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Zombies in the machine

By James Dacey

It’s a brilliant conceit – to film a zombie film at the Large Hadron Collider. That’s precisely what a group of PhD students at CERN have done, producing a feature length film called Decay.

The film follows a group of students – played by real physicists – who are desperately trying to escape from underground maintenance tunnels at the LHC. They are being pursued by a bunch of maintenance workers who have been turned into blood-thirsty zombies after exposure to the newly discovered Higgs boson.

Writer and director Luke Thompson, a PhD student at Manchester University in the UK, came up with the idea back in 2010 after joking that the tunnels at the LHC would make a cracking place to shoot a zombie film. Unlike most such ideas – often dreamt up late at night in a bar – Thomson actually set about recording the film. Armed with a budget of roughly £2000 and a regular cast and crew of 20, Thompson has spent the past two years filming and producing the 75 minute film.

The film is set to premiere in Manchester at the end of November, after which time it will be released free online under a Creative Commons licence. For updates keep an eye on the film’s website.

In good scientific fashion, Thompson accompanies promotion of the film with a strong caveat. “There is absolutely no evidence that [the Higgs boson] is harmful in any way,” he says.

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