"When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth."

Monday 1 October 2018

Night of the Living Dead at 50 (they're coming to get you, Barbara!)

Night of the Living Dead, the film by George A. Romero (1940-2017), had is world premiere 50 years ago today, on 1 October 1968 at the Fulton Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the city where it was also shot.

Most accounts suggest that the (invitation only) film premiere was an inauspicious occasion and the film was not a critical success upon release. The immediate reaction gave little indication as to the iconic status that the film would come to occupy: "a masterpiece that rewrote the rules of the horror genre," as the film's official website now proclaims.

An even bigger oversight (this time on the part of the film's producers) was the lack of a copyright notice – something required in the USA until 1989. The result of this mishap is that the film slipped into the public domain, where it remains to this day. According to Wikipedia, "the original film is available to view or download for free on various websites, such as the Internet Archive and YouTube. As of November 2017, it is the Internet Archive's most-downloaded film, with over 3 million downloads."

While it hardly seems fair to the creators, it would be a shame to let this occasion pass without watching the film in its entirety, just as it wowed cinema audiences 50 years ago today.

Further Information:

Sunday 18 February 2018

The Cured: A Fresh Take on the Zombie Apocalypse Genre

The Cured poster.jpg
By Source (WP:NFCC#4),
Fair use, Link
The Cured – a horror film said to offer a fresh take on the zombie apocalypse genre – is directed by David Freyne and stars Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. It is set to hit cinemas this year, following its première at the Toronto International Film Festival last year.

Set in Ireland, where it was also shot, the film takes up where other zombie movies tend to down tools. The disease that turns people into flesh-eating mutants has been cured but this only seems to wreak new havoc and spawn further discontent, as the once infected face discrimination and many, on both sides, are unable to come to terms with what has gone before, or simply don't care!
The film unfolds in the aftermath of a devastating virus, which transformed the infected into zombie-like monsters. Mankind is struggling to rebuild societies deeply divided between the uninfected and those who did succumb to the virus and are still haunted by their violent actions. In the backdrop, the rise of a terrorist movement threatens to plunge the world into chaos again. – David Freyne

The Cured has already been well received, by audiences and critics alike, winning Best Horror award at Fantastic Fest. It will go on general release this year. See IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes for dates, reviews, etc.

Sunday 4 February 2018

Meet Your Maker: George A. Romero (1940-2017)

George Romero, 66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra)
By nicolas genin [CC BY-SA 2.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
George A. Romero, legendary filmmaker, creator of The Living Dead series, was born on this day (4 February), in New York City, in 1940. As this website is dedicated to Romero's filmography and, in particular, to the 'zombie apocalypse' genre that he pioneered, it is only right and appropriate that our journey begins with the man who started it all.

Romero's career in motion pictures began in the 1960s, working on TV commercials and short films. Together with a group of friends, who were 'bored with making commercials' and wanting to make a horror/comedy film, capitalising on what they perceived as a 'thirst for the bizarre', they scraped together a budget that resulted in Night of the Living Dead, a film that premiered on 1 October 1968 – making it 50 years old this year.

Despite its humble, low-budget origins, the film was enormously successful, both critically and commercially. For Romero, it spawned five sequels, each exploring themes of human behaviour and quest for survival in a context of large-scale social breakdown. It is this theme, rather than any plot, character, story or device that establishes the continuity within each instalment of the series.

Other works in Romero's cinematic oeuvre include The Crazies (1973), Martin (1978), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988), The Dark Half (1993) and Bruiser (2000) as well as the TV series, Tales from the Darkside, which aired from 1983 to 1988.

George A. Romero died on 16 July 2017, "in his sleep following a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer," according to a statement that was put out. He was aged 77.

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