Tag Archives: george a. romero

The Walking Dead Season 2 (so far)


The second season of AMC’s adaptation of The Walking Dead is taking a break until February 2011 (most likely coinciding with the return of Mad Men) and for the first time since the very first two episodes I’m excited. It only took seven or more episodes for The Walking Dead to actually get decent again, especially after the horribly embarrassing season one finale. I’m willing to suspend my belief and go along for a fantastic ride on most occasions (after all, we’re dealing with corpses rising and eating the living here) but believing the CDC is a time sensitive, thermonuclear device is ludicrous. Please, prove me wrong.
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Remember That Big Underground Complex From Day of the Dead?


Arriving home from a pretty terrible evening I watched George A. Romero’s 1985 Day of the Dead. I picked it up on Blu-Ray a while back for $5 and hadn’t watched it yet and last night seemed like an ample opportunity. It’s not my favorite of Romero’s zombie films (although it’s better than Survival of the Dead) but Day has a special quality I can’t quite put my finger on. After watching the documentaries on the Day disc I found out why the film isn’t as spectacular as the first two: they didn’t have the money and Romero’s aspirations exceeded his budget.

One of the bonus features which grabbing my attention is a short promotional film for Gateway Commerce Center. Located outside Pittsburgh, Gateway is an old mine turned into an underground storage facility where Romero shot the film. It’s a very sterile, creepy looking kind of place. Below is the video from the disc, which is both interesting and kitschy.



Also, I feel it’s important to comment on my lack of posts lately: I’m moving to New Jersey and have been busy getting that together while also working to save up extra funds.

Stick Figure Theater: Night of the Living Dead

I was a youth when Liquid Television appeared on MTV but I did catch it a few times. Aside from the Aeon Flux bits I was always a fan of Stick Figure Theater. Here is a great Stick Figure Theater representation of George A. Romero’s 1968 classic: Night of the Living Dead.

Dawn of the Dead: A Second, Useless Post

Yesterday I picked up Dawn of the Dead on DVD for $3 – funny how it took me this long. I saw it in theaters in 2004 and have rented it at least three times since. Why it took me so long to purchase it is beyond me (I probably didn’t want to pay $15-$20). Although I hate Zach Snyder I really feel this film is excellent. Below are my thoughts on the film seven years after its theatrical run. I am typing this while watching the movie so it’s possible this post will be quite scatterbrained but at least it’s chronological.
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The Walking Dead episode 3

Episode three: “Tell it to the Frogs.”

“You take that stupid hat and go back to On Golden Pond.”

The episode begins on the department store roof from the second episode. From above the camera focuses in on Merle (Michael Rooker), handcuffed to a pipe. Merle has a problem: the keys fell down a drainpipe on the previous episode and the only thing separating him from a horde of zombies is a door barricaded with a lock and chain. Merle relates a story to himself, about punching somebody’s teeth out, the time he served for it; a look of genuine satisfaction on his face. This quickly turns sour, as Merle pleads to Jesus; acknowledging his past behavior but still begging for forgiveness. Merle’s going through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief originally discussed in the book On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). Following Merle’s bargaining, depression sets in and finally leads to acceptance. This is where Merle’s survival instinct kicks in and he uses his belt, attempting to reach a saw left behind by T-Dog (IronE Singleton).

Unlike the prelude from the first two episodes, this episode doesn’t feature gratuitous sex or violence. That doesn’t negate how frightening the scene is, since Merle’s actions (wonderfully executed by Rooker) are quite honest; I’m sure the best of us would react similarly in the same spot. Seeing another person at their most vulnerable is awful, displaying how Frank Darabont’s rendition of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead is a multi-faceted television series. It’s cinematic, explores many features of fear and terror, and investigates social issues. Instead of relying on non-stop action The Walking Dead is primarily a character piece, exploring character traits, morality, and the human experience. Of course an army of the living dead is an excellent catalyst for watching the show in the first place, but I’ve always found the people in zombie stories more fascinating than the gore itself. This week’s episode gives you just that. It’s a character piece, furthering the protagonist and surrounding players. The episode still features a good deal of violence, but it takes a back seat.
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Night of the Living Dead 1990 remake


Penned by George A. Romero and directed by Tom Savini, the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead is actually a great rendition of the 1968 classic. It incorporates many tropes from the ’68 original, but makes them relevant to an audience on the cusp of the 21st century. In addition, the film actually has a budget ($4.2 million according to Wikipedia), implementing a variety of clever make-up effects that contemporize the zombies. Instead of a blue tint like Dawn of the Dead, the zombies resemble Savini’s work from 1985’s Day of the Dead – a movie lacking in plot (in comparison to Romero’s original Night or Dawn of the Dead) but rich in quality special effects. For Savini’s directorial debut, he does a good job; Savini understands moving making and doesn’t rely on a barrage of quick cuts and cheap gags to convey terror. Continue reading

King of the Zombies / Night of the Living Dead double feature

Although I’m sure this will be published on Sunday, I just got back from a double feature of the 1941 film King of the Zombies and the classic George A. Romero zombie movie Night of the Living Dead. Orlando, Florida is really a one horse town: we only have one independent movie theater (The Enzian) and every October they play classic horror films at midnight each Saturday night. Last year they featured The Exorcist, From Dusk Till Dawn, Night of the Living Dead (which I went to last year also), and Cannibal Holocaust. This year they’re playing Re-Animator, City of the Living Dead, Child’s Play, and tonight’s double feature. There’s something special about midnight movies, especially if they’re cult flicks like tonight’s selections. Both films were screened on original 16mm prints, which is fantastic since the King of the Zombies print is almost 70 years old.
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