Zombie features (ones deeper than a puddle) aren’t just creature features, but symbolism for societal ills. That seems to be what Kill List director Ben Wheatley is doing with his new Brexit themed zombie drama Generation Z, set to premiere on UK’s Channel 4.
As reported by Deadline the TV series will feature “rapacious” baby boomers and “disaffected” teenagers at each other’s throats. The show will have a tone of dark comedy and satire.
The blurb for the series was reported as follows: “The future looks bleak for today’s youth – seemingly-endless austerity, astronomical house prices, insurmountable student debt, a political system which appears intent on destroying itself… And to add insult to injury, their hard-earned taxes are being eaten up by the old – smug, self-satisfied, small-minded, “Little Englander” pensioners whose remaining sole purpose in life is to make it a misery for everyone else.”
In a small British town, tensions come to a head when a mysterious military convoy crashes outside the Sunnywise Retirement Home. The vehicles were carrying a toxic substance, which, as a result of the crash, leaks into the local environment and infects the residents of the retirement community. The symptoms of this infection quickly manifest – an overwhelming appetite for raw flesh.
Now, I’m all for horror shows that use the genre to dig deeper into the world. Yet, I wonder, even though this series is supposed to be dark comedy and satire, if it will address the very real underlying issue about the Brexit referendum: RACISM.
Generational clashing is a tale as old as time, and we’ve seen a number of movies and shows play up that dynamic. Adding zombies in the mix to that theme might bring some life into things, but if Wheatley really wants to be bold in his storytelling he won’t shy away from the racism and anti-immigration campaigning when it came to influencing the Brexit vote.
The Brexit referendum in Britain, although supported by many of those who leaned left in their politics because of popular resentment of austerity policies pushed by the European Union, was also used by the anti-immigrant right wingers who made appeals to white working-class people, claiming they were suffering economically under the burden of mass immigration.
It’s a dividing sentiment that we’ve seen cause much tension in a variety of places. To ignore that angle of the Brexit vote would be a missed opportunity and not very bold at all.
Guess we’ll see.
Generation Z will go into production in 2020 and will be Executive Produced by Wheatley, Mark Pybus and George Faber. It will be written and directed by Wheatley.