With the popularity of the zombie genre simply – heh – refusing to die, when What The Craggus Saw heard about “Day 66”, a new independent horror movie filming practically in our own backyard (or, more accurately, literally in the backyard of a friend of the family), we weren’t going to sleep through the end of the world. The Mertmas was duly dispatched to see what undead horrors were lurking in the post-apocalyptic Hampshire woodlands of Botley.
Produced by amateur movie club Beacon Productions, “Day 66” is a passion project for its first-time director (and lead actor) Russell Tribe, who plays Jack, a widower who has fled the cities for the supposed safety of the isolated countryside. But as Jack battles the dead and his own demons, he must decide if merely surviving is really worth living for.
Although we didn’t want to get in the way of any of the main action, Mertmas did get a chance to hang out with some of the volunteer zombies and get up close and personal with the impressively gruesome make-up effects. “It was awesome!” he says of his brush with the macerated monstrosities. “There was lots of blood and cool scary faces…but everyone was really fun and friendly,” he adds quickly, to reassure a slightly concerned Mrs Craggus.
With virtually everything being provided for free by an army of volunteer extras and make-up artists, what it may lack in budget, “Day 66” more than makes up for in passion and enthusiasm. With principle photography soon set to finish, the movie should be completed and released in early 2020, initially on YouTube but there are hopes for festival screenings and perhaps even a hometown premiere.