Co-Op of the Damned is a cleverly devised comedy/horror web series with plenty of charm and an impressive production look. Made on the cheap, but not cheaply made, the visual effects and prosthetic makeup combine to give the independently produced show a nicely polished homemade quality that will grab the attention of internet viewers, and likely inspire other financially challenged filmmakers to attempt the bold step of “doing it for themselves”.
After a dozen or so years in Hollywood working in a variety of positions behind the scenes I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons. Perhaps the most important one is the fact that if you want to make strides in your career you better be prepared to make things happen for yourself. This includes the possibility of producing your own projects and finding distribution for them. Now that the Internet has come of age and sites such as YouTube and Funny Or Die have proved to be viable venues, the act of self-producing has become a common occurrence for anyone with an idea and a camera. In deed, the online presentation no longer has the stigma of a poorly manufactured B movie, but receives its due respect. You may have ideas as grand as Steven Spielberg and a budget more limiting than Roger Corman’s, but it doesn’t matter anymore. That is, as long as the content is entertaining.
Regardless of budget it’s still not enough to make just anything, post it to the web and expect people to like it. You have to have something people want to see. And this is where Co-Op of the Damned succeeds where others fail. Co-op of the Damned takes two well used story devices and mashes them together; the undead and bad housemates, resulting in the humorous situation of roommates from hell, literally. Set in the most haunted building in New York City, each episode of Co-Op of the Damned takes place in a different apartment. Creator Ned Ehrbar has devised the send-up of a different genre specific scenario for each apartment and introduces a new apartment in each episode. Each installment of horror mayhem offers a clever twist on a popular cliché, and places the extraordinary amongst the ordinary for solid comic effect – often with zombies.
Each episode of Co-Op of the Damned premiers on My Damn Channel first (link), then becomes available on demand on YouTube. You can also find Co-Op of the Damned on Twitter and Facebook searching under the show's name. I highly recommend checking it out if only to see what can be done with limited funds and a whole lot of imagination. I can’t wait to see what Ehrbar can do with a real budget. Lets just hope that it doesn’t stifle his ingenuity. After all, when it comes to film production, tight purse strings are the mother of invention.