On YouTube, everyone is a self-proclaimed expert. So how would two video-blogging “survival experts” stack up if the actual zombie apocalypse arrived? How about if their ineptitude paradoxically manifested as actual skill through the force of sheer willpower and delusion?
This is The Last Man(s) on Earth, the first film for La Grange native and current Los Angeles resident Aaron Hultgren. Based on his nine-episode YouTube series, the 86-minute feature film is Hultgren’s first and will have its debut at this weekend’s Austin Film Festival in the category of Comedy Vanguard.
“We’re really excited, and obviously we’re nervous and a bit anxious, because it’s the first time it’s about to be shown to the world,” said Hultgren. “It’s what I’ve dreamed and what I’ve worked for for the last five years.”
Hultgren graduated Lyons Township High School in 2000 before studying screenwriting at Loyola and UCLA, winning a contest at the latter that got him into writing spec scripts for shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Modern Family. He currently works as a pubic-relations consultant, and has also recently finished a rewrite of another movie.
The thoroughly indie film also has a second Lyons Township connection in Hultgren’s cousin Adam Krupowicz, class of 2005, who worked as the film’s head of production and chief audio engineer.
The Last Man(s) on Earth was filmed from March 2011 through January of this year, and stars Charan Prabhakar (“the golf pro from High School Musical 2”,) Andrea Ciliberti (“Miss Missouri USA 2005”) and Brady Bluhm (“Billy the Blind Kid from Dumb and Dumber”).
“It’s the ideal part I’ve been waiting for all these years,” said Bluhm in a press release. “I battle with domestic terrorists, disenfranchised Russian communists and zombies, among other untamed characters. And thank God I have more lines than ‘… pretty bird.’”
The Austin Film Festival puts a focus on screenwriting, presenting a particular opportunity for Hultgren to hobnob with some of the business’ top tier. (“I'm looking forward to sneaking into photos with famous people who will be attending,” he said in a release.)
Hultren said he hopes to secure a distribution deal for the film, with a future goal of spinning it off into a TV series, and added that he already has some interest from production companies.
The premier of The Last Man(s) on Earth will be at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Village in Austin. You can watch a trailer for the film above, and find the original web series on YouTube here.