A couple of years back, UK-based animation studio Axis Productions created a short promotional film for Techland’s survival horror video game, Dead Island, and caused a ruckus across the Internet.
The clip, edited in nonlinear style, carefully details a young girl’s transformation into a ravenous zombie after she fruitlessly tries to outrun a horde of ghouls; Axis aimed their work square at the audience’s emotional sweet spots, generating huge buzz and early interest in the game that translated into strong sales upon release.
Not too shabby for a three-and-a-half minute clip that wasn’t even made by Dead Island‘s developer, and which ultimately had nothing to do with its story or even its mechanics (a not-infrequent criticism made once the game became commercially available). Now, though, we’re getting the opportunity to revisit that tragic scene through a live action lens; the original trailer has been remade in the flesh, capturing the same moment in time shot for shot with real actors in physical environments.
This new piece comes courtesy of the folks at Machinima, and their efforts deserve recognition if not outright praise. Recreating something like that viral footage so impeccably as they do in the above teaser takes some serious dedication and care; as far as that endeavor goes, they nailed it, and in the process they made something that feels more harrowing and arguably boasts a better sense of craftsmanship. The zombies on display here are, frankly, pretty darn legit.
What drove this small-time production in the first place? Apparently nothing more than a serious case of “Hey, why not?” But that’s as good an excuse as any to expand on the trailer’s human element by turning the whole ordeal into a live action narrative. In a way, just making the decision to put this story into a live setting makes it hit harder, though nothing about it changes apart from medium and aesthetic, so if you didn’t like Axis’ version, Machinima’s probably won’t do it for you either.
The interesting thing here, of course, is that we’re getting a glimpse of what a Dead Island movie might actually look like, should Lionsgate ever get one off the ground. (It’s worth noting that we haven’t heard a peep about that project in a very long time.) While this probably won’t mean anything as far as a potential film is concerned, it’s nonetheless an impressive attempt at joining in on the current zombie craze brought on by the success of such fare as The Walking Dead, which is currently enjoying record ratings in its fourth season (and has already been renewed for season 5, with a spin-off series in the works to boot).
Maybe this little ditty will motivate Lionsgate to start cracking on a Dead Island feature; maybe nothing will come out of this at all. If not, at least we have this neat bit of mimicry to mull over, but it would be interesting to see this expanded into a full-blow film.
What do you think, Screen Ranters? Is this worth turning into a full-scale production, or would a Dead Island movie just not be worth it?
We’ll keep you updated on any Dead Island movie news as it becomes available. Watch the original “backwards” trailer below: