Watch an actor transformed by zombie makeup on the set of a Windsor-Essex horror film

There’s a film crew driving around Windsor-Essex this month, and it’s bringing zombies and vampires with it. 

A Windsor filmmaker is shooting his latest movie, Vampire Zombies…From Space!, in various places throughout the county.

“We’re shooting in Windsor, but also Kingsville and Harrow and Essex in the south,” said Michael Stasko, a co-writer, director and producer of the movie.

Makeup artist Mitchell Branget, known as the Gore Goblin, prepares makeup for what will be a ripped open face. (Mike Evans/CBC)

Vampire Zombies…From Space! is a horror comedy movie, and is a spoof of black and white monster movies from the 1950s. The movie takes place in a small town in 1957, and requires small towns in Windsor-Essex to serve as filming locations.

“On day one, we were at a farm near Leamington,” said Ted Bezaire, a producer and production manager of the movie. “Today and most of the week, we’re at the Canadian Transportation Museum. Next week we’re at the Essex United Church and a bunch of other places around the county.”

One of the challenges with making a period film is hiding all the modern-day elements in various locations.

“If you go to the train station, they’ll have an LED TV popped up in the middle of all this beautiful natural stuff,” said Stasko. “You have to go and figure out how to take that down or cover it up. And then there’s safety signs for all these places. So a little bit of set dressing is involved. But it’s worth the tradeoff for sure.”

Windsor Morning6:41Horror film

Production begins this week in Windsor on a horror film , we hear all about Vampire Zombies…from Space.

As referenced in the title, vampires and zombies will be featured in the film. So makeup artists have a heavy lift.

“Zombie makeup can be pretty intense and then it can always range, especially with the zombies that you have on film in the foreground or in the background,” said makeup artist Stephanie Johnston.

“Especially our zombies in the foreground that you’re going to see, we’re going to do a lot of heavier makeup, a little heavier on the prosthetics; more detail.”

Another makeup artist on the set specializes in all the gory details.

An actress stands under a boom mic as two crew members get ready to shoot a scene
Crew members Liam Brownrigg Barta and Sikandar Saleem prepare to film actor Charlotte Bondy on the set of Vampire Zombies…From Space! (Mike Evans/CBC)
A makeup artist applies liquid latex to a prosthetic head
A makeup artist works on zombie makeup on the set of a horror film in Windsor. (Mike Evans/CBC)

“What we do is any kind of makeup or a special effect that involves onscreen cuts, bleeding, zombie bites, beheadings, stabbings, anything with pumping blood,” said Mitchell Branget.

Production is expected to finish on Aug. 26, with Stasko expecting at least a year of post-production work. He also hopes to do a local film festival run.

“The plan is to bring this back to Windsor, ultimately to do a little theatrical run here, and hopefully have a local premiere as well.”

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