I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Ogletree about his latest project, The Walking Deceased. With zombies all the rage right now, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for a film lampooning the lumbering undead. Read on to see what to expect if you take the opportunity to sit down and watch this horror / comedy.
How did you get involved in The Walking Deceased?
I’ve actually been involved from the conception. Derek Nixon, our rock star of a producer, came to me with the idea of doing a parody of the zombie genre. Honestly, at first I was hesitant. We had just done a found-footage spoof movie and I didn’t want to get pigeon-holed as a “spoofer.” Derek convinced me that this was an opportunity to be the first to market with a zombie parody revolving around the most popular show on TV, The Walking Dead. There have been great zombie comedies in the last few years, most especially Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, but not one that encompassed all of zombie pop culture. I thought of it as a chance to change the face of the parody / spoof genre; to turn it from the eye-rolling genre that it has become back to the clever, smart humor that Mel Brooks was the king of. So I wrote the script, Derek and I formed the production LLC, and it went from there.
Give us a brief synopsis of The Walking Deceased.
The Walking Deceased is essentially what would happen if the archetypical characters from every major zombie screen-story came together to survive the zombie apocalypse. A brain-damaged Sheriff wakes up to the world literally rotting, finds his grown-up-too-fast 12-year-old son and hooks up with a squabbling group of survivors sheltered in the tattered local mall. Once the safety of the mall is compromised by a horde of zombies unwittingly led there by a healing zombie who’s chasing love, they go in search of a rumored safe haven and find that it may or may not be as welcoming as advertised.
Describe your character in The Walking Deceased.
I play Green Bay, who is perhaps the least-equipped person to ever survive the zombie apocalypse. The dude couldn’t even shoot himself in the foot, his aim sucks so badly. He, along with his survivor friends at the mall, inexplicably goes by the names of their favorite cities since that makes sense. Identities are stolen all the time in the apocalypse… and I would definitely respond if someone yelled a random city name to warn me of an impending walker attack… yeah.
Tell us a little bit about your experience making The Walking Deceased.
I literally had the time of my life making this. First of all, I got to work with my little brother, Troy. He played Romeo, the warm-bodied zombie. That was an awesome experience. I also went to school with a few other members of the team, including our director, Scott Dow. He was also my roommate a few years ago. Basically, I got to make a movie with all of my best friends in my home town with a script I wrote. I couldn’t ask for anything better.
What sort of message (if any) do you think The Walking Deceased is trying to deliver to audiences?
Above all, I want it to make people laugh with smart humor that you can watch multiple times and always catch something new or a joke you missed or didn’t get the first time around. I want to show people that even if you’re the dumbest person ever who repeatedly makes the most illogical decisions possible, you can survive the zombie apocalypse if you surround yourself with people who are even marginally smarter than you… or at least live long enough to be missed by an audience.
If you were in line at the movies and someone was trying to choose between The Walking Deceased and the other latest releases, how would you convince them to see it?
Take their daughter hostage and tell them the only way they will see her again is if they spend an hour and a half laughing or call Liam Neeson to get her back for the fourteenth time. If they don’t have a daughter, tell them they could support and laugh at an indie comedy trying to redefine a genre or pop another Hamilton into the pocket of a studio that only pumps out sequels and bloated adaptations of overrated best-sellers.
The Walking Deceased is available for pre-order now on DVD. It is releasing in select theaters, on VOD and iTunes this Friday, March 20th.