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#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:

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

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