Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fall Reading 2015 The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever


Some people say high school is stressful. Imagine trying to finish the final month of your freshman year, work a part time job, study for finals, and occasionally still squeeze in some time to eat and sleep. Doable, you say? Now add on the tasks of writing a screenplay, auditioning actors, advertising for extras, finding the money to pay for special effects, scouting locations, and filming an entire feature-length film - all within that same month. Still sound possible? Well, impossible or not, that's exactly what Justin, Gabe, and Bobby decide to do. And if that wasn't enough pressure, their female lead is also the girl of Justin's dreams.

This book is full of references to the long and gory history of zombie films, including debates on the relative merits of slow versus fast zombies, the difference between the infected in "28 Days Later" and actual zombies, and whether the original versions or remakes of their favorite films are better. The friends face challenges such as scary investors, Stinky the Clown, fires, automobile collisions, body piercings, and possible suspension from school. Their lives are spiraling out of control as they try to make their deadline and the story covers every embarrassing detail.

I began laughing as I read the warning at the front of the book to readers who feel, "Books about zombies are evil! Eeeeeevil!" and the calm response of, "Perhaps we'll reconnect on a future novel." And if the professional courtesy shown in that paragraph doesn't get a small giggle out of you, perhaps the next section will. The author goes on to address those of us who are still reading and have not run off to find some lighter fluid to burn the evil book. He states, "Okay, they're gone. No no, don't judge them." How can you resist a book that starts like that?

The overall feeling from the story that stayed with me was similar to films like "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," a sort of slowly mounting sense of chaos looming over our hero as he tries to fulfill his quest. Fans of books and films featuring such epic struggles will identify with Justin and his friends and, of course, zombie fans will want to see if the guys succeed in creating the greatest zombie movie ever.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

The following content is re-posted from a Sourcebooks announcement:

Jeff Strand Is Back with Another Gut-Bustingly Hilarious Book

Click on the photo to visit Jeff's website!
The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever
Jeff Strand
Ages 12+ * March 2016

After producing three horror movies that went mostly ignored on YouTube, Justin and his filmmaking buddies decide it’s time they create something noteworthy, something epic. They’re going to film the Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. But with only one month to complete their movie, a script that can’t possibly get worse, a cast of uncooperative extras, and incompetent production assistants, Justin must face the sad, sad truth. He may actually be producing The Worst Zombie Movie Ever…

What was your inspiration for some of the wonderfully disastrous problems Justin and crew run into while filming?

Almost all of it was just made up in an evil “Heh heh heh, what could go wrong NOW?” manner. I worked on my wife’s short zombie film CHOMP, and there were many, many, many challenges, but I didn’t use them as direct inspirations for the disasters in this book.

What are some of the actual greatest zombie movies ever?

Shaun of the DeadThe Return of the Living Dead. Both the original Dawn of the Dead and the remake. Re-Animator.Dead AliveDay of the Dead.

There aren't any real zombies in the book, but how do you think your characters would fare in an actual zombie apocalypse?

Gabe, the fifteen-year-old producer of the film they’re making and the constant (if often ignored) Voice of Reason, would make it through. I hate to say it, but everyone else is toast.

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