Can’t get enough of watching virus movies, even if what you’re seeing on the screen seems, at times, painfully similar to what’s happening outside? You’re not alone. It’s called exposure therapy and, according to psychologists and cinema experts, we can’t stop watching outbreak movies during the pandemic because they rekindle our hopes that even huge, insurmountable danger can be surpassed if humanity works together. The pandemic has reignited our interest in virus movies, making older productions relevant again. Outbreak, Contagion, and 28 Days Later are just a few examples. So, will we get bored of them now that social distancing restrictions are being lifted and most countries seem to have the virus under control?
That’s highly unlikely. Movies have a way of reflecting real-world events, and when something as major as a pandemic comes along, we’re bound to see it depicted in movies for a long time. Plus, the zombie genre is known for reinventing itself, and now is the perfect time for film-runners to innovate. One of the latest ambitious projects comes from Donavon Warren, actor, owner of the production company Loaded Dice Films and director of the cult hit movie Wheels.
In a recent interview, Donavon Warren revealed that his company, Loaded Dice Films, has begun pre-production on “Vampire Apocalypse”, an outbreak Sci-Fi movie set in a post-apocalyptic world that will add a breath of fresh air to the genre and give audiences something they’ve never seen before.
According to the actor-producer, Vampire Apocalypse is set in a future world where a mysterious virus has turned people into blood-thirsty vampires, and a small handful of survivors have retreated to a small island off the coast of Florida. The main character, Winston (played by Donavon Warren), lives a normal life with his daughter until one day, she gets an infection in her arm. He then has to make a tough call: have her arm amputated or risk going to the vampire-infested mainland to look for a cure.
This time, Warren wants to add a new twist to the age-old, good vs. evil storyline and go further than what he’s done before. Although Hollywood has a long track record for making virus movies bombastic and over the top, to the point where they lose their believability, Donavon Warren wants to focus more on gritty realism for this picture, setting a father’s drama against humanity’s struggle to survive.
While details about the budget are still unclear, Donavon Warren said that Vampire Apocalypse will compete with summer blockbusters and that the movie has the potential to become a massive hit. As theatres are starting to reopen, both distributors and audiences are thirsty for new content, and the story in Vampire Apocalypse will definitely be appealing: even as things are now slowly coming back to normal, the main character’s quest of returning to the vampire-infested city reflect people’s fear of things getting out of control again. Exploring this possibility from the comfort of a cinema seat is definitely tempting, so we won’t be surprised if Vampire Apocalypse ends up outselling bigger-budget productions.
We’re particularly excited to see this movie considering that it comes from the director of Wheels, the 2014 drama that gained both critical and audience acclaim (98% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.4/10 on IMDb). Wheels tells the story of two suicidal paraplegic junkies who hustle the city streets looking for a reason to live and was 13 years in the making. Warren started working on the movie when he was only 20 years old, and he revealed in an interview that he based the storyline on his personal experience with mental health. At the same time, he wanted to bring up uncomfortable topics that needed to be discussed, and Wheels did just that, winning best feature at the Bahamas International Film Festival. The movie can be streamed on Amazon Prime and stars Patrick Hume and Diana Gettinger, alongside Donavon Warren.
In addition to writing and producing the movie, Warren also starred in it. To bring to life one of the main characters, who was a heroin addict, he went through a dramatic full-body transformation, losing 50 pounds. He will also be starring in Vampire Apocalypse and, for this particular role, he’s had to put all weight back on and go on a strict diet and exercise regimen.
Vampire Apocalypse is coming to theatres soon.
About Donavon Warren
Donavon Warren was born on 16 September 1980 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 18, pursuing his dream of becoming an actor. Lacking connections and financial opportunities, Warren spent his first 8 months in Los Angeles living out of his old Jeep. Success came with the 2014 launch of his first independent film, Wheels, which he wrote, produced, and co-directed. Although he initially wanted to focus only on acting. Donavon Warren soon realized that being behind the camera allowed him more creative freedom. Wheels went on to be released in over 60 countries and gain critical acclaim, proving once again that a heartfelt story and a compelling subject matter don’t need a multi-million-dollar budget to succeed. Donavon Warren has his own production company, Loaded Dice Films, which distributed the movie. In 2019, Warren started working on three new films: Vampire Apocalypse, which is an outbreak movie set in a post-apocalyptic world, Time Wars, a time-travel action trilogy of movies set in World War II, and a third movie whose details are yet to be released.