Rich Howells

SHORT FILM PREMIERE: ‘My Zombie Flick’ by director Bobby Keller buries the undead trend

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From cheesy t-shirts to “The Walking Dead” to first-person shooter video games to cheap Halloween costumes, zombies are everywhere nowadays, so much so that even some lifelong horror movie fans like Bobby Keller are wishing these corpses would just stay buried. His latest short film, “My Zombie Flick,” shows exactly why this trend should expire, at least for a while, and NEPA Scene has the exclusive premiere.

“I feel like there are too many zombie movies being made every year, and it’s turned into this really annoying trend to ‘love zombies.’ This movie is basically my way of making fun of zombie fans and the people who are contributing to the 600 straight-to-DVD zombie movies that will come out this year,” Keller explained.

“I like zombie movies; I just don’t think there has been a good one made since 1994.”

Studying Communication Arts at Lackawanna College, Keller is the Scranton-based filmmaker behind the shot-on-VHS horror comedies “Deatherman” and “Mini-Golf Massacre,” and some familiar cast members pop up in “My Zombie Flick.”

“I immediately chose Mike Gavern because we worked together on ‘Deatherman’ and ‘Mini-Golf Massacre.’ I told him the idea, and once he was on board, I wrote the screenplay with him in mind,” he said, choosing to shoot this film digitally.

“I met Joe McGurl at school; we’re both communications majors. I saw a few videos he did and thought his sense of humor and acting skills would be perfect for this short.”

The full cast includes Gavern, McGurl, April Guse, Miranda Colombo, Steve Corker, Dani Crean, Gena Comandy, Stephanie Lucas, and Helene Evans. Keller wrote, edited, and directed; Max Srebro and Steve Corker served as boom operators; and Jason Ritter handled lighting in the bar scene.

“I think we shot the entire thing in two weeks – a total of three shooting days. It was done in December, but there was a small computer glitch that set me back in post-production, so it didn’t get done until March of this year,” Keller continued.

“I shot it at school with the school’s equipment, but it was never just a school project. I made it specifically to screen at the Electric City Shocker Theater VHS Fright Fest in June, but then I thought, ‘I might as well hand it in and get a grade for it.'”

Music throughout the movie was created by Thiaz Itch, while the closing credits song, “I Chugged with a Zombie,” was written and performed by Brian Langan of Langor and Needle Points.

“I came up with the song title and asked him if he would write and record it for me. He had it done in probably 5 days,” Keller noted.

The Electric City Shocker Theater VHS Fright Fest will be held on Saturday, June 13 at 7 p.m. at the Tripp Park Community Center (2000 Dorothy St., Scranton). After that, Keller hopes to screen the short at other film festivals closer to Halloween.

“Basically, it’s my way of saying ‘Stop making zombie movies!’ but I wanted to say it in a humorous way. I want to make people laugh and make fun of hipsters at the same time,” Keller said.

“The sad thing is, I don’t think I’m exaggerating. This is exactly what I picture when I hear someone is making a zombie movie.”