In comics like “Crossed” and shows like “The Walking Dead,” Jabbaz seemed to feel that the inner depravity of the characters was kind of taken for granted. For “The Sadness,” he seemed to take a more sympathetic view of the zombies. A virus forces one’s rage to the surface, but the director found it relatable that there may be deep-seated rage inside all of us, to begin with. The wrath in “The Sadness” came from a deep discontentment with society. As he said:
“What’s mine about-with-a-capital-A? And I was like, well, it’s going to be about people who don’t have lives that they feel happy with. And they feel kind of disconnected and they don’t have meaningful relationships, and they’re not happy with their jobs and their lives and their decisions. And they don’t know how to get any kind of release or escape from that, and every day is just kind of like living this life of fear and anger.”
The virus, then, was a catalyst for freedom. Violent rage, in a very dark way, was cathartic. Jabbaz said:
“[O]ne day, there’s a virus that just kind of allows that all to kind of be okay and all of a sudden you have purpose in your life. And the purpose is entirely connected to that pent up frustration and rage and, you know, sexual inadequacy and all this kind of stuff. So, I was like, okay, that’s cool. Let’s do a movie kind of like that.”
The title gives away Jabbaz’s game, of course. Rage may free us, but it will damage everything and hurt everyone around us. The “zombies” may cackle, but none of this is fun. It’s all very, very sad.