The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN has inspired its fair share of doomsday scenarios and rumors of pending Apocalypse, mostly centering on the exceedingly far-fetched possibility of creating mini black holes that consume the universe.
Fortunately, that hysteria has been soundly debunked, along with fears relating to the end of the Mayan calendar next month.
But wait: WHAT ABOUT THE ZOMBIES? Why has nobody warned us about the CERN zombies?
That’s the premise of a forthcoming independent horror film called Decay, set at the LHC and written, produced and directed by a pair of physics PhD students from the University of Manchester in England. Luke Thompson and Hugo Day were wandering through the maintenance tunnels at CERN and were struck by how well suited the location would be for a low-budget horror flick.
They teamed with a third Manchester graduate student, Clara Nellist, to bring their artistic vision to life. The premise of Decay is that the accelerator malfunctions, and the resulting radiation zombifies the poor unsuspecting maintenance
crew, who then start hunting down the living physicists — who, one imagines, must have very tasty brains, indeed.
Decay is not officially endorsed by CERN (a disclaimer opens the trailer,
below), but the laboratory didn’t seem to mind a bunch of physics
students shooting gruesome scenes of zombie carnage in its maintenance
tunnels. And they gave the go ahead for the film’s free online release by the end of November.
the objective was never about making tons of money. “The fact is that
it’s a no-budget indie and there’s no reason to expect we’d sell more
than a few hundred copies,” he explained. “So we’d rather our two years
of work was seen by more people by releasing it for free.”
Sure, the students did this for fun — they invested a few thousand dollars out of pocket, and borrowed digital SLR cameras and recruited volunteers as crew members — but it might also prove to be educational. “We realized the theme and location also gave us a great change to do some satirical commentary on various aspects of people’s perceptions of science,” Thomson told Wired. “So there are some hidden depths to the flm, too.”
Mostly, though, there are zombies craving big tasty scientist brains.
As fun as Decay appears to be, it’s not the first time the LHC has inspired filmmakers. I give you the 2010 short film, Rift, “a surreal interpretation of Pandora’s Box about a scientist whose failed experiment results in the formation of a black hole that alters time and space, creating a chaotic Twilight-Zonesque nightmare.”
The climax features a picture-perfect big swirly hole devouring our world as we know it. Yikes! At least one has a fighting chance against CERN zombies…..