Pathogen (2006)

Emily Hagin started making this movie when she was only 12 years old. It took two years to make and she had to endure plenty of hardship, including the theft of some of the film’s equipment, which was replaced thanks to a grant from the Texas Filmmakers Production Fund that paid for post-production. A grocery store in town also closed down early so they could shoot the end of the movie there.

What’s amazing is that this film focuses on what it’s like to be a teenager as a zombie epidemic takes over and even your parents are powerless to protect you. Dannie (Rose Kent-McGlew) has been having dreams of this world-ending event and learns that the Nanochip has leaked into the water supply of Austin, which causes a waterborne disease that kills everyone who gets it and then reanimates their corpses.

Hagin has gone on to direct and write the opening of Scare Package and Sorry About the Demon. This movie makes me so happy — despite how dark and absolutely dire the ending gets — because it’s made by someone that truly cares about making something creative, as well as people gathering around her to help make that happen. It’s also so much better than every other zombie movie that will be made after it.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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