Zombie movies are all the rage these days (Ed. note: people keep saying 28 Days Later brought them back, but that wasn't a zombie movie. It was about reverse vampires, duh).
One plucky teen decided to get in on the racket and make her own.
Emily and her mom, Megan, are familiar faces to attendees of events thrown by Harry Knowles' Ain't It Cool News crew. They started years ago as fans of Knowles' monthly "Saturday Morning Film Club" at the Alamo Drafthouse, and quickly decided to follow Knowles down whatever cinematic back roads he had in store. When she was 11, Emily saw the Aussie zombie comedy "Undead" at his all-night "Butt-Numb-A-Thon."
"I used to be scared of horror movies until then," she says. "I realized that horror movies could also be funny. I decided that I wanted to make a feature film and it was going to be a zombie movie."
Emily already had been making camcorder shorts since third or fourth grade (one starred a Care Bear assassin who targeted Barbie dolls), but "Pathogen" would be another thing entirely. For one thing, she'd need help. "The first cast was all my friends," she recalls, "which was hard because sometimes they wouldn't take the project seriously or listen to my directions." Eventually Emily found some youngsters with a bit of acting experience — such as Tiger Darrow, who just appeared in Jacob Vaughan's Burnt Orange production "The Cassidy Kids.
This is just one of those really inspiring stories. The girl wrote the script, directed and edited this entire thing. She won a grant to help with production costs, only to have her house robbed and all her equipment stolen. Her parents believed in her enough that they put themselves into debt to help her finish her dream.
The screening at the Alamo Downtown is sold out. I had long planned on seeing it today, but today also happens to be the county convention and if I'm going to be a delegate at the state convention, I have to be there. Space Monkey is, well he's unreliable, and Sailor Moon doesn't have a car, so he's not driving down to see it, either. But anyone going to see Pathogen today at 4 p.m. is welcome (more than welcome) to submit a review to be published here at Common Sense.