Soap star brings zombies to town

Dominic Brunt, better known as Paddy Kirk from Emmerdale, will be at the Bram Stoker Film Festival
Dominic Brunt, better known as Paddy Kirk from Emmerdale, will be at the Bram Stoker Film Festival
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A MILD-MANNERED Emmerdale star is set to bring blood, gore and horror to this month’s Bram Stoker Film Festival.

Dominic Brunt, who plays Paddy Kirk in the ITV soap, will be showcasing his directorial debut, entitled Before Dawn, at the festival.

Dominic applying make-up to a zombie on the set of Before Dawn

Dominic applying make-up to a zombie on the set of Before Dawn

“I’m quite nervous,” said Dominic, who has played Emmerdale’s resident vet since 1997. “We’ve had our London premiere but it’s the first time it will have been shown in Yorkshire.”

For the 42-year-old Macclesfield native the opportunity to direct zombie films has reconnected him with a lifelong passion, seemingly a far cry from the serene Yorkshire Dales of his day job.

In 2008 he established Leeds’ first zombie film festival, but Before Dawn came about after an argument between Dominic and his wife, Joanne Mitchell, over what made a good zombie movie - and what frequently makes a bad one.

“My wife says zombie films are dumb because you don’t get to know any of the characters,” he said. Joanne then proceeded to dissect a series of zombie films, rebuilding them from scratch, and so has been credited with the original story idea for Before Dawn.

Dominic added: “It’s a drama, an allegory to do with the disintegration of a relationship set in the backdrop of the disintegration of society and the physical self. The main characters have got to redeem themselves.”

Although Dominic hopes the film has more substance than your normal horror flick, he added that the film makers did not miss the opportunity to thrown around some special effects, blood and gore.

He said: “It’s an intelligent drama but at the same time you can’t offer a zombie film without lots of repulsive gore and by the second half of the film it just runs away with itself.

“Oddly, the worse the gore was and the violence, the funnier it gets to film. We were just walking around throwing buckets of blood everywhere.”

Dominic and his wife play the lead roles of Alex and Meg in the movie, which was filmed at Hebden Bridge, and so far it has received positive reviews, excluding one. “We’ve had one bad review saying the two leads had no chemistry,” explained Dominic. “After nine years of marriage and two kids there’s no chemistry? That’s worrying.”

The Bram Stoker Film Festival is this year celebrating the centenary of the Dracula author’s death and promises to be the largest event yet.

The festival runs between October 25 to 28 and Before Dawn will be screened on Friday 26 October, followed by a Question and Answer session with Dominic.

He also stars in Inbred, which is being shown on Sunday at 3pm.