Corby zombie invasion kicks off at Steel Park

Director Jason Impey (leaning on the camera) with some of the cast and crew
Director Jason Impey (leaning on the camera) with some of the cast and crew

A well-known Corby location is to provide the backdrop to a zombie apocalypse for a new movie being made in the town.

A well-known Corby location is to provide the backdrop to a zombie apocalypse for a new movie being made in the town.

Writer Alan Keen

Writer Alan Keen

Steel Park, home of Corby Town FC, has been doubling as various locations for the locally-written horror flick.

Raunds writer and project leader Alan Keen has adapted one of his novels for the feature-length film, with the working title No Salvation.

Alan, who uses the pen name AM Keen, wrote the original story as a book for young adults but had to switch the teenagers for adult characters to make filming easier.

Experienced Northampton-born director Jason Impey teamed up with Alan to create a test trailer released in February this year.

Zombie

Zombie

Boosted by the trailer’s reception online, the pair escalated the project from a small-scale web TV series to a full-length feature.

The production has already been on location to a farm near Hinckley for five days to film the outdoor scenes and now the cast and crew have moved to Corby to complete the 76-page shoot.

Manor School-educated Alan said: “The biggest challenge adapting my book The Long Walk Home for the film was that the characters were children.

“It would have been impossible for us so it’s a very loose adaptation and we have cast adults which is so much easier.

On location in Warwickshire

On location in Warwickshire

“The story is that the UK is under quarantine after the outbreak of a disease which turns people into zombies.

“After a couple of months, a group of gangsters, making mischief, are making as much money as possible by running a zombie game show on which people can bet.”

Corby stand-up poet Chuck Middleton plays the lead henchman and zombie fixer called ‘The Poet’.

Chuck said: “It’s been great to be part of something that looks so realistic and I can’t wait for it to hit the silver screen.

The Poet ready on set

The Poet ready on set

“It’s been a different process from stand-up and stage acting and I’ve been having to learn a load of dialogue.”

Vince Hanratty, 52, of Corby, who has been a stand-in on blockbusters Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s film The World’s End, is playing Rhodes in No Salvation.

Vince said: “He’s a goon who goes and catches contestants to play in the game show.

“By way of finding them, he kidnaps them, and then he gets paid for catching them.

“Contestants are in the game show to see how long they can survive in the arena.

“We started two weeks ago and hoping to finish it in four weeks. Getting everyone together is a logistical nightmare but the writer rewrites the script depending on who can be on set.”

Fake blood

Fake blood

Alan will also be appearing briefly in a cameo as one of the undead and he will voice one of the characters.

More than 50 people will be involved in the self-funded production, with 21 actors appearing on screen.

Milton Keynes-based Jason, who describes himself as a cult director, said: “The actors have been good and it’s been going well - we’re on schedule.

“I’ve had a 16-year career in film and I started out in zombie and tongue-in-cheek horror - now I’ve come full circle.

“It’s gory but quite tame for me and hopefully we’ll get a 15 certificate.”

Alan added: “We’ve already got a distribution deal with a DVD company and we’ll be looking for as many outlets as possible.

“The zombie fan base is a very passionate about the things they see.

“It’s a B-movie and it’s hard work but we’ve got a cast and crew invested in it.

“It may not win any Oscars but everyone can be proud of it.”

Corby poet Chuck Middleton

Corby poet Chuck Middleton

One of the zombies

One of the zombies

Tricks of the trade

Tricks of the trade