Dead End Days
Dead End Days is a zombie comedy internet webserial released by Rocket Ace Moving Pictures between 2003 and 2004. Launched in October 2003 "DED", as it is known by fans, was one of the first independent webserials (serialized live action video series developed for broadcast exclusively on the Internet), and a predecessor to modern vlogs or podcasts.
Released weekly at DeadEndDays.com, the series combined elements of farcical comedy, classic serial adventure, social commentary, and modern zombie horror genres. The year-long story followed the adventures of a number of individuals in a world wherein a human-zombie war has been narrowly averted and corporate marketing interests are just starting to target the undead as a viable demographic. Comprising 48 episodes, each five to ten minutes long, the series ran from October 2003 to November 2004, and attracted a cult following due to its black humor and commentary on modern marketing culture.
Dead End Days was the brainchild of producer Brad Fox, director Matthew Hoos, and screenwriter Jason Patrick Rothary, childhood friends from Calgary, Alberta. Before the project, each had become involved, in various capacities, in the Canadian film and live theatre industries.
In a post-war society wherein a zombie invasion has been narrowly averted, humanity is left scrambling to cope with the remaining zombie "demographic" that now forms a part of daily life. When a grasping-at-straws advertising campaign for "Brains Cola" turns into a runaway success, zombies become the new target for all manner of brain-themed products, as companies rush to capitalize on their untapped buying power.
Eric is an apathetic video store clerk trafficking in black market classic horror movies. Ashley is a frustrated life insurance agent deluged with undead policy holders. Sam and Bridget are freelance zombie hunters desperate for a gig. And Bruce is an irritatingly cheerful previously-deceased-rights activist. All five characters struggle to find their place in this strange new world and collectively uncover a sinister plot by a multinational corporation looking to plunge the world into another zombie-human war, regardless of the cost.
The series concluded in November 2004, although it is still available on the website. The co-creators of Dead End Days have gone on to create the breakfast-based online sitcom Cerealized.com, as well as several music video and short film projects. On the Rocket Ace Moving Pictures fan message boards they have confirmed they are also working on several secret short and feature film projects.
Dead End Days was released as a 4-DVD box set on February 13, 2006. It includes all 52 regular and bonus episodes, cast and crew commentaries, bloopers, outtake reels, and a featurette on the art design of the series.
Dead End Days: The Complete Scriptbook, by series writer Jason Patrick Rothery, was published on October 31, 2005, it includes the original scripts for all 48 canonical episodes (and some alternate and variant drafts of key episodes), a selection of behind the scenes photographs, as well as essays on serialized writing by Rothery, and other contributors to the show.
- Fox, Brad. "Here We Go!". Rocket Ace Moving Pictures. Archived from the original on 2003-12-06. Retrieved 2005-08-16.
- "Slackers Entrepreneurs and Marketing to the Undead". Onlypunjab.com. Retrieved 2004-11-13.
- Franklin, Luke. "Dead End Days Interview Part I". Retrieved 2004-11-13.
- "Dead End Days (2004)". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
- "Dead End Days (2004)". IMDB. Retrieved 2007-03-31.
- Rothery, Jason (2005-10-31). Dead End Days: The Complete Scriptbook. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Rocket Ace Moving Pictures. ISBN 0-9739067-0-7.