How had they found him?
It did not matter anymore. He had seen too much: lacerated fingers, arms, legs, heads and various other body parts.
This was Brian’s final stand. He and the last members of the class of 2012 were barricading the door to Harkness Tower. The moaning crept through the piles of chairs in front of the door. They were here.
Soon, there was horror in the parapet.
Come next semester, Yale will be home to hundreds, maybe thousands of zombies. The National Guard will probably be called in, students will be stalked down in their colleges, and the tables at the Thain Family Café will be empty, finally.
But the hordes of terrifying figures covered in blood, bits of grime and gore, feeling their way toward fresh prey, are not reanimated corpses, they’re extras in a student film, known at the moment as “The (Untitled) Yale Zombie Project.” Jeremi Szaniawski GRD ’10 and Michael Sarnowski ’10, the producer and director/writer of the project, respectively, plan to release their zombie plague on New Haven this coming fall.
The story revolves around a young man, Robert, and his zombie girlfriend. He keeps her chained up and hooded in his room, feeding her body parts in order to keep her nourished. Food becomes scarcer and scarcer as time goes on; there aren’t many humans around.
On one of his forays to find food, Robert meets another, real, girl.
“There’s clearly a love triangle from then on,” said Szaniawski, who came up with the story. “We’re applying the tropes of romantic comedy and melodrama to a Zombie drama.”
He added that the plot is not necessarily Yale-specific, but that the film will use the university’s Gothic buildings in order to create an aura of horror. He is interested in the zombie genre, because he thought it had “the most lasting imagery” of modern horror films.
“I guess it’s a story about coping with the notion of undying love, and what that does to a person,” said Sarnoski, who sees the zombie as a “mythical building block,” a creature that can change its attributes and features.
None of the film has been shot yet, but there is a teaser up on YouTube. The group also has a logo designed by Sara Freiberg ’09; the “Zulldog” is a zombified Handsome Dan, clutching a severed arm between its paws, tongue lolling out to one side. See image.
Forget films; what would people do in the event of a zombie attack? Rustin Fakheri ’12, who is running for secretary of the Yale College Council, outlined exactly how he would deal with a invasion of the undead. Fakheri is a staff reporter for the News.
“We want to maintain open communication,” he said. “I think a big part of this is talking to the student body, making them all know that there are zombies here.”
He said that it was an area that he wanted to “work on,” stating that a direct YCC-President Levin connection would be essential in the event of the raising of the dead. He also made the pledge to contact AYA members in the event of an attack in order to use their political connections to “kill the Zombies.”
But he should hold his horses. When asked about the state of the project, Szaniawski said the group was still in the starting phases.
“We have a very solid script,” he said.
Unfortunately, it has been hard to find a director of photography at this stage in the semester, and the group was still trying to find one as of Tuesday. He also said the project needed as many students as possible to fill the ranks of the corpse army.
The film will be filmed digitally, but the group hopes to make the production look as professional as possible. It’s still unclear whether the overall aesthetic will smack of ’70s and ’80s classics like “Dawn of the Dead,” or more modern takes, such as Danny Boyle’s “28 Days Later.”
At this point, Szaniawski needs more students to take the role of the undead. He asked that we include this announcement:
“We need zombies. Zombies need you!” Exclaimed Szaniawski, who urged interested students to e-mail him or Sarnowski, or join the Facebook group.