Monday, October 30, 2006

Romero Interview

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From Dead-Central:
On a grey, damp day on the outskirts of Toronto's west end, amid the ruins of an industrial warehouse space, a slender, impossibly tall, silver-haired man weaves through a crowded soundstage, taking a long drag on a du Maurier cigarette. He sits down, alert but somewhat troubled, his eyes beaming behind a pair of bifocals that threaten to take over his entire face. It's somewhat difficult to believe that this kindly, quirky looking character is the man who in 1968 almost single-handedly changed the face of horror cinema.

A towering exercise in Grand Guignol excess (with elements lifted from Richard Matheson's popular mid-'50s pulp novel I am Legend) that doubled as a deft commentary on Vietnam-era America, the movie witnessed the advent of a nationwide zombie plague that turned its unsuspecting victims into relentless cannibalistic killing machines. Originally called The Night of Anubis, but later re-titled Night of the Living Dead, the iconic, deceivingly benign looking writer/director behind it was none other than George A. Romero, recently minted Toronto citizen and the undisputed archduke of the undead.

The 6-foot-5, 66-year-old film veteran is currently spleen deep in the thick of a four-week shooting schedule for Diary of the Dead, his latest foray into socially volatile flesh-eating mayhem. On this dismal October afternoon, Romero is stowed away in the bowels of the grimy back-alley set, struggling to wrap his head around a difficult (though, unfortunately for this bloodthirsty scribe, carnage-free) scene while attempting to suppress a deep, lingering cough.
Read the rest here.


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