VIDEO: Flesh-eating zombies invade Westmorland Shopping Centre in Kendal (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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VIDEO: Flesh-eating zombies invade Westmorland Shopping Centre in Kendal
A LEGION of zombies invaded The Westmorland Shopping Centre last night (Friday).
They were recreating scenes of 1978 gore epic, Dawn Of The Dead.
I'm locked inside with only a notebook and camera...
I'M on the roof of the Westmorland Shopping Centre but there’s nowhere left to run.
All doors are locked, night is coming and 26 brain-chewing zombies are lurching closer.
The ugly undead – decomposing faces with eyeballs horribly twisted in their sockets and many dragging a leg.
The illusion is broken as tonight's director Richard Dedomenici shouts: “cut”.
Richard, 34, is filming Dawn Of The Dead Redux – a five minute remake which will be shown in the centre on Sunday night (September 1).
Redux means “brought back”.
It’s a term he says he “stole” from Francis Ford Coppola.
Richard is half Italian and cuts a dash with his black spiky hair, mustard shirt and luminous trainers.
He addresses Kendal’s undead: “Sorry Zombies! Can we go again, please?”
The zombies relax. They may crave brains in the original film but the caterers tonight have supplied sausage rolls from Greggs.
Richard, who has travelled up from his home in Watford, describes himself as an “artist” but he’s also an anarchist.
He launched The Redux Project in an attempt “to disrupt the cinema industry” - making “counterfeit sections of popular films.”
There’s no script or storyboard. He carries round an iPad open at Dawn Of The Dead on YouTube and then arranges the cast to copy the scene.
The original film came out in 1978 with the strapline: “When There’s No More Room In Hell, the Dead Will Walk The Earth.”
It centred around a shopping mall being attacked by re-animated corpses.
Written off by some as a gore fest, it gained greater acclaim in later years as a startling commentary about the direction of American society.
Richard, standing outside Poundland, explains: “You don’t realize it when you first watch it but you are seeing all these references to consumerism and capitalism.
“It’s a metaphor for a capitalist and consumer-orientated society. The people turn into monsters. They become mutants – they won’t share and are only focussed on what they want. Not a bad allegory for today...from a horror movie from the 1970s.”
Anne Lees, 45, from Kendal, has a fake open sore on her face but sums up tonight best: “How many times can you get to see zombies in Kendal?” she asks.
Our leading man is Ben Neve, 34 who clasps a plastic rifle and a walkie talkie.
“It’s the ultimate zombie movie,” enthuses Ben, who has three different versions of the film back home in Storth.
“It was made by George Romero and he’s the master. His first was Night of The Living Dead but with this, he had a bit more budget and knew the people who owned the mall in Pittsburgh where it was filmed.”
“Zombies are the best monsters. They’re so cheap to do, there’s no fancy animatronics - no CGI. You just get people in make-up and you have an instant army.”
Ian Parker, 47, from Kendal, was with son Callum, 12, a Queen Katherine School pupil.
Ian explained: “I thought it would be something interesting to do. It’s local, Callum could get involved, it’s a really good idea to redux the original film and we wanted to support Mintfest.”
Turning to son Callum, he says: “He’s given me plenty of tips on how to walk like a zombie...”
Roberta Phillips, 17, had travelled from Heysham and was having her make-up applied.
“It’s just the chance to do some acting really. I’ve done a short film before so was interested in trying this," she says.
IT man Tom Newton, 42, of Kendal, said: “It’s my favourite film of all time. The fact that it’s scary, funny, it’s one of the first of its kind, but at the end, it finishes with some stupid goblin music!”
Melissa Jackson, 21, from Kendal, is an apprentice at Kendal Museum.
She said: “I’ve never done anything with Mintfest before and always wanted too. I love horror films and dressing up. I’ve been practicing at work all day… when it’s been quiet of course!”
Dawn Of The Dead Redux will be shown for free between 6.30pm-7.30pm on Sunday September 1 at The Westmorland Shopping Centre and is a certificate 12.
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