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Sunday, March 07, 2021

Prasanth Varma: Zombie Reddy doesn’t make a joke out of zombies

Director Prasanth Varma on shooting Zombie Reddy during the pandemic, and the controversy courted by the film's title.

Written by Gabbeta Ranjith Kumar | Hyderabad |
Updated: February 5, 2021 8:34:49 am
Zombie Reddy directorZombie Reddy will release on February 5. (Photo: PR Handout)

Director Prasanth Varma’s latest film Zombie Reddy is set in a Rayalaseema reeling under a zombie attack. Starring Sajja Teja and Anandhi, the film is set to release in cinemas on February 5.

In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Prasanth spoke about shooting Zombie Reddy during the pandemic, and the controversy courted by the film’s title.

What can you tell us about Zombie Reddy?

The concept of this film may be new but it packs all elements of a commercial film. The budget and scale of this movie is at par with Kalki. It is not a small zombie film. It is a big film (sans big star cast). We didn’t want to make this film look silly. The movie doesn’t make a joke out of zombies. But, the humour lies in situations. I am confident that Zombie Reddy will become a cult film.

What inspired you to make a zombie film?

I wanted to explore a new genre. It will be a new experience for the audience as well. It was risky but if the film succeeds, it will all be worth it.

How was your experience of making a film during the pandemic?

It was crazy but we also had a lot of fun. I did not go to the shoot with a full-bound script for Zombie Reddy. We just had an idea for a film based on a virus outbreak. And we did not have coronavirus in mind at the time. About 12 days after we began shooting the film, the lockdown was imposed. So we had a lot of time to perfect the script. Soon after we finalised the script, the government started easing the lockdown restrictions. We resumed shooting and even restrictions on the night shoot were also removed just in time when we needed it. In the final stage of the production, the theatres were allowed to open. As we are preparing to release it, even the 100 per cent occupancy in theatres is back. Things just fell in place for us.

What was the process behind turning actors into zombies?

I wanted to hire makeup artists from Hollywood. But, obviously, the budget constraints didn’t allow us to do so. We did a lot of research and watched tutorials on zombie makeup. After many trial and error, we finalized the makeup that we can afford. Unless you have a budget like Baahubali films, it is impossible to give a makeover to about 500 people.

The title of the film, Zombie Reddy, courted controversy. What are your comments?

There will always be people who complain about everything. Some even may get offended if you wish them a good morning. You can never satisfy everyone. At the same time, the intention is not to hurt anyone. Also, it is a story about how people of a place fought a zombie invasion.

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