Zombie Brigade

Zombie/vampire Vietnam vets? Well it sounds like it could be interesting right? No. Unlike the other 80’s Perth film I worked on, Day of The Panther which was hilariously bad, and not without a certain campy charm, Zombie brigade has everything you don’t want in a film, apart from my name in the crew credits. A Vietnam war memorial is demolished for a Japanese resort of some kind. Zombie vets emerge from the grave to do absolutely nothing. The real star of the show was a purple Holden Statesman with an 8 track player still installed. This vehicle was owned by the evil Mayor – human cane toad Geoff Gibbs (of WAPA fame) . All the action takes place off screen creating unrelieved tedium. Produced by local small time film maker, Charlie Musca. I remember working my guts out for the film as a Best Boy, but even more clearly I remember Charlie Musca coming round after a killer day’s work to make sure we didn’t get more than one can of Vic Bitter each. A couple of the locations were a patch of bamboo (Vietnam) near where the world’s biggest Bingo Centre is now, and waste ground near the Red Hill Tip. Also, Phen375 reviews are in.

Zombie Brigade

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About AHC McDonald

Comedian, artist, photographer and critic. From 2007 to 2017 ran the culture and satire site The Worst of Perth
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31 Responses to Zombie Brigade

  1. CK says:

    Brains! Must. Eat. Brains!


  2. IMDB has Carmelo Musca as the producer/director of “Zombie Bridgade”. How could it have failed with all the ingredients it’s got?


  3. Tom Bukowski says:

    Can i add that another truly awful Perth film is The Bouncer that i saw screen on channel 9 a week ago, starring John Waters. Set in a nightclub that is about as wet as a Police & Citizens high school disco


  4. Bill, Barrie Pattison was supposedly the director. He had not directed before, and I think he was a film critic and one time actor. The major crew members took an instant dislike to him, and were quite pleased when his inexperience made him make mistakes. Rather unprofessional of them in my opinion.
    Also, Daryl Binning was the Gaffer (lighting). You often see him writing crackpot letters to the West Australian. “Hang some sense into criminals, feminists and wolly woofters”, sort of stuff.


  5. Levon says:

    I worked with Carmelo for about two and a half years (ended on a bit of a bad note), so I’ve heard quite a bit of the (undoubtedly rose-tinted) history of this flick.

    The Barrie Patterson story is a bit interesting. The way I heard it was that he didn’t want to go for drinks with the crew at the end of each day, he wanted to plan for the next day, and the crew turned on him. So Carmelo stepped in and he directed the crew, and Barrie directed the actors.

    When I heard the idea for Zombie Brigade, the geek in me got a bit excited. Zombies fighting vampires?! Fuck yeah! But, sadly, it took me most of the film to realise the zombies didn’t show up until the last four minutes, and they didn’t fight the vampires, so much as… shame them? I still don’t entirely understand it.

    I do know Carmelo keeps sending copies to DVD distributors to try and get it out there, to no success for the two and a half years I was working with him (and the twenty since it had been made).

    Funny Tom mentions The Bouncer as Carmelo has a very brief cameo in it. I only ever saw a rough cut of that one, and was left wondering what exactly the whole point of it was. Aside from being a grab for cash, which I think it failed at. Oh well. At least it only cost twenty grand and not the $1.2 million Last Train to Freo cost. Oh, the stories I could tell about that one…


  6. Yeah, Barrie wasn’t blokey enough. A different personality, and he could have got the crew helping him rather than being against him. I think the crew stuff was a little shameful really.


  7. Bedford Crackpot Fraternity says:

    Did little for Toodjay as a tourist destination either, hence a failure!!Carmello was ok (perhaps the George Grilusich of the local film industry!!) – made some rootsy heritage cooking shows that were easier viewing!!


  8. FDB says:

    Last Train to Freo cost 1.2 million? Ticket prices must have really blown out since I left the west.

    Can any of these films be found, legally or illegally, and if so where?

    On the topic of awful zombie movies people have worked on, my sister crewed on the set of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Frankenstein” – check that shit out.


  9. Don’t get Zombie Brigade, but I think it’s out there. Day of The Panther and Strike of The Panther are better. I have seen them come up on online dvd sites.


  10. Levon says:

    FDB, I’m pretty sure Planet Video would have a dusty old copy of Zombie Brigade. Otherwise, I’m sure Carmelo would sell you a DVD.

    A mate told me the other day his uni film course lists Zombie Brigade as one of the films they’ll let you write an essay about. Funnily enough, no one has. But Razorback has 84.


  11. ogga 4 says:

    Hey doesnt any one remember Plugg staring local girl Cheryl Rixon later American Penthouse Pet of the Year.
    Or even better though it was television the cop drama series Drifter starring Alan Cassell as a private eye roaring around Perth streets chasing bad guys in his then new Valiant


  12. Luke says:

    Tom Bukowski; I was just wondering if they screened the full movie that night, I thought it only ran for about 30 minutes?


  13. Matt says:

    Yes i have a copy of Zombie Brigade on VHS. Just can’t believe a movie was made in Toodyay!!!

    Any one attached to the movie in any way is welcome to it.

    I know very little about the history of the movie or the budget that was used…but i guess you can give all involved credit for completing it.

    Just give me Herschell Gordon Lewis any day. Probably even less adept at film making but entertaining!!!


  14. mmagus says:

    I ran a uni film unit for which someone *did* write about Zombie Brigade: http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/ReadingRoom/film/dbase/2007/zombie.html
    He interviewed Carmelo Musca for the piece.
    It’s not the only film made in the Toodyay area: Shame (Steve Jodrell, 1988) is quite a bit better.
    Quite a bit worse WA film is Aussie Park Boyz (Nunzio La Bianca, 2004): http://garrygillard.net/blog/?p=136


  15. Pingback: Bad WA fillums « garrygillard.net

  16. Langford says:

    cool picsxxx


  17. Hi there! I hope you can help me. I’m trying to find the Australian DVD distributor of Zombie Brigade. I host horror films in Sydney on The Schlocky Horror Picture Show and would like to screen ZB but can’t find the right person to ask permission. I hope somebody out there can help me. Toodles! Nigel.


  18. Mr. Frank and Mr. Lazy!

    You’ve come through with the goods! Much appreciated, I rang the number on his website and actually spoke to Mr. Musca! Apparently he’d like to get a better price from one of the commercial networks before he gives it to Community telly but, whether he sells it or not, he said he’d consider giving it to me to screen next year.

    He didn’t say anything about being connected with WTV! We produce several different community TV shows including The Schlocky Horror Picture Show (B-grade films), Anthology Of Interest (short films) and See You Next Wednesday (classic films). AOI has recently screened, and SYNW should be starting soon. WTV didn’t say anything about screening SHPS though. Thanks again for your assistance and invaluable information!



  19. Anonymous says:

    just wait for his new film ‘foreshadow’ to come out (just finished shooting march 2013) hahaa.


  20. My dad was in this movie 😆


  21. The location was 130km from Perth one beer was for safety reasons someone had died driving to Perth earlier that month. We had Mustard Catering the best at the time doing three meals a day plus morning and afternoon teas on location for cast and crew. A lot of leading film industry people today got there first gig on this feature film, read the credits. The script is still very original I would make it again with a better budget. It was the first 35mm feature completely shot and processed in WESTERN AUSTRALIA. All crew that I meet and run into many who I still work with have good memories of the production. Shame the best boy didn’t appreciate his paypacket the experience and comardarie as most of us did. Carmelo


  22. Bruce says:

    Gday All,

    I’m from Toodyay where the film is listed as being filmed, Is there any way the folks of Toodyay could obtain a copy for a Toodyay community hall screening? Maybe there could be some Twin Peaks style ‘see you in 25 years’ sequel as well? That would be fun.

    The only footage I’ve found on line from the film is this song (Carmelo please forgive my use here) which is great – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AitLwQ70ZcI




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