George A. Romero made a tough deal.
Undoubtedly one of the greatest giants among the famous horror directors, George Romero’s death in 2017 has been greeted by fans, industry professionals and entertainment critics with well-deserved gifts and deep appreciation for his many years of service.
It’s been a long time, too.
When he was still alive, like his legend Tobe Hooper, which we lost for many years a month after Romero, it became more and more difficult for him to find financial support to continue making new films. For Romero, she doubled for everything outside of her dead popular franchise.
In 1968, in between the shooting of the beer commercials, a young group of Pittsburgh filmmakers made history when their main goal was just to make a little money on the highway. Their Night of the Carnivores was the Night of the Living Dead of the author and reminded their clients of Val Luton’s well-defined choreography on chillers.
According to the children, the monsters had to eat on a diet of too much low-budget, low-passive horror images, while avoiding the atmosphere and innovative recording techniques for a quick turnaround against the backdrop of a post-atomic sex-linked landscape. This black and white force brought new excitement, experimentation and moderate but impressive commentary on how mankind bends under stress and lack of communication – and a lot of bitterness and fear. The attendees knew that it’s not just children who like to be afraid of movies, and they knew that every cardholder deserves something smart and terribly exciting.
Like most hits that depend on the whims of the general public, the triumphant Holy Night Party has thrilled audiences and critics alike, and its success is both a blessing and a curse for Romero. He has always had a career that has (for the most part) not been out of fashion and out of fashion, but has never been linked to a consistent critical reputation. Shown or largely unnoticed by people outside the genre, and the independent film is ephemeral until decades after its release (Martin, Sorceress Season), Romero has always given the appearance of a loved one without land. His interest in making films in other genres was never reflected in the actual production, and his horror films were still limited by budget and time. Over the years it seems that he has always received a fee for every sandbox he has played in.
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Night of the living dead
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The man who revolutionized the horror genre and what independent film can achieve, both critically and financially, was confronted at the age of twenty with the classic challenges of creative aging in the film industry as the landscape around him changed dramatically. Romero had a great decade in the eighties (Cripshaw, Day of the Dead, Monkey Sparkles), a strong decade in the nineties with the filming of the feature film Stephen King (Dark Half) and the creation of a dream horror team with Dario Argento, who edited Edgar Allan Poe (Two Evil Eyes). His work on the stories of the film Dark Side and the TV series made him shine in the eyes of horror fans. Here come the examiners, it’s gotten more complicated.
Today, at the age of 60, Romero stands for a new and interesting relief. The new generation of filmmakers who grew up with their films – less on the big screen or in the big theatre, but more through television shows and amateur films – were now Hollywood filmmakers and shakers. Combined with the fact that the European Union has become a major player in the new political climate linked to the tragedies of the eleventh century. September 2001 and believes that the return of the Romero lens, with the undead to comment on the faults of the living, is inevitable. In 2005, American pop culture experienced its first peak in modern zombie madness – the pleasant moment between the popularity of the comic book Sean the Dead and Walking Dead, but before the last TV show, where zombie fans were fed like rotten kings, but the cultural fatigue of the trend still got out of hand. Thanks to this fact, as well as the success of the first Resident Evil film and the Zack Snyder/James Gunn Dawn of the Dead remake in 2004, Romero was given the green light and the financial means to return to the series 20 years after the Day of the Dead.
Glory to the king, baby: George Romero’s fans greeted the Land of the Dead with open arms, while new fans soon recognized its importance. Although he didn’t have the time and space to develop prenatally in distribution as his great-great-grandfather would have wanted, Land had achieved two important things Night had done: impressive box-office receptions and criticism for merging the current political climate with the classic paths of horror. Although it is not a subtle film, the earth is essentially nervous and sadly eternal in its depiction of the weaknesses of greed and fear in the political and social hierarchy of the insatiable America. It’s also pretty brilliant for the Romero film, which is the most solidly funded Dead family film. Add to the excitement of the return of the theatrical power of the Universal Pictures franchise, and you have the perfect storm to bring back the horror of the tent franchise.
As they say, everyone in Hollywood wants to be the first and the second, and that sentence was reaffirmed when the proceeds of Romero’s triumphant return were reinvested in his lifeless performance. Always true to his conviction that the freedom to release the films he wanted was far more important than financial support for the studio, in 2008 we received the Diary of the Dead, still produced by Romero-Grunwald Productions (a company that grew out of Bruiser) and the independent studio Artfire Films. It was a small part of the national budget, and although Dimensions Films distributed the film (only a few years after Miramax was taken over by Weinstein), it was still a small company that earned more than double the cash register, not to mention the incredibly healthy work of selling and distributing DVDs.
Survive? Who in God’s name wants to survive in this world? All that remains to be done is to write what happens to those who remain when it is over. – Survival of the dead
Immediately after, Romero hands over the reins of the conspiracy to Joshua Close, a young director who turns his latest film project into a horror film, even though he dreams of becoming a documentary filmmaker. The plot is essentially a classic story where people run all night to different places for safety reasons, but the images found and the evolving social networking environment increase interest. Although charming and outdated (hello, MySpace!), Romero saw once again where the runaway train of modern culture went to the infernal currency of hits, tastes and viruses that had nothing to do with eating meat.
My favorite scene has always been the Desert Hospital. The combination of a place of healing and a place that should be a centre for urgent activities and up-to-date information in times of crisis, which only serves to accommodate a small number of zombies, is an effective and intelligent way of working with a small budget. One of Romero’s strengths was his understanding of how a traumatic distraction affects people emotionally. A small choice, made only not to lose the comfort of everyday life, can lead to the death of a whole group of people, and George has never hidden the fact that people are constantly making such selfish mistakes.
The deaf Amish who met our gang on the street was a story of remembrance, and even those who didn’t like the film couldn’t ignore the charm of a simple earthling: Samuel, his communication device with the board and the dynamite, ready to work in a zombie. Shooting a zombie clown on his birthday, just after his entrance, and here we remember George’s painful sense of humor. So far, despite the found style of filming, the tone comes closest to the pessimistic tone of the Day of the Dead. With these little pieces of cheerful humour spread everywhere, the audience (and the directors themselves) unconsciously prepared themselves for dry humour in the future.
Bandits are always people. – George A. Romero
Magnolia Pictures released the film Survival of the Dead at international festivals, after which it was screened on the 30th. April 2010 on video-on-demand platforms and published on 28. May in the United States in a limited edition. Where the arrival of the Land of the Dead seemed passionate and optimistic, a small-scale publication had firmly united the franchise with what has become a constant theme for much of Romero’s career: the laborious ingenuity that rarely comes from people with money and power.
Romero pointed out that, while the previous sequences had specific cultural references that helped inspire the subtext of each film (the Vietnam War, the explosion of simple and ill-considered consumerism, the exploitation of classicism, the social benefits of mass communication on the Internet…), Survival of the Dead began with a vague idea to focus on the war and ended with comments on the disintegrating family dynamics. This lack of initial funding ultimately made the film a blessing and a curse. Although he doesn’t have the immediate and recognizable impact of some of the earlier footage – look at the journals from when each of Romero’s films was in production, and you’ll see an almost inseparable connection between the story of the breakup and George – he has absorbed unique charms in his own way.
The problem is that Survival doesn’t have much to say – or at least he feels that much of his time is spent on work. The dialogue lacks truth and nuance, relying too often on these clichés to be eliminated in the first version. It seems that the film is constantly trying to convey a deeper message, even to penetrate new depths. Kitch of the Diary has been largely repressed, although the sixth and final entry in the film series brings with it a pleasant and somewhat dry sense of humour.
The pacemaker feels more indulgent than passionate about his characters; this and the attention to dialogue help the small island community feel even more intimate. By focusing on the characters of the National Guard (the first character to come back to life as Sergeant Nicotine Crockett, the great Alan of Sprung as Sergeant Nicotine Crockett), as well as those inspired by the film Big Country (the western epic of William Wyler Techniram that had the greatest influence on the survival of the screenplay), the script retains a sense of freshness and diversity in the characters’ journeys. In the first act of Land the militaristic scenes of the Day of the Dead are lightly staged, which makes it much easier if we connect to the Irish version of Hatfield and McCoyce on the small plum island near Delaware.
The film Survival of the Dead focuses on keeping the family alive, even when they are not dead. Today, most zombies are obedient and allow themselves to participate in the bound facsimile of their dead lives. The main battle between the O’Fleen and the Muldoon revolves around their respective beliefs about how to deal with impasses, and as usual paranoia and fear lead things into their dark timeline.
Survival of the dead is not unpredictable and is rarely on the list of the worst horror films. Unfortunately, this is also due to the fact that she is as memorable as she is competent. The location of the island is impressive, and every scene with the horse is beautiful and new until it becomes tragic and terrible. All the actors give sincere performances with enough strange bullets to get them involved, and the pathetic humour used during the performance helps the audience get closer to the action. But when they are all together, the film often gives a feeling of disconnection and hasty narration. Of course we are on a small island, but too many main characters suffer from the same emotional stress without having time to really investigate the effects and we leave a lot to be desired in the worst sense of the word.
The use of CGI Gore in Land, Diary and Survival is also disappointing, especially in the franchise that the careers of Tom Savini and KNB. eyes that explode, a zombie head that melts in acid. all on a shaky schedule. To be honest, all this was a byproduct of the cuts that led to a significant reduction in recording times, and Romero always bravely tried to record so many practical and hybrid effects, but he was a man and a series of films that were constantly fighting the clock. However, the SFX physical gags at the end of Survival are the moment when the film feels most alive: It’s a big, nasty orgy of blood and guts, which in retrospect for big fans now resembles a Valentine’s Day novel.
Looking at the films now, I can only wish that the best parts of The Newspaper and Survival were thrown away and put in a skinny and beautiful code of the film. We could have gotten a little more out of the 2014 Marvel Empire of the Dead series, which was also written by Romero, but it was a more solid and fun parallel exercise that led the vampires into battle.
In an ideal world, the film industry would be aware of George A’s unique and extraordinary talent. Romero’s unique and extraordinary talent, and then cover him up with money, time and resources to make the film he wanted. We all know that this is not the world we live in, even though many of our best people have unfortunately been excluded by bureaucracy and politics for decades just to bring smaller versions of their original visions into the world.
In general Romero’s career has been as exciting as it has been inconsistent, and this is true both for the end of the Dead series and for his career as a director. I didn’t come to praise or bury the survival of the dead, but when I returned to his island of humanistic horrors, it reminded me of one of my favorite facets of Romero’s work. He was a very funny and kind man who saw the worst in mankind and didn’t blame us so much for holding a mirror under our noses in the hope that it would help us to see the light. He has found a way to reconcile social commentary and compelling fears without disguising himself as a preacher or swindler. When things didn’t go so well, they were never insincere. George knew we’d need that too, and he left us a lot.
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