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Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

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Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

Old 07-06-17, 07:55 AM
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Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)



Half a century after “Night of the Living Dead,” George A. Romero still isn’t done with the genre he helped create.

His latest is “Road of the Dead,” an automotive take on the undead he produced and co-wrote with Matt Birman, who’s stepping into the director’s chair after serving as second-unit director on each of Romero’s last three “Dead” pictures. There’s just one problem: The project has set to secure financing.

The two are headed to Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal later this month to change that, and Romero is excited about hitting the road and moving forward. The film’s premise — “In the darkest days of the zombie apocalypse, the last safe place on earth is anything but, as a mad despot uses the spectacle of high-octane carnage to keep control of his populace” — suggests a “Mad Max” vibe. It also serves to remind that, from “Dawn” to “Day” to “Land” and now “Road,” the decades-old franchise is ever-changing.

“There was a sequence in ‘Survival of the Dead’ where there’s a zombie that’s behind the wheel of a car, and Matt proposed an idea: ‘How about zombies that know how to drive!?'” Romero explained over the phone during a 4th of July interview. (He lives in Canada, where he’s a permanent resident.) That setup is certainly in keeping with some of the biggest action movies in recent years, a connection Romero readily copped to: “It’s ‘Fast and the Furious’ with zombies at the wheel,” he said. (The press notes cite “Ben-Hur” as a direct influence.)

Birman is the zombie progenitor’s “best friend in the biz,” so co-writing the project together was an organic process; Matt Manjourides and Justin Martell are also onboard as producers. Romero considers himself more of “a story guy” anyway, and the stunt-intensive nature of “Road of the Dead” “isn’t [his] cup of tea.”

Neither, for that matter, is the state of the zombie genre post–”World War Z” and “The Walking Dead.” “It was probably bound to happen,” Romero said of the fact that David Fincher is directing the sequel to “World War Z,” which he particularly dislikes.

“I harbor a lot of resentment…I used to be the only guy on the zombie playground, and unfortunately Brad Pitt and ‘The Walking Dead’ have made it Hollywood-ized. I was ready to do another one, a $2-3 million one, and nobody will finance a zombie film now.” Hollywood is only interested in the undead when they have blockbuster potential, which something like “World War Z” ($540 million in box-office returns) does but a small-scale “…of the Dead” installment might not.

“It’s not really resentment,” he clarified. “I’ve had a terrific run.” Asked whether it’s strange to step back and see what the genre he helped innovate with “Night of the Living Dead” half a century ago has taken on, he said, “Of course, but mine have always been political. It’s not gore, it’s not just horror — I’ve always tried to put a little something in there. I felt that I almost found a niche, but it was bound to happen,” he said of the way the zombie genre has become something bigger and more unwieldy. “There was no way to prevent that from happening.”

As for his own movies, Romero reluctantly admitted that 1985’s “Day of the Dead” is his favorite, but “only because there was not a bad apple, not a bad moment on the set, everybody was there to make the movie and it was wonderful. It’s hard to say — it’s like, ‘What kid do you like?'”
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/07/geo...ht-1201850744/
Old 07-06-17, 08:39 AM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

Not really feeling this. Sorry, George.
Old 07-06-17, 09:58 AM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

I think the problem with Romero is that the zombie genre has been done to death, as it were.

Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead were great films with escalating levels of gore, each one outdoing the next.

And everyone waited two decades for a fourth entry, and we got Land of the Dead.

Land of the Dead felt like a fairly generic horror movie, and lacked the apocalyptic terror of the earlier entries in the series. And the subsequent films, Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead, were even further steps down, coming off like the kind of stuff Chiller shows at two in the morning.
Old 07-06-17, 10:17 AM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

Maybe after Road of the Dead, George can finally put his zombies to rest.


One more for the.......Road.
Old 07-06-17, 11:47 AM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

Originally Posted by dex14
“I harbor a lot of resentment…I used to be the only guy on the zombie playground, and unfortunately Brad Pitt and ‘The Walking Dead’ have made it Hollywood-ized. I was ready to do another one, a $2-3 million one, and nobody will finance a zombie film now.” Hollywood is only interested in the undead when they have blockbuster potential, which something like “World War Z” ($540 million in box-office returns) does but a small-scale “…of the Dead” installment might not.

“It’s not really resentment,” he clarified. “I’ve had a terrific run.” Asked whether it’s strange to step back and see what the genre he helped innovate with “Night of the Living Dead” half a century ago has taken on, he said, “Of course, but mine have always been political. It’s not gore, it’s not just horror — I’ve always tried to put a little something in there. I felt that I almost found a niche, but it was bound to happen,” he said of the way the zombie genre has become something bigger and more unwieldy. “There was no way to prevent that from happening.”
I love how Romero acts like he was the ONLY guy involved in making zombie movies for decades. He is completely out of touch at this point.
Old 07-06-17, 09:19 PM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

I have never been a fan of anything after Night because I felt they put the gore front and center. He claims they are all political-message movies, which is what I love about Night, but none have been remotely intellectual since the first one.

So was George just lucky with the first? Was he a one-trick-pony? Or do I just not get it?

It's not just zombie films, George. Hollywood only wants reconstituted blockbusters in every genre. Maybe it's just that your ideas have gone to shit.
Old 07-06-17, 09:26 PM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
I have never been a fan of anything after Night because I felt they put the gore front and center. He claims they are all political-message movies, which is what I love about Night, but none have been remotely intellectual since the first one.

So was George just lucky with the first? Was he a one-trick-pony? Or do I just not get it?

It's not just zombie films, George. Hollywood only wants reconstituted blockbusters in every genre. Maybe it's just that your ideas have gone to shit.
You don't get the consumer culture run amok theme of Dawn of the Dead? I actually thought Survival of the Dead was underrated and much better than Land of the Dead, which did nothing for me. I wouldn't mind more Romero films if they keep the budget low.
Old 07-06-17, 09:31 PM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

I guess with the success of Mad Max: Fury Road a Mad Max...of the Dead was inevitable.

Romero' last handful of ...of the Dead movies were below average to terrible. I have no doubt this will be just as bad. But damned if I won't rent it and watch the hell out of it on cold Friday night.
Old 07-07-17, 02:55 AM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

Produced and written by George, but not directed, that will be strange. If it even happens that is.
Old 07-07-17, 08:37 AM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe
I actually thought Survival of the Dead was underrated and much better than Land of the Dead, which did nothing for me.
Old 07-07-17, 09:29 AM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

I think Land of the Dead was his last good "dead" film -- granted, I did like Diary, as well. I have not seen Survival of the Dead, though.

Speaking of Land -- Scream Factory is releasing it at some point fully loaded. I still have my HD-DVD of that one.
Old 07-07-17, 03:18 PM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
I think the problem with Romero is that the zombie genre has been done to death, as it were.

Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead were great films with escalating levels of gore, each one outdoing the next.

And everyone waited two decades for a fourth entry, and we got Land of the Dead.

Land of the Dead felt like a fairly generic horror movie, and lacked the apocalyptic terror of the earlier entries in the series. And the subsequent films, Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead, were even further steps down, coming off like the kind of stuff Chiller shows at two in the morning.
100%
Old 07-07-17, 11:43 PM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe
You don't get the consumer culture run amok theme of Dawn of the Dead?
Not sure if that was sarcasm or a serious question ... No, I don't. Just because it was set in a mall doesn't make it some brilliant social commentary on capitalism.
Old 07-07-17, 11:50 PM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
Not sure if that was sarcasm or a serious question ... No, I don't. Just because it was set in a mall doesn't make it some brilliant social commentary on capitalism.
I think the subconscious impulse of zombies congregating at a mall is pretty clever, perhaps not brilliant, but I think it's certainly on par with the original movie's implications from the shock ending.
Old 07-07-17, 11:55 PM
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Re: Road of the Dead (w: Romero/Birman, D: Birman)

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
Not sure if that was sarcasm or a serious question ... No, I don't. Just because it was set in a mall doesn't make it some brilliant social commentary on capitalism.
I love Romero's Dead, and do believe he overstates the "political commentary" angle, but there is a lot more going on in Dawn of the Dead about consumer culture than just "being set in the mall".

Off the top of my head:
-The wonderfully satirical image of mindless zombies wandering around a shopping mall.
-The idea put forth that the shopping mall was so important to them, this is where their reanimated functions bring them; not to their home, not to their church, not to their family, but the goofy mall.
-Our heroes ditching their plan to travel to Canada, look for other people, choosing to isolate themselves in the mall. They would argue it was a safer place to be, but they've also been seduced by "all the great stuff".
-The big battle at the end. Survivors fighting and killing each other for what? Paper bills that have no value and TV sets that don't play anything.

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