Team behind £60 zombie film set sights on festival

IT WAS one of the biggest films ever to hit Scotland, with A-list stars and a multi-million pound budget turning Glasgow into to the horrifying scene of a zombie invasion.

While they had World War Z however, Edinburgh now has its own zombie classic – and it’s more like World War Zero.

While the Hollywood blockbuster had a reported budget of some £200 million and leading man Brad Pitt, the Capital’s version had a budget of £60 and was shot in the home of one of its unpaid, unknown actors.

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Now the ambitious team behind zombie shocker The Den have their sights set on a screening at next year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Writer and first-time director Dean Pashley told the Evening News: “We were trying to prove you can make a feature-length movie with no budget and I think we’ve done a pretty good job.

“All in all we spent about £60, which was used to buy food – not for the cast or crew, we used it as part of the set. Everyone involved brought as much of their own stuff as they could to the shoot to make it look as realistic as possible.”

Produced by Edinburgh-based company Broken Blonde, The Den was filmed over a nine-day period in a house on Caledonian Road in the Haymarket area.

“The house belongs to one of the actors, Daniel Robertson, and I also lived there during the shoot,” said Dean.

“When you see the film you’ll understand why I’m quite glad to be home at my own place in Nottingham.”

The film sees two men – one a father seeking a cure for his infected son, who he has imprisoned in the bedroom – struggling to survive the aftermath of a devastating zombie apocalypse.

Dean, who wrote the screenplay in a day and a half, first came to Edinburgh five months ago to audition for another film being produced by Broken Blonde.

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The 32-year-old said: “It was a big change for me, but something I felt I really needed to do. A close friend of mine got into serious trouble with the law, and it made me re-evaluate my own life and what I wanted to get out of it.”

After succeeding at the audition, he offered to show Broken Blonde founder Charlie Parker some of his writing, and was quickly hired and told to write a zombie film.

Although Dean admits he’s “not a fan of zombie films”, The Den has given him an opportunity to put his own spin on the genre – and reception to the finished work has been highly ­complimentary.

Father-of-two Dean said: “I’ve shown it to someone at the BBC and he’s very excited about it. As I said, though, it was a group effort.”

Though editing is ongoing, the Broken Blonde team hope to have the film ready in the next few months.