Monday, March 8, 2010

Goddamn, I Hate George Romero

Ain't much in life that can put a smile on my face easier than a bunch of zombies. I love zombies, and more specifically, seeing them get fucked up with shotguns, baseball bats, chainsaws, garden tools - anything.

You'd think that because of my penchant for the undead, that I'd love the movies of George Romero.

You'd be dead fucking wrong.

George Romero is revered as the Godfather of horror movies having churned out "Night of the Living Dead," "Dawn of the Dead," "Day of the Dead," and a bunch more. The problem is that he was too fucking stupid (or stoned or both) to copyright "Night of the Living Dead." You can find a shitload of different legal releases of "Night of the Living Dead," and Romero ain't gonna see more than a squirt of piss off of them. He also freely admits to ripping off Richard Matheson's seminal vampire novel I Am Legend as the "inspiration" for "NOTLD."

OK, so he's an idiot and a thief. Big deal. So's George Lucas. Maybe he can churn out a decent zombie movie, right?


I looked around for "Dawn of the Dead," and I found out that there were at least three different edits of the movie. The special effects were apparently deemed too gory to get an "R" rating from the MPAA in 1978. I finally saw a fanedit (and no, I'm not telling how or where) of "Dawn of the Dead" that incorporated all three different cuts, and I don't necessarily have a problem with the gore or the cheesy makeup. The pacing sucked. It looked as if Romero bit off more than he could chew. There was no real consistent sense of impending doom from the undead. There were a few memorable bits but on the whole, it was boring as fuck. I'm not buying into the praise of "DOTD" as a critique of modern consumerism. Zack Snyder handled that a LOT better in his 2004 remake, and the remake was a lot scarier. No, Romero failed to understand the transition from the claustrophobic environment in "NOTLD" to a wide open shopping mall in "DOTD."

In 1996, Capcom released their "survival horror" video game "Resident Evil" (known in Japan as "Biohazard"). There were monsters, traps, and VERY hungry zombies. Speculation began almost immediately about a movie, and while it took a long time to make through "development Hell," 2002 saw the first "Resident Evil"-inspired movie. It and the subsequent movies weren't entirely faithful, but it could have been a lot worse. George Romero was the fanboy favorite to direct, and I remember there was some outrage that he wasn't actually going to direct it. The "Resident Evil" movie was far from briliant, but I can't imagine how much it would have reeked of fomunda cheese if that overrated Roger Corman-knockoff directed it.

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