Fresh Trailer For African-Set Zombie Flick THE DEAD

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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Fresh Trailer For African-Set Zombie Flick THE DEAD
About to premiere at the Film4 Fright Fest in London before moving on to appearances at Fantastic Fest and Sitges, the Ford Brothers' upcoming zombie picture has been winning a load of advance admiration and excitement based on the early trailers and the novelty of the film's African setting. Me? After being burned badly by recent French zombie effort The Horde - which I think is pretty awful - I've been staying at a cautious distance and waiting to actually see the thing before speculating. And while I still haven't seen the complete picture I do, at least, have a new trailer to share with a good amount of footage that should be new to fans of the earlier promo spots. Check it below.

In the very near future, most of the world has succumbed to the virus of the living dead. After crashing off the coast of Africa, Lt. Brian Murphy battles for survival across the terrible terrain of Africa in search of a way to get back to his beloved family in the USA. Saved by local military man Daniel Dembele, who is also searching for his son, both men join forces, all the while battling against the ever-present threat of the living dead.

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blammoAugust 23, 2010 12:48 AM

Apart from the setting, it looks indistinguishable from standard SyFy cheese. The lead looks like a poor man's Jeff Fahey, and Fahey is already the poor man's leading man. I particularly like how the hype quotes at the beginning include one that trumpets how "beautifully shot" it is, immediately followed by digital video footage that is decidedly not beautifully shot.

Not to mention that even after having seen only the trailer, I question the wisdom of having a white American fighting his way out of deepest, darkest Africa by hacking through hordes of black zombies. I think we all realized how potentially offensive (not to mention unoriginal) this white man vs. the murderous third world natives plot was when the Italians were doing it repeatedly in the '70s and '80s.

atomicfreakAugust 23, 2010 8:17 AM

I agree with everything that you stated. However, having worked with sketchy "lower-end-of-Hollywood" types before, there is nothing that surprises me about this trailer. Still looks better than a movie that I almost worked on, that had a white Yakuza leader as one of the main characters.

Filmfreak66August 23, 2010 8:24 AM

Well blammo let me correct your ignorant rant! Speaking as someone who has actually seen this film, i think i can give you a much more accurate picture.
If you watch the film first before shooting your mouth off you'll see that the lead in this film has delivered a performance that's far superior to any that has gone before in a film of this genre!
It IS beautifully shot on 35mm film! if you do your research you would know this! I would have thought this was obvious to all but the hard of thinking!
Another typically ignorant comment is the black/ white thing. This is not racially offensive at all! If you watch this film you'll find that out! This is the most original Zombie film since the original Dawn of the Dead! possibly even better as Dawn is a bit dated now!
Try opening your eyes before opening your mouth!

Filmfreak66August 23, 2010 8:39 AM

Atomicfreak your as much an idiot as the first person who commented! "low end hollywood types" This film is far superior to anything that top end of Hollywood could ever make! This movie is an European production! Besides, Hollywood only ever produces bland popcorn fodder for the brain dead! It's a money driven sausage factory incapable of producing anything intelligent or artistic! Wake up and smell the coffee! My god you people really do walk among us! It's scary!

SwarezAugust 23, 2010 9:34 AM

Something tells me that Filmfreak66 is somehow connected to this film.

Todd BrownAugust 23, 2010 10:46 AM

Swarez wins a cookie. It's writer-director Jon Ford, making an ass of himself in public. Next time you have the urge, Jon, you may want to post using an email address that ISN'T your name.

djeminenceAugust 23, 2010 11:15 AM

Those first two guys who commented sound like douchebags. It really looks great and it reminds me of, the most recent resident evil game. Also, I agree with Swarez.

SwarezAugust 23, 2010 12:22 PM

Ya. It doesn't look half bad, the trailer isn't the best but I'll catch it at FF.

Filmfreak66August 23, 2010 1:04 PM

If you think correcting an idiotic and obviously snipeing comment from someone who's never even seen the film, is making an ass of ones self, then i would ideed happily make an ass of myself!

Sean "The Butcher" SmithsonAugust 23, 2010 1:53 PM

*Comes in with a massive bucket of Masengil and throws it on the posts*

Debate a film AFTER you've seen it. Let's also remember, INCEPTION came out of Hollywood. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Blame the lame genre offerings on the audiences. The studios only follow the money.

blammoAugust 23, 2010 2:32 PM

"Debate a film AFTER you've seen it."

Fair enough, but I made it clear I was commenting on my impressions of the trailer. For obvious reasons, I'm not going to bother to see the whole film.

And I stand corrected on the digital video comment. If the director says it's 35mm, then it's 35mm.

koyeAugust 23, 2010 3:40 PM

Looks like the same plot as Resident Evil 5.(game)

Todd BrownAugust 23, 2010 4:19 PM

Let's recap your 'corrections', shall we?

1. Blammo is ignorant and, by implication (see point two) an idiot.
2. Atomicfreak is as big an idiot as Blammo.
3. Your lead actor has delivered the greatest performance in the entire history of horror film in general (possibly) or zombie movies in particular (for sure) depending on how you choose to read that statement.
4. The film is BEAUTIFUL, which would be obvious if people weren't stupid.
5. It is also shot on 35mm, also obvious to all but the stupid.
6. Your movie about a white man bashing his ways through hordes of all-black undead is NOT racially offensive because it just isn't.
7. This is the most original film since Romero's Dawn of the Dead and quite possibly the greatest zombie film of all time.
8. Your movie is better than anything than Hollywood could even dream of making, at any budget level.
9. Number eight is true because your film is European and therefore inherently superior because everything Hollywood has ever made is shit.
10. You like coffee.

All of these 'corrections' offered while under the guise of being some random person who happens to have seen the film rather than as the writer-director of the thing.

Only one of these comments is a correction at all (the 35mm bit) as it is the only one that actually takes a bit of factually incorrect data and replaces it with something factually correct. The rest is ranting, insults, grandstanding and - if you actually believe it - outright delusional behavior from someone who didn't even have the stones to declare his actual identity and connection to the film before sounding off.

I have no opinion of your film, sir, and I never will because whatever it is you've created I know enough about you to know that you're a buffoon and a cowardly ass whose work I will not waste my time on or support in any way, either here at Twitch (which I own and operate) or at the festivals I work with.

kwadwoasaridokuboAugust 23, 2010 5:06 PM

I have seen the first two trailers for this online and I must say I enjoyed them. The latest however, I feel takes it to a whole new level. I enjoy the world cinema vibe it has and it is always good to see my boy Prince David Osei on the big screen. I am not up on the 35mm vs digital debate but as an African I know racism when I see it - and I just don't see it here - zombies aren't real... I actually like the fact people chose to film this on location, it is a shame more don't.

Filmfreak66August 23, 2010 6:12 PM

For someone who's not going to waste their time on this film you seem to be er......... wasting alot of time on this film!
If this is true why is it still on your site?

Todd BrownAugust 23, 2010 6:14 PM

Deleting it would also delete the public record of you making an ass of yourself.

JeanneAugust 23, 2010 6:43 PM

I have seen 2 trailers of this already and although I'm not a huge fan of zombie movies (even after having seen a few of them), I must say that I've been pretty impressed with what I've seen ; it does not seem cheesy at all, the plot seems very interesting, the location splendid and I simply do not get your comment about a "racist" aspect of it.
Anyway, this film must have something special to bring already so much passion ! The best thing must be just to watch it first.

blammoAugust 23, 2010 7:41 PM

Well, the reason I clicked on this trailer in the first place was because it was set in Africa. I want to see a great zombie film set in Africa. Based on the trailer, however, this isn't what I was looking for. Yes, my biggest disappointment with it is that it revolves around a white American "in search of a way to get back to his beloved family in the USA." Just try and name a European or American movie set in Africa that doesn't have a white hero anchoring the story. It's a tired cliche and it is inherently offensive to many people. That said, I'm not the one who used the word racist. I have no idea how the movie's plot actually plays out in this respect. I'm just commenting on the trailer.

KholiAugust 23, 2010 11:13 PM

1. We had this debate over a year ago when Resident Evil 5 was released. The NAACP got in on it, everyone got in on it... Just because it's a Caucasian lead battling through hordes of third world zombies doesn't make it racist.

While you were not the one to use the term racist, I am responding to the generalization in your post and others following suit.

2. The portrayal of the zombies in this movie looks different: They do not walk in staggered paths, jerking and lurching about as if on overdosing on a cocaine high, they move with a dead-weight grace that actually makes this an interesting take on the antagonistic hordes.

3. Sure, it's a tired cliche. You go where the money is and where the relatable is if you want to sustain a lifestyle making movies... not just commenting on other people's work. I'm not saying it's right, but it is what it is.

4. I am very disappointed that you were incapable of telling what is obviously film stock from video. That looks nothing like video. Please see the detail in compositions that include the sky and how the limitations of digital video image acquisitions would have proved to see blow outs if not carefully tailored to the dynamic range of a certain camera.

Sub ALEXA, which isn't even available en-masse, you're not going to find that kind of firing power in digital. Nor the organic, near-to-three-dimensional haze that this trailer--low quality as it is--shows.

I do agree, however, that "Beautifully Shot" is a bit of a stretch. A far stretch in my opinion. If this HAD been shot on Video, it probably would've looked fairly cheap.

It was a smart decision to hide the budget behind the natural beauty of celluloid. As film processing and stock are much cheaper to come by these days than ever before. As so the conversion from analog format to digital for post processing (editing, delivering, etc.).


I like the trailer for what it is. However... the responses by the Co-Director writer on these pages is surely silly, and have already made me re-consider spending any money at all to view the project.

The internet is no longer a wasteland of unseen comments, rage-posts and pissing contests: you will be responsible for your words and actions.

Let this, and the other article, stand as a testament to that; own up, or sign off.

SwarezAugust 23, 2010 11:24 PM

It's a zombie story set in Africa. The comparison ends there.

Joseph KamiyaAugust 24, 2010 12:28 AM

We can't consider the film "racist" or "offensive" (especially since we haven't seen it yet), BUT I did feel a bit weary about it considering: 1) the history of European and American slave-owners and -sellers, 2) apartheid in South Africa (although I'm not sure what part of African this specific film takes place in), 3) the film legacy of white protagonists either saving or battling "The Other" (i.e. non-whites), and 4) the zombies being portrayed as "The Other" (which, seemingly in the case of this film, are mostly non-whites). It's not worth debating as I'm sure these things aren't necessarily always at the forefront of people's minds. It's cool that the crew utilized and paid local talent, though - I wonder what Jon's brother, Howard, feels about this little "incident" here on Twitch.

Joseph KamiyaAugust 24, 2010 12:33 AM

Gah, here's a non-crap version of the link I previously posted - - an interview with Jon's brother and co-writer/director, Howard.

blammoAugust 24, 2010 1:24 AM

"Just because it's a Caucasian lead battling through hordes of third world zombies doesn't make it racist."

No, it doesn't, but we've seen it time and time again and the implication is that the audience requires a white hero to identify with. As I said, that's inherently offensive to many people. That's not to say it's racist. And I'll point out again that I didn't say that. Joseph Kamiya's third and fourth points below were exactly what I was referring to in my original comments.

James DennisAugust 24, 2010 6:14 AM

I agree and really must've missed the point when it became unacceptable to comment on a trailer. The discussion here is prompted by a trailer not the full film - if you don't want people to talk about the content of your trailer, then don't release one, and see how far that gets you...

Howard J FordAugust 24, 2010 7:30 AM

Hi guys, Howard Ford here, this is my first comment on a site but I’m doing it as a few folk have sent the link my way as it asks what I think about it! I wish I had more time to get into this fully as I appreciate all the time everyone is taking to debate aspects of the film but firstly a quick apology if Jon’s rant offended anyone. I’m going to call him now but I’m posting this first incase he discourages me from doing so! I’ve got to tell you that if you knew Jon, you would know he wears his heart on his sleeve at the very least and ‘shoots off’ immediately something gets his goat! It’s generally his passion for a project he not only loves but has had a huge amount invested in both personally and creatively over the years. You can see his opening lines in the ‘making of’ The Dead are all bleeped out:
In fact, so much so that the locals in Africa had a word for Jon, I cant recall what it is but it translated as ‘the crazy one’! Also its been a bit of a crazy and emotional time right now with all that’s going on leading up to the FrightFest and Fantastic Fest premieres– also, (and I would never have mentioned this & I’ll get shouted at for doing so I’m sure!) but at this moment we’re under some other personal pressures including the fact that our Father goes under the knife tomorrow for a major bowel cancer operation that involves removing a huge amount of bowel and instead of our Dad taking his allocated seat to see his boys creation at FrightFest after all these years, but instead he may he may share something ironically in comment with the films title…Anyway, the point is we’re all a bit on edge and I’m sure if you actually met each other you’d probably get on well but maybe that’s not such a good idea! Ha. I don’t want to get too involved in the debate as I respect anyone’s opinions and although we have had some incredible responses from those that have seen The Dead in previews or the press screenings. I just hope people do go and see it, to see for themselves what we have tried so hard to create, nearly killing ourselves doing so out in Africa… and if you do go and see it on anything other than a pirate copy then we thank you for your support and we’d love to hear what you think of the experience. I do believe you will get something out of this film that is unique to the genre, but of course we can never please everyone and we know that. All the best guys and hope to see you for a beer or 2 at FrightFest or Fantastic Fest!! Cheers, Howard. – Now I’m going to put my ear plugs in, get my hand poised over the bleeping machine and call Jon!!!

Ard VijnAugust 24, 2010 8:05 AM

Hi Mr. Ford,

Thanks for the classy reply and the best of wishes to your father of course.
As for your brother, is his nickname by any chance "Klaus Kinski"?

Todd BrownAugust 24, 2010 8:52 AM

Hi Howard. To echo Ard, thanks much for the classy response and best wishes for the family.

LauraAugust 24, 2010 10:47 AM

Hi Todd Brown,

I would like to invite you to the world première of The Dead at Fright Fest (30/8/10). It would be great to see you there and a chance to see the movie that has aroused a wee debate on this page. Very much enjoyed it's openness.

In all honesty I'm not a zombie flick girl but I have been more than converted with this. I have enjoyed all things The Dead related from the making of footage to the film itself. In my humble opinion it is a beautifully shot film and, as always, leaves me inspired by both the Ford brothers.

Please let me know if you are tempted in any way and I will happily get you a ticket. I hopefully look forward to hearing your views post viewing,

(Drowning Woman-The Dead) Full disclosure! LOL

Todd BrownAugust 24, 2010 10:39 PM

Thanks for the invite but I'm in Toronto so that'd be a bit of a commute.

kwadwoasaridokuboAugust 25, 2010 7:12 AM

Blammo - I hear your point and respect it. For friends & family back home it has been a really big deal that Prince is in this movie - we are all proud of our Ghanaian star.
I really can not think of any film that ventured to Burkina to film. In turn bringing much needed work to the locals. I feel it very nice that such uniquely beautiful locations were captured and will be brought to the big screen. Answer me this had you heard of Burkina Faso before all this?

I think there is discrimination in today's world but as said before I do not think it lies here. I hope it encourages others to come visit or film in our area. Having watched the behind the scenes stuff it seems it was quite a challenge to make, so God Bless the Ford's for venturing out of the norm and finishing what I think looks like a pretty amazing film.