FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Nov 29, 2005

Romero and stuff

The Guardian has a sorta interesting article about the current renaissance of the horror flick in American culture. You can easily draw parallels between trends in horror movies and the social climate, and Tom Shone, the article's author, argues that the current crop of scary offerings are filmmakers' answer to America's war on terror:

...America's war on terror may be the single biggest boost for the horror genre since Haley Joel Osment claimed to see dead people. Once again, America finds itself facing a nebulous, wraithlike enemy that scatters and regroups whenever you strike it, growing a new head every time it is lopped off. Throw in a gnawing sense of self-indictment, and you have the fertile shadowy ground in which horror likes to grow.

Well, I could maybe buy that if you're citing films such as George Romero's Land of the Dead or Wes Craven's Red Eye, which Shone does. He also, however, references blecchfests such as The Amityville Horror remake and The Fog remake, which are, as the infinite wisdom of C + C Music Factory would dub them, things that make me go 'hmm'. Stretching it a bit, maybe?

Funny, isn't it, how the recent movies with a bit of a message (or at least a point) are made by the vets who were making movies with a bit of a message (or at least a point) 25-30 years ago? Isn't it funny? Well, isn't it?! Go watch The American Nightmare if you don't believe me. Hollywood's proclivity to pump out bad horror movies to turn a buck is nothing new, but that's my point- horror movies are popular, but very few of them strive for anything more than box office position. The fact that the market is currently favorable to horror excites me, but so much of it seems to be sub-par- which, um...unexcites me. Don't get me wrong, I love my schlock, I love my crap, I love my bad horror movies. But let's not pretend that these turds are meaningful, alright?

Courtesy of Mike Imboden, who got it courtesy of Empire Magazine online, comes news of a sequel to George Romero's Land of the Dead. Unexcited, I am NOT! Was that confusing? I meant to say, this news makes Stacie happy. Still too confusing? Zombie good...me gooder. Wait, now I'm confused...

Yes, LotD did so well overseas and in the DVD market that a sequel is on the way. Huzzah, I say! Huzzah! I was one of the few who really liked Land...it definitely strayed from Romero's usual style and feel for a zombie movie, but it seemed to me the logical direction for him to go, if you consider all his zombie flicks in one large arc. It was more action-y than I'm used to from him, and it was bigger, less intimate...but it was also gory and fun and un-WB. I'm excited about a sequel because of this:
If it happens, a new Dead movie will follow the surviving characters from Land on their journey north...
That quote, to me, means the sequel could be more like Romero's earlier '...of the Dead' efforts- the story of how people cope and work together in a world overrun by zombies. More character studies, less fireworks. Me am happy. You can read the rest of the article here and decide for yourselves. I can't hold your hands forever, you know.

Tomorrow, I will have a movie review for you. A crapload* of movies arrived at Casa Stacie today, but I had no time to watch any. Patience, my pets...patience.

Oh, there have been a few kind-hearted readers who have inquired about purchasing the smash hit** comic of Mid-Ohio-Con '05, They Won't Stay Dead! Well, for anyone curious, the cost is a whopping $1.50, which includes postage. If you'd like a copy, just email me and we'll work out the deets. Righteous!

*crapload = 4
**smash hit = miserable failure

8 comments:

Brother D said...

I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high re: this talk of another ...Dead film from Romero. A bigger Romero fan than me you will not meet (I've long told anyone who cared to listen that if I ever won that there PowerBall, one of the first things I'd do is dump a bunch of money in Mr. Romero's lap so he can make another zombie flick . . . and then I'd make a movie of my own while I'm at it!), but . . .

. . . I don't know. Romero is the master of all things zombie, but he's also quite good at keeping projects in development for a VERY long time (Black Maria anyone?), and how long has there been off-and-on-and-much-more-off talk about Land... before it started shooting?

Not to naysay the possibility of a fifth Romero flick . . . I would LOVE to see it happen . . . Definitely . . .

Brother D said...

Oh, and hey, did you get my email? I'm still interested in buying a copy of your comic . . . :)

Des said...

I am too. I'll get a hold of you.

B.A. Slattery said...

I think if they make a sequel it will tarnish the credibility of the entire series. From the sound of it, they want to make it soon, which generally means there won't be a helluva lot of thought involved -- Romero's other films were at least 10 years apart, which enabled them to ring bright and true. This might as well be a direct-to-video sequel.

Second, this would be a continuation of a story that, frankly, wasn't all that great. Night and Dawn were excellent films, but Land was just so-so. I can't see myself plopping down another 2 hours of my life to follow those characters into wacky country. None of the other films directly continued a specific storyline; the only constant is the zombies and the turmoil they cause. I think they should stick to that already-proven alchemy and leave the hack-job sequels of Uwe Boll.

Brother D said...

I don't know . . . One of the things I enjoyed the most about Land... is that the world in which the story was told felt like a WORLD. It felt incredibly fleshed out (no pun intended) in a way that the other ...Dead films didn't seem to bring to the table.

Nothing against the other films - I love 'em dearly - but something that Land... did was make me want to know more about what was happening in other parts of the world whereas in Night..., Dawn... and Day..., I didn't get that vibe (and maybe that was by design - with the first three films, we didn't NEED to know more about what was happening elsewhere . . . ).

I'd still like to see more Romero films, ...Dead or otherwise . . . And it would be nice to get one sooner than ten years down the line . . .

Mike Imboden said...

Not to mix genres, but if Romero can pull of a "zombie road flick" that comes close to Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" comic book, then he'll have - hands down - perfected and driven the final nail into his story.
Think about it - each story expands in scope and size; from the confines of the small farmhouse, to a frickin shopping mall, to actually going out into the world via a "whirlybird" to finally an entire city.
It makes sense to take the next step backwards and look at the even broader picture of how life has evolved beyond the electrified walls of Fiddler's Green in the time since the horror began.
And Stacie - "They Won't Stay Dead" is a fantastic read. Very clever and well done - who gives a flying fuck if it's "just a buncha sticks". The dude that said that probably reads crap like "Fist of Justice" anyway. Seriously, I gave it to 14yr old son #1 and he dug it and even caught the tip of the hat via the movie on TV. Reall, honest injun - it's a good, cute little horrific read.

JR said...

Stacie,
Love your blog- keep up the great work. I especially enjoy your reviews and thought I'd pass along a recommendation. Though it doesn't get much into social commentary and is therefore somewhat off-topic in this thread, the movie "Dead Meat" is a gem of a low-budget zombie movie. My wife and I discovered it during our own "Shocktober" horror movie binge and recommend it to anyone searching for a modern horror film capable of actually scaring you a bit.

Stacie Ponder said...

I totally agree with you, Mike- which is why I got excited at the prospect of a sequel. I immediately thought of The Walking Dead, although Romero would have to move a bit faster than Kirkman...I love TWD, but it's starting to drag a bit for me.

And thanks a zil for the kind words about TWSD!. And it's good to know I've reached the teen market! :D While I hoped people would be more open to the book, I did get a kick out of riling up all the nerds, especially that one guy. Eh, they don't know what they're missin'!

Hey jr- welcome! I hope you like it enough here to stick around. I've added Dead Meat to my list of stuff to check out- I'm excited about the prospect of a SCARY scary movie. Thanks!

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