So George Romero's Next Of the Dead Movie Is Basically About Zombie NASCAR

A still from George A. Romero’s iconic zombie film, Dawn of the Dead. Image: United
A still from George A. Romero’s iconic zombie film, Dawn of the Dead. Image: United

George A. Romero, director of the legendary Night of the Living Dead, the equally legendary Dawn of the Dead, the not legendary but still good Day of the Dead, and countless other zombie entertainment, is trying something different. Very different. So different it’s a movie where zombies race cars to entertain rich people.

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The film is called George A. Romero Presents: Road of the Dead, and it’s being put together with the help of the Fantasia International Film Festival. Romero directed the last three “Of the Dead” zombie movies, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead, but will only co-write and produce this film. Matt Birman, a long-time Romero collaborator, also co-wrote the film and will direct.

According to Indiewire, “the story is set on an island where zombie prisoners race cars in a modern-day coliseum for the entertainment of wealthy humans. Birman describes the project as Road Warrior meets Rollerball at a NASCAR race, with significant inspiration from Ben-Hur.” This sounds like it could be an excellent mix of political commentary, horror, and sheer craziness.

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These days we’ve reached a point with zombies that they’ve kind of lost their bite, pun intended. (They’re about to be Disney stars, for crying out loud.) If it takes zombies driving racecars to breathe some life into the genre (no pun intended), then sure, I’m all for it.

Then again, it’s not like Romero’s last few films were seen by anyone outside of the hardcore horror fan. There’s a fair chance this one will come down the road and then drive off, just as quickly.

[Indiewire]

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

...the not legendary but still good Day of the Dead...

It blows my mind that this is still the consensus. Day of the Dead has become my favorite film of the cycle for the way that it steers between comedy and despair. The domestication subplot thrives on Romero’s gift for using comedy to release moral discomfort. And the tension between the military and civilian characters underlines the same problem of empathy raised by Bub. I doubt that another zombie film has more to say (without lapsing into Kirkman-esque platitudes) about what separates us from them.

Meanwhile, it builds on Dawn of the Dead in the way that the suspense timing and comic timing short-circuit each other. There are horror set-ups that degenerate into slack-stick and gag set-ups that erupt into violence.

It’s a more strange and uncomfortable film that Night or Dawn, but for me it is Romero at his best, with both his black humor and his humanism on full display.