Archive for the Horror Articles Category

Great Directors Of Our Time: Guillermo del Toro

Posted in Horror Articles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Partially inspired by my post about Mr. Romero , I decided to write a post about one of the greatest directors ouf our time: Guillermo del Toro.  Guillermo’s movies are often associated with disturbing fantasy elements and dark atmospheres – so it’s no wonder I consider him to be one of the most influential modern horror movie directors. Often working with Ron Perlman, Doug Jones and Federico Luppi, del Toro managed to create quite a few classics through out his carrier – like the Hellboy movies, El Espinazo del Diablo and, of course, El Laberinto del Fauno. Let’s not, however, forget his other movies which are also great…

Mini Biography: “Guillermo Del Toro was born October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. Raised by his Catholic grandmother, del Toro developed an interest in filmmaking in his early teens. Later, he learned about makeup and effects from the legendary Dick Smith (The Exorcist (1973)) and worked on making his own short films. At the age of 21, del Toro executive produced his first feature, Dona Herlinda and Her Son (1986). del Toro spent almost 10 years as a makeup supervisor, and formed his own company, Necropia in the early 1980s. He also produced and directed Mexican television programs at this time, and taught film…”

Cronos (1993): “…del Toro got his first big break when Cronos (1993) won nine academy awards in Mexico, then went on to win the International Critics Week prize at Cannes…”

Cronos, a strange horror movie with elements of a vampire flick, was Del Toro’s definite breakthrough into the movie making industry. Although Cronos’ plot may seem a little simple and naive, the movie, itself, is very fascinating, original and fun to watch. Very early in his career Guillermo decided to use some very disturbing images to shock the average viewer – let’s just say some parts of the movie resemble of Nine Inch Nails’ Happiness in Slavery video. Besides that, Cronos features some great make up effects and interesting camera angles. It also marks the first Perlman/del Toro collaboration. Ironically, the most disappointing thing in the whole movie was Perlman’s performance which I found to be rather weak. But nevertheless, Cronos is an overlooked cult movie in the “vampire” genre.

Trivia:

  • Guillermo del Toro started writing on the script as early as 1984, where it was titled “Vampire of the Grey Dawn”.
  • The film went over budget from the original $1,5 million to $2 million (the highest budget for a Mexican movie at the time). del Toro himself got the half million through loans and bank debts. In order to complete the film, changes had to be made, among those changes were Ron Perlman, who agreed to a heavy salary cut. Perlman and del Toro has been good friends ever since, working together frequently.
  • Guillermo del Toro met with Universal in late ’93, where they told him they wanted to buy the rights to this film so they could remake it. del Toro’s response was “Who wants to see Jack Lemmon lick blood off a bathroom floor?”.

My Rating: 7/10

Mimic (1997): “…Following this success, del Toro made his first Hollywood film, Mimic (1997), starring Mira Sorvino. del Toro had some unfortunate experiences working with a demanding Hollywood studio on Mimic (1997), and returned to Mexico to form his own production company, The Tequila Gang… “

“I remember the worst experience of my life, even above the kidnapping of my father, was shooting Mimic (1997). Because what was happening to me and the movie was far more illogical than kidnapping, which is brutal, but at least there are rules. Now when I look at Mimic, what I see is the pain of a deeply flawed creature that could have been so beautiful.”  – Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro “States Mimic (1997) as the worst of his films and has disowned it, blaming constant interference from the producers as the reason for the poor result” and I have to agree with him. Mimic could have been so much more but it turned out to be your average, unintentionally funny, b movie sf flick.  Characters are ridiculous, the plot is whatsoever and the acting is far from enjoyable – I don’t even consider Mimic to be a del Toro movie because of all the interference from the producers so I won’t spend much time reviewing it. The whole result is just poor, but nevertheless, Mimic gained a semi-cult following through out the years and even spawned 2 sequels;  some people even consider it to be the best horror movie set in a subway.  However, Mimic is a very poor movie and should best be skipped.

Trivia:

  • Originally planned as a single 30-min. short as part of a feature of sci-fi/horror/comedy shorts by Miramax. The other segments also grew into the features Impostor (2001) and Alien Love Triangle (1999).
  • Director Guillermo del Toro disowned the film after constant clashes with Bob Weinstein, who would frequently visit the set and make unreasonable demands about what should be shot, deviating away from the script. Since then del Toro has never worked with the Weinsteins.
  • The scene where Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Northam walk in the hall with all the sick kids lying in their beds was actually directed by Ole Bornedal, one of the producers on the film.

My Rating: 6/10 … Although my rating isn’t that bad, the movie is.

The Devil’s Backbone aka El Espinazo del Diablo (2001): “…del Toro had some unfortunate experiences working with a demanding Hollywood studio on Mimic (1997), and returned to Mexico to form his own production company, The Tequila Gang. Next for del Toro, was The Devil’s Backbone (2001), a Spanish Civil War ghost story. The film was hailed by critics and audiences alike, and del Toro decided to give Hollywood another try…”

There isn’t much to say about El Espinazo del Diablo except it is an absolutely great ghost story – very dark and imaginative.  All of this makes The Devil’s Backbone an instant classic. My full review of it can be found here.

Trivia:

  • The film came together when Guillermo del Toro bumped into Pedro Almodóvar at the 1994 Miami Film Festival where he had just shown Cronos (1993). Almodovar told him that he had just seen his film and wanted to produce his next movie.
  • Described by Guillermo del Toro as being a sibling film to Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) (this being the masculine “brother” film, and Pan’s as the feminine “sister” film).
  • Guillermo del Toro wrote the film when he was in college.
  • Guillermo del Toro has said that this is his favorite movie of his own (2003).

My Rating: 8/10

Blade II (2002): “In 2002, he directed the Wesley Snipes vampire sequel, Blade II (2002)…”

I think all of you are familiar with the blade series so I don’t need to further introduce it. My opinion is that Blade II is maybe the most important movie in del Toro’s carrier. First of all, it was his first major commercial success and second of all, it was the first superhero movie he directed, preparing him to direct Hellboy (2004).  I must inform you, if you haven’t watched already, that Blade II is much more different than its precursor Blade (1998) which makes it an even better movie. Al though it is full with HUGE plot holes and some ridiculous action scenes, Blade II is much more darker and more “del Toro like” – creepy atmosphere, interesting performance by Ron Perlman (he was the highlight of the movie),  great Reaper vampires, vampire clubs are also more darker, etc.  All in all, it’s more of a horror movie than an action movie – unlike the first Blade.

Trivia:

  • When Blade returns to his headquarters early in the movie, Scud remarks, “The Dark Knight Returns!” This is a reference to another comic book character that hunts by night, Batman, who was the subject of a classic comic book miniseries.
  • Reinhardt’s (Ron Perlman) sunglasses are never taken off throughout the course of the film.
  • In the scene before while entering the vampire club with the Bloodpack, a large neon sign can be seen on top of a building that says in large red letters “Radoo”. In the history of Vlad the Impaler (who the legend of Dracula is largely based) history talks of his brother Radu. This name is also often associated with vampire movies as it is deeply ingrained in the Dracula story.
  • Over 30 members of the cast and crew were temporarily blinded by the misuse of UV lights in the vampire autopsy scene.
  • The only movie in the Blade trilogy that used its original written ending. Blade (1998) and Blade: Trinity (2004) went through reshoots to improve and/or replace their respective original climaxes.

My Rating: 7/10

Hellboy (2004): “…On a roll, Del Toro followed up Blade II (2002) with another successful comic-book inspired film, Hellboy (2004), starring one of Del Toro’s favorite actors, Ron Perlman.”

Guillermo del Toro “Turned down a chance to direct Blade: Trinity (2004), AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) to work on his dream project: Hellboy (2004).

He even “Fought the film studios for almost seven years to get Ron Perlman for the title role in Hellboy (2004). The studio wanted a bigger name to ensure the success of the movie, but del Toro thought that Perlman was the perfect choice and wouldn’t make the movie if he wasn’t cast.”

After Blade II, del Toro managed to direct his dream project – Hellboy. Hellboy is more than a decent superhero movie starring great Ron Perlman who made it his most recognizable role. The movie also features one of the most memorable villains seen on the big screen – Karl Ruprecht Kroenen (played by Ladislav Beran). He is a nazi half human, half robot who seems to be immortal. Although he isn’t the main villain nor has plenty screen time, he stole every movie with his appearance which makes him the best aspect of the whole movie.  Besides, Hellboy and Kroenen, the character who stands out is Abe Sapien played by great Doug Jones. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast and characters seem pretty average, especially Rupert Evans who plays John Myers, a new agent to the “Bureau of paranormal research”. In despite of some great character designs  and decent action scenes, special effect were pretty lousy from time to time (particularly in some scenes near the end). Furthermore, the whole plot in the movie isn’t somewhat original – just your typical super hero stuff. However, Hellboy still is a pretty good movie.

Trivia:

  • Doug Jones’s (Abe Sapien) voice was dubbed by David Hyde Pierce, but Pierce refused a credit, because he felt that Abe was entirely Doug’s creation and did not wish to detract from his performance.
  • Baby Hellboy, Sammael, Ivan the corpse, Train Driver and Kroenen were all voiced by Guillermo del Toro.
  • Upon meeting to discuss the movie, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and director Guillermo del Toro decided to reveal to each other their choice for the lead role of Hellboy. They both said at the same time, Ron Perlman.
  • Much of the demonology in the film is inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos developed by H.P. Lovecraft, a horror writer in the 1930s. The Sammael creatures have characteristics of both Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu. Elder gods, many eyed and tentacled, sleeping at the edge of the universe, are a staple of his books.

My Rating: 7/10

Pan’s Labyrinth aka El Laberinto del Fauno (2006):

We finally came to del Toro’s most famous and most successful movie which even won 3 Oscars – El Laberinto del Fauno.

“That’s what I love about fairy tales; they tell the truth, not organized politics, religion or economics. Those things destroy the soul. That is the idea from Pan’s Labyrinth and it surfaces in Hellboy and, to some degree, in all my films.” – Guillermo del Toro

Is there anything more to say about El Laberinto del Fauno that you don’t already know? It is a great and powerful fairy tale which isn’t very suitable for children because of its twisted storytelling and often disturbing scenes. Set in the Spanish civil war, del Toro tells us a story about a girl, Ofelia, who must perform 3 tasks to achieve the prophecy of her becoming the princess of a distant surreal fantasy world – a world completely different than the horrors currently surrounding her. Character design in El Laberinto del Fauno, just like in Hellboy, is visually astonishing. Most noteable character here are, of course, the Fauno and the Pale Man, both played by Doug Jones. I’d go even that far to say that the scene with the Pale Man is one of the scariest in the modern movie history. Anyways, El Laberinto del Fauno is one hell of a ride – it’s sad, beautiful, visually perfect, brutal, scary, disturbed, dark, interesting etc., etc. and all of this makes it Guillermo del Toro’s best movie. Kudos!

Trivia:

  • Guillermo del Toro gave up his entire salary, including back-end points, to see this film become realized.
  • Received 22 minutes of applause at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • The English subtitles were translated and written by Guillermo del Toro himself. He no longer trusts translators after having encountered problems with his previous subtitled movies.
  • Stephen King attended a screening of the film and sat next to Guillermo del Toro. According to Del Toro, King squirmed when the Pale Man chased Ofelia. Del Toro compared the experience of seeing King’s reaction to winning an Oscar.
  • It has been said that, for the fairy eating scene, Doug Jones had to bite condoms filled with fake blood.

My Rating: 8/10

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008):

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) is del Toro’s latest movie, an interesting sequel to the Hellboy (2004).

Guillermo del Toro “Turned down a chance to direct I Am Legend (2007), One Missed Call (2008), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) and Halo (2012) to work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008).”

“I think that 50 percent of the narrative is in the audio/visual storytelling. I happened to think the screenplay is the basis of it all, but definitely doesn’t tell the movie. It tells the story, but doesn’t tell the whole movie. A lot of the narrative is in the details.” – Guillermo del Toro

Hellboy II would quite easily be my favourite super hero movie. Although pretty unoriginal and predictable in its storyline which sometimes seems pretty silly, the movie is visually astonishing and fascinating. Guillermo del Toro’s once again introduces us with distant fantasy worlds filled with interesting creatures (especially The Troll Market) with most of their designs purely spawned by himself. The Golden Army also features one new character who works for the “Bureau of paranormal research” – Johann Krauss. He is pure human “ectoplasma” (?) stuffed in a robot suit which makes him pretty interesting already. His and Hellboy’s interacting was definitely one of the most fun aspects of the movie. All in all, Hellboy II: The Golden Army is another great Guillermo del Toro movie and I sure as hell hope he makes much more of them.

Trivia:

  • The movie mentions Bethmoora, a city in the fiction of the early 20th century visionary writer Lord Dunsany. Also note that the Golden Army is hidden in Ireland, Dunsany’s homeland. The term “glamour” used for the fairies’ cloaking skill also originates in Dunsany’s “The King of Elfland’s Daughter”.
  • Guillermo del Toro wrote an ending which ultimately went unused in the theatrical release: A secret base is found in the Antarctic, where Kroenen, the clockwork Nazi villain from the first film, is brought back to life as Rasputin steps out of the shadows. This material was filmed as an animated comic and appears in the DVD bonus features as the “Zinco Epilogue”. This epilogue provides the setup for a potential third Hellboy film.
  • Just like the first film, none of the cast member’s names are written on the posters, mentioned in the trailers or shown in the opening credits.
  • After reading it in his manual/ancient lore book, Abe calls Tooth Faires “Carcarodon Carcharias”. Actually, that is the scientific name of the Great White Shark.
  • David Hyde Pierce did the voice of Abe Sapien in the first film, while Doug Jones played the physical part. For Hellboy II, Jones also does the voice. The reason is because the producers hoped Pierce’s name would make the first film a box-office smash. But he refused to be credited because he felt Abe Sapien was Jones’ work, and as such did no promotions or interviews, or even attended the premiere.

My Rating: 8/10

Future Work:

Well, unfortunately, Guillermo del Toro won’t be directing The Hobbit parts 1 and 2 after all which I found to be a shame. The Hobbit, overally, is a much more darker story than the original LOTR trilogy so I, personally, think it would have had suit del Toro’s style perfectly.

But don’t you worry, del Toro fans! Guillermo is set to direct his version of the Frankenstein (2012) starring Doug Jones as the Creature and an ecranization of a H.P.Lovecraft novel, At the Mountains of Madness (2013) with Ron Perlman starring as Larson. I think we have 2 great movies ahead of us. Can’t wait!

All additional information, trivia and quotes quotes were take from IMDB.

Drugs Bunny

What Happened to Mr. Romero?

Posted in Horror Articles with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Few days ago I’ve seen Romero’s latest zombie flick, Survival of the Dead, and I must say it was awful. It was maybe the worst zombie movie he ever made (and I thought he couldn’t go lower than Diary of the Dead). After the movie ended, I had to ask myself one question: “What happened to Mr. Romero?”.

First of all, let’s take a trip through his life, biography and, of course, zombie movies (which will be the only one I will mention in this article):

“George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; however, by all indications, he was very successful. The director of the groundbreaking “Dead” pentalogy was born February 4, 1940, in New York City. He grew up there until attending the renowned Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

After graduation, he began shooting mostly short films and commercials. He and his friends formed “Image Ten Productions” in the late 1960s and they all chipped in roughly US$10,000 a piece to produce what became one of the most celebrated American horror films of all time: Night of the Living Dead (1968). Shot in black-and-white on a budget of just over US$100,000, Romero’s vision, combined with a solid script written by him and his “Image” co-founder John A. Russo (along with what was then considered an excess of gore) enabled the film to earn back far more than what it cost…”

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

There isn’t much to say about this movie anymore, I already mentioned it in few occasions. First I wrote a full review of it and then I stated it as one of the best zombie movies ever made in my Top 15 Zombie Movies list. All in all, it was a perfect horror movie and a perfect way to start your carrier. A genre breaking classic. The movie also spawned 2 remakes, the first one in 1990. directed by Tom Savini and the second one in 2006. directed by Jeff Broadstreet.

Trivia:

  • Bosco chocolate syrup was used to simulate the blood in the film.
  • The word “zombie” is never used. The most common euphemism used to describe the living dead is “those things,” mostly by Cooper.
  • George A. Romero was the one operating the camera when S. William Hinzman (the cemetery zombie) attacks Barbara in her car by smashing the window with a rock. When Hinzman shattered the window, the rock barely missed Romero.
  • Screenwriter John A. Russo appears as the ghoul who gets his forehead smashed by Ben with a tire iron. He also allowed himself to be set on fire for real when nobody else wanted to do the stunt.
  • The filmmakers were accused of being “Satanically-inspired” by Christian fundamentalist groups for their portrayal of the undead feeding on flesh and of the Coopers’ zombie child (Kyra Schon) attacking her mother (Marilyn Eastman).

“At first I didn’t think of them as zombies, I thought of them as flesh-eaters or ghouls and never called them zombies in the first film. Then people started to write about them, calling them zombies, and all of a sudden that’s what they were: the new zombies. I guess I invented a few rules, like kill the brain and you kill the ghoul, and eventually I surrendered to the idea and called them zombies in Dawn of the Dead (1978), but it was never that important to me what they were. Just that they existed.” – George A. Romero

My Rating: 10/10

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

10 years after his directing debut, Romero made another cult horror movie, Dawn of the Dead which gained even more attention than it’s predecessor, it was a big success all around the world (especially in Italy). This movie was also included in my Top 15 Zombie Movies list. Al though Dawn wasn’t as creepy/scary as Night, it still offered an excellent atmosphere, great action sequences, awesome acting and social commentary. Despite the fact that ten years have passed since he delivered Night of the Living Dead, Romero still knew how to create an effective and gripping atmosphere. Everything in Dawn of the Dead was on a high level, including the zombie makeups and gory scenes. The movie was remaked in 2004 by director Zack Snyder.

Trivia:

  • The voice of Christine Forrest (George A. Romero’s wife) can be heard on a pre-recorded announcement in the mall (“Attention all shoppers…”).
  • Much of the fake blood used in the blood packets was a mixture of food coloring, peanut butter and cane sugar syrup.
  • Many effects were thought of on the spot. Tom Savini created many effects (such as the arm in the blood pressure tester) with no preparations whatsoever.
  • Some of the zombies (notably one in the tenement scene) were actual amputees.
  • Extras who appeared in this film were reportedly given $20 in cash, a box lunch, and a Dawn of the Dead T-shirt.

“I don’t try to answer any questions or preach. My personality and my opinions come through in the satire of the films, but I think of them as a snapshot of the time. I have this device, or conceit, where something happens in the world and I can say, ‘Ooo, I’ll talk about that, and I can throw zombies in it! And get it made!’ You know, it’s kind of my ticket to ride.” – George A. Romero

My Rating: 10/10

Day of the Dead (1985)

In his third zombie movie, Romero decided to experiment a little with this zombies. He gave them the ability to learn. In this experimenting he managed to make the most recognizable zombie ever, Bub. Al though Bub’s character was perfectly made, the rest of the movie seemed pretty shallow and dull. There was none of that truly creepy atmosphere like in Romero’s earlier works. I find Day of the Dead to be a pretty “average” horror movie, nothing revolutionary, I’m even considering it as a slight disappointment after Dawn of the Dead. Al though the zombie make ups and gory scenes were nice, that doesn’t change the fact that the movie could have easily been better. The scriptwriting seemed a little odd, some actors overreacted their scenes (especially Joseph Pilato who played Capt. Rhodes – he seemed unbelievable in that role) and character’s relationships are also awkward. However, if you are a zombie fan, this movie is a must see one. Day of the Dead also has a 2008 remake made by director Steve Miner.

Trivia:

  • All the extras who portrayed zombies in the climax received for their services: a cap that said “I Played A Zombie In ‘Day of the Dead'”, a copy of the newspaper from the beginning of the film (the one that says THE DEAD WALK!), and one dollar.
  • The only movie in George A. Romero’s “Dead” series where a zombie has a line of dialog (Bub says, “Hello Aunt Alicia.”).
  • The first film in George A. Romero’s “Dead” series to begin a tradition of having a clown zombie, as also seen in Land of the Dead (2005) and Diary of the Dead (2007).
  • The book Dr. Logan gives to Bub is Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot.” Romero and King have been friends for many years.
  • The lowest grossing film in George A. Romero’s “Dead” trilogy. Nonetheless, it’s gained a cult following over the last two decades, and the director himself has stated that he considers it his best film.

“I always thought of the zombies as being about revolution, one generation consuming the next.” – George A. Romero

My Rating: 6, 5/10 I have this movie rated on imdb with 6 but I think that’s a too low grade for this movie, on the other hand I think grade 7 is too high for it so my final rating is 6,5.

Land of the Dead (2005)

Romero waited 20 years after Day of the Dead to release another zombie movie. This time he went one step further with his experimenting and gave the zombies in Land of the Dead the ability to carry/fire guns and other weapons like blades, which I consider to be a blasphemy. In Land of the Dead we also have a view of post apocalyptic cities and societies which were very interesting to watch. Too bad they didn’t receive much of  a screen time because those were the best parts in the whole movie. Another thing worth mentioning is the acting of, now passed away, actor Denis Hopper who played the “leader” of the town. Besides him, other actors were either very average or awful. Despite the movie’s nice post apocalyptic atmosphere, the script writing is very bad and full of plot holes. The main storyline in Land of the Dead is rather focusing on a giant tank named Dead Reckoning than on surviving of the human race against zombies. The movie’s ending was just horrible because the whole point of Land of the Dead (I will spoil it but don’t worry, you won’t miss anything) was that humans and zombies should live in peace. That was pure crap, I was so disappointed by everything. Briefly, although this movie is very bad, it is also the last watchable Romero’s zombie flick (everything after this one was simply horrible).

Trivia:

  • This is the first film of George A. Romero’s “Living Dead” series which uses digital effects.
  • There were four titles before “Land of the Dead” was chosen: “Dead City,” “Dead Reckoning,” “Twilight of the Dead,” and “Night of the Living Dead: Dead Reckoning.”
  • The zombie of Tom Savini’s biker character, who is killed in Dawn of the Dead (1978), can be seen in one of the scenes.
  • Partly based on the original, much longer script for Day of the Dead (1985).
  • A non-union zombie would make CDN$9 per hour, while a union zombie, for a minimum of 8 hours, would make CDN$158.

“The idea of living with terrorism – I’ve tried to make it more applicable to the concerns Americans are going through now”. – George A. Romero

My Rating: 5/10

Diary of the Dead (2007)

It seems that Romero haven’t had enough of his weird experimenting so he filmed Diary of the Dead through the “eyes of the camera” (the technic most notably used in the Blair Witch Project). I, personally, liked this idea but its movie performance was awful due to the script writing which was completely awful. Romero somehow managed to create a bunch of dull, static and uninteresting characters with loads of cliches. Diary of the Dead doesn’t have a real plot, it is more of a road trip movie filled with random, “strange” and stupid situations (which are full of plot holes). When making a movie like this one, you should pay special attention to the characters because they are the ones who hold your movie and its plot. If you make your characters retarded, there is a big chance that the whole movie will be retarded too. And that’s just what Romero did, he made retarded characters. My full review of this movie (in which I even analyzed most of the characters) can be found here.

Trivia:

  • Shot over a period of only 23 days.
  • In the scene with the zombie doctors, a voice can be heard on the radio inviting people to aim for the head. This is the voice of Tom Savini, a longtime friend of George A. Romero. In fact, this audio is lifted directly from the bonus features of the remake of Dawn of the Dead.
  • The documentary-within-the-film is called “The Death of Death.” This is also the name of George Romero’s four-part miniseries for the DC Comics zombie title “Toe Tags.”
  • Begins on the same day as Night of the Living Dead (1968), although the setting has been updated to the present day. The concept for the film evolved from an idea that director George A. Romero had earlier for a “Living Dead” TV series, which also would have begun on the same day as “Night of the Living Dead.”
  • George A. Romero has a cameo in the film as a police officer presenting a cover-up for the zombie outbreak at a press conference.

“My zombie films have been so far apart that I’ve been able to reflect the socio-political climates of the different decades. I have this conceit that they’re a little bit of a chronicle, a cinematic diary of what’s going on.” – George A. Romero

My Rating: 3/10

Survival of the Dead (2009)

And we finally came to Romero’s latest zombie movie, Survival of the Dead. The movie, itself, was so horrible that I find it to be even worse than Diary of the Dead. The plot is about two families who are living on a remote island and who are “in war” with one another. I found this storyline to be utterly stupid and very weak. The characters, their personalities and relationships were too much undeveloped, even for a zombie movie. Some “twists” in the plot were so awful that I either facepalmed from time to time or unintentionally giggled. The pure stupidity of Survival of the Dead can’t be easily explained, you’ll just have to see it for yourself. Because of the main storyline the zombies were put in the second plan. Through all the movie they were nothing more than free kills, a material for “cool scenes”. In addition to all that poor scriptwriting, we have some very bad CGI effects. I mean, some parts were simply horrible to watch. How is that possible to happen in a Romero flick? I won’t waste any more of my time on this garbage. Just.. don’t watch this movie because if you do, you’ll be asking yourself one question:  “What happened to Mr. Romero?”

Trivia:

  • This marks George A. Romero’s second time using the SCOPE format (2.35:1, 2.39:1, 2.4:1) for his Living Dead films. The first time was Land of the Dead (2005). The other Dead films were either shot in 1.33:1 (Night of the Living Dead (1968)) or 1.85:1 (Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985)).

“I’m like my zombies. I won’t stay dead!”

“I’ll never get sick of zombies. I just get sick of producers.”

“If one horror film hits, everyone says, “Let’s go make a horror film!” It’s the genre that never dies.” – George A. Romero

My Rating: 3/10

Soooo…what happened to Mr. Romero?

My first (and only) guess would be that he grow old and due to that he simply lost his touch over the years. He has no more originality or whatsoever. He doesn’t make movies with any kind of passion, he doesn’t create “art” anymore. He simply started to “create movies”, nothing more. This is perfectly seen in Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead because they are “just movies” lacking any kind of soul or spirit his earlier works had. Furthermore, he managed to make his zombies plain boring during his long carrier. Now Romero is just a shadow of his former self. It’s a shame to see him, the grandaddy of all zombies, like that (the funny part is that he, literally, became the “zombie grandaddy” – he made his last 3 zombie flicks in his sixties)…just boring and unoriginal.

Dear George A. Romero, I believe we all appreciate your early works and consider them to be all time classic. However, it would be best for you to go to retirement now before you make another horrible mistake like Survival of the Dead. You really deserve it after all these years.

All additional information, trivia and quotes quotes were take from IMDB.

Drugs Bunny