AICN Exclusive: Capone chews it with George Romero in first extended interview regarding LAND OF THE DEAD!
Hey folks, Harry here with the latest scoop on AICN... Capone managed to have his guys twist the great Romero to answer his every question. He had Frank and the other Chi-Town Charlies wrestle this great man the second he heard tale of that Variety story, so... without further ado... Here is... Romero... talking about LAND OF THE DEAD, shooting soon!
Hey, everyone. Capone in Chicago here. As I mentioned here a couple weeks ago. a horror/sci-fi convention Flashback Weekend (www.flashbackweekend.com) will be hitting the Chicago area July 30-August 1 with the guest of honor George Romero joining us for the festivities. I mentioned a few of the film screenings lined up for this year's event in my last write up, but the organizers have just added to the lineup a screening of the remake of THE TOOLBOX MURDERS, directed by Tobe Hooper and starring another one of this year's guests, Austin's own Angela Bettis. Check out the web site for details on guest, screenings, etc. In the meantime, the hardest working man in the movie biz, the maestro George Romero, spent a few minutes to update us on a few of his projects, including a film many of us have been waiting most of our adult lives for.
Capone: George, you might be the most talked about director in the last week who doesn't have a movie coming out this summer.
George Romero: That's weird, ain't it man? Ain't it cool, I guess, right?
Capone: Was the way that the Variety article described the plot of LAND OF THE DEAD more or less accurate? And is it true there were some issues about using the phrase "...of the Dead" in the title?
G.R.: Initially we were negotiating with Fox to do this, and it just went on and on, about a year and a half, literally. One of those typical Hollywood negotiations. They wanted to call the new movie NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Their thought was that they were starting over, this is a new franchise. And I said, "I already made NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Gimme a break over here!" At the time, my title of DEAD RECKONING, that the title I preferred, but apparently there's an old Bogart movie with the same title. So they said, why don't we call it NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: DEAD RECKONING? They wanted NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in the title. I said, "Look, you can make reference to "Night of the Living Dead" all over the poster, why does it have to be in the title?" Turned out they wanted to own the franchise.
It turned out that Richard Rubinstein, my ex-partner, had unbeknownst to any of us registered NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD with the MPAA. There was a time when he represented that film, he was trying to get a three-film set with DAWN and DAY, so we had to negotiate with Richard to get it back. But it doesn't matter because of Mark Canton's new company Atmosphere. Mark was, by pure chance, was having lunch with my agent who was complaining about Fox. Mark said, "Let me see the script." He read the script that night, called me the next day with a deal. Not a development deal, but an actual deal. They said, we're shooting this movie. We just jumped on it. They are great guys over there. Mark loves movies. It's a great company to be working with.
Capone: You've been making come adjustments to the script over the last couple weeks, right?
G.R.: With them. They had a few suggestions, many of which were good ones. My partner and I wanted to go through the script again and clean it up, as well as making a couple of the changes that they wanted. In the end, the changes weren't very significant.
Capone: How old was the script your agent gave to Canton?
G.R.: I sent the first version of it to my agent two days before September 11, 2001. So the response we got, naturally, was "We want warm and fuzzy now." So then I took it back and sat on it a while. It wasn't until a year and a half ago, when you could see the aftermath of the post-9/11 mood. I wanted to build a lot of that mood into the film. I had changed it myself to reflect the idea of life after something terrible. The concept for these films has always been people attempting to ignore the problem and going on with life, and it became a little more meaningful in this post-9/11 fear of terrorism and all of that shit. The protagonists in this film are the guys who have to go outside the protective walls out where the zombies are.
Capone: So the Variety version of the story is more or less accurate? That the surviving humans are in a walled in city?
G.R.: Protected city. It's not walled in. I wrote it for Pittsburgh, so it's geographically protected by rivers. Pittsburgh is on a little triangle of land with two sides cut off by rivers and the base of the triangle, if you can imagine that, is very narrow. It's less than a mile across.
Capone: So the plan is to still shoot in Pittsburgh?
G.R.: I'm hoping. It ain't a done deal though. The city and state are trying to come up with some incentives to make it economically competitive with Canada. The producers are looking at Winnipeg and, get this, South Africa. Apparently that's where everybody's going these days.
Capone: I didn't know that South Africa was the Canada for filmmaking.
G.R.: It's one of them. They're off Bulgaria now.
Capone: But clearly shooting in Pittsburgh is your preference.
G.R.: I wrote the film for Pittsburgh. There's kind of a family thing with the other films. I would use Pittsburgh at least in a couple of shots in the film to establish that geography.
Capone: So if the protective means about this city of the living is water, does that mean your zombies won't be able to walk along the bottom of the rivers as we've seen in other films?
G.R.: I'm not sure if I should answer that, but I will say this: I had a certain scene in LAND OF THE DEAD written before PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN came out.
Capone: I wasn't even thinking about PIRATES. I was thinking of Fulci's ZOMBI 2, the one with the zombie versus the shark.
G.R.: I don't know that one. But most of the film's action is outside the city. The humans have this big armored vehicle they go out in loaded with big guns and shit. They go to all these nearby towns and hit the supermarkets and liquor stores for supplies. It's a little different than the previous films where the living would go out scouting for any survivors. They had enough supplies in those films. In this film, this is their way of life. They have these hard-ass guys that are volunteers and willing to take the risks.
Capone: It sounds like even in this small society in the fortified city that there's a hierarchy.
G.R.: Absolutely. The fat cats live in this one building called Fiddler's Green. All the peons live on the streets in squaller.
Capone: In terms of the nuts and bolts of LAND OF THE DEAD, is Tom Savini involved in this film at all?
G.R.: I don't think he's going to be in charge of the effects. Actually, it'll be one of his proteges, Greg Nicotero, who runs KNB that the producers wants. They want that kind of reliability and substance. Greg worked very closely with Tom on DAY OF THE DEAD, so I don't think there will be any animosity. I'd like to give Tom maybe one zombie character or a special appearance. But I'm also plugging for him to do a role. I have a perfect role for him, so I'd love to make that happen, but I don't have control over that this time with the bigger budget.
Capone: Since you brought up casting, has the production progressed that far yet? Is Atmosphere looking to get name actors or got with relative unknowns like you've done before.
G.R.: Of course, I'm plugging for that. I don't think I'm going to get away with it. I think two things are going to happen. I'm going wind up having to cast people that mean something to them. Obviously, we don't have the bucks for big stars, so I'll be saved from having to worry about that. There are a couple of people I'd love to get, Asia Argento being first and foremost. If I could get a couple people like that, I'd be thrilled.
Capone: So you're looking for relatively known people who are still affordable.
G.R.: Yeah, that's basically the idea. Asia is directing now, but she had actually agreed to do what was going to be my next film, DIAMOND DEAD. I just spoke to her a couple weeks ago about that.
Capone: Now that LAND OF THE DEAD is not with Fox, does that free it to be released unrated in theatres?
G.R.: No, that was going to be my second point. Mark Canton used to be the president at Warners, and I think still has some connections there. I think he's hoping that they'll distribute it. Although the film is financed. He has a company called The Wild Bunch in France, and they're co-financing. They're not waiting for distribution; they're just trying to make a good deal. So yes, I'm going to have to release it R-rated, but they want me to shoot it they way I want to. And if there are scenes where I can't cut some of the gore out, I'm going to have to shoot a softer version. But in Japan and later videos and all that shit, they want the hard stuff. I'm satisfied that I'll get the make the movie I want. I'm hoping fans will go see it anyway, and then go check out the DVD.
Capone: Get them at least twice that way, right?
G.R.: Twice? If they keep bringing out these new DVDs of my old movies like DAWN OF THE DEAD, or new material on NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD "With new material!" What? I didn't shoot any new material.
Capone: It seems there's one of your zombie films is reissued every year on DVD, and I keep buying them. When we met a few weeks ago in Chicago at the Movieside Film Festival, the remake of the DAWN OF THE DEAD had just been out and you made it pretty clear what your feeling were about that. Was there anything about that film that you though was a great idea that you wish you'd done?
G.R.: It's still hard for me to get past the idea that the zombie were running around. They are supposed to be dead and all messed up. The thing that I liked the most was the guy across the street in the gun shot, who the people in the mall communicated with with signs. That was a neat idea. We put the gun shop right in the mall, which is very improbable. There are no gun shops in malls. I always felt a little weird about that, that it was a bit of a cheat, but we did it anyway. Fuck it. But really nothing else. I felt it lost it's reason for being. It lost the satire, the whole consumerism thing. It doesn't mean anything anymore. Having said that, it was better than I'd expected it to be. It was a hot action flick, but in my mind that's all it was, an action flick.
Capone: So you didn't have love for the zombie baby?
G.R.: I don't. I kept thinking, How can that be? I didn't get it. I guess if the baby died in the womb, it would be born dead. I may have been prejudiced because Jack Russo, one of my old guys from the original Image 10, made something called CHILDREN OF THE DEAD, which was about all these zombie kids being born. But in the remake, I just didn't like it. For of all, you can see it coming. That wasn't one of the high points for me.
Capone: Does it put you in a strange place to realize that the popularity of films like the DAWN remake or 28 DAYS LATER, which I know isn't a zombie film but it gets lumped in with them, have generated a new interest in these types of movies and given you a chance to direct your long-awaited, long-delayed fourth Living Dead movie?
G.R.: I think that was more true when I was negotiating with Fox, because Fox Searchlight released 28 DAYS LATER. But not Mark Canton's group. The president of Atmosphere is a guy named Bernie Goldberg, who is a Pittsburgher. He's into it as a fan and as a guy from Pittsburgh. In this case, the dig it for what it is. And they're not making me have the zombies run.
Capone: In looking at your films over the years, particularly ones that you've written, you always come back to the theme of individuals who live in their own minds or small groups of people who are forced to live, survive, exist on their own.
G.R.: Well, I've never been able to afford big groups...
Capone: True. But perhaps better than most, you've managed to successfully capture that solitary man or societal microcosm. Where does that come from?
G.R.: I was the spic kid who was getting beat up by the golden guineas in the Bronx, so it probably comes a little bit from that. I felt like that guy. I had to be past the gang on my way home from school. So there's some of that, but isn't that also just the way most people feel? You feel like a faceless member of society. That's really what BRUISER was about, loss of identity, finding a way to be seen. I almost give the guy in BRUISER points finally standing up and striking back. I'm sure that some of that comes from the anger of growing up an outsider. I was very weird for me, because me dad was Cuban and his family was from Spain and they went to Cuba and bought a hotel there. They thought of themselves as Castilians. And my dad probably had more a prejudice against Puerto Ricans than our Irish neighbors. So on the one hand, I saw that shit, which I thought was wrong; on the other hand, I was identified as a Puerto Rican on the outside, so I guess I felt like "Can't we all just get along?" like Rodney King said.
The NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD thing, though, I basically ripped off from Richard Matheson's I AM LEGEND, which is really the "Man Alone." One of the movie versions was THE LAST MAN ON EARTH. I didn't think he dealt with the idea of revolution, it really was the man alone in an unexplained situation. I also have always liked the monster within idea, the Jeckyl and Hyde thing. I like the zombies being us. Zombies are the blue collar monsters.
Capone: Although, according to reports about LAND OF THE DEAD as well as the DVD commentary for DAY OF THE DEAD, it sounds like the zombies get smarter and evolve somewhat.
G.R.: They have been. The last zombie you see in DAWN is holding a gun with some familiarity. And of course, in DAY OF THE DEAD there's Bub. In LAND, I'll have uber-Bub and a couple others that make it clear that the zombies are getting it together a little bit. They're still stumbling around, but they are developing a bit and there's more memory.
Capone: Back to the theme of isolation, the man alone. Do you feel that way in the movie business?
G.R.: In the Biz? There's some of that too. That's what KNIGHT RIDERS is about. That was really my ode to trying to do it right and not being able to get it through people's heads. I don't feel embittered at this point. It's all about telling the tale, trying to get people to understand and stick with it, finding a way to work through the politics and the bullshit. I'm not trying to discourage. I'm trying to show that if you can keep it together, you can find a way. I've had a tremendous amount of luck, despite all the frustration in my "blue period"I've been able to stay at home, raise a family and live fairly comfortably, not wealthy by any means.
Capone: You mentioned when you were in Chicago about scripts you'd written in the 1990s, like the first draft of THE MUMMY...
G.R.: Yeah, also GOOSEBUMPS. We had this other project called BEFORE I WAKE, which went from New Line. We had a deal at New Line, and they just never made a movie with us. We got this property out of there when we left and MGM picked it up, we developed it, rewrote it, all the other bullshit. They didn't do it. We'd gotten the greenlight right at that period to do THE MUMMY, but MGM wouldn't less us out of our deal. It came down to 12 days, they wanted to hang onto us for 12 days, and then they ended up not making BEFORE I WAKE, and we wound up losing them both. They started to piss at each other, the two studios. Then Chris Columbus picked it up, and we wrote more drafts and got it together. But by then, there was so much money against the project, something like $3 million or $4 million spent. It's still one of my favorite scripts. I think it went back to MGM at some point. Maybe someday...
Capone: In the meantime, not counting LAND OF THE DEAD, you've got a couple other projects that are fairly far along in preproduction. Until recently, DIAMOND DEAD looked like it was going to be your next film. And where does THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON [based on the Stephen King novel] stand?
G.R.: That is still very much alive. Both of them are very much alive. In fact with DIAMOND DEAD, they basically have the money to do it. The only question is, can they wait for me? We're going through that right now, or do they need to use somebody else? I think everyone involved would like to have me do it because of the "Dead" issue. As for TOM GORDON, that's an adaptation I did of Steve's novel. Steve loves it, I love it, we really want to do it, but it's not an obvious thing for either one of us. But that looks very good for us too.
Capone: At least critically, it seems to be King's non-horror stories that adapt the best into films: SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, STAND BY ME, GREEN MILE.
G.R.: But not necessarily at the box office.
Capone: True. Have you even gotten as far as considering casting of the little girl in TOM GORDON. Dakota Fanning would seem the obvious choice.
G.R.: We had her lined up, but that blew up after she was in MAN ON FIRE. She signed with a new manager who basically told us bye-bye. They're looking for an Oscar role for her. So that blew up. But there are still some wonderful child actors out there. That younger girl from IN AMERICA would be sensational. Be that as it may, I have real high hopes for both of those projects.
Capone: When is Atmosphere shotting to get LAND OF THE DEAD in theatres?
G.R.: I don't know about release dates. I know they want to start shooting in early October. I hope they don't try to get it out next summer. I'd hate to go against the big blockbusters, but they probably will try it and lose by it, but you never know.
Capone: Are you going to have to dabble in the realm of computer generated effects for this film?
G.R.: Yeah, but we're still going to do all the zombie stuff practical. But I have a big sequence that needs CG, a bridge collapse.
Capone: Is that your first use of CG?
G.R.: I've used it. The birds in DARK HALF. We did some little stuff with it in BRUISER. Just enhancement. But nothing to this scale. I'm going to have to do a little changing of the scenes. With DAY OF THE DEAD, we used matte paintings; now it's all computers. I'm not afraid of it. I certainly don't plan on overusing it. But there's a sequences that's going to need it because we can't collapse a real bridge. They won't let us do that.
Capone: I'm not sure if you were told that when you're in Chicago for Flashback Weekend, there's also going to be a DAY OF THE DEAD cast reunion, including Anthony DiLeo, Gary Klar, Lori Cardille, Joe Pilato. You, Lori and Tom Savini did a great commentary on the DAY OF THE DEAD DVD.
G.R.: That was a lot of fun.
Capone: And you've done a new one for the DAWN OF THE DEAD mega-DVD that Anchor Bay is putting out later this year, correct?
G.R.: Yes, we did sit-down interviews for a new documentary and also a commentary. I'm really looking forward to that documentary because they go everybody to participate. That should be fun.
The other thing I've got going on is that I've got a comic book coming out that I wrote. DC Comics called me up. They are doing a series called Toe Tags, limited-edition, six-issue storylines, eventually put out in bound editions. The illustrations are great, a guy named Tommy Castillo did the artwork. The plot once again revolves around a dead world. I'm not sure how much I can talk about it. I know there's some stuff they want to keep under wraps. I believe they're going to have advance copies out later this month. I think the first issues comes out in October. It was really fun, man. It was really liberating because it's a longer form than a conventional script. You don't have to worry about, shit, how am I going to shoot this? You just have to be able to draw it.
Capone: Well, enjoy your time in Austin, and we'll see you in Chicago.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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July 19, 2004, 11:26 p.m. CST
Romero is a really honest guy, and an underrated filmmaker. Great interview Capone.
July 19, 2004, 11:46 p.m. CST
got to love a zombie movie with romero at the helm
July 20, 2004, midnight CST
Great interview, this sounds fantastic! I am glad he dissed the running zombies (take THAT all of you previous posters who ASSUMED that evolved zombies = running zombies - they're DEAD, DECAYING...). I grew up around Monroeville, and the original Dawn of the Dead will always creep me out since I went to that mall all the time. Welcome back, George.
July 20, 2004, 12:21 a.m. CST
by Boris the Blade
Goddammit, talk about milking a movie to death....otherwise, Romero back at the rotted helm will kickass.
July 20, 2004, 12:22 a.m. CST
That's crazy, you'd think someone would have at least sent him a copy of an unnoficial sequel to one of his movies. Maybe not though. Too bad, its a good flick.
July 20, 2004, 12:25 a.m. CST
well the more the merrier i say
July 20, 2004, 1:07 a.m. CST
Man that was an interview with a completely normal, cool dude who likes movies, and happens to be coming out with his next flick. No bullshit, no blatant ignorance, and yet no uber-uber-geek spasms either. Just plain and level, what a great read. The movie sounds like it will be fucking awesome too- if I were going to sit down and try to come up with an original zombie idea, I couldn't top that.
July 20, 2004, 1:39 a.m. CST
Heh, "come adjustments to the script" sounds similar to Guilliermo del Toro's "sperm removal" scenes. I love how the depressing post 9/11 world we now live in has impacted on the evolution of the script. I wonder if LOTD has a self appointed leader backed by the fat-cats of Fiddler's Green declaring a "War On Death". Sorry, sorry, I just couldn't resist. And in response to the above I wouldn't expect Romero to have seen every zombie movie ever made, that would be a very unwieldy task worthy only of rabid zombie film consumers not rabid zombie film makers. Nice quote: "G.R.: It's still hard for me to get past the idea that the zombie were running around. They are supposed to be dead and all messed up. The thing that I liked the most was the guy across the street in the gun shop, who the people in the mall communicated with with signs. That was a neat idea. We put the gun shop right in the mall, which is very improbable. There are no gun shops in malls. I always felt a little weird about that, that it was a bit of a cheat, but we did it anyway. Fuck it." I did't mind the running zombies and I loved the gunshop owner guy. And the man has the right idea about the place of CGI in film, it's a tool not a crutch. Also, I'll be getting Toe Tags when it comes out that's for sure.
July 20, 2004, 1:47 a.m. CST
that DVD sounds good.
July 20, 2004, 2:38 a.m. CST
by Bourne GreyElf
although, I still liked running zombies. besides, its assinine to question why rotting corpses can run. rotting corpses cant WALK either. dead people don't MOVE at all. so why does it matter, on the logical scale, why zombies can run? thats just a stupid thing to complain about. its a movie.
July 20, 2004, 2:42 a.m. CST
Let's also not forget that Sam Raimi started exactly the same way as PJ and Romero did and look where HE is now.
July 20, 2004, 3:46 a.m. CST
i agree with everyone here; that was a great, refreshing interview-capone and romero seem like standup guys. but what I love is this talkback; short, sweet, civil, relevant. keep this shit up everyone!
July 20, 2004, 3:58 a.m. CST
Great interview , it's nice not to get patronised by a film maker and to find out how much work there is in just agreeing funding for a movie, for the first time in ages we don't get a director rattling on about his whole bunch of new computer programs that he's gonna get people to make CGI everything on . Great stuff, i'm sure the film will be amazing - so much imagery from just the basic idea . I wish more directors would put this effort into film making , GR is proper old school can we make an anti CGI thread ? it's just with all this spiderman 2 footage floating around at the moment i'm starting to feel a bit sick ...
July 20, 2004, 4:33 a.m. CST
I know that night was a heaps low budget movie and all, but i would love to see this get an ok budget so he can do things right! Like getting good actors. If they give him what he needs than FUCK YEAH!
July 20, 2004, 5:12 a.m. CST
Can't wait for LAND OF THE DEAD! It's gonna rock...
Got a feeling it's 10 mil , think i read it somewhere . Dawn cost 1.2 mil so it's somewhere on a par with inflation et al ..
July 20, 2004, 7:31 a.m. CST
....and can't wait for Land Oh the Dead. Sounds good!! Curious to know what he thinks of Shaun of the Dead though...
July 20, 2004, 7:32 a.m. CST
by Evil Chicken
Excellent interview! Romero has a healthy sense of accessibility to him. He's not cryptic. He's not coy. I'm incredibly happy that this is happening. I can't wait for the "Land of the Dead." Lets hear it for international financing! To ensure that this gets made how about a fan-boy telethon? I, for one, would gladly man the phones.
July 20, 2004, 8:22 a.m. CST
Awesome interview, and for once a civil, respecting talkback to a director that totally deserves it. As for the budget, what was said over at Homepage of the Dead was that he had 18 million at his disposal (his biggest to date) Just imagine the possibilities with that! Can't wait to follow the production and see a new Romero zombie movie on the big screen!
July 20, 2004, 8:55 a.m. CST
Yes, I do. sk
July 20, 2004, 8:57 a.m. CST
by Cooler King
I am glad to see Zombie films going back to their roots again. The idea of the sprinting undead doesn't quite make the grade in my books (apart from 28 Days Later which isn't techincally a Zombie flick). Nothing is more unsettling than the slow, lumbering march of impending death.
July 20, 2004, 8:58 a.m. CST
I never got the fact that there were always zombies and they didn't decompose. How are the zombies going to be as many, as much of a threat and getting smarter after they've been around for years? There should be decomposition, also wouldn't they need to eat? If everyone's a zombie then where's the food? I'm always up for zombie movies but Romero's only good one was Night. I don't buy the Dawn satire angle either. Commercialism was big in the 80's, not the 70's when the movie was made. Big malls were too new. And the fact that it was in a mall doesn't really show this because they landed there because of the roof and they needed supplies. It was more like opportunity as in Dawn 2004. Besides, in the dvd commentary Romero said basically they used the mall location because they knew the guy who owned it. Interesting but I think people are making a big deal out of nothing. I'm glad he's finally getting to do another one, but I hope the story gets more emphasis this time.
July 20, 2004, 9:11 a.m. CST
by Cooler King
I don't know if this was present in the US version but in the UK version of Dawn of the Dead when the group first break into the mall why don't the Zombies simply walk straight through and follow them. The group simply smash through and make no attempt to creat a blockade to stop the advancing undead. Did anyone else notice this?
July 20, 2004, 9:44 a.m. CST
every time I go to Monroeville mall I think of the zombies.
July 20, 2004, 10:02 a.m. CST
by Bubba wet ones
Big_Bubbaloola? I saw Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright do a q and a in London, someone asked em whether GR had seen it, and they said yep, they had a big chat with him on the phone, and he loved it! so there ya go.
July 20, 2004, 10:06 a.m. CST
by Lance Rock
July 20, 2004, 10:51 a.m. CST
Thanks for the reply, I was at the front of the queue when SoTD came out in the UK. I'm glad 'ole George liked it, it was pretty much an homage from top to tail dont ya think??
July 20, 2004, 11:15 a.m. CST
by Bubba wet ones
yeah, I think it's something of a loveletter from a couple of cheeky little admirers. Lets just hope that WHEN SOTD gets huge in the states they don't turn into a bunch of egomaniacs eh? I wonder if george would give them cameos in LOTD?
July 20, 2004, 11:17 a.m. CST
His movies always were 100 times creepier than just about anything else out there. But also Romero always managed to interject brilliant social commentary in there as well. George seems like an extremely nice guy who just wouldn't ever compromise and play ball w/ Hollywood. Good for you George! Integrity is everything and we respect you for it. I will be one of the first in line to support this movie.
July 20, 2004, 11:26 a.m. CST
well, thank goodness mr. george moved from the cheesy, downmarket titles like _twilight of the dead_ and _dead reckoning_ and embraced an intellectually resonant, literary one like _land of the dead_...what, _ocean of the dead_ was taken? folks, unless a great karmic/cosmic force that has inexorably made EVERY romero film since _knightriders_ suck, powerfully and lamentably (especially given his brilliant work up until that point), how can you believe this will "rise" to the level of the first two masterpieces? "dummies! dummies!" let me hasten to add, nothing would make be happier than to be proven entirely wrong in this respect...we'll see. i still think he should do _diamond dead_ first. that, and _turn of the screw_, of course...and a remake of _the tales of hoffman_ featuring bikers and hulk hogan ("watch me dance, brother!")....
July 20, 2004, 11:31 a.m. CST
by Harmonica Man
Romero can save money by shooting in the new "Hollywood of the North", and put that cash into production values and effects. Sure, use a few establishig shots of Pittsburgh and pretend Winnipeg is Pittsburgh (it's been many other cities on celluloid before), but shoot it at the 'Peg. Maybe that way I could get a shot at being an xtra (victim? zombie?). It's all good.
July 20, 2004, 11:39 a.m. CST
by Bourne GreyElf
he didn't like the dotd remake because, it didn't have the analogy that the zombies represent the blue collar worker, that zombies SHOULD just represent how crappy our society is. I've always conidered zombies to be a punishment on mankind for being so stupid. I figure the zombies are up and about because of biblical reasons, you know, in revelations, "and the dead shall walk the earth" or whatever. I think zombies are humanity's just desserts for ruining the planet and stuff. Thats why I liked dotd remake. it was judgement day, and no one was escaping it. thats why I liked the ending so much in the remake, how all the main characters get screwed in the end. I was satisfied. I was like yeah, You can't escape judgement, you puny mortals, now die! Anyway, thats just how I like to view zombie movies, as I am cynical, process loans all day, its a waste of life, I'm sure I wasn't born for the purpose of processing home mortgage loans, but here I am, stuck doing it.I like to see humanity get a little ass kicking here and there. :)
July 20, 2004, 11:58 a.m. CST
July 20, 2004, 1:28 p.m. CST
Anybody interested in getting George's awesome horror TV series released on DVD? Sign the petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/TFDS_DVD/petition.html And join the Yahoo! group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/talesfromthedarkside/
July 20, 2004, 4:57 p.m. CST
I was wondering if any of you would know how to contact George Romero. His email isnt listed on his site. I am wondering because he will be filming Land of the Dead in Winnipeg this fall, and I would like to get on the set. Thanks
July 20, 2004, 5:20 p.m. CST
July 20, 2004, 5:40 p.m. CST
I find it wierd that George seemed to know nothing about Zombi 2. Strange. --------------------- www.billmurray.co.uk
July 20, 2004, 5:48 p.m. CST
Glad to see Romero knows that too.
July 20, 2004, 8:09 p.m. CST
by Red Raider
I guess I can handle Greg Nicotero helming the FX(he learned from Tom Savini. If Savini isn't available, who better?!! But having an 'R' rating for Land of the Dead translates into toned down splatter. There is no way in HELL that Day of the Dead could've had scenes as graphic as it did with an R rating. I still look forward to the film, but I'm a major gorehound, and I want flesh peeling, intestines, and lots of high pitched screaming!!!
July 20, 2004, 8:37 p.m. CST
Let me make this clear. I love the work that Tom Savini has done in the practical makeup effects world in the past. That being said - unless I'm mistaken, Tom has been spending most of his time with acting, directing, and conventions. I don't speak for the man, but this seems to be what he enjoys doing and that's exactly how a person should spend their days. KNB has been producing consistently excellent makeup for years now and is, in my opinion, the first and obvious choice for this film. Go easy gorehounds - let Savini do what he enjoys and let Nicotero and Berger do what they do best.
July 20, 2004, 8:38 p.m. CST
Wasn looking for Land of the Dead news, good that AICN gets the scoop first, very imformative with some little typing errors, but who cares...
July 20, 2004, 9:04 p.m. CST
Hearing that is starting to make me cringe a bit. I love the dead movies and the little underlying message george likes to put in them, but primarily they are HORROR movies. What george said about the dawn remake, that it lacked the main message about commercialism and lacked the esential satire, ending up being just being an action film, well it's just wrong. It was an action movie sure, but mainly it was HORROR. Those running zombies were terrifying. They were scary, and the people were scared shitless, not ever thinking about some ridiculous pie in the zombie's face bullshit. I'm really happy that george is finally getting his chance to make the 4th dead movie, but honestly if it's going to be more stupid satire over real horror, I'd much rather see the guys who remade dawn take a crack at day and night. And thank god he's had to postpone Diamond Dead (a silly movie about a zombie rock band) because once he makes that no one will ever take him seriously again and we'll never see a 5th dead movie from him.
July 20, 2004, 10:25 p.m. CST
Fuck them up their stupid asses. Oh and Romero is THE MAN.
July 20, 2004, 10:45 p.m. CST
by Bourne GreyElf
The black guys SPECIFICALLY STATES THAT THE MALL GLASS IS BULLET PROOF. Now, ALL the glass being bullet proof is a little hard to swallow. BUT, that WAS the explanation. So that complaint is now void. try again.
July 20, 2004, 11:01 p.m. CST
by Bourne GreyElf
the zombification spread throughout the world so fast. THATS THE MYSTERY. the mystery is, WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED!!!?? OH MY GOD, THERES ZOMBIES EVERYWHERE!! It has to be a strictly supernatatural phenomenon, thats what makes it scary. the fact that one day, life is normal, then the next day is complete hell on earth. "when theres no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth", thats the movies original, and the remakes slogan. basically, if you want to take that literally, hell basically over flowed with souls and those souls started possesing corpes, which is how the zombification spread through out the world so fast. billions of souls just jumped into corpses around the world. the reason why a dead person just doesn't get up again after hes killed normally, is because maybe there isn't a soul available anymore to posses it. maybe since hell has flushed all the souls out, theres room now for people who die normally to go there,(or heaven). however, when a zombie bites someone, maybe the bite just tranfers the curse over to the next victim, the person is "diseased" with the same evil thats inhabiting the zombie and is eventually taken over. just use your imaginination man. remember, its supposed to be a MYSTERY.
July 21, 2004, 1:48 a.m. CST
Just reading this Q&A is giving me good bumps at the thought of some of the imagery ("fiddlers green????"...sounds awesome)planned for LOTD george is letting us in on. Thank GOD he's back in the directors chair (with money this time around) and ready to show these young bucks around hollywood how a REAL horror movie should be made. Its amazing how the hollywood of today is still fucking with the old man over the title and what-not. And how they want to film in all these other countries to save money. I think I'm in the same mind-set as my fellow gore-hounds when I say that this film may very well usher in a new era of horror films that (hopefully) hollywood INC. will pay attention to. Then move onto something else. But then again...we all hold onto our copies (VHS and DVD) copies of our beloved trilogy while the rest of the world follows the majority rule. Shame. Land of the Dead will be a winner for sure.
July 21, 2004, 2:18 a.m. CST
Nah, just kidding, but if this movie actually does get made, with little or no restrictions on G.R.'s vision of the story, then maybe there IS hope for more good horror movies than most of the bullshit we've had to put up with lately. Heres to hoping they give Hulk Hogan a cameo as a zombie. "UGGGHH, OHHHH... brother."
July 21, 2004, 3:05 a.m. CST
by Pan Demonium
Yeah, that interview was great to read... Boy, now I'm psyched... growing up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, it's been a lifelong dream to be a zombie extra in a Romero film... if they film in the `burgh, I may actually be able to make it happen!! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch the trilogy on DVD and geek the fuck out!!! ..."When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth." Pan out.
July 21, 2004, 3:18 a.m. CST
by Pan Demonium
...although I admit that the sight of zombies (or "Rage" carriers in 28DL) running full on is dynamic and definitely a scary visual, I'll place my vote in the walking-zombie camp. Maybe I'm just a Romero purist, but there's just something about the slow, mindless shuffle of the Romero-style zombies that is just undeniably creepy... True, a slow-moving zombie would be easier to evade alone, but it's the shambling horde of undead, steadily approaching like a tide of putrid flesh and ravenous hunger that makes the Dead films so effective...IMHO. Pan out.
July 21, 2004, 4:06 a.m. CST
Help me here... In the original dawn i distinctly remember there being a zombie trying to walk up an escalator (thats going down) through the whole movie, every so often you would see this zombie in a shot in the same place on the escalator- then near the end the electricity is shut off and the zombie gets to the top of the escalator and someone kills it immediately . Watching it on BBC2 recently tho there was no such event .. A different movie ? a different zombie mall movie ? can it be? also I can't believe some sad fk personally emailed me to say i should learn a language before using it (when i used et al in a previous post) NO I DIDN'T MEAN ETC AND IT WOULD STILL MAKE SENSE EVEN IF I DID . SO TO TRANSLATE FOR U PERSONALLY 'Got a feeling it's 10 mil , think i read it somewhere . Dawn cost 1.2 mil so it's somewhere on a par with inflation(AND OTHERS/ALL) ..'
July 21, 2004, 7:38 a.m. CST
by Cooler King
Aria De Winter has been enlisted by Death himself to kill 365 people in one year. Hard task? Well, it helps when Aria is planning an historic concert for the Diamond Dead, the world's most famous underground rock band. It also helps that she's the ex-girlfriend of the lead singer of the band. It helps even more that the band members have been dead for over a year. Summary written by Sanjay Nambiar SUMMARY Aria De Winter is an aspiring singer seeking to join a popular underground rock band called Diamond Dead. However, she accidentally brings about the band's untimely demise; prompting her to make a deal with Death to bring them back. He does, the band is a success; but now, Aria has to kill 365 people as part of her deal. So she enlists the help of the band to set her plan in motion...
July 21, 2004, 7:48 a.m. CST
by Cooler King
Whether or not Diamond Dead will ever be released? Who knows? Personally I would have liked to see it made before Land of the Dead.
July 21, 2004, 9:43 a.m. CST
by Bubba wet ones
it was inneresting to read george talking about the satire on consumerism in the original dawn, as I read originally that he said he didn't intend it as such (i don't believe that tho!). I did my dissertation on the dead trilogy, and those allegories are right up there for everyone to see. as to eyegore's comments about them primarily being horror, well i think that satire angle is pretty damn horrific. the fact that society has become so completely based on consumption scares me silly! I'll put my diss online later, then you can have a good read of my (and plenty more respected critics, such as robin wood) have to say on the matter.
July 21, 2004, 9:47 a.m. CST
by Bubba wet ones
another thought came to me earlier, I may be completely mistaken and missing out some really obvious films, but I can't think of a single film with running/fast moving monsters in it that came out before ALIENS, before then, it was either about the numbers, or they hid in the shadows and jumped out at ya. i reckon the dotd remake and 28days later owe more to aliens than they do to romero in a way. whaddya reckon?
July 21, 2004, 10:55 a.m. CST
Anyone have a copy of the article? Don't really want to pay 259 to read one article. Is that wrong?
July 21, 2004, 2:23 p.m. CST
by SLEAZY DINOSAUR
Just off the top of my head, the Return Of The Living Dead movies had running zombies, I think that was before Aliens.
July 21, 2004, 9:29 p.m. CST
by Bourne GreyElf
"..Having the infection pass only through contact makes no damn sense if the "reality" being created in the movie is going to have an overnight destruction of the world." Didn't I give a plausible reason already as to why the world would be destroyed overnight? Consider this, its something I failed to mention in my last post. Remember when I said, if you took the slogan literally, zombification would be the result of billions of souls in hell being unleashed onto the earth and possesing corpes. However, my new theory is, what if the souls didn't posses corpses at all? what if, the souls kicked out of hell, possessed random LIVING people through out the world? Suppose, overnight, HALF the worlds population was instantly zombified by the millions of souls unleashed? then, THAT WOULD lead to the world being destroyed in the period of one night, would it not? You said there needs to be a certain logic to a movie and its universe. well, I just gave you what I think was the logic behind the dotd remake. I think I did a pretty good job of covering its tracks :)
July 21, 2004, 10:07 p.m. CST
The zombies have to rise in many places at once [a la NOTLD] and not spread by infection, because a 28 Days Later - style infection couldn't spread fast enough. Why, you ask? Well, if the people go instantly nuts, no one will transport them, and it's not like they can drive. That means the disease can only advance as fast as a man can walk. From its origination point, it will advance MAYBE 25 miles the first day. On day 2, the army destroys everything in that radius, like the fucking Mongols in a kill circle. The only exception to this is something like Romero's "The Crazies" where the disease advances through the water table.
July 22, 2004, 12:52 a.m. CST
by Bourne GreyElf
goddamit to hell :(
July 22, 2004, 3:05 a.m. CST
by slappy jones
..wasn't the 'satire' or 'messages' that everyone seems to rave about....it was the blood thirsty gore...heads blown off...guts getting ripped out.....everyone goes a bit over board about the 'depth' of these films....they were just grisly gory horror movies....but i prefer running zombies so what the fuck do i know.....after seeing the dawn remake (which i fucking loved) i watched the orginal again and while it is still one of my favourite films i started laughing at the scene where they land the chopper to look for fuel at the abandoned airbase and a zombie creeps up on them. After running zombies it just seemd kind of silly that they were scared of one slow ass old school zombie when they could easily out run it....
July 22, 2004, 3:37 a.m. CST
Werewolves usually moved pretty damned swiftly in all the old B&W flicks...
July 22, 2004, 10:27 a.m. CST
There's must be something Bruce can do. Maybe 'UBER-BUB'..?
July 22, 2004, 5:52 p.m. CST
("Meg" being that ridiculously awful non-novel by a hack named Alten... probably the single worst book I've ever had the misfortune to read - and I suffered through Rand)
July 22, 2004, 7:02 p.m. CST
He gets to have unrated for the dvd/domestic release, I believe. It's a great deal for an 18 million dollar budget.
July 24, 2004, 6:08 a.m. CST
I agree...but to me a tamer dead is better than no dead at all! Maybe certain theaters will run the entire uncut series after the movie is out for awhile, for genre fans. Wouldn't that be a kick? :o)
July 25, 2004, 5:14 a.m. CST
No kidding--remember Hannibal? Jesus, I was astounded by the gore that got through on that R. The audience around me freakin' polarized -it felt like a surprise preschool showing of Re-Animator. Romero may not get to have his "bowels out" quite as far, but like you said--carnage is merely a bonus with his servings. :)
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