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Scary column 2: the Re-awakening

2009-11-11 11:28
'But I think I'd make such a great zombie that this week I'm blatantly exploiting my column space to promote my mad transmogrification skills. This is what I look like when someone points a camera in my face without giving me a 24 hour advance warning in writing. Rawarargh! I'll eat anything! Ladies?

I expect to receive the phone call that will have me dining on the stars any minute now, because as you may have heard, the living dead are the new black, thanks to the dark comedy Zombieland, already the most profitable zombie movie ever made. My only hope is that the inevitable sequels and pale imitations will somehow result in a shower scene that climaxes with me biting pieces out of Ashley Judd's face. We all have our dreams, and that's been mine for a long, long time now – as you can no doubt tell by the presence of Ashley Judd.

A lazier entertainment hack might say that zombies have made a comeback, but anyone who attended the recent Horrorfest at the unfortunately named Labia Cinema in Cape Town can tell you three things, namely:

the orthopaedic nightmare that is old cinema seats might have something to do with the fact that I used to see so many hunchbacks when I was a kid, but I never see them anymore. Seriously, what happened to all the hunchbacks? Two: Young South African filmmakers – the ones that showed up to watch their own insipid short-reel offerings - apparently think they are superior to everything around them simply because they have their heads shoved so far up their arses that all they can see is the contents of their own colons. So as well as being uniformly talentless, they are also the most obnoxious audience in the Alpha Quadrant. And three:  This is no comeback. Shift slightly to the left of the beaten track, and you'll find more zombie movies than you can count.

This makes perfect sense. They're cheap, easy to make, and most of the cast don't even need acting skills – let alone look pretty (see pic above – call me!). Horrorfest highlights included Colin, an inspired little no-budget gem shot entirely with a handheld camera, which told the story of a zombie invasion from the unique perspective of a single zombie. Die-ner (Get It?) starring SA-born Maria Olsen, featured one location, five actors and lots of corpse paint, fake blood and duct tape. No expensive CG effects or car chases that destroy half a city are required.

So it's amazing that I haven't come across a local zombie movie yet, and frustrating too, because zombies are perfect tools for socio-political satire. They embody all our fears of being subsumed by a mindless majority, of mass assimilation, of losing our individuality so completely that we attack anyone who still has a mind of their own. By way of example, take a look at Julius Malema's supporters at his next TV event. Scary, huh? Now blink, and take a look at his detractors. Yesterday I stumbled across a the following comment: "Can somebody please shut up Julius Malema for good, this young moran keeps on coming up with the k@kest of things to say, what a damn stupid". The fact that this person can afford electricity makes me want to shoot random people from a rooftop, just like in Dawn of the Dead. I figure that 98% of my victims will be brain-dead anyway. I like those odds.

And if that same thought has ever crossed your mind, you're going to love the über-violent Zombieland. It features four social outcasts, who're not trying to save the world, just their own skins as they face a daily onslaught of stupid from hordes of soulless drones... Who can't relate to that? I know I can.

The best thing about zombies is that they'll never suffer the same ignoble fate as vampires.

The Twilight  franchise rapes the vampire legend for an audience of teenage girls who've never seen a penis in real life. But they can't make a zombie emote, fall in love or prance around like a pulchritudinous fop. Zombies don't brood, preen, philosophise or blue-steel the middle distance as the moon rises forebodingly behind them.  And you'll never, ever see a zombie sparkle – unless maybe they've just eaten a wanky little vamp boy.

So as you can see, I understand the role. I'm at one with zombies. Now, where's my screen-test?

More? Chris Mcevoy tweets as as ChrisMcEvoy_ and always twots back. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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