The first episode of web series Universal Dead, featuring DB Sweeney, Doug Jones, and Gary Graham, has been posted, and it's pretty damn cool. Watching will make you hunger for more.


Here's the thumbnail sketch:

Planet Earth is ravaged by a strange disease that turns people into mindless murderers. As civilization struggles to survive, a small team of US Navy SEALs must protect a doctor from the Center for Disease Control on a mission to evaluate the claims of an erratic scientist who may have discovered the secret to mankind's salvation.


Filmmaker Vernon Mortensen used to be on a Navy SEAL team, and you can tell - there's a nice realism to his depiction of the military, despite the completely fantastical premise of the series.

Here's what the filmmakers have to say about how they came up with the idea:

Universal Dead (UnDead for short) started out as a movie idea that was kicked around for a while by Vernon Mortensen and Kelly Parks. The original idea was to make it into a feature film and distribute it through Unconventional Films' sister company, Rogue Arts.

In the mean time, Kelly and Vernon, along with their business partner Neil Trusso, began production on Unconventional Films' first web series, "The Crusader," starring Stargate SG-1's Colin Cunningham and featuring Star Trek Enterprise's Gary Graham.

Then one day Kelly wrote a short film called "The Presentation," which took some of the ideas for Universal Dead and melded them together with Kelly's theory about how zombies function ("It's not a virus!") and suddenly Universal Dead the web series was born.

Follow the story as it unfolds on the Universal Dead website. Parks told io9 that the next episode will go up around June 4.

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