Juan of the Dead Defends Cuba From Zombie Attack

A specter is haunting Cuba. The specter of zombies. You've seen all those protests and hunger strikes. Something's afoot. And that something is flesh-eating, pus-spewing zombies.

That's the premise, anyway, of a new movie that will film in Habana later this year, called Juan of the Dead. In the movie, Cubans suddenly turn violent after 50 years of Fidel. They've run out of food to eat, so they turn to human flesh. In response to the zombie outbreak, the government blames dissidents and imperialist yankees. Cubans try to flee the island, but they can't.

Get it? It's an allegory! Juan, a fortysomething slacker with an unruly mop of hair, sees an opportunity in the crisis. And resourceful as any Cuban, he decides to go into the zombie-killing business. Top that Shawn of the Dead.

The movie, a Spanish and Cuban co-production, will start filming in Habana in September. It's expected to cost $2.7 million, a huge budget for a Cuban flick, and one of the most expensive in the country's history. By comparison, Chamaco, the indie that premiered at the Miami

International Film Festival, cost a few hundred dollars.

News of the zombie movie broke at the Cannes Film Festival, where

producers were selling international rights. It's not clear if it'll

come to the United States. Zombie movies, of course, are all the rage

here lately: Zombieland, Shawn of the Dead, and those Jane Austen zombie

books. (Trailer after the jump)

Juan of the Dead will star comedian Alexis Diaz de Villegas. In the teaser trailer, he's said to be starting the second Cuban revolution with his zombie-killing business. His slogan: "Juan of the dead: We kill your loved ones."

Here's the first English teaser trailer:

And the gorier, funnier Spanish one:

[erik.maza@miaminewtimes.com | on twitter]

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Erik Maza