By DAVID F. KRAMER
Well, it’s 2018 and I thought I’d never say it, but zombies are now ubiquitous. No longer do the undead just hide out in abandoned graveyards waiting for drunk and horny teenagers to slur the words to a centuries old incantation just close enough to bring them back to shambling, cerebellum craving activity – but they’re hanging outside of Home Depot at the crack of dawn, ready to do those jobs that we red-blooded Americans just aren’t up for.
They’re passing your #4 with no mayo through the drive-thru window at your local takeaway joint. And if it’s Saturday night, and you feel like maybe you’ve been naughty and deserve a little – correction – the ghoul of your dreams is out there too. So why torture yourself, enlist the help of a professional – ring up your local Zombinatrix.
ZOMBINATRIX is the hotly-anticipated heavy metal horror film from Video Vamp LLC. The company started raising funds through Kickstarter at the beginning of October, and has already surpassed its $10,000 goal. However, you still have a chance to invest in the project.
The film is the brainchild of actress, writer and co-producer Bianca Allaine and co-written and directed by her husband Michael Kyne. The plot concerns the devilishly beautiful dominatrix Mistress Tawny, whose career is cut short when she is brutally murdered by a gang of sadistic thugs.
But death doesn’t keep her down for long, and soon she mysteriously transforms and rises from the grave to seek savage vengeance on her enemies. As the supernatural Zombinatrix, she takes great pleasure in incorporating her sadistic S&M kinks into killing anyone and everyone that crosses her path. After all, she’s a gal that’s into whips and BRAINS …
“We’re going for a fetish/heavy metal aesthetic look that was popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “
Allaine is no stranger to independent horror flicks, and has had small roles in films such as Albino Farm (2009), The Evil Inside (2011), The Crawling Dead (2013), and Die Die Delta Pi (2013) – but this will be her debut as a writer, co-producer, costume designer, and star through her and Kyne’s Video Vamp LLC moniker. The duo also handles all of their own press, location scouting, PR, social media, marketing, and trying to nail down that elusive distribution deal.
This ambitious project had humble beginnings, however.
“It was completely Michael’s idea,” says Allaine. “We’re both fans of the movie Frankenhooker (1990), and he wanted to create a similar type of character for me to portray, especially since I’ve never had the opportunity to play the lead in a film. He’s also a huge fan of Alejandro Jodorowsky and David Lynch. He read Lynch’s Catching the Big Fish, and found inspiration in meditation and universal consciousness. He began thinking of what was popular at the moment — The Walking Dead and Fifty Shades of Grey. So, a zombie dominatrix, or Zombinatrix, was born. After he told me the idea, the tagline just popped into my head out of the blue — ‘She’s into whips and BRAINS!’”
But the independent horror road is indeed a lonely one to go down, even if you have your husband along to share in your dream. Perhaps it was Bette Middler that said it best – ya gotta have friends. And if those friends can mix up a batch of Karo Type O Negative, run a camera, do some editing, wield a paintbrush, create a wicked 3D model, or just stand around and act cool enough to be part of your background – then you’re golden.
“When I lived in Los Angeles years ago, I knew many special FX artists and crew members that worked regularly on both Hollywood and independent productions,” says Allaine. “Later, through social media connections, I befriended Webster Colcord, who is an amazing visual artist who has worked on everything from modern hits like Stranger Things (2016), Maleficent (2014) and Deadpool (2016), to cult classics like Alex Winter’s Freaked (1993) and Vinton Studio’s Meet the Raisins! (1988) He’s been a tremendous help through the process and really encouraged us to pursue our movie dreams. Through Webster, we met Ralph Cordero, an incredibly talented sculptor, model maker and artist who has worked on Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), Robot Holocaust (1986) and The Toxic Avenger (1984). We are so fortunate to have such talented and cool guys who are working with us and want to see our project come to life.
“As for costuming,” she continues, “we’re going for a fetish/heavy metal aesthetic look that was popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. We recently teamed up with Future of Retro Jackets who specialize in ‘80s style leather and vegan leather jackets for men and women.”
Yes, Zombinatrix is indeed a nod to all things that might cause a head to bang – up to and including partial decapitation. The duo has recently gotten together with none other than thrash and death metal artist extraordinaire Ed Repka. Yes, that Ed Repka – Vic Rattlehead’s ever-lovin’ Daddy and album cover artist for Death, Possessed, Municipal Waste, Hirax, Toxic Holocaust, Malevolent Creation, Massacre, The Misfits, and way too others to mention.
Repka will be designing artwork pertaining to a fictional metal band in the film, and Cordero will be creating the sculpture of the band’s skull-faced mascot. Breathing life into this beast will be handled by the tag team of Colcord and Adam Dobelbower, owner, master and commander at Aftermath FX. So – if you’re a fan of throwback horror, you’re sure to find something to tickle your gore bone.
“Originally, Zombinatrix was meant to be a horror/comedy, but now it’s taken a darker turn,” says Allaine. “I think the audience will appreciate the change and the story line now compliments the title character more. I should mention that despite the S&M themes in the movie and sexy character, this is a horror film, not an ‘adult’ movie. It will be a sensual film, but in a very stylish and classy way.”
While for most horror fans, just getting to the point where you have a script, equipment, and that uber-important financial backing sound like a dream come true – it’s not always peaches and cream. So what’s the downside of DIY?
“Well, a lack of money, asking people to work for free, finding unique locations, casting actors who can act, are punctual, can follow direction, and commit their time,” says Allaine. “Also, having a crew that understands the importance of lighting, can operate cameras and equipment, and are passionate about the project. Scheduling is also an ordeal. Attempting to have so many people to show up on the same day to work long days, weeks in advance can be stressful.”
And then there’s the double-punch of uncontrollable and unpredictable events, such as the mental and physical health of your crew, as well as the weather.
“Sometimes the weather won’t cooperate, or the prosthetics I’m wearing show the seams, or the heat of the lights makes my makeup slide off,” she says. “Trust me, something unexpected ALWAYS comes up, no matter how much you plan. That’s just life.”
And the upside?
“Collaborating with my husband is so much fun,” she says. “Watching it all come together is magical. Sometimes I have an idea of what it’s going to look like, but then it turns out better than I could have dreamed.”
If things progress as expected, Zombinatrix should be ready for release in 2019. For those that donated, and those that plan to do so, there will be special password access to an ongoing production blog to be created in conjunction with filming and post-production. This access will include exclusive peeks at behind-the-scenes images and activity, real-time updates, and other goodies including private screenings in selected areas.