Los Angeles, CA – March 30, 2018 –
For years, the apocalyptic theme has often featured the struggle and battle for the future of humanity, embodying contemporary day’s cultural anxieties.
Seen in noteworthy films like ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ or ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’. Such apocalyptic-frenzied films depict “the barrage of real-life apocalyptic imagery — extreme weather events [2015 setting a new record as the hottest year on record], genocides, refugees, cities in rubble, devastating viral outbreaks, bloodthirsty terrorists — is overwhelming,” stated Rick Yancey, author of the book “The 5th Wave” (source material for the new film and first best-selling young-adult apocalypse trilogy), cited Sarah Goodyear, NY Daily News.
Editor-in-Chief of The Credits, Bryan Adams, refers to George Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ (1978) as a zombie film that occurred during a time of economic stress, as a “brilliant riff on mass consumerism (the protagonists were trapped in a mall)”. Further, “Studies show that during times of economic stress, zombie movies become more popular,” Dr. Schlozman told LiveScience. “They represent what happens when the system is stressed,” cited Adams.
Photo: George Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ (1978).
Similarly, Senior Writer for The Sunday Age, Jill Stark, saw Romero’s 1978 ‘Dawn of the Dead’ to obtain “an allegorical statement on the horrors of the Vietnam War and the pitfalls of mindless consumerism, the new breed of zombie entertainment speaks to modern concerns.”
Further, Stark cited Professor in Screen and Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne and author of the book The Horror Sensorium: Media and the Senses, Angela Ndalianis, who stated that such films “Really tied into post-9/11 when a lot of the horror directors quite explicitly adapted the genre to reflect what’s happening with the U.S. and the war on terror, and media fear-mongering around ideas of invasion and your own country being taken over and your rights disappearing.”
The “new wave of zombie movies”, or ones about the chaotic and uncontrollable fall of social order due to the apocalypse. Such films focus on the post-apocalyptic environment where the disaster has already occurred, and those alive are solely focused on surviving and building a new life within the ruins of civilization.
Introducing the new and next biggest French, post-apocalyptic thriller from the end of days is ‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’ (a.k.a ‘Dark Patch’). Produced, written, and directed by Emmanuel Saez (‘Overcast’, ‘The Roads of Fear’), ‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’ has sparked the comeback of film’s longtime genre of zombie apocalypses and hastening the end of the world through his unique approach of retelling the New Testament with the shocking twist – Satan’s army of the dead has risen – as the film characters face the end of days in a post-apocalyptic world.
‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’ begins on June 16, 2016 – the day of Rome’s collapse. As only one Pope survives the Vatican collapse, six mysterious and loyal cardinals (five men and a woman) accompany him flee the destructed city to France, where they are revealed to be archangels sent from God.
Flashing forwards to 2017 in a time of high rising temperatures, ‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’ follows a violent and dangerous criminal, Paul Dose (Vincent Andres), who is arrested by two French police officers, David Matéry (Philippe Coste) and Sarah Bayram (Elissa Houles), during a routine investigation. But during Paul’s arrest, he is heavily wounded following with cardiac arrest, yet somehow, comes back to life as he is transferred in an intensive care unit.
When the three arrive at the hospital, little by little, chaos begins to grow and gain power as the doctors, patients, and even Sarah turn into evil-raging, violent zombie-like animals. David teams up with archangel, Victoria (Sonia Perez), a Muslim warrior from Cairo, Mustapha (Brice Lemaire) and the martyr pope men to stop the evil propagation.
With the help of brain imaging glasses, they can detect a “dark patch”, or a dark spot on an individual’s frontal lobe, which then plagues those who are quick to become violent criminals. Will they be able to stop the fast-spreading, infectious disease from seeping outside the hospital walls into the town and infecting its people.
Saez’s twist of Satan’s army of the dead rising at the end of days in a post-apocalyptic world is shown through Paul, who caused the contamination when he came back from the dead as the “Green Rider” – one of the Four Horseman mentioned in the sixth chapter of the Apocalypse (The Book of Revelation) in the New Testament.
As Romero’s 1978 ‘Dawn of the Dead’ was a thriller mirroring its current worlds’ most challenging social issues and fears, such as economic stress or the horrors of the Vietnam War, ‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’ allows moviegoers to connect the films’ themes to the chaotic and unjust environment of modern day.
Many worldwide marched last weekend in the #MarchForOurLives event, protesting gun violence and the 2nd amendment. Highlighted were students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, who recently faced 19-year-old student, Nikolas Cruz, who gunned down at least 17 innocent students and teachers on February 14, 2018.
Photo: from NY Daily.
Pinned as today’s most talked about school shooting, CNN’s Saeed Ahmed and Christina Walker headlined, “There has been, on average, 1 school shooting every week this year”, as today’s climate, newspapers and television news often discuss the uprising number of school shootings, despite only three months into 2018. They reported, “We’re only 12 weeks into 2018, and there have already been 17 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed. That averages out to 1.4 shootings a week,” citing the recent school shootings – March 20: Lexington Park, Maryland, March 13: Seaside, California, March 8: Mobile, Alabama, March 7: Birmingham, Alabama, March 7: Jackson, Mississippi, March 2: Mount Pleasant, Michigan, February 27: Norfolk, Virginia, February 27: Itta Bena, Mississippi, February 24: Savannah, Georgia, February 14: Parkland, Florida, February 9: Nashville, February 5: Oxon Hill, Maryland, February 1: Los Angeles, January 31: Philadelphia, January 23: Benton, Kentucky, January 22: Italy, Texas, and January 20: Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Photo: From CNN.
As a post-apocalyptic film, ‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’ takes place in a future where violence is significant, with machine guns, even in the hands of priests. The film’s discourse on our broken morality, in a world where even priests carry machine guns, strikes a nerve for today’s people, as parents are simply afraid to send their children to school.
If this pattern occurs, is ‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’ a mirror of our future?
Further, NY Daily’s Goodyear cited Professor in the Department of Communication at Central Connecticut State University and the Co-Editor of the recent book, “The Apocalypse in Film: Dystopias, Disaster, and Other Visions About the End of the World”, Karen Ritzenhoff, stating, “If you drive through America in certain areas it looks like you are in the apocalypse already,” adding, “These rundown houses that are boarded up, people who are homeless, entire downtowns with one storefront after another that are empty, roads falling apart. I think ‘The Hunger Games’ shows that the apocalypse comes from inside. The apocalypse is not these child-eating monsters or the comets that hit us. It’s really all the choices we make as a society that make us uncivilized.”
Similar to an alien invasion, the spread of the fatal, infectious disease in ‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’ is able to reach further than the hospital and those inside, but even further, out to the town affecting numerous people – just like the infectious school shootings has spread quickly across America.
Photo: Behind-the-scenes capture of the cast of ‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’,
Watch TriCoast Entertainment’s new, U.S. release of Saez’s intelligent, French post-apocalyptic thriller from the end of days, ‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’ on DVD + VOD platforms: Amazon, iTunes, InDemand, Google Play, Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox, Dish Sling, and Fandango.
‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’ contains a rewarding cast, including Paul’s role of a dangerous criminal by first-time actor, Vincent Andres and the two invigorating roles of the police officers star Philippe Coste (Patrick Jumel’s drama play, ‘On A Frappé’, ‘Winter War’) and Elissa Houles (member of drama company, ‘Le Contrepoint Theatre’, featured in various short films). The capturing role of Victoria is by Sonia Perez (‘Rendez-vous chez Max’, ‘Overcast’, ‘Winter War’, comedian for ‘Improphile’), alongside Brice Lemaire (‘Overcast’) and Zacharie by Manuel Gonçalves (‘Overcast’, nominated Best New Actor in ‘Action on Film’ festival for David Aboucaya’s ‘Last Blues’, ‘Winter War’).
The film continues its enthusiastic cast with Jean Christophe Aubert (‘Overcast’, ‘Rough Cut’), Boniface, played by local actor Florent Hugon (‘Le Criquet’), Perè Jean Anselme by Michel Sidobre (‘1, rue du Caussanel’, ‘La Femme aux yeux rouges’, ‘Overcast’), and Laurent Cerulli (‘Overcast’, ‘Sur L’echelle De Hynek’, ‘Thanato’, ‘Inavouables’, ‘Et si je t’aime’, ‘Rough Cut’, ‘Winter War’). Alongside is David Aboucaya and also stars Anne Blanchon, Georges Spina, Katia Rodriguez, Xacier Pace, and Cyrille Rodriguez.
Watch the trailer for ‘ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES’ now: https://vimeo.com/240888620.
ANGELS VS. ZOMBIES (2017, 90 min.) Written and Directed by Emmanuel Saez. Produced by: Emmanuel Saez, Fabienne Saez, Cecile Spina. Original Music: Valentin Simonelli. US, English. TriCoast Worldwide.
Producers: Emmanuel Saez, Fabienne Saez, Cecile Spina
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