Skip to main content

#078 George Romero: Dawn of the Dead vs. Survival of the Dead w/ guest Spenser Williamson



Download MP3 In today's episode Nate and Austin compare George Romero's best and worst rated films, Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Survival of the Dead (2009), respectively. Nate hates that dumb teenager, Austin just wants to talk about U2 some more, and Spenser brought his notebook. Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) and Killing Them Softly (2012), his best and worst rated films.
Also check out this interview with director George Romero about how he came up with the idea for Dawn of the Dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrnIaVs4jd4

Survival of the Dead Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: On an island off the coast of North America, local residents simultaneously fight a zombie epidemic while hoping for a cure to return their un-dead relatives back to their human state.
  • Ratings: IMDb 4.9 | RT 29% C / 19% A
  • Released: 2009
  • Director: George Romero
  • Writer(s): George Romero
  • Cinematographer: Adam Swica (The Haunting in Connecticut, Diary of the Dead, The Art of the Steal)
  • Notable actors: Alan Van Sprang, Joshua Peace, Hardee T. Lineham, Dru Viergever, Eric Woolfe, Shawn Roberts, Scott Wentworth, Amy Lalonde
  • Budget: $4 million
  • Box office: $386 thousand
  • Fun Facts:
    • The very same horse seen in this film is featured in the pilot of The Walking Dead (2010).
    • This was the least successful film in George A. Romero's Dead films series.
    • This film marks the first time that a character from a previous Living Dead film returns to star in a sequel, with Alan Van Sprang as Sarge "Nicotine" Crockett having been seen in Diary of the Dead (2007), and also playing Brubaker in Land of the Dead (2005). The only two other times this has come close to happening was Tom Savini reprising his role of Blades from Dawn of the Dead (1978) as a cameo in "Land of the Dead" in zombie form, and Joseph Pilato playing an unnamed police captain in "Dawn of the Dead" returning to play Captain Rhodes in Day of the Dead (1985).
    • The cast are almost all Canadian, the exception being Julian Richings who is from London, England. Thee movie was shot entirely in Canada.

Dawn of the Dead Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
  • Ratings: IMDb 8.0 | RT 93% C / 90% A
  • Released: 1978
  • Director: George Romero
  • Writer(s): George Romero
  • Cinematographer: Michael Gornick (Creepshow, Day of the Dead, Knightriders)
  • Notable actors: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross, Richard France
  • Budget: $1.5 million
  • Box office: $55 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Tom Savini choose the gray color for the zombies' skin, since Night of the Living Dead (1968) was in B&W and the zombie skin-tone was not depicted. He later said it was a mistake, because many of them ended up looking quite blue on film.
    • The two zombie children who attack Peter in the airport chart house are played by Donna Savini and Mike Savini, the real-life niece and nephew of Tom Savini. These are the only zombies in all of George A. Romero's "Dead" films that spontaneously run and never do the trademark "Zombie shuffle".
    • Filming at the Monroeville Mall took place during the winter of 1977-78, with a three-week reprieve during the Christmas shopping season (during which other footage, e.g. the TV studio, was shot). Filming at the mall began around 10 p.m., shortly after the mall closed, and finished at 6 a.m. The mall didn't open until 9, but at 6 the Music came on and no one knew how to turn it off.
    • Dario Argento was an admirer of George A. Romero's work, and vice-versa. When Argento heard that Romero was contemplating a sequel to Night of the Living Dead (1968) he insisted that Romero come out to Argento's native Rome to write the script without distractions. Romero knocked out the script in 3 weeks and, though Argento read the script as it came out, he left all the writing to Romero. Argento also provided most of the film's soundtrack and, in return for the rights to edit the European version of the film, assisted in raising the necessary funds.
    • Zombie actors took photographs of themselves dressed up in full zombie makeup inside a photo booth on the second floor. They then replaced the sample pictures on the front of the booth with the ghoulish ones.

Intro music by Eric Lynch

Check out this episode!

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Richard Armitage interview on SLEEPWALKER

SLEEPWALKER is the latest film from director Elliott Lester. Troubled by bouts of sleepwalking and disturbing nightmares, graduate student Sarah Foster goes to her university's sleep research center for help. When she wakes up after her first night of being monitored, the world she lives in seems to have changed in subtle, Twilight-Zone-esque ways. In fact, every time she goes to sleep now, she wakes up in a slightly different version of her world. With the help of sleep researcher Dr. Scott White, she tries to work her way back to the reality she started in. But when they finally succeed, it’s revealed that Sarah’s world is not what she thought at all.

Today my guest is one of the stars SLEEPWALKER, Richard Armitage. Tonight we talk about his work on that film as well as his work as Thorin Oakenshiled in The Hobbit Films, as John Proctor in The Crucible, and his upcoming films Ocens 8 and the Julie Delpy directed film My Zoe.

Sleepwalker is Now Available on Digital HD and On Dem…

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…