TOUTED AS the “first full-scale zombie film by a Filipino studio,” Mikhail Red’s Block Z promises action and gore and thrills as it hits cinemas on January 29.
“When I was doing Eerie, Star Cinema went up to me and asked if I can do a zombie movie for them because it’s been a while since the country had a film from the genre,” Mr. Red said during a press conference on Jan. 12 at the ABS-CBN offices in Quezon City.
The film’s premise revolves around several pre-med students who are trapped inside a campus where a patient exhibiting rabies-like symptoms attacks and infects people.
Both Mr. Red’s prior horror and thriller films — Eerie and Dead Kids — have stories revolving around students and their schools.
Making a zombie film is not a new experience for the director. “Back in high school, I used to make zombie movies with my classmates using ketchup as blood and a mini-dv recorder,” Mr. Red said in a release.
The film’s cast include Julia Barretto, Maris Racal, McCoy de Leon, Yves Flores, and Joshua Garcia alongside Ian Veneracion, Dimples Romana, and Ina Raymundo.
“We have fast zombies [in this film]… the running in this film is full-speed, so it adds excitement and thrills because you really need cardio, these are not slow zombies you can slam with a frying pan,” the director said.
He added that he was inspired by the 2007 horror film 28 Weeks Later by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (the sequel to Danny Boyle’s 2002 film, 28 Days Later), and anime series High School of the Dead which aired in 2010 and which was adapted from the manga of the same name by Daisuke Sato.
“Block Z is a horror film but it also has adventure-thriller elements… horror is a visual language and it’s not something that can be done through dialogue… it’s almost like a graphic novel [when sequencing shots],” he said.
Block Z screens in cinemas nationwide starting Jan. 29. — Z.B. Chua