Zombie Curling

Urgghhaargh. Rrraagh.

Urarrgh.

We love zombies. Who doesn’t?

And we love curling. That much, we trust you understand.

We like movies, too. Put ’em all together and you have Deadspiel, the new eight-minute short film debuting Sunday night in Toronto, at 6:30pm before the main feature (Kevin Tenney’s Brain Dead) during the Toronto After Dark Festival. Location: Bloor Cinema.

Awright. We recall hearing about this a few months back. And the latest issue of SWEEP! has a nice feature on it. So what the heck is this all about?

Apparently, it was originally conceived of as a story of Viking curlers. Watching an Olympic curling match between the Swedish and Finnish teams, Pat Corcoran began toying with the idea of Vikings in full regalia yelling at each other on the rink. Fate brought him to one of the busiest film/TV set construction companies in Toronto, where he met fellow carpenter and horror film aficionado Jay Molloy. Molloy had just finished working on George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead in which he was fortunate enough to play a small zombie role, a lifetime dream that he could not stop talking about. A seed was planted.

The film business, being as transient as it is, separated the two, although they kept in contact through mutual friends. During this time, Corcoran began seriously toying with the idea of a curling zombie film. He spoke about it often, mostly to his Acton curling club teammates (which includes former Brier competitior Joe Frans) and opponents alike. Most nodded and smiled politely, then spoke to each other in hushed tones, the common thread being “he’s quite mad, you know.”

“We shot on the weekend of April 19 in Acton,” Corcoran told The Curling News. “We pampered the ice in the days leading up to the shoots so that it would look good for the camera. We had a few interesting and fun games as actors learned to curl, and zombie curlers developed their characters.

“The final scenes of shooting are an icemakers nightmare with blood and bodies everywhere; when we called it a wrap on the film shoot we also called an end to the curling season.”

“We paid for the film with whatever we had in our pockets,” added Molloy. “We both work in film, so the crew were all pros who worked for beer and food… most of them came from Evil Dead the Musical! or CBC’s Little Mosque on The Prairie, which I work on.

“Everyone was taken by the ridiculousness of the story and all really seemed to enjoy themselves – for the most part, anyway.”

Want more? Okay… Sunday’s screening takes place after the Toronto Zombie Walk which will act as a kind of promo for the film. Now this sounds incredibly cool. Imagine: a zombie march in the middle of T.O., on a Sunday afternoon… with curling brooms!

Eeyyaaraaggghh. Waahagahrragh.

“We’re hoping to have a noticeable presence,” admits Molloy. “We’re working on props and stuff for the march right now.”

The film got a mention here, from one of the assistant directors… and what about you, dear reader? Why not mention this to some friends, and head on down to the city on Sunday?

Grrruuaarrghuurrr.

Elsewhere:

• It’s admittedly early, but this season belongs, so far, to Calgary’s Shannon Kleibrink

• Happy 50th anniversary to the Grand Falls Curling Club… and we’ll even forgive the spelling of “Ed Wernick” …

• DID YOU KNOW: that five of the eight curlers in the final match of the first women’s Slam were on the event organizing committee? And one of the quarterfinalists was also the event webmistress

• Kinross is in as the new home of Scotland’s National Curling Academy. Curling Today has the story and even the good old Beeb has taken notice …

• Here’s some Chinese reality-TV mayhem, but filmed in Canada and including a curling club …

• Speaking of Chinese, Bingyu Wang’s world silver medallists are in London, Ontario this weekend, while defending champ Russ Howard leads two other Canadian teams into WCT-E action in Bern, Switzerland

• In fact there’s another six events on this weekend between men’s and women’s play… oh heck, just go here and look at the Gameday Scoreboard

• Here’s a lengthy and fun feature on curling in Knoxville, Tennessee

• Remember Tromso, Norway? Sounds like they are now out of the running to host the Winter Olympics in 2018 …

• Er, OK, we agree it’s not a crime… but what’s your point?

ravenWren is looking for something very special for a curling-crazed U.S. citizen currently living in Canada …

• Canada’s National Post newspaper is 10 years old, and a recent anniversary sport special aimed to select the greatest Canadian athlete from “the Post decade”. Hosted a la a European curling event draw sheet, curling was represented by Randy Ferbey and Colleen Jones, with Jones “winning” to advance to a battle against tennis doubles specialist Daniel Nestor. Nestor advanced before losing to golfer Mike Weir, who is into the Final Four along with hockey goalie Martin Brodeur, basketball’s Steve Nash and speed skating Olympian Catriona Le May Doan

revRecluse has a new/old curling board game to play with …

• There’s a pile of partial curling stones for sale, by a roadside north on London, Ontario …

• The call is out in Bowling Green, Ohio

Little Prince loves the Women of Curling calendar

• And finally, they’ll be curling for charity in Kettle Moraine, Wisconsin (with video) …

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