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The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever
Cover of The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever
The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever
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After producing three horror movies that went mostly ignored on YouTube, Justin and his filmmaking buddies decide it's time they create something noteworthy, something epic. They're going to film the Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. They may not have money or a script, but they have passion. And, after a rash text message, they also have the beautiful Alicia Howtz-Justin's crush-as the lead.

With only one month to complete their movie, a script that can't possibly get worse, and the hopes and dreams of Alicia on the line, Justin is feeling the pressure. Add to that a cast of uncooperative extras and incompetent production assistants, and Justin must face the sad, sad truth. He may actually be producing The Worst Zombie Movie Ever...

After producing three horror movies that went mostly ignored on YouTube, Justin and his filmmaking buddies decide it's time they create something noteworthy, something epic. They're going to film the Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. They may not have money or a script, but they have passion. And, after a rash text message, they also have the beautiful Alicia Howtz-Justin's crush-as the lead.

With only one month to complete their movie, a script that can't possibly get worse, and the hopes and dreams of Alicia on the line, Justin is feeling the pressure. Add to that a cast of uncooperative extras and incompetent production assistants, and Justin must face the sad, sad truth. He may actually be producing The Worst Zombie Movie Ever...

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  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.6
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    1

    The vampire, whose fangs were too big for his mouth, turned to the camera and hissed.

    "Don't look at the camera," said Justin Hollow, the director.

    "I keep poking my lip on these things," said Harold, and he spit the plastic fangs out onto the ground. He hadn't been a very frightening example of the undead before, and he was even less scary with no fangs and a thick line of drool running down his chin.

    "Cut!" shouted Justin, loud enough to be sure that the command was heard by his production crew of two. "C'mon, Harold. Stay in character. We're three hours behind schedule."

    "I don't care. I hate this. You promised that I'd get all the girls I wanted. So where are all the girls I want?"

    Justin let out his thirty-ninth exasperated sigh of the night. "The movie has to come out first."

    "It's not even a real movie."

    Justin bristled. It was a full-body bristle, head to toe, which he hadn't even realized was physically possible. Bobby, who handled sound recording, and Gabe, who handled everything else, both stepped back a couple of feet. Neither of them truly believed that they were about to witness a murder, but they wanted to get out of the splash zone just in case.

    Had this been one of Justin's movies, he would have very slowly lowered his camera, stared directly into Harold's eyes with a steely gaze, and then after an extremely dramatic pause, asked, "What...did...you...just...say?"

    His actual response, delivered in a squeakier voice than he would have allowed from his actors, was, "Huh?"

    "I said it's not a real movie." Harold started to wipe the fake blood off his mouth. It didn't come off, and it probably wouldn't for several days. Justin had planned to feel guilty about this later, but now he wouldn't bother. "Nobody's ever going to see it. You probably won't even finish it."

    "I finished my last three movies!" Justin insisted. "I got hundreds of hits on YouTube!"

    That statement was technically accurate, though it was the lowest possible number of hits you could get and still use "hundred" in its plural form. The only comment anybody posted about his latest film had been, "This twelve-year-old filmmaker sort of shows promise," which really frustrated Justin because he was fifteen.

    Harold shrugged. "This is a waste of time. I've got better things to do on a Friday night."

    "Nobody ever said this was going to be easy," said Justin, who had indeed said that it was going to be easy when he had lured Harold into the role. "You can quit now, but what are you going to think about your decision ten years from now?"

    "I'm going to think, 'Wow, it sure is nice to be such a well-paid dentist.'"

    Harold walked off the set. It wasn't an actual set but rather a small park near Justin's home, where they were filming without a permit. Justin knew he should shout something after his ex-actor. Something vicious. Something devastating. He thought about shouting, "You'll never work in this town again!" but no, it had to be something that Harold would consider a bad thing.

    "Fine!" Justin shouted. "But when we record the audio commentary track for the Blu-ray, I'm going to talk about how you abandoned us, and how much happier everybody was with the new actor who took your role, and how we all agreed that he should have been cast in the first place, and how he had so many girlfriends that he couldn't even keep track of them, and how they all found out about one another and had a great big awesome catfight in his front yard!...

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    December 15, 2015
    Teen filmmakers try to make the titular cinematic masterpiece. Justin and his pals Bobby and Gabe have been making movies for a while now, but none has gained much traction. Their films have been poorly received on YouTube, and few of their fellow students show much interest in their moviemaking exploits. After their vampire movie falls apart, the trio resolves to go big or go home, and going big means making the greatest zombie movie ever. With a $5,000 loan from Justin's grandmother and the most popular girl in school as its star, Justin's film is off to a good start. But it doesn't take long for Murphy's law to take effect--in increasingly silly and exasperating fashion. Strand's penchant for tongue-in-cheek humor and witty repartee is on full display here. Justin, Bobby, and Gabe have numerous exchanges that will have readers chuckling, snickering, and laughing out loud. Unfortunately these laughs don't cover up the structural issues at hand. A few avenues turn into dead ends, making the thrust of the novel a bit muddled. Is this a story about the complications that come with following dreams? Is it a story about three friends growing older and apart with age? The novel doesn't seem to know, and while that doesn't ruin the fun, it does hold it back from true greatness. With ethnicity a nonissue, characters are white by default. A funny and spirited romp. (Fiction. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2016

    Gr 7 Up-Fans of comical books rejoice as Strand has hit the zombie trend on its head with this one. Justin just wants to make a perfect movie-no big deal, right? However, he is 15 years old, he has to shoot the film in one month, and his grandmother is funding his project. And his crush is the leading actress on the project. What ensues are laugh-out-loud moments of friends overcoming obstacles, and readers will be wondering if Justin will ever finish that film. From the warning at the beginning of the book through the double epilogue, Strand walks the line of balancing the right amount of humor without it overtaking the entire book. Fans of his previous work will not be disappointed by this title. Aspiring filmmakers, zombie movie fans, and reluctant readers should be entertained by this title. VERDICT A worthy addition to any library's collection.-Stephanie Charlefour, Wixom Public Library, MI

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever
The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever
Jeff Strand
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