A brash and brutal blend of The Inbetweeners and Shaun of the Dead, Andy Edward’s Ibiza Undead takes the horrors of dodgy package deals from Hell to inconceivable new heights.
Set in an alternate world where zombies are commonplace, Ibiza Undead follows Jim, Alex and Az as they jet set off to the White Isle to get as shit-faced and as sexed-up as their bodies can humanly handle. Unfortunately for them, shady club owner Karl’s latest clientele-enticing tactic is to replace his bodacious go-go dancers with a boatload of freshly smuggled in flesh-lusting podium performers who soon turn the tables on the patrons … and the entire island.
With Ibiza Undead unleashed in the UK, SCREAM caught up with the movie pundit with balls of steel Alex Zane, who makes a cameo in the film, to chat about tackling this, his third undead role to date, and how Jaws left its mark on him at quite the tender age, sparking in him an undying passion for all things horrifying…
SCREAM: Thanks for chatting with us, Alex. Having met Andy Edwards at Sitges last year, he mentioned your role in the film and just how big of a zombie fan you are so I couldn’t let up the chance to pick your brains about the film and your previous zombie escapades.
Alex Zane: I’m all into the interview, Howard. It’s a pleasure. Andy has given me my third outing as a zombie in a movie now. Not that I want to blow my own trumpet – because I’m just a guy who loves to play zombies – but I have mastered the art of both slow and fast zombies. I don’t know whether that’s a little bit of a red flag to true horror aficionados because the fast zombie has still got a very big question mark above it. However, if you need someone to do fast or slow, I’m your guy!
SCREAM: Prepping for this interview, I discovered there’s quite the community of zombie actors out there who make a living out of embodying the undead.
Alex: (laughs) Is there really? Well you’ve just taken the sheen off me thinking that I was THE go-to guy for zombies. But seriously, I don’t doubt that there are a lot of people who really specialise in it to a much greater degree. I do remember when I was playing a fast zombie that it didn’t come naturally. I’m not going to lie. I was in this scene in Dawn of the Dead where we chase Ving Rhames and the gang into the lift when the zombies break into the shopping mall. I just thought I’d give my zombie a bit of a limp. So I’m running fast but limping simultaneously. I don’t know why I thought that would be a good idea to be honest (laughs).
SCREAM: So how did you get those two zombie gigs? Both were shot in Toronto.
Alex: Yes. I’ve got a weird relationship with that city. I’ve been there twice and I’ve been a zombie both times so Toronto is where I go when I need to let loose and become one of the undead. In fairness, the casting agents for Dawn of the Dead weren’t flicking through Spotlight and going, “That guy is what we need. He has zombie written all over him.” I was working at MTV at the time and we were making a special on the film and they thought that I should actually be in it. So I got all made up – quite fantastically I should add – by a brilliant makeup artist, David LeRoy Anderson, and I was unrecognisable. He’s just worked on Dunkirk so I was done by one of the best and I looked pretty horrific. Then, when I came to do Land of the Dead, I was all ready for the same but it was exactly the opposite and they were like, “Nah. We just want to see your face and we’ll leave your hair out.” I was surprised because I had this really long hair. I don’t want to describe my own hair as luscious but let’s say it was well-conditioned at that time. I just remember thinking, “I don’t know many zombies that have hair this well conditioned.” But the budgets for those two movies were obviously quite different.
Something else I remember on the second one was that it was a freezing night shoot in Toronto. If anyone tells you that the undead can’t kill a cold they’re lying because I FELT that cold. As it was so cold, you could see our breath and we were shooting a scene that lasted for about 30 seconds. Long story short, we had to hold our breath for those entire 30 seconds as we all ambled forward just so that they didn’t have to remove anything in post.
SCREAM: So you weren’t specifically cast for those but you WERE headhunted by Andy I believe as you’ve been friends since you worked together at XFM (now Radio X).
Alex: Yeah. Andy and me made some crazy videos together back at XFM that I don’t think actually saw the light of day. (laughs) We made some really weird videos that we sent to XFM thinking they would love them but they just vanished into the ether. Looking back now, I don’t know what we were thinking. One of the videos involved a lot of vomit. Why we thought that was going to promote a rock station I do not know, but we thought that a child vomiting on Santa Claus and Santa returning the favour was the way forward. Strange days.
I knew Andy’s Houseparty of the Dead work so I really wanted to be a zombie in Ibiza of the Dead to add a third to my résumé. Andy said, “Okay. But I need you to give me a little bit more.” So I AM a zombie in it – spoiler (laughs) – but I don’t actually start out as a zombie. I start out as me.
SCREAM: A couple of characters in the film kindly refer to you as, “That twat off the telly.” Was that a bit of improv on their part or was that all Andy?
Alex: Yeah. I said to Andy, “Did you write this role with me in mind or were you just looking for anyone who happened to fit that description? Let’s be very clear. Our friendship hangs in a balance.” And Andy was like, “No. But you know what I mean. It’s like you in the future where you’re over the hill and you’re having to make ends meet by working in Ibiza and you hate it.” So that’s how he managed to get out of that one.
SCREAM: And an all inclusive package trip to Ibiza must have clinched the deal for you, surely?
Alex: God no! (laughs) Obviously, that was question one: “Sooooo, Andy. When do I fly?” Andy quickly replied with a, “Well you CAN fly to Pacha in Victoria if you REALLY want to but the tube is a lot easier.” So yeah, it was slightly disappointing, but at that point, I was just thrilled to be involved in a scene where a zombie gets his arm chainsawed off.
SCREAM: The zombie genre is so prolific in culture right now. Being the zombie fan you clearly are, what films and/or TV shows are hitting all the right buttons for you at the moment?
Alex: I know that zombies are literally everywhere but I remember reading something that George Romero said and when it comes to zombies, you’ve got to listen to someone like him. I read that he wasn’t a huge fan of Brad Pitt’s interpretation of zombies in World War Z. But that was one of those cases where everyone was complaining that it hadn’t been faithful to the book but of course it’s not going to be like the book. How on earth do you film that book? That book is all told retrospectively. It’s a difficult book to film and it’s a shame that it didn’t live up to the book because it’s probably one of the greatest books ever written about zombies.
And then I love “The Walking Dead.” I did the first six seasons and I do think the second half of the second season might have lost a lot of people but I stuck through it and season three and four are fantastic. When it came to watching the first episode of season seven, it usually takes a lot for me to go, “Right. I’m turning off.” but that was so awful in what they did that I haven’t got back to it. I am going to go back to it because I think it’s a fantastic series but that first episode is just one where I was left a little bit questioning the motivation behind it all. It was one of those things that was so graphic that I don’t know that you could really justify it beyond just doing it to shock.
But, in answer to your question, there are never enough zombies. I’m always for more zombies. In terms of the best zombie movies, Return of the Living Dead is still, for me, one of the all time greats. It’s so damn bloody funny as well as being truly horrific. I’m going through a phase at the moment where I’m looking up all the old horror movies as I grew up watching horror when I was a kid whilst everyone else would go out playing football. I remember watching Jaws when I was about 5 and that just set me off. I spent most of my childhood walking around video rental stores in Leeds looking for films like that. I found one that was Lamberto Bava’s Devouring Waves. The box looks just like Jaws but I remember watching it when one of my mum’s friends was babysitting. It’s just so budget and so, so grotty with really awkward and graphic sex murders. I was eight years old then and I just remember me and my mother’s friend exchanging looks and she said to me, “Let’s never speak of this again. And certainly don’t tell your mum!” It was such a grotty movie but then I loved things like Leviathan. I was in love with Amanda Pays for years after Leviathan.
SCREAM: Aside from Ibiza Undead, you’ve put in appearances for a couple of other British flicks coming out soon.
Alex: I’m in a feature-length version of the short film Cannibals and Carpet Fitters. The short was great and I’m NOT a zombie in this movie. I play a boyfriend called Jack who goes on a camping trip and he really doesn’t want to go camping. It really wasn’t much of a stretch because I fucking hate camping. I spent my entire childhood camping in the summer holidays so when I saw this role I instantly knew I could play someone who fucking hates camping. I got to play a bit of an arsehole. I hope I’m not being typecast (laughs). But it was great fun. James [Bushe] is lovely and we had a lot of fun doing it.
And then I play myself in Cain Hill. Gene [Fallaize], the director, sent me an email saying he had this scene he wanted to shoot to make things more authentic by blurring the line between fiction and reality. He thought that having me play a film journalist in the movie would bring some believability to it. That was great. The house that they were building for this, which was an old nursing home, was just the creepiest building I have ever been in. It was one of those places where you can’t shake that sense that something bad has happened there.
SCREAM: You’ve also managed to find some spare time to dabble in a bit of screenwriting yourself.
Alex: I just finished the pilot episode of a horror sitcom which will hopefully go under option soon. It’s called “Friday Night Frights” and it’s a one location sitcom set in a pub which turns out to be a gateway to a dimension full of evil. It’s my love letter to horror and all the movies I grew up watching and monsters in general. I don’t want to give too much away but it involves pretty much every monster I can think of.
Many thanks go out to Alex for speaking to SCREAM and we sign off urging you not to miss Andy Edward’s undead spin on all-inclusive holidays from Hell, the trailer for which we’ll leave you to soak up below…
Ibiza Undead is available to purchase from Amazon.
Words: Howard Gorman – @HowardGorman