Governors Island’s most recent claim to fame might be Prince Harry and his polo cronies, but this past weekend it welcomed guests somewhat, er, less refined: zombies. On Sunday afternoon, volunteers hopped the ferry over to the island to film the final scene of a movie called Isle of the Dead, produced by Creative Time and an art collective known as the Bruce High Quality Foundation or “the Bruces,” as they refer to themselves.
Isle of the Dead has a pretty simple plot line — the credit crisis kills the art world and its players, who reemerge as zombies in an alternative movement inspired only by art from the past. The film begins with sweeping shots of dead bodies splayed out in front of the Met, Guggenheim, and Whitney museums, plus a strip of galleries in Chelsea, and ends with a zombie uprising on Governors Island, where the zombies congregate for a sing-along to the Bryan Adams classic, “Summer of ‘69.”
Inside the Governors Island movie theater, as the cameras rolled, the zombie volunteers, aided by black-and-white stage makeup, the occasional falsified bloodied gash, and several obscured bottles of booze, shouted out the lyrics while images of sixties icons Warhol, Dylan, and Allan Kaprow flashed across the screen.
The Bruces wrapped up the shoot after several takes, as the undead were growing restless and weary of repeating “those were the best days of my life.” But you can catch the final product when the film screens in Governors Island’s Fort Jay Theater during Creative Time’s public-art quadrennial “This World & Nearer Ones,” which opens June 27.