjoyed is all that matters. People get it. It makes them laugh in all the right places. It makes them cringe in all the right places. And they dig the characters. For the longest time I watched the film and could only see our compromises, our mistakes. But. while I know what we wanted to do differently or with more panache, a theater full of fans don’t. All they know is that it makes them laugh. Every fan letter, every chuckle at a screening, every smiling face at a signing, makes me realize that the movie works.
And now, finally, after so much work and so much stress and so much money, it’s finally available to the public. Vicious Circle films releases GEORGE: A ZOMBIE INTERVENTION (formerly GEORGE’S INTERVENTION) nationwide on DVD today.
When I say the film works, I have to give credit where it’s due. Director JT Seaton, fellow Producers David Nicholson and Jerry Ledger, DP Jason Raswant, Editor Tyler Earring, Makeup artist Tom Devlin, and the rest of the crew have to get credit. And, I have to say, the script that I wrote with JT ain’t half bad. But it’s the cast that brings those lines to life, the cast that pulls people in.
So here’s an interview with some of them.
Carlos Larkin plays the titular character, George, a down on his luck zombie who’s fighting depression, laziness, and an overwhelming desire to eat human flesh. Michelle Tomlinson plays his ex-girlfriend Sarah, worried enough about George to help throw an intervention. Unfortunately she brings along her current boyfriend, Steve, played with catiness by Days of Our Lives alum Eric Dean Turic. Adam Fox plays Tom, a travelling “Weedonator” salesman who falls victim to George’s habit while Victoria DeMare comes into the picture as a stripper hired by George’s buddy Roger who misinterprets the entire intervention as George’s birthday.
How did you get involved with the film and what made you want to be a part of it?
CARLOS: The beatings.MICHELLE: I didn’t hate anything about the shoot. I had some huge personal stuff come up right smack in the middle of the shoot and wound up having to move to a new apartment, etc. etc. RIGHT in the middle of our shoot schedule. I was so insane I didn’t even have time to look for my own apartment, someone else had to do it for me and I blindly showed up to sign the papers. I hate that the timing of what happened most likely affected my performance and that’s my only real beef with the whole thing. It was a huge bitter pill of a lesson to learn.ADAM: I had to shoot my death scene twice, which consisted of getting sprayed in the face by Tom Devlin with a red liquid that I was told was not water, but not corn syrup either. Tom told me later that I was the most fun to spray, because I hated it the most.
VICTORIA: That we didn’t have a budget of at least a mil!
ERIC: I seemed to always get cast in horror movies or movies where I get beat up and I hate fake blood. Fake blood is really sticky and is akin to fingernails on a chalkboard to me. It’s horrible and I was drenched from head to toe in it and couldn’t wait to for the shots to be completed. I can complain now. I didn’t on set.
ERIC: There were some great one liners in the movie and I loved them all. I loved Adam’s character with the zombie in the basement. I also loved Lynn’s scene when she’s trying to remember a heartfelt sentiment and she has to thumb through her notecards for the sentiment. I also really loved the gratuitous sex!
CARLOS: It was a scene that was never shot and involved more stripper zombies and syrup. I pushed to have it included, but they said since it wasn’t actually a scene and more like a weird fantasy I had written on a napkin that it wouldn’t “fit the plot”… yeah right.
ADAM: I have two: Francine’s “interview” with the Mormons and Roger’s death scene. The performances in both are just incredibly funny and perfect.
VICTORIA: My scene with Angela on the porch before we enter “George’s” house.
MICHELLE: That I was in? Where my character finds out Stickle’s character is gay and my character has a crush on him. Haven’t we all been there at least once? HAHA! My other favorite was how well crafted Eric Turic’s transitions were in the scenes he was tied to the bed. He executed that really well.
Least favorite scene?
MICHELLE: Part of it, thankfully, was cut. I had this gigantic monologue that I never felt right about. Clearly, neither did the editor or whomever else cuz it was cut out! Whew!
VICTORIA: Are you kidding??? Don’t have one.
ADAM: I don’t dislike any scenes, but I wish that my introduction with Roger on the bike had a little more oomph. It was shot very quickly in just two set-ups and the pace feels a bit off. But that’s independent filmmaking – get it and move on!
CARLOS: Tongue kissing Adam… then finding out that that scene didn’t actually exist in the script… kinda important to read the script before you agree to rehearse.
ERIC: My character not making it to the end of the movie and getting a zombie girlfriend.
What was it like working with the rest of the cast?
ERIC: We are literally like a giant family and we are still getting together when time permits.
CARLOS: Hell on ear… great.
ADAM: I only got to play with a fraction of the cast, as mainly I was in the basement with John Karyus (who is terrifically funny in those scenes). I can say, however, that I’m now friends with just about everybody in the cast, so obviously I got along with them fine.
VICTORIA: It fucking rocked!
MICHELLE: It was a very cool cast.
What was it like working with JT and myself?
MICHELLE: I love being on set shooting something fun. I had a blast with you cats.
VICTORIA: Like I said, it fucking ROCKED!
ADAM: JT was extremely busy on set and was constantly pulled this way and that with questions. I don’t know if he deserves the “coolness under pressure” award, but I’d give him second runner-up. When I was shooting my scenes in the basement, he really didn’t have time to tell me how he wanted certain lines and I often wouldn’t get a chance to ask questions until JT had called action! Again, all a part of independent filmmaking. I don’t think that I saw Brad on set, though I know he was there for some of the other scenes. He was working a graveyard shift at the time, but he also said that it was better that he stayed away, due to him being a director himself and not wanting to be another cook in the kitchen. (Though he’s a fine chef – makes a hell of an omelet.)
CARLOS: You guys don’t have the potato and the dwarf with you do you?
ERIC: I’ve worked with JT before so it was easy. He really lets you discover and play the way you want. Brad was never around for any of my scenes. I think he secretly hates me b/ca his wife is secretly in love with me.
Have you seen any other films or read any other works by the filmmakers? If so, what are your thoughts?
CARLOS: Too self-involved/can’t find remote.
ADAM: Yes, I’ve seen short films by both Brad and JT, which show incredibly talent and promise. It’s a shame that their schedules are such that they can’t make more features.
MICHELLE: I read INNER DEMONS by JT and loved the first draft I read. Truly a badass script. I’ve also read NEVERBORN by Brad and that project has more potential as far as a Trilogy and Merchandising than anything I’ve ever read. Both boys are very talented writers.
If you could eat one person from the cast, who and why?
MICHELLE: Lynn Lowry. It’s actually a compliment. I choose her cuz I daresay she’s the sweetest person who remained the most unruffled on the longer days we shot. Since she’s the sweetest, then I vote she probably tastes the sweetest as well.
VICTORIA: I’d eat me because I don’t think anyone has actually eaten themselves yet. 🙂
ADAM: Lynn is the most famous, so I’d eat her. I really am shameless like that.
ERIC: I would love to eat the Mormons. Maybe then I could feel what it’s like to have polygamist tendencies.
You just realized you got really drunk and slept with someone who worked on the film. You’re horrified. What STD do you think you’ve caught?
ERIC: Cirrhosis of the Weiner! Can you guess who I slept with?
CARLOS: Depends on whether it was cast or crew…
ADAM: Are space rabies sexually transmittable? I won’t name names, but a lot of people were catching space rabies on purpose just to maintain their telekinetic abilities. People still foam at the mouth when they get space rabies, but it’s a silver metallic color (like the bad Terminator from T2: Judgment Day). Anyway, I would slide around on this foam quite a bit, but people would telekinetically pick me up and apologize.
VICTORIA: Oh, the clap, for sure. 🙂
MICHELLE: LoveBug. It’s a new STD that occurs during those fabulous one night stands you accidentally have with someone you actually like as a human being. There’s no cure.
If a zombie outbreak occurred, what weapon would you choose to do battle with the Undead? How long would you last?
MICHELLE: A machete. I don’t care much for guns and if I’m going to combat something to the death, I would rather have it be more intimate. I think I’d last to see my grandchildren zipping around kickin’ zombie ass with pocket knives and such. Don’t forget: It’s not if you can outrun the zombies, it’s if you can outrun the people you’re around.
VICTORIA: I’d us that canon gun Terry Crews uses in ‘The Expendables’ directed by Sylvester Stallone. I’d outlast them all with that!
ADAM: One gun, one bullet, a really expensive bottle of whiskey, and an apology to anybody who thought this would end differently.
ERIC: I have my own solar-powered Jaws-o-Life! I’d last at least until the sun went down or the battery was drained.
CARLOS: My fellow man. I would sell you all out. Long enough to launch a damn space shuttle with me attempting to pilot it. If you’re gonna go out, go out trying to run.)
Anyone else who worked on the film you’d like to talk about?
CARLOS: The damn ghost… but nooooooooo we’re not allowed to talk about the damn ghost!
ADAM: I’d like to talk about Vince Cusimano, but my lawyer have advised against it. I will say that Glenn Miller was awesome and a total pro on set. 1st A.D. is one of the hardest jobs in the business and he kept the production afloat.
VICTORIA: I think everyone was awesome, but Michelle Tomlinson, Brian Nolan, & Tom Devlin RULE! 🙂
MICHELLE: Carlos was a true joy to be around. He kept things so light it was impossible not to giggle around him. Not to mention he’s incredibly talented. Everyone was very cool, though. It’d be too long a response to mention every person and what I liked about them. All the actors involved were trained in comedy–I think–so the set was generally very light and fun. How can it not be with the asides from Vince and Adam, right? Shannon was also a doll to work with.
ERIC: That’s a long list and I don’t have enough time to dish on all the Divas that worked so hard to make me crazy on this film. All I ever wanted was some fucking mustard on my God damned sandwich! Breathe! Okay, you may need to edit that. I just got caught up in the past and it’s been about 24hrs since my last therapist session.
What is something you wish occurred in the film?
ADAM: This requires a bit of backstory: we auditioned for George: A Zombie Intervention before the script was written. JT and Brad wanted to cater the script to our personalities, so we used some older material that JT had written and riffed a bit. So, then we were officially cast and then given role descriptions, but there was still no script. In this lull, I wrote a bit of fan fiction which I hoped would rile these guys up a bit and get the script written faster. Basically, it was a scene in which George smokes marijuana with Sarah, before accidentally killing her. This is an absurd scene, of course, but I thought that if JT and Brad saw me killing off characters, then they would need to write faster to keep them alive. Well, that didn’t work and the actual script got written soon enough. However, there was a moment in my fan fiction scene where George and Sarah look across the backyard and see a group of zombies burning someone alive inside a bonfire. Sarah remarks that she thought that zombies preferred their meat raw and George replies, “We do. They’re being ironic.” I really would have liked that moment.
MICHELLE: More explosions. Definitely.
VICTORIA: My character, “Mouse” should have come back to life & killed everyone. 🙂
ERIC: I wish you could have seen me kick George’s zombified Arse! Can you imagine all his parts being kicked apart and then having to sew him back together! He’s still not over what’s-her-name and he’s jealous I still have my appendage.
If you came back for a sequel, where do you see your character?
ERIC: Oh that’s easy, Steve would be getting all the love he deserved in a harem of scantily clad hotties, dead and undead and that little prick Roger would get my sloppy seconds.
VICTORIA: Starting a zombie revolution.
MICHELLE: I think she learned a lot of hard lessons about her choices in dating and who to trust in the first Film. In the sequel, she’d be in a healthy relationship and counseling other girls in how to date the nice boys instead of zombies or selfish bastards. Of course that’d all go to hell in a hand basket as soon as she meets her new hot neighbor who happens to be… A zombie.
ADAM: Francine and Tom both get sawed in half, so I imagine that either their bottom halves would be switched or their top halves would be attached to each other like that CatDog cartoon. Either way, they now despise humans and zombies alike after being betrayed by both, so there’s some common ground. Plus, attaching Tom to Francine guarantees me a larger role in the next one!
Why do you think the zombie genre just won’t die?
ERIC: We’re undead you idiot! You can’t kill us. We’re fun and exciting and yes, even funny when done right.
MICHELLE: It’s a fun genre!!! If you think about it, zombies aren’t too different from humans on certain levels. We are such a medicated society that I think there might be some real live zombies walking the earth as I write this. Zombie flicks also offer some really cool effects and make up that can be done really well without the use of CGI. In short, it’s because zombies kick ass.
ADAM: Most (if not all) horror movies involve the act of an entity or force returning from the other side of death or sanity to murder survivors. Zombie movies represent a very pure form of this scenario, with elements of disease and addiction. You see loved ones change into the thing that you hate the most, dragged across the line and returning sans soul. Also, the makeup is cheaper than werewolf movies.
If you were trapped on a rooftop during a flood and were starving, would you eat a baby? How would you feel about eating / not eating the baby after the fact?
MICHELLE: I would never be stuck on a roof with a baby without the gigantic bag moms are always carrying around. We’d share some of the crappy formula milk stuff.
VICTORIA: No, I wouldn’t eat a baby. They kind of freak me out. I was a professional ballet dancer for most of my life, so I can starve with the best of them.
CARLOS: I would tie babies together as some sort of baby raft. Then I would stand on the baby raft. People will always try to rescue babies, and if you’re standing on a baby raft, it’s a pretty good bet that some sort of boat/jetski/helicopter/hillbilly in a canoe is gonna show up to try and rescue the baby raft. Then you commandeer that.
ERIC: It’s a “dog-eat-dog” world out there. I would only eat the baby if it smiled at me, pooped on me, bit me, or did anything cute or disgusting to me. Afterwards, I might belch or poop in a nice mustard color.
Anything else you’d like to say?
CARLOS: My kung-fu is strong.
ERIC: I am glad this fucking interview is over. I need to eat. Oh, I just filmed JAGUAR in Mexico City. It’s the new Indiana Jones type movie and it’s gonna rock!!!!!
VICTORIA: Besides the upcoming release of ‘George’s Intervention’ on DVD on Oct. 4th, I just had a sexy thriller called ‘Strangers Online’ that just came out on DVD after being released on the big screen in June in L.A. & Pasadena(also by Breaking Glass Pictures). A sci fi/action/thriller ‘Aliens Vs. Avatars’ was just released yesterday, Sept. 20th, on DVD. Also, a new reality TV series called ‘Excused’ that I appear in just started airing on CBS. Musically, a sci fi soundtrack compilation volume 1 that I am featured on performing as vocalist was released on CD & iTunes on Sept. 19th by BSX Records, & even though my debut solo album ‘Actress’ came & went this summer, a new EP of my new & improved work that I co-wrote, co-published, & perform will be released late this year followed by a tour.
MICHELLE: Working in this Industry can be very arduous and very rewarding. It’s always a sweet treat to work on fun projects with fun humans that make the grind worthwhile! Other Projects Coming Up Include: Short Film -MY UNDEADLY – making several Festival Appearances and Wins, Sequel to the THE CELLAR DOOR (Psychological Thriller), Feature Film ITCH (Psychological Thriller), Feature Film THE LOATHING (Vampiric Horror), Feature Film MANSON RISING (BioPic).
Watch the trailer for GEORGE: A ZOMBIE INTERVENTION here:
The film is currently available nationwide. Buy it at your local… um… place where you buys DVDs. Or order HERE.
Brad C. Hodson is a writer living in Los Angeles. His stories have appeared in anthologies alongside Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, George RR Martin, and many more of his literary heroes. For a listing of his literary and film work, please check out his Bibliography at https://brad-hodson.com/bibliography/