*This is an early partial draft of the treatment for a zombie film I've been conceptualizing for quite some time. Stay tuned to Nomenclature for further details.
Where is the absolute last place on earth one would want to be during a zombie uprising? Locked within the confines of a massive cemetery with thousands of corpses animating and looking for human flesh upon which to feast. No weapons, no means of transportation and only one way out, everyday people must tap into their darker sides to fight evil and make it out alive.
The cemetery is situated between the upper class neighborhood of Cleveland Heights and the lower class realm of East Cleveland, placing the characters between the proverbial rock and hard place. Despite preconceived notions, fleeing toward the ghetto is really their only safe choice.
Following a week and a half of heavy rains, the atmosphere around Cleveland Ohio has finally cleared enough to allow a leisurely bike ride around the historic Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland Heights. MARC ANREAS (25) and ERIN LEE (22) cycle to a bluff atop the cemetery and look out at the distant skyline of Cleveland. Below, a carload of people place flowers on the headstone of one of the deceased. MARC and ERIN bear witness to an atrocity as a wayward derelict brutally attacks the party of mourners. To their astonishment, the landscape is full of these listless flesh-eating vagabonds. They seem to be clawing their way out of recently-covered graves. So begins MARC and ERIN’S long flight towards the gates. Along the way, they encounter other embattled inhabitants who act as zombie fodder. The Ohio National Guard foils their first attempt at exiting at the Cleveland Heights Gate, as the state government cemetery has quarantined the site. With legions of the undead bearing down on them, ERIN and MARC find the safety of a mausoleum right before the National Guard opens fire. There they meet DUANE FARMER, a groundskeeper on the property. He offers a new plan – fight their way back through the cemetery until they can reach the East Cleveland Gate, as it is not going to be as intensely guarded, if there are even troops stationed there at all. But the walking dead are everywhere, and it was a tumultuous and dangerous journey just making it that far. It is their only option, and a desperate one, at best.
Gritty, raw and realistically violent, much in the vein of Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, and Children of Men.
Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio: Founded in 1869, the 285 acre cemetery sits on the border of affluent Cleveland Heights and poverty-ridden East Cleveland. It is home to over 100,000 graves and around 700 people are buried there each year. Lake View contains the final resting place of President James Garfield and his wife. Physically, the site has many peaks and valleys and affords distant views of the Cleveland skyline and Lake Erie. There are also several ponds and a 90-foot tall dam that spans 500 feet and can retain 80 million gallons of water. The cemetery was designed in a Victorian by Italian landscapers and is rife with flora and fauna. The ivy-laden crypts clad in soot-stained sandstone dot the hillsides, allowing numerous hiding places for the living dead.