Jesse Dayton’s ZOMBEX tells the story of several disparate groups of people in post-Katrina New Orleans, under siege by pharmaceutically created zombies. At first, NOLA residents are given a reprieve from the depression and post-traumatic stress due to the trauma of the hurricane, thanks to the revolutionary, rogue drug ZOMBEX – a “clinically-proven,” yet dangerously untested — anti-depressant pharmaceutical manufactured by a nefarious organization. For those who call the Big Easy home, everything seems to be turning around. Or, could it just be the drug, ZOMBEX, talking? Just as things are looking up for the city and its people, they’re hit with a brand new disaster of epic proportions. Only this time, there’s the prospect of losing the people of New Orleans to a truly original zombie showdown. As the cities and streets of NOLA become progressively unsafer, our protagonists are drawn inextricably towards each other, and toward the malevolent corporation that is operating the puppet strings.
It’s Dayton’s bloody valentine to post-Katrina New Orleans.
A longtime Austin resident, honky tonk hero Dayton traded his guitar and microphone for a megaphone to yell “Action!” to a truly rich cast, including the iconic Malcolm McDowell , Lew Temple (now prison-dweller Axel on AMC’s The Walking Dead), David Chrstopher, John Doe of the seminal punk rock band X and films such as “Roadhouse”. Araya called up and asked to be in the film. Dayton wrote and directed ZOMBEX. It’s his first feature film.
“ZOMBEX” is Dayton’s first chomp at writing and directing a feature horror film. Dayton’s first inspiration came while driving, listening to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who was insisting that Americans are becoming zombies due to government ordered pharmaceuticals and chemicals in the water. He immediately pulled over and wrote the treatment on the spot. The script was further developed while on the 40-city arena “Hellbilly Deluxe” tour with Rob Zombie in Dayton’s Captain Clegg persona, a character developed for Rob Zombie’s version of Halloween 2. Writing 3 pages a day while on tour, he came home with a script ready to be honed into its final form. And Dayton’s acting experience isn’t limited to Rob Zombie’s ouevre; he stepped off the stage of the play “Becoming Kinky” [Friedman] just as he was about to begin shooting ZOMBEX.
Jesse Dayton got his start in Texas recording in the studio with Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson himself. Dayton’s relationship with Rob Zombie got rolling when he wrote and recorded the score for Zombie’s terrifying second film, The Devil’s Rejects. Recruited again for the Halloween films, Dayton was starting to get the bug to produce his own brand of horror, informed by his own love of films like John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing.
ZOMBEX isn’t all about pharmaceutical conspiracies; there’s also blood, burlesque and a boat scene. Dayton’s real life wife Emily Kaye (Frank Miller’s “Sin City,” Texas Chainsaw Massacre “The Beginning” and television series “My Generation”) plays Katie Ann, who gets into a truly original and very gnarly showdown with a zombie.
Filming on “ZOMBEX” took place in New Orleans, East Texas, and noted landmarks within Austin’s city limits. Karmakazi Films, Eleven:11 Films and Hardcharger Films produced Zombex and special effects are by Hawgfly Productions, Inc.