An independent feature film featuring zombie extras from Melbourne’s west premieres this week with three sell-out shows.
The Last Hope opens at Lido Cinemas on Friday as part of Monster Fest, which is dubbed Australia’s foremost celebration of international cult and horror cinema.
The plot revolves around a post-apocalyptic world, with zombies descending on Australia which has so far been unscathed through a brutal border protection policy and internment camps.
The film was shot at locations across the west including Seaworks at Williamstown, the Newport Railway Workshops, the former Sunbury asylum, and industrial landscapes around Spotswood and Yarraville.
Director Leigh Ormsby said a call-out for zombie extras, which featured in Star Weekly last year, went viral.
“We had about 13,000 end up joining the group … and about 3500 applicants,” he said.
“For a lot of people, it’s fun to do something that’s quite different – so dressing up and having professional make-up artists work on you. It’s also something that takes you out of your normal comfort zone.
“To go into base human instinct as a monster is really appealing to a lot of people, it seems.”
He said one of the biggest scenes in Melbourne’s independent film history was shot at Newport and involved more than 500 cast and crew.
“On the big-shoot day, there was basically just a nice big horde that runs around the corner and overwhelms a group of soldiers,” Ormsby said.
“We had a lot of soldier extras as well, utilising actual members of the Defence Force.
“We actually held a rehearsal for all our extras in a park so they could learn how to do some basic falls … because having 250-300 people run around a corner, the potential for incident is massive.”
For more information on the film, visit the film’s Facebook page.