We just got word of Bong of the Dead, a zombie/comedy from Canadian writer/director/producer Thomas Newman that stars Simone Bailly, Jy Harris, Barry Nerling, and Mark Wynn. Simone Bailly has appeared in a few sci-fi TV series like Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, and Smallville. She has also starred on The L Word. Thomas Newman has previously worked as a makeup artist on projects like Lake Placid (1999) as well as multiple episodes of The X-Files and Millenium. He was also a model maker on Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007). Newman’s 2009 project Bong of the Dead is an ambitious low-budget film ($5,000 to make!)
Simone Bailly, Jy Harris, and Mark Wynn star in Bong of the Dead
The synopsis goes something like this:
Meterorites from outer space cause a world-wide zombie outbreak. Two potheads – Tommy (Jy Harris) and Edwin (Mark Wynn) – use the end of the world as a golden opportunity to pursue their favorite pastime. One day they discover that by using zombie brains as fertilizer, they are able to grow a strain of super potent weed. Of course, now they have to go find more zombies, so they embark on a road trip where they team up with Leah (Simone Bailly), a lone survivor who builds a zombie killing machine for them. Armed with special weapons she created, the three taken on a zombie army run by a flamboyantly gay zombie named Alex (Barry Nerling) who wants to take over the world. Bong of the Dead gives new meaning to the word “munchies.” Yes, there will be blood (and bud).
Here’s what Thomas Newman had to say about his film, which has been described as a cross between Cheech and Chong, Harold and Kumar, and Shaun of the Dead.
I expect people to see what I was able to do with $5K in 15 days and only one camera which I constantly had to move and reposition in order to make it appear that I had multiple cameras. I mainly hope to get studio attention in hopes of launching my career to the next level. I really hope to get picked up by Troublemaker Studios which of course is Robert Rodriguez’s company. It was very tough to try and do an entire film for $5K and make it look like a couple million instead. I believe I definitely achieved that. I made sure that I story boarded every scene, shot for shot so that my film would have more of my style to it, rather than a bunch of hand held footage thrown together because it would be easier.
Bong of the Dead was co-produced by Mike Fields, who also served as make-up effects artist. The final battle sequence uses over 800 gallons of blood and features over 50 people in makeup. (Impressive for a film on this budget).
Simone Bailly on Bong of the Dead:
Thomas Newman throws around a lot of f-bombs, which is actually endearing. As a director, he knows his stuff and captures it in a gorgeous way. This film will surely get him noticed, but I think he views himself as an underdog. He listened to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” a lot for inspiration.
Before ever going to camera, Mark, Jy & I took a weekend and acted out the entire movie in my parent’s backyard. We used a bat for a shotgun, a broom for a weed whacker, and spatula’s for blades. We called ourselves the Trinity.
Bong of the Dead was selected as part of the Cannes Independent Film Festival official selection. After a successful premiere at the Rio Theater in Vancouver, the film will be brought back on August 19th and August 20th, 2011. The movie also has tentative invites from the Festival de Cine de Terror de Molins de Rei and the Traverse City Film Festival (founded by Michael Moore).