The Attack of the Killer Space Zombies

category: one act
genre: parody
running time: one hour
setting: in and around a typical American high school; some scenes in space
period: contemporary

Juliet, a high school senior
Bernard, a football player
Shelley, his girlfriend
Donna, her best friend
Carrie, another friend
Seth, a high school senior
Mary, his girlfriend
Brad, his friend
Tracy, a high school freshman
Norman, the king of the Space Zombies
Herman, his right-hand man
Barney, their navigator
Lily, the queen of the Go-Go Dancing Women Warriors of Venus
Iris, the princess of the Go-Go Dancing Women Warriors of Venus
Daisy, a high-ranking official of the Go-Go Dancing Women Warriors of Venus
Dick, their sexual servant
Harry, their domestic manager

Juliet is a social misfit who has a crush on Bernard, a dumb but amiable football player whose girlfriend, Shelley, hates Juliet. Seth, whose parents are going out of town, is nervously planning his first party. Brad is busy trying to get into the pants of Mary, Seth’s girlfriend, and Donna, Shelley’s best friend. Tracy, a freshman, is just looking to fit in. Meanwhile, zombies from space are invading the planet earth, and after a scout, Herman, is sighted by Juliet, she is kidnapped by Daisy, a spy working for the Go-Go Dancing Women Warriors of Venus- the sworn enemies of the Space Zombies. Herman turns first Donna and then Tracy into zombies, and they in turn kill Brad, building an army with which to invade Seth’s party, inaccurately perceived as an important earth function where Norman, the king of the Space Zombies, plans to make his grand entrance of conquest. Lily, the queen of the Go-Go Dancing Women Warriors of Venus, plans a counter-attack, first summoning Iris, the Warrior Princess, and then training Juliet in the ways of zombie warfare. Meanwhile, Shelley and Bernard, aided by their friend Carrie, figure out that there’s an invasion going on and work to stop it. Everything converges at Seth’s party where the zombies are defeated but the house is trashed, with Iris and Norman dueling to the death. Shelley and Bernard patch up their shaky relationship, Juliet, having found a new calling, bids farewell to her friends at graduation, and Seth makes a vow to live life more fully.

author’s comments:
One of the funniest things about Space Zombies is that it took me, on and off, about six years to write. Begun my junior year of high school, originally as a screenplay, this was one of those things that started as a joke and ended up, through a long an arduous process, actually becoming a real play. I revised it heavily over the course of my senior year, adding and cutting characters on a daily basis, and kept tinkering with it through college, but didn’t sit down and re-read it until the summer of 2000, when it first occurred to me that somewhere inside the joke lay an actual play. The following summer I gave a much longer draft to Anne Heintz, who read over the play and summed it up well: “It can’t decide if it wants to be funny or serious, which is a shame because the funny parts are really funny and the serious parts you do better in other plays.” Well, for a rare change, I didn’t need to be told this twice and promptly went home and cut half an hour out of the show (and two major characters) and viola: Space Zombies was born, just in time to be one of the two shows with which we ended Horror Unspeakable Productions (the other being Anne’s play Snapshot, which utilized the same cast and played as a first act to Zombies). I love this play. It is, hands down, the tightest, funniest comedy of my early plays and the deft way in which it parodies both B-grade sci-fi and horror, and the solipsism of American teenagers, is enough to make me laugh every time I re-read the script. Without a doubt does it have echoes of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, though it lacks the show’s scope and compassion, but the truth is, it’s a lot meaner to its subject matter and there’s no forgiveness for characters like Donna and Brad (originally Mary was supposed to die too but I changed that because she was just too damn nice and it made the play tragic), and no punches pulled when it came to nailing everything from gun control to tech hoopla to teenage consumerism. Zombification is unapologetically equated with shallowness, snobbery and materialism, especially as all the kids, once zombies, become Prada wearing, faux-accented Euro-trash in sunglasses, as opposed to the typical moan and consume brains zombies. Of all the nasty kids only Shelley is spared because her bitchiness is so obviously rooted in deep-seated insecurities, just as Seth’s superficiality is directly connected with his anxieties over growing up. But all this makes it sound like the play is deep, and that’s certainly not the case- it’s just not stupid, and that, in my opinion, is really what makes it funny. Well, that and girls in go-go dancer outfits fighting zombies, but you know, you got to give something to the masses.


Mark Schwartz, Cristina Ulloa, Mike Hendrix, and Tamaura Sutton in the Horror Unspeakable production.
Mark Schwartz, Cristina Ulloa, Mike Hendrix, and Tamaura Sutton in the Horror Unspeakable production.

Horror Unspeakable Productions, June 27, 28 & 29, 2002, Cabaret Theater at the Temple of Music & Art in Tucson, Arizona. Directed and Designed by Stuart Eugene Bousel; Fight Choreography by James Driscoll-MacEachron & Cristina Ulloa; Lighting by Tonja Goetz; Sound by Lisa Fowle & Stuart Eugene Bousel; Stage Managed by Anne Heintz. Cast: Tamaura Sutton (Juliet), Wylie Herman (Bernard), Kendra Webb (Shelley), Jay Middleton (Seth), Taren Carter Hines (Carrie), James Driscoll-MacEachron (Norman), Morgen Stevens Garmon (Lily), Cristina Ulloa (Iris), April De Luna (Donna), Jacob Stirler (Herman), Amanda Karam (Daisy), Kelli Ging (Mary), Joshua Galyen (Brad), Joshua Hanna (Barney), Jessica Hudson (Tracy), Mark Ian Schwartz (Dick), Michael Hendrix (Harry)

Jay Middleton, Josh Galyen and Kelli Ging in the Horror Unspeakable production.
Jay Middleton, Josh Galyen and Kelli Ging in the Horror Unspeakable production.

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