Steve Niles is one of our favorite comic book writers out there. He’s known for works like “30 Days of Night,” “Criminal Macabre” and the zombie series, “Remains.” Chiller has created their first original movie from Niles’ “Remains” and we were lucky enough to get a chance to chat with him about it.
The story is set in Reno, Nevada and centers around the survivors of a catastrophic event that turns the rest of the world into zombies. They take refuge in a casino and try to take a stand as the undead get stronger and more powerful.
We asked Niles why zombies are all the rage these days. He told us, “I think horror always reflects our general fears and anxieties in society. And right now, without getting too serious, right now we’re actually afraid of other people. We’re afraid of disease, we’re afraid of being invaded by people who look kind of like us, so you know the way we sort of express those fears are through what better than this mindless zombie hoard that wants to eat us. You know, these – our neighbors. I mean, they’re our friends and neighbors who want to kill us and eat us.”
Niles talked about how his zombies are different from those in, say, “The Walking Dead.” “I had to come up with something that could put the audience and the characters on edge, because let’s face it, now especially, everybody knows how to deal with zombies, you know? You board up in the house and you wait it out. You shoot them as they come to you, you know? But, in “Remains” that doesn’t necessarily work because of the event that creates these zombies there’s actually two different kinds.
“One of them was slightly more advanced and they’re eating the others and they’re evolving, and there’s – so you can’t – in “Remains” you can never sit back in your boarded up house and be comfortable, because the zombies will sooner or later figure out how to either climb in or pull the boards off, so I had a lot of fun with that.”
He also gave us a glimpse into the challenges of taking a comic property and putting it up on the screen. “Well, the biggest thing is, and I run into this a lot with comic books to movies. In a comic book you have no budget,” he said. “I can do anything I want. If I want 10,000 bikers coming out of the horizon, I can do that. The artist will be mad at me, but it’s not a budget issue.
“So, the first thing we had to do was go through the comic and there were a few set pieces that would have just been impossible, and if – people who read the comic there is a biker scene in there that it just would have cost too much money because it literally is hundreds and hundreds of bikers approaching through the desert not realizing that they’re about to hit an entire system of wires and so they all get sliced like deli sandwiches as they ride into the city. The budget to shoot that was just way over the top, so we had to come up with other ways to do it.
We’ve got two previews below. Check them out and tune-in to the prequel webisode starting tomorrow on
chillertv.com and catch the premiere of “Remains” next Friday, December 16th at 10pm on Chiller. Don’t forget to check out the comic series as well.