First Look: Zombies from George Romero's Island of the Dead

November 3, 2008
Source: USA Today, Bloody Disgusting

First Look: Zombies from George Romero's Island of the Dead

It might not officially be titled Island of the Dead just yet, but it is our official first look at a zombie from the film. I wish we had something a bit more exciting to show everyone today than a few random zombie photos, but the entire country is focused on the upcoming election. Thanks to both USA Today and Bloody Disgusting, we've got the first photos and more information about Romero's next zombie lick. Like his last disaster, Diary of the Dead, this one will have a political undertone - tribalism. But Romero insists that this one will be a lot more like his own Dawn of the Dead from 1978, but "with a lot of action." I hope so…

"It's this whole idea of tribalism, that we can't pull it together," Romero tells USA Today. "News reports about the presidential race still bring up religious topics or racism. That's pretty much the central theme." We previously brought you two updates about what Island of the Dead is about - essentially, zombies on an island. Romero clarifies the idea a bit further: the story unfolds on a small island a couple of weeks after the original outbreak in 1968's Night of the Living Dead. "There are two factions. It's the idea that even when faced with a crisis, tribal concerns about power control people's motives," Romero explains.

So what happens next? When the deceased relatives of those living on the island start to come alive, one side wants to kill them off, while the other side would rather wait to see if there is a cure. I'd say that's a lost cause, wouldn't you? This concept sounds like another extension of Romero's tried-and-true zombie equation, but nothing new. They look like the same old zombies we've seen since 1968. Although Island of the Dead definitely is getting a lot more early buzz than Diary of the Dead, though I really hope it turns out better. Take a look at the newest photo below and let us know what you think of this concept so far.

George Romero's Island of the Dead

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Reader Feedback - 29 Comments


OMG she has smeared makeup all over her face

OCP on Nov 3, 2008


This is the best they can give us for a first look? BOOOOOOOOOO! Low budget speaks in high volumes, don't it? Diary's zombie designs didn't look to fancy neither but this... THIS! Sheesh. Where's Zack Snyder when you need him?

Frame on Nov 3, 2008


What a boring looking zombie...I saw scarier 10 year olds trick or treating this past weekend

Peloquin on Nov 3, 2008


I agree that it's a lame teaser image but I'm looking forward to Island. Diary held my interest even though it felt more like an experimental student film than a continuation of what should be an epic saga.

BahHumbug on Nov 3, 2008


She also is cross eyed... Now that's scary. And did you see the stains on that shirt... I don't think I'll be able to sleep during my afternoon nap. But at least it's nice to know that Billy Corgan has landed on his feet since the Smashing Pumpkins, getting a the roll as zombie #2.

DanOhh on Nov 3, 2008


hey this lady looks like my asian mom...she is a street whore and she sucks dicky dicks for 9 dolla 9 dolla!

doodiepants on Nov 3, 2008


thank you prease thank you prease

Richard on Nov 3, 2008


He needs to retire, he hasn't made a good Z movie since the first one.

dac_fan on Nov 3, 2008


when the fuck are we going to see World War Z in movie form, until then I don't care. I understand that Romero is the god-father of modern zombie flicks, but this looks and sounds terrible so far. Wake me up when 28 Months Later, or a World War Z movie come out...until then...forget about it....

jman571 on Nov 3, 2008


Looks like the lady that does my dry-cleaning...

C-Young on Nov 3, 2008



werdnafaz on Nov 3, 2008


*yawn* What, is this going to be like a zombie Survivor?

avoidz on Nov 3, 2008


How to create a zombie on a small budget: 1 spoon full of peanut butter under the gums, 2 large squirts of ketchup in the face. Their you have it, a zombie for 59 cents.

Atomos on Nov 4, 2008


George Romero only has a single string on their harp. George Lucas has two. Both of these guys only have one meaningful property to their name. Of course, they realize th is so they re-color it, re-package it, re-market, re-edit it, and regurgitate it... But its always the same note. It just gets more shrill the more out of tune their harp gets. Enough.

Accusamend on Nov 4, 2008


i don't know why they didn't get zack snyder to continue where he left off on dawn of the dead. if i remember correctly, they ended up on an island too

zap brannigan on Nov 4, 2008


I too wish that World War Z would get made faster, such a great book deserves an awesome movie adaptation, Jurassic Park style. However, if Romero's going back to his roots like he says, maybe there's hope. That is a really lame teaser image though.

Da Man on Nov 6, 2008


Not that anybody cares, i just want to add that despite Diary of the Dead being really really not that great, I loved the part when the director guy behind the camera yells at his zombified friend about zombies moving slow. That makes me smile.

Da Man on Nov 6, 2008


Oh, No...It's Diary of the Dead all over again! Somebody please make it stop! Seriously though, these images do not give me much hope about this movie. I own all of George's zombie movies, and bought Diary the day it was released, and felt ripped off. What happened after Land of the Dead? He should be doing a big epic zombie conclusion by now, with either the zombies winning, or a cure to the plague discovered...something! Oh well, I hope that my first impressions from these images is wrong.

Dan Walimaa on Nov 8, 2008


You're right, Dan. Whatever happened to that trilogy with those survivors and Dead Reckoning in Canada that Romero was talking about a couple years ago? That I'd pay to see, him going back to his roots in an original way.

Da Man on Nov 9, 2008


1. Romero's films have always been much more about subtexts of sociological problems and repressed elements within society than about guts and gore. 2. Most of his films were low budget. 3. So all in all, Romero is really going back to his roots. I don't understand why some of you expect Georgie to do mainstream Z-movies ala Zack Snyder. Romero's films offer so much more than that. They are supposed to make you think, not to scare you. If you care to see his zombies as metaphors, you'll even love DIARY. If you just want polished designs and non-stop action (and running zombies), you'd better go for other directors.

Pep on Nov 13, 2008


Zack Snyder did an okay job with the Dawn of the Dead remake. It's a good movie that I enjoy viewing now and then. I like the human characters and their interplay best about Zack's version , but it just didn't have very many memorable Zombies in it, which to me is one of the best things about Romero's movies. Who can forget the Helicopter Zombie, or numerous other great Zombies from Dawn, or Bub from Day? Anyway, there is still hope for this new feature because Romero said it will have a lot more action than Diary did. Sociological Subtexts or not, I'd still like to see Romero do a Zombie grand finale.

Dan Walimaa on Nov 14, 2008


i don't care what anyone says.i can't wait for the next one.great hell with zack,and his fake zombie movie.

charles w frederico on Nov 17, 2008


I agree with Pep. Romero is out to make you think. While Snyder's "Dawn" remake was okay, there was really no subtext to it. It was all running zombies and action. Romero, however, uses his ghouls to further a social/societal message. Romero's zombie movies are more about humans and how we deal with things (societal breakdown, consumerism, corporatism, media, etc.) than zombie action (although it is always a plus to see that too). I also find it funny that people want George to make a high-budget zombie flick. THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN. The $15 million he made "Land" with is likely to be the most he'll ever get for a film. With more money comes more investors, more studio involvment and more interference. There will also likely be no grand epic finale (if you want one read the original script for "Day". Holy crap!) to the series. How would we know if the zombies ever "win"? They have eaten or killed most humans by the time "Day" came out. And as far as finding a cure goes, why bother? Do you really want it to end "I Am Legend" (film version) style? I think "Land" was a suitable conclusion: the humans keep moving, the zombies keep moving and both sides will slog on until they either rot away (them) or die out (us). It sounds a bit bleak, but did you expect Romero to be all sunshine and farts? And one final thing before I shut my keyboard-hole: Romero is not a one-string director. Zombies have been his most successful subject, yes. They allow him the credentials he needs to keep working, but he is not limited to this subgenre. "Martin" is very underrated and is, in my opinion, his best film. "The Crazies", while low budget, is a fantastic and frenzied film. "Knightriders" was never going to be commercial to begin with, but is a great commentary on not compromising one's vision. "Creepshow" was a fun romp of an EC comic come to life and "Bruiser", while not perfect, was an interesting take on the lives of all us faceless wimps. Anyway, that's all the semi-righteous nerding I can spew for the day.

Zach Rocker on Dec 3, 2008


Have you heard the latest news? Just as soon as Romero is finished shooting his Island of the Dead film, he will begin working on his next feature, a high-budget One Hundred and Twenty Million Dollar epic conclusion to his Zombie films...a zombie grand finale as you will. The much-anticipated project is currently being titled Dead End. Psyche! I'm joking of course. It would be nice though. Now, let's not spread this made-up rumor of mine all over the Internet. Let's just keep it between us, okay? LOL!

Dan Walimaa on Dec 11, 2008


Oh, I heard about this one. It stars Jim Carrey, Ice Cube and Julia Roberts. George Lucas' crew is doing the effects (all-digital zombies!) and the soundtrack is being done by the London Symphony Orchestra and the reanimated corpse of Jim Morrison. This movie's gonna rock.

Zach Rocker on Dec 11, 2008


Don't forget the dancing zombies sequence ala Michael Jackson's thriller!

Dan Walimaa on Dec 16, 2008


night of the dead, dawn of the dead and day of the dead (origonal versions) were in my mind very good frightning films that left me on the edge for weeks after seeing them. the new versions of romeros zombie flicks are pathetically weak especially the remake of dawn of the dead where the zombies were more atheletic when dead than when they were alive ! i personally think romero has tried to make films about real life issues rather than create a film that has its roots firmly attached to the orgional day of the dead and dawn of the dead. scarey, atmospheric and sinister. being as zombies are the only sci-fi 'monster' that really strike fear into me i could think of a film about the living dead that would give heart attacks to people like me !!! the new versions just dont have the fear factor i enjoy from these films, romero has lost his way with this great creation the ZOMBIE.

vivnap on Mar 21, 2009


when do we get an update on "of the dead"---it's Easter Sunday!! and i've heard nothing

Toddyboy on Apr 12, 2009


As we all knew it would happen the franchise is getting weaker. There are only a few intresting things this man could do with zombie`s they are on a remote island the zombies could have whole limbs blown apart so why just have them look like they have red lip stick smeered over there face. Its because in this film the director wants more "oh my god there zombies" scenes where the group find out one of there friends is a zombie i guess if they look like that who knows which is a zombie and which is a human i bet we will have someone shoot another human because they had blood on them. Thats a newish element.

Scorpio on Apr 19, 2009

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