Saturday, August 25, 2007

Canadian Zombie Embargo

Some of you might remember a few years back when I was angling to play a zombie in a George Romero film, a role I feel that I was born to play. Actually, after four years of graduate school, I doubt that I would really need any sort of special effects or make-up to play a zombie. Anyway, they were shooting Land of the Dead in Toronto, and so I looked into the casting calls; it turned out that they were only hiring Canadian zombies. The same thing happened when they were shooting his new movie Diary of the Dead. Apparently, the same held true for the Dawn of the Dead remake- all Canucks. You heard it here first- most zombie films these days feature Canadian zombies!

Anyway, today Claire and I went to the Rue Morgue Convention in Toronto and talked to the man himself about this zombie embargo that the Canadians have going. As you might know, George Romero is one of the nicest human beings around and he explained the problem. Apparently, the issue is with the unions in Ontario. Since the government is involved in film production, they require films to use a certain number of Canadian union actors- what they call 'Can con' for Canadian content.
Or, I guess in this case, the issue is Can-zom-con. (And, if it's a romantic comedy with zombies in it shot in Canada, that would be a matter of Can-rom-com-zom-con.) I'm not entirely sure how it works, but Romero said that he has to use something like 54 Canadian actors for each American actor. Whenever he wanted to put his daughter and friends in Land of the Dead, he had to make sure there were enough Canadian actors on set. The Canadian government won't stand for illegal alien zombies. Dey're tekkin' our brains!
Anyway, to be a zombie, I have to be union, which can't happen unless I act here, and that can't happen without a work permit. It's a lot harder to be living dead these days than it used to be. It's fairly doubtful that the State Department is going to take a hard line on the Canadian zombie embargo. And I'm guessing that Stephen Harper and George Bush didn't discuss the issue when they met recently (even though they're both obviously members of the living dead). So, if I want to become a zombie, I have to become a Canadian. I'm sure there's a punchline there, but I'll refrain from making it.


Holly said...

I wish I had something pithy and interesting to contribute to an important conversation about fair labor practices and so on, but really, I'm just sorry to hear you can't be a zombie any time soon.

Rufus said...

Ah, maybe I'll make my own zombie movie. Claire and I noted that George Romero is extremely lively, happy, and friendly. Maybe making horror films keeps you young.