New Delhi: Bollywood has experimented with ghosts and spirits for years in innumerable films, making the horror genre quite popular. But it seems that Indian directors are now ready to take the horror genre to a new level for the Indian audiences by introducing them to zombies.
Luke Kenny, who was last seen in 'Rock On!' is set to give India it's first zombie film 'Rise of the Zombie'. On the other hand, Saif Ali Khan will star in the zombie comedy 'Go Goa Gone'. But despite the latter's prominent star cast, Kenny doesn't find 'Go Goa Gone' a threat to his film.
"'Go Goa Gone' is a different film. It is a comedy film. So there is no threat or competition from it. Zombie is the only common thread between the two films. They have been trying to release the film from few months but then our film is releasing first," Kenny said during an interview.
"And, even if 'Go Goa Gone' was released before us, then also we would still be the first zombie origin film because we are telling you the story of its beginning. It is the first chapter of the trilogy. While 'Go Goa Gone' is a fun film about three guys who come in contact with zombies," he said.
The makers of 'Rise of the Zombie' are quite confident that their film has the slick look and feel of an international zombie apocalypse drama.
Luke says 'Rise of the Zombie' is not a typical Bollywood film.
"I'd like to think that we have created something international. Though our film is in Hindi but our film caters to the youth as well as the international audiences and not just Indians living abroad."
Devaki Singh, the co-director of 'Rise of the Zombies' adds, "'Rise of the Zombie' is just a 90 minutes film and it looks like a foreign film. 'Go Goa Gone' looks like a Bollywood film with a zombie."
Luke, a self-confessed horror genre fanatic, thinks it is time to cater to the young audience. "In 100 years of Indian cinema within the horror genre we haven't gone beyond the ghosts and spirits. Because we are a country that is so rooted in superstitions. But at the same time we also realise that we have the new generation that is glued to the international popular culture and zombies are a huge part of it."
But at the same time Luke and Devaki made a conscious decision of not imitating or repeating the Hollywood zombie films. "It was a bit of a challenge as you want to put on screen (a film) that has no connection with the already made zombie films. Mostly zombie films are survival films where a bunch of humans survive a bunch of zombies and all the madness that ensues in between. But we wanted to introduce the Indian audiences to the concept of zombie with the story of its origin. So every zombie has a story of how he turned into a zombie and we tell the story of one such human being and what happens to him and how he is unable to cope with it."
For Luke, 'Rise of the Zombie' has been a challenge as he had to not just get into the character of a zombie but at the same time switch gears to turn director.
"You also have to show the transition from a rational human being to an irrational human being. The change has to be gradual and within the arch of the story. So you have to balance sanity and insanity sometimes in the same scene. This switching back and forth took some working as you had to be in front of the camera and at the same time go behind and see if it is turning out to be fine. So it was a bit of a challenge," he said.