Zombies come to Eau Claire in 1950s inspired film
By Jenna Campbell
Local filmmaker Christopher R. Mihm is bringing his newest film to Eau Claire. "Attack of the Moon Zombies," Mihm's sixth feature, will play at the Grand Little Theatre this Sunday.
In the film, a prominent geologist, played by local actor Mike Cook, is about to retire. As he shows his replacement around, they find a plant in a cave, which they bring inside where it comes back to life. Spores from this plant turn people into plant-like monster zombies, using their bodies as vessels.
All of Mihm's films are reminiscent of 1950s style drive-in movies. "Attack of the Moon Zombies" will take place in the far off future of the 1970s on the Jackson moon base in a science station.
"I try and get my movies to be somewhat indistinguishable from the old ones," Mihm said. "I want them to be as authentic as I can get them."
Mihm said "Attack of the Moon Zombies" was filmed entirely in his 15 by 20 foot unfinished basement. From September of last year into February, Mihm said they spent most weeks setting up the set and most weekends shooting the film.
"It was kind of a crazy process," Mihm said. "It was a lot of work just putting up and taking down."
Mihm began to experiment with filmmaking while attending college. Though he was pursuing music, his passion led him to want to continue to make films after graduation.
"Something just sort of clicked in my head, and I said, 'you know I'm going to make a movie,'" Mihm said. "I just never looked back, and I just can't seem to stop."
Mihm said his decision to pursue the 1950s drive-in style genre was triggered by the time he spent watching movies with his father when he was young.
"I was raised on them," Mihm said. "It was something that we'd sort of sit around and do; we'd watch these old cheesy movies."
But Mihm said honoring his memories of times spent with his father isn't the only thing that drives him to keep making these types of movies.
"I also just absolutely love the sort of honest realness of those old films, where they were really, really trying to make scary things without knowing how, without having the money to do it," Mihm said. "Back then, it was real. It was everything you could touch. I mean, the space ships are paper plates."
Fans are beginning to take notice of Mihm's films all over the world, but Mihm said the films still mostly premiere in the Midwest.
The film will premiere at Eau Claire's Grand Little Theatre on Sunday, September 25. Proceeds of the film premiere will go to the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild and will help pay for operating expenses and new sound equipment at the Grand Little Theatre.