Saturday, 17 March 2012


Messy. Very messy. Bingo.

The Royal Haslar Hospital, just outside Portsmouth. A centre of naval medical excellence since 1753 (which is taking the whole concept of NHS specialisation to a ridiculous degree – I mean, what can go wrong with a naval?). That was until the government decided that, despite its best efforts, a sufficient number of sailors weren’t getting injured anymore, and so shut it down in 2009. It’s a familiar story, and pity the next seaman to hurt himself on one of our empty aircraft carriers.

Still, the navy’s loss is Zombie Resurrection’s gain. A massive 60 acre site with a cornucopia of historic buildings that have been slowly rotting away for the past 3 years – there’s got to be something we can use for our exterior cutaways.

And indeed there was, all for the rather more manageable sum of £100. That’s how to support independent filmmaking; I’m talking to you, St Joseph’s.

So, a couple of very entertaining hours were spent repeatedly circumnavigating one of the older and more messy buildings, joined by the ever-dependable Rob Luckins. An afternoon spent moving detritus around and trying not to frame the sea or the bizarrely perfectly-manicured grass in shot.

I mean – it’s even got a smashed up tunnel; the less vain twin of the corridor that our party pass down when they first enter the school (at 00:30 in the trailer). An important box gets ticked, a ball-ache alleviated, and an edit becomes richer.

It wasn’t till later that I found out that there are apparently 20,000 people buried on the site – for future reference this is not the place to flee to when the zombie apocalypse eventually kicks off. God only knows how many Napoleonic shivers we must have been responsible for as we liberally trampled over the mass of graves, and it certainly bodes badly for the veterans that should eventually be moving onto the re-developed site. Has nobody else watched Poltergeist? Possessed.

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