Hordes of zombies invaded Falkirk’s Howgate Shopping Centre last weekend.
A man was eaten alive as he emerged from a lift, a cheerleader joined the legion of the undead after falling prey to flesh devouring freaks, severed heads bounced like footballs and animated corpses shuffled around in front of shop windows.
Any similarity with classic 1978 horror film ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and the events which unfolded between 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 4, and 4 a.m. on Sunday, August 5, was purely intentional according to director Marc Twynholm, who used his film-making skills to create a suitably shocking music video for his band’s forthcoming song ‘Zombie!’.
One half of “death jazz” folk rock duo Monkey Frog, Marc is also one half of successful film production company Dabhand Films. He was more than happy to mix his two passions together in a locked down shopping centre with 70 “too cool for school” ghouls.
He said: “The new album ‘New Tricks For Old Dogs’ is more rock-based than our first album, ‘Monkey Picked Tea’, with songs like ‘Zombies!’. I got the idea for the song when I was in a shopping centre in Veberod, Sweden, looking at these really old people walking around really slowly - I just thought about zombies.
“That was three years ago and we started working on 15 or 16 songs in the studio. We’ve got ‘Zombies!’, ‘Hit and Run’, ‘Freakshow’ and songs about vampires and wolves so, yes, this is probably our horror album.”
From there it was just a case of making a video and Marc thought it would be dead good to use a shopping centre as the main location.
“Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ is one of my favourite films, so we had to do this in a shopping centre,” he laughed. “The Howgate people have been absolutely fantastic.”
Edinburgh-based producer Helen Raw came on board and the “zombie recruitment” process began in earnest - interested parties, including shopping centre staff, pouring into the Howgate on Saturday night for some grisly good fun.
While Marc and guitar-slinging pal John Ritchie, along with session bass ace Stephen Softley, set up their amps and drums in front of Desire by Debenhams, extras gathered in the Howgate canteen ready to be made up - possibly the only time in their lives they have deliberately wanted to look like death.
Between filming sessions the large cast had fun with a kind of Zombie X Factor-style dance-off to find the best dance routine for the chorus section of the video. When the winning team was voted for, under Helen’s watchful eye, the rest of the extras lined up in front of the back entrance of Marks and Spencers to try and learn the routine - it must have resembled a kind of “Zombie Zumba” to onlookers.
Filming eventually wrapped on the corpse-strewn chaos in the early hours of Sunday with quite a few dead-tired souls heading home from their once-in-a-lifetime movie extra experience.
Marc is now hard at work finishing off filming for the ‘Zombies!’ video and says Monkey Frog’s ‘New Tricks for Old Dogs’ will be released around Christmas time.