You just can’t keep a good zombie down. Or a bad one, for that matter. It’s taken a couple of years, but “Pop Punk Zombies” is finally on DVD and ready for viewing.
The full-length movie is the creation of director Steve Dayton and producer Brian Leis, who both grew up in the Coulee Region and are graduates of the Western Technical College Visual Communication program. It was shot mostly at the Warehouse, an all-ages nightclub on Pearl Street, in 2008 and 2009. There were times Leis wondered if they would ever finish the flick, “practically a no-budget movie.”
“We have a lot of friends, so we gathered the troops,” Leis said. “And we went to Viterbo for a lot of the actors. That’s something neither of us had done before.”
Leis says it was probably unlike any audition any of these actors had ever experienced.
“We said, ‘Hey, do you want to be in a movie?’ And we found some people for the parts and filled in with friends.”
The Warehouse was a perfect setting, Leis said, because the plot centers on an evil music manager (Adam Hatfield), who resurrects some punk rockers to form a zombie band he can exploit.
Of course there are people who are afraid of the zombies or are busy rescuing their girlfriends from zombies, but there are also protesters, “who don’t want the zombies taking their jobs.”
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Leis laughs as he explains the plot.
“It’s a B horror movie. It’s low budget and it’s kind of fun.”
But it took a long time to make.
“We all had real lives,” he said. “Everybody had jobs and things to do. Nobody got paid. It was all for zombie love.”
When it came time to distribute the movie, they researched film companies and found Brain Damage Films, which specializes in horror movies.
The Disabled, who often play the Warehouse, provided original music for the movie.
“They wrote a couple new songs and let us use any of the songs they already had,” Leis said.