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It's the booze Talkin', Give George Romero one more zombie feature!

05.03.2016by: JimmyO
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If you are a fan of zombies then things have been pretty damn good for you over the past few years. While we’ve had very few big screen horror outbreaks turning mild mannered men and women into flesh eaters - aside from WORLD WAR Z - the small screen is raising the dead and viewers are loving it. It started with The Walking Dead, and now we have the spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead. Not only have both shows reinvigorated a tired sub-genre, but they have created some serious stars and helped remind the world of the great talent involved, like Greg Nicotero, Frank Darabont and Robert Kirkman. However, there is one name that is not associated with the series, one that you have to truly give credit to for making us fear such an irrational and devastating attack on humanity. And that man is, of course, George A. Romero.

george romero zombie night of the living dead 1968 horror classic

As big of hit as The Walking Dead may be, both in the comics and on television, it’s highly likely that Romero’s work was a major influence. There have been hundreds of zombie flicks that have come and gone, but there are very few that have stood the test of time. It was the haunting 1968 classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD that ably brought our fears to life. With a minimal budget, Romero was able to channel our nightmares, but he also made a couple of bold political statements about the times we were living in. This is a brilliantly scary black and white flick that is still regarded as one of horror cinemas most groundbreaking works of art. In many ways, this was the birth of the modern zombie movie - although the dead walking around in this film were called ghouls.

the walking dead fear the walking dead zombies tv horror norman reedus andrew lincoln greg nicotero

If Romero had only done NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, he would still be considered a groundbreaking director. Of course we are all aware that he returned to familiar territory, and he once again offered filmgoers some movie going magic with gory make-up and a frightening tale of survival. 1978’s DAWN OF THE DEAD is another masterpiece from the legendary director. Set in a shopping mall, the survivors this time take on the walking dead as well as making a bold statement about consumerism. For those that didn’t appreciate the less is more approach taken from his earlier film, DAWN produced a ton of the blood and gore without losing sight of the characters. There was something very powerful about Romero’s zombie. Sure there were a ton of imitators, but nobody did it like George.

george romero dawn of the dead zombies shopping mall 1978 ken foree scott h reiniger

In 1985 Romero once again returned with DAY OF THE DEAD. While the third installment in his cinematic zombie apocalypse wasn’t quite as good as its predecessors, it still worked. And by now, horror film lovers had been inundated with zombie or living dead flicks, but very few had Romero’s touch. Strangely enough, the man continued to make films in this series but general with a smaller budget every time. And this was after the director scored a decent amount of box office success with the 2005 feature LAND OF THE DEAD. Unfortunately for the writer/director, the next few entries had incredibly micro budgets, and they had trouble finding audiences for his brand of mayhem. With mixed results, the director returned with 2007’s DIARY OF THE DEAD and 2009’s SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD. While I appreciated DIARY for what it was, SURVIVAL was the first of his films that simply lost its bloody charm.

day of the dead george romero zombies 1985

And then came The Walking Dead in 2010. The series reinvigorated the nightmarish world of cannibalistic horror. Young and old, audiences all over are watching the series and going to amusements parks like Universal Studios and it’s annual Halloween celebration - in fact, the series is such a big hit the park with soon have a Walking Dead maze year round. So with all the success that George helped build, why not give the man one last chance at a zombie movie. With such a huge interest in the undead, it would be something truly special to see one more Romero flick that celebrates our fear of being eaten alive. If they gave him a decent budget, it could easily thrive thanks to the massive appetite fans have for this type of horror. How incredible could it be to see Romero’s comic series Empire of the Dead come to life on the big screen - in 2015 it was reported that we'd see a television version of his comic?

zombies land of the dead george romero john leguizamo asia argento simon baker dennis hopper 2005

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but give Romero another shot at a zombie feature film. The monster he created is hugely popular thanks to The Walking Dead, and I think audiences would respond if the filmmaker was given a realistic budget to go along with what would surely be a great story. As mentioned, we have heard that Empire of the Dead is headed to the small screen, and that would be fantastic. I’d love to see the master bringing the dead to life on a weekly basis. But the man has created a huge legacy on the big screen, and it is one that should be rewarded. As much as I’d like to see him working, TV is currently pretty crowded with flesh eaters - The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, iZombie - so hopefully Empire can renew interest in Romero for a younger audience. If so, I only hope that we can see what he can bring to the table for a modern audience of zombie fans. His DEAD series needs to go out with a bang.

Extra Tidbit: Which is your favorite George A. Romero zombie flick?
Source: AITH

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6:33AM on 05/06/2016
I'm down! give him a bigger budget to work with this time!
I'm down! give him a bigger budget to work with this time!
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10:10AM on 05/04/2016
I was totally on board with Romero's plans to make two more DIARY spin-offs after SURVIVAL: a film noir-style zombie movie centered on the girl from Texas, and another focusing on the militia the kids encountered.
I was totally on board with Romero's plans to make two more DIARY spin-offs after SURVIVAL: a film noir-style zombie movie centered on the girl from Texas, and another focusing on the militia the kids encountered.
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