The Walking Dead: Whom Would You Want To Play “Negan”?

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Rumors have run rampant across the internets this week that AMC’s The Walking Dead may be secretly casting “Negan” from the popular comic book series, to make a debut in the final part of season six of the smash television hit drama.  For those of you not familiar with “Negan”, he is the leader of a group of survivors known as the “saviors”, whom is “Brutal, foul-mouthed and possesses a twisted sense of humor”.  He also *spoiler alert* kills Glenn in the comic books, with a baseball bat named “Lucille”, that is covered in barbed wire, and drenched in zombie blood.  I love Glenn as much as the next dude, but that’s pretty badass.

While this rumor may be untrue, it has got us thinking about the casting, and whom we would love to see play the brutal force.  In today’s article, we will discuss whom we would love to see helm the role, and you can chime in with your thoughts in our comments with your ideal actor.

Henry Rollins

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While maybe a stretch for most, it has been revealed that Henry Rollins, former frontman for the hardcore punk band “Black Flag”, and universally accepted badass, was the original inspiration for the character.  Rollins is now in his fifties, rocking gray hair, and entertaining us all on his History Channel series 10 Things You Don’t Know About (wait, Abraham Lincoln was possibly gay?), Rollins still looks jacked and ready to rage, and I wouldn’t fucking cross him.  He would be a natural fit.  Plus fuck, there’s this:

Jon Hamm

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Jon Hamm obviously has the AMC connection, after finishing his run on the hit show MadMen, the physicality to play the character, and the acting chops to make it believable, more tellingly his recent comments fan the flames of this choice.  When asked last March about his interest in possibly playing this character, Hamm coyly responded to creator Robert Kirkman:

“Robert, call me. Come on, I don’t know. We’ll see. It would be fun, that’s for sure.”

While perhaps a reach, this would be my personal favorite, and would love to see it happen.  Hamm also has a habit of jumping at any project that greatly interests him, and how fun would it be to explore a character of that depth, on possibly the largest hit show currently running on cable television?  Get your martini shaker ready, Rick.

Kevin Durand

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I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t watch The Strain on FX, after reading the poor reviews on the AV Club, but I do recall his work on season four of Lost, and he is obviously an imposing mountain of fury, capable of leading men.  Plus he’s already added to his resume his turn as psychotic neo-nazi “Jeeves Tremor” in Smokin’ Aces, so there’s that.  I could live with this choice.

Mickey Rourke

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Rourke is even older than Rollins by nearly a solid decade, and pushing 64, but when I personally think of “Negan”, my thoughts naturally wander to Rourke’s portrayal of “Marv” in Robert Rodriguez’s adaptation of Frank Miller’s Sin City, which was as epic of a comeback for an actor as John Travolta’s role in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.  So there’s the obvious connection of him comfortably becoming a character from a graphic novel, and he followed up this role with the Academy Award nominated best actor performance in The Wrestler.

Since then, he’s made appearances in the action movie series The Expendables, but mostly has been under the radar, so this could be his second huge comeback, and if he was itching for a challenge, I would be okay with this casting choice.

My Cousin Donny

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He’s not that imposing, only stands about 5’7″, but he’s by far the most psychotic person I know.  It’s not unusual for him to flip a table in rage after losing a game of Madden, or taking his video games in for a trade, and thinking they were undervalued.  The only person I know who is banned from GameStop, over his unprovoked rage.  Probably a wildcard for the role, but I figured I’d mention him.

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How could Tom Hardy not be mentioned, after his iconic role as “Bane”, the dude who actually broke Batman’s back.  He was menacing in Bronson, and since has bulked up even more, moving from The Dark Knight Rises,  to Mad Max: Fury Road.  While certainly also a stretch, but no more than my crazy cousin, I could see him playing this role.

So who would play “Negan” in your ideal world?  Tell us in the comments!

Zombie Movies We Love – Cemetery Man (AKA Dellamorte Dellamore) 1994

Editors note :  In this new feature, we will take a look at some of the hidden gems in the zombie movie universe, that we love dearly.  Enjoy!


 

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I first saw this movie when I was pretty young and impressionable.  I was rocking a high temperature and a horrible fever, and was up late one night laying on my couch channel surfing, when I came across Cemetery Man, and decided to watch it.  Over the next 105 minutes, I was in complete awe.  I was blown away by the story, the imagery, and also… there were boobs! (hey remember, I was young). 

I talked to my friends at school about this movie, but none of them had ever seen or even heard of it.  It was a few years later when I came across it again at my local video store, and I watched it at least five times before returning it.  I watched it with a few of my friends, and it was always a mixed reaction, and generally most of my friends didn’t like it, but then again, I always liked the weird shit that nobody else did.

The Story

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Cemetery Man is a 1994 Italian film that tells the story of Francesco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett), a caretaker at the Buffalora cemetery.  He comes to find that some of the dead rise on the seventh night following their death, and he decides it’s “easier just to shoot them”, rather then file a mountain of paperwork required for a formal investigation.  Francesco lives in a small shack on the grounds of the cemetery, with his mentally challenged assistant Gnaghi (Francios Hadji-Lazaro) who’s only response is “Gnagh!”, and Francesco fills his time reading old telephone books in which he crosses out the names of the deceased, working on putting together a human skull as if it were a puzzle, and shooting the “returners”.

Cemetery Man (1995) | Pers: Rupert Everett, Anna Falchi | Dir: Michelle Soavi | Ref: CEM003AQ | Photo Credit: [ Audio Film/Canal+ / The Kobal Collection ] | Editorial use only related to cinema, television and personalities. Not for cover use, advertising or fictional works without specific prior agreement

Francesco falls in love with a beautiful widow, known only as “her”, whom ultimately meets her end while having sex with him and is bitten by her returning elderly dead husband.  After she returns, Francesco shoots her, but she again rises a third time, meaning that the first time he had shot her, she wasn’t really dead.  Gnaghi himself finds love, in the form of the head of the deceased Mayor’s daughter, whom he takes back to the basement in which he lives, and starts an innocent relationship.  When he first met her, he threw up on her from his own excitement, and it makes you wonder if that was the catalyst of Stan and Wendy on Southpark.

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After a while Francesco is visited by death, who tells him to stop killing the dead, and to focus on killing the living.  He is also visited by “her” again, first as the mayor’s assistant, and later as a prostitute, and each occasion ends in failure.  Francesco begins to lose his grip on reality, and begins murdering the townspeople.

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Francesco and Gnaghi eventually decide to flee Buffalora as he grows tired of killing, leading to one of the most interesting endings I have ever seen.  They drive through a tunnel, further than either of them have ever been, only to find at the end of the tunnel that the road goes nowhere, and Francesco slams on the brakes.  Gnaghi hits his head on the dashboard, apparently giving him a head injury, and he collapses.  Realizing the rest of the world doesn’t exist, Francesco loads his gun with two bullets, presumably one for him and one for Gnaghi.  Gnaghi comes to, takes Francesco’s gun, and throws it over the cliff, and simply says “Could you take me home, please?”, to which Francesco replies “Gnagh”.

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Origins

The movie was based on a popular Italian comic book Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, and was directed by Michele Soavi, who was an assistant for Dario Argento in the 1980’s.  You can see the influence of Argento in the movie, as it is highly stylized and artistic.  It is speculated that an American film studio offered to fund and distribute the movie if Matt Dillon was cast as Francesco, but fortunately Soavi declined.

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The movie was shot on a $4 million budget, and was widely considered a flop after release in Italy.  It did however receive several awards, such as the Silver Scream Award at the 1995 Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival, Best Production Design at the 1994 David di Donatello Awards, and Best Actor [Everett] at the 1996 Fantasporto.  I have no idea what these awards are, but Quentin Tarantino was super happy to win one of them.

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Two years after it was released, the movie was picked up by October Films for US distribution, and the title was changed from Dellamorte Dellamore to Cemetery Man and given the tagline “Zombies, guns, and sex, OH MY!!!”.  By an apparent misstep by October Films, the movie was marketed to the US as a comedy, and received mixed reviews.  It did enjoy a run on HBO, and from there picked up a quiet cult following, myself included.

The Future

In a January 2011 edition of Fangoria, Soavi hinted to a sequel, but since hasn’t happened, and seems to be in development hell.   Personally, I’m pulling for it, as Cemetery Man was Soavi’s last film, as he took a break to care for one of his children whom was terminally ill.

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What once was very hard to find, other than late night bootleg VHS copies, Cemetery Man is available on DVD on Amazon, for about $15 used and $40 new, and now also available on Blu-ray.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth a few views.  Watch the NSFW trailer below.

It is also illegally available in full on YouTube now:

REVIEW: MAGGIE (2015)

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Editors note :  In this feature from Zombie Movies Facebook, we are letting SUPERFAN Shawn (of the dead) Braegger go wild and review zombie movies that you may or may not have seen.  He’s been posting reviews on our wall for as long as we can remember, and since we love when fans interact with us, he get’s a feature spot as our zombie movie reviewer guy extraordinaire.  Which goes to show you, if you become part of this page, you become part of this page.  Enjoy the ride.


Braegger:  MAGGIE (2015) A very melancholy film with well-done cinematography and meandering piano music giving us an ambiance of the sorrow the characters are going through out the movie. This film takes on the plague and individuals and effects on a microcosmic level as society begins to reach the tipping point. The story draws a little bit of imagery from America’s disastrous dust bowl period it had in its grain belts in the 1930’s and today’s fears on genetically modified crops and food as a possible origin for the zombie creating disease.

The Plague has a slow incubation period as compared to other movies in this genre allows time to see how individuals and families might deal with their plight. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a single father who’s daughter, played by Abigail Breslin, was bitten by an infected person and now have to hold out for hope while giving emotional support to one another and protecting his daughter from a fearful society. There is much profound emotion here as the film takes what it must be like for a young person who is dying from cancer and knows how it will end up and from the horrible hurt from the parent’s side watching their child slip away as both sides worry for one another. Because we have an understanding of this in the real world this is were the film works best and draws us in as we watch these characters have to make tough choices. So is there more than one zombie? Yes! Is there a hoard of zombies? No. Is there heavy zombie gore? Not really. So is it any good? Well yes it is although it’s not for everyone.

Some will find it to slow unless they love dramas. For a film that wanted to look close at details it suddenly forgets about the hows and whys of the plague, 30 more minutes of run time for that topic could have made it a great film. I also like that they pay homage to The Walking Dead in one scene by borrowing from an episode, although I tend to feel like they borrowed it cause they ran out of ideas. I like this feel a lot but will only watch once or twice a year, too slow for me.

Grade A –

The Top 20 Highest Budget Zombie Movies Of All Time

In 1968, with a budget of $114,000, Night Of The Living Dead went on to forever change the zombie movie landscape, and since then, the budgets have only gotten larger and larger.  Over nearly 40 years, Hollywood has invested more and more money into these big budget hits, and in today’s article, we will discuss the top 20 zombie movie box office budgets of all time.  Get your popcorn ready.

1. World War Z

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Budget: $190,000,000
Worldwide gross: $531,514,650

Which comes to the surprise of no one, World War Z was the largest big budget zombie movie ever made.  Grossing over half a billion dollars at the box office, it was definitely a safe bet for producers, even if the story was lacking, and the ending made us all roll our eyes.  And Brad Pitt taught us all, when the zombie apocalypse strikes, make sure you are wearing your best scarf.

2. I Am Legend

Film Title: I am Legend...WILL SMITH stars as Robert Neville in Warner Bros. Pictures? and Village Roadshow Pictures? sci-fi action adventure ?I Am Legend,? distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Budget: $150,000,000
Worldwide gross: $585,532,684

I get into arguments with people all the time, regarding whether or not this was a zombie movie.  It was a fucking zombie movie.  It also starred Will Smith, and is the second highest grossing movie on his resume, after Independence Day, and even higher grossing than Men In Black.  But I still like Last Man On Earth with Vincent Price better.  And I hate that that one scene with Samantha always makes me cry.

3. Resident Evil: Retribution

Milla Jovovich stars in Screen Gems' action horror RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION.

Budget: $65,000,000
Worldwide gross: $238,940,997

The Resident Evil franchise pretty much dominates this list.  The first movie was a surprise hit, and hollywood loves to squeeze as much money as possible whenever they deem a series a cash cow.  I loved the first Resident Evil, watched the second, and pretty much deny the existence of all the other sequels.  But pulling in a cool quarter-billion, people went and saw this movie in droves.

4. Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D

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Budget: $57,500,000
Worldwide gross: $295,874,190

Once again, the Resident Evil franchise shows it’s face on this list.  Get used to it.

5. Resident Evil: Apocalypse

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Budget: $50,000,000
Worldwide gross: $125,168,734

I told you.

6. Resident Evil: Extinction

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Budget: $45,000,000
Worldwide gross: $146,162,920

Alright already.

7. Resident Evil

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Budget: $35,000,000
Worldwide gross: $103,200,000

I loved this video game growing up, so much so that I didn’t hold out much hope of this movie being any good.  I was happily surprised.  However the surprise success of this movie would spawn many unwatchable sequels, at least the original didn’t suck.

8. Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

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Budget: $28,000,000
Worldwide gross: $103,452,875

This movie should be in the remake hall of fame, along with The Departed, and Cape Fear.  A gift from Zack Snyder, before he disappeared into a world of excess with movies like Sucker Punch, Dawn Of The Dead hit all of the right notes, and to this day is still one of my top 10 favorite zombie movies.

9. Zombieland

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Budget: $23,600,000
Worldwide gross: $102,236,596

Woody Harrelson.  Zombies.  Twinkies.  And an awesome cameo by Bill Fucking Murray.  What else can I say.

10. Land Of The Dead

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Budget: $18,975,000
Worldwide gross: $47,484,873

The fourth in George A. Romero’s “Dead” series, although a watchable flick, it just didn’t do it for me.  But one cool fun fact, Romero invited Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright to play zombies in this movie, and they thankfully obliged.  Worth a watch just for that.

11. 28 Weeks Later

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Budget: $15,000,000
Worldwide gross: $64,231,305

Without original 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle, this sequel didn’t have quite the same appeal to me as the original, but still a decent flick, making good gains at the box office.

12. 28 Days Later

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Budget: $8,000,000
Worldwide gross: $82,955,633

This movie came out around the same time as Shaun Of The Dead, and I think these two flicks breathed new light into the zombie genre.  Both were done on relatively small budgets, offering maximum bang for their producer’s buck.

13. Fido

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Budget: $8,000,000
Worldwide gross: $$456,814

This different take on a zombie movie didn’t do too well in theaters with a limited release, but found a home in rental and Netflix purgatory.

14. The House of the Dead

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Budget: $7,000,000
Worldwide gross: $13,767,816

If the video game franchise Resident Evil was a big hit, why couldn’t The House Of The Dead be one too?  Just because.

15. Shaun Of The Dead

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Budget: $5,000,000
Worldwide gross: $30,253,899

A movie conceived from an episode of the sadly underappreciated and known television series Spaced, Shaun Of The Dead was my favorite zombie movie that I have seen in maybe the last 20 years.  It also made a decent buck at the box office, spawning the inferior Hot Fuzz, and At World’s End.  And you have red on you.

16. Maggie

Arnold Schwarzenegger in MAGGIE., from Roadside Attractions press site

Budget: $4,500,000
Worldwide gross: $187,112

Once again a movie that fell victim to a limited release, and might recoup some money on DVD and BluRay sales, Maggie essentially fell under the radar, with the Governator.

17. The Return Of The Living Dead

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Budget: $4,000,000
Worldwide gross: $14,237,880

The first zombie movie I ever saw as a kid, and the movie that sparked my love for the genre, Return Of The Living Dead is a cult favorite, and has found new legs with the recent documentary More Brains!

18. Day Of The Dead (1985)

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Budget: $3,500,000
Worldwide gross: $34,004,262

You all already know that we love Joseph Pilato, and the third in the “Dead” series had the biggest budget of the three films, pitting the military against scientists in a bunker.

19. Dawn of the Dead (1979)

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Budget: $1,500,000
Worldwide gross: $55,000,000

Renowned by some as the greatest zombie film of all time, DOTLD barely squeaks it’s way onto this list with a budget of $1.5 million.  Which goes to show you, budgets don’t mean shit, when you have a great story, and killer fucking zombies.

20. Pontypool

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Budget: $1,500,000
Worldwide gross: $31,916

I would have not known of this movie if not for Netflix; great premise and beginning, but ultimately a letdown by the end.  Still worth a watch though.

 

Any movie on this list surprise you?  Do you still want to argue with me that I Am Legend wasn’t a zombie movie?  Hit me up on twitter.  twitter.com/ericmalcolm.

Information obtained at www.the-numbers.com.

Things I will Miss in the Event of a Zombie Apocalypse.

Tacos and Dinosaurs

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A zombie apocalypse is a lot like the last time I went to the local gym, there’s a lot of running, tons of heavy breathing, and there usually aren’t any tacos. It’s not a question of if a zombie apocalypse will happen, but rather when, and if The Walking Dead has taught me anything (besides how it’s cool to bone your best friend’s wife if you think he’s in a coma, and that Asian pizza delivery boys will basically rule the earth), it’s taught me that life as we know it will change. Gone are the days of lazy Sunday afternoons and backyard barbecues, and here are the days of running and screaming for your lives, hiding in abandon barns that may or may not be housing Herschel’s dead wife, and fighting off dudes with eye-patches. Life as we know it will be over, so in this post we will discuss…

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The Top 10 Highest Grossing Box Office Zombie Movies of All Time Might Just Surprise You.

Zombie movies over time have become extremely mainstream. Joseph Pilato of Day Of The Dead joked to this point when we spoke with him recently, saying “I’m actually surprised that there’s not a zombie sitcom. You know, All Of What’s Left Of The Family.

The first zombie movie I had ever seen growing up in the 80’s was Return Of The Living Dead, and I fell in love with the genre immediately.  How could you not love fucking tar man. After watching Night Of The Living Dead, and seeing the original horror that was the genre, my fandom only became deeper, but still at that time, it was essentially a niche genre, and the mainstream was not seeking it out.

Over the past decade, Hollywood (as well as television executives) have seen the extreme bank-ability of the genre. AMC’s The Walking Dead is a great example, I would argue that Breaking Bad was a better show, but never got close to pulling in the audience that The Walking Dead commands, leading to Hollywood taking bigger chances on big-budget zombie movies. While it may surprise none that World War Z  was the highest grossing box office zombie movie of all time (Brad Pitt, folks), some of the other 10 per Box Office Mojo might surprise you.

 

10. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) $51,201,453

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I loved Resident Evil, but was underwhelmed (but still enjoyed) the sequel.  I basically avoided the rest of the franchise.  However with the right amount of marketing, and Milla Jovovich, just about anything is possible (except for her clothing line).

 

9. ParaNorman (2012) $56,003,051

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I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t seen this.

 

8. Pet Sematary (1989) $57,469,467

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Are these zombies?  They’re dead, buried, and return, so I guess that qualifies.  At the tender age of 12, I made the jump from R. L. Stine to Stephen King and never looked back,  and this was one of the first books that I had read, and it scared the hell out of me.  The movie also didn’t fail to impress.  Although it’s hard to picture a movie with Edward Furlong and Anthony “Goose” Edwards making the top 10 list of highest grossing zombie movies, here we find it, but it was marketed and presented more so as a general horror flick on the wings of King, because maybe America wasn’t quite ready yet to fully embrace “zombie movie”.

 

7. Death Becomes Her (1992) $58,422,650

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This was a surprise to me.  I saw the movie in my early teens, and remember it being not that remarkable.  It may be worth another viewing, but then again, maybe not.  Perhaps the only movie ever made with Meryl Streep that didn’t receive an Oscar nomination (strike that, they received one, and won, one for “best visual effects”).  This is what happens when Robert Zemeckis (who helmed the movie) runs out of Back To The Future movies to direct.

 

6. Dawn Of The Dead (2004) $59,020,957

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Zack Snyder nearly did the impossible, creating a remake of one of the most beloved zombie movies of all time, and not fucking it up.  Although the movie kinda lost me during the whole Mekhi Phifer “I’m having this baby at any cost” scene, the rest of the it was absolutely solid, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Plus you can never have enough Ving Rhames.

 

5. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) $60,128,566

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See number 10.

 

4. Warm Bodies (2013) $66,380,662

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No, just… no.  This may be the official moment that mainstream zombie movies jumped the shark.

 

3. Zombieland (2009) $75,590,286

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This movie had everything.  Woody Harrelson.  Michael Cera’s twinner.  Zombie Bill Murray.  Twinkies.  I avoided this movie at first, much like I first avoided The Walking Dead, but the general public went and saw this, driving it up to the spot of #3 zombie movie of all time in box office gross.  I eventually came around and watched it, and wished I had been one of the folks who actually saw it in the theater.  And all of a sudden I am really craving a twinkie.  And more Bill Murray.

 

2. Hotel Transylvania (2012) $148,313,048

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Are there zombies in this movie?  And should I be ashamed that I haven’t watched the second highest grossing box office “zombie movie” of all time? Nope, I did sit and watch all of Redneck Zombies, so I’ve already paid my penance.  I did also see number one, and that might be worse.

 

1. World War Z (2013) $202,359,711

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The highest grossing zombie flick of all time doesn’t belong to Romero, Edgar Wright (how is Shaun of the Dead not on this list?), or even to Bill fucking Murray.  It belongs to Brad Pitt.  It’s a bastardized movie based off the wildly successful World War Z book by Max Brooks.  But Brad Pitt sure knows how to wear a scarf in the apocalypse.

 

View the official list below.

top grossing zombie movies

REVIEW: ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS ZOMBIES (2012)

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Editors note:  In this feature from Zombie Movies Facebook, we are letting SUPERFAN Shawn (of the dead) Braegger go wild and review zombie movies that you may or may not have seen.  He’s been posting reviews on our wall for as long as we can remember, and since we love when fans interact with us, he get’s a feature spot as our zombie movie reviewer guy extraordinaire.  Which goes to show you, if you become part of this page, you become part of this page.  Enjoy the ride.


 

Braegger: ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS ZOMBIES (2012) Wow! No wonder he is one of our most popular presidents, freed the slaves, killed vampires, and now zombies, is there nothing the man could not do? Bill Oberst Jr. does a reasonable good job as President Lincoln but is unfortunately surrounded by some much weaker actors. One thing the film did that annoyed me a bit was throw in too many of the Presidents famous quotes making it seem a bit cheesy but the second time I watched it, it didn’t bother me, so the film does grow on you a bit. Another thing that helps the film is much of it was filmed at a real Civil War fort, which is pretty cool, nice to know an historic landmark museum benefited from the film if nothing else. In this fanciful tale of slow moving zombies and a do-it-yourself sickle wielding President we also encounter other historical figures such as Pat Garrett, Teddy Roosevelt, John Wilkes Booth, General Stonewall Jackson. Aside from a few bad props and few bad actors I still found this enjoyable in a cretin cult film sort of way.

Grade B

REVIEW : THE DEAD 2 (2013)

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Editors note:  In this new feature from Zombie Movies Facebook, we are letting SUPERFAN Shawn (of the dead) Braegger go wild, and review all of the zombie movies that you might not have seen (or ever even heard of).  He’s been posting his reviews on our page for as long as we can remember, and we love when fans interact with us, so he get’s a feature spot as our zombie movie reviewer guy extraordinaire.  Which goes to show you, if you become part of this page, you become part of this page.  Enjoy the ride.


Shawn:  This is a sequel to The Dead, which took place in Africa, but this time we find ourselves in India with new characters, one of which is an American trying to meet up and rescue his girlfriend. Once again we face some of the slowest zombies in film and that extra slowness does make them creepy. I know what you are thinking; I would just walk around the slow zombies and just be careful not to get cornered. Well that survival strategy might work for a while in some parts of the world as of the last year India had an estimated population of 1,267,401,849, yeah good luck finding a rock to hide behind that does not have a zombie behind it. Of course if this is not bad enough news for the American survivor his girlfriend is trapped in the city of Mumbai which is a densely populated area. Along the way he meets a young boy who sort of becomes his sidekick, similar to short round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Movie.

If a hero can even get to his girlfriend’s house he still has another problem, her father who wants his daughter to have a traditional arranged marriage and does not care much for foreigners to begin with. As society breaks down outside the father and daughter relationship crumbles as it is revealed she is pregnant. Again like its predecessor this movie is really speaking to social inequality and environmental concerns like over population growth.. One of the main issues this movies seems to take on is the caste system which is still used in much of India and how it affects relationships on a social and economical role as India Assumes the role of one on the world ecumenical and technology powers. Good film and acting, recommended for your collection.

GRADE A

 


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About the author Shawn Braegger:  In my early life and most of my life really I have experienced a lot of death in my family, so much so that there was little point in looking away from it. I used to play in cemeteries when I was a kid with out fear but always with respect. They were a place of history, mysteries and the unknown, don’t get me wrong I was never a Goth person or someone who had a deep obsessiveness with death, it was just around so much it could not be ingorned. I still have a vivid image in my mind from when I was around age 7 and one day in the cemetery standing next to a very old tall tombstone when a black raven landed on it and just looked at me as if it wanted to say something.
I was always allowed to stay up late as a kid on Fridays and Saturdays and would always watch the late night creature features with my can of Pepsi and my plastic army men to protect me. That’s when I first saw the Original Night of the Living Dead; they showed everything even the intestines being pulled out of their victims. I guess being on at 2 am and being in black and white the censors didn’t worry about it, or a TV horror host was clever enough to sneak it on the show. It sparked a primal fear in me that I think we all have deep down, about being eaten alive; I would watch Mutual of Omaha’s wild Kingdome and see lions take down their prey and eat them alive. Even though mom would say don’t worry they go into shock and feel no pain my little mind did not believe that and even know as far as you humans go I think takes us a lot longer to get to that level of shock. The realizing zombies could multiple and double and triple in numbers made me realize what a threat they are, graveyards no longer felt safe and to this day when a am near a dead body at a funeral a give myself a little distance. So now I am scared for life, thanks Mr. Romero lol.

My Top 13 Favorite Zombie Movies

Tacos and Dinosaurs

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Ever since I was a kid, I have always loved me some zombie movies.  Zombies movies were always kind of a niche genre, and only hardcore zombie fans like myself or horror movie fans ever really enjoyed or actually sought out these films, but thanks largely to the success of AMC’s The Walking Dead, zombies have successfully made the crossover into the mainstream.  But with that, brings hundreds upon hundreds of new zombie movies, most worst then the next.  With so many zombie films available these days, if you are new to the zombie genre, which ones should you watch?  In today’s interesting and fact-filled article, we will discuss my personal favorite top 13 zombie movies of all time.  Don’t agree with my list?  Tough shit, write your own list.  Enjoy!

13- Resident Evil (2002)

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I was a huge fan of the Resident Evil game franchise for PlayStation as a kid.  I…

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A Friendly Fucking Chat With Horror Icon Joseph Pilato

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I found myself that evening, talking to Joseph Pilato, while my girlfriend walked into the room holding Taco Bell for us from down the street. I whispered to her don’t eat that in here, I’m doing the interview, I had Joseph on speaker phone, and was recording the conversation on a tiny little Olympus digital voice recorder that I had picked up just the day before.  It was pretty amazing to me, that I was talking to this zombie movie legend.  And If there was one thing I learned from watching Day Of The Dead, it’s that you don’t want to piss off Captain Rhodes.  No matter how badly you wanted some Taco Bell, you do not piss off Captain Rhodes.  Joseph Pilato was running this fucking monkey farm.

Patient Zero

In late October of 2014, I had the idea that it would be pretty awesome to interview someone from one of the original George A. Romero zombie flicks for the Zombie Movies Page. I’ve watched Night, Dawn, and Day so many times that I cannot recall, the images are burned into my brain, and I will forever love them. But how interesting would it be to hear from someone who actually experienced it? I wasn’t quite sure who to approach.

I read around, god bless the internets, and came to the conclusion that anyone whom had ever met Joseph Pilato, Captain Rhodes in Day Of The Dead, has said that he’s one hell of a stand-up guy, and always loves talking to the fans. You figure Day Of The Dead came out 30 years ago, and you would have to get tired of answering the same old questions, but Joseph was always friendly with the fans, and that’s an astonishing trait.  He’s blunt, yes, but you have to wonder just how much of that is him being in character, and you end up liking him regardless. Crude or not, he would always (by all accounts, mine now included) talk to his fans, and embraces them like he knew them for years. So I figured… yeah, let’s do this, we want to talk to Captain Rhodes.

I tracked down his talent agency, and sent a request for an interview.  After about a week or so, I got word back that he was currently on a Day of the Dead tour, and that they would forward the request to him. I grew excited. This might actually happen! We played e-mail tag for awhile, the CTC talent agency and I, and before I knew it, a couple of months had passed, and there was snow on the ground. I was starting to think that maybe it wasn’t going to happen.  It’s funny how slow time moves, and all the while I was above ground, and not in some military bunker in a zombie-infested world.

One random May morning, while checking my e-mail on the toilet before work, I came across a message from Joseph’s talent agency, telling me I’ll be speaking with Joseph Pilato today, this afternoon, to bring this opportunity to his attention in person, to expedite this request. He has just returned to LA this week. He had still been on the Day of the Dead 30th Anniversay tour, and now the interview was finally going down. I was going to talk to Captain Rhodes. Honestly, I was a little bit nervous.

Joseph and I swapped voicemails, trying to coordinate the phone interview. I asked if he wanted me to send him my questions first, and his camp told me that that wasn’t how Joseph operates, just ask him whatever, and he’ll shoot from the hip. I immediately picture Captain Rhodes. They also ask me if language is an issue… I say of course not, and again… I think of Captain Rhodes.

May 14th, 2015 – 8:04 PM EST – The Call

We discuss specifics for a bit, we talk about pod-casts and phone volume. And then it begins.

Eric Malcolm – Ladies and gentleman, and zombie-fans alike, today we have Joseph Pilato, star of some of your favorite films, and a personal favorite of our’s, Day of the Dead, and he’s respectively taken time out of his schedule to talk to us and you fans, and we’re going to ask him some questions to get inside the mind of Joseph, that we might not have seen on the screen, and…

Joseph Pilato – (Jumping in) Let me tell you something right now, Mr. Malcolm, Mr. Eric Malcolm, zombie movies, your fans better be fucking listening to this, and paying attention. And tell that English partner of yours, named after an American president, John Adams (John Adam is the zombie movie page founder)… what the fuck is he doing in England? (He lives in England). And I’m stuck here in chains, folks. So be gentle with me, because I know where you fucking live, you bunch of (mercifully inaudible).

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EM – (Awkardly laughing) …There we go… Joseph in the flesh.

JP – Part of me is in the flesh, I don’t know where the rest of me went.

The Old Days

EM – (Switching gears) So, I guess, the first thing I want to talk about, I read that you are most proud of being a Christmas caroler at Gimbel’s, in Pittsburgh?

JP – Oh yeah! Absolutely!  It was one of the greatest jobs that I ever had.  (I can instantly hear the glee in his voice, so I know this must be true, and also hearing his tone soften, I take a sigh of relief that Captain Rhodes has momentarily left). I actually created the job, because, they were looking for carolers, dressed in street clothes, to sing in the store. And I said, let’s turn this into Dicken’s carolers, and one of the women in the quartet had connections (inaudable) costume department, and so for five years, the day after Thanksgiving up until the 23rd of December, we sang three hours in the morning, and three hours in the afternoon, and it was a face to face with the customers, and especially the kids, and it was the best job that I ever had, and I was proud of it, and I created it. And you sing Christmas carols for a solid month, you are definitely in the Christmas spirit. I remember shooting a film one time in (inaudible), and seeing the carolers there, and it was quite an exhilarating experience.

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Scene outside of the Pittsburgh Gimbels, before going out of business in the late 80’s.

EM – Are you a Pittsburgh native?

JP – No, I grew up in Boston. I was studying with the Polish Laboratory Theater, run by a very famous man named Jerzy Grotowski, and that brought me to Pittsburgh, to an old mattress factory, that is now the Andy Warhol museum. I saw a lot of art in Pittsburgh, I worked for a wonderful theater company called City Theater, we were paid by the city, so we were city employees, and we had paid vacation days, it was just like being an actor… in a socialist country.

EM – It sounds like a good gig.

JP – It was a good gig. I’d still be there if they had it.

EM – So talking about the old days, I heard, before acting, you considered being a lawyer?

JP – Yeah, I went to Suffolk University in Boston, it has a very preeminent law school, and they had some cross-classes with Emerson College, which is a preeminent acting school, and it took me three years to figure out that I didn’t really want to be the lawyer, but I wanted to be the guy playing the lawyer. I have yet to play a lawyer, so I hope that comes around some day. Because that was the thing that got me into acting.

EM – So you liked the idea of playing a lawyer, more than actually being a lawyer, and that’s how you made the jump?

JP – That’s right, it took me awhile to figure it out, but I figured it out, and I’m glad I did. A lawyer is a very hard job. A lot of paper-work.

Working With Romero And Day Of The Dead

EM – Talking about acting, and I’m sure you get this all the time… but what is one of your favorite memories of being Captain Rhodes, in Day of the Dead?

JP – Favorite memories… hmm. I guess the favorite memory, is the camaraderie that builds up with the cast members, because we were trapped underground for 14-16 hours a day. And there were no Winnebago’s to go into, except for the Winnebago in the scene with Terry Alexander and Lori Cardille, where he gives his famous Jamaican view of the world. So we just celebrated the 30th anniversary of the movie, this is the 30th year, 30 shades of decay, and there were 12 of us all there, and it was like we picked up a beat of the film and that was yesterday, and this was today. So those are the memories, when you say favorite… and of course the opportunity, even though it was the third time working with George, the opportunity to work with him on a fairly significant character, to watch his style, his command of the camera, and the scene. He’s definitely an actor’s director.

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The Master Of Horror, George A. Romero.

 

(phone trouble)

EM – So essentially your favorite memory was camaraderie, I guess that rolls into my next question. Who are you still in touch with today, from both Day and Dawn?

JP – I’m in touch with Gary Klar, I stay in touch with Lori (Cardille), I stay in touch with Terry (Alexander). Terry and I just did an independent film, that’s waiting to be titled and released. I stay in touch with (Tom) Savini. Also a book came out this year, by an author named Lee Karr, called The Making Of George A Romero’s Day Of The Dead, and it’s an interesting account, almost a day-by-day journal of the making of the movie. It’s available on Amazon, it’s a great book, and I stay in touch with him. I see George at conventions, and we always have friendly conversations, because he’s a great guy, very unpretentious, and he has a lot of love for his actors. And he’s the author as well, so he’s not interpreting someone else’s work, he’s interpreting his own work, so you’re getting everything from the horse’s mouth.

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The Quentin Tarantino Story

EM – Talking about directors, let’s talk about Tarantino. All of our followers have already seen the trailer of From Dusk Til Dawn, can you tell us about that?

JP – You’re really looking to break my heart, aren’t you? I came to LA in ’86. I got a phone call from Robert Kurtzman, of KNB EFX. He’s the K. He’s still affiliated with the company, but it’s moved it to Ohio, so it could have a normal upbringing, as opposed to la la land.

EM – Ohio? That’s actually my neck of the woods.

JP – Are you familiar with Vermilion, Sandusky? I used to spend my summers in Vermilion. But anyways, I got a call from Bob (Kurtzman) and he said Joe I’m doing this project, and I’d like you to attach your name to it, and I said Bob, I just got out here, I’ll attach my name to a toilet bowl. So I said what’s the deal, what’s the story, and he said it’s called From Dusk Til Dawn, it’s kinda like In Cold Bold with vampires. It’s about two brothers. So I asked who wrote it, and he said this really neat kid who works in a video store, his name’s Quentin Tarantino. So I say he’s Italian, that’s cool, and we go to this party the next week, and I meet this tall guy, with a huge chin, we shake hands, and he never lets go, he just keeps shaking my hand, and going over scenes of the movie. He was going at a fever pitch, and when he finally broke the handshake, I asked Bob, what’s this guy on?, and he just said, that’s his energy. So we shot what I consider, a beautiful trailer. And if you look at it, I’m the first guy, with the proverbial black suit, white shirt, black tie. So we heard nothing from them, for six months, but Quentin keeps re-writing, and next thing I know, I pick up the paper and read about Reservoir Dogs, and he’s the next Hitchcock. Not Hitchcock, but Orson Welles. With some Hitchcock thrown in. So Canon films wanted to buy the script, because it was Tarantino’s first script. And they picked a very unknown, insignificant actor, I say wryly… umm, my mind just went blank, I can’t think… uhh, George Clooney! He played the character that I would have played in the low-budget version, and had Reservoir Dogs hadn’t gotten made, my career would have been completely different. So that’s why I call it a heartbreaking story. Of course it did get me a brief cameo on Pulp Fiction, that ended on the editing floor.

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Quentin Tarantino on the set of Reservoir Dogs.

 

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EM – As Dean Martin, right?

JP – Yeah, yeah, so that’s what I got out of that deal. But Quentin’s a great director too, he’s just, just, all over the place, but in a good way. He inspires. But I would have been in his stable of actors, had it gotten made, I probably would have been the guy in the black suit, the black tie, I would have been Mr. Pink (laughs).

Joseph Pilato was the first to don the Black suit, white shirt, black tie, for the record.

JP – Well, you know. I didn’t spend 30 million dollars on my wedding, but what are you going to do, that’s the business. But I’m very happy, actually I’m going to call my guy, to see if he can lift a picture off the internet, because I’ll put it on my table. We’re doing the Texas Con, May 28, so maybe I’ll put it on the table then. A lot of people don’t bring it up when they come, so maybe I’ll refresh their memory.

EM – It’s a hell of a story. So talking about directors, you also worked with Ron Howard, in Gung Ho.

Working With Ron Howard

JP – Yes I did. Wonderful, wonderful guy. I guess uh, the Opie stayed in him, because he’s curious, I mean when Michael Keaton, usually when you do a scene and you’re working with a pretty big name person, you’ll have somebody with a script in their hands, feeding you lines. But Keaton stayed, and did that, where a lot of actors just say I’ll be in my trailer. I think Ron brings that out. I think Gung Ho was underrated. (Howard) is just a great guy, a lot of similarities with George, in terms of their warmth, with actors. That’s not saying that tyrannical directors don’t make great movies, Hitchcock one of them.

Ron Howard on set of "Gung Ho"

Ron Howard shooting on set of Gung Ho.

 

EM – He’s (Hitchcock) notorious for that.

JP – Warmth get’s you a long way.

EM – So working with Romero, Tarantino, Howard. What big name director would you work with today, if it was completely up to you?

Shadowing DeNiro

JP – Scorsese. The Aviator. He’s got that new one coming out about the Irish mob. In my earlier days, I did a lot of early production work. Like on The Deer Hunter. I started out doing crowd-control, and they liked me so much, they promoted me up to talent-wrangler. Which was making sure the talent got to the set. But I ended up being De Niro’s stand-in. But the thing about it, was you were obligated to watch rehearsals, so that you can do physical movements, in the rehearsal.

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EM – To fast forward from The Deer Hunter, a pretty hot show, The Walking Dead, you worked with Greg Nicotero?  His first big gig was Dawn, and then his first big lead gig was Day, right?

JP – Yes I did, Greg was a young buddy, a pimply-faced teenager. When I wasn’t shooting on Dawn, we would chat, and white-face hundreds of zombies at the mall, and he rose very rapidly. And I worked with him of course on Day, he was by my side.

EM – So do you watch The Walking Dead?

Joseph Pilato And The Walking Dead

JP – Uhhh…. I can pretend I do for political reasons. But uh… I feel it’s um, don’t get me wrong, success is success. The thousands of people that that live and die by the series, and The Talking Dead. I feel that, it’s a (takes a pause) soap opera with zombies. In one episode of The Walking Dead, you probably see more zombie kills, than you would see in two Romero films. I think The Walking Dead would have made a great film. Walking Dead 1, Walking Dead 2, Walking Dead 3. I think the original first two, and maybe perhaps even three, were very interesting. The thing that happens though, when you see zombies in Doritos commercials, you have films like Zombie Detention, uhhh.

EM – Zombie movies have become way more mainstream and popular, than they have been, in the last few decades.

JP – Let’s not forget, in the 20’s, there was White Zombie, I Walked With A Zombie. Karloff, I think maybe Lugosi was in one, I can’t remember. And then they kind of disappeared. And then George in the 60’s. Now the original name for Night Of The Living Dead was The Flesh Eaters, but they changed the title. But the thing is… nobody is afraid, anymore. Of it. There is, no pun intended, such a thing as overkill.

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White Zombie, 1932

 

EM – The over-stimulation of zombies in pop-culture, does desensitize people. I’ve read that when Night of the Living Dead premiered, people threw up, and ran out of the theaters, and now you see little kids with zombies on their shirts.

The Decline Of The Zombie Era

JP – I’m actually surprised that there’s not a zombie sitcom. You know, All Of What’s Left Of The Family. You know, an Archie zombie, an Edith zombie. But it’s not of the culture of fear. Maybe there would be a zombie quiz show.

EM – But all of the categories would probably be about brains.

JP – Zombie General Hospital. All of the doctors, are zombies. It’s funny, they’re remaking Poltergeist. Why are you remaking, something that’s perfection? Because they don’t have any imagination. They go with what’s tried and true.

EM – The original was great. At the time, it was a really scary movie.

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Poltergeist, 1982

 

Catching Up With A Legend

(Phone trouble)

EM- So what are you doing these days, what else is on the horizon, where can we see you?

JP – I’m doing a lot of conventions. I’m waiting for the release of Night Of The Living Dead Origins. So I’m waiting for that, and I have a picture coming out called Shhhh. (spelling it out) S-h-h-h-h, it’s kind of like a grind house murder mystery. And that’s what happening. I have the convention coming up on the 28. Just trying to stay, on top of things. There’s an old saying, an actor walks on the studio lot, he takes a left, he gets run over by a craft services truck. He turns right, he bumps into a casting director, who says you’re the guy we’ve been looking for. So you know, like I said, it could have gone in a different direction. Lance Henriksen, he’s one of my favorite actors. Have you seen Appaloosa?

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EM – I haven’t seen it, it’s a western, right?

JP – What’s his name? Viggo Mortensen? I think that’s how you say it. That was a wonderful portrayal. It took like five minutes to recognize him. I did a show, Brisco County (The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.) with Bruce Campbell, he had a wonderful career starting out in horror movies. Look at Matthew McConaughey, what was his breakthrough film? Texas Chainsaw.

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Matthew McConaughey in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.

 

EM – Renee Zellweger, also, right?

JP – Yeah. I don’t know why she had that plastic surgery done. I don’t know why Uma Thurman had that plastic surgery, she’s fucking gorgeous. Just gorgeous. I think we need to blow up the Kardashians. Make that the last episode of the series. I’ll play the bad man.

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(laughing)

EM – I want to read that book, that you mentioned was on Amazon.  What was it called again?

JP – It’s called The Making Of George A. Romero’s Day Of The Dead, and you would swear that when you read it, it’s so in-depth, I’ve had the book for months, and there’s so much information in there. It’s crazy. You would think the guy that wrote it was on the set every day, except the guy that wrote it, was only eleven years old, but he did such vast research, it’s like this guy was there everyday. It’s interesting. I recommend it to all readers.

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EM – We’ll throw a link up for it on the site, so that everyone can go check it out and get a copy, and I’ll check it out myself.

JP – Yeah, it’s a big book. There’s a lot of great photographs in there. And information, that even I didn’t know. And the events that lead up to the making, and then it goes into the making, which is pretty much a day-by-day account of the making.

EM – I’m a huge movie nerd. As all our followers are. I love all the background information. I can never read enough, about that.

JP – Have you seen a film called (inaudible and sounds like Nemesis)?

EM – Nemesis?

JP – Not Nemesis. Write it down. M-I-M-E-S-I-S.

EM- Is that also about Night Of The Living Dead?

JP – Yeah. So you’ve must have heard about it, right?. But you haven’t seen it?

EM – Yeah, that’s one of those movies, that’s in my Netflix queue, the list is out of control and I need to manager it better.

JP – Yeah, so anyways (I forgot that Joseph is notorious for not owning a computer, and may not know what Netflix is), I wont tell you too much, I don’t want to spoil it for you, it’s a very uhh, it’s a very interesting film. So is Bugs, with Ashley Judd. And that actor, I can’t remember his name, he was on Boardwalk Empire for awhile. And another film, he thinks something catastrophic was going to happen to the world. I can’t remember. In terms of overkill, have you seen Signs, with Mel Gibson? You know, not til the very end of the movie, that, I wasn’t too happy about how the aliens looked, but the build-up, to it. It’s almost like, I mean Howard Hawks production of The Thing, is one of the scariest, on the edge of your seat, movie. It’s not until the end until you see the thing.

Conclusion

JP – I love genre fans. They’re not looky-loos. They come to the table. Some of them might have bones through their nose, and they bring their kids to them, and the genre is getting passed on, to another generation. And genre fans don’t just get an autograph and leave, they ask questions, they are interested in talking, moments in the film and things like that, and it’s always a joy to deal with them, and without them, we would just be two-dimensional pieces on celluloid. But fans have become our family, warm-blooded. People will come up to my table, and they’ll show me a picture of me holding a kid in my arms, and there’s this six-year-old standing there, and it’s like, that’s him. That’s the baby you were holding. It’s quite heart-warming.

Emge, Pilato, and Foree

David Emge, Joseph Pilato, and Ken Foree at a Convention.

 

EM – I guess you can say it’s a generational thing. People grow up loving these movies, and they pass it down.

JP – Yep, yep, get them away from watching the Kardashians, and reality TV, and we’ll be fine.

EM – Oh fuck that, right?

JP – Right.

EM – That’s why I will happily let my kids watch Night Of The Living Dead, and wont let them anywhere near the E! Channel.

JP – Yeah, well. As long as The Night Of The Living Dead spooks them, the way when I was a kid and watched Frankenstein the first time, I’m still a huge fan of Universal classics, I think they’re kind of the identity, I don’t care about CG or how incredible, that’s the other thing about Night Of The Living Dead, that was all artisan work, that was hands-on work.

EM – It was all just character-acting. It was scary, because of the tension. It was very Hitchcockian.

JP – It was almost good fortune that the budget got cut to pieces, because George wouldn’t bring in a rated movie, because if you read the original script, it reads big budget action movie. So what he had to do when the budget was so severely cut, he had to compress everything, and that compression kind of created a nuclear bomb. So many conflicting points of view came in that claustrophobia, and something was bound to happen.

EM – (looking at my watch and surprised that an hour had passed, it honestly felt like maybe 10 minutes) I want to sincerely thank you for taking time, just to talk to us. Me personally, I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know, heard some amazing stories, and I have to check out Mimesis.

JP – Let me know what you think of it, give me a call after you see it.

(Joseph then once again becomes Captain Rhodes, because the show must go on)

JP – Alright well listen, all you zombie movie hot-shots, you better listen to this because there’s going to be a quiz. And if you don’t pass the test, you know what’s going to happen to you, you’re going to get shot in the head. Adios amigos.

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