28 Days Later is a post-apocalyptic romantic comedy film released by the British film industry in 2002. It is known as the first motion picture in movie history coming from England that does not actually feature secret agents, wizardry or Mr Bean (although all of these subjects are central to the film's plot). The film is set in a near-future London, where Queen Elizabeth II is dead, Harry Potter retires from Hogwarts and goes to shoot amateur pornography, "cocks" are finally called "roosters" and cars are driven on the right-hand side of the road. After roughly thirty seconds of establishing shots, executive producers decide to kill every English person with no acting ability, which tops to 95% of the British population, by the means of parodying existing global virii like AIDS, HIV, pregnancy and Britney Spears. The surviving characters, a ragtag group of coma patients, childeren and basketballers, are left to complete their journey to outside England, where American forces have already shot all of the infected with relative ease. 28 Days Later was released to critical and commercial success worldwide, despite its heavy racism and constant "Brits are idiots" themes.
In homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, the film begins with a scene that establishes that monkeys can be turned into violent zombies by watching television. A group of animal-rights activists comes to rescue the monkeys, making sure to abandon their ski-masks while still in view of security cameras, but as with all activists they accidentally start the apocalypse instead. A haphazardly edited montage of screams and grinning monkeys establishes the mood of the film.
28 days later, The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), a mysteriously naked man, awakens in a hospital bed, and, like all normal people, responds to the the decaying and lifeless world with disinterest. After roaming the streets looking for Pepsi, which is a panacea, he accidentally enters a church and encounters a pile of corpses and a hoard of catholic zombies who are indistinguishable from normal catholics. Believing him to be a young boy, the catholics drop their trousers, swarm toward him and give chase.
After running throught the streets screaming, Scarecrow is saved by a pair of special forces operatives fully equiped with survival gear and molotov cocktails. Having successfully rescued the only other normal human in the immediate area, the rescuers blow up their supplies and discard their gear. The female rescuer, Selena, kills her male companion so that she won't die first just for being black, and she and Scarecrow head for a mysterious high-rise apartment lit by Christmas lights.
The apartment turns out to be a safehouse for a jailbait named Hannah and her father, Hamish, who abandons his heavy riot and demolitions gear for the protection of regular clothing. Since there are no banks or other fortifiable buildings in all of Europe, the building is barricaded by shopping carts, which prove more of a nuisance to humans than zombies. Since the film takes place before the invention of bottled water, and for some reason no rain is collecting in the laundry baskets on the roof, the group is forced to abandon the relative safety of their building to investigate a recorded message ("At the third stroke, it will be three thirty seven and eight seconds, beep, beep, beep"). Along the way, they discover the only grocery store in all of England, which is still fully stocked and powered, and learn to live and love again by staring at wild horses.
Scarecrow, Braveheart's best friend, Jailbait Hannah, and the token black chick locate an army post filled with randy soldiers and led by Dr Who (the northern gobby one]. After Hannah shags half the regiment, the secured building where they are staying is compromised when Scarecrow goes out for pizza and leaves the front door open. Only Scarecrow, Hannah, and Selena escape. They move to France and start a commune. Hannah changes her name to Betty Curse and leaves the commune to start a singing career.
28 Days Later was filmed primarily on a vintage 1970 16mm camera stolen from a museum. Some pickup shots during post-production were accomplished via a standard 640*480 webcam. All dialogue and sound were recorded on-set with a handheld memo recorder, which was also used to record the soundtrack from inside an elevator. Funding for the film was provided by the Pepsi corporation.
In order to appeal to a wide modern audience, the producers chose to emulate filming style of the 1980s, complete with poor acting, a ridiculous script, and funky yellow lighting. Numerous problems plagued production, including disappearing combat gear and a lack of European taxis made after 1956.
To keep audiences guessing, the director chose to experiment with new film concepts, including zombies smashing through windows during quiet moments, rapid disorienting cuts during action scenes, and sudden inexplicable reversals in character behavior and personality. To better capitalize on these stunning original ideas, they were used frequently throughout the script.
In keeping with the vintage style of the film, all editing was performed by unpaid college interns using antique analog equipment. The final reel was digitally transferred onto a cell-phone and submitted to FOX in an email.
- The script was originally pitched as a nude-art vehicle for Cillian Murphy. Script rewrites changed the nature of the film, but its roots can still be seen in several scenes throughout.
- Windmills were digitally added to one scene of the film using Microsoft Paint, to help better illustrate the film's core message about the importance of wind-power.
- Inspirations for the script include Dawn of the Dead, Lord of the Flies, The Sound of Music, and Thelma and Louise.
- Scheduling problems arose due to the severe lack of grocery stores throughout England
- In the first scene with Jim his penis is digitally enlarged.
- The scene when Dr. Who is killed by Hannah in the care actually happned and was filmed on secret cameras, this is how he regenerated into Barty Croutch, Jr.
- In the scene where Jim is saved by the molotov cocktails, the gas station exploding was completly accidental, but the studio said it was terrorists who set themselves on fire to try to prevent the film from being finished, to cover it up.
- The scenes were Jim walks through the deserted London were actually made possible by producers telling Parliament that there really was a virus causing widespread panic by Islamic terrorists across the city.
- The newspaper Jim picks up describing the full evacuation was indeed the real paper published by London about the false epidemic made by the producers of the film.
- The scene where Jim walks pass the overturned bus was actually caused by a football riot just before word of the fake epidemic spread.
- When the group leaves Budgen's the producers believe that the shopping trolley's moving was caused by ghosts.
- The movie's release was apparently halted, because all of the theaters were quarantined due do the mass chaos of the fake epidemic.
- To end the problem the movie caused in the lives of the people of London the producers hired a couple middle easterners and tricked them to act in a scene which they were to be arrested by police. The producers planted evidence at an abbandoned building saying the virus epidemic was a lie that the terrorists had not attacked yet ending the evacuation.
Marvel Comics has shamelessly released an entire franchise called "Marvel Zombies", blatantly ripped off from "28 Days/Months Later". It features the Rage virus infecting the Marvel Universe. However, due to hybridization with the Legacy Virus, it only affects superheroes. Not unexpectedly, a movie based upon the comics based upon 28 Days Later is due to be released in 2009, named "Rage Virus vs. Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness vs. Freddy vs. Jason vs. Cthulhu vs. Alien vs. Predator vs. Hellraiser vs. Candyman vs. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla vs. King Ghidora vs. Chris Tucker vs. Chuck Norris". can you guess who will win