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CHILDREN OF THE DEAD begins production

Ya know... I don't much know what I think of the concept of a DEAD film without the participation of George Romero. I mean, this does have the participation of JOHN RUSSO the man primarily responsible for the wrenching aborted blood flaked hunk of feces known as the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD Special Edition. However, it seems that at least according to whatever press release that has been released... that Tom Savini IS involved to some degree. BUT... well... I guess I have to just sort of hope for the best, and realize that I still have the original three DEAD films and nothing Russo can do can ruin those for me.... AS MUCH AS HE TRIED ON THAT FRIGGIN SPECIAL EDITION!!! Here's the scoop...

'Children of the Dead' is going to begin production NEXT WEEK in Pittsburgh. and have both reported that series creator George Romero will not be onboard this installment, but original screenwriter John Russo will indeed be producing. First time director Tor Ramsey was awarded the extreme honor of directing the picture from a Karen Wolf script, which is based on the underground comic book of the same name. The story revolves around the lives of the children whose parents once fought off the original zombie plagues. It seems that after years of peace, the undead are once again returning to life and seeking out the few survivors left on Earth. Special effects guru Tom Savini is again providing stunts and will be appearing in a small role, much as he did for the second "Dead" film, 'Dawn of the Dead'. Vincent ("Dogma", "Night of the Living Dead Special Edition") Guastini will be providing the special effects for the film, including the creation of this ugly character, who is reportedly the central baddie in the film - a mean-spirited zombie named Abbot Hayes.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 13, 2000, 5:19 p.m. CST


    by Big Old Banh

    I'd love to find the idiot who greenlit this and smack him. If George Romero isn't involved, why bother making it? Not to mention, the plot is ridiculous, i mean come on, a main Zombie baddie? I can't wait to hear him spewing wonderful zombie diatribes about how the earth should be rid of living..... the zombies in the first 3 dead films were cool because they didn't have any lines. they didn't speak coherently, and yet now we have a "main" zombie. sheesh, i'll just go rent Dead Hate the Living again...

  • June 13, 2000, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Without Romero, it doesn't count.

    by Insane Tiki

    The original Dead Trilogy (Night/Dawn/Day) is such a masterpiece of horror storytelling, everyone has been waiting for the next installment. Let me tell you, this isn't what they've been waiting for. In order for a Dead movie to work, it has to have Romero. I didn't see the festering abomination that was NOTLD Special Edition, because of Harry's review here. I didn't want the original experience ruined. That's what I'm worried will happen with Children of the Dead. My fear is that it will be so bad that it actually tarnishes the value of the original three movies. A comparison could easily be made here to The Phantom Menace, but I won't go there. I'm glad that Savini is attatched, but who are these other people? What have they done to deserve continuing one of the greatest horror series of all time? The fact that John Russo is producing only increases my fears. Time has proven that the success of the original Dead movie was due to Romero's genius, not Russo's. Russo ruined the original masterpiece while trying to make a name for himself again. I hope he's not trying it again. Besides, Romero had a direction for the series. He's stated in multiple interviews that if he ever made a fourth film, he knew what it was going to be about. 'Children of the Dead' is putting a movie that isn't Romero's into Romero's brilliant series. It's like if ten years from now, some nobody came up and made a brand-new Star Wars movie without any participation from George Lucas. It would be the bastard son of the Star Wars franchise. This bastard 'children' has a lot to live up to, and I'm afraid it's going to be way to easy to just dissapoint everyone.

  • June 13, 2000, 5:29 p.m. CST


    by filmnazi

    This is actually going to be a really graphic documentary about the perils of childbirth before the rise of modern O.B.G.Y.N. medicine. Back When death from child birth was actually quite common. Hence "Children of teh dead". This title is a bit too much though. It will make people think it is a horror movie.

  • June 13, 2000, 6:02 p.m. CST

    ACK! ZOMBIES!!!!!

    by elryano

    Screw this noise, I want my damn Resident Evil movie!!!!! And the title is to close to stirring up my unfond meomeries of Children of the Corn 666:(.......Stupid zombies...El"brains?"Ryano

  • June 13, 2000, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Why the hell not?

    by PhanMan

    Sure Russo totalled the our beloved Night of the Living Dead with his rotting heap of crap special edition, but let us not damn him forever. At least view the film before passing judgement on it. Will it suck? Truthfully no one knows. Will it be as good as Night or Dawn? Hell no, Day barely made it to those standards itself and it was made by Romero himself (mind you this is not a putdown to Day, which I think is still excellent). But did we really expect anything to get better than Night or Dawn? Of course not. So just give it a chance who knows, maybe its a pretty good flick. After all Savini is involved and we all know he's got the magical presence of "kick-ass".

  • June 13, 2000, 6:31 p.m. CST


    by filmnazi

    Seriously, This movie may be saved if it has cool dry wit line like "Eat Lead Eanstein", "Show's over Sheakspeare", and of course "MMMM BRAINS"!

  • June 13, 2000, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Give it a chance!

    by Elto

    Yes, the Night Special edition was bad. But I have watched it several times anyway. Dead people eating living people will always make a great movie.

  • June 13, 2000, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Lets hope this one isn't Cheesy!

    by GEEKBASHER 3.0

    I hope that the any filmakers that choose to throw us a piece of Zombie-Pie will take some pointers from the brilliantly creepy Resident Evil games...I wanna be scared and grossed out at the same time! Children of the Dead? How about Fetus of the Dead or maybe Crack-babies of the Dead?

  • June 13, 2000, 9:17 p.m. CST


    by tkeeth

    So sure, it most likely will be crap. But that doesn't mean anyone has to let it ruin the experience of the trilogy. I mean, we've lived with sequel after sequel of "Return of the Living Dead" films, we can put up with this one. But damn, if I ever come into money, Romero's the first to get a check if he still wants to do Twilight. (of course, I'd get to be a Zombie...)

  • June 13, 2000, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Is this the end of zombie Shakespeare?

    by King Fausto

  • June 13, 2000, 10:34 p.m. CST

    If it says "JOHN RUSSO" you know it's gonna SUCK UNBELIEVABLY BA


    That creatively bankrupt, grave robbing, sleazebag gives hacks a bad name. Harry's rant against Russo's abortion of a SPECIAL EDITION was TOO KIND! That "never was been" punk won't be getting another dime from this horror fan. That first time director should enjoy the experience, cause once that "Russo Magic" taints his creative soul, he probably won't ever work again. Russo gets to make another movie. There is no god.

  • June 13, 2000, 10:44 p.m. CST


    by JustAnotherPrick

    I personally don't think that the idea of another zombie movie, even one in the vein of Romero's trilogy, is a bad idea, even if the aforementioned Romero is in no way attached. I was a bit disappointed in 'Day'; I'm still one of the few who didn't even think the script was any good. Maybe some new blood is what the series needs. However, the presence of John Russo sends some really unnecessary chills down my spine. Let's see Darren Aronofsky in that director's chair.

  • June 13, 2000, 11:03 p.m. CST

    I'm with you guys

    by Sentinel Prime X

    I'm with you guys all the way, I HATED the NOTLD special edition. I actually wasted my hard earned money and bought the video, and it's pure crap! So I want to know is this: is this a true sequel, a spin-off, or what? It'll probably suck, but I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt. What am I saying, it's gonna suck! Ah well, as long as I have my ORIGINAL trilogy to watch, as well as Return Of The Living Dead, I'll be a happy dude. By the way, I think it's high time we start grilling Anchor Bay to release Return Of The Living Dead on video and DVD. What do you guys think? Let's go Legionnaires!

  • June 13, 2000, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Shouldn't it be "Children of the Living Dead"?

    by Sorcerer

    I thought that was how the deal worked. Russo got the "Living Dead" appellation for any future zombie flicks he wanted to make, and Romero got just plain "Dead." Granted, I can't be too hard on this project- even a bad zombie flick is still a zombie flick. There are some simple pleasures that are hard to erase. However, this of all things should get all of fandom demanding that Romero gets as much money as he wants, plus final cut for an unrated TWILIGHT OF THE DEAD to go into production as soon as possible. Where do we start?

  • June 14, 2000, 12:04 a.m. CST

    With friends like these...

    by Eyegore

    Oh my god, you guys really need to pay less attention to Harry's reviews...sometimes he's on, but more often he's just throwing a spaz. I loved the dead movies, all of them. I rate them thus: Dawn = best, then Night, then Night remake, then Day. And putting night first is only out of respect. The remake was a quality movie, made for the fans. It didn't go off on a wild tangent and screw up the whole story like some sequals/remakes (Highlander II comes to mind, as does Return to Salem Lot, and many others). This special edition was made for us, and it was made well. It was also painfully true to the original with just a few tiny twists to suprise you. Anyone who loved the other three movies and didn't see the remake based on harry's lame review needs a kick in the ass. Think man! The scene where Barbera's brother dies in the cemetary always makes me cringe, even after seeing it several times. If you've seen it you know what I mean.

  • June 14, 2000, 12:55 a.m. CST


    by gary2012

    Eygore are you talking about the actual remake of NOTLD made a few years back, or the pathetic special edition (I'm assuming they mean special in the "special olympics" way) put out on video last year? Your remarks make sense if you are talkng about the real remake, but they don't if you are refering to the bstardized "special edition". I personally like the NOTLD remake. It was well acted, and directed, and actually had the some of the creepiest zombies in any film, because they looked like real dead people, rather than blue or green guys with really fake looking sunken eye sockets. Why do zombies in some movies always have to have really sunken sockets? It just makes them look fake. This film is NOT one of the same series as NOTLD, Dawn, or Day. The one thing that linked those films was Romero (besides the zombies of course). Technically I can make a film called "Puppies of the Dead" and it would b about zombies that start training dogs for dog shows, but that wouldn't make it a part of someone elses series. Russo is just trying to make money off of the fact that over thirty years ago he helped make a film that became a classic. The saddest thing is that he must truely believe that he was the main ingredient in the success of that film, and that the fans of that series will swallow the crap he is now churning out. Imagine if the guy who helped Sam Rami run through the woods with the camera on a board in the first Evil Dead decided that he was going to make a fourth Evil Dead film on his own, even though he had little to do with the success of the first film, and nothing to do with the further success of the series. Pretty pathetic huh?

  • June 14, 2000, 3:50 a.m. CST

    Oh Lordy a "mean-spirited" zombie....

    by Wilko

    What does he do, let your tyres down? Do me a fucking favour.

  • June 14, 2000, 5:17 a.m. CST

    Fuck John Russo. Fuck him until he dies. Then, feed the corpse

    by Nordling

    This guy should NEVER touch a Dead movie. Hell, 90% of Talk Backers (yes, even SSZero) can write better prose than that hack. I will NOT be seeing this, unless Romero has a change of heart. And by all accounts he hates Russo's guts for what he did to NOTLD:SE anyway. If you're in any way confused about my feelings about John Russo, read the title again.

  • June 14, 2000, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Oh those wacky 'mean spirited' zombies...

    by JackBurton

    After all everyone knows that we 'true' zombie fans love our 'warm, cuddly' zombies...what a wank. Stay tuned for Alien 5 folks, with 'really quite nasty if you tick them off' Aliens and Tim Burton's Planet Of The Apes movie with it's 'manic depressive' simians. Mean spirited my ass...

  • June 14, 2000, 6:47 a.m. CST

    But if Russo uses "of the dead" he might fool more people into t

    by capt rosenbalm

    I think that he's using "The Dead" to try and sucker more people into seeing this pile of crap. It's going to suck. Even though Savini has somehow been suckered into it. It amazes me how crap like this can be made, crap by the ripoff hack tarintino gets made, but when it comes to something like "Twilight of the Dead" (yeah, I know, that's just the working title) can't get funding. OR Mr. Romero's "Bruiser" can't get a distributor. I guess it's like someone said, "No one ever lost money appealing to the lowest common denominator".

  • June 14, 2000, 7:44 a.m. CST

    The "extreme honor"??

    by Moriarty

    Funny phrasing for this press release. I'm going to guess that Karen Wolf had something to do with the drafting of it. I can't think of any other reason directing what I have heard referred to as "a fucking mess" would be called an extreme honor. Press releases don't normally place that much critical weight on something that hasn't even been shot yet. I know quite a bit about this production, and I'm still deciding how much of it to report here. Let's just say that things have not been promising up till now, that the company already can't deliver what they've promised. I think this is most likely going to end up a total desecration of the franchise, but that's assuming it actually shoots and makes it to release in any significant way. Even that much is in doubt. I'll keep people posted as this debacle unfolds.

  • June 14, 2000, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Romero in "WICKED" magazine concerning NOTLD: SE

    by Homer Jay

    Has anyone read that great interview with Romero in "WICKED" magazine? He said to the effect that "The people that made it are still close friends of mine, so I don't wanna slam it, but I will say that I definitely didn't like it." Russo is a vampire that tries to suck the NOTLD material dry for all the money he can get out of it. He already made one terrible sequel, "RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD", and it chaps my ass that Joe Average thinks most zombies just stumble around muttering "brainssss". Lets hope this dies a FAST death. I'd like to see Tarantino's Rolling Thunder co. come to Romero's rescue and finance a true final DEAD film. P.S. For those disappointed by "DAY", see if you can get ahold of Romero's original script. He couldn't film it due to budget reasons, and its great!!

  • June 14, 2000, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Ah, John Russo.....

    by mrbeaks

    I remember leafing through his MAKING MOVIES book, which was one of my filmmaking primers back in the day, and wondering, "why haven't I seen these movies to which he keeps referring? THE MAJORETTES?" It was then that I first caught a whiff of that uniquely pungent John Russo bullshit; a stench, I fear, that is issuing forth from this bastard DEAD production like half-baked reportage from a certain Chris Gore website.

  • June 14, 2000, 10:35 a.m. CST

    The guy who did that shit demon from Dogma is in charge of the e

    by gary2012

    That film had some of the worst effects I have seen in decades and now he is going to do some zombies. Oh boy are we in for some pure crap! Did anyone else see the picture of a sculpture of the lead zombie on Fangoria's site? Man is it bad. It seems that in Russo's little "Dead" universe when a person dies and becomes a zombie their skull morphs into a totally misproportionate shape, WITH REALLY BIG CHEEK BONES AND SUNKEN EYE SOCKETS. Good job fella! It looks like every other bad zombie from every other bad zombie film. I expect this movie to have it's big premier at Hollywood Video.

  • June 14, 2000, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Flanders was a Zombie?

    by DaRock

  • June 14, 2000, 11:43 a.m. CST

    peoples poet

    by Eyegore

    Okay I guess I was confused. Yes I meant the remake of night of the living dead. So what's this about a special edition if that's not it? I never heard of it until now.

  • June 14, 2000, 2:27 p.m. CST

    isn't this based on a comic book?

    by fried samurai

    I thought this was being based on a comic book not romero's films.You know guys it is possible to make a great zombie flick without it being in the romero universe.Check out dellamore dellamore( cemetary man )one of the best zombie flicks ever made.

  • June 14, 2000, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Bravo Nordling! Well said! And shame on Tom Savini for aligning

    by Harlequin

    John Russo is not fit to lick the balls of a dog who once ate a piece of corn out of one of George Romero's Thanksgiving Day turds. And shame on Tom Savini for even considering working on this Anthrax-boil of a film. PLEASE, SOMEBODY BEG GEORGE TO DO THIS, OR AT LEAST LET TOM DO IT HIMSELF!

  • June 14, 2000, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Doubt that Savini line

    by rexkramer

    From Savini's tone last week when Russo's name was brought up at the Harwan appearance, I don't think he'd be so quick to work for him. Besides, in July he's going to be in Florida to play a villian in the upcoming Sheena series.

  • June 14, 2000, 9:06 p.m. CST

    When there's no more room in hell, John Russo gets to make his o

    by Insane Tiki

    I have to say that "Dawn of the Dead" is one of my favorite movies ever. Sure, I loved "Night" (and the '90 remake), and I liked "Day", but "Dawn" is everything a zombie movie could ever hope to be. Another "... of the Dead" movie is really not needed, after "Day" pretty much showed us that the world has been totally over-run by the undead. How can there be any people left in "Children"? They are the children of who? NOBODY SURVIVED! Except Roger and Fran from "Dawn", and the drunk guy, the Jamaican guy, and the scientist chick (yeah, I think they're listed that way in the credits, too) from "Day". What, their children are alive or something? Maybe "Grandchildren of the Dead"?? Russo is going to milk his chance involvement with a masterpiece for all it's worth. Who the hell is this "mean spirited" Abbot Hayes fellow? What the hell is a "mean spirited" zombie?? Is this opposed to the "friendly" zombie? When has their ever (besides "Day"'s Bub) been a zombie that wasn't "mean spirited"? Is Russo on crack? How can he think this will work? He must have gotten wind that NOBODY liked the special edition of "Night". So, of course, the next logical thing is, "I know! I'll prove everyone right! I'll make a really crappy movie all by myself!" Film making like this needs to be stopped.

  • June 14, 2000, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Still Birth of the Dead

    by Hennesy Williams

    How can Russo actually get financial backing after evacuating that NOTLD SE out of his arse?!! He had total disregard for the origional classic. But, him being the total hack that he is, was, and ever shall be; had to insert the most ludicrous, poorly written, horribly acted footage I've ever seen. And the music was awful-hey Vlad the Impaler or whatever the f**k you call yourself...YOU SUCK!!! Russo is so bad, he makes Ed Wood look like Hitchcock by comparison. And what's up with Tom Savini? He must be hitting hard times to be working with this clown. Russo, 30 years ago, you were part of one of the most important horror films ever made. Have some class-don't rape the zombie genre, before Romero can complete his 4th Dead film. Have a heart!

  • June 14, 2000, 11:59 p.m. CST


    by gary2012

    Maybe you are better off never hearing about the Special Edition, but I'll tell you anyway. Since Night of the Living Dead was never really copyrighted correctly nobody really owns it, which is why there are so many damn versions out there on video and such. Well Russo wanted to regain some kind of ownership over it, so he made the special edition. The thing is that by law in order to copyright a public domain film you have to include at least eighteen minutes of new material, so Russo set about making eighteen minutes of new footage to go in the film, but for some reason that I don't remember they had to cut eighteen minutes out of the original to fit it in. So you lose eighteen minutes of the classic film and get eighteen minutes of awkward, terribly acted new footage that was made thirty years after the original, and has little to nothing to do with it. Plus they added a pathetic new musical score to further shit upon the original classic. This version was released on video and DVD by Anchor Bay (shame on them), and is known as the Thirtieth Aniversary Special Edition or something. Stay away from it at all costs. you should look up Harry's review for a good idea of what the general feeling seems to be on this version. That was the only review that I agree with totally. In any case don't think that we are reffering to the remake made in the early 90's. I have never really come across anyone who didn't like that one, though I'm sure there are some.

  • June 15, 2000, 2:17 a.m. CST

    John me a favor!

    by Lightwave7871

    The guy is a fruit and to be honest when I heard about this three words sprang into my head... Straight To Video What a pile of shit idea best of luck John you're going to need it!

  • June 15, 2000, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Please, Lisa, they prefer to be called the 'living impaired.'

    by skylarking

  • June 15, 2000, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Why no Romero???

    by Chuffy

    I have to say I'm hopeful about Children of the Living Dead, maybe I'm just an optomist and will probably be let down, but don't write it off just yet. The thing that really bothers me though is the lack George Romero. First ousted from Resident Evil and now not a part of the new Dead film, has everyone forgotten that he created this genre? No matter how good the film may end up it will almost certainly lack that flare that gave the previous three films such a sense of identity. We can only thank God that they didn't lose Tom Savini aswell.

  • June 15, 2000, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Clarification on Children of the Dead

    by alucard

    Children of the Dead is not at all part of Romero's "Dead Trilogy" continuity. This is Russo's direct sequel to the original Night of the Living Dead, or more specifically, the Night of the Living Dead 30th Anniversary Edition. He purposefully re-edited the original movie and added a new ending to set it up for this new sequel. He evens mentions it plenty of times on the DVD commentary. Romero has his own plans for another entry in his series and it, as well as his other films, will have nothing to do with Children of the Dead.