Spoiler: Indie after-the-zombies movie

Spoiler is an independently produced 17-minute horror/science fiction movie that illuminates the kinds of cold equations that have to be solved in pandemic outbreaks. In this case, it's the story of the coroners who keep the zombie plague under control after it's been beaten back. It's a good twist on the traditional zombie movie, and hits a sweet spot of sorrow and horror that you get with the best zombie stories.

The zombie apocalypse happened -- and we won.

But though society has recovered, the threat of infection is always there -- and Los Angeles coroner Tommy Rossman is the man they call when things go wrong.

Spoiler (Thanks, Ben!)


  1. Amazing how much they can make you care in under 17 minutes –started thinking, “eh, I’ll take a minute to look at this,”  and at the end, I was yelling at the screen, “Close the door! CLOSE THE DAMN DOOR!”

  2. I watched half. I came back to finish and I can’t scrub through to the middle. Every time I click somewhere on the timeline it restarts from the beginning. 1999 called, they want their video player functionality back…

  3. ***spoilers-do not read this comment if you want to watch the video unspoiled***

    So, wait a sec, they have no way of knowing if the dude’s infected or not, so he has to get burned, right? But the door’s open and the baby is within view of the door, so how do they know the baby’s not infected? And if they’re going to test the baby, what was to prevent them from testing the dude? Logic of premise fail. 

    1. I’m guessing that it’s a highly infectious strain. A zombie baby with no teeth could be restrained. A zombie dad… not so much. I could easily see a society that had different rules for dealing with kid and adult zombies.

      1. Yeah, I thought of that, but I rejected it because: a) He’s still talking rationally, therefore not zombie yet and b) if he’s able to hold down his zombie wife, then presumably the armed and armored team that is assigned to deal with these matters could restrain a guy that is just turning into a zombie.  

        1. I think you’re letting emotion get in the way of  good survival/containment plans. Nuke ’em from orbit etc etc

          1. No, I’m asking a logical question. In terms of logic, I wouldn’t complain if both the dad and the baby needed to be burnt up (although that would obviously lessen the dramatic arc of the film). It’s the film that plays to emotion over logic by somehow coming up with a scenario where the baby is safe to grab but the dad is not. 

        2. hey fellas! 

          Yeah I admit we left this a little vague :)   The idea is that our main guy can’t face killing the kid, so he breaks protocol (burn the joint out if its a non-treatable strain) on the hail-mary chance that when the medtechs get in there, the baby is in the clear. 

          There’s no way they are going to open the door and risk the wife getting loose, and the husband is almost certainly infected, so the coroner can’t let the husband into the room with the baby.  From the coroner’s POV, chances are they will have to end up destroying the kid too, but an infected baby can pretty much only lie there on it’s back and writhe, as opposed to a crazed, ambulatory adult.

          We tried to clarify this in dialogue, but we couldn’t find a way without getting in the way of the drama.  We will keep tryin’ though — we have a lot of ideas for this setting, and we definitely want it to make (at least a little) sense!

          Thanks hugely for checking it out! Incredible fun to make, and we’re super happy folks have taken the time to watch it.

          1. Cool Daniel, I was indeed drawn in by the work, I have to say, but my nerdist side had to make sure the logic worked. Now I get your explanation and think the logic works (a bit better). I can be dense sometimes, so don’t let me throw you unless lots of other folks start saying the same thing.

            All that said, I really liked the overall concept!

          2.  Aw, man, I thought the ‘spoiler’ was they were going to go in & find the baby was patient zero of the infection.

          3. Thoughts re the clarity issue.  

            Without spelling too much out, the tech running the cam could have said “so, yes.” when the husband said “was it blood” — not to the husband, he wasn’t on that circuit, to the air, or the universe.  

            But you’ve left ANOTHER logical hole.  If every building was retrofitted with magic locks, and retrofitted with magic fireproof doors and walls and spray heads, and if the creep who went to the car authorized the burn and purge, then why the hell didn’t he burn and purge the entire apartment? 

            At no point did the coroner un-mark the changing room for burn.  and I can’t believe that even a closet didn’t have nozzles and locks in that society.  

            Logically, this would be a “sterilize the entire apartment” operation if this is a contact transferable strain.  Who knows what she touched after she went hot? 

            While you’re at it, if you could explain why, if one drop could eat an entire star about to go nova, Spock was flying around with hundreds of gallons of the red stuff, that would help too.   


          4. So, I asked on the Vimeo site…how do you get PAID for something like this? I’d gladly have paid $4.00 to watch this. 

          5.  Nice work. I’m REAL sick of zombies, but this was a cool flick. Good direction, great acting. It made sense to me. Glad I Stumbled here.

    2. I took it that he was asking him to close the door against his better judgement and protocol. Like no one was listening anymore, he said “Do me a favor” because he felt bad about killing a baby that was likely not infected. And he could have said “I guess that censor was faulty and that door was closed after all.”

      1. Ah. That makes much more sense. I think I will accept that explanation as within my suspension-of-disbelief parameters. 

        1.  Right on, Slart — I am exactly the same way.   And a fair number of folks have asked about this — we’ll definitely refine it if we get to make the longer version.   Very glad you dug the concept!

          1. I hope you guys do get to make a longer version. This could easily be made into the most original, compelling zombie movie of the last 20 years! I think it’s a great twist on the traditional genre and I’d really love to see a full length movie based around it. This 17 minute clip alone was so well done!

  4. I’m a big fan of the very realistic, dystopian zombie movie – my favorite being 28 Days Later. This reminded me a bit of that in its “mood” though this is much better than the similarly themed 28 Months Later. I definitely want to see the first 87 minutes of this movie – when’s it going on Kickstarter, Daniel? 

    On a tangent, I only just discovered (and burned through in about 2 weeks) the podcast series called We’re Alive. It’s very good, with incredible production and good acting (for the most part). I highly recommend it.

  5. I was so pleased that it didn’t end with the expected gotcha of “the baby is infected.”
    Great video, great production values, kept me riveted. I can imagine a lot of stories in this world.

  6. >”The zombie apocalypse happened — and we won.”

    Only with a mentality brought by 10 years of living with the War on Terror could one consider that ‘winning’.

    1. You know, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that once you have lived in a world overrun by brain-eating revenants, going on to live in a world that is not overrun by revenants probably feels like a hell of a net win. 

      But if you have never known nor imagined a true survival threat in your life, and really must make this about a cod political snark, thank you for your contribution and Godspeed You Leftist Eeyore.

      1.  Well, I could have mentioned Mexico’s War on Drugs instead, which has brought us 60k plus deaths and daily news of tortures and dismemberments all across my nation, but that wouldn’t have connected with much of Boing Boing’s community ;)

        The very short displays how terrible moral choices are perceived as justifiable simply because of that looming threat that will never be effectively eradicated. And even here the coroner chooses NOT to do the right thing because probably the thought of leaving a potential infection vector alive is more bearable than knowing your decision left a baby orphan.

        Maybe the coroner understood that in the end surviving is not enough…

  7. Please for the love of all that is holy, get a contract and full length shoot this movie. Those 17 minutes were intense, and i’d love to see what you could do with 90.

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