More Updates on George Romero's Island of the Dead
It's hard to say anything bad about this guy, after all he is the father of one of my favorite genres of cinema, but I'm wondering if George Romero is loosing a bit of his appeal. We've known for some time that the man who started the zombie obsession back in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead has an untitled project - AICN calls it Island of the Dead - slated for 2009. And just recently, we received word that, indeed, shooting has begun in Ontario, which surrounds inhabitants of an island off the coast of North America who must decide whether to kill or preserve (for a cure) their re-animated dead relatives. The primary cast for the film has also been revealed, which is made up of folks you probably don't know, save for maybe character actor Kenneth Walsh, and some brand new set photos have popped up over on AICN.
Obviously, anything Romero does is a welcome addition to the this genre, but I can't say this news of his next project particularly interests me. After seeing Land of the Dead in 2005, I was honestly a bit disappointed. Sure, the film had its camp and the societal commentary and was classic Romero, but it wasn't nearly compelling as I'd hope. Zack Snyder's 2004 remake of Romero's Dawn of the Dead was actually the last really good zombie film I've seen (if memory serves). Romero's most recent, Diary of the Dead, was lacking, too, and garnered less than $700K at the boxoffice. For Diary, Romero claimed that "[he] wanted to do something about emerging media," motivated in part by the YouTube generation. Should the icon really be chasing trends? It seems that Romero's desire to comment on America through his particular taste for horror is diminishing his work and dare I say his reputation.
So is Romero grabbing at straws by making another ___ of the Dead movie? For me, I long for the likes of World War Z and other properties that have smartly elevated the genre. Even 28 Days Later (not 28 Weeks Later, mind you) was a pretty well-done take on the genre. Romero would seem to somewhat disagree with these off-shoots, those that have blurred the line between the un-dead and viral outbreaks, at least for the fact that zombies can't run. But I'm not here to hate on the guy, "I love man!" as Joe Biden would say. But as I debate my own interest, I wonder what others are thinking about Romero's latest?