Zombies transfer their condition through bites. That is canon. It’s a staple of the zombie genre. Whether the zombies are fast or slow, science or magic, zombies bite and the plague spreads. That’s just how things work. NOT ANYMORE, MY FRIENDS! Eric England is taking us outside of the box with his new horror film Contracted.

Samantha (Najarra Townsend) has a one-night stand. Classic teen behavior. Only this time she doesn’t contract a typical hurts when you pee kinda disease. Instead, Samantha starts to become a zombie. That’s right. Contracted is a film that takes on the zombie as STI and it looks spectacular.

It’s time to shake up the whole zombie thing anyway. The basic concepts of the mythology have become played out. Both the darting hyper intelligent zombie and the slow shambling corpse have saturated pop culture so much that it just isn’t cool anymore.

I have friends who run zombie survival themed 5ks. That’s insane to me. Not that I don’t think it would be fun, but can’t we get over this one idea for just a little while? That’s all Contracted is trying to do. Eric England wants to shake up our preconceived notions of how zombieism (zombieness?) works.

Introducing a sexual element is particularly interesting given the history of zombies as bodies that represent a concept that isn’t exactly physical (consumerism, science, groupthink, etc). Giving the zombies’ bodies significance as objects radically adjusts what we as a culture associate with the moaning hordes. This turn toward individually bodied zombies began with Warm Bodies, but Contracted takes it a step further and asks questions about the relationship between our bodies and those of zombies.

I look forward to writing an overly analytical (because this is totally reasonable) piece about this movie ASAP. I’ll give you a warning when the time comes. As far as the movie itself, I think it looks great. I’m worried it might play out as a ‘very special episode’ sort of thing, but I don’t think the chances are high. If the style of the trailer is any indication, England and co. know exactly what they’re doing.