June 15, 2009

Is SALVAGE a zombie film?

After watching the mysterious trailer for Lawrence Gough's Salvage, I'm left to wonder if it is a zombie film.

It certainly doesn't describe itself as a zombie film, but the trailer certainly suggests many zombie conventions:
  • Mysterious threat (shipping container) appears in small community and prompts overly harsh military / police response
  • People trapped in confined locations (quarantined in their homes) while the threat outside terrorizes them
  • Blood being smeared on windows by hands
  • A group of characters forced to band together although they have inner conflict
  • The appearance of some kind of disfigured, ghoulish creature
Here's the official synopsis:
Terror has found a home...

When a shipping container washes ashore, its deadly cargo escapes to wreak havoc on a suburban neighborhood. Is this a terrorist attack or something more sinister? As the military enforce a quarantine, a mother must overcome all the odds to save her estranged daughter.

As one character says in the trailer, however, "This isn't what it looks like." Something in my gut tells me this movie is probably more than it seems. I don't know why, but the restrained way it plays with visuals in the trailer make me think this movie is based upon some kind of Twilight Zone twist and has something up its sleeve. I can't shake the feeling that the movie is following the themes of "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," an episode of The Twilight Zone in which a community is isolated because of a total power loss and comes to believe this is evidence of an alien invasion; however, the invasion is only the product of paranoia, hysteria, hate, and fear, culminating in a witch hunt. In Salvage, we also have an isolated community and clear grounds for paranoia.

Will Salvage be the
"The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" of this generation, using the trappings of the zombie film just as "Monsters" used the trappings of the alien invasion story to show that WE are the monsters? That it is we who are SAVAGE (notice how the word "savage" appears as the title of the film for a split second before an "L" appears to make it "SALVAGE") Given the social anxiety reminiscent of that of the Cold War squirming under the surface of today's society, it would seem like a good time to remind people of this message.

This is all wild speculation on my part, but I can't shake the feeling that Salvage might have something interesting in store for us, with or without zombies.