Eat Me: Local band joins the living dead
It's a zombie movie musical, and who better to star than local absurdist rockers The Falsies?
The brainchild of award-winning short film director Brian Wimer, Eat Me: The Musical, is the story of one band, one road trip, one funeral– plus Jesus, Satan, Scientology, and, of course, zombies. Think back to the Scooby-Doo cartoons by Hanna-Barbera, and you've got Wimer's vision.
"The animators created a cartoon about drugs masquerading as Shaggy and his friends," Wimer claims. "I wanted to bring that to the screen."
Prior to stumbling upon Peter Markush, the cross-dressing frontman for the Falsies, Wimer says he had composed a script for actors, never dreaming of a musical. Although he had success with his short films– having seven rotate through nearly 40 festivals including two victories in Charlottesville's Adrenaline Film Festival– Wimer had never before embarked upon a feature-length film. But after hearing the varied and diverse lyrics and rhythms of the Falsies' first album, Wimer knew he wanted to build a script around it.
"They're pure cinema," says Wimer. "They do the costumes, cynicism, sarcasm."
Like any Hollywood picture, there were setbacks, especially for a picture that began shooting in the summer of 2006. So when a Falsies bass player left the band after already starring in several scenes, they decided to have her character killed. But what could a road-tripping zombie musical even be about?
"It's about how love saves the day," says Wimer. "How do you stop a hoard of zombies from eating you? Make them horny."
While the action revolves around Markush– whose character is, appropriately, the Rock 'n Roll Sex Messiah– several other musicians pop up in unexpected roles. Local folk darling Devon Sproule, for instance, plays one of Satan's minions, luring the band to the zombies, while This Means You is the epic band The Falsies journey to see. Lance Brenner displays his chicken-suited drummer persona (and also portrays Jesus), while local music guru Jeff Romano's dog fills the "Scooby-Doo" role.
The film is set to be previewed at The Falsies' annual Valentines concert, with any superstition surrounding the Friday the 13th date of the showing only adding to zombie vibe. Don't expect the night to be all hocus-pocus though– Brenner promises the band will bust out some of its infamous Valentine's hijinks as soon as the clock strikes midnight.
But what's next for the film?
"A college-tour," Wimer proclaims. "We'll get a van, a Mystery Machine, and make it a documentary following the screenings of Eat Me. Then we'll make a documentary about that documentary, and from there to the Oscars, the Golden Globes, then the SAG, then the Best of C'ville."
"Every generation," he says, "needs a musical."
The Falsies present a screening of Eat Me: The Musical at their Friday, February 13 show at iS. The screening starts at 9 pm, and The Falsies take the stage at 11 pm. Tickets are $7.