'Zombie Massacre' Set To Invade Harvard

Veteran producer plans to bring undead to the Yard in upcoming film

Move over, Barack Obama—come next year, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee won’t be the the only student fighting the undead on Harvard’s campus.

Fresh off the release of “Barackula,” the short online film released earlier this year in which the Harvard Law School graduate fends off vampires, plans are in place for a zombie movie set at Harvard.

“The Harvard Zombie Massacre,” which is still in its preliminary phases, is to be produced by Hollywood veteran Warren Zide.

Zide, who produced the “American Pie” series as well as the “Final Destination” series, has a great deal of experience with movies featuring college-aged students—as well as those featuring rather gruesome fare.

Ryan Lewis, who will serve as the movie’s executive producer, said that the project has a unique appeal.

“So, the world’s smartest college students have to battle the world’s smartest zombies,” he said. “Usually you get serial killers and ghost stories and stuff with college kids. There hasn’t been a college zombie movie yet. It will have that great cheekiness, some great horror moments—it’s really a great blend.”

As the title suggests, Harvard students will engage in a battle of wits with their undead counterparts. Lewis hopes to film the project right in Harvard Yard, though they have not yet sought the administration’s approval.

According to University spokesman Joe Wrinn, on-campus shoots are the exception rather than the rule. Ordinarily, commercial projects cannot be shot on campus, though films set at Harvard often use aerial shots and footage taken from public property.

Last summer, Denzel Washington directed and starred in “The Great Debaters,” which featured scenes in Sanders Theatre and with Harvard’s campus in the background.

“Last year, we allowed filming in Sanders Theatre as part of the ‘Great Debaters’ movie because Sanders makes its theater available for commercial recordings, but filming was not allowed on campus,” Wrinn wrote in an e-mail.

And despite the fact that Harvard will likely reject Lewis’ bid to film on campus, he said he’s still optimistic about the movie’s potential.

“There’s a great tradition of zombie movies,” he said. “If we can join those ranks with our little movie that would be only too great.”

“The Harvard Zombie Massacre” is scheduled to begin shooting in early 2009.

—Staff writer Amanda C. Lynch can be reached at