Night of the Living Dead (1968)

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Eighteen – 10/18/18

10/18 – 2004: SHAUN OF THE DEAD/DAWN OF THE DEAD

What the hell do you do with a year that not only gave us one of the best remakes ever of a George A. Romero masterpiece, but also the great horror dramedy that was inspired by the original version of said film?  Why, you review them both, of course!

The now-famous horror-comedy team of SIMON PEGG and NICK FROST, together with their frequent partner-in-crime, director EDGAR WRIGHT, had long since been fans of Romero’s entire body of work, when they began to cook up their own impossibly nutty take on not just that film, but the entire zombie genre, SHAUN OF THE DEAD. Think of what would have happened if the MONTY PYTHON group had gotten hold of the original script for DAWN, and put their own special “stamp” on it, and you’re pretty much there.

 

Pegg plays the titular electronic store clerk Shaun, of course…a rather ordinary bloke living a rather ordinary existence, save for a few unfortunate things…like his strained relationship with his mum, and his girlfriend, who’s now his ex. And like every guy who’s been through this, even though he has his best bud and roomie, Ed (FROST) who has his back like always, nothing is going to be the same for him, until he has his girl, Liz (KATE ASHFIELD) back.  But there is the bothersome matter of a zombie apocalypse to deal with, right in the middle of his “get my ex back” campaign.

  

There’s plenty of action in this, in between the guffaws and gaffes, not to mention enough bloodletting to satisfy gorehounds who might otherwise be inclined to skip it.  But as writers, Pegg and Wright never forget to give us fully-realized characters, and some stunning and memorable setpieces, including a look at Shaun’s daily routine in before-and-after apocalypse mode, which even with repeat viewings is still as funny and frightening as it was the first time.

A dead-on (pun intended) skewering of everyday British life, pop culture and the human condition (not to mention the condition of the undead who were once your family, friends and neighbors) SHAUN is never less than a brilliantly-conceived, funny-as-hell, sometimes gory and sometimes even touching tribute from two absolute super-fans of not just George Romero, but the sub-genre of horror that he singlehandedly created. In fact, the mutual admiration society they had going on was so intense, that George actually gave both Simon and Nick cameos in LAND OF THE DEAD!

Which brings us to the ‘new and improved’ version of DAWN. If it had been any other writing/directing team, I could imagine this remake of a classic would have sunk from the multiplexes without a trace. Until you consider that the writer and director in question are JAMES GUNN and ZACK SNYDER.  Now we’re talking!

The original DAWN opening, somewhat picking up from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, was pretty scary stuff, and you’d think that there wouldn’t be too many ways to make it scarier. But that’s where Snyder and Gunn say “Here, hold our beers.”

A family morning wake-up call has never been more horrific.  In the blink of an eye, the drowsy family morning routine of Ana (SARAH POLLEY) goes from being blasé, to a total bloodbath, when their infected daughter bites and kills her husband, turning HIM into an undead flesh-eater. The shocking sequence where she escapes, only to witness her entire neighborhood descending into mayhem is as unforgettable as anything Romero ever pulled off.

  

That’s not the only place where Gunn as a screenwriter stuck to the original Romero story beats, but still brought his own vibe and dark sense of humor to the proceedings. As Ana takes her chances with a group of survivors who decide to hole up in a local mall, just like in the original, the story pulls in the rest of the outstanding cast including VING RHAMES, JAKE WEBER, MICHAEL KELLY, TY BURRELL and MEKHI PHIFER.

And Phifer’s other half in the film, Luda (INNA KOROBKINA) is very, very pregnant, soon providing us with the horrific answer to a question we didn’t exactly get from, say, THE WALKING DEAD: what happens to pregnant women in the zombie apocalypse, who give birth to…well, you fill in the blank.

Not the biggest ‘feel-good’ zombie film in the bunch by a long shot (and those who have seen it multiple times know exactly why), this DAWN remake still stands tall as one of the better ones in the scads of Romero tributes, knockoffs and wanna-be’s.

POST-MORTEM SCRYPT: SAW, THREE…EXTREMES, SHUTTER, THE VILLAGE and GINGER SNAPS II: UNLEASHED were just some of the other goodies dropped on horror fans in 2004.


Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, HORROR COMEDIES, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, OPINION, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
HoTS Celebrates 50 Years Of: Night Of The Living Dead

HoTS Celebrates 50 Years Of: Night Of The Living Dead

Night Of The Living Dead / IMDB

Although it opened on Tuesday, October 1, 1968 in Pittsburgh only, today is a special day in history. On Friday, October 4, 1968 Night Of The Living Dead made its nationwide debut.  Although there had been a couple of zombie movies prior, this film would go on to set the standards of the zombie sub genre. Originally titled Night of Anubis, writers George A. Romero and John Russo  would give the film a more fitting name. Romero directed Night Of The Living Dead. The film tells the tale of seven people trapped in a farmhouse, attacked by people risen from the dead.

Night Of The Living Dead / IMDBNight Of The Living Dead opens with Johnny and Barbara, visiting their father’s grave. They see a man who looks disoriented and Johnny teases Barbara. He reminds her of a chant from their youth, ‘they’re coming to get you Barbara”. The man attacks and throws Johnny onto on a grave. The blow to the head kills Johnny.

Barbara escapes to a farmhouse and meets Ben. She is catatonic and Ben tries to get her to help him board the house. They discover a family of three hiding in the basement with another couple. Everyone but Ben is eventually killed by zombies (one is the young girl of the older couple from the basement). Ben survives but, the next morning a posse mistakes him for a zombie and shot him dead.

Night Of The Living Dead / IMDB

That is a very brief description of the movie. Today we are  focusing on the impact it has made in 50 years. Five “of the Dead” films followed, all directed by Romero. 1990 saw a remake of the film as well. Night Of The Living Dead introduced the world to the only way to kill a zombie. You must kill its brain.

How many movies and TV shows come from the idea of the the zombie? Night Of The Living Dead was not the first zombie film remember, but it stemmed the most followers.  The Walking Dead draws millions of viewers each week. The Walking Dead which spawned from a comic book, uses the same principles but in a more modern era. In fact, one could argue that any film or TV show since 1968 depicting zombies were inspired by Night Of The Living Dead. Romero and Russo created the blueprint and reinvented the sub genre.

Today, the remaining surviving cast and crew members attend several conventions nationwide to meet with fans. New generations of movie goers experience meeting Judith O’Day (Barbara), Russell Streiner (Johnny), Kyra Schon (Karen) and John Russo. George Romero actively attended cons until his passing last summer. With Romero’s passing, the franchise did not fade away. George’s son, George Cameron Romero is working on a prequel to the 1968 original. It’s a safe bet however, to say we are looking forward to that.

Happy 50th Anniversary Night Of The Living Dead and here’s to 50 more great years!

 

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in Categories, HORROR NEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, STAFF PICKS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
Remembering George A Romero: One Year Later

Remembering George A Romero: One Year Later

It was a Sunday afternoon one year ago today and the news popped up on Social Media. George A Romero had passed away at the age of 77. Today we are remembering George A Romero: One Year Later.

George A. Romero as seen in the documentary "Birth of the Living Dead."

George A. Romero as seen in the documentary Birth of the Living Dead

Born in New York in 1940, Romero started out shooting short films and commercials after college in the early 1960s. In 1968, a film he made with John Russo would change a horror sub-genre as we knew it. With a budget of $114,000, Night of the Living Dead unleashed itself on October 1, 1968.It gave a new life and spin on the zombie film. The Godfather of Zombies would make several films over the years, but the —– of the Dead titles would always be what he would gain his fame for. There are six —– of the Dead films in total, with the last one, Survival of the Dead, released in 2009. Romero directed all 6 films.

georgeromero-zombielove / Fair use doctrine. George Romero and friends / Fair use doctrine.

Romero attended several horror cons starting in the early 2000s and continued until right before his passing. He would frequently talk about his films, give his thoughts on the state of the zombie film and share memories with the fans. Romero battled a brief battle with lung cancer, before passing away in his sleep last year on this day. Three months after his passing in front of the Hollywood Toys and Costume Store at 6604 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood honored him posthumously. On October 25th, he finally was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The bittersweet moment of the award is that many felt it should have come years earlier and while he was still alive. He was also honored this past March in the Oscar Memoriam presentation.

ZombieGurl with George A. RomeroCrypt Keeper Clint with George A Romero

Please join everyone at House of Tortured Souls in remembering the “Godfather of the Zombie Film”, George A Romero on the one year anniversary of his passing.

Mad Monster welcomes George Romero

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: George A. Romero (5 of ?)

TRIBUTE: George A. Romero (5 of ?)

Remembering George A. Romero

With the passing of George A. Romero this week many of us are mourning the loss of one of the true legends of the horror industry. Although he is viewed as the father of the modern zombie film, I feel that it's important to keep in mind some of the other influences he had both inside the horror industry as well as outside.
As we all know, he is almost single-handedly responsible for the modern zombie. Everything from The Walking Dead graphic novels and the TV series, the Resident Evil franchise (both the games and the films), and even books like The Zombie Survival Guide all owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Romero, as his take on the undead have helped to shape all these.
His sphere of influence spreads far beyond zombies, though. Some of his best work was with the writing of Stephen King. Everyone knows that the works of King are notoriously difficult to translate to film. His take on King's The Dark Half made the story compelling and interesting while remaining very true to the source material. Many people consider it to be one of the most faithful King adaptations ever put to film.
His directing skill was always spot on and appropriate to the type of film he was making. His use of unique lighting and camera angles on Creepshow differed from most other films and made it feel like a comic book come to life. It also helped teach young impressionable fans such as myself that horror could be artistic, beautifully lit, ironic, and fun.
Although many people consider Bruiser to be his worst film, I believe that it proves that he wasn't just a great director but a masterful storyteller. Weaving a very bleak story with depth and heart about a man struggling with life and identity. Making the viewer feel compassion for the man and the monster while also creating a stark, uncomfortable world.
Don't even get me started on the genius and magic behind the film Martin. I could talk about that one for hours.
So much more than just the "Godfather of zombies", George A. Romero was a true visionary who will be missed but whose influence will live on for generations.
Posted by Richard Francis in EDITORIALS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
History of Horror in October

History of Horror in October

By Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in October. Click on thumbnails for full images.

October 1 - 7


10/01/1968 – Night of the Living Dead (1968)
released theatrically

19680110_Night of the Living Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19741001_The Texas Chain Saw Massacre / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/01/1974 – The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) released
theatrically


10/02/1959 – The Twilight Zone (original series) premieres on television

19591002_The Twilight Zone / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


19971002_Castlevania: Symphony of the Night / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.

10/02/1997 – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night released on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in the United States


10/02/2001 – Tremors 3: Back to Perfection released theatrically

20011002_Tremors 3: Back to Perfection / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20021003_Darkness / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/03/2002 – Darkness released theatrically


10/04/2002 – Red Dragon released theatrically

20021004_Red Dragon / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20041004_Zombie Honeymoon / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/04/2004 – Zombie Honeymoon released theatrically


10/04/2005 – Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow released on the Nintendo DS in the United States America

20051004_Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.


19191005_Donald Pleasence / © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

10/05/1919 – Donald Pleasence (actor in many horror films) born (d. 1995)


10/05/1952 – Clive Barker (author, director, and artist) born

19521005_Clive Barker / Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com


19621005_Tod Browning / Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

10/05/1962 – Tod Browning (director of Dracula and Freaks) dies (b. 1880)


10/05/1999 – Angel premieres on television

19991005_Angel / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


20011005_Joy Ride / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/05/2001 – Joy Ride released theatrically


10/05/2005 – Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis premiers on television

20051005_Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


20051005_Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/05/2005 – Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave premiers on television


10/06/2006 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning released theatrically

20061006_The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


18491007_Edgar Allan Poe / Public domain.

10/07/1849 – Edgar Allan Poe dies (b. 1809)


10/07/1994 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation released theatrically

19941007_Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

October 8 - 14


20011008_Castlevania Chronicles / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.

10/08/2001 – Castlevania Chronicles released on the PlayStation in North America


10/11/2002 – Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance released on the Game Boy Advance in the European Union

20021011_Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.


19891013_Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/13/1989 – Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers released theatrically


10/13/1998– Fallen released theatrically

19981013_Fallen / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


20061013_The Grudge 2 / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/13/2006 – The Grudge 2 released theatrically


10/14/1944 – Udo Kier (actor in many horror films) born

19441014_Udo Kier / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


19941014_Wes Craven's New Nightmare / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/14/1994 – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare released theatrically


10/14/2005 – The Fog (2005) released theatrically

20051014_The Fog / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

October 15 – 21


19811015_The Evil Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/15/1981– The Evil Dead released theatrically


10/16/1987 – Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II released theatrically

19871016_Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19921016_Candyman / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/16/1992 – Candyman released theatrically


10/16/1998 – Bride of Chucky released theatrically

19981016_Bride of Chucky / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20031017_The Texas Chainsaw Massacre / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/17/2003 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) released theatrically


10/18/1976 – Burnt Offerings released theatrically



19801018_Motel Hell / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/18/1980 – Motel Hell released theatrically


10/18/1985 – Re-Animator released theatrically

19851018_Re-Animator / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19961018_The Dentist / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/18/1996 – The Dentist released theatrically


10/18/2002 – The Ring released theatrically

20021018_The Ring / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20051018_Day of the Dead 2: Contagium / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/18/2005 – Day of the Dead 2: Contagium released on DVD


10/19/1990 – Night of the Living Dead (1990) released theatrically

19901019_Night of the Living Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20041019_Zombie Planet / Box artwork. Fair use doctrine.

10/19/2004 – Zombie Planet (1963) released theatrically


10/20/1889 – Bela Lugosi born (d. 1956)

18891020_Bela Lugosi / Image courtesy mptvimages.com


19421020_Night Monster / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/20/1942 – Night Monster released theatrically


10/21/1988 – Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers released theatrically

19881021_Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20031021_Castlevania: Lament of Innocence / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.

10/21/2003 – Castlevania: Lament of Innocence released on the PlayStation 2 in North America


10/21/2005 – Doom released theatrically

20051021_Doom / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

October 22 - 28


19821022_Halloween III: Season of the Witch / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/22/1982 – Halloween III: Season of the Witch released theatrically


10/22/1988 – Monsters premieres on television

19881022_Monsters / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


20041022_The Grudge / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/22/2004 – The Grudge released theatrically


10/23/1942 – The Mummy’s Tomb released theatrically

19421023_The Mummy's Tomb / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19591023_Sam Raimi / Photo by Steve Granitz - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com

10/23/1959 – Sam Raimi (creator of the Evil Dead series of films) born


10/23/1987 – Prince of Darkness released theatrically

19871023_Prince of Darkness / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19981023_Brimstone / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/23/1998 – Brimstone premieres on television


10/23/2001 – Thir13en Ghosts released theatrically

20011023_Thir13en Ghosts / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19621024_Eyes Without a Face / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/24/1962 – Eyes Without a Face released theatrically in the United States


10/25/1978 – Halloween released theatrically

19781025_Halloween / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19931025_Vincent Price / Photo by Gabi Rona - © MPTV - Image courtesy mptvimages.com

10/25/1993 – Vincent Price (actor in many horror films) dies (b. 1911)


10/25/2000 – Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem released on the Nintendo GameCube in Japan

20001025_Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.


19791026_When a Stranger Calls / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/26/1979 – When a Stranger Calls (1979) released theatrically


10/26/2001 – Bones released theatrically

20011026_Bones / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19891027_Shocker / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/27/1989 – Shocker released theatrically


10/27/1989 – Castlevania: The Adventure released on the Game Boy in Japan

19891027_Castlevania: The Adventure / By Judgesurreal777. Fair use doctrine.


19951027_Vampire in Brooklyn / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/27/1995 – Vampire in Brooklyn released theatrically


10/27/1998 – Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 released theatrically

19981027_Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19511028_Joe R. Lansdale / By Materialscientist. Fair use doctrine.

10/28/1951 – Joe R. Lansdale (winner of six Bram Stoker Awards for horror fiction) born


10/28/2005 – Saw II released theatrically
20051028_Saw II / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20051028_Masters of Horror / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/28/2005 – Masters of Horror premieres on television

October 29 -31


10/29/1920 – The Golem: How He Came Into the World released theatrically in Germany

19201029_The Golem: How He Came Into the World / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19731029_Return of the Blind Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/29/1973 – Return of the Blind Dead released theatrically


10/29/1993 – Return of the Living Dead III released on VHS

19931029_Return of the Living Dead III / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19931029_Demon Castle Dracula X: Rondo of Blood / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.

10/29/1993 – Demon Castle Dracula X: Rondo of Blood released on the PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 in Japan


10/29/2004 – Versus released theatrically

20041029_Versus / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


20041029_Saw / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/29/2004 – Saw released theatrically


10/30/1938 – The War of the Worlds radio adaptation airs

19381030_The War of the Worlds / Image: Daily News. Fair use doctrine.


19811030_Halloween II / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/30/1981 – Halloween II released theatrically


10/31/1961 – Peter Jackson (director of Bad Taste and Braindead) born

19611031_Peter Jackson / Photo by Tim Whitby - © 2012 Getty Images - Image courtesy gettyimages.com


19741031_Phantom of the Paradise / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/31/1974 – Phantom of the Paradise released theatrically


10/31/1991 – Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan

19911031_Castlevania II: Simon's Quest / By DASHBot. Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments