CITY OF SILENCE: APOCALYPSE NIGERIA [2013]

Written by Emil B. Garuba

SYNOPSIS:

CITY OF SILENCE: APOCALYPSE NIGERIA depicts the lives of a group of people trying to survive after an outbreak of a deadly virus that has turned most of their friends and family members into violent, bloodthirsty maniacs with a craving for human flesh. From the remote villages to the teeming cities, the virus quickly spreads throughout the country, leaving the survivors to fend for themselves amidst personal hardship and relationships.

STATUS: Complete

GENRE: Horror/Short

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CONCEPT:

This is an idea that I have been playing with for nearly a year now. It was, even as recently as last month, envisioned as a feature length movie titled APOCALYPSE AFRICA. That story had the same premise but on a larger scale (characters in different African countries dealing with the outbreak). APOCALYPSE NIGERIA would basically act as a sort of prequel to APOCALYPSE AFRICA and would depict events taking place in Nigeria before the eventual continental blowout.

Believe it or not, I came up with the premise not from the regular zombie/horror genre (although it does play a big part in the execution), but by very real world issues – medical experimentation in Africa by foreign pharmaceutical companies. Oh, Yeah!

Medical experimentation has been occurring in Africa for a long time with large pharmaceutical companies conducting clinical trials on the populace.  There have been numerous reports of unethical experimentation and unethical clinical trials, including improper informed consent methods carried out by these companies. People living in the rural areas and slums are especially vulnerable to these types of unethical experimentation since they are largely illiterate and may not understand the effects of the experimentation. They are also sometimes forced into making the choice of “experimental medicine or no medicine at all.” Due to this type of treatment in the past, there is a fear and mistrust in some countries and areas in Africa of medical experimentation, particularly on new drug clinical trials. For example, polio has been on the rise in Nigeria, Chad, and Burkina Faso because many people avoid vaccinations. They believe that the vaccines are contaminated with H.I.V. or sterilization agents. Other reports have suggested that people have been infected through the re-use of incorrectly cleaned medical instruments and healer-transmitted infections. This has led to Human rights activists asking for more accountability in reference to informed patient consent in medical experimentation in Africa.

There’s even a well-known case that hit close to home:

“The Pfizer drug, Trovan was used in a clinical trial in Nigeria. By the time the trial ended, 200 children were disabled and 11 were dead. This led to a lawsuit from the Nigerian government over informed consent in Kano, Nigeria. Pfizer countered that it met all the necessary regulations. This has led to mistrust of medical vaccines in Nigeria, particularly in Kano, where they refuse to participate in many trials now.”

You can read more about it here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6719141.stm

So this got my creative juices flowing and I thought, “What would happen if after one of these “experiments” in the rural area (say experimental vaccination for some ailment) the side effects turn the participants into primal, bloodthirsty savages?”

 

It would start in the villages then spread to the cities and beyond. But they wouldn’t be dead people running around, eating human flesh. No, they are more like extremely crazy people – hyper-violent and primal. Their contact with normal people would include physical assault, rape, torture, murder, and cannibalism. Think more like the Reavers from Joss Whedon’s Serenity (or the series Firefly which the movie is based on). They exist in a state of cannibalistic depravity and can be killed. The only connection to the regular zombie or infected-types seen in most horror films is that blood contact spreads the virus, BUT it doesn’t reanimate dead flesh. Think of it as surviving a werewolf attack. If you get bitten, you turn!  

To me, this is REAL horror – not demons and black magic and projectile vomit stuff, but people doing insane things to each other (much like what we have going on with religious and communal clashes in various communities). This is just taking it to the next level!

NOTES:

I’ve envisioned 10 shorts in total leading up to the feature film (CITY OF SILENCE actually being Chapter Three in the sequence of events). But I thought it would serve as a nice introduction (more of a prologue piece more than anything). It’s a character driven story so things should stay relatively within budget. But this is a good starting point though, and should give you an inkling of what I have in mind for the feature film. If you enjoyed The Walking Dead or BBC’s Survivors, then this should be right up your alley.

Anyway, have a read. It's short. Hope you enjoy.

Emil @ Rated E

July 2013

Email: emilgaruba@hotmail.com

Web:  www.ratedeproductions.yolasite.com

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