At this point, the zombie genre has seen it all. Fast zombies. Slow zombies. Smart zombies and stupid zombies. Zombie love stories. Animated zombies. Hell, there's even a zombie musical or two. But just when you think there's nothing new under the undead sun, someone finds a fresh twist on the tried and true walking dead. Like, say, little people.
That's right. It's time for the Midget Zombie Takeover.
See also: - Five ways to fill The Walking Dead-shaped hole in your heart - Horror auteur Don Coscarelli on meat monsters, Paul Giamatti and getting typecast - Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer: Boobs, blood and bowling
Like many zombie films, Midget Zombie Takeover's genesis came from the simple demands of the market.
"A number of years ago, I was talking to the CEO of a distribution company and he was like, 'Glenn, if you ever make a film with women in bikinis in it, or zombies, I can sell it," explains writer/director/producer Glenn Berggoetz. "Being the idiot that I am, it only took me three years to figure out, 'Well, maybe I could put the two things together.'"
If he'd stopped there, his film might have been just another generic exercise in exploitation film. Luckily, he knew there was something missing, and a timely discussion with a family member supplied the missing piece of the puzzle.
"I wanted to do something a little different," Berggoetz remembers. "I love zombie films and all, but I was like 'gosh, has everything been done? I was talking with one of my nieces and she said, 'why don't you make the zombies midgets?' and I thought, 'hey, that's a pretty nice idea!'"
From there, Berggoetz, who teaches writing at Arapahoe Community College, scraped together a few thousand dollars and around twenty actors to bring his script to screen. Together, they shot the film over four days, bringing to life the story of a hot tub party that gets crashed by some little zombies in the mood for some human flesh. Scared yet? Don't worry, Berggoetz says it's mostly played for laughs.
"It's more of a comedic bent, but there is a little horror," he offers. "We had a budget of $2,000, so there was only so much we could do horror-wise. We didn't have the budget for bullets going through heads and brains splattering against walls."
If you fall in love with the world of Midget Zombie Takeover, there's good news. Berggoetz says a sequel is already in the works, which he hopes to shoot this summer here in Denver. In the meantime, Berggoetz reports that the movie has been picked up by television outlets, including streaming channel CrypticTV, Roku station Zom-Bee TV and a Canadian satellite channel. Plus, there's a distributor out there that should be making good on his promise to put out Berggoetz's midget bikini zombie epic.
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You can see Midget Zombie Takeover Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Oriental Theater. Tickets are $10. For more info, visit the official Midget Zombie Takeover Facebook page.