In his short story Hell Creek, horror author C. Robert Cargill tackles one of the scariest ideas everzombie dinosaurs. The idea came to Cargill after he started wondering about regular extinction events that have occurred throughout Earths history.
I was on a walk, and I was thinking about it, and I was like, What if every 27 million years we have a zombie plague? That would be crazy,' Cargill says in Episode 438 of the Geeks Guide to the Galaxy podcast. I said, You know what Ive never seen? Ive never seen a dinosaur zombie apocalypse in fiction, so Im going to write a zombie dinosaur apocalypse.'
The story takes a cue from George Romeros classic 1968 film Night of the Living Dead, in which an object from outer space causes the dead to rise as rampaging monsters. Cargills zombie apocalypse begins shortly after a mysterious comet strikes Earth, causing worldwide floods and fires.
I was like, We need to tell it from the point of view of a dinosaur, and we have to make it an interesting dinosaur that would be fit for fighting zombies, he says. And thats where I was like, Oh, a triceratops! A triceratops can gore the zombies, and gore them through the heads, and now we have an interesting concept for a character.
The title Hell Creek is a natural fit for a horror story, but its also the name of a real place that contains a large deposit of dinosaur bones. Hell Creek Park is this swath of land through the Midwest which is where we find so many dinosaurs, Cargill says. Its where a bunch of the dinosaurs that died in the extinction event met their end, and all of the dinosaurs that appear in this story can be found in Hell Creek Park.
The idea of zombie dinosaurs could easily be played for laughs, but Cargill works hard to make Hell Creek a genuine horror story about a sympathetic character in a tense, life-or-death situation.
One of the things with genre is youre allowed to be as ridiculous as you want, but there are certain lines that if you cross, it goes from being interesting and ridiculous to just silly, he says. So it was a tricky one to write, but it was also a lot of fun, and ultimately Im super proud of that story.
Listen to the complete interview with C. Robert Cargill in Episode 438 of Geeks Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.
C. Robert Cargill on Sinister:
There were two companies that were bringing a new model to the table, and the model was, We give you a million dollars if you give us a good idea, and then you get final cut. One of those producers was Roy Lee and the other was Jason Blum. So [Scott Derrickson] worked up this idea that he wanted to pitch, and he wanted my professional opinion, and so I gave him some notes, and then I was like, Hey, Ive had this movie rattling around in my head for a long time. Can I pitch it to you? And he was like, All right, everybody pitches me once. Heres your one time. Pitch it to me. And I pitched him Sinister. And he was just like, Holy crap. I want to make that movie. He just instantly flipped for it. And a week and a half later we were pitching it in Jason Blums office.
C. Robert Cargill on Clive Barker:
One of the identifying things with Clive Barker in particular is his relationship with sex in his stories. Cabal is a very sexual story. Theres just a lot of sex and sexual identity in his books, which is part of what makes them interesting. And I wanted to create a monster that fed upon peoples shame. Because thats one of the things I find really interesting about Barkers work is that Barker has no shame about who he is. He does not experience that at all. He is proudly who he is, and proudly that in his work. And I thought it would be a neat mirror to write a story about this monster that feeds upon peoples shame about what they didthat its not the evil acts themselves that it feeds on, it feeds on people feeling bad about them.
C. Robert Cargill on his story The Soul Thiefs Son:
Im fascinated by [Aboriginal culture], and I want to share it with other people. Its such rich, wonderful folklore, and such an amazing way to look at life. I love the way the Aboriginal culture regards the land and our place in it. My stuff has been read all over the world, and so I had a bunch of fans and friends Id developed who were from Australia, and some who were in the television community down there, and I was able to say, Hey, can you track down someone for me whos an Aboriginal folklore expert? Who can read through this and give me notes and make sure that Im not misrepresenting anything? So I used those connections to get a cursory read on that, to make sure I wasnt stepping on any toes.
C. Robert Cargill on Dungeons & Dragons:
When I was eight years old, [televangelists] did their big thing about Dungeons & Dragons and how its of the devil, and its how the devil gets your kids, and its awful, and I wasnt allowed to watch the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon anymore. This was my act of rebellion. It is the nerdiest act of rebellion in the history of teenage acts of rebellion, but I started playing D&D heavily. In fact, I built false bottoms on all of my comics boxes to store my D&D books that I would get second-hand from friends. So Ive played every iteration of Dungeons & Dragons. I was, for a short period of time, in NPRs rolodex as a resident Dungeons & Dragons expert. So Ive actually appeared twice on Wait Wait Dont Tell Me! as a Dungeons & Dragons expert.
Dinosaurs Are Even Scarier When Theyre Zombies - WIRED
- This $23 emergency radio is all you need to survive the zombie (or robot) apocalypse - CNET - January 25th, 2021
- The real zombie threat as the Arctic thaws and other climate briefs - Haaretz - January 25th, 2021
- When the zombies come, I will be ready - Rochelle News Leader - January 25th, 2021
- The information warriors fighting 'robot zombie army' of coronavirus sceptics - The Guardian - January 25th, 2021
- Tips To Survive An Infinite Number Of Rounds In Black Ops: Cold Wars Zombies Mode - TheGamer - January 25th, 2021
- Yungblud and Machine Gun Kelly tease zombie film-inspired 'Acting Like That' video - NME.com - January 25th, 2021
- MGK, YUNGBLUD & Travis Barker "acting like that" l - Alternative Press - January 25th, 2021
- Rob Zombies John 5 Reveals Epic Stories While Recalling The First Time He Heard Rush - MetalCastle - January 25th, 2021
- Black Ops Cold War Zombies: 5 Boss Zombies That Need To Return (And 5 That Don't) - TheGamer - January 25th, 2021
- Why you stand a better chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse in Stoke-on-Trent than other parts of UK - Stoke-on-Trent Live - January 25th, 2021
- Call of Duty BOCW: Best Weapons and Loadouts for Zombies - EssentiallySports - January 25th, 2021
- I know just where to be when the zombie apocalypse hits - The Ogle County Life - January 22nd, 2021
- Nicollet Ave. project: a zombie streetcar and pot of Minneapolis money that nobody wants to talk about - MinnPost - January 22nd, 2021
- Zombie apocalypse map shows the best place to be in UK if the dead rose - Daily Express - January 22nd, 2021
- How The Day Of The Dead TV Show Can Best Connect To Romero's Zombie Movies - Screen Rant - January 22nd, 2021
- The Walking Dead: Does The Zombie Apocalypse Ever End? - Screen Rant - January 22nd, 2021
- Editorial: County GOP's zombie idea marches on - The Island Now - January 22nd, 2021
- Zombie law: Sec 66As curious afterlife makes the case for police independence and legal literacy - The Times of India Blog - January 22nd, 2021
- Army Of The Dead: 8 Quick Things We Know About Zack Snyders Movie - CinemaBlend - January 22nd, 2021
- Death of the 'zombie' pipeline and calling out white supremacy in politics - APTN News - January 22nd, 2021
- Survive a zombie apocalypse while you get revenge on your cheating husband! - Gamasutra - January 22nd, 2021
- The Devil's Rejects: All 4 Movies That Inspired Rob Zombie Explained - Screen Rant - January 22nd, 2021
- Lyra pays tribute to Dolores O'Riordan with beautiful cover of 'Zombie' on The Late Late Show - Irish Post - January 22nd, 2021
- Zombie cells and flu fighters - McGill Reporter - McGill Reporter - January 22nd, 2021
- Zombie film fans better equipped to deal with Covid-19 pandemic, shows study - The Financial Express - January 22nd, 2021
- Isolated in Pandemic: Is Zombie Terror a copy of #Alive? Or the opposite? Understand! - Designer Women - January 22nd, 2021
- Day of the Dead Show Confirmed To Connect To Original Movie - Screen Rant - January 22nd, 2021
- The Devil's Rejects: What Happened To The Firefly Family's Ranch Location - Screen Rant - January 22nd, 2021
- Erick the Architect of Flatbush Zombies talks 'Future Proof': [it] isn't just an EP or album title - Brooklyn Vegan - January 22nd, 2021
- NZ's "zombie" companies in trouble - New Zealand Herald - January 22nd, 2021
- Explained: How zombie films may have prepared fans for Covid-19 pandemic - The Indian Express - January 15th, 2021
- Rob Zombie and AC/DC finally find their way onto 'Jeopardy!' - WAAF - January 15th, 2021
- The 10 best and worst cities to survive a zombie apocalypse revealed - The Sun - January 15th, 2021
- Zombie Capitalism Feeding On Death And Debt Lurches Into Fascism And Default Bomb - Scoop.co.nz - January 15th, 2021
- Zendaya, zombies and asteroids: The best new films coming to Netflix in 2021 - CBC.ca - January 15th, 2021
- How The Zombie Apocalypse Prepares You For The COVID-19 Pandemic - American Council on Science and Health - January 15th, 2021
- Magic: The Gathering - Kaldheim's Necromancy Cards Are INTENSE - CBR - Comic Book Resources - January 15th, 2021
- Did Watching All Those Zombie Movies Prepare You For The Pandemic? Research Says Yes! - Forbes - January 12th, 2021
- Zombies Could Stunt the Bank Recovery - The Wall Street Journal - January 12th, 2021
- The Walking Dead: Earth's Safest City Has Mastered The Zombie Apocalypse - Screen Rant - January 12th, 2021
- US Zombie Companies Are Now $2.6 Trillion in Debt. What Does That Mean for Investors? - Motley Fool - January 12th, 2021
- Brave History January 12th, 2021 - APRIL WINE, DEEP PURPLE, ROB ZOMBIE, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, LED ZEPPELIN, MERCENARY, THE BLACK CROWES, ICED... - January 12th, 2021
- How dealing with a zombie pandemic taught my students to think fast and think ethically - CEOWORLD magazine - January 12th, 2021
- Good News: Wyoming a Great Place to Survive Zombie Apocalypse - laramielive.com - January 9th, 2021
- Best Zombie Anime You Need to Stream Right Now - OtakuKart - OtakuKart - January 9th, 2021
- Zombie Apocalypse 2021? Some Twitter users think Nostradamus predicted Russian scientists will cause a plague of the undead - Monsters and Critics - January 3rd, 2021
- Prabhas to unveil trailer of upcoming Telegu film Zombie Reddy on January 2 - Republic World - January 3rd, 2021
- Discover What It Means To Be A Zombie In Adventure Game Surviving The Humans - TheGamer - December 31st, 2020
- Resident Evil Reboot Promo Art Reveals First Look At Zombie As Filming Wraps - We Got This Covered - December 31st, 2020
- Rob Zombie Appears on Cover of New Revolver Issue | Revolver - Revolver Magazine - December 31st, 2020
- Mahesh Babu and Ranveer Singh Fight off Zombies in Viral Video - News18 - December 31st, 2020
- SNP accuses UK Govt of wasting millions of taxpayer pounds on 'zombie' Scotland Office - HeraldScotland - December 31st, 2020
- Wolves could hold the key to preventing 'zombie' disease threatening US deer populations - Telegraph.co.uk - December 31st, 2020
- Rob Zombie, Ghostemane and Poppy Appear on Covers of New Revolver Issue - Revolver Magazine - December 31st, 2020
- 'Zombie' greenhouse gas lurks in permafrost beneath the Arctic Ocean - Livescience.com - December 26th, 2020
- Abadon turned into a zombie and took a bite out of Hikaru Shida - Cageside Seats - December 26th, 2020
- Millions of mink infected with coronavirus to be BURNED after 'ZOMBIE uprising' from grave - Daily Express - December 26th, 2020
- The Dead Rise Once Again With New Marvel Zombies Pops From Funko - Bleeding Cool News - December 26th, 2020
- Resident Evil Reboot Original Video Game Zombie Revealed as Filming Wraps - MovieWeb - December 26th, 2020
- Anna and the Apocalypse: Every Song Ranked From Worst To Best - Screen Rant - December 26th, 2020
- Monroe County ordered to absorb the cost related to zombie homes in towns - RochesterFirst - December 26th, 2020
- Fear The Walking Dead mystery: Who is patient zero? - Undead Walking - December 26th, 2020
- Im worried that Hikaru Shida is turning into a zombie after being bitten by Abadon - Cageside Seats - December 26th, 2020
- The zombie comedy you need to watch on HBO Max - Looper - December 26th, 2020
- Call of Duty Zombies: The 5 Best Easter Eggs (& 5 Of The Worst) - TheGamer - December 26th, 2020
- Every Type of Zombie in Back 4 Blood | Game Rant - GameRant - December 22nd, 2020
- Holidays, celebrities and the zombie apocalypse - Washington Times - December 22nd, 2020
- Army of the Dead Prequel Cast Revealed by Zack Snyder in Set Photo - Collider - December 22nd, 2020
- 'Zombie Campaigns' Continue To Accrue Money, Years After Congressional Candidates Have Stopped Running - KJZZ - December 22nd, 2020
- Don't Wait to Wind Down 'Zombie' Subsidiaries - CFO - December 22nd, 2020
- Marvel Zombies & 9 Other Timelines Where Everything Went Wrong - CBR - Comic Book Resources - December 22nd, 2020
- JOEY DIABOLIC Releases Cover Of WHITE ZOMBIE's "Creature Of The Wheel" - bravewords.com - December 22nd, 2020
- South Koreas Zombie Companies Are Scarier Than the Movies - The Wall Street Journal - December 21st, 2020
- Will the Fed Ever Stop Propping Up Zombie Companies? - Yahoo Finance - December 21st, 2020
- Gangsters are PAID taxpayer cash to hand over weapons like zombie knives - Express - December 21st, 2020
- Newly discovered fungi turn flies into zombies and devour them from the inside out - Livescience.com - December 19th, 2020
- Zombie apocalypse simulation model indicates where we should hide. - The UBJ - December 19th, 2020
- BACK 4 BLOOD First Impression: Returning To Zombies With Originality - GameTyrant - December 19th, 2020
- New Zealand's highest court find that zombies do exist in New Zealand after all - Lexology - December 19th, 2020
- Fear not the zombie companies; focus on dealing with them - The Business Times - December 19th, 2020
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero