Kristine Chester, Fanboy Comics Senior Contributor: It is a such a pleasure to speak with you today, Zach. Congratulations on your upcoming film, Dead Rising: Watchtower. For our readers who may be unfamiliar, can you tell us about the film?
Zach Lipovsky: The film is based on the video game, Dead Rising. It's inside the cannon of the franchise, so our story takes place in between DR2 and DR3. It tells what happens in the years between those games, with a new outbreak and new characters.
KC: What has been your approach towards telling a story set in a zombie apocalypse? What makes Dead Rising: Watchtower stand apart from other zombie films?
ZL: Luckily, Dead Rising is already pretty unique. The tone is very fun and crazy. So, all the action in Watchtower has that adventure feeling. Silly weapons, crazy zombies, just a good zombie killing time to be had by all.
Also, I was really drawn in by the idea of Zombrex. That’s a drug in the game that you take once a day if you've been bitten to keep yourself from turning. It's a very cool idea, and one that was ripe to be explored further.
Imagine you have the zombie virus in your blood, imagine the fear of knowing if you miss one dose, you will turn into a monster. Imagine how everyone around you would treat you if they found out you were infected. You stay human, but you lose your life.
Also, the zombies in Dead Rising still have a little bit of muscle memory from their past lives. So, cop zombies wildly aim guns at you. Mom zombies still push their baby's carriage around. Pretty creepy stuff.
KC: Given its shared name, what sort of connections can fans of the Dead Rising game series look forward to from the film?
ZL: I would say pretty much every scene in the film has some reference to the game. Whether it's a weapon, a prop, a character, a line of dialogue, or even a camera angle. We really worked hard to incorporate as much as we could from the game world. We even used the same composer as the game to capture the feeling of the game. We also had an Xbox in the production office with a white board next to it, so any crew member could play the game and write down suggestions of what to include.
Also, we hid Frank West statues in the background of every set, so, just like in DR3, you can try and find them like a mini-game inside the film.
KC: The Dead Rising game series has a wacky sense of humor. What was your approach to including the more absurd elements in the film?
ZL: We really tried to identify the right balance of bats--t crazy with "won't break the movie." There are only so many banana hammocks with crotch flamethrowers that a film can handle. We made sure all our hero zombies were pretty wacky, as well as the combo weapons. We also made sure to have a great psychopath in the film who is pretty off the wall.
KC: Being that we're Fanboy Comics and we focus on all things geeky, would you care to geek out with us about some of your favorite video games or films?
ZL: I would kill my dead grandmother to direct the Fallout film. I love that retro, futuristic, post-atomic age setting and the sense of humor it has. I also would love to do adapt Homeworld. I could play that game for hours and hours, because it was just so damn beautiful.
All my favorite films are sci-fi, fantasy, and adventure films. Indiana Jones, BTTF, Goonies, ET, The Matrix.
KC: Where and when can people go to watch the film?
ZL: The film with premiere on Crackle on the March 27 . . . and Crackle is FREE! You will have to put up with some commercials, but I structured the film so that after each commercial break is a scene with Rob Riggle as Frank West, and he is freaking funny.
KC: Lastly, where can people find you and Dead Rising: Watchtower online?
ZL: I'm on Twitter, @zachlipovsky, and have an active Facebook page, as well. All my films and shorts can be seen at www.zachlipovsky.com, and I'm also posting a new video every day on my YouTube channel, talking about one exclusive thing from the film.