Zombies. I've always loved zombies. Not literally - I'm not a necrophile, not yet anyway - but I've always loved watching them. In my view they beat all other screen monsters hands down. Ghosts? No thanks. Only an imbecile im·be·cile
A person of moderate to severe mental retardation having a mental age of from three to seven years and generally being capable of some degree of communication and performance of simple tasks under supervision. would believe in them anyway. You might as well be frightened of unicorns. Freddy Krueger? A bad stand-up stand·up or stand-up
1. Standing erect; upright: a standup collar.
2. Taken, done, or used while standing: a standup supper; a standup bar. comic with Swiss Army hands. Werewolves? Supergrass supergrass
Brit, Austral & NZ an informer who names a large number of people as terrorists or criminals, esp. one who gives this information in order to avoid being put on trial
Noun 1. in a bad mood. Serial killers? The only decent ones are Tony Curtis in The Boston Strangler and Kevin Spacey spac·ey
Variant of spacy.
Adj. 1. spacey - stupefied by (or as if by) some narcotic drug
unconventional - not conventional or conformist; "unconventional life styles" in Se7en (and he was playing a deranged de·range
tr.v. de·ranged, de·rang·ing, de·rang·es
1. To disturb the order or arrangement of.
2. To upset the normal condition or functioning of.
3. To disturb mentally; make insane. artist, not a serial killer per se). And since Silence Of The Lambs, it's been the law that all serial killers must be depicted as sophisticated cop-outwitting geniuses who'd be more at home being the controller of Radio 3 than slicing someone's kneecap kneecap (patella), saucer-shaped bone at the front of the knee joint; it protects the ends of the femur, or thighbone, and the tibia, the large bone of the foreleg. The kneecap is embedded in the tendon tissue of the quadriceps femoris, a large thigh muscle. off in an abandoned warehouse. Real serial killers are so mental they can scarcely tie their own shoelaces. So bollocks bollocks or ballocks Taboo slang
an exclamation of annoyance, disbelief, etc. [Old English beallucas]
Verb 1. to the screen version.
And don't even think about mentioning vampires, with their gothic pretension and crappy crap·py
adj. crap·pi·er, crap·pi·est Vulgar Slang
1. Inferior; worthless.
2. Miserable; poorly.
3. Mean; contemptible. teeth. They're annoying, not scary. Fuck vampires.
But zombies - now there's a threat I can relate to. Zombies are the misanthrope's monster of choice. They represent fear and disgust of our fellow man. The anonymous animal masses. The dumb, shuffling crowd. Them - the public. They're awesomely stupid. They have an IQ of one. Proper zombies can't operate a door handle or climb a ladder. Toss one a Rubik's Cube and it'll bounce off his thick, moaning head. All they do is walk around aimlessly, pausing occasionally to eat survivors.
Except they don't walk these days. They run. Zombies started jogging in 2002, when 28 Days Later came out. OK, so technically they weren't zombies in that movie - being still alive, albeit infected - but from that point on it was difficult to return to the old-school shambling sham·ble
intr.v. sham·bled, sham·bling, sham·bles
To walk in an awkward, lazy, or unsteady manner, shuffling the feet.
A shuffling gait. George Romero zombies of yore. They're dumb and they can run? Brilliant.
The idea for my TV show Dead Set (in which zombies attack the Big Brother house) came about one night in 2004 while I was watching 24. Jack Bauer was performing a tracheotomy tracheotomy (trākēŏt`əmē), surgical incision into the trachea, or windpipe. The operation is performed when the windpipe has become blocked, e.g., by the presence of some foreign object or by swelling of the larynx. on a terrorist with a splintered peg or something, and another terrorist came running through the door. "I'm enjoying this," I thought, "but these terrorists are just ridiculous. They're like waves of Space Invaders. They might as well be zombies."
At the time, Shaun Of The Dead Shaun of the Dead is a zombie-themed romantic comedy (or "rom zom com" as it dubs itself), released in 2004. It was written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, directed by Edgar Wright, and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. and the Dawn Of The Dead remake were about to come out. Zombies were clearly "in the ether", so I figured it would only be a matter of time before the US made some epic big-budget TV series about the undead un·dead
No longer living but supernaturally animated, as a zombie. . But they didn't, the idiots.
Time passed. And then one night I was watching Big Brother when another thought struck me. All zombie movies eventually boil down to a siege situation. What better place to hide than a fortified house thronged with cameras? Every person in the country must've fantasised at some point about what would happen if some terrible apocalypse occurred during a run of Big Brother, leaving the contestants oblivious. So that would be the starting point.
At the time, I had no idea just how long it can take to get a project this daft and huge on to TV. Sadly you can't just think things on to the screen. It takes ages. Suffice to say the first draft was written back when Derek Laud, Science, Maxwell and Saskia were the housemates du jour. After that, the project was repeatedly killed off, resurrected, killed again, dragged back to life... and finally, somehow, written, shot, edited and produced.
My involvement is, if anything, a bit of a red herring. For one thing, it's a huge team effort requiring the input and imagination of hundreds of people, all working their arses off. And, for another, I'm known for championing series like The Wire. Dead Set very much isn't The Wire; instead, it's unashamed un·a·shamed
Feeling or showing no remorse, shame, or embarrassment:
una·sham populist schlock schlock also shlock Slang
Something, such as merchandise or literature, that is inferior or shoddy.
Of inferior quality; cheap or shoddy. . Warped and disgusting populist schlock, I hope, but shlock shlock
n. & adj. Slang
Variant of schlock.
Noun 1. shlock - merchandise that is shoddy or inferior
dreck, schlock nonetheless.
We wanted to make something that die-hard zombie fans like myself would love, see. Hopefully we've pulled it off. Throughout the series there are little winks and nods in the direction of various zombie classics, all of which I spent hours rewatching when I was supposed to be writing. And make no mistake - it's grisly. Obviously there's a lot of comedy in there too (just look at the setting), but we were keen from the start to differentiate Dead Set from Shaun Of The Dead. I loved Shaun Of The Dead, but that's a comedy first and a horror movie second; ours would be the other way round. We aimed for a tone closer to American Werewolf In London. Bleak but preposterous. And is it a satire?
Yes and no. Primarily it's a romp. Still, you be the judge.
Also: I wanted to try and strongarm a bit of proper horror back on to TV. Telly used to be nasty. Hammer House of Horror, Tales Of The Unexpected, The Twilight Zone: these shows were often shockingly cruel, and I loved them for it. Apart from the news, practically the only show doing effective horror in recent years has been Doctor Who (the episode Blink in particular being a mini-masterpiece just as scary as the movie Ring). Most shows are inherently cosy and reassuring. Or they're set in a fucking hospital and are therefore intrinsically boring. We wanted to redress the balance. We're nasty.
If nothing else, Dead Set should set some new benchmark (or low point, depending on your point of view) for onscreen gore. There's a particularly explicit bit of skull-smashing in episode one, but that's nothing compared to what happens later. There's no point making a 15-certificate zombie flick. Money shots, that's what you want. And that's what you'll get. I sincerely hope some of you vomit.
Anyway, I've only had one real disappointment: I wanted a zombie cameo. And I got one, but not as a "featured" zombie. They tried putting the white contact lenses in but my eyes are too buggy and weird. Every time I blinked, they came off. So I'm only on screen for a nanosecond (1) One billionth of a second. Used to measure the speed of logic and memory chips, a nanosecond can be visualized by converting it to distance. In one nanosecond, electricity travels approximately a foot in a wire. , in the dark. Theygave me a nice neck wound, though.
• Dead Set, Mon 27 to Oct 31, 10pm, E4; the DVD DVD: see digital versatile disc.
in full digital video disc or digital versatile disc
Type of optical disc. The DVD represents the second generation of compact-disc (CD) technology. is out Nov 3
Spawn of the dead
Dead Set was inspired by about a billion other zombie movies. Here are just a few of them
George Romero's "Dead Trilogy (1968-1985)
Night Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, Day Of The Dead. The Old Testament of zombie movies; without them none of the others would've been possible. Romero's zombies shamble sham·ble
intr.v. sham·bled, sham·bling, sham·bles
To walk in an awkward, lazy, or unsteady manner, shuffling the feet.
A shuffling gait. around in quasi-comic fashion; laugh if you like, but they'll eventually overpower. Dawn Of The Dead is the greatest splatter movie ever made.
Zombie Flesh Eaters (1980)
The film that made Italian director Lucio Fulci a legend among the sort of crowd that like to watch people getting their eyes gouged out with wooden splinters for no good reason. Because that's precisely what happens here. Silly and unrelentingly nasty. At one point a zombie has an underwater fight with a shark. A real shark. God knows how they shot that.
28 Days Later (2002)
London lies abandoned while Danny Boyle and Alex Garland teach zombies to gallop. You know this one like the back of your hand, but it's hard to exaggerate just what a seismic shift in zombiedom it caused. You mean they can run now? Jesus!
The Walking Dead (2003-present)
It's a comic book, not a movie.
Robert Kirkman's epic, ongoing ink-and-paper zombie serial. Essential reading for fans of the undead. Pop down your local comic shop today and buy it. You won't be disappointed, unless you hate zombies, in which case stop reading now.
The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue (1975)
A little-known nihilistic ni·hil·ism
a. An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence.
b. A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.
2. yuckfest directed by Jorge Grau and set in the Lake District, not Manchester at all.
A sonic device intended to kill farming parasites awakens corpses instead; all manner of bloody hell ensues.
A seedy, bitter atmosphere prevails throughout mainly thanks to the misanthropic mis·an·throp·ic
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a misanthrope.
2. Characterized by a hatred or mistrustful scorn for humankind. detective.
Zombie Creeping Flesh (1982)
The very definition of guilty pleasure, this no-budget ultra-derivative quickie is a stoned mix of stock jungle footage, gratuitous nudity, and extreme violence. The outbreak starts when a rat bites a technician at a chemical plant, causing him to fall over and hit the wrong lever. Want to see it now, don't you?