Jorge Michel Grau and SpectreVision Embrace Classical Zombies in “CURSE THE DARKNESS”

What’s fascinating about the zombie boom and subsequent phenomenon is the seeming reticence to embrace the creature’s pre-Romero existence and folklore. Having effectively created the flesh-eating ghoul as we know it, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was a departure from the zombie’s Caribbean origins as a corpse revived through necromancy and often put to work. The concept of being doomed to an existence as a mindless entity meant to do the bidding of a master is still readily eerie, if not exactly based in fact.

Exciting news then, that WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (aka SOMOS LO QUE HAY) director Jorge Michel Grau and writer Brandon Maurice Williams will mine the classical zombie for CURSE THE DARKNESS. Described as an “anthropological zombie film” by producers SpectreVision (Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller and Elijah Wood), CURSE THE DARKNESS will “build on the real-world history of chemically-induced slavery widely practiced by plantation owners around the Haitian Revolution of 1803. Set against the modern day backdrop of undocumented workers laboring in the Louisiana sugarcane fields, the story is a terrifying look at the systematic exploitation of the labor force by large corporate entities, as well as a portrait of the plight of undocumented workers in the United States.”

Wood says, “We always said we wanted to stay away from the zombie genre, as it’s been so well covered, but when we read Brandon’s script, we encountered a take on the genre that simply had to be realized.  Curse the Darkness is both a chilling exercise in horror and an incisive polemic against the conditions of illegal immigrants in this country.”

Grau’s WE ARE WHAT WE ARE was a fantastic horror film with devastating concerns about the poverty-stricken in Mexico. He’s a talented filmmaker and an appropriate one to tackle a similarly conscious new genre story.

See the first art for CURSE THE DARKNESS above. Production on the film gets underway late October in Louisiana.

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Samuel Zimmerman
Fangoria.com Managing Editor Samuel Zimmerman has been at FANGORIA since 2009, where fresh out of the Purchase College Cinema Studies program, he began as an editorial assistant. Since, he’s honed both his writing and karaoke skills and been trusted with the responsibility of jury duty at Austin’s incredible Fantastic Fest. Zimmerman lives in and hails from The Bronx, New York where his pants are too tight and he’ll watch anything with witches.
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