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More Updates on George Romero's Island of the Dead

by
October 6, 2008
Source: Ain't It Cool News

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?

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  • Richard
    The people in the 28 Days/Weeks Later movies were NOT ZOMBIES! They beat and puked on people. Occasionally throwing in a bite here and there. Never ate people though. I'm a fan of Romero, hope this movie is better than the last two. I just had to vent about the other stuff, sorry.
  • I guess that's kind of the point...that the traditional idea of "zombie" has evolved...as World War Z calls them, "the re-animated"...folks in 28 Days and all that were dead and came back to life, but beyond that didn't have the traditional characteristics of a Romero zombie...but dead, then not dead all the same :)
  • CSpuppydog
    I'm excited for it. I love zombie movies and George Romero, and unlike most people I loved Diary of the Dead becuase it was campy and cheesy like the original NotLD. So I will most defiantly be excited to see this one...
  • Ryan
    Meh, to me the 28 Weeks Later ones where zombies. They stayed alive whent he helicopter cut some of them up. Crazy Humans dont do that. They also did eat flesh sometimes to. I always thought it was the exuse to make his movie different. Land of the dead was terrible. Romero need to learn that people wont pay for his cheesy crap anymore. He need to get with the times and make a good zombie movie. The fact its called Slaughter Beach makes me know ,like Land of the Dead it will be cheesy, with cheesy deaths, and the same boring slow zombies. (Slow are fine, his are just elderly slow) I like the Dawn remake because I cared if they lived or died. I could care less is Romeros cookie cutter ones died in land of the dead. And come on Romero, you can pay for atleast one good actor. I hate romero fanboys to. He was great in his time, but not now adays. If I want a good zombie movie, I'll wait for the WWz movie. Which was realisitc and no Romero cheese. Doubt Brad Pitts company will mess it up either.
  • Heckle0
    I know people like to hate on Land of the Dead but it was way better than Diary of the Dead.
  • Jimmy Tritone
    Props to Heckle0.
  • tashawnda
    amen to heckleo. Land of the Dead at least was entertaining and made sense. there were way too many deaf amish people with scythes in diary. island of the dead is probably gonna suck balls, but I will still buy it. also 28 months later is gonna rape, and so is zombieland. first showing should just become a zombie movie news site
  • tommyturner
    A mention of Joe Biden and mindless zombies in the same article. Totally appropriate. The similarities are uncanny!
  • John
    Four words...SHAUN OF THE DEAD. Awesome zombie flick.
  • ScottyR
    Gotta agree that 'Shaun' is a great zombie flick that follows the rules of zombie flicks. 28 Days and 28 Weeks were 'infected' not reanimated. They got the infected by the virus and became carriers. They never died. Loved 28 Days AND 28 Weeks. Nice twist on the relentless horde, but a zombie movie, it ain't.
  • Richard
    THANK YOU SCOTTY R
  • Alec Baldwin
    Someone mentioned Joe Biden... As you all know I am head of the Film Actors Guild, and well as a Political enthusiasst I have a question... Is Biden the Turd Sandwich and Palin the Giant Douche or the other way around??
  • JL
    I use that South Park reference everytime someone asks me why I don't vote. lmao.
  • Dan Walimaa
    I really like Land of the Dead. Sure it's got its flaws, but, It's still my 3rd favorite Romero Zombie movie right after Dawn, and Day. But, I have to admit, I felt ripped-off when I bought Diary of the Dead. Diary just didn't feel like a Romero Zombie film to me. I watched it twice so far and it just seems like a movie that someone else made and then slapped George's name on it. It just didn't feel right. My main gripe is that it was lacking good Zombie carnage, it didn't have hardly any interesting characters, and it got way too inane in some spots, and then way too preachy in other spots for my tastes. Having said that, I am glad to hear that Romero is working on another Zombie movie, and especially glad that it is not a sequel to Diary, which I heard rumors they were considering doing. Thank god they opted for another idea, because one film in the Diary approach is enough in my opinion. I just hope that this Island of the Dead is a whole lot better than the last one.
  • NickQ
    Bleh. What's all this about 28 Days and Weeks not being zombie films? They were obviously made to fit into the genre, so they decided to have a different take on their infected. It's still a once human-now nearly mindless creature that wants to kill you for one reason or another. I thought 28 Days Later was probably the best film I've seen that fits in the genre. But yeah, yeah. Romero. I'm not looking forward to this Island of the Dead. Land of the Dead was a step down from Night, Dawn, and Day. However I don't really think it was all that bad either, could have been much better though. As for Diary of the Dead... That was a very large disappointment, for me at least. There are rumors that Island of the Dead is going to continue off from Diary of the Dead, I hope these are false.
  • Zach Rocker
    Oh Ye of little faith. "Land of the Dead" is actually a very smart film. It is not his best zombie effort but it is still a worthy entry into the series. I was a bit disappointed the first time I saw it, but it seems to grow on me more with each viewing. "Diary" is a different animal entirely. It seems to work better as a stand alone piece and not as an entry into his loose quadrilogy. As a Romero zombie flick it is weak, but held up against the zombie sub-genre as a whole, it is a decent (B to B+ maybe?) film. It was lacking the trademark violence and was not all that frightening, but was still a thought provoking (albeit not-too-subtle film). Granted there was a bit of cheese (see: Amish), but does anyone remember the original "Dawn"? That film was about 50% cheese and it is widely regarded as Romero's magnum opus. Even the ghoulish and dark "Day" had a fair amount of EC-style humor ("Choke on 'em!"). I have no doubt that this next film will be, at a minimum, a smart and entertaining piece of work. What we tend to forget is that Romero is making the film he wants with limited studio interference. He has worked outside, inside and been screwed over by a system that is only interested in turning a huge profit, not in making any sort of political or social statement. And besides, the dude is pushing 70 and is still out there doing his thing and, from what I can tell just by watching his movies, he is having a ball doing it. So before you hate, think about this stuff and compare what Romero has done and continues to do with all the other crap that is out there. PS- I can't defend all his stuff though. "The Dark Half" has never really done it for me. PPS- Still, it's better than anything most of us could have made on our scaringest day if we had an electrified scaring machine (to paraphrase Homer Simpson).
  • Mike
    I think that alot of the newer Zombie fans miss the point though. Sure, the last couple of Romero's films have been, well, alright, how can you remake Dawn of the Dead without having George's masterpiece to begin with. I'm sorry, running zombies, yawn!. The slow, menacing zombies were alway more scary but it was the political satire of how people are too stupid to believe or do anything about it. You don't get that kind of story with 28 days later. All you get is alot of action and no story. A typical American movie nowadays. I think that this will be a good film so lets get behind George cause if your a true zombie fan, no one has made anymore good Zombie movies since his Day of the Dead. Sorry to tell you.
  • judy
    stoked about any Romero zombie flick, they're all deliciously sick and twisted with a bit of irony . Infectected, smected, if they are dead and walking they are Z and I don't want to be near them! How would you think one becomes a Zombie anywho? A virulent retro virus all twisted up in our dna I'm sure..Go George, bite'em all!
  • cesar
    I agree that the trilogy is the best and land is a step down and diary is way down but i also think that zombies are getting old,most people are not interested in zombies anymore like in the 80s. I believe theres something left in romero but not in the public, i hope this new film will be better than the last two.Abaut the remakes,i dont think they are any good,resident evil is the only zombie film that is descent to me.
  • al from bama
    I would first like to thank you for bringing Max Brooks to the surface of the Z community he has been sort of forgotten about. But lets cut to the core of the matter. First of 28 days later is not a zombie film its a viral outbreak monster movie akin to the "last man on earth" (great move Vincent price 1962 i believe). Or you may refer to its later incarnation "the omega man" (Heston 1972) or "I am legend" (Smith 2007). I have spent the last 8 years correcting people on this and my simple answer is there not dead. We all hold Romero's work in such high regard because of its political and social message but we need to remember that he has only one film to be a massive box office success Dwan of the dead 1978 all of others did crap at the movies but are huge vhs and dvd earners. I once bought a copy of night at 3 am in a walmart in Atlanta. While zacks 2004 remake was good it was hardly ground breaking it with Resident evil did help reignite a genera that hadn't been popular for over a decade. As for Resident Evil the film series as received criticism from game fans but as stand alone films there good additions to the genre. Even though I have noticed that as the series progressed they have resorted to chesty effects and in the third one they ripped off pages of script from Day of the dead 1985. But there has been a shift in the production quality with Romero's work. With land and diary both there is so much to them under the surface stuff that they really have to be watched several times to enjoy them. But like everyone else im waiting on world war z or max's next book
  • Marcos Rodriguez
    I think all you young punks need to just shut the hell up and show some respect for the man who made all these great films possible today. Just sit back and jerk off to your porn because thats all the action you are going to get while you are waiting for the next remake of whatever superhero of the week you are drooling over. World War Z will Be great but George Romero does not deserve all the shit talking from a bunch of dickheads like you. So give credit where credit is due and leave the man alone. He created the Genre so that you can have all these wonderful movies to watch on lonely weekends because you have nothing else to do.
  • Josh
    Explain to me how 28 days later had no story? It had more true emotion and more complete characters than every romero film combined. also the word zombie can also mean mindless, so yeah basicaly 28DL is a zombie film, its a horde film. It even makes deliberate references to Day of the Dead. Its close minded attitudes that allowed this genera to get stale in the first place.
  • Josh
    also, didn't the cemetary zombie, the first zombie ever seen in a romero film and therefore the defining zombie for all time, run? when he was keeping up with the car, smaking on the windows?
  • Darryl Mckay
    Its not the movie we want to see though is it. I know I want to see the "war of the dead", the final battle with the undead. We keep seeing the outbreak through the eyes of lone survivors. What about a broarder veiw, from the top down, a large army response, the government battles to maintain control, or even a large naval force thats remained isolated and fights back.
  • Darryl Mckay
    Oh and no 28 days later is not a zombie film, zombies by definition are undead, the people in 28 days later were not undead. Its a contagion film.
  • Published Author
    Anyone who spells "losing" as "loosing" in the first sentence of a published work should be banned from writing forever.
  • Zach Rocker
    Yes, technically "28 Days Later" was not a zombie film, but aside from the fact that the infected were still alive, the elements of a zombie film were all present (I would even say that the novel "I Am Legend" laid much of the groundwork for the modern zombie subgenre- Romero has said as much himself). I have it on my shelf with my other zombie flicks, even though technically, it is not one. Technically we should not call any of the Romero films "zombie" movies either, since (again if we're being all technical) a true zombie is reanimated through voodoo (see: "White Zombie", "I Walked With a Zombie"). What Romero has created would be more akin to a ghoul than a zombie, technically speaking. Also: Technically we should all be typing film titles in italics and not quotation marks. Technically there should be no sound in "Star Wars" space battles. Technically a chimp is not a monkey, but people call them such anyway. Oh yes, and technically being self-published does count as being a published author. Phew.

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