February 16, 2008

Blog of the Disappointed Dead: New George Romero Film Not Playing in Worcester

George Romero latest film, Diary of the Dead, is playing. It sounds terrific. He's gone back to relatively low-budget, "guerilla" film-making, apparently. The review in the San Francisco Chronicle has some very good things to say about it, certainly. The little man in the chair is applauding for this one. I don't generally trust film critics when it comes to horror movies, but I find myself in agreement with Peter Hartlaub more often than most. Of course, I've been a huge fan of Romero's zombie flicks almost since birth. With the possible exception of the more-shaky-than-most Day of the Dead, every one of the Living Dead movies is a classic in my list of horror greats.

Now, here's a little bit of what Hartlaub has to say about Diary of the Dead:

Others try to imitate George A. Romero, but only the original master of zombie horror would think this one up: On the run from the latest zombie takeover, and in serious need of some firepower, the young film students at the center of "Diary of the Dead" find refuge on a farm ... belonging to an old bearded Amish dude. Want to guess how long it takes before his principles of nonviolence go out the window?

..."Diary of the Dead" begins with a handful of filmmaking students in the woods, shooting a bad mummy picture. They're crabby and cold and entirely too serious about their work. When the dead start walking the earth and their lives become a real monster movie, group leader Jason (Josh Close) follows the approach of any modern-day hack filmmaker - he tries to become a YouTube star by documenting the carnage...

...this is still a thinking man's exploitation film. Romero has something to say about media consumption in the 21st century, and the priority that some people will put into their second life - even while the first one is about to become an appetizer...

The birthday party zombie clown scene is a classic...

When there's no more room in hell, this film will contain profanity, gunplay, relentless gore, scythe-related violence and a homicidal face-eating clown.
What more could a horror-hound want out of a George Romero undead flick? Zombies eating the Amish, a revenant birthday clown and social commentary about internet-based instant celebrity? Ohmigod, where can I see this flick right now?!

Oh, look... it's not playing in Worcester! I'd have to go to Boston. Why isn't it playing in Worcester, dammit? This isn't fair. This is a tease. Where are the zombies in Worcester that aren't enrolled in my lab section (want to make instant zombies? Start talking about the biochemistry of photosynthesis to a bunch of freshmen.)?

I've worked hard all week. I spent four hours grading yesterday. I wrote a seven-page exam. I deserve undead, face-eating birthday clowns. Apparently, when there's no more room in Hell, the dead will stalk the cinema — but not in Central Massachusetts. Grrrr.

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