Posts filed under ‘George A. Romero’
For those of you who are loyal Movie Chutzpah readers — at this point, I’m pretty sure there’s only one of you :] — you already know my affinity for zombie movies, especially anything and everything by George A. Romero. Yes, that includes “Diary of the Dead”; it’s got its faults, but it’s still pretty badass.
Anyways, Romero’s first foray into the zombie epidemic, the black-and-white classic “Night of the Living Dead,” is being updated — it’s already been colorized in a previous update — to include 3-D. As if zombies weren’t scary enough, now they’ll be reaching out a the screen at you, your brains and your popcorn buckets. Ahh! This, according to an interview that MarketSaw conducted with Greg Passmore, who masters in converting 2-D movies to 3-D. Here’s part of the interview:
MarketSaw: Hi Greg – wow! NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is one of my all time favorites! How did you come to the decision to convert NOLD to 3D?
GP: I really love the film Jim. When I started talking about it around the office, much to my surprise, I found lots of other people here who also love the film. It just seemed like a natural. Legend has, by far, the best copy and colorization of the film. I pestered Legend for months to get them to agree to let us do it.
MarketSaw: What sort of distribution have you come up with for the movie?
GP: Originally it was slated for VOD and 3D DVD. We have found some strong interest in European distribution and maybe even limited theatrical in the US. Ultimately however, the film is destined primarily for home entertainment
Now, I’ve already come out once before against making classic movies 3-D — when I found out George Lucas was planning on making the original “Star Wars” trilogy 3-D I nearly lost it — but this, to me, feels different. I think, based on Lucas’s history with inexplicably altering his films, we can all agree that the short-stuff responsible for one of the greatest trilogies in American cinema history is hooked on banking on his past work. The useless updates to the old trilogy, the trainwreck that is the second trilogy, the bastardization of “Indiana Jones” — Lucas has made a lot of money by recycling his old, incredibly popular, work.
There are two distinct differences between all of the Lucas bullshit and rebooting “Living Dead” with 3-D
One — There’s no doubt that “Star Wars” 3-D would make a lot of money. It would be released wide to sold-out theaters and, even though I’m sure many trilogy loyalists would complain, they would all go see it. On the other hand, “Living Dead” 3-D clearly isn’t about making tons and tons of money. If — by some chance the project actually is released in theaters in the U.S., which doesn’t sound likely — it’s going to be a very limited release, with most sales coming from DVD and, probably, Blu-Ray. Therefore…
Two — “Living Dead” 3-D is about the fans. “Star Wars” 3-D clearly isn’t. Romero’s zombie fans, while they’re grossly outnumbered by “Star Wars” fans, are probably some of the most loyal enthusiast of any movie franchise. They deserve a shout-out every once in a while, you know, something like SUPER AWESOME 3-D ZOMBIES! Yeah, the project may not make a lot of money for anyone involved, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about pleasing one of the the most loyal and lost-standing (I mean, this franchise started in the 60s and is still going strong) fanbases in the realm of movies with a new idea (3-D zombies) that is a tip-of-the-cap of sorts to their standing by Romero these last four decades.
3-D zombies? Hell yes!
The father, creator and all-around badass of the modern Zombie genre is going back to the Living Dead well at least one more time, according to Dread Central. The man who has notched such zombie-fueled classics as “Night of the Living Dead,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Day of the Dead,” “Land of the Dead” and the latest “Diary of the Dead,” has begun the production stages of his first official zombie sequel, “Diary of the Dead 2.”
The guys at Dread Central really did their work in order to uncover this film, too. According to their post, they were curious why Romero had to cancel on his scheduled trip to Novi, MI for a film festival called Motor City Naightmares (they didn’t take, “Because it’s in Novi, MI” as a good enough excuse), and a few quick phone calles revealed that Romero was too busy with “work related issues.” After even more digging, they found out that Romero is supposedly going into overdrive on the project, hoping to start filming as soon as September.
Although the film is already underway, I’m hoping that the final and finished product will have a different “(Insert something here) of the Dead” title. If the flick really is “Diary of the Dead 2,” I think that would imply that Romero and Co. are planning on utilizing the same first-person camera view that they used in the first one. First of all, let me just say that I didn’t agree with the general consensus that “Diary” sucked balls — it was an interesting and all-together different take on the Zombie Movie, and I applaud Romero’s willingness to take risks at this stage in his career. He made a name for himself for thinking outside the box and having a unique vision, so it’s good to see him continue to develop that and not just mail in some of the same ol’ same ol’.
But another first-person movie is not a good idea. You made your point the first time around, and another movie shot with a hand-held camera isn’t going to stray too far away from the original in tone and theme. I really do think the first one was poignant. It was a great take on how the YouTube-Generation would handle a zombie attack — the style wasn’t really accepted well because “Cloverfield” siphoned all the interest in a first-person movie away from it — but another one shot in that style can’t do anything to make that point even stronger. The only feasible reason I can think of that Romero would feel the need to shoot another in this style would be that he’s just not getting the kind of funding he’d need to make the film otherwise, which is a sad state of affairs.
Over at Bloody Disgusting, they have a tentative plot synopsis that seems to confirm that it is indeed a sequel to “Diary”:
The “diary” saga continues. Our heroes, trapped in the mansion where we left them, battle waves of ravenous zombies, barely escaping alive. In search of a safe place to settle, they commandeer an abandoned ferry and sail to a deserted island, only to find that it is already populated by a civilization of the dead. Told in the same first-person style that distinguished “George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead”, the next episode of the saga is a violent siege set in the middle of nowhere, a desperate struggle for survival, and peace, between two tribes: the living and the living dead.
I don’t think anyone would raise a stink if Romero used that plot and ditched the first-person narrative. I mean, if the kids are really going to an island, how are the expected to charge their camera’s battery and stuff?