THE spotlight is falling on Stannington as it is set to star in a cult comedy horror film.
Zombie Women of Satan was released worldwide in 2009 and became an instant hit. It even caused a stir at the Cannes Film Festival, where a dozen ‘zombies’ gathered on the beach to promote it.
The sequel, Zombie Women of Satan 2, is currently in production.
And sleepy Stannington has been chosen as one of the locations.
The film is being directed by Chris Greenwood and excitement about its release is growing.
It was recently listed by movie-goers as number 30 on the list of most anticipated zombie films due for release around the world, and already it has more than 15,000 Facebook fans, before filming is even finished.
Mr Greenwood said: “The first movie in the series was a massive worldwide success.
“With this film I wanted to do something different. We’ve injected more comedy, created some unbelievable characters and hopefully it will be an even bigger success than the first film.”
Mr Greenwood hails from Haslingden in Lancashire, but moved to the North East to study media production at Sunderland.
He never looked back, developing his craft at car giant Nissan, where he ran the video department for five years, before looking for a new challenge.
Together with his partner and photographer Shazia, the 28-year-old decided to set up a wedding photography business, Chocolate Chip Photography, and has recently moved into wedding video services.
In January 2012 Mr Greenwood was approached to produce and direct the Zombie Women of Satan 2 film.
Despite an almost full diary of weekend wedding bookings, and increasing demand for his video services, Mr Greenwood agreed to unearth his buried passion for comedy horror and take on the roles.
He is working alongside co-producer actor Warren Speed, from Newcastle.
The film stars Big Brother 7 winner Pete Bennett and Mike Fielding, the brother of Mighty Boosh star Noel.
However, despite its reputation, cast and hundreds of extras, it is being produced on a shoestring budget of around £8,000.
As well as Stannington as a location, the film is being shot in Newcastle, Chester le Street and Sunderland.
Audiences have been told to expect realistic pyrotechnics, gun fights, luxury cars and lots of female zombies.
Interest is again being shown by the organisers of the Cannes Film Festival.
Mr Greenwood said: “It’s fantastic being able to use my working skills to create this piece of cult horror, and everywhere I go people ask me how the movie is developing.
“I’ve even heard that groups of people in the USA have been having themed Halloween parties based on some of the characters in the first movie.
“We plan to head to Cannes again next May and storm the beach with an even bigger zombie women invasion.”
Wedding photography and videos are still the lifeblood for Mr Greenwood’s thriving business, but he is happy to devote his twilight hours to the film project.
However, potential brides looking for videography have been assured there will be no blood, ripped clothes or decomposing bodies in their wedding recordings, unless they request it of course.