cartoon of bat biting victim's neck, spewing bloodA storyboard illustrating "Vampire Zombies… from Space!" gives a sense of the film’s horror spoof sensibility.

Kickstarter campaign to add gore and gags to film prof’s horror spoof

From the depths of space, Dracula has devised his most dastardly plan yet: turning the residents of a small American town into his personal army of vampire zombies.

This is the plot of the latest feature film by UWindsor professor Mike Stasko, an over-the-top comedy that pays homage to — and satirizes — science fiction and horror movies of the 1950s.

Vampire Zombies… from Space! is set to go into production Aug. 8 and will employ an entirely local crew in historic Windsor-Essex locations including the Low-Martin mansion, the Canadian Transportation Museum and Heritage Village, and the Essex railway station.

“We're always trying to push ourselves as local filmmakers, and this production raises a lot of bars for us,” Stasko says. “From the period costumes being created by Emily Eansor to the very challenging vampire and zombie make-up being done by Stephanie Johnston.”

The filmmakers have secured funding, but launched a fundraising campaign to help round out the budget to add gruesome practical effects, B-movie miniatures, and gut-busting laughs.

“We want the zany comedy of Vampire Zombies… from Space! to be set against a very realistic backdrop,” they write in a Kickstarter appeal. “The film will look, sound, and feel like it was shot in 1957. Transforming our present-day locations into the 1950s is a massive task.”

The Kickstarter campaign runs through Friday, Aug. 5, and promises donors rewards that range from T-shirts and posters to cameos in the film. Get details on the project website.