Updated: Dec 17, 2020
In an international collaboration, Uncle Frank Productions has teamed up with the French distributor Spectrum Films for the release of the 1998 Hong Kong zombie comedy “Bio Zombie”.
Bio Zombie is about a group of young adults trapped in a shopping mall during a zombie outbreak. The film is effectively a Rom-Zom-Com that predates "Shaun of the Dead" by five years.
To design the blu-ray cover, Ilan had the pleasure of watching the film for the first time. One of the first things that struck him was the use of neon lights, leading him to apply these to his palette. In addition, the film itself makes references to computer games throughout, hence the decision to introduce iconography to the cover, not unlike RPG icons. When looking closely at these icons, much of the narrative becomes visible.
Watching the film, one moment and character’s pose seem particularly striking. This was adopted to the design, leaving the perspective of the cover to be through the eyes of a zombie. Using this helped capture the film’s cartoonish, expressive and wacky nature.
Antoine Guérin of Spectrum Films speaks of the film’s importance, “It’s the first Zombie film in HK and it’s Ip Man’s director!” He also comments on Ilan’s cover art for the blu-ray, “[It’s] perfect because of the right balance between film and video game (as a tribute in the film).”
And Mr. Guérin should know! Spectrum Films is specialised in Asian cinema and represents an array of genres, from classic movies, like Ann Hui or Ringo Lam, to newcomer directors, like the feature Microhabitat for South Korea.
Special features on the Bio Zombie blu-ray include an interview with director Wilson Yip, an introduction by French Hong Kong specialist Arnaud Lanuque, “Zombies in Asian Cinema” by French expert and journalist Julien Séveon and an alternative ending.
If you are interested in the French release, you can buy the blu-ray here:
'Biozombie' (1998) is a Hong Kongese zombie comedy directed by Warren Yip, where a group of young shoppers and employees must band together when a zombie outbreak overruns their shopping center situated in Hong Kong in the middle of the day.
Since the movie is influenced by pop culture, Ilan aknowledged the fact that the movie is influenced by pop culture, using a unique version of a pop-art-inspired design. You are able distinguish it by the white outline of each character, also by their shading and lighting together with prominent facial expressions.
The cover making the content seem to be a video game rather than a movie is not without a purpose, given the fact that there are several game references in 'Biozombie'. You can see how detail-oriented Ilan worked on bringing that out using game style icons, through which you can figure out parts of the story.
Personally, I think what stands out the most in the cover are the bright, cool-toned neon colours Ilan used to colorise the characters with, which make the orange title situated in the foreground pop. Another element which proves his attention to detail are the bubbles placed on and around the title, making it look as if it's fizzing. It appears to be a subtle hint to the soda in the movie, laced with chemicals that turns people into zombies.
All in all, cleverly selected aspects from the movie were perfectly put onto the bluray cover, resulting in this unique design, making the viewer eager to watch 'Biozombie'.