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Mr. Beaks Interviews George A. Romero!

For whatever reason, pop culture has been overrun by the living dead. Zombies are everywhere: movies, video games, graphic novels even a reworked Jane Austen classic. For years, the genre catered strictly to horror fans (and gorehounds in particular); now, it's being used to sell computers. None of this matters much to George A. Romero. Oh, sure, it makes it a little easier for the godfather of the genre to get his latest series of zombie films financed, but, given the low-budget range in which he's currently working, that money would probably be there regardless of what mainstream moviegoers are consuming. As he has done for most of his legendary career, Romero is making allegorical horror films for a niche audience that likes to gnaw on ideas as much as they enjoy watching the undead munch on human flesh. This is how he built his career, and, at the age of seventy, this appears to be the way he'd like to operate from here on out. Romero's latest examination of society buckling under the stress of a zombie epidemic is SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, and while it picks up the new narrative thread introduced in 2007's DIARY OF THE DEAD, it thankfully eschews the verite approach of that picture in favor of a more classical aesthetic. Set largely on an island off the coast of Delaware, Romero's film concerns a rogue group of soldiers - the same ones who shook down the RV in DIARY - straying into the middle of a old-style family feud modeled after the conflict in William Wyler's THE BIG COUNTRY. This gives Romero license to play around with the conventions of the western, and he responds with a clever screenplay that features some of his most intriguing characters since DAY OF THE DEAD (which you may not love as much as I do, but it's okay; you're just wrong). SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD is a gratifying return to form that leaves you eager for Romero's next installment in his second zombie cycle. And, yes, provided it's as profitable as DIARY OF THE DEAD, Romero has every intention of continuing this series for another two films - one of which will be the first proper zombie noir. As for whether he intends to take a break from the living dead to attempt another idiosyncratic triumph like MARTIN or KNIGHTRIDERS, you'll just have to read the below interview, in which we also discuss his thoughts on current fascination with zombies, why he prefers them to lumber rather than run, and which of his '70s films he'd like to remake himself. It goes without saying that it was an honor to chat with the master, if only for sixteen minutes. We do get a little spoiler-y at times, so beware.



Mr. Beaks: So you got to make a western!

George A. Romero: (Laughs) Yes.

Beaks: With a very deliberate nod to THE BIG COUNTRY. Is this something you'd been wanting to do?

Romero: No, no, no. It's sort of a long story. When I did DIARY OF THE DEAD, I thought it would be a one-off. I wanted to do something about emerging media, and take a break from the rest of the series - particularly after LAND OF THE DEAD, which was bigger and not as much fun to do. Not because it was studio, but from the pressure of the bigger budget and having to juggle schedules and stars. I was happy to go back and do something simple. I thought it would just be a single shot, like, "I'll have this series going over here, so I'll back up and do this story about the first night." I thought that was the only way it would work, that these kids are out on the first night, had this equipment with them, and decided to document this thing. But because it was so inexpensive to make, my trade-off on that film was "If I can do it for [2.5 million], will you give me creative control?" And they said, "Yes." So even thought it only had a limited release, it was so inexpensive to make that it made lots of money on worldwide DVD and TV. So they said, "Let's go again!" I loved our partners at Artfire, so I said, "Let's use the same formula, and if we can keep it on a scale where you can afford to finance it yourselves and worry about selling it later, that's a great place to be." Basically, what I said was, "Tell you what: why don't we think about doing three. Because if we can do a film that goes out and does the same business as [DIARY], then you're going to want another one. So let's go into this thinking about three films." And I actually came back with three storylines all based on DIARY, and taking them off in their own direction. What I loved about this idea was that, for the first time, I'd be able to re-use characters, plotlines, and create a kind of mythology. I've never been able to do that with the other films because they're all owned by different people. So I was intrigued by that idea. And one of the storylines was this group of protagonists going to an island thinking that it would be a more controlled place, only to find themselves caught in a shooting war with these two feuding families. And it was only then that I started to think about THE BIG COUNTRY. I said, "Oh, shit! I remember Burl Ives and Charles Bickford."

Beaks: (Imitating Burl Ives) "I told you I'd do it, but you wouldn't believe me! Damn your soul, I told you!"

Romero: (Laughs, and does his own Ives) "Teach your grandmother to suck eggs!"

Beaks: That movie always used to be on TV when I was a kid. I kinda love it.

Romero: (Laughs) Well, I sat down with the DP, the production designer and everybody, and said, "Let's watch THE BIG COUNTRY." So we did. And then I thought, "It would make it even more fun for us if we could try to stylistically imitate it." So now I have this conceit that if I get to do the other two, I'll do them in different genre styles. We'll see. That's all complete speculation. It depends on how well this film does.

Beaks: What particular genres could you see zombies occupying?

Romero: Specifically, noir. I'd love to do something with that tone. But they'll never let me shoot it black-and-white, so I might have to pull a Darabont and shoot color, then print it in black-and-white later [ala THE MIST].

Beaks: You've returned to the idea of domesticating zombies in this film. You come at it from a slightly different angle, but it's very reminiscent of what you did with Bub in [DAY OF THE DEAD].

Romero: I had written a more elaborate version of DAY that they wouldn't finance; they wouldn't release it unrated if it cost that much money. So I chose to cut it down - and that script was closer to [SURVIVAL]. But it's a little different here. This guy is a bit of a religious right-er, and he's got these confused notions about keeping [the dead] with us. "Maybe they're not dead," and blah, blah, blah. I think you like the other character [Patrick O'Flynn, played by Kenneth Welsh] better; you sympathize with him more than you do Muldoon. But then he winds up being right about that one thing in the end. I liked that irony. And nobody knows it because they're too busy shooting at each other; no one's around to see the result.

Beaks: So now that we know zombies have a taste for horse flesh, are we heading in a direction... I mean, would you go so far as to try to turn them back? I'm not saying they'll revert to wholesale human, but might there be a way to further engage their brain?

Romero: I really don't want to go that far. All of these films are about the people; they're not really about the zombies. So I would like to just have that be one of many things that was missed, that people failed to recognize; if I had my druthers, I'd rather leave it as a possibility that no one sees. But I'd certainly use it throughout this series if we get to make the others.

Beaks: SURVIVAL is your fifth journey into this world, and, once again, there's the humor to go along with the despair. In the way that your characters persevere even though there's nothing to be done about this zombie problem, these films are kind of beginning to get like WAITING FOR GODOT. (Romero laughs) It's just this loop. "We can't go on/We must go on." They know they're doomed, but yet there's hope that there is...

Romero: Someplace. Yes. "There's a place for us!" Where's Leonard Bernstein when you need him? (Laughs) That's sort of where I ended LAND - appropriately enough, because when I did LAND I didn't know it was going to be the end of that channel. Now we sort of have this new franchise - which is great. It's the first time my partner and I have an ownership position in this, so that's terrific. It seems like the whole world is doing zombies now, but we never got a piece of the action.

Beaks: How do you feel about this zombie phenomenon? Now we have Jane Austen zombies, and Beatles zombies...

Romero: I heard about The Beatles. I don't know. What's that? A HARD DAY'S NIGHT? They should just do it CG: re-do A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, and zombie-up The Beatles with CG. I don't know, man. My zombies are my zombies. First of all, they're dead. They're not infected by some "rage bug". Zack, in the DAWN remake, just said, "Let 'em run!" I think the influence there is video games. I think zombies have been popularized much more by video games and graphic novels than film. ZOMBIELAND is the only one that was a blockbuster. I don't think anything popped $75 million before that. It hasn't been the films that have made this a pop cultural phenomenon; it's been the video games and all of this other stuff. And from the video games, unfortunately... I just did this interview about LEFT 4 DEAD 2; the speed and the way they're crawling on the walls, it's like BLADE. It drives me crazy, but I think that filmmakers think that's what you have to do to please that [audience]. So we've got fast zombies, and almost in order to justify that, it's "Let's make it a 'rage' thing, or a virus." They're not dead. I don't get that whole evolution. Even the remake of THE CRAZIES was like a zombie film; it was like 28 DAYS LATER. I don't get it, and I don't like it. I prefer these plodding, lumbering guys from whom you can easily escape unless you fuck yourself up somehow and are too stupid to do the right thing. That's just more fun for me.

Beaks: I think that all mirrors this need for more visual stimulation. People think you need to have so much going on within the frame to hold the audience's interest, so it only makes sense that zombies would be subject to that.

Romero: Seeing clips from this game, it's just this unbelievable barrage. Of course, now these games are played by four or five people in different cities. "You take that one, I'll take this one!" (Laughs) I don't have the reflexes for that. I wouldn't survive ten seconds. The irritating thing is that so much has been done with it, and, in this game for instance, there's a shopping mall. It's like, "Huh, wonder where they got that idea."

Beaks: But all of these fast-paced zombie movies are still, to some degree, playing with your iconography. They are paying homage.

Romero: I guess you have to look at it that way. It's nice. I don't care in a certain sense. Every once in a while, it gets irritating. I had written a script for RESIDENT EVIL that I liked, and that Capcom liked, but then [Constantin Film] just said, "That's not what we want to do." The guy who runs Constantin had never played a video game. Go figure. It just didn't work out. But other than that, I'm just happy to have my own zombies. They're in the truck outside, and we'll bring 'em out whenever I need them. I'm sort of using them for my own purposes. I feel like I've got this little niche going on over here, and the rest of the world is speeding along somewhere else.

Beaks: Getting away from zombies, do you have another KNIGHTRIDERS or MARTIN that you'd like to make?

Romero: I have one little film that I'd really like to make. You know, at my age I don't know how much energy I have. I certainly don't want to come [to Hollywood] and pitch something for a year-and-a-half, and then have it blow up. I have to pick my shots. I do have a little film, a non-horror thing that I'd like to do; it's a little story that I'd like to do. I don't know if I'll ever get to do it. And I have another horror thing that's non-zombie; that's something else that has a higher probability of happening if we break away from this. But we may not. If this movie does well, I think I'm really going to push hard to do the other two as one production, and then I'll separate them after birth. (Laughs) I'm just waiting to see what shoe drops in the next couple of months. I'll take a little vacation, and see what happens.

Beaks: Of your films that have not been remade, the one I'm a little worried about is MARTIN. It's such a special film. Do you know if there's anything going on with that?

Romero: I know that [producer Richard P. Rubenstein] is trying to get a remake done on that. To me, that would bother me more. MARTIN and KNIGHTRIDERS: I've heard rumors about both. Those are sort of peculiarly mine, and you can't have that party without me. That's how I feel. But, on the other hand, so what? I made it already, and I don't want to revisit it. There is one of my films that I'd like to remake myself, which is SEASON OF THE WITCH. I really think it would be stronger today, made for a strong woman out in the world being oppressed. Do it with better actors and a bigger budget, with a filmmaker who knows a little more what he's doing than he did then. (Laughs) That's the only one I would really consider. And a year ago, I started to write a script. But I laid it down in favor of all of this stuff. You have to pick your shots.



I hope he continues to pick them this wisely. George A. Romero's SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD opens theatrically this Friday, May 28th, in limited release. It's currently available on VOD. Faithfully submitted, Mr. Beaks

P.S. How 'bout some bonus Romero? Here's my pal Joe Lynch (director of WRONG TURN 2 and all-around horror aficionado) interviewing Romero on G4's ATTACK OF THE SHOW!

And here's the extended version!

Readers Talkback
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  • May 26, 2010, 12:26 a.m. CST

    beaks you suck

    by JaimeFoxx

  • May 26, 2010, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Jk

    by JaimeFoxx

    I actually enjoy your interviews and reviews... it's just way over my head

  • May 26, 2010, 12:31 a.m. CST

    is this one also a video camera pov movie?

    by BEYONDTHUNDERDOME2GIRLS1CUPBILLCOSBY

    i hope not

  • May 26, 2010, 12:33 a.m. CST

    I can't say that I minded that last all that much

    by JaimeFoxx

    Not that it was a classic, I just didn't mind it. Call me crazy

  • May 26, 2010, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Diary was good, the amish guy etc

    by BEYONDTHUNDERDOME2GIRLS1CUPBILLCOSBY

    just don't like the camera pov used too much

  • May 26, 2010, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Absolutely

    by JaimeFoxx

    I agree

  • May 26, 2010, 1:28 a.m. CST

    This movie was Crap

    by mortegro545

    I watched a screening of this movie in Boston a couple weeks ago presented by the man himself and it was one of the worst movies I've seen in years; maybe even in the last 10. When you have respectable zombie movies like The Crazies and others making remarkably better social commentary (which is a stretch) than this pile of shit.. you need to step away and let it go. Everyone know exactly what was going to happen in the first 5 mins. Seriously.. He is a wonderful man but he needs to stop.

  • May 26, 2010, 1:30 a.m. CST

    Survival is crap

    by reflecto

    Admit it.

  • May 26, 2010, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Sadly, he lost it

    by PedroM

  • May 26, 2010, 1:35 a.m. CST

    This movie sucks....on horse brains...

    by joker40

    I watched this on REGULAR cable..about 3 nights ago..(yup it was this movie..) I did not need anything to help me fall asleep that morning..it's one of those movies that, you try to stay awake..and as soon as its over..you fall imeadiatly asleep.(with the one exception of zombie feeding on a horse for a diet subsitute).this was horrible..even by dead standards....just Bad...

  • May 26, 2010, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Romero zombie start to heal and become whole. Living get sick

    by TheJudger

  • May 26, 2010, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Romero zombie start to heal and become whole. Living get sick

    by TheJudger

  • May 26, 2010, 1:36 a.m. CST

    and die!

    by TheJudger

    make that movie.

  • May 26, 2010, 1:37 a.m. CST

    I WISH ROMERO WOULD GIVE IT A REST.....

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    Yeah, Night of the Living Dead is, IMHO, the most important Horror movie ever made while Dawn is one of the greatest and Creepshow is a masterpiece but he's spent the last five years shitting all over his legacy with these fucking awful living dead flicks.

  • May 26, 2010, 1:39 a.m. CST

    seriously turn the tables

    by TheJudger

    the dead start to get well and regenerate- the living become dreadfully sick and they start to decompose. No real answer is given, but now the living seek to be bitten by the dead so they will survive. Turn the tables. End this zombie genre of yours with a strong finish. Turn the tables. No one has done this and it would be so wild. The zombies become rational the living become monsters.

  • May 26, 2010, 1:48 a.m. CST

    George......

    by MARKED4DEATH

    I loved Night, Dawn and Day but please enough is enough. Just fuck off and never make another zombie film again. You're boring your fans shitless with this drivel.

  • May 26, 2010, 1:48 a.m. CST

    HE FUCKED UP BADLY BY LETTING CREEPSHOW GET AWAY FROM HIM......

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    Creepshow was released in 82 and it's not only one of my most favorite films of all time but was also Romero's last great Horror movie. Sorry but Day of the Dead is a boring piece of shit.<br> <br>Anyway, I still don't understand why he didn't do any Creepshow sequels when they would have been the perfect franchise given that they're anthologies with no need for returning characters and thus escalating salaries.<br> <br>I've always thought he was a fool for rushing to do Day of the Dead when he should have done Creepshow 2 for 1984 and part 3 for 86. I wish someone would get ahold of the rights so he and King could get together and do another one.

  • May 26, 2010, 1:52 a.m. CST

    THE ZOMBIES THAT ATE PITTSBURGH BY PAUL R. GAGNE IS A GREAT BOOK

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    It was published in 87 and is the definitive tome on Romero up to that time.

  • May 26, 2010, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Romero remake the Incredible Melting Man

    by TheJudger

    Think about the awesome here. 0KNB and Romero in top form. Use a failed Hadron Collider experiment as the excuse for the cause of the Melting man, have it all take place in Switzerland with subtitled dialog.

  • May 26, 2010, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Romero should make a new zombie movie but this time the

    by ominus

    social criticism should be about videogamers,especially the mmorpg ones.

  • May 26, 2010, 1:58 a.m. CST

    teh creepy we got that "Tales From the Darkside"

    by TheJudger

    a very sub, sub,sub par twilight zone/outerlimits/night gallery. Sure the shows couldnt be rated R, but it could have been so much better than it was. So saying he fucked up by leaving creepshow is stupid. The man took creepshow to the tvland, and he could get it right. No offense Romero. I really admire you, but everyone makes mistakes.

  • May 26, 2010, 2:14 a.m. CST

    TheJudger, ROMERO LAMENTS ABOUT DARKSIDE IN THE BOOK.....

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    He goes on about how it was a struggle to get the show done on such a low budget with the TV restrictions on violence and how the effort spent would have been better used on features. But he got suckered into it by that asswipe Richard P. Rubinstein who was running their production company Laurel Entertainment. Rubinstein, who Produced Dawn/Creepshow and Day, talked Romero into doing the show to fill out a syndication package. Rubinstein's goal was to get as many episodes done as fast and cheap as possible and sold the whole thing on George's name.<br> <br>Romero left Laurel soon after while that fuck Rubinstein went on to Produce Creepshow 2, which wasn't nearly as good as the original, and cleverly held onto the remake rights to Dawn which is why he's credited on the remake, which sucked balls.

  • May 26, 2010, 2:18 a.m. CST

    I love George, but SURVIVAL was poor

    by corn on the cobblers

    I really love all of George's films. I even love Land and Diary, but survival was... I have to say TERRIBLE. Horse riding Zombie? Introduction of new character by suddenly appearing behind a tree? Plus the characters keep saying and doing really stupid things. What a disappointment! Please try harder next time George, of course I will always watch.

  • May 26, 2010, 2:19 a.m. CST

    Damn I did not know that

    by TheJudger

    Sorry George, it wasn't his fault, man some people..

  • May 26, 2010, 2:19 a.m. CST

    TheJudger, FURTHERMORE, CREEPSHOWS BUDGET WAS 8 MILLION IN 1982

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    Tales from the Darkside was budgeted at about 100K an episode. That was criminally low budget for a show that required make-up and visual effects given that it was a Horror anthology. This is why almost every episode only has one or two sets and was shot on 16mm. Did you know that Jodie Foster Directed an episode which is why Romero made a cameo in The Silence of the Lambs.

  • May 26, 2010, 2:23 a.m. CST

    Romero's next film--

    by thegreatwhatzit

    A remake of ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY with John Goodman and Matt Frewer. "I replaced a mummy with zombies to phase-in a pretentious, political chestnut--1960s counter-culture--about how the zombies are more civilzed than us. There's also real revolutionary stuff like a noble black guy, a girl who's one of the guys, evil military dudes and a cameo by the actor who played Urkel. He was cheap and said he'd do his own stunts..."

  • May 26, 2010, 2:33 a.m. CST

    I'm pretty low on movie trivia. I try to avoid it most of the t

    by TheJudger

    When I meet famous people, even if I know their body of work. I'm avoid making it the subject of our coversations, because I'm afraid of the name and history play that might ensue, so for the most part I'm pretty silent about those types of topics. I'm just happy enough to meet them. That an interesting tidbit though. I think these guys dread those types of conversations. Alice Cooper always explaining the chicken story =in interviews. Englund always explain the hero glove accident.

  • May 26, 2010, 2:34 a.m. CST

    he time

    by TheJudger

  • May 26, 2010, 2:43 a.m. CST

    Diary of the Dead was one of the worst films I've ever seen...

    by Obnoxious_Username

    And that's not hyperbole. Romero's older stuff is fantastic, but he seems to be actively working to destroy any remaining shred of credibility that he has left. It's so fucking depressing and I'm not going to even bother with Survival of the Dead. Please Mr. Romero, stop destroying your legacy.

  • May 26, 2010, 6:09 a.m. CST

    It's not a strong film...

    by quantize

    I think he needs to go back to the storytelling drawing board...start with something completely fresh like his 90's work..

  • May 26, 2010, 6:18 a.m. CST

    I'd love to read his Resident Evil script.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • May 26, 2010, 6:47 a.m. CST

    sucked

    by Candy ass monkey suit

    SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD is a gratifying return to form that leaves you eager for Romero's next installment in his second zombie cycle.....are you serious !! this was a turgid mess of a movie! Lumbering,uninspired and boring for about 70 mins of its 90 runtime. I have no probs with low budgets but Romero's working with too lower a budget now. $2.5 mill is less than an ep of smallville/suernatural these days so what hope does Romero have for decent make upfx or action. Romero may not have liked the dawn renake but snyder made amuch more entertaining movie than this mess.

  • May 26, 2010, 7:11 a.m. CST

    I CAN HOLD MY BREATH....

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    ...FOR A LOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG TIME...!!!!!!!!

  • May 26, 2010, 7:17 a.m. CST

    The real interview

    by Powerring

    Q: So George, how does it feel to be a totally overrated hack that churns out rehash after rehash with terrible actors, bad scripts and cheap effects? A. I am laughing all the way to the bank Q: How does it feel knowing Zak Snyder took your material and did it 10 times better than you ever did? A. I just do it for the checks...whever will finance me Q: So George, when did you realize that you could not direct people? A: My fanboys don't care...I am immune to things like talent. Q: So, when is your next hack piece of shit due out? A: As soon as I can figure out another one of my crap movies to milk. I am thinking "Diary of the dead 2: University of the dead"

  • May 26, 2010, 8:46 a.m. CST

    George People have Improved on your concept...how do you feel?

    by DangerDave

    No Sir, I don't like it.

  • May 26, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST

    @ Mr Nicholas

    by SonOfChiba

    http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/resident_evil_romero.html

  • May 26, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Virtually Everyone Does It Better Than George.

    by Graphix67

    Zach Snyder... Edgar Wright... Danny Boyle. Just 3 of the directors who were able to present successful, novel and fresh visions of zombie or zombie-like story-lines. George on the other hand is hopelessly in denial when it comes to the quality of his own stale and badly faded vision of what modern zombie movies should be.

  • May 26, 2010, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Martin was his best film

    by rev_skarekroe

    And that includes the original Night of the Living Dead.

  • May 26, 2010, 10:48 a.m. CST

    RE: George's Resident Evil script.

    by Stalkeye

    from what little I have read, it's not compelling. Chris redfield is a Native American who is not affiliated with STARS.Oh, and he is also Jill's (Valentine) lover.<p>PWSA's adaptaiton wasnt faithful to the videogame Canon either but atleast it showed Milla naked.

  • May 26, 2010, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Sorry georgie but 2004's DOTD...

    by Stalkeye

    ..runs circles around the orginal which was good for that time period, but the premise of fast moving Zombies is more scarier than the mindless shuffling dead.Fulci's Zombies were the best of the "SloW-Mos".(Since when did you see any of Romero's Zombies punch through a door and grabs some chicks eye into a huge splinter?)The first 10 minutes (alone) of Snyder's DOTD were brilliant.One of these days , I'll check out diary, but survival looks too fucking stupid and that's coming from the godfather of zombies.

  • May 26, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST

    You know, even Einstein hated what people did to his theories

    by WickedJacob

    But they ended up being RIGHT, and einstein died marginalized. I don't think I'm going too far to say Romero is the Einstein of zombie movies. That is at once both a HUGE compliment and a scathing critique.

  • May 26, 2010, 2 p.m. CST

    Not as bad as people say

    by JonOfTheShred

    With a more suitable film-score and better special fx (drop the CGI and do the gore Day of the Dead style) this movie would've destroyed DOTD 2004. The music, unfortunately completely kills the mood and the CGI takes one right out of the movie. But being a zombie nut, I still enjoyed it, moreso than Diary of course. <p> And Shaun of the Dead IS better than all three of Romero's latest zombie movies...but the Snyder remake isn't, though pretty entertaining. Feels more like an action / drama TV series than a movie whenever zombies aren't on screen. And the horribly overrated 28 Cliches Later movies are way worse than Land, Survival, and even Diary. Always hated those movies, they suck so bad. Although I oughta watch 'em again just to confirm how bad they suck, its been a few years.

  • May 26, 2010, 2 p.m. CST

    geee...

    by billyhitchcock1

    ...i wonder if beaks maybe liked it cos he didn't want to upset poor old george. this film is shit.

  • May 26, 2010, 6:13 p.m. CST

    I have no urge to even see this

    by clupula

    Land of the Dead was pretty bad and Diary of the Dead is actually on my list of the 20 worst movies I've ever seen. Personally, I think Day of the Dead is the best movie he's done (even if the music is awful) and that the Dawn remake was so much better than any of the newer Romero films.

  • May 26, 2010, 7:14 p.m. CST

    wow people actually believing the dawn remake is

    by TheJudger

    better. WTF? Glad this world end in 2012.

  • May 26, 2010, 7:17 p.m. CST

    This man can....

    by Marshal_Lannes

    ...do no wrong in my book. I'll always like Romero for what he's done for movies...

  • May 26, 2010, 7:48 p.m. CST

    George Romero Rocks...

    by MakNeil

    George Romero rocks because he believes what he believes, and his films reflect this. You may not relate to his politics, but it's there, just below the gory surface of his zombie films.<P> Go figure, a director that manages to say what he feels about the world today, and still (for the most part) make films that entertain.<P> The man is a class act (and Diary of The Dead wasn't as good as Dawn–then again, what is–but still worth viewing and not deserving of the acrimony that it seems to attract. Then again, just the fact that people feel something about his films implies that he's doing something right).<P> And AICN, I think that I want an 'Edit' button for Christmas. I know it's only May, but I want to give you guys (I don't know why I get the feeling that there are not all that many women hanging around AICN Central) time to, as and Jean-Luc Picard would say to Number One: "Make It So."

  • May 26, 2010, 8 p.m. CST

    wow people actually believing the dawn remake is

    by Powerring

    not better? WTF? The original= bad effects, bad acting, boring and cartoony pace...doesn't hold up today. It's laughable, not scary. Scary, is a scene with uncountable zombies surrounding buses full of people like a REAL armageddon. Not slow and stupid zombies with BLUE faces. Incidentally, why should I see this new Romero movie? the last two were so fucking bad I wanted to slap his mother.

  • May 26, 2010, 8:01 p.m. CST

    DotD Remake is a better movie

    by JaimeFoxx

    at least in this day and age. The political commentary from the first simply wouldn't carry over as well. I'm glad that they left that out to just make a zombie flick. <br> <br> If the film WASN'T called Dawn of the Dead, I'd bet that a lot of people would like it better, though.

  • May 26, 2010, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Romero just needs to re-edit and re-cut

    by JaimeFoxx

    his previous efforts, and sell them to the same dumbfucks over and over again. Like another George we all know.

  • May 26, 2010, 8:38 p.m. CST

    No, he needs to re-tire

    by Obnoxious_Username

    That was too easy, I had to take it.

  • May 26, 2010, 10:24 p.m. CST

    DotD Remake is a better movie??

    by darthwaz1

    There was no thought or ideas in that film! even the characters sucked! It was a mindless action flick!

  • May 26, 2010, 10:33 p.m. CST

    lol props to you Obnoxious that was good

    by JaimeFoxx

    And darth... Greedo shot first.

  • May 26, 2010, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Romero is past it as of Diary, but DOTD 2004 is mediocre

    by reflecto

    And you all know it. You just don't want to admit it because you geeked out in the theater over a silly movie made by a music video hack.

  • May 26, 2010, 11:10 p.m. CST

    DOTD '04 has no real story or point, just action

    by reflecto

    A nice one-time visceral moviegoing experience, but you wouldn't want to live there or rewatch it. Snyder's films just get worse.

  • May 26, 2010, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Pretty cool, or hightly uncool, that at this point...

    by Jaka

    ...in his career he's finally getting to work on a property with complete freedom that he has a partial stake in. I hope he gets to make the next two sequels.

  • May 27, 2010, 2:57 a.m. CST

    I think I figured it out

    by TheJudger

    Here's the deal children. The films today are so fucking pristine sharp bright and clean looking now, almost becoming the cartoon like, the characters are let in based on visual appeal first and acting abilites second, the dialog is twisted so tight and to ensure it sounds amusing and just about every picture made by the big guys in charge is laced with catch phrasey bullshit, hoping you will want a toy that repeats it or a moniker of it pasted on your fucking t-shirt. In this world we need nasty grainy film, actors who's looks are either average or fucking horrid, and the badly acted stuff needs to have it time in the sun as well. Sometimes you have to hire a noface who also cant act to well. Provide them with more psychical stuff to do, or give them the cool actions scenes, we need it more than we know. The art is leaving the films, there is no art on when the budget is bigger than the marketing fee. Sure you'll see some fantastic art creations in the movie but the art story is key and the characters are just under that all the visual aid falls somewhere under the music that drives it. I'm pissed for some odd reason right now. All this Dawn remake is better 28 days is better and shaun is like apples to oranges. It's like this. Alice Cooper used to be Holly fucking shit Alice Cooper, now he's an american icon that even your grandmothers know and possibly like. We are only so cool, and so edgy for so long, and then what we offer is common and adjusted to. anything you make that can upset you can unmake it into a parody, anything. Shaun surprised you. I bet it didnt surprise romero. It's a great film, but to say it's better than the source it rip's on. Fuck off!!!!!!! I'm 30 something i guess it's an age thing an under 30 somthing thing. The last 10 years have been a wash because the scene has been so dull and the entertainment so prem'd to make sure it's easy in easy out entertainment. no body wants to hurt anybody with music of film anymore. And it sucks. I want to be offended and hurt and disgusted and I want to think about how profound the movie was i just watched and how much it challenged me. Fuck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  • May 27, 2010, 7:44 a.m. CST

    I'm 35

    by clupula

    and I still think the Dawn remake is better than anything Romero's done in 20 years. I went into the remake expecting to hate it, as I do love the original. I was blown away at how well it was done. And you know what? I do own it and I have seen it quite a few times and it still is fun to watch. I also own the original, and I think I've watched the remake more. I don't compare the original and the remake because I like them for different reasons, but as a movie in general, the remake is better than any other zombie movie since the original Day.<BR><BR>I will also say that Romero has yet to do anything as powerful as the first ten minutes of the remake.

  • May 27, 2010, 7:50 a.m. CST

    DotD Remake is a better movie??

    by Powerring

    Yes, it did what Romero failed...and made it 10 times as realistic. No asinine pies-in-the face. Ohh! Scary monster I can stop with a PIE! And he will take a half hour to get to me across a room. If the remake was called "dead rising" brain-dead Romero fanboys would be able to separate new hotness from old and busted. The only thing Romero did right without cartoony fuckups is NOTLD.

  • May 27, 2010, 10:06 a.m. CST

    lets be honest

    by lostboytexas

    Romero hasnt made a single good or half decent flick in his life. and they keep getting worse. the trailer for Survival is beyond terrible. <p>I did enjoy the remakes of Dawn and The Crazies though.

  • May 27, 2010, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Powering let's not forget the silly

    by Stalkeye

    blue faced Zombies.yeah, they were real scary....Dawn of the Dead 2004 was fucking great because Zack improved upon the orignal and no his intention was not to be political or meraphoric like Romero's classic.but instead, a shock till you drop popcorn flick that delivered the characters were not as bland as one would think. It's almost reminicent of Aliens but with Zombies; you have the reluctant-turned-headstrong female lead, the stoic cop, a thug who fucking lost his mind to the extent of killing one of the surviviors in order to protect his zombie wife,a selfish opportunistic prick (steve)and Matt frewer as the infected dad who wants to hold on every last second.So how in the fuck could the characters be boring?theu surpassed the wooden perfprmances of the orginal cast if you ask me.<p>The remake if anything inspired videogames like left for dead and yes, dead rising. NOTLD was Romero's best and the progenerator of the modern day zombie genre. props to geroge for that and also making the black guy the protagonist in a horror film without being the first to die.

  • May 27, 2010, 4:37 p.m. CST

    That's a good interview Beaks

    by palimpsest

    And a beautiful UK poster for MARTIN. If you've never seen it, track it down by whatever means - it's like LET THE RIGHT ONE IN thirty years earlier; a stunning little movie. SURVIVAL is the least of the DEAD movies for me. I liked the Western aspect, and the returning soldiers from DIARY were fine, but there's an odd jokey tone to some of it that doesn't work (including the first zombie kill, which sets the wrong tone) and much of the plotting simply doesn't work. That said, he's creating personal movies with a hardcore fanbase, and as long as he's turning a profit he'll have licence to make movies, even if they don't all work. You guys who don't get DAY are wrong, though it is very much a movie of the 80s, and without the nuclear paranoia of those days, it doesn't work quite the way it used to.

  • May 27, 2010, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Romero and Scorcese got to the same optometrist!

    by JayLenoTookMyJob

    ...apparently. Aw, I'm sorry George... you too Martin. I just can't help being a smart-ass.

  • May 28, 2010, 2:23 a.m. CST

    Great Interview with a nice guy who cant make movies

    by bongo123

    sorry George mate, time to retire.. i really dont want to see how you top a horse riding zombie, you have turned your zombies into a joke, and although you say its all about the humans, then why in godsname do you populate them with actors that cannot act and write them to be such complete and utter assholes with no comprehensible logic to them at all, retire you old fool before your name litterally becomes Synonymous with cheap ass direct to video shite, personally i think its too late and sooner or later even the muppets who write for this site will eventually pull their heads outa your ass and realize your latest movies are complete and utter shite.

  • May 28, 2010, 7 a.m. CST

    Get Romero a deal with HBO

    by kolchak

    to do a Tales from the darkside-esque anthology series. <p> Horror anthologies are the greatest yet most un-utilized format known to man. What was the last one we got? NBC's fear itself? Watered down shit.

  • May 28, 2010, 7:48 a.m. CST

    If another terror anthology

    by Powerring

    It needs to be dark. No more shitty puns from a cackling puppet voiced by John Kassir. No more stories that look like long marlboro commercials with campy throwback stories. DARK dammit....

  • May 28, 2010, 8:05 a.m. CST

    lostboytexass

    by Fico

    You don't think NOTLD is even half decent?? Surely you're just some ignorant kid who just hasn't seen it.

  • May 28, 2010, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Better than Diary - but still reeks like undead taint

    by Behemoth

    The acting was pretty poor in this, but that was a huge step up from the horrendous and laughable performances in "Diary." There were a few nice zombie splatter effects, but the writing was poor and the entire premise of teaching undead to eat something besides humans was simply moronic, even in Zombieville. <p>I find it ironic that Romero is upset about other filmmakers making zombies fast or whatever while he's doing HIS part to make zombies less interesting with his continuing and ridiculous fascination with somehow having them develop intelligence and, I suppose, one day co-existing with humans. <p>They are undead brain-eaters. That's what they should always be. <p>It's bizarre that he's still making these movies at this point in his career and sad that they are so terrible.

  • May 28, 2010, 11:11 a.m. CST

    No one has give me a good answer to...

    by OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWW

    ...Why are zombies so inefficient at eating people? Zombies basically walk around looking for someone to stack on. When they find someone, they take a big chomp. Then, 1 of 2 things happen as a result: (1) The zombie gets bored and walks around looking for more or (2) the person who got bit turns into a zombie and the original zombie walks around looking for more. So basically, zombies walk around looking for a human to eat and can only get one good bite?

  • May 28, 2010, 2:27 p.m. CST

    someone should tell him already

    by quintana007

    that he is making for 40 years always the same movie. and its getting more boring every flick.

  • May 28, 2010, 8:07 p.m. CST

    I'm 35 too......

    by Terence James

    just like Clupula and I think the Dawn remake is better than anything Romero's done in 20 years also. Survival is the worst film I've seen for a long time. I had to watch it in 3 sittings because it just doesn't hold your attention

  • May 28, 2010, 11:13 p.m. CST

    saw it on hdnet movies the other night - god awful

    by sott68

    wow - land/dead sucked... diary was watchable... this was just horrible. The acting was pathetic... story just plain stupid... directing and editing were child-like... omg, did someone kidnap and replace romero with a clone?

  • May 28, 2010, 11:14 p.m. CST

    This guy really likes zombies.

    by RPLocke

  • May 29, 2010, 6:03 a.m. CST

    I liked Survival of the Dead!

    by Sanya08

    Sure, it's not as spectacular as Dawn of the Dead, but it was fun and entertaining. But I understand that most people hate that movie. Anyway I was really entertained by it. and that's that

  • May 29, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Fast and slow

    by Powerring

    Zombies should have both types... lumbering and mindless...fast and angrily mindless. NOT just plodding. I can't see a hoard of plodding, slow zombies anymore without thinking of Shaun of the dead mocking them in the back yard.

  • May 29, 2010, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Romero is over

    by mojoman69

    He has lost his edge. retire already and take that hack Savini with you. I am sick of seeing him at every horror con in the country.

  • May 29, 2010, 12:26 p.m. CST

    anyone who says remake is better than the original DOTD...

    by RedHorseVector

    congratulations, you're really fucking stupid.

  • May 29, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Fast moving zombies

    by kolchak

    And the bullshit "visceral" shaky-cam add absolutely nothing. <p> If anything, running "zombies" just detracts. Lumbering, dead zombies have personality. Running zombies may as well be Jason Voorhees or some shit.

  • May 29, 2010, 10:24 p.m. CST

    The real interview by PowerRing

    by www.valiens.com

    And just repeat that with Kevin Smith. It's the same set of problems.

  • May 30, 2010, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Speaking of post-apocalypse flicks (Triffids)...

    by njscribe44

    How come BBC America hasn't released that "Day of the Triffids" 2009 remake on DVD? Everything else they do seems available on Amazon and Netflix.

  • May 30, 2010, 7:50 a.m. CST

    'Ime 30 somthing, and i think the Dotd remake is better...'

    by angry_spacboy

    Congrats, you have no excuse for your fucking retarded opinion. At least those too young to have seen or appreciate the origional have the excuse of being part of this current generation of brain dead, film illiterate idiots which Hollywood can get rich off by shoveling cinematic shit down their throats on a regular basis. If your old enough to know better but dont, then there really is no hope for you. That being said, i have to agree that since Romero's origional dead trilogy, his following zombie films have been appalling.

  • May 30, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    angry_spacboy

    by clupula

    You do realize you did just call someone "retarded" in the same paragraph you spelled "original" as "origional." Also, learn the difference between "your" and "you're." At least RedHorseVector did that right.

  • May 30, 2010, 12:45 p.m. CST

    angry_spacboy

    by Powerring

    Congrats fanboy, you have no excuse for your shitty taste in bad movies and illiteracy. DOTD (original) is an unwatchable joke that does not hold up. Incredibly bad and cartoon effects, slow pace, bad jokes--very appallingly bad movie that isn't scary at all. NOTLD was Romero's only "good" movie, and even then could have been much better with what I like to refer to as "good" actors. DOTD subversive? A comment on politics and humanity? Who cares, it's just a cheap movie with bad acting, bad effects and lame attempts at comedy. Anyone under or over 30 can compare the two...that isn't a flaming fanboy.

  • May 30, 2010, 3:11 p.m. CST

    clupula

    by angry_spacboy

    I know the difference, to give you an example: "You're" retarded clupula, "your" taste in films is dog shit. Why don't you and "your" brain dead friend powerring go and fuck yourselves."

  • May 30, 2010, 4:30 p.m. CST

    You owe me $2.99, Romero!

    by JediTray

    Watched this on VOD. Easily the biggest piece of shit sorry excuse for a film I have seen in years. I was robbed. It was so terrible, I am going to get a refund from the cable company!

  • May 30, 2010, 8:03 p.m. CST

    To call clupula a retard...

    by Powerring

    Wouldn't just be an understatement, it would be an insult to mentally challenged adults that actually have a higher IQ than his. clupula should concentrate on colors and lines...he no speek guud ingleesh or no how 2 tipe.

  • May 30, 2010, 9:06 p.m. CST

    PowerRing

    by clupula

    I apologize for insulting your boyfriend.

  • May 31, 2010, 6:19 a.m. CST

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  • May 31, 2010, 12:36 p.m. CST

    clupula

    by Powerring

    wow, so you are dateless, and a homophobe...No shock there. Everyone more intelligent than you with better taste must not be steight...not that my wife cares what you think. You sound like the only time you have ever had pussy is when one pushed you out at birth.

  • May 31, 2010, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Hahaha

    by clupula

    Powerring, you do realize that he was insulting us both, yet somehow you're jumping on my ass for comments I made to him. Personally, I don't really care as you're just text on a screen to me, but I thought I'd point that out.<BR><BR>The only reason I could think of that you'd come after me instead of defending yourself is that you're in some sort of abusive sadomasochistic relationship with him. If you consider my deductive reasoning to be homophobia then that's your own thing.

  • June 1, 2010, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Romero fans have some serious blinkers on

    by bongo123

    to even come up with any excuse about his last 3 films is laughable and im sorry, i loved the Dead trilogy when i was a teenager but having actually watched them recently... well lets just say they've dated pretty badly apart from a few brillant scenes but on the whole the Dawn remake wipes the floor with the original in pretty much every way

  • June 1, 2010, 11:55 a.m. CST

    LOL @ thinking Dawn was ever suppose to be scary

    by natecore

    are you fools that dense to think Romero's self-acknowledged "comic adventure" film was a failed horror attempt? Yeah, the film dates itself, but its still a riot to watch. Dawn '78 is a film of a bygone era of genre filmmaking that could never and would never exist again. Enjoy it for what it is...fun. Some of you folks need to not take yourselfs so seriously.

  • June 1, 2010, 11:57 a.m. CST

    lol @ thinking Dawn was ever suppose to be scary

    by natecore

    are you fools that dense to think Romero's self-acknowledged "comic adventure" film was a failed horror attempt? Yeah, the film dates itself, but its still a riot to watch. Dawn '78 is a film of a bygone era of genre filmmaking that could never and will never exist again. Enjoy it for what it is...fun. Some of you folks need not take yourselves so seriously.

  • June 1, 2010, 12:04 p.m. CST

    For what it's worth,

    by rocnathan

    at least Romero tries to do something with zombies other than just have people running away from them and getting eaten. I think it's fair to say that there's been quite enough of that. Personally I find the western setting interesting, if not to the degree that it could have been. And I did cringe at the zombie riding a horse. But what are ya gonna do. It's better than the 7-millionth teenie-party getting crashed by zombies.

  • June 1, 2010, 12:19 p.m. CST

    '04 Dawn doesn't hold up

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Sorry, it's good for a remake, but not in the same league as the original. The zombie kills are totally forgettable shaky cam messes compared to the masterfully iconic kills of the original (exploding head, machete to the head, dude with his arm in the blood preassure machine). It totally goes off the tracks during the zombie baby scene, and doesn't fully recover. That was more funny and out of place than pies in the original. I like the PS1 Grand Theft Auto camera view steal at the start of the film, and some of the grittiness in tone, but everything just seems to go by way too quick for the people to get fed up with being in the mall. You just didn't feel that they had been there for a long time like the characters in the original version. The original they were in the mall for months so you could see why they finally wanted out. And you actually got to know the characters in the original. And btw, running zombies started with 28 Days Later.

  • June 1, 2010, 12:21 p.m. CST

    And the scene with the guy across the street

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Can somebody say Rear Window rip-off! And there is even an Alien rip-off but instead of going after a cat, she's going to save a dog.

  • June 1, 2010, 1:36 p.m. CST

    "Scary, is a scene with uncountable zombies surrounding buses fu

    by Samuel Fulmer

  • June 1, 2010, 1:37 p.m. CST

    "Scary, is a scene with uncountable zombies

    by Samuel Fulmer

    surrounding buses full of people like a REAL armageddon." No it's called the LA Lakers losing the NBA Playoffs in Boston, and then having their bus surronded by Celtics fans as they leave town.

  • June 1, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Running zombies did not start with 28 Days Later

    by clupula

    In 1984's Return of the Living Dead, the zombies ran (and talked, actually). I wouldn't be surprised if there was an even earlier example.

  • June 2, 2010, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Well it certainly wasn't the '04 Dawn

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Like others have posted on here in regards to the running dead!

  • June 3, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Dawn 2004!

    by Griefo

    The first 10 minutes are among the scariest and dread inspiring that I've ever seen. Plus it stands up to repeated viewings, which is rare for a horror movie. Far superior than the original.

  • June 8, 2010, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Agreed with the first 10 Min of Dawn 2004

    by orcus

    Orcus remembers that they actually put the first 15 inutes on broadcast TV. The Kid zombie skidding to a halt was fricken creepy. After that they just brought in too many damn characters and destroyed the intimacy.

  • June 9, 2010, 9:06 a.m. CST

    LAST

    by WickedJacob

    let me have this.

  • June 9, 2010, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Why is this important?

    by orcus