FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 2, 2016
“KUDZU ZOMBIES” PRODUCERS STAY IN MISSISSIPPI DESPITE LAW.
CHARLESTON, MS— Putting aside their dismay over the state’s passing of the controversial “Religious Freedom” bill, HB 1523, the producers and crew of the upcoming movie Kudzu Zombies are filming here in support of the Mississippi film industry.
Recently, actress Sharon Stone pulled her movie project, The Principal, out of Mississippi citing disagreement with the law. Other artists such as Tracy Morgan, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Billy Ray Cyrus, Cyndi Lauper, Ringo Starr, Jimmy Buffett, and Pearl Jam have also refused to come to the state, citing protest against the law.
Following serious consideration, the producers and crew of the horror film Kudzu Zombies have decided to keep their production in Mississippi to help support the fledgling film industry. Executive Producer Daniel Wood (Texas Heart (2016), God’s Country (2012)) states that HB 1523 “Brings total uncertainty to the film industry in Mississippi”. Mr. Wood stated that the law disappoints the producers and crew, who are in solidarity emotionally with the industry as a whole on the subject. He also feels that his attempt to push larger Hollywood projects to the state is now in jeopardy. “When we filmed Texas Heart in Mississippi over a year ago I was excited about encouraging other filmmakers to come and film in Mississippi. The state is filled with wonderful and talented people, but that does little to sway those who stand against discrimination.”
On why the project is staying in the state, Mr. Wood said “If we hadn’t been so close to production, we might have also pulled our project in protest. However, we will end production before the law goes into effect, so no one should be subject to any negativity during filming from surrounding communities.”
“It is important to note that the reception of our project in Mississippi has been great and heartwarming. We also wanted to give the state a chance to change this discriminatory law before it has a real negative effect on the film industry and the supporting craftspeople in the state. We truly want to support the talent who dwell within the state and, as far as I know, entirely disagree with the bill and it’s intent.”
Kudzu Zombies is a zombie horror film set in Charleston, Mississippi which has a plethora of kudzu, a plant of Japanese origin, that has become a native and invasive vine in Mississippi. It can grow up to a foot in one day. Kudzu was widely planted throughout the hilly parts of the south in the 1930’s and 40’s for erosion control.
In the film’s story, GloboBioTech tests their new herbicide, Quadoxin, in the area. It is aimed at controlling the kudzu, but the herbicide quickly enters the food chain through goats that have had the misfortune of eating the treated kudzu. The goats become the culprits of a zombie outbreak among the townspeople wherein the nightmare begins.
Mark Newton (Hit Team (2015), City of Darkness (2010)) will direct Kudzu Zombies which stars Escalante Lundy (Django Unchained (2012)) and will begin filming in Charleston on May 25th. The production is committed to hiring as many Mississippi locals as possible which currently includes executive producer Miller Greenlee (Greenville, MS), cinematographer Jonathan Hammond (Sturgis, MS), actress Susan McPhail (Oxford, MS), producer Laura Warner (Charleston, MS), producer Jason Rochelle (Cleveland, MS), actor John Allison (Jackson, MS), actress Montana Byrd (Oxford, MS) and actor Johnny McPhail (Oxford, MS). Readers can find more information on the Kudzu Zombies website (http://kudzuzombies.com) and follow updates on the Kudzu Zombies Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Kudzuzombies/).
Media Contact: Laura Beaty