Zombie Curling

Urgghhaargh. Rrraagh.


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?



• 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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Brier, Blogs and Tiger Woods… again

by Jill Officer

WINNIPEG – The biggest game of the week is over. Ontario’s Glenn Howard and Alberta’s Kevin Martin had a breakfast meeting (above) complete with live television coverage on Sheet B at the MTS Centre here in Winnipeg.

Martin and company didn’t look that hungry. They weren’t sharp early on, putting draws behind the T-line and missing other routine shots.

Martin’s thoughts prior to the matchup:

“They play a different style. They don’t have a Marc Kennedy that can throw it that hard, but Brent (Laing) has a brilliant short game. So there are two different way of going about the game, but both work.”

Lainger, you may remember, played for the Old Bear at the Grand Slam in Port Hawkesbury in December, the fifth and final Slam Martin won in a row on his well-publicized streak.

What many touted would be a preview of the Brier final was only slightly less exciting, however, as Martin was up three points playing the 10th end.

The game featured some spectacular shots by all players on the ice, but as much as Howard showed up to play, third man Richard Hart was less than stellar as he clocked in with an uncharacteristic 70-ish shooting percentage.

It won’t be much surprise to see these two teams meet again in the next couple of days, but a better performance from Olympian Hart is required.

British Columbia has kept their playoff hopes up with a win over the islanders of P.E.I. And Olympic golden boy Brad Gushue from Newfoundland and Labrador is also still in contention with a win over New Brunswick this morning.

And so… we could have an even clearer playoff picture by the end of the draw this afternoon. If Manitoba wins today over Saskatchewan and Quebec, and the Newfies and B.C. both win their last games, there will be a couple of tiebreakers.

As much as I’d like to see Manitoba make the playoffs, I’m hoping they can do it without tiebreakers. You see, I really would like to sleep in tomorrow, so if any of you Brier Boys are reading this, could you work on that for me?

What else?

• After a few days of competition I caught up with Alberta’s John Morris to see how his finger is holding up.

He reported that it’s doing pretty well. He ices it after each game and receives wax therapy before each match, too. That treatment requires him to dip his finger in hot wax, allowing it to harden, and he leaves it on for a few minutes to loosen up the joints and muscles in his digit.

I also received a tip from my very perceptive friend – and teammate – Cathy O, who said that Johnny Mo has been shaking hands with his opposite hand before and after the games… here’s what he had to say about that:

“I’m supposed to have a cast on it for six weeks and I only had it on for one week, so it’s not healed yet. What I’m trying to do is not put it out of line at all. So if I shook someone’s hand and they shook it too hard it could re-break it.”

• The Canadian Curling Association will hold a press conference on Friday at Noon CST. They have “several” major announcements to make, one of which has been highly speculated – the confirmation that the 2009 Canadian Olympic Trials will be awarded to Edmonton. Come back Friday afternoon for all the details!

• Reading enough curling blogs lately? No? Okay, here’s some more: Ted Wyman, another colleague of mine at the Winnipeg Sun; these guys (who are always mad at CBC); the Jeff Stoughton spinerama over at CBC.ca (check out the 51 comments from Wednesday!); and finally, Team New Brunswick

• I said Ted Wyman was a colleague: that’s right, in addition to this TCN Blog I’ve been doing some writing for the Sun. You can see today’s column here, and another one of my submissions here.

• A few funnies from today’s Tankard Times.

In the “Getting to Know…” section, we have more on the Tiger Woods thing I wrote about earlier in the week:

Tiger Woods is still the most popular answer to the “If you could be any athlete in the world…” question. Some others that have been mentioned are Derek Jeter, Roger Federer, Steve Nash, and of course Wayne Gretzky. Turns out Tiger would also be a popular person to put on the invite list for a party. Many curlers this week have also listed him as someone they would invite to a party in answer to “Three people (dead or alive) you’d invite to a party.”

Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue sold out teammate Chris Shille on the question “Something about a teammate we don’t already know.” Gushue said that “Chris likes ballet.” I wonder if Brad ran that by Chris before that was printed? NOT!

In answer to the same question, Steve Laycock, Saskatchewan’s Hot Shot lead, suggested that the team’s second, Gerry Adam, “was born with a mustache.”

It also seems that a number of players are happiest when they are with family and friends. The question was “You are happiest when?” Geez, you’d think that with all the curling we people do, that we’d be happiest when we’re curling… right?

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