Zack Snyder’s upcoming Netflix zombie epic “Army of the Dead” boasts an R rating, but even the filmmaker knows there’s a limit to what he can do on screen. Case in point: There’s one sequence Snyder removed from “Army of the Dead” because it pushed the boundary too far. The director recently answered “yes” when asked by The Sunday Times if any idea for the film crossed a line, adding, “We had a sequence where one of the male strippers had a huge penis with a bite taken out of it. We thought that was too much.”
A zombie penis will not appear in “Army of the Dead,” but zombified animals such as a horse and a tiger will be getting screen time. As reported last month, the film’s VFX team created a zombie tiger named Valentine by using a real tiger from the sanctuary owned by the infamous “Tiger King” subject Carole Baskin. Snyder’s VFX team spent a week at Baskin’s sanctuary studying a tiger so that Valentine would act as lifelike as possible in the film.
“Army of the Dead” follows a group of mercenaries who plot a heist on a Las Vegas casino during a zombie outbreak. Dave Bautista leads an ensemble that also includes Theo Rossi, Tig Notaro, Garret Dillahunt, Raúl Castillo, Omari Hardwick, Hiroyuki Sanada, Matthias Schweighöfer, Ella Purnell, and Ana de la Reguera. For Snyder, “Army” is a return to the zombie genre after his feature directorial debut “Dawn of the Dead.” That film was a remake of George A. Romero’s movie of the same name, and Snyder is once again applying Romero’s mindset to his latest zombie project.
“George Romero said it was all social commentary,” Snyder told The Sunday Times. “And we felt obliged to do that with this movie. Editorialize a little bit and zombie movies are a great place to talk about us as a people. Ours is a monster movie where the monster is us. It is a social movie more than a science movie — the science is pretty iffy!”
Snyder also wanted to push his zombies into new territory. A subset of the undead in “Army of the Dead” have advanced to the point of being able to open doors and organize into groups. The director said, “I wanted to endeavor, like any good villain, to make the zombies as sympathetic as possible. I want to get you on Team Zombie.”
“Army of the Dead” will open in select theaters May 14 before streaming May 21 on Netflix.