Here is a neat way to showcase regional filmmakers. Empire State of the Dead (2017) is a new anthology film chronicling the early days of a zombie outbreak in New York State. The twist is that each of the segments that make up the film is directed by a different New York State filmmaker. It is produced by Ron Bonk and Jonathan Straiton, two of the folks behind Night of Something Strange (2016), which showed up on a number of the Grue-Crew’s Best of 2016 lists. The directors handling the various segments include Alexander Bell, Ron Bonk, Chad Foster, Howard Gromero, Chris Irvine, Stephen Long, Geoffrey Orlowski, Andrew Peters, Matthew Peters, Joshua Reale, David Royal, and Jamie Storrs.
As with most good anthology films, there is a framing story that ties everything together. Here is the official synopsis:
The recently deceased rise, feasting upon the living as a zombie outbreak spreads across the globe. In Central New York, a small Marine patrol, led by Sergeant Ritter, tries to keep order. But while battling the living dead they are also faced with roving gangs going unchecked and entire military units defecting. Amid the chaos, a drug lord named Ray sees an opportunity to rule the new world rising, and he is sabotaging rescue centers and military bases to help further break down the Government’s attempts to restore order. Who will survive when Ritter and Ray finally face off?
We will not have to wait long to get a peek at the film, as it will be available nationwide on Cable TV via Gravitas and on DVD via SRS Cinema starting on April 11, 2017.