Cockneys vs Zombies was released in 2012 and directed by Matthias Hoene. The movie was revived well by critics and horror/zombie movie fans all around the world. The first time we really got a glimpse of Cockneys vs Zombies was when the new movie trailer was released over at Trailer Geek.
The movie since then gathered a large following of fans which provided it well with spreading the word of the movie. The movie was in fact a low budget movie, circa £2. The Box office income through was $109 million meaning the movie was an instant success.
There have been rumblings of a sequel for a while but nothing concrete has come up. I am sure if there is a Cockneys vs Zombies 2 then Trailer Geek and other movie blogs will report it quick.
A native of the East End of London, born within hearing of the ringing of the Bow Bells
A supernatural power or spell that according to voodoo belief can enter into and reanimate a corpse
The Bow Bells Care Home is under threat and the McGuire’s – Andy, Terry, and Katy – need to find some way to keep their grandfather and his friends in the East End, where they belong. But, when you’re robbing a bank, zombie invasions makes things a lot harder. And let’s face it, they need all the help they can get when their bank-robbing experts turn out to be Mental Mickey and Davey Tuppance. As contractors to an East London building site unlock a 350-year old vault full of seriously hungry zombies, the East End has suddenly gone to hell and the Cockney way of life is under threat. Equipped with all the guns and ammo they can carry, it’s up to the gang to save the hostages, their grandfather, and East London from zombie Armageddon.
BRINGING ZOMBIES TO LIFE: JOURNEY TO THE SCREEN
In 2008 producer, James Harris and director Matthias Hoene were working together on a horror serial for Hammer Films, entitled Beyond the Rave in which a group of Cockney ravers fight for survival against a vampire coven. Noting the humour that came from pitting two no-nonsense Cockney gents against the supernatural, it was here that the inspiration for Cockneys VS Zombies was born. “They were larger than life, brash characters, and they had no fear and were full of bravado against the supernatural which was very funny,” notes Hoene. Certain that this unlikely character pairing of Cockney and zombie could work as a feature film, Harris then went to sales agent and coproducer Mark Lane who quickly managed to secure full financing for the project.
Having a strong background in the horror-comedy genre, British screenwriter James Moran (Severance) was the perfect choice to develop the script alongside Hoene and together they created a “memorable bunch of good, solid, mostly honest, salt of the earth Cockney family and friends.” Very aware that a title such as Cockneys VS Zombies may place them in B-Movie territory and keen to emphasize that this was not another ‘typical’ zombie movie, Moran developed a script focused on its characters, their lives, trials and tribulations, and created “a heartfelt, genuine story” about the importance of family and community that the outside zombie hoards threaten to destroy.
Cockneys VS Zombies is the feature film debut of Hoene, who comes from a commercials background and won a Golden Lion in Cannes for his first commercial in 2001. Harris suggests that this experience brings a lot of scale and vision to a project such as this – resulting in a cinematic and largescale finish. “I wanted to go for a very shiny, sexy view of East London” states Hoene, “to give it a really cinematic look, in a way that it maybe hasn’t been shown before.” This is perhaps one of the most unique elements of the film – taking the East End of London away from its typical representation as a gritty and shady place. By using a wide-angled lens, he was able to create larger than life characters and a new visualisation of the East End that rivals the dramatic and varied horror settings of American films. Indeed, Hoene even likens the “swashbuckling adventures” of his Cockneys to Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean and names it as one of the inspirations behind the endless adventures of his characters.
With a genuine passion for zombie films, it is clear to see that homage has been paid to the classic films of the genre: Hoene cites Peter Jackson’s Braindead, widely seen as one of the goriestmovies within the horror-comedy genre; Evil Dead 2; and Dawn of the Dead as inspiration. More generally, the filmmakers attest to their love of British films, also naming Shaun of the Dead and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – satisfyingly referenced in the casting of Alan Ford, with its criminal elements as an influence. Hoene, Harris, and Lane were, however, keen to add to the canon with their own unique offering and wanted to bring new elements to the genre.
“I tried hard to find a genuine truth amongst the canon and make it fresh,” says Hoene, pointing out how the perspective of Cockneys VS Zombies makes it stand apart from other films in the same genre. The choice of Cockneys as the protagonists, for example, never before seen in a zombie movie, is unique as is the East End setting. Equally, although the film employs the classic slow, lumbering zombie, a fresh twist is added in the pairing of OAP’s, who are even slower! Indeed, so unique is Cockneys VS Zombies that the filmmakers have conceived of a whole new genre, dubbing their film an “adventure Zomedy.”
CREATING THE ZOMBIES
Creating the look of the zombies was also something Hoene felt strongly about, wanting to create a “traditional look” that was immediately identifiable to horror fans. Noted effects and prosthetics designer, Paul Hyett (The Descent, Storage 24), assisted in the development of the zombie look and also felt that an old-school appearance was in order, applying extensive prosthetics to over 800 zombie extras over the 4-week shoot, but notes that the look is subtle as “the film is set over a day so not too much decay can take place.” A great deal of effort was made to ensure the zombies looked appropriately terrifying and special contact lenses were even made for the zombies to wear. Further, to help co-ordinate the zombie hoards, many of them volunteers – perhaps demonstrating the popularity of the zombie genre – Movement Choreographer Tristan Matthiea was brought on board to teach them how to move properly, even creating a bespoke zombie instructional video that extras watched each morning.
NOT JUST ANOTHER ZOMBIE MOVIE
Harris states that all zombie movies are “timeless” and always about character and situation rather than the zombies. And this film is no exception. Indeed, Hoene’s zombies represent not just the supernatural but “an unstoppable force”, a plot device he has used, in this instance, to dramatize the change he has seen throughout his fifteen years spent living in the East End of London. Often struck by industrial over-development and the resulting destruction of traditional East End neighbourhoods, Hoene employs his zombies to symbolise the overwhelming force of modernisation, encroaching on the lives of the characters. The theme of old versus new is constantly visualised through the location of the “new developments of Canary Wharf and the Olympic area, contrasted against all the older, key landmarks of East London.” Many scenes in the film deliberately focus on the East End of London in the foreground with shiny, high-rise buildings in the background, epitomizing the struggle between old and new. As Harris notes, there is an undeniable romanticism attached to the people and places of the East End, particularly in British film, and it provides an iconic and unique setting for a film such as this. The theme is further explored in the characterisation of the pensioners, standing for the traditional East End values, and the younger generation, who come to realise the importance of protecting these ideals. Significantly, the younger characters rob a bank in the hope of getting enough money to keep their grandfather’s care home open, soon to be demolished to make way for new, modern apartments. At the end of the film, two generations of the McGuire family come together to destroy the now zombified surveyor, representing the triumph of traditional values over modernisation. The zombies are merely the background to the real heart of the Cockney’s touching story.
James Moran’s script demanded a memorable gang of Cockney characters to bring the story of East End survival to life. Before casting had even begun, Moran and Hoene sat down to write a wish list of actors they would ideally love to play the parts. The corner stone of the whole ensemble was Ray McGuire, a role that was actually written with Cockney legend Alan Ford (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) in mind, who accepted straight away; happy to have finally found a script in which he could recognise himself and the way he spoke. Once Ford was on board, and with the support of respected Casting Director Colin Jones (John Carter of Mars, Get Him to the Greek), some truly great British cast became attached to the project. Also on the wish list was sixties Bond girl Honor Blackman(Goldfinger, Bridget Jones’ Diary) who despite her clipped tones is the most Cockney, geographically speaking, of the cast, having been born in Plaistow. The role of cheeky pensioner Hamish was taken by British legend Richard Briers (The Good Life, Monarch of the Glen) who lent a great sense of integrity to the project as well as a great deal of humour. “He transforms every scene and makes it magic” says Hoene.
Additionally, Dudley Sutton (Lovejoy, Outside Bet) takes on the role of Eric, who exclaimed, “Now that’s what they call a title!” when he received the script. The set of Cockneys VS Zombies reunited many of these older actors who had worked on projects together many years ago and so the camaraderie of the pensioners was soon established and merely imitated real life. As Alan Ford says, “It’s nice to be with old pals.”
Despite the importance of the zombies to the film, Cockneys VS Zombies is really a story about family and community and the casting of the McGuire family was crucial to the integrity of the story. Playing the key roles of brothers Terry and Andy McGuire are up and coming British talents Rasmus Hardiker (Your Highness, Lead Balloon) and Harry Treadaway (Control, Albatross) whose undeniable talents and on and off-screen rapport bring to life the “two Cockney chancers.” James Harris was particularly pleased with the casting of Harry and his ability to bring “a real sort of charming, loveable stupidity to the character” that bought the brothers’ relationship to life. East End regular, Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman, Eastenders), whose acting background allows her to be “able to dispatch a zombie with great ease”, plays feisty cousin Katy and completes the McGuire trio. Bringing up the rear is criminal ‘expert’ Davey Tuppance, played by Jack Doolan (Cemetery Junction), and Ashley ‘Bashy’ Thomas’ (The Man Inside, Anuvahood) who gives a brilliantly unhinged portrayal of the character of Mental Mickey that impressed cast and crew alike.
The camaraderie of the cast was crucial to the success of a fast-paced 6-week shoot that left no margin for error. Harry Treadaway comments that it was a pleasure to come to work every day and be amongst friends, describing a set full of laughter and fun that helped the group through a gruelling shooting schedule. It was clear that cast and crew had a great deal of respect for one another and enjoyed working together – that is evident in the on-screen rapport that comes across in the finished film.
James Moran was keen to distance the film from the typical stereotypes of Cockneys as “gangsters” because audiences have seen this so many times before and wanted people to root for these characters, even though they were robbing a bank! The critical motivation of the McGuires is family and community and it’s this angle that makes them likeable and relatable. The film ends with an emotional climax about the importance of family values and so it was crucial to cast the right actors who could create this sense of unity and loyalty. “It’s a great ensemble,” concludes Ryan.
HUMOUR VS HORROR
Hoene, Harris, and Lane all individually attest to the fact that horror-comedy is one of the most difficult film genres to do well as the two elements are so hard to harmonise. To combat this, Hoene decided to concentrate on creating an honest film about Cockneys in an unlikely situation, assured that humour would result from “truthful observations” of reality. The humour of Cockneys VS Zombies is unforced and comes from the situation rather than any deliberate gags or physical comedy, although these are, of course, a part of it. Hoene suggests that the key to any good comedy, within any genre, is “to play everything real, don’t try to get laughs and it will come naturally via the characters and their predicaments.” Hoene uses humour in the film as a device by which to highlight serious subjects affecting modern society, which is often impossible in other types of drama. As Hoene suggests, talking about issues such as modernisation and the loss of community using humour, allows filmmakers to deliver messages and make social commentary via the unlikely channel of horror films in an intelligent and unobtrusive way.
A great deal of the humour, of course, is achieved in the unlikely paring of Cockneys vs. zombies: a duo never seen before in this genre. It is the characteristic bravado and bold reaction to a supernatural force, such as zombies, that is so unexpected that facilitates humour. Indeed, says Lane, it doesn’t even necessarily have to be Cockneys facing zombies but anything supernatural that is “always funny.”
Humour is further achieved by contrasting the characteristic slowness of the zombies against the slowness of the pensioners; a particularly funny moment results from an incredibly slow chase scene between Richard Briers, using a Zimmer frame, and a zombie. Equally, the ineptitude of the key protagonists in fighting off a traditionally useless foe leads to comedy. Hardiker also suggests that the humour provides some much needed light relief, and that without it, Cockneys VS Zombies “could easily be an extremely frightening thriller visually.”
Equally important is the blood and gore in the film, harking back to the inspiration provided by Braindead, and central to any zombie film worth its salt. Hoene doesn’t disappoint and especially delights in discovering new ways to finish off zombies, allowing his characters to explore new avenues of violent possibility: Mental Mickey, for example, drop kicks a zombie baby over a bill board.
As Alan Ford perfectly puts it, Cockneys VS Zombies “ain’t Chekov!” What it is is an emotive story about family and community, with a lot of laughs. Hoene describes it as “a gung-ho British adventure movie” that will leave audiences feeling uplifted. It is a homage to the zombie films best loved by the filmmakers that also succeeds in bringing something new and unique to the genre.
Harry Treadaway was born in Devon in 1984 and moved to London when he was 18, where he enrolled at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. In 2003, Harry made his professional feature film debut taking on the lead role in Film 4’s Brothers of the Head, a story set in the 1970’s about conjoined twins exploited and thrown into the punk scene. Written by Tony Grisoni, this demanding and highly unusual role saw Harry and Luke strapped together for two months in a bid to physically transform themselves for the part. In addition to this Harry co-wrote and recorded an album, which the band played live in the film, subsequently leading Harry to be nominated for ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ at the British Independent Film Awards. This was an extraordinary debut and involved him losing two stone for the part earning him much critical praise and already gaining cult status. “The Howe brothers are brilliantly portrayed by the real-life identical (but not conjoined) twin brothers Harry and Luke Treadaway, who play their own instruments.” Stephen Holden, the New York Times. After leaving LAMDA in the Easter of his third year, Harry went straight into two high profile TV programmes, starring alongside Lesley Sharpe in Afterlife and opposite David Tennant in Antony DeEmmony’s Recovery. Learning to play drums for the role, Harry returned to the silver screen playing musician Stephen Morris in Anton Corbyin’s award winning Control a biography of the troubled Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis.
In 2007, Harry’s return to TV came in the form of the Channel 4 series Cape Wrath (a.k.a. Meadowlands in the US) starring alongside David Morrissey and Felicity Jones. Harry reprised his role for 8 episodes and received praise for his detailed portrayal of a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome. Now gaining momentum as a versatile and exciting young actor, Harry recently played the lead in psychological thriller The Disappeared (2008) for which he received rave reviews. Playing the role of Matthew Ryan, Harry embraced playing such a dark and troubled character. “Young lead Harry Treadaway deserves a BAFTA.” – Metro
Attracting attention from his work in the British Independent Cinema, Hollywood was taking notice and Harry walked straight into City of Ember, produced by Tom Hanks, starring alongside Saoirse Ronan with support from Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, and Martin Landau. “I’m a little sick of the phrase “they don’t make’em like they used to,” because they obviously can and it’s what Gil Kenan proves with his first live action feature, City of Ember.”– Movie Blog.com A young Buzzcocks fan was Harry’s next role in Sam Taylor-Wood’s award winning Love You More; the short film saw its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 enjoying a further screening at the Telluride Film Festival later that year, prompting Alex Billington of firstshowing.net to say “Even after 5 days, it’s still one of the most memorable things I saw.” At Sundance Sam Taylor-Wood won Short Filmmaking Award – Honourable Mention, and at the Vila do Conde International Short Film Festival the Prix UIP Vila do Conde Award (European Short Film). Next Harry moved to Jordan to shoot Rowan Joffre’s BAFTA-nominated TV feature The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall. Playing a supporting role opposite Stephen Dillane and Kerry Fox the plot follows the parents of Thomas Hurdnall and their desperate quest to find out what happened to their son. Arriving in Israel they expect to be treated with sympathy and consideration but instead are welcomed with contradictory stories from eye-witnesses and a lack of co-operation from Israeli authorities, provoking the devastated duo to initiate their very own investigation, despite the dangerous Open-Fire regulations the Gaza army adhere to. Harry’s theatre debut in came March 2009 at the Royal Court’s in Mark Ravenhill’s new play, Over There. This was the first time he worked with his brother in four years, having turned down offers of brothers parts, they couldn’t refuse a two-hander at the Royal Court. Due to its success, the play then transferred to Berlin for a short run. Harry starred alongside Michael Fassbender and Katie Jervis in Fish Tank, one of Britain’s most exciting directors Andrea Arnold. The film won the prestigious Grand Jury Prize at Cannes after making its debut there earlier this year. Harry plays a supporting role opposite Michael Fassbender and Katie Jarvis. Already being named “The Best British Film of the Year”, by Jonathan Dean of Total Film, Time Out Magazine’s Dave Calhoun went on to give it a tremendous five star review stating “It delivers in spades attitude, humour, sadness, love, anger and hope.” 2010’s Pelican Blood was Harry’s next role which followed a story about the heart ache of a broken relationship and the ways in which we cope. Harry has also starred the lead role opposite Lesley Garrett in Iain Glan’s directorial debut Ghosts at the Duchess Theatre. Most recently Harry has been in Ireland filming Hideaways where he will be playing the lead opposite Rachel Hurd Wood –which has been taken to Tribeca Film Festival 2011. Following the success of Harry’s debut theatre performance, Harry again appeared at the Royal Court to star in the new Nina Raine play; Tribes directed by Roger Michell. In 2011, Harry starred in the BBC drama The Night Watch where he played the lead alongside Claire Foy and Jodie Whittaker. Harry has currently completed filming a new TV-miniseries, Flight of the Stork, which is due out this year and is currently filming the new Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter film Lone Ranger.
A former member of the National Youth Theatre, Rasmus Hardiker, is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Raymond in Steve Coogan’s sitcom Saxondale and Ben in the Jack Dee comedy Lead Balloon. Other TV roles include appearances in the comedy film Magicians alongside Robert Webb and David Mitchell and I Want Candy with Carmen Electra. Not just a comedy actor however, Rasmus has also appeared in more serious roles including The Bill, New Tricks, a BBC adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Lecture 21, a British-Italian film, appearing alongside John Hurt. Rasmus provides voices for the BBC’s new series of The Octonauts. He also voices the lead character, Spencer in Dude That’s my Ghost, soon to be seen on Disney XD and has just starting voicing the characters of Gnasher, Curly, Bertie and others in the BBC’s new series of Dennis and Gnasher based on the Beano comic strip Dennis the Menace. Moving across to the US to appear as Courtney in popular US comedy Your Highness alongside Danny McBride, James Franco and Natalie Portman, Rasmus is fast becoming one of the UK’s best-loved comedy exports.
Michelle’s film appearances have shown her ability to experiment with a diversity of roles. She recently completed filming the lead role of Alexia Sinclair in The Man Inside, a feature written and directed by Dan Turner.
Most recently audiences saw her in Cleanskin directed by Hadi Hajaig alongside Sean Bean and Abhin Galeya, and Huge directed by comedian Ben Miller which premiered last year at the Edinburgh Film Festival and starred Thandie Newton, Noel Clarke, Johnny Harris and Tamsin Egerton. She also featured in the hugely successful and first ever YouTube film Girl Walks into a Bar by director Sebastian Guttierez in which she played the role of ‘Loretta’ opposite Rosario Dawson, Danny Devito and Josh Hartnett. Last year she was seen in Noel Clarke’s directorial debut 188.8.131.52 alongside Emma Roberts and Noel Clarke and just recently in Love’s Kitchen with Dougray Scott and Claire Forlani. Michelle’s other film credits include the horror feature Flick starring Faye Dunaway which was nominated for the Raindance Award at the 2008 British Independent Film Awards. She also starred in Sean Ellis’ debut feature film based on his Oscar nominated short film, Cashback, starring Emilia Fox, Shaun Evans and Sean Biggerstaff, as well as in the comedy I Want Candy directed by Stephen Surjik, in which she starred alongside Jimmy Carr and Carmen Electra. For television, Michelle has also featured in numerous popular and prestigious series. She featured in the role of the mysterious Lady Christina de Souza in a one-off special of the hit BBC series Dr Who and also took the lead role in Mr Eleven a two-part romantic comedy for ITV, alongside Adam Garcia. Michelle has also been seen in One Night in Emergency for BBC Scotland, playing the character of Lucy alongside Kevin McKidd and played a cameo role in the popular BBC 1 drama, Merlin. Her further television credits include the starring role of Jaime Sommers in NBC’s drama series Bionic Woman, a re-imagination of the popular 1970’s TV series. She also appeared in ITV’s Mansfield Park for ITV alongside Billie Piper, the BBC production of Jekyll, opposite James Nesbitt and Gina Bellman and she starred in Miss Marple: By the Pricking of My Thumbs, part of the popular ITV series, with Geraldine McEwan, Greta Scacchi and Anthony Andrews all appearing. Michelle is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Zoë Slater in Eastenders, which she concluded in 2005. Prior to this her television credits included The Worst Witch (BBC) and Burnside (Pearson TV). On the stage, Michelle starred as Marge Sherwood in Raz Shaw’s stage adaptation of The Talented Mr Ripley to critical acclaim at Northampton’s prestigious Royal and Derngate Theatre. Michelle has also appeared in the Toby Young and Lloyd Evans stage production Who’s The Daddy, playing ‘Tiffany the Mole’, one of the lead female roles, in an outrageous portrayal of life at Britain’s foremost political and literary magazine (The Spectator) during the Blunkett Sex’n’Visa scandal. She also took part in the 24 Hour Plays at the Old Vic where she joined 40 internationally renowned actors, directors and writers join forces to test their talents to create six short plays in just 24 hours. Other theatre work includes roles at the London Palladium, Her Majesty’s Theatre and Millfield Theatre.
ASHLEY ‘BASHY’ THOMAS
British actor and recording artist Ashley Thomas trained at the BRIT school of performing arts as a theatre student. Ashley will soon be seen on the big screen as a lead in Kaleidoscope Film’s The Man Inside alongside Peter Mullan and David Harewood, as well as playing a significant role in My Brother the Devil; both of which are set for release in 2012. Ashley recently starred in an episode of Charlie Brooker’s highly acclaimed Black Mirror Trilogy for Channel 4. He released his debut album, Catch Me If You Can, in June 2009, he also features on the platinum selling album, Plastic Beach by the Gorillaz. Noel Clarke, director and star of Adulthood, first encountered Ashley from his street mix tapes, which contained samples from Noel’s previous film Kidulthood. Clarke was so impressed by what he heard, that he asked Ashley for a track to use on the official soundtrack for Adulthood, after which Clarke asked Thomas to act as music supervisor for the project. In 2010 Ashley played Rager in British Indy flick Shank. He then went on to star in Noel Clarke’s Universal distributed 4321. In April 2011, BBC Learning launched Off by Heart Shakespeare, a recital contest for secondary school pupils. Ashley took on the role of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice and delivered one of the character’s most memorable speeches; “To bait fish withal”. Other film credits include The Veteran and Channel 4 short Resilience.
Jack’s numerous television appearances include Eastenders, Spooks, The Bill, and the regular role of Tyler in 4-series of the BBC comedy The Green Green Grass. He recently completed leading roles in Roughcut TV’s new sitcom pilot Fun Police and Objective TV’s new comedy pilot Kabadasses, both for Channel 4. Jack’s feature work includes the co-leading role of Snork in Cemetery Junction, directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and James in Demons Never Die.
Trained at the East 15 Acting School, Alan Ford is perhaps best known today for his roles in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Other films roles include appearances in Exorcist: The Beginning, British gangster film The Long Good Friday and a small role in the cult classic An American Werewolf in London. Proving himself to be a talented comic actor, he has also appeared in Knowing me, Knowing you…with Alan Partridge, The Armando Iannucci Show and every episode of the BBC dark comedy series Snuff Box as a priest. A career characterised by longevity, Alan has had roles in TV classics including The Darling Buds of May, Birds of a Feather, Waking the Dead and Law & Order. Alan has also appeared in the music video of ‘For he’s a Jolly Good Fellow’ by Welsh band Lostprophets and provided voice acting to the video game Fable 2. Alan can next be seen in the forthcoming The Sweeney alongside Ray Winstone.
Film credits include the iconic role of Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, The Cat and the Canary, Something Big with Dean Martin, Conspirator with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Jason and the Argonauts, Life at the Top, Moment to Moment, Quartet, So Long at the Fair, The Last Grenade, The Virgin and the Gypsy, Shalako, To Walk with Lions, Bridget Jones’ Diary, and Colour me Kubrick, and the new feature film Re-uniting the Rubins with Timothy Spall. Honor has also just filmed a cameo role in I, Anna, with Charlotte Rampling and Gabriel Byrne. Theatre credits include West End and national appearances with Wait Until Dark, The Deep Blue Sea, A Little Night Music, The Way of the World, Heartbreak House, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, Foxtrot, The Sound of Music, Agnes of God, On Your Toes, Nunsense, The Life and Times of Yvette Guilbert, School for Scandal, Old World, The Glass Menagerie, Mademoiselle Colombe, The Vagina Monologues, The Play What I Wrote, My Fair Lady, The Kingfisher, Cabaret. Honor is currently preparing her fifth own one-woman show.
Television credits include a feature length episode of Columbo with Peter Falk, and of course most famously Cathy Gale in The Avengers and also Laura West in six series of The Upper Hand. Other credits include The Armando Iannucci Show, comedy pilots Revolver, Sister Francis and Sound, guest lead roles in Doctors, Midsomer Murders, The Royal, Summer Solstice, Doctor Terrible’s House of Horrible, The American Embassy, drama/reality show The Verdict, Coronation Street, New Tricks and Hotel Babylon.
Radio credits include Three Men on a Plane, She Fell Among Thieves, and All Passion Spent, The Power of Life and Death for Woman’s Hour (all for BBC Radio 4). Honor has also recorded poetry and verse on the new CD collection Words for You, which features international stars of stage and screen and is currently a bestseller on Amazon.
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Richard Briers spent two years as a filing clerk and a further two years as a filing clerk in the RAF, before he got himself a place at RADA. For the last fifty years, he has been one of England’s most versatile actors playing everything from Shakespeare to pantomime. He has appeared in the West End in over twenty plays spanning Ibsen, Shaw, Coward, Ayckbourn, Simon Gray and Ray Cooney. On stage, he has worked for Kenneth Branagh playing Malvolio, Bottom, King Lear and Uncle Vanya. In 1998 he had a huge success in Simon McBurney’s production of The Chairs with Geraldine McEwan, which went on to repeat its success on Broadway. Theatre productions include the West End revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce and a UK tour of The Tempest, directed by Patrick Mason and produced by Thelma Holt. Richard has starred in several hugely popular television series including Ever Decreasing Circles and the beloved The Good Life, which has been seen in many countries all over the world. He appeared in three series of Monarch of the Glen for Ecosse Films and BBC1, and starred in the acclaimed one-off drama about elder abuse: Dad for the BBC. On film, Richard has worked extensively with Kenneth Branagh, appearing in Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, In the Bleak Midwinter, Swansong, Hamlet , Love’s Labours Lost, and As You Like It. He worked with PJ Hogan on Unconditional Love and Peter Pan. Richard is married to the actress Ann Davies and they live in Chiswick. They have two daughters, Katy and Lucy. He received an OBE in 1989.
Dudley has been an actor since 1957, appearing in dozens of films, plays, musicals and TV shows. He also writes and performs comic verse and political poems and songs with linking biographical tales, for Glastonbury, via Edinburgh and festivals and venues throughout the land. Recently he has appeared in the seminal film The Football Factory, Love, The Musical at the Lyric Hammersmith, Romeo and Her Juliet, at the Bristol Old Vic and God Don’t Live On A Council Estate, a modern play at the Tap Theatre, New Cross Gate. Dudley also featured in Outside Bet alongside Bob Hoskins and Adam Deacon earlier this year. At 78, he still feels as if he is just starting out.
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MATTHIAS HOENE (DIRECTOR)
Matthias was born in Singapore, grew up in Berlin, and studied in Sydney and London. The multicultural environment he grew up in has informed his work and after directing a couple of awardwinning shorts during his time at the renowned St. Martin’s College, he was quickly signed up by Partizan, one of London’s most highly awarded production companies (Eternal Sunshine, Be Kind Rewind). His first directing assignment was a music video for Fatboy Slim and shortly after he directed his first commercial, Club18-30 ‘Doggy Style’, which won a Golden Lion in Cannes. Since this, Matthias has been directing award winning music videos, commercials and documentaries all over the world while continuing to work on personal projects. His thriller pilot for Content Film starring Josh Dallas (Thor) and Vincent Regan (Clash of the Titans) is being packaged by Content film. Emotion and storytelling always comes first in Matthias’ work and his ability to imbue genre material with heart as well as grit and to create visionary images and push the envelope in filmmaking makes him a director to watch.
JAMES HARRIS (PRODUCER)
James Harris began his career production managing low-budget British films such as Cold Earth, Beyond the Rave for Puregrass Films, and When Evil Calls for Gatlin Pictures. He went on to work for Gumball 3000 Films, producing the television documentary Gumball 3000 Rally: 2007 Asia and Back for Channel Four and production co-coordinating Love Long Live, an experimental film by the Oscar-nominated director Mike Figgis. In 2009, James began to develop projects alongside production company Red Sparrow and consequently line produced Psychosis, Reg Traviss’ follow up to his impressive feature debut Joy Division, starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Charisma Carpenter. Psychosis received a UK DVD release through Lionsgate in 2010. In 2010, James completed line producer duties on F, the critically acclaimed horror thriller from Johannes Roberts, starring Eliza Bennett and David Schofield. Described by Empire as “Pulsing, paranoid and downright eerie… a hoodie thriller with proper scares”, it received a UK theatrical release from Optimum in 2010. James has subsequently made the natural step into producing, working alongside Ronnie Thompson to adapt and bring to life Screwed, his autobiographical novel about working within the prison service, with Reg Traviss once again directing. Through his company, The Tea Shop and Film Company Ltd, James currently has several more projects greenlit for 2012 and is continuing to expand and develop their slate of films.
MARK LANE (PRODUCER)
Mark is a graduate of Surrey Institute of Art and Design, BA (Hons) Film Production. Joining UK sales company Velvet Octopus in 2006 as Sales and Marketing Executive, Mark worked directly under veteran sales agent Simon Crowe. Mark represented international sales on multiple territories and co-production interest on multiple titles including The Reef, The Secret of Moonacre, and Sand and Sorrow. Mark then joined SC Films International in 2008 as Sales and Production Manager where he currently oversees distribution and co-production interests as well as representing sales for multiple territories including Latin America, Eastern Europe and others, on titles including The Romantics, Awaydays and Retreat. In 2010 Mark launched new production banner The Tea Shop & Film Company with James Harris, running this alongside his position as Sales and Production Manager at SC Films International. Through this partnership he has produced upcoming feature film Tower Block.
JAMES MORAN (SCREEN WRITER)
James Moran wrote the films Severance, Cockneys VS Zombies, and Tower Block and has written episodes of Doctor Who, Torchwood, Spooks, Primeval, Crusoe, and Spooks: Code 9. He has also written several short stories set in the Doctor Who and Torchwood universe, a Highlander audio play for Big Finish and the Streamy Award nomination web series Girl Number 9, which has screened on the US Fearnet website and Australian TV. His next film to go into production is Silent Night of the Living Dead.
ABOUT SHOUT! FACTORY
Shout! Factory, a leading multi-platform entertainment company, has acquired from SC Films International all U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to popular U.K. gore-drenched comedy feature COCKNEYS VS. ZOMBIES, written by James Moran and directed by Matthias Hoene. Shout! Factory plans a strategic rollout of COCKNEYS VS. ZOMBIES in select theatres, on all packaged media, electronic-sell-through (EST), video-on-demand (VOD), subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), and television in 2013.