Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Director talks DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND’s (very) fast zombies

By Michael Gingold
Fango got some comments from Mark McQueen, director of the new British undead opus DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND. Scripted by Bart Ruspoli, the film stars Craig Fairbrass as Cole, a ruthless killer who becomes infected by a zombie virus that is sweeping the globe, and has to find a cure before he succumbs. This movie definitely falls into the “fast zombie” category, and according to McQueen, these particular ghouls will be more mobile than ever.

“In the old days, we had very slow-moving zombies, then they started to speed up; now, you’ll see them move like never before in a truly shocking and terrifying way,” the director tells us. He reveals that members of the UK’s Urban Freeflow, the first established professional free-running/parkour group, will be portraying his creatures. “Some of the things you see them perform border on insane! Urban Freeflow are the best in the world at what they do, and they portray our infected with moves you never thought were humanly possible. After this, where do we go? Flying zombies?!”

Of course, there are plenty of genre traditionalists who prefer slow and steady undead to the quicker and sicker kind, and McQueen acknowledges, “You won’t ever please everyone with a horror film. Some want comedy, some want gore, some want it serious, some want bits of one but not the other. What do you do? I’m aiming to make a movie that I would go to the cinema and watch and would push my buttons. What those actually are, you’ll have to wait and see when the film is finished!”

The filmmaker also couldn’t be happier with the ensemble that has been assembled for THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, which also includes SEVERANCE’s Danny Dyer, DOG SOLDIERS’ Sean Pertwee, MyAnna Buring from the DESCENT films, Jaime Murray from DEXTER and THE DEATHS OF IAN STONE (pictured above with Shane Taylor), Craig Conway, Lisa McAllister and Ruspoli. “We’ve got such a great cast with some of my favorite actors in the country,” he says. “I’m so excited to be working with them. Craig Fairbrass is a lovely guy who even puts x’s at the end of messages, but he can also be the most intimidating, tough-looking person you’ll ever meet! If there ever was an actual undead apocalypse, he’s the type of person I’d want looking after me. MyAnna is a truly brilliant actress, and she has a real soft spot for the genre. We’re very lucky to have her playing Angela.

“My favorite Danny Dyer film is THE BUSINESS,” McQueen says of the 2005 Brit gangster flick. “I love that film, and DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND is something completely different for Danny; it’s great to see him in our zombie world. I believe he’s really enjoying it.” The director feels the same about audiences, for whom he promises, “This film is not just gratuitous action and gore. There’s a real story there with characters you care about, and you want them to make it through the horror around them.”

THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND is being produced by Ruspoli, Jonathan Sothcott and Freddie Hutton-Mills for Black and Blue Films, whose website can be seen here. Sothcott adds, “The film is turning out amazing. Mark McQueen is a phenomenally talented guy—he’s making the action look fantastic, but also drawing some very human performances out of our brilliant cast.”


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