When Christian met Sarah, they were both dressed as zombies.

It was love at first sight.

Now, years later, Christian Matzke and Sarah Tarling Matzke, in addition to being married (and proud parents of a young son), are creative partners as well.

Sharing duties as writer, director, makeup artist, editor, actor and the ever-useful “miscellaneous crew,” the Maine duo have been working together through their production company, Page Street Studios, creating, what else but

Horror movies.

Page Street’s initial focus was on the works of cult horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. The short works “Nyarlathotep,” “An Imperfect Solution,” “Experiment 17” and “Experiment 18” achieved national notoriety when they were included as part of the five-disc DVD “H.P. Lovecraft Collection” (they, and another evocative Lovecraftian short “Dunwich,” are available at Videoport in Portland.)

And now the couple has moved on to “Damnationland.”

The omnibus horror anthology, which features original short horror films from seven of Maine’s most promising filmmakers, will be showing all over the state this month. The first screening will be at the Movies at the Museum at the Portland Museum of Art on Oct. 29, and Page Street, perhaps inspired by that long-ago dark fairy tale meeting, has zombies on the brain.

Sarah describes their short “Last Call” as “the story of a man who has an epiphany and believes he must perform last rites on zombies because they still have souls.”

And Christian assures me that, as all real zombie apocalypses must, there will be no “fast zombies” in “Last Call,” stating definitively that such things are, well, an abomination.

“These will be slow, (George) Romero zombies. Fast zombies are a sign of lazy filmmakers, and they wreck the metaphor,” he says.

Amen to that, zombie brother.

And after “Damnationland?” Well, Christian’s IMDb.com page lists a long-gestating project called “White Rhino,” which they have big, but enigmatic, plans for. It involves a fictitious fascist country, a whole invented language (“Argosian”), footage captured on Christian’s travels to Iceland, Prague and Berlin, and a planned viral debut on the Web.

Start Googling it before Christmas, and look for “Last Call” just before Halloween.

And never stop believing in zombie love.


Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.


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