Battle of the Bone

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Battle of the Bone
Battle of the Bone DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by George Clarke
Produced by
  • George Clarke
  • Andrew Mawhinney
Written by George Clarke
  • Shane Todd
  • Alan Murray Crawford
  • Laura Jenkins
  • Lindsey Mitchell
Music by Chris Logan
Cinematography George Clarke
Edited by Jonny Kirk
Yellow Fever Productions
Distributed by Yellow Fever Productions
Release date
  • 17 July 2008 (2008-07-17) (United Kingdom)
Running time
90 minutes
Country Ireland
Language English
Budget ₤10,000

Battle of the Bone is an 2008 Irish independent zombie film written and directed by George Clarke, and is claimed as Northern Ireland's "first ever" kung-fu zombie movie.[1]


A group of friends consisting of Todd, Aaron, Lane, Broderick, Jane, and Kerry are rushing to take part in protests that are occurring in Belfast. They at first have fun dodging police and advancing the cause, but become suspicious when they see the military arrive. They soon realize that the protesters are turning into zombies. The zombies break down the door of the Port-a-Potty Broderick is in and kill him. Aaron is also decapitated when he tries to run to the car while a masked person tries to rape Jane but zombies eat both of them.

Todd, Kerry and Lane manage to reach the military blockade, but the soldiers refuse to let them through and shoot Lane. Todd and Kerry lock themselves in a car and when they realize they won't be making it out alive, they make out and start having sex. However, the zombies around the car become distracted by the presence of a military tank. The coast is not clear, however, because a zombified Lane appears and bites Kerry's throat before Todd kills both of them. After the soldiers are eaten alive, Todd hijacks the tank and uses it to escape.

Todd leaves Belfast in the tank but is accosted by another group of soldiers outside the city. They climb in the tank but one remaining zombie hiding inside a closet kills them all while Todd climbs in their Jeep and drives off. He comes across the last group of soldiers, who are trying to escape in a helicopter, but all of them are killed by zombies except one soldier and the pilot. Todd makes it into the helicopter just in time but the pilot accidentally shoots himself in the head while trying to throw Todd out. Todd manages to fly the helicopter using his experience with video games but the soldier transforms into a zombie, so Todd breaks his neck and throws him out of the helicopter. Todd then flies the helicopter to safety and hears a news broadcast claiming that there were no survivors, eliciting a chuckle from him.

Partial cast[edit]

  • Shane Todd as Todd
  • Alan Murray Crawford as Lane
  • Laura Jenkins as Kerry
  • Lindsey Mitchell as Jane
  • Roddy Conlon as Aaron
  • Phil Barnhill as Broderick
  • Andrew Brown as Masked Man
  • Tommy Martin as Pilot
  • Jamie McGrath as Soldier on Helicopter
  • Logan Bruce as Zombie Logan
  • John Gallagher as Zombie John
  • Dena Montgum-Brown as Zom


Both the film's title and its plot timeline being set on 12 July, stem from King William III's 12 July 1690 Battle of the Boyne. Created on a budget of ₤10,000, the filmmaker chose The Troubles as the film's inspiration and as a means to address the issue of division with a twist that shows the two sides of the Belfast community joining together to deal with a common threat.[2][3][4] The film was first screened in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 17 July 2008.[5]


The film first screened in Belfast, on 17 July 2008,[1][5][6] and was followed by a DVD release on 23 October 2008. The film also secured an exclusive partnership with DVD rental kiosk operator The Movie Booth to offer rental copies of the movie in Belfast based DVD rental machines.

Writer/director George Clarke joined the film's stars Alan Crawford and Shane Todd in a promotion tour to sign DVDs and pose for photographs.[7]


The movie showed in October 2008 at The Freakshow Horror Film Festival in Florida. The contest was adjudicated by George A. Romero, where the film won the Audience Choice Award 2008. BOTB has also attracted interest from Hong Kong and Canada.[8]

Canadian critical review site – described it as a "relentlessly kinetic and joyous picture; always running and usually running away, each character perpetually fighting for his/her life"[9] Writing in The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, Volume 2, academic Peter Dendle said, "It's too low budget to come across to most general audiences as much more than friends having fun around some local buildings and streets, but George Clarke's impassioned zombie pic gained immediate attention both for some vivaciously choreographed action sequences and for its political overtones."[10]

The director stated in January 2010, "Battle of the Bone may have wowed genre geeks, but some mainstream critics didn’t appreciate the film’s queasy concoction of zombies and Orangemen."[11]


  1. ^ a b staff (16 June 2008). "Zombies now set to rampage City Walls!". Derry Journal. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Lesley-Anne Henry (29 October 2007). "The zombie movie set at an Ulster flashpoint". Belfast Telegraph. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "My Cultural Life: George Clark". Culture Northern Ireland. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "UTV – Battle of the Bone premiere". UTV. 18 July 2008. Archived from the original on 28 October 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Belfast Zombies Unleashed in Cinema". Belfast Telegraph. 18 July 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ staff (22 May 2008). "Zombies in 12 July rampage". News Letter. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "DVD release of Battle of the Bone" (Press release). The Basement. Archived from the original on 27 October 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2008. 
  8. ^ "Freaky Award Winners 2008". Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "Battle of the Bone review". Archived from the original on 21 December 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  10. ^ Dendle, Peter (2012). The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, Volume 2: 2000–2010. McFarland & Company. pp. 29–30. ISBN 978-0-7864-6163-9. 
  11. ^ staff (29 January 2010). "Hope and gory". Belfast Telegraph. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 

External links[edit]