In 2015 I conceptualized and executed “Queers of the Western Zombie Apocalypse,” a horror/comedy film that celebrated the low budget horror flicks of my youth while substituting LGBTQIA+ tropes for the various character tropes of the genre. Working with a diverse group of artists and friends from Philadelphia, we wrote a script spec, put together a soundtrack album and created a website for our movie.
In “Queers”, a group of loosely connected friends show up at a warehouse party held in South Philadelphia during gay pride weekend. They get high and drunk, and six of them (plus the straight couple who rented them the warehouse they partied in) end up passed out overnight. When they wake up, the world has gone to zombie Hell, and they have to band together to fight their way out of the city and to Amish country, where they think they’ll find safety.
The website featured character breakdowns and portraits, each with their own theme song from the soundtrack. We were featured in the 2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival and spotlighted as a highlight that year. I appeared at a live event to present the film to an excited crowd.
TLA releasing, arguably the most well known and largest distributor of queer related film, reached out to us via email expressing their interest in negotiating to acquire the rights to our project. And that’s when we had to buckle down and tell them what others had already realized: there is no movie. The entire project was an elaborate hoax, with perhaps the vaguest hope of drumming up interest from someone who might have the money and interest in actually producing our movie.
Everything was there except the actual movie, and it was a real creative joy to conceptualize and implement the project so well that tens of thousands of people truly believed it was real. So much so that there were fan sites, and to date an IMDB page still exists for our movie that never was. We even organized with the brilliant Leslie Hall to use a special dance remix of her song “Zombie Killer” in our ‘soundtrack’. Enjoy that video below, and check out the IMDB page for all kinds of trivia about our amazing hit film!