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  • Writer's pictureAfter Hour Film Festival

Zombies, Film-making and Mr. James Fitzmaurice

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

James Fitzmaurice, Writer & Academician

We recently got in touch with Mr. James Fitzmaurice about his screenplay Raymond Carver and Derrida's Zombie Army. What caught our eye was the way a zombie screenplay unfurled, the environment of the story and of course, the period.

We reached out to Mr. Fitzmaurice and asked him these following questions which he answered very politely.

After Hour : What are your thoughts on Zombie as a part of the Horror genre?

Fitzmaurice : The disconcerting feeling that derives from a zombie film, to my mind, comes not so much from slashing and blood as from the dread induced by dealing with one lurching mass of un-dead flesh, only to be confronted by the next. That is: the malaise induced by being worn down and finally getting too tired to resist or to avoid making fatal mistakes in a game of self-preservation.

After Hour : What according to you makes a great Zombie movie?

Fitzmaurice : I like zombie movies that have a bit of intellectual content popping up here and there in an environment of comedy.  One might say that Derridian theory does actually turn people into zombies - unthinking walking dead who can infect others. 

After Hour : What inspired you to write this script?

Fitzmaurice : I was a married student at the University of Iowa just after Carver was in residence and while Vonnegut and Gyatri Spivak were still around. Graduate student life, especially in married student housing, is a wonderful source of material and memories of if are a strong impetus to write. 

After Hour : How has the art of film making changed over the years?

Fitzmaurice : These days, anyone can make a film for peanuts - and that has opened up the flood gates of new and wonderful approaches to story telling as well as to new stories.  Lots of Do-It-Yourself projects that can be really good.

After Hour : Are you working on any other script? If yes, please tell us a bit about it.

Fitzmaurice : I just completed another short zombie script about "Margaret Cavendish, Samuel Pepys and the Zombie Kiss of 1666."   Zombies in period costumes.  A little like "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," only costumes from 150 years earlier.   I might go on to zombies at a California girls school in the 1920s - based on several short stories by MFK Fisher.  Costumes again; again from a different period.  Finally, I can imagine turning the Carver short into a musical.  I have already written "the book" for "Nothing Like a Brain" and have the melody.  Need my song writer to do the singing that he has promised.

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