The Last Zombie: The Argentine horror film that predicted the coronavirus pandemic

A horror film by Martín Basterretche

It doesn’t seem plausible to say that a horror film can predict a pandemic. However, the last zombieby director Martín Basterretche, can boast a little. Because, unknowingly, his script is full of words that are common to us today, like quarantine, infections and epidemiologistsbut that in February 2020, when the film finished shooting, they weren’t. After a successful run at international festivals, the film hit theaters in Argentina on Thursday so that horror fans (and those not so much) can enjoy a different zombie story than we are used to.

The film introduces Nicolás Finnigan (Matías Desiderio), a scientist specializing in genetics who goes in search of a prestigious missing doctor (Tony Lestingi) and suspected of experimenting with humans. The investigation takes him to a fictional seaside resort where he is believed to have been last seen. The place, Hagia Sophia of the Seait is famous for its thermal baths, and apparently the wife of the doctor who disappeared there contracted a disease, which ended up turning her into a kind of zombie. Finnigan, in his desire to discover the truth, decides to move to this secluded resort and stay in an old inn that hides many secrets.

Matías Desiderio in a scene from The Last Zombie
Matías Desiderio in a scene from The Last Zombie

The parallelism with the pandemic arises from this “Zombie infection” that engulfs the city and forces tourists to remain locked up in quarantine. “The coronavirus issue was already in the air when we were shooting and the quarantine was arranged eight days after filming ended. If that had happened during filming, it would have been a catastrophe from a production standpoint.”, Says Martín Basterretche in dialogue with Infobae.

“Our history has already brought up many of the themes of the pandemic. There are infectologists, virus suspects, massive infections. I think now we can give another reading that we had not thought of in these terms ”, explains the director who con the last zombiewritten in collaboration with Melina Cherro and shot entirely in La Plata, closes the trilogy of Santa Sofia del Marthe imaginary city in which they take place Blind spot Y Devout, the silent invasion.

As for the zombies in the film, Basterretche differentiates them from typical Hollywood zombies who are “stronger and faster than humans, biting and feeding on living flesh”. “We wanted to get rid of it and we decided return to the classic genre, which treats the zombie in the original sense, or in Central American voodoo. They are undead, painless souls who wander with a kind of sadness until they can find their final destination.”, Describes the director about the stars of his feature film.

On the current situation of horror cinema in Argentina, Basterretch assures this “its exploding”. “There are many of us who are dedicated to this genre and today we are happy. I don’t think there are prejudices, but rather that there is distance. It is difficult for us to be seen and found. It’s a niche genre in the good sense of the word. It has the distinction of being smaller, but at the same time it is much more determined, ”he explains.

Director Martin Basterretch
Director Martin Basterretch

Clara Kovacic is the referent of horror cinema in Argentina. That’s why it’s no surprise that Basterretche called her up to star in his film. “For me it was like a prophecy. During the shooting it was crazy to see the world collapse like in the script of the film. “counts the shouts the Argentine queen a Infobae on the film’s similarities to the pandemic. A scream queenor “scream queen”, is an actress strongly linked to horror films.

Kovacic, who describes the film as “cosmic horror”, says he is not “typical of zombies who eat human flesh”. “These beings want to spread, they want the end of the world. This is much more like it prince of darknessby John Carpenter, which is like the future of the end of the world, and not so much a story of zombies eating guts because it is not cinema gorethere is no blood in the film“.

His character (Pato) has the amount of humor needed to defuse the dense atmosphere offered by the film. “I enjoyed playing her. It’s a cartoon, a mix of comedy and madness that really can’t stand the end of the world and has a psychotic break. She is a typical false spiritualist hippie who falls apart when something bad happens to her, “explains the Croatian-born actress.

Clara’s career took a huge turn at the end of 2021 when Netflix first Don’t look upthe film of Leonardo Di Caprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep in which the Argentine artist had a participation. “You have given me visibility that I really appreciate. It is obviously an important milestone to have in the curriculum both abroad and in Argentina. As much as I will always do independent films because I love it, I also like to transcend and be able to do something a little more commercial.“, invoice. Thanks to her role in the Adam McKay film, new projects have emerged that keep her very busy today, including the series. world robbery from Star + Y rooster days from HBO.

the last zombiewhich also includes performances by Alexia Moyano, Adriana Ferrer, Sofía Kali, Maia Francia, Luis Longhi, Francisco González Gil and Federico Aimetta, can be seen in the cinemas of the chain Hoyts (Abasto, Unicenter and Quilmes), in shop window (Haedo and Nord) and in Gaumont.

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