While we normally avoid covering every single film project to emerge from the modern electronic gestation pod that is Kickstarter, once in a while something comes along that is just too cool to ignore. Something like a short film depicting the zombie apocalypse. Wait, don’t click away just yet. Granted, zombies have been done to (un)death, but Play Dead is a different kind of zombie movie. Instead of pitting hungry, desperate human survivors against a shambling horde of reanimated corpses, the short film’s creators have decided that perhaps it would be more interesting if these rotting corpses were forced to battle man’s best friend.
The results, as you can see in the 18-minute vignette embedded below, are equal parts adorable, depressing and weirdly funny. It’s dark humor, but c’mon, it’s dark humor starring cute lil’ pooches. The Internet loves stuff like that!
With the hype properly shoved onto you people, we can get to the crucial details behind this thing. Play Dead, as we mentioned, is the result of a successful Kickstarter project from a Florida-based studio calling itself the Borscht Corporation. It’s plot is officially described as such:
A zombie apocalypse unites a ragtag pack of dogs in the ruined streets of Miami. Immune to the epidemic, they must stick together to survive in the midst of ferocious undead and human survivors in this unauthorized sequel to “Homeward Bound.” Sit. Stay. Play dead…
Also, though it has no real impact on the short film’s content, we’d also like to point out that the Corporation has a lovely alligator Ouroboros as its logo. Honestly, that’s pretty keen, so propers to whoever designed that bit of art.
That aside though, we know very little of the people behind this movie. As far as we can tell none of them have been critically involved in any major Hollywood productions to date, nor can we find any information on what plans the Corporation has for the future. However, we do know that the people behind Play Dead are quite capable of working on a minuscule budget — the Kickstarter originally sought to raise $3,000 but managed to nearly double that figure by pulling in $5,849 — and that bodes well for the potential future of the studio. While a small film project like this won’t ever hit theaters, it makes a nice stepping stone toward the big time, and few Hollywood studios would turn away a director capable of producing a movie like Play Dead on a budget of less than $6,000.
If we have one qualm about Play Dead however, it’s that the short is just too short. That’s a stupid complaint for us to make, but as die-hard fans of zombie lore (yes, we can see the pun, and no, it was not intentional) and anything involving adorable animals, this kind of thing lands directly in our wheelhouse. Though we doubt it’s a possibility, we’d love to see a major studio hire the Borscht Corporation to remake Play Dead as a full feature-length movie with a proper budget. The project wouldn’t even need major stars either; we’re perfectly content with the pseudo-amateur thespians seen in the short film, and the potential profits generated by the “dogs versus zombies” premise alone should make such a film a financial hit.
Just don’t let Romero direct the thing. As much as we love the man’s work, the quality of his zombie films dropped off precipitously after 1985, and we’d hate to see these puppies squandered on a movie that is qualitatively comparable to 2007’s Diary Of The Dead.