Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's double-bill exploitation throwback Grindhouse does not hit theaters until next week. However, Triangle audiences nostalgic for the days of B-fright features can experience homegrown horror at its most bloody and barebones this Saturday during a screening of The Forever Dead at Raleigh's Volume 11 Tavern. The film is the brainchild of producer, director, writer, editor, camerawoman and shoestring financier Christine Parker, who shot the movie exclusively in the Sanford area, using local residents as the cast.
A contaminated rabbit escapes from a research facility and starts spewing blood and masticating anyone he encounters. Naturally, the infected humans turn into zombies, who in turn eat other people, thereby turning them into zombies, and so on. Six survivors are eventually trapped together in an abandoned house surrounded by the creatures, a la Night of the Living Dead. Genre stereotypes abound, but the film hits its perverse verve when a husband who murdered his wife captures her reanimated zombie in order to torture it and learn how to kill its fellow undead.
Parker, who spends her weekdays working as graphic arts designer for a Sanford corporation, fashioned this, her first feature-film effort, as a prequel to a 15-minute short she made in 2004 called Second Death. The Forever Dead debuted last October at several area theaters and recently secured a DVD distribution deal. Parker is currently in preproduction on her next movie, a zombie-themed western called Fistful of Brains, which will also be filmed in and around Sanford.
Attendees are encouraged to don their most ghoulish garb for Saturday night's event, which begins at 9 p.m. and will also feature live performances by Raleigh-based bands Knowledge Is For Fools (KIFF), Blister and Viva la Venus, who all appear on the film's soundtrack. Parker and cast members will also be on hand.
Volume 11 Tavern is located at 658 Maywood Ave. in Raleigh. For more information, call 839-0079 or go to www.theforeverdead.com.