Film: Rockabilly Zombie Weekend
Rockabilly Zombie Weekend
is a 2013 feature film that is Exactly What It Says on the Tin
Becky and Grant are a redneck couple set to get married, and they decide to throw a big Rockabilly
themed wedding at the old family barn in Central Florida, ignoring warnings of an outbreak of West Nile. Unbeknownst to them, a mysterious mosquito repellent sprayed by a cropduster has created something altogether more deadly...
Without warning, those hit by the repellent cloud or bit by infected animals transform into shambling monstrosities, their innards liquefying and driven by a primal urge to eat every living thing they see before they drop dead. Becky, Grant, and their family and friends must flee the chaos of the wedding as it comes under attack from their former companions. They don't care about what caused the virus or why it's happening. They just care about making it out of the city alive.Rockabilly Zombie Weekend
is the pet project of Tammy Bennett, an amateur screenwriter and doctor of Oriental medicine from Longwood, Florida. Combining her love of music with her love of horror films and zombies, she began work in 2011 by herself. With the help of local director Jaime-Velez Soto and her family and friends, she raised the funds and successfully put together a feature film with almost 200 extras, guns, fire, cars, crashes, soldiers, and aircraft.
Being a brand new film at the time of writing, there's a serious risk of spoilers by continuing to read ahead (ESPECIALLY if you read the spoiler tags). View at your own risk!
This film provides examples of:
- Abandoned Hospital: Mostly filled with zombies and corpses to feast on, with Bo being found by the rest of the gang trying to save a nurse from the horde. Only two survivors flee the building,
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Subverted during filming and averted in the final cut: the prosthetic for a dismemberment shot was built for a chainsaw to take it off, but the stunt was scrapped for safety reasons. J. Benedict Larmore actually had to make two chops with the machete to take the arm off (aiming for a very precise spot to dismember the prosthetic correctly), and while the editing makes it look like a single strike, it still only partially dismembers the arm.
- Action Survivor: All of the protagonists, who are just rednecks trying to save themselves.
- Artificial Zombie: Implied. The zombies are created by a new government mosquito repellent sprayed from a crop duster.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Bo and Patti have a relationship that could hardly be described as "amicable". But he begins to show more concern for her (and others) during the escape, and when she gets infected and begins to turn at the airport, he tearfully kills her and then shoots himself out of grief.
- Bad Black Barf: The liquefied innards of the zombies is constantly vomited up as a black goop, and one of the first signs of transformation is sudden vomiting of the stuff. As seen with Shifty, it also tends to come from....other orifices.
- Badass Grandpa: Bo, who describes shooting zombies and saving hospital staff as "more fun than a tornado in a trailer park!" The first time he's seen after the zombies arrive, he's single handedly taking on every zombie outside the hospital by himself and one-hand cocking a lever-action rifle.
- Bald of Awesome: Still Bo.
- Barrier-Busting Blow: Offscreen, but the heroes quickly discover at the bar not to use a glass door for safety from a horde....
- Bittersweet Ending: The film ends with Grant and Becky escaping with a private helicopter pilot, but all of their friends and family dead and the knowledge that all of the evacuation planes are full. And then the infected spider crawls out of Becky's bag....
- Black Dude Dies First: Averted. The first zombie is a white redneck, and the most prominent black character is a soldier at the airport who never suffers any injury.
- Boom, Headshot: The preferred method of zombie killing, as they often just stand back up after taking other hits.
- Bring Me My Black Pants: It's possible for the Bad Black Barf to come out of orifices other than the mouth...
- Car Fu: Becky runs over several zombies at the hospital on her way to save Bo. One of them gets hit hard enough to be knocked out of frame.
- Cat Scare: The ominous music and camera angles from the perspective of an approaching monster are....Grant sneaking up on Becky to scare her.
- Circular Drive: Due to the difficulty in acquiring enough extras to fill up the scenes, certain camera angles and bringing back extras (who changed their clothes, makeup, and even their hair to look different). In particular, the wedding scene managed to fill up an area almost an acre in size with only a few dozen people and managed to not visibly show extras teleporting.
- Cool Bike: The biker at the start of the film has one (the actor, Scott Singer, owns the Insta-Gator Chopper custom motorcycle builder and also piloted the helicopter for the finale and aerial shots), and Curtis leaves the convenience store on a similar one. At the beginning of the film, a pair of bikers speed by Becky and Micca on a pair of "crotch rockets", one of them popping a wheelie as he passes by.
- Cool Car: The production is LOADED with cool cars thanks to the rockabilly theme. The wedding in particular has hot rods, muscle cars, classic sports cars, and vintage 40s pickups. In particular is a black Mercury Marauder X-100◊ driven by Becky, of which less than 9000 were made. This car in particular was loaned by Bruce Wood, another local filmmaker and screenwriter for ''Cassadaga''.
- Cool Old Guy: Woody, notable for his long hair, skinny build, kind demeanor, and big magnum.
- Creator Cameo: The director appears as Sid the helicopter pilot in the finale.
- Death by Sex: Averted. The only two characters to engage in any romance or attempts at sex are Grant and Becky shortly before their wedding, and they end up the only survivors of the main group.
- Definitely Just a Cold: The zombie virus takes some time to finally transform the infected, with them suffering from nausea, sweating, and lightheadedness. It can quite easily be passed off as a bout of indigestion, which is why Tall Joe is still wandering around the wedding party as he starts to feel worse and worse....
- Developing Doomed Characters
- Driven to Suicide: Bo after he has to kill an infected Patti.
- Eaten Alive: Occurs to a number of characters, including Tommy.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: What did you EXPECT to get with a title like that?
- Extremely Short Timespan: The entire film takes place over a single day.
- Eye Awaken: The first sign of Shifty and the biker being more than dead is their eyes snapping open.
- Eye Scream: With the stand of a standup bass, no less. Another zombie cop takes a shot to the eye from a taser.
- Fake Band: Killer Moonshine, the band playing at the wedding, is formed from several members of local bands. The bassist, Jeff Ward, is also the producer/scriptwriter's husband and the soundtrack producer. They even released a music video for the film's theme song.
- Fanservice Extra: A model/belly dancer provides a barely clothed zombie to fight Layla at the bar.
- Fingore: Sinister Minister suffers this to the second zombie to show up at the wedding.
- Gorn: Mostly through the zombies eating their victims, represented by various meats and sweet potatoes slathered in a sauce. There's also a lingering shot of a ripped-open torso at the bar, and the first zombie loses a tooth when he falls during the transformation process.
- Gory Discretion Shot: The zombified Micca gets this when lunging out from the bathroom. The exact shot is even visible in the trailer, without context.
- Hollywood Darkness: Typically averted throughout the film. The zombie menace hasn't lasted nearly long enough to result in a loss of power, so many of the night scenes take place either in well-lit open areas (like parking lots or an airport) or indoors. Only a handful of scenes take place out on the road, with lighting often so dark that the background isn't even visible outside the truck.
- Horror Hunger: The zombies go at their victims like ravenous animals, ripping out organs with their bare hands to tear into.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Averted, as the characters are seen taking time to aim and miss a number of shots that aren't at point blank range.
- Improvised Weapon: Patti is seen carrying a shovel at the hospital, and several of the survivors at the airport are carrying a variety of weapons, including a pitchfork and a homemade machete.
- Incongruously Dressed Zombie: Many of the initial zombies at the wedding are still dressed in their rockabilly fashion. There's a number of patient and staff zombies at the hospital as well, and the very first zombie to be found by someone else is a biker.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Not lethally, but Patti does a number on Grant while trying to save him from a few zombies.
- Jump Scare: Only a few.
- Kill the Cutie: And not just once.
- Man on Fire: A zombie at the wedding gets set aflame by a guest with a torch.
- Mercy Kill: Woody gets it when he starts to transform, and is rather unceremoniously dumped out of the truck afterward.
- Not Using the Z Word: Averted. While occasionally referred to as "monsters", the protagonists immediately admit that there's no possible explanation beyond zombies for what they just saw. Unfortunately, they still take a few losses before connecting the feelings of illness and bites with zombification.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Averted when Grant gets shot in the leg. The pain and blood loss take a toll on him for a short time, and he's still limping for the rest of the film.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The Rockabilly zombies are not deceased, and their internal organs begin to liquefy into a black goop that they constantly vomit up as they transform. As their lifespan continues, more of their organs liquefy (giving them a distinctive trail of black liquid running down their chins and chests) and their veins begin to turn deeper blue/purple and finally bulge from the skin◊. Their eyes turn red, and as they reach the "final stage" their flesh begins to peel away◊.
- Despite the initial spread thanks to mosquito repellent, the zombie virus is most certainly able to be transmitted through bites and scratches. As expected, this becomes a plot point.
- Painful Transformation: The first zombie's transformation is shown in full detail, consisting of excruciating pain, vomiting and defecation of the black liquid remains of their innards, and apparent death after several minutes of screaming in horrible agony before suddenly returning as a zombie. Several others are shown in similar stages, with Tall Joe stumbling right into the wedding and continuing to spray black bile while thrashing before expiring and reviving. Patti and Ginger take a much more quiet infection and seem to simply fall unconscious after a while, though Patti's did come from a spider bite...
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Even if they had no other visible symptoms, all of the zombies are easily identifiable by their red irises.
- Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: It's not stated and only one zombie is explicitly seen getting up from a chest shot (that still caused it to collapse, apparently dead), but all of the characters make sure to aim for the head pretty much from the beginning.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Most of the handguns seen in the film are revolvers, with Woody getting good use out of one at the bar. In fact, the only semi-automatic seen outside of a soldier's holster is used by Patti once. To shoot Grant in the leg by accident.
- Rockabilly: The couple wants to wed in this style.
- Rule of Scary: Even if you never get attacked by any zombies or expose yourself to them at any time, the tiniest mosquito bite or whiff of chemical...
- Sinister Scraping Sound: A rare protagonist example: Micca scrapes her axe across the convenience store floor because the zombification makes her too weak to carry it.
- Sound-Only Death: An especially terrifying instance: Patti hears gunfire while smoking crack on a forest road at night and ducks down out of sight. All she can see is the victim's flashlight wildly waving across the truck, but she hears his screams and continued gunshots until everything goes quiet. She finally sits up and drives away in shock, barely noticing the gore smeared on her windshield...
- Spiders Are Scary: Woody has a pet tarantula, which becomes a carrier for the zombie virus and stows away in Becky's bag during her and Grant's final escape...
- Staking the Loved One: Becky is the one who has to shoot Woody when he begins turning. Earlier, Ginger instinctively shot a zombified Micca.
- Tainted Veins: As stated above, the bulging purplish veins of the "older" zombies.
- Technically Living Zombie: The zombies don't explicitly die before their transformation, and the damage the virus does to their body will likely kill them off after a short time.
- The End... Or Is It?: Becky and Grant escape, but the infected spider starts crawling out of her bag...
- The Government: The film opens with a scene of the mosquito repellent (in a "Toxic Contents" container) being delivered by two of The Men in Black to a one-eyed crop duster pilot, insisting that he use their new chemical as the test of the side effects...
- Trailers Always Spoil: The teaser trailer shows the deaths of Micca and Layla and has several closeups of zombified Shifty. The full trailer adds the death of Woody. However, only the death of Layla is outright shown, while Micca and Woody are partially or entirely off-screen when shot.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Only implied, as the film takes place over a 24 hour period and the entire section with the zombies is even less time. Regardless, within mere hours the tri-county area has been almost completely overcome by the shambling hordes and small bands of survivors are left fighting for their lives in a nearly abandoned town.
- Zombie Gait: The zombies mostly shuffle around and only slightly pick up the pace when they've located food, but within about 10 feet an adrenaline burst kicks in and they become capable of tackles, forceful grabs, and even rapid, animalistic struggling and clawing/biting. As such, attempting to fight the zombies hand to hand is often a massive risk.
- Zombie Infectee: Micca gets bit during the initial chaos, while Ginger is bit while fleeing the convenience store after she shoots the zombified Micca. Subverted in that Ginger is apparently eaten before fully turning at the bar.