However, for a short period of time, the Kukagami resort was overrun by zombies.
George Robbins said it was an interesting change of pace that brought “a whole new life” to the typically quiet remote destination — after all, the zombies were accompanied by a full film crew.
“It's not every day you get to be front row on a movie set,” Robbins, owner of the resort, said.
According to Casey Walker, director of A Little Bit Zombie, the lodge was the perfect place to film — from the forest to the rustic cabins to the dirt roads. The Thunder Bay native, who now divides his time between offices in Toronto and Parry Sound, was lured to the region partly by Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation funding.
When the average day of shooting costs between $25,000 and $50,000, it's nice to be close enough to the city to resolve issues before the end of the day. The fact that there were capable crews on hand to fill the behind-the-scenes roles helped, too.
“I wanted to surround myself with people who were fun,” he said. Which is exactly what he got - a crew that was pleasant to work with, who put in the time and effort.
The vast majority of the people working behind the scenes on the “zom-rom-com” were from Greater Sudbury.
A Little Bit Zombie is Walker's debut feature film. It follows the adventures of Steve, a mild-mannered HR manager who becomes infected with a virus during a weekend get-away with his sister, Sarah, his best friend, Craig, and his fiancée, Tina.
While he attempts to fulfil his overwhelming desire for brains, he must elude Max, the obsessed zombie hunter hot on his trail, and avoid the wrath of his bridezilla-to-be. He tries to keep it together, but his fiancée will do anything to make sure the wedding takes place, even when her husband-to-be is a little bit zombie.
So far, the fun flick has garnered nothing but positive reviews from its tour of the festival circuit. It received five awards from the six festivals at which it was screened, often selling out theatres.
Walker said he's made an effort to be at every screening to gauge audience reaction.
“I really want to hear how people react,” he said. Some cities have been more into the brain-eating humour than others, but every city it has played in seems to find something worth appreciating. According to Walker, the “layered” script has something to do with it.
When he made the movie, it was important to him that there was enough substance to make it worth watching again.
“We need that longevity,” he said.
Now that he's proven to everyone that he's capable of making a movie, Walker said there is no time to slow down. He has a number of other ideas brewing, which is good news for everyone who enjoys the dark comedy aspect of A Little Bit Zombie.
“I think comedy is one of the hardest things to do, and do well,” Walker said. While it might be a challenge, it's certainly one he's willing to take.
On May 18, A Little Bit Zombie is opening on 21 screens across Canada — the largest independent release in the country, according to Walker. It plays at Rainbow Cinemas at 1, 3:30, 7 and 9:30 p.m.
For more information on the film, visit alittlebitzombie.com.
Posted by Arron Pickard