Niagara Gazette


October 7, 2013

13-year-old Falls girl set to debut her film 'Zombie Kids'

Niagara Gazette — Creative people have visions. Finding a way to take the imagination and turn it into reality is how successful people are made.

Hope Muehlbauer is one of those successful humans, having written, directed, starred in and edited her own full-length movie in one of her favorite genres.


But what makes Hope so special is she’s not even old enough for high school. She’s 13 years old and still walking the halls of Gaskill Preparatory. And in a matter of weeks, she’ll be a moviemaker for real.

“I started writing it two years ago,” she said. “We were filming last summer, but a few of the cast members quit. So we had to audition again in April and found our remaining characters. It was fun, though.”

Just what can a 13-year-old envision? Hope’s movie takes liberties with a local tragedy the Niagara Falls community likely will never live down. She surmises the Love Canal site has left some destructive chemicals in the ground, though no one knows how bad until a group of youngsters break in to the area and come in contact with the waste.

It quickly turns some of the children into the walking dead, leaving the rest to fight for survival.

She’s debuting her film, “Zombie Kids,” at a special screening at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at The Screening Room, 3131 Sheridan Drive, Amherst. Though entrance is a $5 cover charge at the door, attendees will get to experience a film by a young filmmaker and a number of live extras, including a panel with some of the film’s actors.

She shot the movie on a digital camera, part of a shoestring budget she was able to secure through the lucrative funding source called Mom and Dad. The actors were unpaid. The only real expense they encountered was in buying makeup supplies for the gruesome monsters her cast morphed into.

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